11 Epic Christmas Movies…

Just love the holidays! Absolutely love the holidays! The air is different. The spirit of Christmas is evident. Family, laughter, fun, and cheer fills the atmosphere. Lights everywhere brightens the sky ushering the spirit of the season. Not to mention the gifts; the fun; the parties and so much more.

Movies

Though I write and it brings me joy, there’s nothing like a good movie. I’m not talking the hallmark type where we can predict the end. It’s always the ideal ending. I’m talking real entertainment. Fun times with the family. Here I share 11 epic holiday movies.

  1. A Christmas Story
  2. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
  3. Home Alone
  4. The Holiday
  5. Scrooged
  6. A Christmas Carol
  7. This Christmas
  8. Jingle All The Way
  9. Christmas With The Kranks
  10. The Family Stone
  11. Miracle on 34th Street
  12. Die Hard
  13. Elf

Curl up with popcorn, your favorite blanket, dog or your love and enjoy the delight of these unforgettable holiday movies.

From the list, how many have you seen? Any missing? Add your fav.

Cheers!

Get your copy of book GreenLight and start planning for your holiday gift list.

My Sea Scape Getaway…

Getaway to the Sea, the sand, the beach

I decided to getaway to the sea…my favorite place. To stay on the beach. Ahhh yessss!

The day before was beautiful. Though a bit overcast after a week of rain, the sun shined through. I stayed . Relaxed and enjoyed…til sunset.

The next day was grand. A tanner’s dream. I sat birdwatching without a care. But the midday sun pelted my skin and I could hardly bear it.

The Hammock

Defeated …I headed for the rescue of the hammock in the shade. Crazy! It swung me 180 degrees and I toppled out and landed flat on my back. But it actually felt good lying there on the ground. So I stayed for around 20 mins. Beach Bag, phone, books scattered around me. Lying there, I read.

30 minutes later I retreated for a drink. Strawberry Daiquiri…non alcoholic. I sit contemplating as the clock ticked by. I didn’t have a plan. The goal was to simply relax and listen to the quiet inner voice.

Eyed the hammock again. Perhaps it will give me some insights. But scared I may topple over again, I stood staring.

Hmmm let’s see.

Wonder how the day is gonna end? Will I have the courage to get in and even more, will I get that coveted pic?

Hmmm … tried again. Second time. Yup! I did it again. Toppled over. Stayed right there on the ground again. Maybe it’s meant to be. Ground for me.

To the Rescue

Apparently my plight was seen by a groundskeeper who may have found my situation rather humorous (wonder if it happens all the time). Anyway, he came over.

Yep! I got in. Groundskeeper drove his grounds mobile like Batman to rescue the hilarious sight. With his help, I not only got into the hammock. I was able to get a pic for my girls. Evidence! I did it!

Careful not to swing too much, I chose land and safety. Decided after 15 minutes to get back on the beach to spend time with the birds. Time with the sea. Time listening to the sound of the waves. Time writing, and Time Reading.

Rejuvenated

Rejuvenated, inspired, refreshed. My 2-day Getaway was absolutely worth it!

Now it’s your turn. Try it. Getaway! You’ll love it!

Cheers!

If You Could Read Only One Author For The Rest Of Your Life, Who Would It Be? 18 Writers Share…

Read. Write. Read. There’s no writing without reading.

Some thought it difficult to select but here I share as Writers chimed in to Penguin Publishers’ public forum question:

If you could read only one author for the rest of your life, who would it be?

  • Stephen King
  • Don DeLillo
  • J. K. Rowling
  • Jane Austen
  • Agatha Christie
  • Margate Atwood
  • William Shakespeare
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Toni Morrison
  • Paulo Coelho
  • The Bible
  • John Green
  • Alice Munro
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Ernest Hemmingway
  • James Baldwin
  • Dickens

If you had to choose, who would it be? Do share. We would love to hear!

Cheers!

Getaway To The Waves. The Sea. The Shore.

Waves splashing. Seas rough. Birds chirping. Softly. Quietly. Then louder as if composing a song. As if complaining … oh why so rough?

Now they fly. They soar. They meander. Still chirping high above beneath the sky. The white clouds embrace.

Waves calm down. Storm’s afloat. Passes by the outskirts as if to say, I’ll stop by next time…whenever that is. Behind it leaves weeds on the shore. Washed up. All aghast.

She Reads By The Sea

Book in hand she reads by the sea. Listening. Listening to the sounds of the waves. The birds. People shouting indistinctly in the distance. Soaking up the sun. Then softly covered by the clouds. Be still my soul.

Trees. Palm trees sway softly. Tenderly. Hear the birds call. The sun shines brightly against the afternoon’s wave.

The Right Time To Write

‘Tis the right time to write. To pray. To listen to the still small voice. Speak. Help me listen. Help me hear you. Don’t let me miss what you must say.

Peace.

The 10 Key Tips To Beat Workplace Woes…

Some days are just a mess. It’s even worse during prolonged Quarter or month-end report preparations or during times of change. It’s at those times that anything we can do to lessen the stress is welcomed. I fell aghast when I bumped into Amy Jackson’s 10 tips to beat workplace woes repeated by writer Ariana Huffington. Read the full piece here. For those who gotta have a quick peek, here I share the abbreviated list.

  1. Brighten up your Desk (make it personal)
  2. Do Something you enjoy during your Lunch Break (not errands)
  3. Plan things to look forward to (weekend getaways, vacations)
  4. Eat & Drink to boost your mood (water is good)
  5. Meditate (breathe)
  6. Make use of Perks (if you’re lucky to get them…check HR to see what exists)
  7. Chat to your Colleagues
  8. Laugh (look at memes or YouTube video)
  9. Look at your work life balance
  10. Identify if there’s an underlying problem

 

I found this list interesting to beat the workplace woes and I hope you will too. Any burning tip missing? Do share! We would love to hear.

Cheers!

 

Take A Day Away. Separate The Past From The Future…

Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.  ~Maya Angelou 

Writers’ Writing Space To Write…

Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts. 

~ Larry L. King

Where do I write? In a quiet place. A place where I can hear my thoughts, the stirrings of my heart, my soul. I write whenever it hits. I must stop, record, write. If I do not do so immediately…in a flash, it’s gone. So I have learnt to capture the words as they come. Anywhere, anytime, any how.

Writing Tools

The equipment I use for writing is anything (smile). When those inspiring writing moments come, I may grab my cellphone and write in notes. Sometimes, I write on paper if I can grab one quickly. So I keep notepads and notebooks all over. In my car, on my nightstand, the traditional desk, dining table, anywhere. I must capture those inspiring writing moments. Then when I am ready to publish my posts, I use my laptop. Sometimes I start in drafts in the App. But I usually prefer to post on my laptop since it offers the opportunity to edit, tag etc., which I find much easier. Yes, I know this can be done directly in the App but going the laptop route is my preference before publishing.

The Peace, Quiet, Serenity To Write

To write, all I need in a physical space is simply peace, quiet, and absolute serenity. That’s all. It could be in an airplane way up above the clouds, but for some reason it works. I sleep. I awake my mind is fresh, anew, and I write. I Know that serenity can even be found in a crowded space. A train, a plane, a park, an event that I’m allowed to people watch. To see and experience nature amidst the hustle and bustle of people everywhere. The only commonality is that no one can be speaking to me directly (or I won’t hear them or my thoughts (smile). Sounds poetic? Maybe it is. Writing is music to me.

At times we need community since we cannot exist alone. In other cases we simply cannot get the space to write in our own space and must getaway. If you feel that need, then join us in a weekend Getaway for 2 Days To Write Retreat with new and experienced authors. For sure you will find the space to write.

So write on writers!

Cheers!

Traveling The Seas. Peaceful, Calm And Serene..

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I like the peace and quiet of being at sea. It’s different. ~Rafael Nadal

Waves splash in seemless style. Scattered folks chat gleefully in the distance. The boat’s engine beckons its revolving sound. The weekend rides on with high traffic of boats afloat on the water. Totally relaxed. The sun steams above. People clothed in hats, T’s, shorts, and more, welcoming the light breeze. Sounds get louder…yet not disturbing.

Fish, seawater creatures missing…nowhere in sight. