Tag Archives: words

A Series of Thoughts on the Power of the Mind, Part 3


“Our life is the creation of our mind.”

–Buddha

To close out this series, I am using the words of others to point out truisms–about the power of the mind–that have spanned all time. Look back to Part 1 and review the psychological laws. My hope is that you become aware of what you are attracting to yourself and that you use that awareness to improve your situation.

Through the power of your mind.

 The Law of Attraction is a universal law that says all your thoughts, positive and negative, vibrate at a certain frequency and like attracts like.  In other words, you get what you ask for – the frequency of your thoughts attract things to your life vibrating at the same frequency.  This happens whether you are conscious of it or not.

–Life-changing-mind-power.com

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear,  do not sit home and think about it. Get out and get busy.”

–Dale Carnegie

“If you change your thoughts, words, actions, and your attitudes, your mind will update its rules according to the data it has gathered.”

–Susan Gray, author of the book Turn Your Thoughts into Money

Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your actions; they become habits.

Watch your habits; they become character.

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

–Frank Outlaw, Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/805263

The laws of psychology teach, if you want to change your world, change your mind set.

Keep Up, Keep Up!


Moore’s Law says that computing power doubles every two years.

That premise has led to an explosion of technological advances to bring simplicity and convenience to our lives. In the old days when Radio Shack sold it’s first personal computers, the device was boxy and cumbersome. Cell phones were non-existent. One used a land line or payphone. Cameras used film, and sharing pictures with family required an envelope and postage stamps. To keep from getting lost, one went to AAA for a trip planner or carried maps in the car. When away from home, travel guide books explained what sights to see and what restaurants were good and cheap. All this stuff took up storage space.

Now I am amazed: a smart phone, the size of a deck of cards, handles all of those tasks via the Internet, GPS, and any number of applications.

I hear that the next big thing will be a device combining the word processing and spreadsheet capabilities of the laptop computer with the operations of the smart phone. Likely that device will also have an application to monitor my blood pressure, heartbeat and blood sugar levels, too.

Right now my husband’s pacemaker stores what’s happening in his chest in a microchip until, in the middle of the night, his telemetry unit remotely downloads the data from his pacemaker, connects to the land line and sends the information off to a medical office for interpretation. As advanced as that system is, it relies on my husband sleeping in his own bed AND having a land line telephone. In the future, my husband’s smart phone will house the ability to read and send his medical information to his doctor, allowing his condition to be monitored wherever he is, even afloat in the Chesapeake Bay.

How is this relevent to an author? I’ll explain.

On my radio, I enjoy listening to one of my favorite singers Adam Levine of Maroon 5. However, the lyrics of the recent Maroon 5 hit “Payphone” made me laugh out loud when I first heard it.

Payphone, I thought. When was the last time I saw one of those? Come on, Adam. Payphone?

Okay, okay. I realize the song is about an egomaniac loser oblivious to his useless state; the irony of his having to use a payphone is lost on his grey matter. In the song, the device of the payphone serves a purpose.

But as a writer, be aware the reader will also laugh out loud AT YOU if you use old technology, old-style language or anything else that is out-of-date in the story; UNLESS, as in “Payphone,” the “old” serves a purpose.

One helpful technique to spare yourself embarrassment: have a twenty-something read your manuscript and point out its flaws. Correct them before sending the work off to the editor.

Find the Magic in Every Day Items


When we write, our text often references everyday items: a razor, an alarm clock, a shoe or, in the example below, an iron skillet. There isn’t much plainer than a frying pan of cast iron. Nonetheless, master wordsmith Thomas Harris uses the humble kitchen implement as a focal point in a brief passage. Observe what happens to an ordinary skillet when the writer finds the magic in it. From the novel Hannibal by Thomas Harris:

Do you have a black iron skillet? You are a southern mountain girl, I can’t imagine you would not. Put it on the kitchen table. Turn on the overhead lights.

Look into the skillet, Clarice. Lean over it and look down. If this were your mother’s skillet, and it well may be, it would hold among its molecules the vibrations of all the conversations ever held in its presence. All the exchanges, the petty irritations, the deadly revelations, the flat announcements of disaster, the grunts and poetry of love.

Sit down at the table, Clarice. Look into the skillet. If it is well cured, it’s a black pool, isn’t it? It’s like looking down a well. Your detailed reflection is not at the bottom, but you loom there, don’t you? The light behind you, there you are in a blackface, with a corona like your hair on fire.

We are elaborations of carbon, Clarice. You and the skillet and Daddy dead in the ground, cold as the skillet. It’s all still there. Listen.

            — Hannibal Lector in a letter to Clarice Starling

Paraprosdokian


Normally, I don’t share personal e-mails. However, this message from a member of the local writers group warrants sharing.

Dear All,

Thought you’d be interested in increasing your vocabulary–and getting a few chuckles.
Mom, Oma, Karel
Here is the definition: of “paraprosdokian”:

“A figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence  or phrase is surprising or unexpected;
frequently used in a humorous situation.”
“Where there’s a will, I want to be in it,” is an example of a paraprosdokian. My version: Where there’s a will, there’s someone to contest it.”
Ok, so now enjoy!

1. 
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not beating everyone over the head with that fact.
2
. Sunflower oil is made from sunflowers. Peanut oil is made from peanuts. Baby oil is…

Write Like Asparagus Grows


Tonight I am having asparagus for dinner, freshly picked from the garden. Asparagus is cultivated on purpose where I live. It is planted in prepared beds, where it sprouts year after year without any further ado. Even so, it is an expensive fresh vegetable in the grocery store.

In midwestern America, a friend tells me,  asparagus grows wild in ditches. Midwesterners go out with a pocket or paring knife and a large container, cutting the prolific shoots.  The bounty is hauled home, washed and steamed. There, no one pays for a vegetable that grows wild. No one plants it. There is no need.

Were this the midwest!

There isn’t much better — and better for you from a health point-of-view — than fresh asparagus. Recent studies show that asparagus has chemicals that inhibit cancer. It must be the same chemicals that make the eater’s urine smell funny after eating it.

Enough about health. It’s another attribute of asparagus I wish to chat about.

It grows with wild abandon. Once it is started, there is no holding it back. Each year, whether  Spring is early or late, asparagus sprouts and spreads. If you cut its shoots, it just sends up more. Profligacy is in its DNA.

As is asparagus, I want to be — wildly extravagant in my writing. I do not want to be a miser, hoarding words against some future day. Instead I want to cast my stories to the wind and see them take root. I want readers to take away what I have written to their homes, so that I am spurred to produce more.

This is my wish for myself.

Coolest Toy Ever for Wordsmiths


Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

www.wordle.net