365 – November 2017 Posts

365 Challenge: Day 257 – Self (Author Alert: Christy Birmingham)

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Self: (a) a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action, or (b) 365 Daily Challenge word for today’s author alert — Christy Birmingham

If you are new to the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog, the 365 Daily Challenge, or the Author Alert segment, check out the About Site section from the main menu. Below are some key things to know about this author, but at the end of this post, you’ll see the permanent page I’ve added to my blog. You can return to check out more on who she is, what she’s writing and how to buy her future work. Christy and I met about 3 months ago over some inspirational posts that we had both been sharing around the same time. I followed her, she followed me… and we started seeing a bunch of similarities in our voices, plus she’d written a book and I was in the middle of publishing mine. What a great way to kick-start getting to know each other even more. I bought her book a few weeks ago and started reading a few pages each night before bed in the last week. Stay tuned for a review, but you can read a sneak peak below.

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Social Interactions and the Sense of Self

The sense of self can be affected by what goes on outside of the body, specifically in the social realm. Although I strive for an unwavering self-identity, I admit to being knocked about by negativity in my environment. It alters my sense of “I,” whether temporarily or permanently. It was with this in mind that I organized my poems for Versions of the Self.

versions-of-the-self-poetry-book-cover (2)

The reality is that we aren’t living in a cocoon. Although at times I would like to be in that cocoon – it’s safe, dark, and warm – it would also be lonely. And that’s not going to help me in continuing to grow in life. It would feed on the very depression that I take steps not to give in to day after day. Instead, I put myself out there and hope someone will be kind in how they receive the interaction I put forth in my personal and professional pursuits. Sometimes it is a positive social interaction, and other times it’s a swift elbow to the emotional gut.

But, really, life wouldn’t have so much color to it if there weren’t those interactions. And each color – as noted on the cover of Versions of the Self – alludes to a type of social interaction. There are many types of relationships we form, in addition to the special one we have to ourselves. There is friendship, romantic relationship, spiritual, and many more.

And while up to this point I have spoken only about how the sense of self is affected by others, it works the other way too. “I” can affect positive change in others and also encourage a more destructive path.

So, what to do with this information? I processed it in poetry, and I continue to live it daily. It is a reminder to take care with those whom we reach out to. Take care with words and actions, even if we are low on sleep, have recently received bad news, or are just plain in a bad mood.

It is also a reminder to deal with the bad that comes our way through our relationships as well as we can and to be grateful for the good interactions when they occur. Let us not let those negative moments keep us from the more positive ones. And there will be positive ones. Never give up hope in that.

Christy.jpg

Find Christy Birmingham blogging about ways to enhance your life and live fully at When Women Inspire. Also, you can find her on TwitterPinterest, and Google+

[Alert Interruption from Jay — Thanks to Christy for participating in this week’s spotlight. I finished her book and enjoyed it greatly; my review will post later this weekend. There were many poems that spoke to me, but I’ve cut/paste a few lines to give you a taste of the intensity and connections throughout the collection. I fully recommend reading this one.  I’d post more poems, but you need to go check it out to see all that beauty. Enjoy…

 

“I want to alter my recipe,

Lighter on the ridicule and

Heavier on the gratitude

If I am here to speak,

My tongue learns to pronounce properly

The language forming within me.”

 

To see more about Christy Birmingham on ThisIsMyTruthNow, check out her dedicated author page where future content and books will added as she publishes them and I review them. I am currently in process of reading the book and will post a review in the next few days.

Thanks for stopping by this edition of the Author Alert.


 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 256 – Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving: today’s holiday where we give thanks in the US

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. In today’s post, I am listing the top 10 things I am grateful for today (in no particular order):

  1. Health
  2. Freedom
  3. Family
  4. Friends
  5. Safety
  6. Home
  7. Ryder
  8. Books
  9. Food
  10. YOU

TG.jpg

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 255 – Harvest

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Harvest: the process or period of gathering in crops

harvest

In keeping with the Thanksgiving theme this week, today’s word is ‘harvest,’ which isn’t too far off from Nel’s guess of ‘cornucopia’ yesterday — very close!

Fall is my favorite season. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s mostly due to the wonderful smells in the air, whether it’s food, drink, flowers or leaves. The thought of pulling together the fall harvest has always fascinated me, whether it was crops on farms, apples in orchards or grapes to make wine. It is one of those parts of life that we often forget the importance of, or the amount of work it takes to put all the final products into our hands or on our tables. To think of the strides we’ve made in the last few hundred years is amazing. From the pilgrims to the colonial times, the Industrial Revolution and the modernization of techniques, the harvest is one of the most important elements around us.

I didn’t grow up on a farm, nor would I even know how or where to begin managing one, yet I feel like it would have been a good life for me. One day, I will end up on Roda’s Indigo Acres to try my hand at farming. Ryder would love it. All the fresh foods, making things with my own two hands, delivering and donating to others who need sustenance… it sounds amazing, and that’s just the initial thoughts of things like ‘Farm to Table’ or ‘Artisanal’. It’s truly a craft. I give thanks today to anyone and everyone working in this industry. If you do, tell me all about it; I’d love to hear your favorite parts and experiences. One more day until Thanksgiving… that’ll be an easy 365 Daily Challenge word.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 254 – Glutton

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Glutton: an excessively greedy eater

glotton

Thanksgiving is at the forefront of my mind today for a few reasons. It’s this week. It’s my favorite holiday. I am thankful for all the book reviews and ratings, which led to a special announcement on my author website (2018 GLASS Family Short Story Collection) for today’s final blog tour post. After I published the post, which I’ve been planning for a while, I kept thinking… “Jay, you’re glutton for punishment.” Seriously, I keep taking on more and more without any real desire or intelligence to stop myself. That said… being a glutton is usually associated with over-eating too much… and for many of us, that’s coming down the pike, barreling 60+ mph in less than 48 hours. It’s TURKEY day… well, I mean Thanksgiving, in the USA. I’ll post more about that on Thursday, but for today…

The 365 Daily Challenge word is glutton because that’s how I feel already this week with everything going on in my life. I am gluttonous over being thankful and grateful for everyone’s support. I was gluttonous last night drinking an entire bottle of champagne toasting for all the successes this month. As a reminder to myself, I will not be gluttonous on Thursday when I eat the big holiday meal. I’m cooking… all the trimmings. My mom and W will help, but I usually prefer to keep busy in the kitchen preparing food. Even at holiday parties in the past where I’m the host, W is out entertaining and I stay in the kitchen. That’s where the shyness really comes in, even with my own friends. W is a good cook too, but I prefer to hide so it’s a fair balance.

Anyways… as a lead-in to Thanksgiving this week, I’m throwing out 365 words to keep in our heads as we celebrate. Monday was ‘walk’ because Ryder’s been eating too much and had to get some exercise (which we should all do after dinner on Thursday). Last Saturday was ‘bounce’ because if you eat too much, you’ll probably bounce right out of the house where you’re having the meal. Today is ‘glutton’ because you don’t want to be known as that guest or host who eats so much that they get sick. Any guesses as to tomorrow’s word? You can be sure it will have something to do with Thanksgiving and probably a bit embarrassing… see you soon!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 253 – Walk (RYDER RANT)

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Walk: a little jaunt around the neighborhood to help keep me trim

walk

No, that’s not me in the pic — just another shiba inu

It’s been quite a weekend, I tell ya. I’ve been on 3 walks in the last 3 days. I guess they mean business. I went to the groomer on Friday and had a nice long walk back and forth. Dad 2 took me on Saturday all around the neighborhood, then Dad 1 took me on Sunday before they went to the movies to see ‘Murder on the Orient Express.’ I would have liked to go, but the movie theatre doesn’t allow my kind there. How rude! I heard they liked the movie (nothing too great), but wow, did Dad 1 complain about the price of the tickets. They went to a 12:20 showing and each ticket was $19. He mumbled something about remembering when it was $7 as a child; wow, he’s older than I thought! Anyhoo… they forgot to bring me home popcorn. I was not pleased. I did enjoy my walks, but I am getting older, too. I get a little lazy after 15 minutes and prefer to stare into people’s windows. Dad doesn’t like it because he thinks I’m being nosy. He really just doesn’t want people thinking he’s staring inside, too.

The groomer was OK. My paw hurts now from getting my nails clipped. I’m walking with a bit of a limp as a result. I’m not sure if they clipped too closely or held my leg too tightly, but it’s a bit sore. I also think I am getting a cold as my nose is a little runny today. I’ve slept in bed (their bed, to be precise) until 9 every day for the last week. They’re usually up by 7:30 and so they worried I might be sick. I think I’m OK, but I know Dad 1 keeps coming over to check my nose, rub my head and cuddle. Maybe he’s not so bad after all, what do you think? They keep telling me no treats and wow, they’ve been sticking to it. I haven’t gotten any of their dinner in over a week. I got a cracker and a carrot one day, but that’s it! Maybe that’s why I am sick… not enough good food. They promise I’ll get some on Thanksgiving, but that feels like FOREVER!

