self

365 Challenge: Day 346 – Roda

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Roda: who came to NYC to visit me — you can check out her blog profile at GrowingSelf

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As many of you figured out from a few posts, Roda from GrowingSelf visited me in NYC this weekend. We’d been having a lovely week of 65 degree weather, a very comfortable temperature filled with sunny days and light breezes. The darkness and the rain descended upon us Friday morning and just finished as Roda left for the airport a few minutes ago. (Correction…this is Roda, by the way, and I am still here.  The rain ended yesterday afternoon.  Jay is sharing his “Untruth” now.) I’m not at all suggesting it’s a coincidence. Just setting the tone… as it’s been quite an interesting (Interesting…let’s consider a new word choice, my author friend!) trip! I’ve learned a few new words, such as woozy. I believe it’s a combination of what and boozy, but I am still trying to get a clear answer. (Definition: woozy is when your head feels floopy because your so called “friend” keeps adding boozy to your glass, while you are making him a birthday cake, without your knowledge!) It hasn’t been easy as she just opened a bottle of champagne before we left for the airport as her “see ya later” toast. (Oh my goodness…more untruth!)

 

Part of our trip included taking in a Broadway show. I wanted to go to a memorable show that would inspire us. Roda selected Book of Mormon… and let me tell you, I learned quite a few new four-letter words. It was a show full of sarcasm, just like her! (More untruth) She cried during the scenes from laughing so hard!!!

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(Truth…it’s Roda again…I knew NOTHING about this production.  When Jay said it would be inspiring and moving and to make sure I brought my tissues, I had no idea what he truly meant!  Naughty, I tell you!  My Little Bro is naughty!) I cannot repeat the words we learned as I’d have to wash my mouth out with soap.

I did introduce her to the taste of Jack Daniels and ginger ale. (Not by choice!) She baked a chocolate marble cake with my assistance (51% me, 49% her). (So not true…once again!  Jay was happy to sit, at the table, with a bottle of bubbly in each hand, trying to play cruise director.) There was flour everywhere! And I didn’t get any candles to blow out either. (Let’s just say, after three grocery store trips, I could not find enough candles for Jay’s age, so I decided to count by 5s instead.)

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(There was also flour everywhere, due to the fact that Jay was throwing it everywhere…maybe because of his “woozy” head!) We tried taking pictures, but she kept making funny duck faces (don’t even ask, but I did try to recreate it below!) and they might be too embarrassing. I’m sure we’ll post more pictures when we have time to format and fix them.

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A few other facts:

  • We spent 2+ hours in multiple grocery stores because someone couldn’t find the ingredients she needed to make part of dinner. We had fish, bruschetta and broccoli.
  • We played Uno. She LOST bigtime. W also beat her. (We decided from the beginning that the person with the highest score would lose.  Jay could not locate the directions and now that he has, he wants everyone to think that he actually won!  Jay has truly set a new record for the highest losing score, of all times!  I have already notified the Guinness Book of World Records!)

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  • We walked around NYC for several hours each day. She was super afraid of grates, yellow banana cars (cabs as you and I know them) and anything that moved on the sidewalk, but oddly enough, she was fascinated by pigeons. What??? She also brought farm animals and I had to keep pointing out which was her drink (see below) because she wasn’t always aware enough of her surroundings… and she slipped on the floor multiple times. (Jay sabotaged my glass numerous times!  Also, the slipping was due to the fact that Jay spent a week cleaning his floor before I arrived.)

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  • We saw Grand Central Station and she purchased us cupcakes… then I went to the bathroom and she ate them both!!!  (Again…so untrue) We did whisper in the corners across the vestibule and she was totally shocked at how you could hear each other over 100 feet apart.

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  • She brought me a gift… ‘NomNom’ wine glass holders – see above. She preferred the male drink holders below… and named them Cody and Chad. Then she and W decided to put them in ice cube trays for their drinks. I was not drinking, so I really don’t know what this is all about! (I have no words…)

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  • She had issues with shin splints from walking so much… then blamed it on the shoes! WAMbulance. (I admit…I chose fashion over practicality, on this day.  This is the first true statement Jay has made.) 
  • I have never eaten or drank this much in my life. Every day…. oh my she can be a pusher! She also gets very bright red cheeks when she drinks. Someone had 4 days of red cheeks!  (I must say, the food in NY is spectacular!)

The moral of our story here… to keep this short… is how fun it is to meet someone you’ve chatted with for nearly a year on the Internet… and I’ll happily say, she’s exactly the same in person as I’ve seen, heard or read about on her blog. And that’s a good thing! (It is Roda again… I so want to disagree, but I have to say that Jay is the same talented, kind and completely adorable man we all know and love.  I was honored to spend four days in NY, laughing and having fun with my Little Bro.)

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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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Book Review: Versions of the Self by Christy Birmingham

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A book review on a collection of poems…

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Overview 
The ~115 page book is a collection of 80 poems organized by 8 sections, all relating to the concept of ‘self.’ It covers individual views, relationship views, sadness and joy; the full range of emotions. At times, it was something light and easy to comprehend, but at others, it was diverse and complex. Some of the lines call to you, urging you to compare your own life to the narrator’s. It’s personal and introspective — all the things I like when someone shares part of the self. Given this is a different type of work, I’m not writing a normal review where I cover plot, characters and setting. Instead, I offer a few lines that really spoke to me:

“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.”

Poetry is often difficult for many people as it is abstract and full of metaphor. It compares things we don’t necessarily understand,  but in this one, you’ll find something different. Something that gives you the freedom to find varying levels of meaning that speak to you as the story evolves through each subsequent poem. The concept of the self… whether it’s how you view yourself today versus tomorrow, is clearly intense and complex. Ms. Birmingham pulls no punches telling you what the narrator is feeling, what’s real and what’s on her mind — whether it’s the emotional reaction to a situation or the physical impacts of pain and fear. But there’s also hope and inspiration, packaged in both obvious and hidden ways.

You could read this all in one sitting in about 60-minutes or you could read a chapter each night over a week. There’s depth, maturity and intensity in the words. It’s one of those great opportunities to hear a voice with power behind it and analyse your own thoughts and actions. Take a chance, it’s worth it.

 

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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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.

———-

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.

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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.

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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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin