Friday, February 8, 2013

Please Pick Your Proper Place in the Pecking Order


Thought for the day:  Can a writer spend so much time blogging ... he no longer has time to write?

Answer: I dunno about you, but I sure can. It's a vicious cycle: start a blog to promote your writing, and then spend so much time blogging, there's not much writing to support... (Gotta do better at striking a balance.)

DING, DING, DING! Rerun time! Some of you may remember this post from when it first ran in June of 2011, but it should be new to most of you. Sorry for being such a slacker today, but I hope you enjoy it, nonetheless.

Remember the False Start Friday bloghop sponsored by the loverly Suze? It was supposed to be playing its swan song the last Friday of this month, but the date has been changed, so now,  it's gonna be held a week earlier. And, um, it's also gonna be on a Thursday. So, technically, you could call it False Start Thursday if you'd like, but that doesn't sound nearly as good. It's gonna be held on Valentine's Day, and with an underlying theme of loooove. So, if you wanta sign up, pop on over to let Suze know. (That means I'll be posting on Thursday next week instead of Friday. Matter of fact, I think I'll shake things up and post on Tuesday and Thursday, and see how that goes.)

Check it out! I've got another cool bloghop to tell y'all about. What better way to celebrate Einstein's birthday than with a trip through a wormhole? Not the muddy kind with actual worms in it, but those nifty neat-o theoretical ones that allow you to whoosh through time and space. The idea? Write about where and when you'd choose to travel  if  you could go slip-sliding through one of those holes. Would you go back and change something in history? Maybe go forward to see if your team ever wins a Super Bowl? With my lousy sense of direction, I just hope I don't get lost. (Those darned wormhole entrances better be well marked!)  This hop is gonna be hosted by L.G. SmithLaura Eno, and Stephen Tremp, and it promises to be a lotta fun. You can register to participate at any of their blogs. (Or by clicking on Einstein's face in the sidebar.)

Okeydoke, enough chatter. Here's my oldie but goodie, originally titled Open Up Them Wings, Baby... with a few minor changes. (DANG IT! Even when I'm trying to be a slacker, I can't stop myself from editing...)

*****

Thought for the day:  Just because you're sitting  in a garage doesn't mean you're an automobile.


The winter winds are blowing, so hot soup is on the menu, but how about a little food for thought to spread on your crackers? It's story time... a story loosely based on  James Agreey's The Parable of the Eagle.

While traipsing through the woods one day, a kind-hearted farmer found an injured eaglet, which he scooped from the ground, and carried back to his barnyard. There, the eagle gradually regained his strength, and was soon able to take his place with the other birds in the barnyard. In no time, he was walking and squawking like a chicken, and pecking chicken feed from the ground.

Months later, a naturalist stopped by the farm, and mortified by the young eagle's condition, demanded to know why the mighty king of birds was confined to a barnyard, scratching around in the dirt like a common chicken. The farmer claimed the bird was now, in fact, a chicken. He'd been raised like a chicken and never taught to fly, so he was  no longer an eagle. But (naturally) the naturalist insisted the bird still had the heart of an eagle, and could surely be taught to fly. And what's more, should be. The farmer finally agreed to let the naturalist try.

The naturalist picked up the eagle, tossed him into the air, said, "You're the king of the sky. Stretch forth your wings and fly!"

But the eagle looked at his chicken friends pecking corn from the ground, and immediately fluttered back down to join them.

The next day, the naturalist tried again. This time, he took the eagle up onto the roof. Again, he said, "You're an eagle, the king of the skies. Stretch forth your wings and fly!"

But once again, the bird returned to the safety of the chicken yard.

The third day, the naturalist carried the bird to a nearby mountain. He held the eagle high above him, and said, "You are an eagle, the king of the skies. Spread forth your wings, and fly!"

The bird hesitated at first. He looked back toward the farm, back to the only life he knew. Then he trembled, stretched his mighty wings, and with a triumphant cry, soared into the sky.

It's possible the eagle may sometimes miss his life among the chickens; he may even visit the barnyard once in a while for old time's sake. But as far as anyone knows, he's still living as an eagle, the king of the skies. As he... and all eagles... should.
*****

How about you? Are you still hanging around in the barnyard because you're too frightened to stretch your wings? Never ever let someone else's definition of you and your capabilities, of what you should be doing with your life, prevent you from trying or from chasing your dream. Because, you too, are an eagle, you know, and you owe it to yourself to fly.

Schoolchildren aren't the only ones with untapped potential.


                                                       

Value yourself. The only people who appreciate a doormat are people with dirty shoes.

                Bottom line: What would you be doing if you weren't grounded by fear?

                                    Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

60 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Interesting. I hope you elaborate about this someday.

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  2. It is far too easy to get accustomed to the safety and familiarity of the barnyard and be afraid to soar. Once we find our wings and take our first flight, however, the feeling of freedom is irresistable - - and the possibilities are endless.

    As for blogging - - it takes up a helluva lot of precious time but has served to put me in touch with some wonderful people.
    I not only blog as a personal catharsis, I also do it as an excercise in writing. It promotes writing skills (sometimes). Blogging is also a beneficial way to say what I want without having to please an editor.

    I have blogged hundreds - if not thousands - of pages. Some of them (certainly not all) are worthy enough to be edited and perhaps put between the covers of a book......??

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    1. Abso-doggone-lutely, you definitely have a boatload of posts worthy of being transformed into book format. Go for it! (Soar, cowboy, soar!)

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  3. Going thru the wormhole!

    I'd be living in Europe, I think.

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    1. Super. I'll be looking forward to seeing where that wormhole takes you.

      In Europe, huh? That doesn't narrow it down very much, now, does it? Scotland, maybe? Or traveling through the whole darned continent? Either way, sounds good.

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  4. After all the years of writing historical articles --even poems-- that had to be tweaked for publication, it's a true frolicking joy to write as I wish. I don't make any money at it --never much did before either. Blogging's just a relief down to my toes, and reward for never quitting my day job. Sometimes the dream chases one down against the converse. Funny old world!

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    1. Yeah, I can see how getting away from the pressures of deadlines and editors would make blogging a more relaxed writing outlet, but it's also obvious that you still put a lot of thought and skill into your posts.

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  5. I certainly know how blogging can take up time when you should be writing. I've been scarce lately, because my WIP has me by the throat up against the wall and is saying in a Linda Blair kind of voice: Write Me. Write Me. Write Me.

    And just by coincidence, my WIP has a version of wormholes in it. Okay, I just wrote more about them, and then deleted it. Best not to give away the best parts of the WIP, right? Let's just say, my characters find them handy for getting to kinds of places they aren't allowed to go.

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    1. I LOVE the Linda Blair description of your WIP. And oh boy, handy dandy wormholes? Sounds intriguing. I can't wait to read it!

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  6. If I could travel through one of those wormholes, I would love to live among the indigenous people of French Polynesia.

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    1. Now there's an Eden-like setting for you. (Don't forget to take your sunblock!)

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  7. 'What would you be doing if you weren't grounded by fear?'

    Write another Chevy Loves Mallory Keaton, with everything I've learned.

    (You have no idea how much this post has helped. Sometimes you *need* someone to ask the right question.)

    Have a beautiful, beautiful weekend, most excellent Sus!!

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    1. Well, if that's what you'd do if fear weren't holding you back, like the commercial says, "Just do it!" It's time to stretch those wings, kiddo.

      You have a stupendous weekend, too.

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  8. Great post! Though sometimes I think I'm a chicken with aspirations to eagle-hood. But, oh well...it's better to flap your wings and try to fly, even if you never manage to soar as high as your dreams. At the very least, it's good exercise, and it works up a breeze for those around you to enjoy. :)

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    1. Thanks. Nah, no doubt about it, you're an eagle. You've already taken flight, and as long as you flap your wings every now and then, you can stay up there as long as you'd like. Me? I think I'm more like an albatross. Clumsy and awkward, and flapping my wings as hard and I can. It may take me a while to get off the ground, but at least for now, I'm still flapping.

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  9. Thanks for the shout out on the blog hop! I haven't figured out where I'm going yet, but I'm having fun thinking about it. :)

    And what a great reminder about reaching our potential...even if some of us aren't spring chickens anymore. Ha.

    Have a great weekend.

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    1. My pleasure! I dunno where I'm gonna go yet, either. I haven't even decided what should be in that box from ten years in the future for that OTHER bloghop. (Both should be fun to figure out, though.)

      Lord, no, I'm not a spring chicken anymore, but I do hope to lay a couple golden eggs before I hit that deep fat fryer in the sky.

      You have a super weekend, too.

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  10. I used to be afraid of a lot of things. Disappointing my parents probably headed my old list of fears, but after being hospitalized the first time and realizing "Ooops, you may not get a second chance" I thought what in the hell am I doing trying to please people and live my life for those who I could never make happy? What am I NOT putting my husband and kids first?

    It took A LOT, but I told my Mom enough, I couldn't do it and as my time is limited I wasn't wasting it on what I was never going to get anyway, and I wanted to take care of those that took care of me for a change.

    For the first time in 43 years I felt free. Happier than I ever thought possible - and even though my everyday isn't filled to the brim with daisies and lollipops it is so many levels better. It is calmer, happier and loving than it ever was. Life tastes sweet once because I was able to let go of the fear that had been instilled in me from birth.

    I just wish I hadn't wasted so many years when I was healthy trapped by my fear. I regret that it took health issues for me to figure out my priorities, but so be it. It's done - and I may not have another 43 years left on this planet but you can bet my behind that I am going to relish each moment and hold those that I love and love me close, while we enjoy the ride.

    It may be a week, a month, a year or five, but I am living my life that there is a tomorrow. Wanna join me? ::wink:: Oh, wait - you already do. That's why I love you so much.

    Hugs and love to you - and sorry about the very detailed and long comment. But YOU ASKED. Be careful what you wish for with me. ::laughing::

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    1. Oh, Skippy, never apologize for leaving a "long" comment. I look forward to your words, because they always come straight from the heart. You're right; life is way too short to waste time trying to please someone who's impossible to please. It'd be easier and less painful to bang your head against a concrete wall. I'm glad you finally came to realize that, but sorry it took a medical crisis to make it happen. I was in my forties, too, when I finally realized I didn't need my father's approval. Absolutely liberating!!!

      I love your "skippy" attitude, kiddo. I also know how tough it must be to maintain it at times. If I could, I'd adopt you. Trust me, you definitely please me.

      Love, your other mom 12:34

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  11. Do not be afraid...repeated over and over in the Bible...

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    1. Yes, and like a lot of other things in the Bible, it isn't always easy to do. But it IS worth the effort.

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  12. I'm too scared to say what I fear.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I hope that's a joke. You strike me as fearless.

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  13. So glad you recycled this post, I hadn't seen it the first time around and I love it. Love the wormhole hop too, I can't decide where I'm going yet but it's definitely going to be a fun hop. As for spending too much time blogging and not enough writing, a big yes to that! I so wish I could figure out some kind of balance!

    Have a great weekend, Susan. :)

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked it. Sorry you're struggling with trying to find a balance between blogging and writing, too, but I'm real glad to know I'm not the only one. See ya in the wormhole!

      Happy weekend, Julie.

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  14. You are spot on with how I am feeling today! I am so glad that I stopped on by. I don't usually, but I have spent all day online today, catching up with reading blogs, making a post of my own, stuff like that.

    This was the day that I said, "I am going to write today, even if for a little bit." I haven't though, except for comments and book reviews. I am more like a chicken than like an eagle, and nobody is trying to put me in my place either. I have so much that I want to get done, but I freeze!

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    Kathy M.

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    1. It is soooooo easy to fall down the rabbit hole and lose all track of time while hopping from blog to blog, isn't it? (sigh) Blog-hopping is pretty much my only exercise most days.

      Well, ya know what, Kathy? I think we need to get our acts together! If we really want to write, that has to come BEFORE blog-hopping. Even if it's only an hour, I'm gonna try to put in some writing time before I jump into the rabbit hole tomorrow. (Hey! Wait! I "jump"... that's exercise, too, right? Woo HOO, I'll be buff in no time!)

      Seriously, that's what I've gotta do. You with me? (Come on... let's fly, girl!)

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  15. Darn, this post has really got me thinking.
    I'd set up my own counselling practice but not before high-tailing it out of England and emigrating to Canada.
    There is so much more I'd like to achieve but health and money problems, keep me grounded to the barnyard. :)

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    1. If you're grounded in the barnyard, I'm quite sure you aren't a chicken. A lovely peacock (peahen?) maybe, but not a chicken.

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  16. Your post reminded me of a former boss who got a really big promotion. I picked a card out for him, from the whole team, that said: "It is hard to soar like an eagle when you hang out with turkeys. But you did it - congratulations!"

    Of course it was meant to be a funny card, but in all seriousness, in order to soar you need to get rid of your fears and maybe stop hanging out with turkeys. Or chickens. Or discard some dead weight around your neck.

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    1. Or if you're very strong, maybe you can even fly a chicken or two out of the barnyard with you.

      Happy weekend!

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  17. Loved this post. Yep, I battle constantly between writing writing, like on my novel, and writing on the blog. Usually the blog loses. I write once or twice a month now as opposed to when I first started. I wrote twice a week or so. Now not so much. Feel I'm too stretched at times to do justice to a blog.
    Factor in that I've been sick a few months as has my husband. Puts a damper on any kind of writing.
    Keep up the good work. Enjoy reading your stuff. Blessings, Barb

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    1. Hi-ya, Barb. Yeah, well, you'd better keep writing. I've gotta see what happens with sweet baby James, ya know.

      I hope you and your hubby are doing better now. Take care. Blessings back atcha.