We worked on addressing Christmas cards yesterday. Or to be precise, Dad 2 worked on Christmas cards. I just stamped them all when he was done. Dad 1 doesn’t have time for that right now, nor is he thinking about the holidays yet. He’s got a few more days on this book blog tour and then he can settle down again. He’s getting a bit repetitive and grumpy about it, too. I know he loves it, but he feels like he needs to talk about something else so as not to bore everyone. He told me he’ll finish book 2, Father Figure, this week and do a final read through before it goes out to the beta readers. That sounds fun… but he also said there weren’t any doppelgangers for me in this book. How rude!

I need a nap. Have a lovely Thanksgiving week and please say hello to all my pet friends. -Ryder

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 252 – Contemporary (LIST: Fiction Genres )

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Contemporary: creates imaginary characters and situations that depict our world
and society, focusing on themes of growing up and confronting personal and social problems. This genre
portrays characters coming to understand themselves and others.

fic.jpg

Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. For this group of 5 Sundays, I will pick a favorite book genre and discuss all the reasons why I love it. In our fourth week, it’s all about contemporary fiction which has a few different names and can often be confused with other similar genres. Let’s first chat about why I adore this genre:

  • Henry James was once my favorite author; now he’s 1 of 5 favorites. He wrote realistic fiction which is very much a prelude to contemporary fiction.
  • I love dissecting reality and understanding what’s happening all around us.
  • Domestic and family dramas are my ultimate favorite sub-genre. Maybe that’s why I write in this particular one!
  • It usually takes place in the current time that the author is writing, give or take a few years.
  • It’s often about problems or issues we face daily, giving us alternative thoughts or opinions.
  • We can relate to the character and see ourselves or people we know in them.
  • It gives you a chance to see different parts of life and society happening around you, but perhaps not close enough to see it, e.g. different parts of the world or society

Sorting books into genres as been a bit confusing for me. I’ll fully admit it, but at the same time, everyone or every book reviewer/rater or publisher can be subjective about it. They often compare literary versus contemporary fiction, trying to sort a book or an author into one or the other category. Perhaps I don’t have enough knowledge or information to speak intelligently about the topic, but I tend to look at literary fiction as the author trying to make a statement while contemporary is more about a casual read. It’s not the perfect definition, but under that notion, couldn’t it be both? Then there’s the concepts of adult versus realistic fiction. If it’s adult, is that supposed to distinguish it from children’s or young adult books? Or does it mean it’s mean for a regular adult to read? All that said, I just sort of blur the boundaries in this area for my own definition for contemporary fiction:

Books about adults set in current times (when the author wrote it) talking about normal things that happen in life. It shouldn’t be other genre-specific, e.g. fantasy, science fiction, romance, historical, mystery, thriller or suspense. It can have those elements on a small scale, but not the primary driver. If it’s none of those, still fiction, and not meant for younger adults and kids, then it must be contemporary fiction.

Hopefully you find my humorous attempt just that, but I do welcome anyone else’s opinion on how to break the genres into fair groups, as well as anyone who works in the industry with a legitimate definition most people agree to!

What are some of my favorite reads from 2017?

 

What’s next on my list in this genre to read in 2017?

 

How about you? Any favorites or recommendations? Do you not like this genre? Time to share!

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, often organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me. Past weeks included:

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived
  • Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held
  • Weeks 26 – 30: Top 10 entertainment options
  • Week 31: How to follow or contact me across all social media platforms
  • Week 32: How to help an artist with promotion
  • Week 33 – 37: Favorite Book Genres

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks.

 

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365 Challenge: Day 251 – Bounce

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Bounce: (of an object, especially a ball) move quickly up, back, or away from a surface after hitting it; rebound (once or repeatedly)

bounce

Every once in a while, when I wake up, I have little to no energy or clever ideas for the 365 Daily Challenge. Today is one of those days where I know it would be better to just put out a brief message rather than spend an hour coming up with a really strong one. Just bounce with it for me, will ya? Lately, my mind feels like all it does it bounce from one activity to the next, which is a good thing in many ways. The days go by quickly and I see a lot accomplished during that time. We all feel like that on occasion, so I’m glad to be in great company with all of you.

I talked about potential words with two friends today (Roda & Noriko), who both helped provide some ideas and/or conversation that generated a few good options. In the end, most of them required more thought before I could truly post anything valuable. Instead, I looked up images of things bouncing all around to amuse myself and that’s when I decided today’s word would be ‘bounce.’ We all need those moments of downtime, don’t we? When we do something silly like play with a bouncing ball or jump up and down just for the fun of it. I think I’ve figured out what I need to do at the gym later on… that said, today’s only potentially interesting piece of advice/humor/inspiration is that sometimes you just have to bounce with a situation until you land where you’re meant to land. Let someone else do the driving for a change. Direct me, Oh Universe… tell me where the crystal ball leads today!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin