Teamwork Holds the Nose to the Grindstone – Daily Quote

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The phrase “keeping your nose to the grindstone,” makes me laugh. I imagine a poor knife sharpener with a scabby nose. Didn’t those grindstones come with a warning? Wouldn’t the master grinder, warn his pupil of the hazards? I have discovered the expression may have originally, been to “hold one’s nose to the grindstone.” The change of one word alters the meaning. Now, the master is in charge. Chop, chop, there Mr. Apprentice.

In our modern era, we put the onus on ourselves to develop and maintain our persistence. We place the attainment of success on frail human shoulders and despise ourselves when we crumble under enormous expectations. While it is true, we bear responsibility for creating and pushing forward, no one can do it all. We need a support system.

Vincent van Gogh relied on his loving brother Theo. But many argue Van Gogh’s pieces would be less popular except for the efforts of his sister-in-law, Johanna Gezina van Gogh-Bonger. After the death of both Vincent and Theo, she and her infant son became the owners of Vincent’s work. People urged her to dump the collection and get on with her life. Instead, she worked to increase awareness and admiration of his paintings. Theo helped to hold his brother’s nose to the grindstone and implored him to complete his artwork. Theo also created an appreciation, and perhaps a sense of obligation with Johanna to continue promoting the art.

Who is working on your team?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Indulging in Sunday Naps – Daily Quote

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I have a chaise lounge positioned in front of a bright sunny window. It is a fabulous place to sit, enjoy the chilly autumn sunlight, and soak in the precious rays. With a cup of coffee by my side, I step into an enchanting book and read. The byproduct of a cozy quiet Sunday is I often take a nap.

A morning snooze or an afternoon siesta is an indulgent luxury. When I was a young child, I remember summertime visits to my grandparent’s home. Their wonderful old house lacked air conditioning, and on hot summer afternoons, grandma would turn on the fans and pull the blinds. We filled those hours with stories, modest projects, word games and while there was no pressure to sleep, someone always napped.

On my trips to Italy, I found I easily slipped into their cultural rhythms. Sunrise espressos, a stroll to view ancient ruins, led to late lunches, followed by a little rest. My Sundays are an attempt to recreate those pleasant memories, and for one day a week, live a lifestyle that seems natural to me.

How do you spend your Sundays?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Creating My Perfect Writing Space – Daily Quote

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I don’t know if it is OCD, but I like it when things are immaculate and ordered. There is a satisfaction in having a place for everything, and everything living in its assigned spot. A clean house, sparkling windows, freshly folded towels, spotless floors, and warm homemade cookies are my idea of a comfortable abode.

My writing rituals are no less rigorous. I set specific, time-sensitive writing goals, schedule a time to write and analyze my progress. I demand high standards. Expecting perfection, my results are often less than gratifying, and yet, better than I hoped. A clutter-free desk and a blank document allow my mind to concentrate on writing without distraction.

What is your perfect writing environment?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Clearing the Way to New Possibilities – Daily Quote

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Everyone thinks spring is a busy time for mother nature and her gardening friends. I find autumn is a much busier season. There are seeds to harvest, sort and save, debris and dead vegetation to clear, compost piles to turn, vacationing house plants to move indoors, and cold-tolerant vegetables to pick and store. Trees and shrubs planted in the fall establish strong roots, and there are hundreds of tulip bulbs to bury deep in the soil. There are garden hoses to drain, birdbaths to winterize, fallen leaves to rake and firewood to stack.

As I perform all these tasks, I remember what worked well this year. I analyze areas that could use improvement, and ideas for fresh garden features settle into the fertile fields ready for a long winter’s sleep. There will be icy winter evenings in front of a roaring fire, considering what may be.

Potential lies in seeds, bulbs, soil, and our creativity. October is a productive month and fully suited to making changes and creating achievable projects. Wind sweeps aside distractions, revealing bare bones and underlying structures. The crisp air is invigorating, energizing us as we clean away the old and imagine unlimited possibilities.

What new plans do you see?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Improving By Doing Your Best – Daily Quote

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When we first start a new endeavor, our ultimate success or failure is often even odds. Tipping the scales in our favor comes from putting our best effort towards our goal.  A dogged determination helps us through setbacks and challenges, and an optimistic attitude keeps our spirits lifted.

If we are fortunate, help arrives when we flounder and mentors who have traveled a similar pathway offer guidance allowing us insight with the journey along our chosen path. Setting and striving for a goal, giving it our lazar focus, our finest effort is noble. By doing the best we can we become a better, more confident, and we never need to wonder “what if”.  In life, daily work improves us and defines success. Look around and admire the fruits of your labor.

