Inner Strength Essays, Part III

I wind up the three part series of essays written by two of my students. This week, they discuss community inner strength.

Community-city

Noelle

How can inner strength be used to better our community?

Let’s start with this question: what is inner strength? My personal definition for the phrase ‘inner strength’ is: “the power to resist discouraging problems, doubtful times, and hurtful pain internally.” However, the actual question is this. How can inner strength be used to better our community?

In our community, there are plenty of unfair fights and arguments. If we use inner strength, we can stop fighting/arguing and we can focus on more important things. Think about it – we can STOP ARGUING!

We can also use inner strength for good things. Just getting out of bed in the morning when we don’t want to is using inner strength! We can use this in our community, too! If we are discouraged because someone is tempting us, we can show inner strength! We can ignore them and do the right thing; the act that we know would be better to do.

Many people in the government show great examples of inner strength. I can donate clothes to the poor people in the world. That’s what God wants me to do. If people see me doing it, they might do the right thing as well. It’s called ‘good influence’.

My grandmother, who used to be a State Representative, shows inner strength like this: when she feels like she’s getting nothing done, she keeps on trying no matter what. Then, to her excitement, she notices that she has nothing left! Our mayor, David Krutzfeldt, makes decisions for our community almost every day. Sometimes people don’t like the choices he makes. So he ignores their judgments and keeps on going in life. And that’s what we should do as a community.

Elijah

How Can Inner Strength Be Used In A Community?

What is inner strength? In my opinion, inner strength means “not letting others discouragements or my own doubt keep me from what I want to do.” Here are some answers I have to the question: “How can inner strength be used in a community?”

If the people in my community decide on something they should not turn away in time they should stick with it. Take my grandpa, when he is finished with his harvesting he is usually exhausted, but he still helps his neighbor finish harvesting his fields. Which I think is really nice.

Or the townspeople that take their time to clean the streets and pick up the trash by the highway. Which is also very generous and kind!

The kindhearted people who are tight on their budget, yet they use inner strength and still donate their money and supplies. Again very generous of them to do that!

I can use inner strength by shoveling my neighbors driveway instead of playing in the snow. Or if I am feeling lonely or sad I can think of bright future occasions. Which I think is really helpful!

We all can use inner strength by donating our time, donating our stuff or just getting through hard times! We can also see that inner strength really really helps us through really difficult times or even really really easy times.

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Inner Strength Essays, Part II

schoolhouseLast week, I introduced Noelle and Elijah, two of my taekwondo students, who wrote essays in February on how to use inner strength at home, in school, and in the community. This week, I present their essays on school inner strength.

Noelle

How can inner strength be used to make school a successful endeavor?

Let’s start with this question: what is inner strength? My personal definition for the phrase ‘inner strength’ is: “the power to resist discouraging problems, doubtful times, and hurtful pain internally.” So how can inner strength be used to make school life a successful endeavor?

In schools, all the problems usually have to do with someone bullying the other. Using inner strength, none of this would even be complained of; so the “art” of bullying would cease in schools. Bullying would disappear because no one would care if they were bullied. There is a chance that if we use inner strength, students in schools would never be offended or insulted ever again! Because they wouldn’t care, bullying wouldn’t exist.

Some people in schools do show inner strength. My teacher, Miss Van Kooten, shows inner strength like this: when remarks are said during class, she goes on with her lesson like nothing happened instead of exploding. I show inner strength at school, too. When I am told mean things about me, I just absentmindedly smile and shake my head, because I don’t care; I just ignore it.

Some of my classmates do this as well. Max H. shows inner strength by trying his best not to let his loneliness/feelings show on the outside when mean rumors or lies are backstabbing him and he knows it. He doesn’t care. Rori E. shows inner strength, too. If she is unsure about something somebody just said to her, she brings a graceful smile onto her face and doesn’t care what the person said.

Elijah

How Can Inner Strength Be Used In A Classroom?

What is inner strength? In my opinion, inner strength means “not letting others discouragements or my own doubt keep me from what I want to do.” Here are some answers I have to the question: “How can inner strength be used in a classroom?”

Our class uses inner strength to try and get our assignments done. We will also try to stop talking and pay attention in class, write our worksheets instead of goofing off with our partner that is next to us and we will also be a good class and get rewarded by our teacher.

Some of my classmates use inner strength by not arguing and it helps them get through the day. Like Nathan R, for instance. He uses inner strength to withstand and turn away from peer pressure. Or Rachel B, she has a goal set in her mind and she will get it accomplished by having good grades and focus. My teach, Mrs. Van Donselaar, will be annoyed with us but she will keep us on schedule, which with my class must be really hard! (I mean it!)

If I am in class, I can use inner strength by having a goal to keep my grades high and I can use inner strength to keep them high. I do that by focusing in class, paying attention to the assignments that need to be done and trying my best to not get distracted or distract my friends sitting by me.

Next week: Inner Strength in the community.

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Inner Strength Essays, Part I

Inner-strength-IIIFor a long while, I have putting up a monthly theme at the taekwondo club. I have several posters, large and small, or themes such as Attitude, Courtesy, Respect, and Motivation. I’ve been through all of them several times. So, for February of this year, I reached out and tried something new. Inner Strength.

I am part of the Karate For Kids program developed by my parent organization. tinytigersvpatchStudents up through age 14 receive a ‘V’ for Victory patch and they earn stars to go onto the patch. The distribution of the stars (how many and for what) is up to the individual instructor. For my students, I hand the parents a Star Sheet with the idea that they observe how the child exhibits the monthly theme at home (earning blue stars), at school (gold stars), and the community (red stars). I have silver stars for having an instructor come to the school for a presentation or if I see something extra special from the student. Students start with the white patch with the blue trim and after 25 stars are earned, they move to the next patch. For me I may hand out a maximum of seven stars per month per student. After 100 stars are earned, I have created a special certificate. So far, I have given out four of these.

For February, instead of having the parents write down the specific incidents of showing the monthly theme, I had the students write a one page essay on their own meaning of Inner Strength and how it can can be applied at home, at school, or in the community. Two of my students returned three typed pages each and after reading them, I felt they were written so well, I wanted to share them. So, for three weeks, I want to present Noelle’s and Elijah’s essays on Inner Strength. I think these papers not only show the quality of my students and how they have taken martial arts and the lessons to heart, wonderful parenting, but they also are a wonderful example of quality education that is out there. Noelle is eleven; Elijah is ten. Both are Yellow Belts.

HomeHere are the essays for home/family without edits.

Noelle

How can inner strength be used to help make home/family life a successful endeavor?

Let’s start with this question: what is inner strength? Personally, my definition for the phrase ‘inner strength’ is ‘the power to resist discouraging problems, doubtful times, and hurtful pain internally.’ However, the real question is this. How can inner strength be used to help make home/family life a successful endeavor?

In families, siblings usually argue a lot. And some pretty insulting comebacks are said during the argument time period. The siblings cause lots of frustration. How can families fix that internally? They can use inner strength! With inner strength, you feelings will slowly rise, and you and your family will get along much better. Inner strength will allow your family’s goal to stop the arguing self-complete.

My family shows inner strength in many things they do, too. My mom, when she gets home from work, is exhausted, and she still is willing to answer our difficult questions. My dad shows inner strength in this way: when we are really annoying, he just ignores us and doesn’t quit devoting his time. My brother, Jacob, shows inner strength too. When Noah knocks him down, he gets up and pretends that he doesn’t care. My brother, Noah, shows inner strength; like when my brothers hassle him around he resists it and doesn’t act hurt. My brother, Elijah, gets teased and pushed around a lot. He just laughs or ignores it. And I show inner strength by thinking of the bright times happening the future when I feel down or in doubt.

Elijah

How Can Inner Strength Be Used In A Family

What is inner strength? In my opinion, inner strength means “not letting other discouragements or my own doubt keep me from what I want to do.” Here are some answers I have to the question: “How can inner strength be used in a family?”

In families, siblings almost always find something to fight with each other about, physically and/or verbally, like a scratch on the arm, or a mean word, or a kick. Things like that aren’t nice to say but we still do them. Sometimes we can say really mean things. To put an end to this, we can use inner strength! We can show inner strength by just walking away, forgiving, or just simply not even minding.

My family shows inner strength too. For example, my mom gets home exhausted from work, yet she still spends her spare time with us. Or my dad, he will get annoyed with us sometimes, but he still plays games with us. My sister gets mad at me and my brothers, but she still keeps her cool.

My brother Noah will get banged around, but he doesn’t mind. Or my brother Jacob; he gets hassled around all the time! But he just gets right back up and acts like nothing has happened.

If I’m feeling down, I think of good times. If one of my siblings give me discouragements I can still keep doing what I was doing and not let it bother me. I can also encourage them to read a goal of theirs.

Next week, I present their essays on using inner strength at school.

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Food For Thought: Old West

Old WestOld West

4138 Fleur Drive

Des Moines, IA

515-285-2468

http://www.oldwestmexican.com

Finishing up her meal, Lori Campisi writes to her contact back in Washington, D.C. who has asked her to tell him about many of the are restaurants.

***

Mr. Hundt,

Tonight I went north of the international airport on Fleur and found a bright cheery Mexican restaurant. Though the parking lot was full, I was offered a table almost immediately. The décor is southwestern, wood tones but the lighting, except for the front part is sufficient to read by, which as you know, I enjoy while eating.

The menu offers many traditional items such as fajitas, pollo dishes, and chimichangas. There is a bar in the rear. They offer lunch combinations at $6.99, a children’s menu and a few favorite dessert items. Of course there are appetizers and huevos selections that can be ordered for lunch or dinner.

What you would be interested in is the unique entrees such as Fajita Montana with adds pineapple chunks to the beef, chicken and shrimp dish. Another entree, because I know you can eat a lot, is the Diane Special. I see at least six varieties of steak meals including a Carreta Steak which is a 12 ounce T-bone, grilled and topped with shrimp, onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos.

I ordered the Camarones A La Crema-shrimp and crab in a cheese sauce with a salad and rice. The crab meat is in flakes and probably the fake crab used by so many places, but I didn’t confirm it with the staff. This meal cost a bit more than the usual which runs from seven to ten dollars. The seafood entrees are always more and mine was eleven dollars.

Speaking of the staff, my waiter was attentive although he didn’t offer me another basket of chips.

My impression is that you would like it because it would have items that match your, uh, eclectic, tastes.

Sincerely,

Lori

PS

No, I will not sign my emails to you ‘Fox’. That is your silly nickname for me as I have been telling you for years.

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Endurance

Endurance picEndurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.” – Buddha

In January, 2015, I used this picture and quote as my monthly theme for class. The reason I did was when I consider monthly themes I take suggestions from my assistant instructor and I think about how the students have been doing in the recent month. I try to think what might motivate or excite them, to push them.

I thought Endurance would be good for the start of the year. Yeah, so many times the theme of Goals is used and I’ll bring it out now and again. But I wanted the students to toughen up a bit, get through some of the difficult parts of the workout and form work we do.

Endurance is akin to perseverance. You’re trying to keep going to reach the goal. I think endurance, however, can be broken down into the areas of mental and physical.

One of my exercises I do every so often is go through my form, full power, seven times. After the first couple I’m doing all right. By the fourth or fifth round, I’m feeling it – in my muscles, my breathing, and especially in my mind. It becomes a mental exercise to keep going, to finish those seven. I’m sweating and I’m pushing those kicks, trying to stay relaxed (not tense throughout), and focusing on technique rather than the strain and pain I’m feeling. The mental game to endure the strain and pain and keep going. Push, kick, strike. Again. Again. One more time. The mind counts up from one then counts down how many more rounds I have. Push, kick, strike. Again. One more time.

