Another Good Reason to Distrust Government   Leave a comment

Posted March 14, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Common sense

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Daydream Writer   6 comments

When you are daydreaming, what do you dream about?


Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Daydreaming is a controversial topic. When I was a kid, schools really hated daydreamers because they thought we wouldn’t learn whatever nonsense they were trying to teach us. Yeah, I mean you, Mrs. Fischer.

And apparently, some neuroscientists worry that adult daydreamers may fixate on negative emotions and harm themselves, so they suggest we don’t daydream.

Other neuroscientists point out that we’re more likely to be creative if we daydream and that some of the greatest leaps in human intellectual history may have been a result of daydreaming.

I think there’s merit to all three of these arguments, but I also see problems with all three. The fact is daydreaming is a great creative tool that can distract from the world around us and can lead us into dark places … or light places as well.

I love to daydream. I get a lot of writing done while I daydream. And my best daydreaming times are:

  • 1) when I’m trying to fall asleep at bedtime;
  • 2) when I first wake up in the morning;
  • 3) when I’m on a long car trip;
  • 4) when I’m doing something boring and mundane at work.

Seriously, the more boring the job, the more productive I will be at writing when I get home that night. Filing doesn’t really require a lot of mental effort, so why not put my brain to productive use?

I try to spend at least a half-hour stretching before I get up in the morning. There are health benefits to this, but I also tend to daydream/pre-write while I’m doing it.

I almost never fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow, so why not use that half-hour or so to think about something writing-related?

Alaska is a big state and it takes 5-7 hours (depending on season) to drive from Fairbanks to the “big city” of Anchorage. And, while most of my attention is on the road while I drive, daydreaming keeps me from zoning out and potentially falling asleep at the wheel.

I don’t often plan what my mind will work on in the daydream state. It’s whatever my imagination wants to focus on. Sometimes it’s a conversation between characters. Sometimes it’s a beautiful scene of fantasy landscape. Sometimes it’s a character having an emotional rant about something that is unfair in his/her “life”. I welcome it. I embrace it. And then when I’m able to, I sit down at the computer and I transcribe it. Sometimes I’ve spent days working on something mentally and when I sit down at the computer, 2000 words will spill out in an afternoon. So, yes, daydreaming is highly productive for the writers among us. We only look like our minds are wandering.

Posted March 11, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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Why Might I Wish to be Armed?   Leave a comment

There are Sundays when some of us at my church choose to conceal carry. It started after the Texas church was shot up and there’s a rotation, kind of like the nursery duty. We can’t afford security guards – who would be the first to die anyway – so some of us carry concealed. We have a large military presence in our church (retired and active-duty) so many folks were already carrying concealed. I had never carried in church before and the guys were surprised when three women who were not former soldiers showed up for the meeting ready to do our duty. And, so, now we do. Whether we’ll ever need it is unknown, but at least we’re prepared.

So a couple of Sundays ago, I was still concealed when I left the church to go to the gas station to get diesel for our day tank. It was a busy Sunday and I positioned my car such that I could be the next one at the pump. While I was waiting, these three big trucks pulled up, clearly with the desire to be together and worked to position themselves so that they could take all the pumps. Only I was in a good position, so I pulled up to one of the pumps first. I waited my turn, but I wasn’t intimidated by the attitude of those who got there after I did.

Until I got out of my car and got my ears laid back by the driver of the truck that was trying to get in there ahead of me. How dare I, this passenger car, cut in front of him, a big truck with a huge tank. Didn’t I know he had somewhere to be?

I tend not to be intimidated by men even when I’m not armed. I chose to ignore his tirade and doing what I needed to do. And he just kept getting angrier, and close enough I could smell the beer on his breath.

But I wasn’t afraid because my 45 was comfortably cozied into the small of my back under my winter coat, which I unzipped in case I needed to access my firearm on short notice. He never knew I was armed. Concealed means nobody can tell. And, I just pretended I was deaf as I filled my cans. One of the things I share with 90% of the concealed-carry people I know is a desire to never have to draw my gun, so I felt no need to escalate the matter. Eventually, the angry man stomped off to his truck and I did get a little nervous at that point. I made sure my car was between him and me, and I slipped my free hand back to my holster because, well, people are stupid when they drink beer and someone pisses them off. But he finally pulled up to the pump his friend vacated and the friend got out and came over to me, apologized for his friend, said I was brave.

Of course, I wasn’t really brave. I just wasn’t scared because I was prepared, and I wanted the guy to know what what he did was not only wrong and rude, but also dangerous, so I told his friend.

“He new up here?”

“About a year.”

“Well, he should know by now that Alaskans women are often armed and he might not like the outcome of his next scream fest. Might run into a less reasonable woman than me.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought you might say,” he said, laughing, because the idea of going to the filling station armed is not a weird concept in Alaska.

Why might I wish to be armed?

  • Because someone someday might want to shoot up my church and I’d prefer to be able to end their life rather than hope I escape notice.
  • Because sometimes people get stupid at the gas station and think they can intimidate and/or hurt a small woman because they’re bigger and stronger.
  • Because sometimes bad people break into houses with bad intentions and I might want to live through the encounter.

Posted March 6, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Gun control

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#OpenBook: Half-Charged and Ready to Go!   Leave a comment

Lyndell Williams

giphy-downsized-large#OpenBook How do you recharge?

I’ve spent most of the past twenty years of my life running on fumes. I became a mom to my beautiful daughter in 1998—and never slept again!

Well, I slept, but not much because her brother was born the following year. AND the babies kept coming. By the time my oldest was five, I had my fourth baby and forgot what having a good night sleep or a relaxing day was.

