why

365 Challenge: Day 167 – Destiny

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Destiny: the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future; the hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate

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Destiny and fate. Two words that often come up in conversation with friends when you are thinking about the future. Maybe you’re drunk and pondering the purpose of life. Perhaps a child has just asked you about it and you wonder how to respond. Or you wake up screaming from a nightmare wondering what will happen in your future. Curiosity whether someone greater than us is controlling all the movements or it’s fully a free will situation. Today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is not about religious beliefs, nor whether or not evolution has an impact. It’s about whether or not you believe in the concept of destiny. I felt like it was something to share with all my online friends… curious what everyone believes for a couple of reasons I’ll mention a bit later.

Destiny is often mistaken for an extreme wish that something will happen. I want to be a writer, I was destined to be a writer. I’m not sure if that’s true. I know that’s what I’ve wanted to do for as long and as far back as I remember. But whether that’s what was meant to be is definitely not a concept I truly understand.

What about two people whose paths cross several times without realizing it before they are finally introduced and fall in love. Were they meant to be together or did it just happen that way because they live in close proximity?

We all make choices in our lives, constantly changing the path and the direction we follow. Is destiny navigating behind the scenes or are we just making decisions as they are presented to us with whatever knowledge we’ve amassed up until that moment?

I would totally say something wrong like this!

Quite a philosophical post today. Not a long one either. Just something to get us thinking over the weekend… why do we do the things we do? how much control do we have over what happens around us? do we believe in fate or destiny? Or even more introspectively… do we want to believe in destiny?

I would like to think that I have some control over my path and my decisions. And I think I do. I am fine living in NYC but if W said tomorrow let’s move to California, I’d be fine with that, too. And if I decided to give North Carolina a chance after that, I’d be fine. If I am good living in all those places, where does destiny fit in? Is it controlled by your surroundings, e.g. the place you live? If so, does that then limit the people you interact with who can be part of your life? Or the jobs you can hold? Or the activities you engage in?

So many questions involved to try and understand whether destiny controls us in the background. It really makes you realize that with so many potential combinations of how things come together, it’s actually infinite. And if something is infinite, can there really be any control over the outcome? So… before any of us get caught up in trying to solve this little dilemma, maybe I should keep myself on a bit of a straighter path with the point of this post.

While I often encounter this conundrum in my own life and brain, it was on mind this week not because of me… but because of a character in my book. She’s been through a lot. And as I decide the ending to the character’s story and the novel, I find myself asking on her behalf if the following statement is true:

Destiny. Do you believe in it? I’ve love to hear everyone’s opinions. Thanks in advance for sharing.

 

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.

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365 Challenge: Day 92 – 5W?-25% (Milestone?)

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5W?-25% (Huh Milestone?): a code meant to symbolize a few topics grouped together under a daily post using the basic information gathering or problem-solving technique of the five (5) “W” questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why?

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For more on this technique, you can see it at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Ws

For the explanation of 5W?-25%, here goes… As I sat on the couch this morning to draft today’s post, two things occurred: (1) I realized I officially hit the 25% complete mark with the 365 Daily Challenge, as it’s day 92. I am very proud of my commitment to this effort and have enjoyed getting to know myself and all of you through these posts.  (2) I had a number of topics that I wanted to post on this week, but didn’t want to spam everyone with multiple short posts plus all the book reviews, so I combined it all together with the five (5) “W” questions. And without further ado, here we go?

 

WHO?

When I looked at my statistics today, I realized I hit a key milestone overnight: I have 555 followers on my blog. Seems like a nice round, well not-so-round, funny kind of number. But given I’m complete today with 25% of the 365 Daily Challenge, it sort of fits. I’m surprised but very happy with this progress. It means a lot to have some great e-friends and conversations here on WordPress. And between connecting with everyone over book reviews or the 365 challenge, it’s been an amazing journey.

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WHERE?

As pointed out to me last week, some of my followers may not be as familiar with English, but they would still enjoy reading my blog. Marcelo reminded me that there is a widget for translating your blog into other languages. If you haven’t seen his site, please click his name to go check it out. But also, I’ve added the Language Converter widget to the right menu on my blog so that non-English readers or speakers can convert posts to their native language to make it easier. It’s only fair, and so now, almost anyone can read the blog from wherever they live and whatever language they speak. You can add it to in the Customize section of your blog; if you need help, message me.