Of course, to endure, the physical side comes into play. By years of training I’ve built up strength and stamina to keep going. To endure.

Region 114’s annual camp is an excellent venue for endurance. The classes and exercises are intense and demanding. The Masters instructing will push you to your limits. They’re not harsh or come down with punishment for failure, but they will push. They’ll encourage improvement, celebrate success.

But only after you’ve endured what they have to offer.

None of us is Superman, but as I mentioned, training does help endurance.

I think of those who go through the SEAL training. Normally, it isn’t the biggest guy in the bunch who succeeds. Those who succeed will be the ones with that physical and mental endurance to push past the pain and the mental anguish. Late in 2014, I heard commercials about enduring the training of one of the military branches. The man speaking was pushing himself mentally, saying to himself that he needed to keep going for just a bit longer, just a minute more. Then he’d succeed.

Endurance is strength of body and of mind. It doesn’t always have to be something physical like a martial arts form or military training. Sometimes, it can be about a job interview or writing the final chapter in a book.

Where in your life have you had to endure to succeed?

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Adult Truth #17

Yes, I know it’s Thursday, but it’s one of those rare weeks where an earlier post is necessary as I’m off to Black Belt Camp and will be busy tomorrow.

——————————

#17I wish Google Maps had an ‘Avoid Ghetto’ routing option.”

Unless your destination IS the ghetto.

This brings up an interesting discussion. Let me lead you into it slowly and try not to upset you too much.

When you take a trip, do you just get in the car and drive? You have no destination, no time frame for your trip, no plans whatsoever, you just get in your car and drive, right? Well, some people take a vacation with no set destination in mind but I’ll bet they have a time frame. I mean, they’ll have to go back to work or get back to responsibilities at home at some point.

So…do you say to yourself, “I’m going to write a story today”, sit down with pen in hand or in front of your laptop and start writing?

You’re ahead of me, right? Well, think hard before you answer.

My point is, everybody outlines.

“No, they don’t, sir. I certainly don’t.”

Yes. You do. You have to. Now before you start in on your protestations and snarky emails, read on. I’m talking about basic outlining. You have a story idea. You have a couple characters and a vague description, maybe a setting, and, oh, yes, the hero gets the girl in the end. Right? Well, that’s outlining.

I’m not saying you have to do a Jeffrey Deaver 180 page detailed outline. However, you still have to make some decisions. How old are the characters? How much time is going to pass from the story’s beginning to the end? Are you starting when the hero is twenty years old and end it when he’s ninety-five or start when he’s twenty years old and end when he’s twenty years and two days old? How do the characters change throughout the book? Is there a resolution to the problem or are you setting up for a sequel?

I think these are some of the decisions you have to make before you write Chapter One. You have to have some idea of where you’re going. Maybe you don’t have the trip to Paris or that one of the character’s will die halfway through the story, but I think you have to have some vision of the future.

Too often I’ve heard authors say they don’t outline, they just sit down and start writing. More often than not, I don’t see a completed story. Why? Because they usually run out of steam, or more likely, lose their way in the story. They don’t have to vision to continue. So, the story peters out around chapter two or three.

Now, I’m not saying there aren’t successful authors who don’t outline. I’m just saying I haven’t seen very many who stick around very long. I congratulate those who can write an entire story from scratch with no real notion of where they’re going, how they’re going to get there, or when they’ll end. The old adage of ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’

comes into play a little bit here.

I’ve written before that not outlining for me is like trying to explore a complex cavern with only ten matches for illumination.