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    1. You sound like my hubby. The only time he visits the dentist is when he's in pain and swollen like a chipmunk with a cheek full of acorns. Thanks for stopping by!

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  19. Hi Susan .. I'd be travelling - perhaps I'll be able to in a while .. but I rather like blogging too - it's a tester!!

    Need to get on with new projects ... there will be a way - the will is here ...

    The eagle story is a good example for life ... cheers and its fowl here too ... or should that be foul! Hilary

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    1. Hi, Hilary. Oh, but you can combine the two... travel, and then blog about it! Win-win. Not too fowl... or foul... here. My hubby and I just returned from a walk around the neighborhood. It's overcast, but warm enough that no jacket was needed. Cheers!

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  20. This reminds me of a friend who always says, "Eagles don't fly with pigeons."

    I signed up for the Wormhole bloghop.

    Blogging does get in the way of writing. Over the years I've become a faster blogger, but responding to comments takes the most time.

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    1. It sounds like you have a very wise friend. Glad to hear you'll be sliding through a wormhole, too. I'll be looking forward to reading your destination. (And I'm still trying to decide on mine!)

      Responding to comments... and visiting the bloggers who leave those comments... does take up a lot of time, but I think it's the only (or at least, the best) way to truly become a part of the blogging community.

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  21. I would be too frightened to try to fly to new pastures.
    Great post.

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    1. Maybe with a little help from a friend? Thanks for stopping by.

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  22. Hi Susan,

    Ah yes, writing and blogging about not having time to write which can then be a blog about not having the time to write which can then be a part of the writing which states that I spend so much time blogging I cannot write. Think my medication kicked in!

    I'm a Canadian type dude, eh, typing from England. I think I flew the coop. Any truth to the rumour (rumor) that y'all gonnna' have a new 'reality' show, 'America's Got Talons'?

    Don't get me started on blog hops and blogfests. Yikes! :)

    Peace, my friend and thank you for your supportive comment on my site. Very grateful for that.

    Gary

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    1. Yes, I suppose you did fly the proverbial coop when you soared over to England. Good for you!

      As for bloghops, I have to do 'em from time to time. Hopping from one blog to another is my primary exercise these days.

      Peace, my eagle friend.

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  23. Very interesting blog post. It made me think and assess whether I spend more time with one that I neglect the other. I found that when I blog, I don't get much writing done except for the blog. Vice versa. I suppose, I just cannot manage my time well when I am writing. This is something that I need to reassess. Thank you! Great post!

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    1. Yeah, it's really hard to juggle things properly, and I'm such a klutz, juggling isn't exactly my strong suit.

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  24. Love this story! My grandparents had a quote to this effect on their fridge when I was growing up and I am seeing it in a new light now :) Thanks for the tip on the wormhole bloghop too--totally going to do that!

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    1. Cool. I have a feeling I would've liked your grandparents. Glad to hear you're gonna venture through a wormhole next month. Should be fun! Thanks for signing on as a new follower. I do appreciate it. Welcome aboard!

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  25. That's beautiful. Although sometimes I feel as though someone clipped my wings. :(

    I've been doing two blog tours and writing blog posts like crazy. I can't believe how little time that leaves for actual writing. More :(

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    1. I'm pretty sure nobody clipped your wings. (If they did, how could your writing soar so high?)

      Good luck with all that blog touring and posting. More power to ya! When you're done, have yourself a big ol' margarita to celebrate.

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  26. Good story, Susan. I could hardly wait to leave the barnyard, in other words, Get out of Dodge. But once there, I found it to be all glitz and phony so I ended up back in the barnyard, far wiser and happy.

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    1. I have a feeling that no matter where you've lived, you found a way to fly with the eagles.

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  27. Love your writing. I've enjoyed getting to 'meet' you through your prose. :)

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    1. Thanks! It's always wonderful to have new visitors stop by, and I do appreciate you popping in, dear lady. Next time, maybe we can have a splash of amarulla in our tea? (As you can tell, I visited your blog before writing this response.) Hope to seeya back this way soon.

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  28. That doormat quote? Priceless.

    www.GirlwithaNewLife2.com

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  29. Loved the story about the eagle. Sometimes we need more than one nudge to stretch our wings. I chuckled at the thought for the day. It is cute, but also food for thought. We need to get out of the garage, too. (smile)

    I've been meaning to come by and thank you for the wonderful review you did for Open Season on Amazon a few weeks ago, but life has interfered. I did thank you on the site, but needed to take a moment to thank you personally.

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    1. Hi, Maryann. It was my pleasure to review your book, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks so much for stopping by. It's always good to hear from you.

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  30. Excellent! I loved it. And very true. Thanks for reposting.

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