journal

365 Challenge: Day 317 – Journal (LIST: Objects I adore)

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Journal: books I’ve been writing in for 30 years

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Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. For this group of five Sundays, I chose objects I adore or that have some huge importance to me. We’re in our fourth week, and I’ve gone with journal because of how many I’ve collected and used over the years. Ever since I was about 6 or 7 years old, I’ve written in journals. I have over 40 at this point, mostly stored in boxes or bottoms of cabinets. I pulled out a few that were easy to access, to share some of the covers or initial pages. You’ll see various dates, mostly from the 1990s in this batch.

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A few are focused on poetry…

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Some you can actually see the beginnings of Watching Glass Shatter last year.

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Below is one of the first adult ones when I graduated from high school.

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Each person who gave me the journal (as I don’t ever buy my own — I want them to be special and attributed to someone who supported me over the years) has a short note on the cover page, thanking them. I cherish these, often flipping through them to see what I was thinking at any given moment in time. Some days it was revealing a secret crush. Other days it was a line I thought too beautiful to forget.

I have moved more towards electronic in the last few years, but I still keep journals to write in script or cursive — whatever my hand and mind choose at that point in time. Someday… perhaps I can combine them together as the ‘best of’ and publish a new book of ‘early thoughts!’

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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
  • Week 38 – 42: Holidays
  • Week 43 – 47: Objects I adore
  • Week 48 – 52: TBD

 

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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Book Review: Where the Moose Slept by Atwood Cutting

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Book Review: ‘Where the Moose Slept’ by Atwood Cutting (fellow blogger!)

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Why This Book 
I met a wonderful blogger about three months ago who I began exchanging emails with each week, chatting about books, life, and many other topics. After a while, she casually mentioned her book, which of course led me to reading a little more about it and her. I recently started a new segment on my blog called ‘Author Alert,’ where new authors can share a message with my friends and followers – Atwood Cutting, author of Where the Moose Slept: An Account of Two Late-20th Century Pioneers Who “Saw the Elephant” on the Last Frontier, is today’s (Fri 12/15) latest author. But first I had to finish reading her book this week and write this review…

Approach & Style 
I read this ~300 page book via Kindle Reader on my iPad in 4 hours over three days. It is a cross between fiction and non-fiction, as it is a true account, almost a journal, of a woman and her family’s experiences; however, a few things were changed around in how the story was told so that it reads more like a story. Atwood tells accounts of her life through letters home to her mother, in episodes focused on their trek around Alaska, and via pictures from the entire time period.

Plot, Characters & Setting 
Kate and Tim Peters were recently married, making the trek up to Alaska for the oil boom during the mid-1970s, several years after college. Picture frontier life in a more modern world (still didn’t have electricity in the beginning, tho!) and learning how to adapt to life in the wilderness where animals — and people — attack. Through building a home, getting to know their neighbors, learning how to adapt to married life, finding ways to earn money and survive, they meet some potentially life-long friends (I only read the first book… not sure of the ending even though I know and chat with the author) in this beautiful backdrop where the moose sleep – in search of seeing the elephant (you’ll have to read the book to know what that means).

Key Thoughts 
Atwood’s voice is the best part of the book. Writing an account of your life, understanding what to include about the mundane versus existing parts of your life, is critical. Through the characters, Kate and Tim, she achieves a charismatic and earthy combination of humanity. Life for many of us who live in a city or the suburbs seems difficult, but you don’t know difficult until you truly rough it on land that’s never been lived on before. Seeing (the pictures are fantastic) and reading about their lives gives you a bit of the goosebumps, worried for their safety and mental health. It can be lonely and cold; it can be dangerous and boring. But through trust and a strong relationships, two people can achieve a lot of success — success which is measured differently when you go through a non-traditional path (building your own house in frigid temperatures with practically no neighbors around in a place you’ve never been and no knowledge of how to make it all work!), but in the end, you still experience that wonderful amazement of knowing you did it all with your own two hands.

This is the kind of book you want to read when you are bored with mysteries or general fiction, when you need something inspirational without being pedantic. It’s a light yet heavy account of a really different side of life, one we should all experience for ourselves at some point. But if you’re not the kind of person who will rush off to Siberia or Alaska, then dive into this book for an intense picture of what it might be like. You’ll enjoy some of the sentimental moments and many humorous conversations between Kate and Tim. I won’t spoil them here, so go read it.

Summary 
I’m normally a fiction reader, who will throw in 5 to 10 non-fiction books each year. When I do, they’re usually based on a famous figure in history or a remarkable informational piece. When I chose Atwood’s book, I knew it would be a different kind of read because it was a personal journey with an incredibly charming voice — that alone makes it worth the read. But once I started it, the story became so much more. I look forward to reading more from this author and will keep on chatting with her to see how everything turns out in her life.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. 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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Review: The Private Life of the Cat Who…

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The Private Life of the Cat Who...Book Review


3 out of 5 stars to The Private Life of the Cat Who…, a short novella written in 2006 by Lilian Jackson Braun. So… this is not one of the normal cozy mystery books in the “Cat Who” series, rather a journal written by the main character, Jim Qwilleran, known as Qwill, about the history of his relationship and the antics of his two Siamese cats, Koko and YumYum. For fans of the series, it’s a cute refresher that you can choose to read or ignore. If you only care about the mysteries, then skip this one. If you love the characters, it’s a quick 2 hour read. For new folks, if you want to see a little bit about the characters or the style, it’s a good intro; however, it’s not a cozy mystery where you solve a crime. Keep those recommendations in mind and you’ll know what to do! Enjoy.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Meet and Greet: 5/26/17

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What a great concept — by a fantastic guy! Please take a look at this one… an opportunity to meet new online friends and see tons of great blogs and content. -j

Dream Big, Dream Often

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It’s the Meet and Greet weekend everyone!! Strap on your party shoes and join the fun!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post. It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times! It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want. It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media. Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

See ya on Monday!!

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365 Challenge: Day 55 – Fastidious

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Fastidious: very attentive to and concerned about accuracy and detail

But what I really wanted to say was CLEAN-FREAK: someone who obsessively and constantly cleans beyond any normal expectation

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There are so many wonderful examples of my personality and actions which clearly show how fastidious I can be…

  • No food can touch anything else on my plate. I have to eat things separately.
    • And as a child, I basically wouldn’t eat anything. But my parents were smart about it. They told me I didn’t have to eat what was on the dinner table if I chose not to; however, I couldn’t eat for the rest of the evening and had to go to my room. Guess what I chose? No food and my room, of course. No one would make me eat something that might have touched something else. Ewww…

  • Any time someone moves something, I put it back in its place.
    • I’ve been known to do this while someone is using the object/tool/item, to the point where they get angry with me for it.
  • I will scrub a kitchen or a bathroom until it is actually shining. And if I need to use it before I am done cleaning, I start all over again.
    • But I don’t care about the inside of the refrigerator or freezer. Does that mean I only care what’s on the outside? Yikes… I need some psycho-analysis on that one. STAT!

For the most part, this doesn’t border on “put him in an institute quickly,” but as I’ve confessed, I have some obsessive tendencies. Yet this is different… very different.

It’s not consistent across all my behaviors, despite my initial thoughts. I’m fastidious about strange things… foods, cleaning, paper and writing. But I’m not about others. I’m not sure where the line falls, but one thing’s for sure… When it comes to being a clean-freak, I’m off the edge and into the freak zone.

After I’m all done showering, shaving, dressing, fixing my hair and basically ready to go, I have to re-wash my hands. Then I give the dog his treats, but need to wash the residue off my fingers. I walk thru the foyer and if I see dust somewhere, I have to wipe it before I leave, and then wash my hands again. If I rush too much and start to sweat when it’s too warm in the apartment, I’ll rinse off again. And I’m constantly washing my hands until I can walk out the door knowing they are perfectly clean. But it has nothing to do with germs. I don’t like that icky feeling of not knowing what’s touching me or that something is still left on my skin.

It’s a bit like how I see Ryder (by now you should know that’s my ~9 year old shiba inu). He will go to town cleaning his fur for what seems like an excessive amount of time, and when he’s done, it doesn’t look much different to me. And he still smells like a dog smells. Is that what I’m like when I get into my cleaning frenzy? Do other look at me like I’ve just completely lost it? Do they see me rubbing the same spot over and over again and worry I’m seeing imaginary things?

The bed has to be made in the same way each time. And my clothes get hung in the same order in the closet. The food goes in the same place in the cabinet every time. And I brush my teeth from left to right, top to bottom, repeat and then catch the rest of my mouth. I almost can’t function when it’s out of order. Sometimes I worry I’m a little weird.

All in all, it’s really not that big of a deal. But it’s definitely a key part of my personality. And I wouldn’t change it. I’d rather be like this than be the opposite. Can you imagine having to eat a mouthful of vegetables and meat at the same time? Those pesky greens would taint my beloved steak tartare. Or what if I left the house with streaks on the mirrors? I might actually keel over on the street… touch something weird… and then what would everyone say when they saw what a mess I’d left the place?

Truly… these are the things that cross my mind… perhaps I do need to think a little different. But then again… I’m fairly confident:

Everyone else is a freak for not being like me! I’m the normal one.

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 to their original creators, especially the Clean Freak Cleaning Company — if it exists!

365 Challenge: Day 54 – Nervous

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Nervous: easily agitated or alarmed; tending to be anxious; highly strung

If you are confident in every moment of your life, perhaps you are not challenging yourself enough to step out of your comfort zone. To be nervous is to express emotions that demonstrate you are uncertain, worried, fearful, concerned… and if kept at a proper level, it’s actually a good thing. It’s healthy to release total control sometimes… allowing your mind to cleanse, heal and prep for the next battle.

I’ve often thought that people who are totally comfortable in any situation are suspicious. Not because they’ve done something wrong, but I wonder what’s going on their head. Have they learned everything technique to keep calm? Do they have weak goals and objectives such that they will always meet or exceed them? Do they not push themselves to try new activities? Or are they just that good where they have no nerves to control?

On the scale of nerves, I fall somewhere in the middle, probably like most of us. I have several things I’m afraid of (that’s a post coming up soon!), but I’ve also a few where I’m completely comfortable and in my element, even though most others would be freaking out.

What makes me nervous?

  • Waiting for responses, answers, results
  • Delivering bad or disappointing news to someone else
  • People staring at me
  • Being in crowded places

What doesn’t make me nervous?

  • Confessing so much about myself in this 365 Daily Challenge
  • Public Speaking
  • Being completely cut off from any form of communication, e.g. deserted island
  • Being idle

We each have our own goals in mind, our purpose or objective for living (sometimes we actually haven’t yet figured it out). We generally know our comfort zones and stay within a small percentage of testing the waters just beyond. Some people’s boundaries feel limitless. Others feel constraining. It’s what makes us all different, able to survive and open to change.

Being nervous shows you are considering something different, something new. Sometimes we can be nervous about the exact same thing over-and-over again, but in most instances, the more you confront the issue, the less it will cause distress. Not always of course, but then again, I’m not focusing on the huge life-altering things… just the daily goings-on of life around us.

When I’m nervous, I tend to either hide or bark… not like a dog (wouldn’t that be amusing), but as in become a bit mean or aggressive. My responses will be short and it comes across like I’m snapping at someone — often the person who is trying to help me. It’s a natural reaction, I do realize it. Perhaps because we feel comfortable around that person, it’s easier to relax our mind over the things we are nervous about.

Rather than discuss the tools and techniques to calm us down, I’m more apt to question why we are nervous. I prefer getting to the root or source of the problem. And not necessarily by going to other people, but by thinking over the situation in my own head. There are absolutely times when you need someone else’s help, but there are also times when you just need some uninterrupted time for yourself to ponder.

Let’s take my nerves over delivering bad news… I believe it’s because I don’t want to hurt someone. I feel ill-equipped to fix his/her pain. I fear retaliation or losing the friendship. But when you push deeper… think about where you fit in with the overall issue that you need to cover. Consider what happens if you don’t confront / discuss it. Picture the end game when the situation is resolved. Focus on where you want to end up rather than what’s happened in the past to initiate the delivery of the bad news. It’s also important to outline the goals of the conversation. Don’t wing it. Have the beginning, middle and end worked out. Consider the paths the conversation could take. Have some positive things in your back pocket. Work through it enough on your own, or even with someone else, until you feel prepared to address the situation.