I’ve heard the argument that, “Well, I just don’t want to be bound by the outline. I can’t work like that?” Fine. You’re a writer and writers break rules all the time. You’re not fettered by your outline. There is no rule that says you can’t change your mind down the line somewhere. I do. The publisher isn’t going to come back to you and demand to see your outline and lambast you for coloring outside the lines. There is a time, maybe a few times, where I realize my outline needs to be modified because something isn’t working. I just make it work. I have the creativity to adjust and modify. I do it all the time in my taekwondo classes. I have a class planner but sometimes the students just aren’t understanding what I’m trying to communicate. Maybe it’s my fault, maybe it’s their fault. But I know when to stop the exercise or the drill and move onto something else. I can come back to the original point later on but I don’t want to bore the students. Just as if you continue on with the same vein in your story, you risk boring the readers if it isn’t working.

So, what’s the point here? I think it this: Be realistic when you claim you don’t outline. If you have the vision, the perseverance, the time, and the motivation, then go for it and I’ll will congratulate you when you’re finished. But if it doesn’t work…then revise your plan and jot down a few notes to help you along.

Now, as for the unplanned trip…wow! I’d absolutely love to do that one day. No destination, just explore, no care in the world where I’m going or when I’ll be back.

Can you imagine that?

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Chapters – IV

C04We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it be included in the price.”

I don’t know about you, but even if the park DID provide swimsuits, I don’t think I’d wear one. Even if it has been washed fifty times over, how many other bodies have worn it?

***

So what do you think about when you see the price for something? Everybody has a personal opinion on if a product or service is too expensive. It all comes down to what we think is worth the money.

Years ago I went with my dad to a model train fair. We visited many booths and displays and saw a lot of pretty good stuff. At one booth, a guy was hawking a product one used when creating scenery. I can’t recall exactly what it did (a special glue or foam to connect pieces of material to make construction easier and more realistic) but the bottle cost around forty dollars. Now, dad has been into model trains for decades so he was attracted. I thought the price was a bit much, but dad ended up buying a bottle and found the product worked pretty good.

I guess I’m the same with books. I used to be a big eBay purchaser and until the site went to strictly Paypal payments I would shop a lot. The problem I found was that several sellers were ripoff artists. I know book prices have increased and today you shell out close to nine or ten dollars for a paperback in the store. I used to have a bit of an OCD complex where I wouldn’t buy a book unless it was in pristine condition. Then I realized I was missing out on a lot of books because of my standards. (However, I still read with the book open only far enoughto read the words without cracking the spine. I’m also glad that dad does the same when he borrows some of my books.) However, back then books ranged from four to six dollars.

Anyway, I shopped on eBay because I could peruse used books and older books no longer in the stores. I saw some pretty good deals and thought the money spent was justified. However, I thought a lot sellers were cheats because the book itself may have cost anywhere from 99 cents to four dollars but the shipping was always four-six dollars, or more. So, I would have ended up paying new-book price for something years old. No way. I knew it didn’t cost six dollars to ship a book.

Today, with Amazon and other online stores it’s a bit easier, in one sense to be able to shop around. The liability is, there are various ways to buy books, to get the one you want for the right price may require a lot of time. And with the explosion of eBooks and especially with self-published books, the old warning of BUYER BEWARE is so important.

I’m not against self-published books. I know authors who have gone this route and their books are just fine. However, in my book reviews, I have run across so many more that were not. It’s not difficult to recognize a self-published book at times because of the poor quality of the plot and all of the errors of grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. No self-respecting editor or publisher would allow that crap to get published.

I must correct myself by saying…some do. That’s one of the downsides to small indie publishers. Not saying the big six doesn’t put out crap, but some of these small publishers are so close to fly-by-night outfits, it ain’t funny. That is why writers must do their homework before submitting. Check out the company as thoroughly as possible before submitting or accepting an offer.

Quality counts. It doesn’t matter if the price for a book is less than a buck, if the story is awful, the writing is amateurish, and/or the editing is noticeably bad, then you’ve wasted your money.

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Food For Thought: New China Buffet And Grill

New China Buffet and Grill

New China Buffet And Grill

1201 East Army Post Road

Des Moines, IA

515-287-8477

Lori Campisi has just finished her meal and is writing to her contact, John Hundt, who is interested in learning all about the dining experiences in Des Moines.

***

Mr. Hundt,

I’m sitting in a back room at the New China Buffet and I think except for the fact you wouldn’t be able to see much of the buffet line (and no I’m not insulting your shortness, just stating a fact), I think you’d enjoy this restaurant.

Along with a traditional menu, there is an extensive buffet and a small grill where the chef would cook up your raw chicken, beef, shrimp, and vegetables. Near this was a selection of sushi.

The buffet had many expected items such as Chicken with Broccoli, egg rolls, crab rangoon, sweet and sour chicken, soups, and fried shrimp. It also had clams, coconut shrimp, craw fish, cheese mussels, baked seafood casserole, and pizza. Dessert was a small selection of pastry and cups of ice cream.

N.C. offers a lunch buffet, too. Lunch costs $6.99 and dinner is $9.99.

It was all delicious and fresh tasting. I noted the consistency with which the staff replenished the trays. For bigger groups, they have three ‘party rooms’ available.

For a Friday night, it was busy and for me, I found that a liability. This is nothing against the restaurant, but for myself, I thought the place too loud with too many people.

I would return if I saw less traffic where I could be content to enjoy my meal.

I know you’d enjoy some of the unique items and they would provide a booster seat. (Sorry, couldn’t resist, but I told you that if you kept up your teasing of me, I would return the favor.)

Until next time,

Lori

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Perseverance

PerseveranceMany moons ago I attended a taekwondo tournament in the Minneapolis area. I was either a Second or a Third Degree Black Belt at the time and my competition consisted of some excellent martial artists. In the sparring competition, I faced a gentleman who, within a minute, executed a spin hook kick to my head. My hands were not up as far as they should have been and I was not fast enough to block in time. As I understand it from witness’ reports, my body went both limp and sideways and I hit the floor.

I don’t remember much during the next five minutes or so. I think I heard people talking but was unable to respond. In short order I found myself at a local medical center and on the doc’s advice was driven to downtown St. Paul to receive a CAT scan to make sure nothing was wrong inside my noggin. Luckily, I recovered with no problems.

For the next two or three years at tournaments, I met this same guy in my ring either during the first or second round of sparring. He didn’t knock me out again, but he always beat me. Easily. One year, again in Minneapolis, I was determined that the result was going to be different. I was psyched up and told myself that he might win, but this time he was going to work for it. Unfortunately, he didn’t compete that year and soon after, left the organization.

Perseverance. I kept trying. I never came close to beating him, but I kept trying. In recent years, although I still compete I’ve not had good scores in my forms competition and usually have been defeated in sparring. I keep trying and last year, when I made the decision to get serious about a fitness regimen to become healthier, carrying less weight, and with better stamina, I also became serious about earning better scores at tournament. And it’s worked. I’m still exercising because although I’m stronger, I still need to lose more weight and improve my cardio stamina. When warmer weather has arrives, I can get outside for some better exercising. Meanwhile, I have the hotel’s fitness facilities I can use.

Writing has been the same way. I started scribbling stories as a child and for a year or so after college while on my own for the first time. In the middle 90s when I created the Mallory Petersen character, I decided that I wanted to get serious about writing and ultimately, to get my stories published. However, I was shot down (tactfully) during my first few rounds in a critique group. I wasn’t knocked out, just verbally battered around a bit.

I didn’t quit. I wrote and wrote. I cranked out short stories every week. I dove in deep on the second Petersen story and also completed my supernatural novel Night Shadows. With Beta and Shadows being refined I looked around for some agent or publisher to accept them. Years passed and finally those first two books were published. I then resurrected the first Petersen story I had laid aside, reworked some angles, persevered, and about a year and a half later queried Oak Tree Press. In 2012, Alpha became my first book in printed form as well as an eBook.

I am friends with a writer in Des Moines. We’ve hung together ever since my early days in my first critique group. She’s written several stories but can’t seem to get over the hump of getting any accepted. But she keeps trying and one day, she’ll join the ranks of published authors.

I’ve seen too many individuals give up after receiving critiques or those who are never able to get past chapter one or even an outline.

