Boat Rental

Excerpt from “Conversations With Anne” by Cathie Andrew

          Her friends at the counter began to laugh at him. As he caught on to their jokes, he stepped up his antics and all of them laughed together. Anne looked up in almost shock. Noah was “in the Brew”!

Anne walked out of “the Brew” satisfied for the day she had written all she could. It hadn’t been easy for her to start this next book. Much has happened through her lives, past and this one, so she reverted slowly into the paths she had walked. Each one took her to other times and places she remembered vividly once she started backtracking her steps. Emotional, intellectual, and physically, she put her experience on paper, what she knew of time, place and human experience.

Today, after her stop at the cleaners, Anne went to the Marina to rent her boat for the summer. Her boat rental was important to her. Even though her relationship with Noah continued and deepened, she still rented her number 10 for the summer.

Noah was against her renting every year. He disagreed with her. Often asking, “Can’t I let you use the boat, any boat, when you want? I do own the marina.”

Anne would reply, “I don’t want to change the arrangement. It has worked out well for me so let’s keep all the details the same. I will rent the boat season after season. I can write off the expense and all is well.”

“Humph”, Noah would reply shaking his head. Being a business man, Noah knew what she said about writing off the expense was a good move on her part. But, his male ego suffered thinking he wanted to just do it for her. And there was pride involved. How does that look to others that she pays him for using his boat?

Anne supported her actions telling him if someone asks tell them” It really isn’t your business. However, since you asked, Anne insists on conducting her business as usual.”

With Anne’s reassurance, he decided not to think about it. Then their conversation would go on to something else. Usually it started with small talk; local events and happenings at the marina.

. . . Cathie Andrew

1st Draft

Anne yawned, raising her arms to stretch before she sat at her computer to write. It was late, passed her bedtime. However, she couldn’t sleep without putting some time into her newest writing project. It had been a week since her last session and today she made herself a promise to write every day. It was the only way to complete the 1st draft of her book.

Anne knew that if she wrote every day, she would eventually finish. It was inevitable. So she sat and began her session . . .

Dawn listened to her heart race as she walked into her apartment. Walking up the two flights of stairs was hard for her today.  She must have had a cold or sinus infection because her breathing was labored. The pounding in her ears drowned out the television from the living room.

Her husband was home already.Dawn had stopped at the store for some cold medicine after work. She was happy to be home so she could lie down and rest. Dinner would have to be leftovers or Warren could order and have it delivered. Soup was on her mind or maybe she would just make a salad.

Dawn walked into the living room and found Warren lying on the sofa half asleep while the evening news reported another youth slain in his own neighborhood. She quickly changed the station to some music and went to change her clothes. Warren never noticed her or the channel change.

Finished with her bath, Dawn went into the living room. Warren was still asleep. She woke him up and said, “Hello, honey. How do you feel?”

Warren answered in a low voice, “Not too well, Babe. I have cold and chills. Why were you so late in coming home tonight?”

Dawn smiled and patted his head, “I’m not feeling well either. I got some over the counter medicine before I came home. I hope there is enough for both of us.” Leaning her head back on the sofa, Dawn asked, “How about some Chinese?”

Warren smiled and shook his head, “Not tonight. I want some soup and maybe a salad. That’s all.”

Dawn laughed, “We are a fine pair you and I. Who is going to make the soup and salad?’

Warren gestured for his phone. Dawn gladly handed it to him. “How about some wonton soup and you can make a salad?”

Dawn shook her head in agreement and laughed, again, “I guess we’ve really grown together. We have the same symptoms and we want to eat the same food.”

Warren smiled and dialed the phone, “Two orders of wonton soup, please . . . “

His voice trailed off as Dawn went into the kitchen to get the salads ready. She was so happy to find a bag of lettuce in the fridge. And a tomato, what a prize!

With a sigh she said, “Wow, I’m so happy to be home!”

Anne yawned and put her computer to sleep for the night. She was happy to have written something. And now it was time for bed.

As she put her head on her pillow Anne said, “Wow, I’m so happy to go to bed!”

Anne . . .

A Healthy Discipline

Time kept flying by. Month after month Anne watched her calendar fill up with crossed out days. She was on a schedule and had to finish her most recent book. If she didn’t put a deadline on her work, it wouldn’t get finished. So she planned, created and met her deadlines. This Saturday morning was a planning day for her. She would plan for the next week, write an outline and read over what she had written last week.

Anne had met her goals from last Saturday. Sometimes she would just meet the goal by having to spend an hour or two longer than she had planned. That was how it worked some days. Other days she met her timeline with ease. It didn’t matter either way. She was determined to finish her projects/books. It took her a while to get into a comfortable working routine. She found out she had to be accountable. That was the one thing that made her deliver.  It‘s easy to be accountable to someone else but Anne had to develop her own accountability to herself. This was the most important thing she had to do to create a discipline about her work. Otherwise she wouldn’t get it done.

Some people are self motivated and can hold to their schedules. Ego is a large motivator. So is being responsible. Others find total enjoyment in what they do. Anne found enjoyment in writing; however, it wasn’t her greatest motivator to promote completion of a project.

After analyzing her motivations, Anne realized she was always “on” when she had to account to someone. It took her time to turn that inward but she did so successfully. Now she writes without much pre-thought and meets her deadlines.

Often, while working on one project, Anne begins thinking about another. She puts an outline together piece by piece without any urgency. This makes the task easy. When she gets an idea, she writes it down and files it to be used when she begins her next project. Sometimes it will come as a character trait. Other times it is a piece of a setting. Setting usually comes first with characters running and even race. After all, both of these parts of a story are major. Filling in when ideas come to her really supports her next project. Saturday morning, with a pot of coffee or tea, is her favorite time to look at her notes and organize them. Sometimes another project pops into her thoughts. Only when the new idea continues to come to her, does she start collecting her thoughts on paper for that project.

Anne sat at her desk with her coffee. Italian Cream was her favorite additive to her coffee. Sometimes she would put cinnamon in the coffee grounds before it brewed and then added her Cream. Wow she loved those tastes!

Anne drank her coffee and looked out her window. Then she looked at her notes.

” The small town awoke early,” she thought . . .

That line started her day of writing. She was on her way. Half way through the third page Anne looked up, again and thought,

“Wow, I’m so fortunate to do what I love doing. And make a living at it!”

Anne . . .

A Profound Experience: My Life

 

My life has been a roller-coaster ride. One obstacle after another, it seems. However, in hindsight, each obstacle brought closure I could benefit from and find gratitude for having the experience. It wasn’t always easy to reach gratitude. However, it came all the same. With resolve of each event came an expanded view of life. Bringing with it a new level of love that settled in a deeper place each time. The love strengthened my small self-nurturing greater understanding and peace. I, now, can enjoy the polar opposites of the obstacles that forced me into deep introspect. I feel gratitude everyday even for the mundane. My life continues to bring surprises and events that make life worthwhile.

Today, I meet adversity with an open heart and mind so I can get back to gratitude and enjoy what life has to offer.

Cathie Andrew 

“Whyning”

 

Whyning! Yes, Anne spelled the word exactly the way she wanted. It combines the word why with the sound of a whining, irksome voice generally coming out of a child. Actually, the question and the sound only come out of us when we slip into a childish place. Our inner child sits and asks this question. The child can’t be appeased and the ongoing questions prove this reality.

A little child will sit and ask ‘why’. Sometimes, endlessly, the child will go on and on asking ‘why’ because there is no answer to the question that can’t be followed with another utterance of ‘why’. The repetition of the question fuels more dissonance because there is no answer to the ‘why’ question that ever satisfies this aspect of self.

Age has nothing to do with the use of this line of questioning. Grown people question in the same manner, not knowing they’re functioning from their own inner child. If they were aware, they could click into another gear and ask questions that will bring working answers to the forefront. Questions that being closure to their inquiries.

What and How questions bring tangible answers that end questioning because solutions or concrete answers come to you. The adult mind knows when these questions are answered and no more have to be asked. Each of these questions bring who, where, when and even why answers giving a full view and closure to our queries.

Asking how and what comes from an adult aspect of self-an aspect with reason and logic. An adult may not like the answers it gets from it’s queries. However, the adult will know the response is correct because of the logic it brings with closure on the subject.

Anne sat and read what she wrote. She sat in reflection then said, “what a great way to check where I am coming from. The next time I find myself ‘whyning’ I’ll, quickly, switch to how and what questions. Hum, I hope hows and whats, soon, become automatic inquiries.

Anne . . .

 

Love With a Large ‘L’

There is nothing like it. The large ‘L’ depicts a universal aspect of love that is sound and steadfast- As in thestate of being in love. The power of this basis of ‘being’ is greater than we could imagine. Viewing the roles humans play from Good Samaritan to vengeful warrior with the big ‘L’ as a basis of ‘being’, renders a deep compassion forthe hateful and misguided.

For  Anne, the big ‘L’ is the state she has worked toward all of her life. She knew that her goal was to move into an unconditional state of love but she didn’t
know how that would happen. For her, the path toward this state of being took the form of disappointments in the actions of herself as well as others.

When it came to her own actions that surprised her and disappointed her at the same time, she found when she came to her senses, poof her black cloud burst and disintegrated. Behold, the big ‘S’ emerged. ‘S’–That greater Self that lies within us at our core, our authentic being. Anne could only think of others at that time. Particularly another she had offended. After a few days, she found the big ‘L’ emerged from a depth she had not known.

Her small’s’ and small l’ were overshadowed by the emergence of her greater aspects. Her heart and soul. The small’s’ and ‘l’ are of the 3rd dimension. It’s hard to hold the better aspects of both. Life tugs and tugs on us to choose with each pull to act or react. If we have emotional problems we can be easily tossed in situations. Our reactions come from our smallness, out of our own traumas. It took many reactions from the small self before Anne reached her larger Self and a cavern of Love, deeper than she has ever known. The universal state of being big S and big L reside in the 4th dimension. The quantum!

Anne . . .

Rocks ! ! !

Anne sat looking at the night sky. The full moon was a day away and it was already spectacular. She reflected on how fast time was passing. Her granddaughter was starting kindergarten in a week. It seemed as if she just went to Ella’s preschool graduation . . .

With the sun burning her arm as she drove to the store, Anne was happy she was on her way to her Ella’s preschool graduation. It would start in two hours, which gave her time to shop before the commencement ceremony. Anne wanted to get a little gift to hand to Ella after she received her diploma. After the ceremony, Ella would walk to the group of relatives taking pictures in the audience. Anne shopped
for something special for the 5 and half year old.

Getting a cart Anne walked the children’s section from start to finish looking for a different, special something for her oldest granddaughter.  It had to be something the little princess didn’t have. She loved drawing, painting, playing with Barbie and anything a princess would like to
do. However, Anne looked for that different item that would capture Ella’s interest.

Finally, Anne came across a rock painting kit. It had five flat looking rocks, a book on rock painting and of course, it had paints and a brush. That was her choice through the myriad of crafts from which she had to choose. As she walked to the check out, Anne picked up a gift bag completing her purpose. Quickly, she was on her way to the preschool graduation.

Anne arrived early enough to find chairs to sit in however, the family chose to stand by the wall and take pictures from there. Impressed with the play, the Wizard of Oz, the audience cheered for all participants and some relatives cried when the children received their diploma. All went well and Ella received her flowers, cards and Anne’s sedimentary gift.

The family met for an early dinner afterword and took more pictures. Finally, it was time to go home. Kisses given, goodbyes
could be said. All departed to their cars. Anne went home feeling satisfied she had given a gift Ella would like. It wasn’t until the next evening she found
out how much.

Anne was out all day so in the evening she relaxed in front of the television. Occasionally, she heard a signal on her phone from a player of Words with Friends. She eagerly grabbed the phone to make her word during commercials. Then another signal came and another. All of the players she signed up with were active that night. Anne was enjoying the games when she heard a different sound. It was a text from her son. Anne tapped her phone to read the text and found a picture. It was of the rocks Ella had painted. The caption under the picture read, “Ma, you hit the nail on the head!

Beaming Anne replied with some !!!

. . . Anne

Another Syndrome

After watching Oprah one morning, Anne sat in contemplation of the insights she received as she listened to the topic of the day. The subject of the show was hoarding. Anne thought of times she was compelled to spend money and other times she passed on opportunities because she didn’t feel she needed anything. She had already realized that when she wasn’t connected to herself through her heart she found herself looking outside of herself to fill her emptiness. This is what she heard from the guests as she listened to the stories on the talk show.

There were many analyzations made and explanations as to why and how this happens. The syndrome of hoarding is referred to as a mental illness. A person who has this disorder is trying to fill themselves with things as others fill themselves with alcohol, food, drugs, money, etc. However, what they are saying is the symptoms of the problem not the whole picture.

Anne believes that all and any of our dysfunctions come from our own misperceptions caused by experience through living life as a human on this planet Earth. Our paths take us through experience and it’s up to us to allow ourselves to grieve when it is time, laugh when it is time and love through all experiences. We are complete when we come from source/God, experience happens, we either close or learn from the experience. Where we close off, is where we live in lack-leaving us in want. This is the basis for all our dysfunctions.

Therefore, we must work to educate ourselves to heal our wounds so we can love again. Love fills the voids we create and it’s our capacity to love, not what we own, that is the measure of our worth as a soulful human being.