How can you do your best today?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Safeguarding Diamonds – Daily Quote

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I guard my seconds, stick to my schedules and attempt to squeeze every ounce of productivity possible from my workday. Likewise, I construct my playtime around the activities I enjoy. They revitalize and recharge my batteries and prime my creativity pump. The horror comes when my time is hijacked and those diamonds Horace Mann refers to, evaporate into thin air.

If you woke to discover your stash of flawless jewels stolen, you would call the police, file an insurance claim and offer a reward for their return. Yet when your day filters away, lost forever, we shrug our shoulders and forget about it. Are those moments any less valuable than diamonds?

There are days when we know we will confront unavoidable downtime, waiting in Dr. Offices, at the auto repair shop, or the DMV. A little planning can help. When I expect I might have to wait, I bring a book to read or plan other small tasks. I write using my phone. It’s funny if I have work to complete, the delay is short, and I never even start.

How do you protect your time?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Confronting Paper Tigers – Daily Quote

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We waste precious time and energy worrying about events which never happen, opinions that don’t matter, approvals we don’t need. Our imagined fears are a dog pile of a thousand tiny terrors and a hoard of gargantuan doubts. They stop us before we begin. We must confront our paper tigers, name them for what they are if we want to succeed.

Fear is a mechanism that evolved for our safety. But Saber-toothed tigers and Mastodons became extinct ten thousand years ago. To move forward, we need to determine if our concerns have any validity. What would happen if our worst thought stood manifest before us? When we consider them, most worries are dismissible, while a handful may require mitigation. Then we are free to grab our heart’s desire and prepare for an amazing ride.

What fears are stopping you?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Consider Your Obstacles to Attain Your Goals – Daily Quote

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I have a monthly ritual. I analyze my word counts, compare totals against my goals, and I set my schedule for October. During my most recent review, it shocked me to realize less than 90 days remain. The countdown stands at 78. It’s a source of distress for me. Normally, those numbers have little impact, but we are talking about the year’s end. It means a reduction in time available to complete my work.

Holidays, like today, Columbus Day are the culprit.  Celebrations, family obligations, and traveling, cut my normal scheduling availability by another ten days. Suddenly, it appears my daily averages will drop. I am not willing to accept an avoidable disappointment and returned to my agenda to make a few adjustments. There is still a way to reach my objectives. By picking up small additions over the next two weeks, everything should be fine.

How do you plan to reach your goals?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Using Shinrin-Yoku to Spark Your Muse – Daily Quote

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There is something magical about walking in an autumn wood, and recently, I discovered there is a name for what I have been doing. They call it forest bathing, forest therapy, or Shinrin-Yoku in Japanese. It doesn’t involve actual “bathing” it is more about “taking in the forest.” They say forest bathing has multiple benefits, including reducing stress, elevating mood, lowering blood pressure, and increasing feelings of connection. Apparently, some doctors are writing prescriptions to take walks, and there are groups meeting for guided hikes.

I don’t know if any of those reports are true. But strolling among trees, inhaling the aromas of an herb garden, noticing developing rose hips, I feel the day’s pressures fade away. My focus extends beyond the range of my screen, and I breathe deeper. My steps lighten, and soon, I find I am kicking leaves and smiling like a fool. The best thing about trecking through the woods is when I get home, the muse finds my fingers and the words flow.

How do you inspire your muse?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

Bleacher Reads and Unintentional Souvenirs – Daily Quote

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While I didn’t grow up in San Antonio, I spent most Friday nights at high school football games. Tucked into my jacket, I kept a paperback handy for the boring parts. Our team was not very good because I recall starting and finishing plenty of volumes while they competed.

Kerouac and Wilde weren’t on my list, but I remember many stories as being bleacher reads. They evoke the aroma of fall leaves and bonfires. Touring my bookcase, I pulled titles with an indelible link to the gridiron. To Kill a Mockingbird, Animal Farm, The Great Gatsby, Death of a Salesman, 1984, The Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, Heart of Darkness, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, remind me of homecoming games and referee whistles. A few stories create a visceral reaction, including the Lord of the Flies, Frankenstein, and Macbeth which I read around Halloween. Who needs scary movies when you have diabolical books?

Then there is my all-time favorite, Fahrenheit 451. Besides being assigned reading, the teacher treated us to the 1966 film adaptation. They remade the movie last year, and I have yet to see it. I enjoyed the old François Truffaut movie and loved the final scene with the book people reciting their memorized novels. Somehow, I don’t want to disturb the poignant ending.

Do certain books, conjure the place and time when you first met them?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#