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WHEN?

A few weeks ago, I started the “What Book Do You Read By Genre and By Age?” series of posts.  I’ve published a few for mysteries and historical fiction, and then partnered with Nel for urban fantasies. Well… I need your help! I don’t read in all genres, and I am not familiar with every book. I’d love to partner with more people to add to the series for every genre and age group, e.g. romance or science-fiction or non-fiction. Any takers? Who wants to work on one with me, or write one up on your own blog and I’ll re-post to connect us? I think this is a great way to share books and determine when to read them! I want to post a new one every 7 to 10 days, so let’s get this scheduled! You’ll meet new bloggers, find more followers and share great book info.

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WHY?

I’ve seen a few people post a useful tip on how to link and connect fellow WordPress follower’s blogs. When you link to the person’s home page, it is helpful because other people can visit someone else’s site. But if you are tagging someone, nominating them for an award or even just showing off someone else’s blog, unless they regularly read your site and see your post, they wouldn’t know you were tagging them. So, there’s an alternative method to ensure that person gets an email or notification, which means they’ll know you tagged them and will be able to participate or check it out. If you want to link someone, don’t just link their home page. Link to a post as that generates a notification or email, depending on what that person sets up. For example, to link me:

Isn’t that helpful? Now you know why it’s important to link to a post instead of a main page. Let me know if you need any help.

wordpress

 

WHAT?

And the last question represents what am I am about to accomplish:  all of my book reviews are 90% complete… and I expect to finish the remaining 50 within the next 2 weeks. By June 30th, I will have 500 book reviews available on my blog and site, in addition to all the other content: film and TV reviews, 365 Daily post, author spotlights, tags, awards, book bucket lists, age / genre series, etc. I’m so excited! Come check them all out.

 

Thank you very much to everyone. Hope you enjoyed today’s milestone 365 Daily Challenge post!

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 75 – Patient

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Patient: able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious

Patience is not something innately arriving at my doorstep, exquisitely wrapped within a lovely basket, a brilliant bow and all the rest of the pomp-and-circumstance trimmings. It’s more like the tragic, nagging reminder in the back of my head, warning me to be good and to let things happen naturally — or I’ll grow warts and hairy moles. And when those are the measures at stake, who the hell wants warts and moles? Or wants more warts and moles… cause you know we all have one at some point in our life… don’t even try to hide from this one, my friends!

We’re told at a young age to allow whatever situation you’re waiting to occur… to happen naturally. Naturally. Does anything happen naturally anymore? So many things in our lives are artificially triggered or engineered, it’s hard to know what’s occurring on its own or happening due to a gentle [read: massive] push from some other force. And the energy behind those “other” forces often leave you unable to determine what should have happened on its own in the first place.

I am very much driven by accomplishments and checking things off the “To Do” list. I always have a bit of anxiety just beneath the surface of my skin when there is something I need to do, but haven’t yet gotten to it. I remembered this morning that I also have the same little aggravating pulse, throbbing beneath my skin when it comes to my control over the art of patience. It’s painful, annoying and itchy. And I want it to balance itself out, so I don’t have to think about it. But it’s always been a battle of wills that I struggle to win on a regular basis.

I want something. It’s within inches of my grasp. But I have to wait. Why? Perhaps it’s not my turn. Could be that it’s not yet ready. Maybe it’s not meant for me. Eh… too many things fall into that category… yet I let them control my actions. When I push myself to think about why it’s so frustrating, I believe it boils down to the mere fact that I have way too much to do. And unfortunately, I also believe we’re all on that same boat treading water in a very deep and wide ocean. There is never enough time to do the things we want to do, and failing to accept that reality can have major consequences.

My lack of patience isn’t over something specific today. No grandiose situation perforated my life (other than the usual ones we all face). It’s simply a moment in time reflection that we are all way too busy, yet sometimes finding ourselves with nothing we want to do, and trying to patiently wait for whatever it is that’s supposed to come next. When I reflect on this behavior over the years, I recognize that it’s been a fairly consistent one: lack of patience for most anything going on in my life.

It’s not an outward manifestation, but an internal one. Consuming. Niggling. Yes, sometimes it causes a bit of eye-twitching, teeth-grinding or is lack of sleep-inducing, but I’m fortunate enough to take the brunt of it myself, saving others from feeling my undeserved wrath. I’m sure you’re familiar… we all are at some point: very few of us are just comfortable 24/7 with whatever happens when it happens.

Patience is a virtue. Patience is rewarded. Patience is honorable. We hear these little sayings all the time. And yes, I’m sure to a large extent, they are quite true. But it is also an art that needs to be practiced — if we ever want to achieve it as a natural and normal state of our reactions to situations. Some people find patience in religion, exercise or spirituality. Others find it elsewhere. I’m not looking to understand how to become a more patient person, as I kinda know what I need to do. I think I may just be too old to change it. You know what they say about old dogs…

And it got me thinking… what if we had a chance to scrap it all over and start fresh? A re-start or new beginning to our life. Forget about the implications and the things you’d lose by engaging in such a marvelous re-boot to your days. I’m not getting philosophical in my daily post, but what if you could keep an on-going journal of all the things you wish you’d learned how to do the proper way when you first entered this world. And then you could share it with yourself and watch from a distance to see how it all turned out — a second time around. Would you do it? Would you have the patience to watch yourself make the same mistakes? Or new ones? Or witness the improvements?

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.

The Cozy Mystery Series – One Reader’s View

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The cozy mystery series genre is my favorite type of book — hands down, I even dream about them.  While I’m an invested fan of general fiction, historical fiction, crime thrillers and general mysteries, the cozy is that old faithful friend guaranteed to make my day just a little bit better whether I’m curled up on a chair in my bedroom corner, relaxing on my NYC terrace observing the skyline or keeping myself occupied on trains, planes and automobiles.

I’ve been adding tons of books on my Goodreads “To Read” list over the course of 2016 not realizing along the way that over 50% of them fell into the cozy category.  It happened naturally as I saw the title or cover of the book — just clicked “Want to Read” and suddenly hundreds of books showed up.  When I went to categorize them to make my actual selection process easier (seriously, how do you choose from a list of nearly 500 TBR books when you personally picked them all?),  lo’ and behold — the cozy stood out.

Perhaps it’s because I’m an only child and looking for the drama.  It could be that I am a bit of an introvert but also a little bit nosy!  Or maybe it’s that the cozy takes you into a magical world where you continuously create and build on the characters, setting and background.  Of course, it’s the author who creates your initial picture, but when you read series fiction, each successive book adds more to the town, the family tree, the history — up until you as a reader have suddenly immersed yourself in this make-believe land that you could swear is real.

But when the series is actually a cozy series, you have every type of character including the nosy neighbor (no, that’s not really me), the scary cop, the well-meaning friends, the awkward yet lovable helper, the “is (s)he / isn’t (s)he” my love interest, and the sometimes super villain.  Each character feels real, and the setting and backdrop become somewhere you hope to visit in the future.  In other types of series fiction, you may have a couple of the same characters recur throughout the series, but it’s usually a very different setting and story where only the basic elements carry through.

And YES, there have been one or two occasions (I won’t admit to anymore) where I mentioned some name or place and the person to whom I was speaking thought I was losing my mind.  “Yes, I did just tell you I visited a fictional place in a book. Sorry, I must just be tired.” has been an excuse I’ve had to use.

Have you ever talked with another fan of a cozy series you follow?  Do you picture the characters the same way and then get all riled up over who is closest?  Do you want to draw out the town on a map to get it all straight in your head?  Do you create your own little family tree diagrams to keep remembering who is who?  Do you write reviews where you imagine yourself as one of the characters?  It happens a lot to me… especially when I’m following over 50 different authors and series.  Where else can you find a genre that can accomplish all of this?

And so… as I get started with my day, knowing at some point I’ll have to pick the next book to begin reading tonight, I found myself just feeling pretty psyched that this cozy little (well not so little!) world exists…  you should definitely give it a shot if you have never read one before.  Feel free to reach out to me for any recommendations.

If you’re new to me or my site, you can find more about me by clicking here.

-jjciv