If that wasn’t enough, my dumb…self decides to go to college and finish a few degree programs—work—engage in community organizing, and have two more babies. Throw freelance writing and authorship (writing, publishing, promoting, etc.), and relaxing is truly an alien thing for me.

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Posted March 4, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop – 4th March   Leave a comment

Stevie Turner

This week the topic is:

How do you recharge?

There’s a few ways I de-stress.  The first one of course is escaping across The  Solent to the Isle of  Wight and my lovely holiday home which Sam and I come to as often as we can during the year.

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If I’m at home in  Suffolk, I walk around our village and listen to the birds, or trek along country footpaths.  I also like reading, and am halfway to achieving my Goodreads reading challenge this  year of 12 books.  Since I’ve been writing, I don’t read as much as I used to, but I’m trying to rectify that.

To recharge, I need silence – silence in which to walk, sit under the parasol on my decking, or read.  As long as I have silence, I’m quite happy.  The older I get, the more I hate noise.

How do other blog-hoppers recharge? …

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Posted March 4, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Here Comes the Sun   7 comments

How do you recharge?

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Everybody gets tired and reaches the end of themselves at some point in life and I am no different. So how do I recharge the cells and renew my interest in life?

I work full-time, have a family, attend church and write novels on the side. And sometimes I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel and I just want to get off and go lay down to sleep for a day or a year and even that might not be enough.

My recharge methods vary depending on season, how much time I need, and what it is that has exhausted me.

Often when I’m tired, I feel cold. I think it’s my body’s way of tricking me to lay down under the covers and sleep. And sometimes that is what I do. There’s little more recharging than sliding under the covers for a full eight hours. But my internal clock appears to be set at seven hours and in the summer it’s daylight or dusk 24 hours a day, so I’ll only sleep five … maybe. A psychiatrist I used to work with at community behavioral health told me that is quite normal. Not everyone needs eight hours and, yeah, the variable light levels around here mess with circadian rhythms.

I love hot baths. There’s something so soothing about sitting in a hot bath in a dimly lit bathroom and just letting the warmth soak into your bones. Sometimes that’ll get me a full eight hours if I go to bed right afterward.

If I’ve got the time and it’s winter, we drive the 60 miles to Chena Hot Springs Resort and do our recharging there. There’s something about that drive that just gets you in the mood for relaxation. If it’s cold out, you can spend hours in the hot pools. When your core temperature reaches fever level, you just stand up into the frigid Alaskan air and cool yourself down. If you go midweek, there’s mostly Japanese and Chinese tourists there, which means conversation is limited and Brad and I can manage the drive back saying no more than “pass the water, please” and “there’s a moose” for an hour. Ah, so refreshing.

Chena Hot Springs is no fun when it’s warm out. You spend five minutes in the pools and then you’re too hot to enjoy it. So in the summer, we head out on the hiking trails. More than 95% of Alaska’s millions of acres are public lands, so a hiking trail is easy to find, though it may come wrapped in a bow of federal red tape. We finally purchased 20 acres out northeast of town. We still haven’t built a cabin on it because there are logistical issues like access and Borough taxes, but we go out there and clear brush, pick blueberries or – my favorite – sit by a shallow waterfall along the creek and watch sunbeams twinkle off the fast-moving water. Like Chena Hot Springs a part of the appeal is that it doesn’t have internet or cell phone access. It’s a day or two away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. We usually return home feeling tired and dirty, but after a shower and a night’s sleep – ah, so ready to face my life again.

Last night, we turned off the phone and closed the laptops to play bacgammon and watch a Jason Stratham movie. Why? Because we could and it feels so good to not do modern life for a while. I think we might be on a theme here.

I love going to church, studying the Bible, hearing what my fellow “ordinary” Christians think about what we’re studying, lifting my hands in praise during the song service and learning from our pastor. I’ve sat under a lot of great pastors (and a couple of duds) and they each have drawn me further along on my spiritual journey. And, sometimes when I’m just feeling empty, I flip open my Bible and do some study of my own. I suspect, I’d feel let empty less often if I were more consistent with opening my Bible before I start writing.

Oddly, the most recharging activity I know of is writing something exciting. I’m working on a short for an anthology and it’s a great story centered around a great character and I can see where he might become the center of a novel someday. And while I’ve been pouring my talent and energy into this character’s story, I can actually feel myself recharging. That might have somewhat to do with the reality of our outdoor world. We’re up to 10 hours of daylight now and I spent yesterday afternoon writing in a pool of sunlight. And when I finish the short, I’ll knuckle down to my primary project once more, fully recharged and ready to go … with short breaks for water, sunlight and family.

And there you go – Recharge!

Posted March 4, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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OpenBook-Grand Delusions of Global Change   Leave a comment

Lyndell Williams

giphy-downsized-large

#OpenBook

What have you done to make the world a better place?

Nothing. Seriously. I’ve done nothing to make the world a better place, and neither has anybody else.

giphy

This planet is vast with numerous societies and cultures. No one person can make everything better for everyone. We can positively influence our social spheres and may even have some impact on others, but never in totality.

That’s not life or the world works.

That being said, there are things I’ve done to try and affect positive shifts in cultural mindsets in ways that increase the potential for positive change.

I’m committed to combatting systems of racism and gender oppression inside Muslim communities and the broader society.  I’ve created a space affording Muslim women to engage in learning about their faith outside of the typical androcentric environments offered by Muslim institutions.

They are the focus on their instructor in a series…

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Posted February 26, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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