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A Month of Observations: Part 9

As the world seems caught in a maelstrom of violence, I've been spending as much time as possible at the gym or park, listening to Thich Nhat Hanh's Peace Is Every Step and other similar books. In other words, I've been trying to find my center. Or hold on to it. This pervasive sadness and anger can seem too much to handle some days. I know that I'm not the only person who feels this way.

One way I've found that helps is by being in nature. The heat in Texas sometimes intervenes, but I get out there when the sun is taking a break. It doesn't bring full balance, but it helps. Speaking of nature, I have one new piece out entitled OUR SKY, THE OCEAN (written a while ago). It's based on a true story. Loosely. And it's categorized as YA fiction here. If you read it, let me know what you think.

So. In interest of maintaining some consistency in this blog, here are a few observations I have for the last month:
  • Violence invites more violence, which only leads to further violence. We are NOT all the stars of our own action movies, as some will have us believe. 
  • Getting "revenge" on animals is about as productive as getting revenge on the weather. 
  • Many of the people of San Antonio are gracious and compassionate, even in the face of pure hatred. 
  • Conversely, the service at TxDPS and DMV sites can be a litmus test for calm and tolerance.
  • When it comes to long-form writing, starting small is the way to reach the finish line (the paragraph-long goal beats the few-page goal and usually results in just as much writing)
  • Sushi is fun to make and so incredibly cheap. 
  • According to this article in Electric Lit, the top earners in writing can bring in more than I expected (and less than I made as a bagger at an Ohio grocer): https://electricliterature.com/what-writers-earn-money-c109bfb04d3d#.h3hwh6fq7
  • Piggybacking on that last one, it often seems that the more noble the profession, the less one is paid, but I think this will have to change because do-gooders/teachers/social workers know how to make shit happen with few resources and no time. Watch out! 
  • Varying a diet is better than eating the same thing every day. (Obvious one, but I need to remind myself.)
  • Reading YA is surprisingly gratifying as an adult. (Just finished Pigman and Made You Up - Recommend both.)
  • Taking one's own advice can seem damn-near impossible sometimes.
  • I could discuss The Lobster for days on end and get nowhere, so don't try to discuss it with me. 
  • Small acts of kindness, even as small as a smile, can stick with others. Kindness is just as contagious as violence. 
Have a peaceful week.

Prompt: Stop watching the news for a full day, then free-write. Free-write again after a day you've been following all the news (internet or TV).

xo Jen

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