. . . Anne

The Art of Writing-Talk to Yourself

If you want to improve your writing, talk to yourself.  Yes, out loud. Writing and speaking go hand in hand. Working at one form of communication helps increase your skills of the other.”Practice makes perfect”. This is true. Why not combine both forms of communication whenever you create an article for submission or write a speech for a presentation. People love to listen to an articulate speaker. Reading a written work that flows from one sentence or paragraph to another is a ride people love to take. Physically printed books may be going out of style for “green reasons”. Printed newspapers may be almost obsolete, as well. However, reading is not going away.  Its form is moving quickly to electronic applications. So, get out your tools, dust them off and utilize these tips to improve your writing and verbal expressions.

Here are some exercises to incorporate the use of speech into your pursuit of writing.

  1. Read printed works, aloud.
  2. Have a conversation with yourself.
  3. Proof your own work by reading aloud.
  4. Record these exercises to replay for analysis.

            Read aloud. Read a favorite book or perhaps the book you’ve wanted to read but haven’t had the time. Listen to yourself as you read. Test and try different techniques. Record your voice to hear it again when you’re finished reading. This will speak directly to you about your abilities. ? Listen to your favorite speaker and compare the sound and quality of your voice. Do you like what you hear? Listen to your articulation of words, diction and inflection or tone. Are you speaking too fast or slow? Do you enunciate clearly? Do you exaggerate inflections? Just as seeing written words helps with grammar and spelling, using your audio sense to listen closely to your speech gives you a clear reference of your verbal communication skills.       Use this tool to find out what you need to work on to improve and enhance your speech.

 Converse with yourself so that you can hear how you sound to others when you speak. Record this exercise for future listening, as well. Ask questions and then answer them so you have both sides of a conversation. Are you speaking too fast or too slow? Do you sound comfortable? Listen to find your weaknesses and work on them. If you can find another person to work with you, record an interview. Make sure you play both parts to find out where you are most comfortable-as interviewer or interviewee.

Edit your work by reading it aloud. Hearing yourself speak words you’ve written helps you remove clutter from your writing, to recognize spelling errors or fill in words to create fluidity establishing clear meaning of your written work. Hearing what you have written brings a second sense to your editing. Seeing is the first sense and when coupled with hearing these two powerful senses leave little or no room for error.

 Repetition of these processes promotes your mastery of speech and writing. You will gain confidence in both skills. Writing will flow more easily onto your paper with less edits. Speaking for groups will come easier with your knowledge of execution.

            Writing is truly an art. It’s a lifelong activity whether you write for money or a hobby. Why not be as knowledgeable as you can by using every tool out there to increase your abilities of writing and speaking. Good Luck!

Ezine Articles.com    Cathie Andrew  7-2010

One Thing Ends and Another Begins

            Anne awoke at 6:00 am. Stumbling between the bed and the television, she reached to turn it on to see if her choice of governor won the election. Still undecided, she grimaced with concern that her choice wouldn’t get into office. She watched the bottom of the screen to see election results for the House and Senate. Those races were just about decided. The republicans took hold of the House of Representatives while the Senate majority stayed Democratic.

            Anne sat and contemplated, “Voices of the people have been heard. Enough- of government spending and deficits! However, now there will be more stale mates with the Senate passing Democratic bills and The House voting down the same bills. The opposite result will happen when Republicans try to pass a bill. It won’t be a good two years for our president. But, what’s new? President Obama walked into a broken system and people want it fixed in a millisecond. Unfortunately, Republicans were saying what’s  wrong and needs to be done without giving a solution for the problems. This is the technique of both parties to get into office. It takes a lot of energy to decipher campaign ads and get to truth. Truth that reflects fact. No one knows exactly how to solve all the problems the country has. We haven’t been here before so anyone in office is walking a blind path.”

            No matter what the outcome of the vote, there won’t be any more political ads, positive or negative.  A few of the races were won or lost by small margins.” Anne gave a thought to the unlucky Senator, Representative or Governor that lost by a small margin. Then she sighed with relief that the election was over. She was very aware that her relief reflected sentiments of many. Even television hosts were giving big cheers that political ads have ended.”

            Finished with her thoughts on politics, Anne began her day with a smile. It’s November and time to get her menu and decorations out for Thanksgiving. The week will fly by and now is the time to prepare for giving thanks for what we do have.

            “It’s time for peace on the home front and the holiday season to begin, whether bountiful or slim. It’s time for some comfort foods, good company and good friends,” thought Anne.  

            “Hum, now where is that tablecloth with the horn of plenty?

. . . Anne