Perseverance. It’s always easier NOT to do something. I’d rather go home and go to bed each morning after my night shift job. Sleep would be so much more preferable than spending another hour out running or finding a place to exercise. Whiling away the hours reading or watching television is so much easier than picking up a pen and pad and writing the next chapter or the next short story.

But where’s the fun in taking it easy? If I hadn’t persevered, I wouldn’t have reached the rank of Fifth Degree nor would I have three books to my credit.

It is also so easy to say, “Don’t give up.” That phrase can be shrugged off. What may get some to thinking is: “Find a reason NOT to give up.” What might happen if you didn’t give up? What might be the result if you pushed just a little harder and for one more day?

I don’t know, but try it and let me know.

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Adult Truth #16

#16I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.”

I don’t frequent bars. I’m not a beer drinker. Now, this isn’t to say I haven’t imbibed and if you ask the right friends, they’ll tell you tales of times when I’ve, uh, well…let’s just say I overindulged a bit. However, this brings up an interesting point. Motivation.

Unfortunately, with this case of, uh, overindulgence (back in 1999 or was it 2000) I was motivated by depression. I know, bad idea to drink when depressed, and I won’t go into details. Rest assured, I paid for my bad choice.

Anyway, motivation. This truth came at a perfect time. As I write this, I’m thinking back upon the previous day. I received another draft of Alpha from my publisher and I was hoping to get through it in record time to complete final edits. I started about 3 in the morning, worked until 6:30, went home and slept until 3 in the afternoon, checked my email, and dove right back into the story. I was nine pages from the end at 10:30 when I went back to work. My motivation: to get it done and back to my publisher so she can get it published within the next two weeks.

Motivation. I’ve mentioned my exercise regimen in a past blog. I started it back in the spring of 2012. Why: I wanted to get serious about getting in shape. Since then I’ve lost ten pounds, am a lot stronger, and I’m motivated to keep going.

Motivation. I reached out to more local and area businesses and groups for the promotion of Alpha. Why: because my marketing plan for the last two books didn’t go so well. I want to reach more people, be more in the public eye. I’m motivated by the desire to sell more books.

Motivation. At the time of this writing, I’m almost half finished with the next Mallory Petersen story. Why: because I am excited about this next book and I want to write it and feel emotional about Mallory’s experiences. When I was reading through Alpha for the umpteenth time last night, I still choked up at certain points and still laughed at the humorous scenes. I want to feel this way for the next book. I’m motivated to complete it and get onto the rewrites.

Motivation. I’m reading the sequel to Night Shadows to my critique group. Why: because I want to complete this story. I want the struggles to end. I want to either get this story done or realize that it never will be. I want to write this story and the critique group is helping me see I still have some work to do on it.

Motivation. I should have tested for Sixth Degree Black Belt in 2012 but I didn’t. Why: not motivated enough. I have two more mid-term testings to pass, plus, I have to fulfill several other requirements before I will be allowed to test for the next rank. I need to get motivated to reach that higher rank.

Motivation. I don’t know where I’ll be when this particular blog gets posted. Why: the owners of the motel where I’m working at the time of this writing are selling the property. I don’t know whether I’ll have a job when a new employer takes control and if I do, how many hours I’ll have. I’m motivated by uncertainty to find other employment.

Motivation. I’m motivated to be debt free. To help myself I thought long and hard about tapping into funds not meant to be touched for years to come. Yes, I’ll pay a penalty, but I don’t want to go on for more years than necessary paying bill after bill after bill. I went more into debt with the purchase of four new tires for my vehicle. So, once my medical bills are paid off, I’ll have more money to attack the bigger debts.

What motivates you? Why do you set out to accomplish certain things? We share commonalities, but motivations are personal and individual. They’re not to be taken lightly and, for the most part, there are no easy roads to accomplishment. When you achieve success, though, then you can celebrate.

Now, if I could find an attractive woman who was motivated enough to want to have me as a boyfriend…

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