Your nerves won’t go away. And that’s a good thing. You want your nerves to be on a bit of an alert — not a high one — but enough so you retain your humanity when bringing up difficult topics. It’s worked for me on some occasions, but I don’t always practice it. Sometimes… I’m just scared shitless (yes, I said that aloud… but you know the rules… once I type it here, the only changes I can make are to grammar and spelling)… and I am a Nervous Nelly. Or is it Nellie? Let’s free-form away from this discussion… where did that saying come from? I need to go look it up. And I think that’s a wrap… or is it rap?  Another thing to look up. Yikes, I’m a little nervous I’ve made a fool of myself with this conclusion today. Ciao.

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 to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 53 – Writer

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Writer: a person who writes (marks letters, words, or other symbols on a surface, typically paper, with a pen, pencil, or similar implement) books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation

After 50+ days of posts, and covering various characteristics such as creativity, reader, poetic, and lister, I’m sure you realize I am a writer. And if those weren’t clues, the amount of posts on my blog should be the true tell-all!

I do not plan to duplicate my thoughts on how I love to feel pen and paper in my hands, or type on a keyboard or use my creativity to bring life to characters, plots and settings. That’s all obvious, as you can see in the above clip… and BTW, I have never seen that show, but I loved the expression on her face when she said the words.

The reason I chose writer today is because I realized I’ve been so focused on reading, blogging and searching for a new job, I’d forgotten to focus on writing the last month. I spend a few hours each week researching literary agents who are looking for the type of fiction I write, and I customize my submissions prior to sending them off. BTW, it’s not an easy task. Each agent has a different preference, ranging from 5 pages to the entire manuscript, a query letter to a full synopsis, an author bio to links to your personal website. It’s a full-time job just preparing all that.

But in truth, I love it. There are days when suddenly it’s after 6pm and my significant other is on the way home… and I’m like… what did I accomplish today? Truth be told, I can usually tell roughly around that time how active Ryder (shiba inu dog) is… meaning if he’s throwing his stuffed toys at me on the couch, I know he needs play time. If he’s napping on the couch next to me, he wants me to keep working.

It’s the life of a writer. And it makes me happy. But it’s all about steps. And I’ve prepared my list of steps — overly generalized — but you get the point.

  1. Decide to focus on this as your career.
    • Done!
  2. Write the book.
    • Done!
  3. Search for agent.
    • In Progress
  4. Sign with agent.
    • Future
  5. Find publisher.
    • Future
  6. Sign with publisher.
    • Future
  7. Publish book.
    • Future
  8. Find fans and make them happy!
    • This should be happening the entire time, not only at the end.
    • In Progress

As you can see, I’m in the early stages for some of these steps. And I’m about to get focused on the next book. The outline is mostly written, so it’s about time to put the finishing touches on it and then begin writing the first chapter.

But I’ve also completed the first book. Took me about 4 months from start to finish, including working with 5 beta readers who helped provide feedback along the way. And then 5 other people read it and provided a few thoughts… all overwhelmingly positive, which helped push me even more.

I even created a website to start promoting the story and interact with potential readers. I’d love it if you took a look and provided some feedback. I’ve posted the prologue and first two chapters, as a teaser. If you hate it, tell me. Honestly. If it’s so-so, let me know what didn’t work. That’s how to improve. If you love it, share it! That’s all I ask. And if you’re not interest, that’s OK too. You can even read the chapters and choose not to reply. No pressure. You can find it at:

https://theglassfamily.wordpress.com/

What does this have to do with traits and my 365 Challenge?  It’s all a learning process, and since I’ve confessed to being shy, this is forcing me to put myself out there and connect with people rather than hiding behind a door or wall. And while online is a bit of hiding, you have to start somewhere. And after 50+ days, I’ve more than met my goal at letting people get to know me even more. It’s rare I’m an armadillo anymore…

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and 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 to their original creators.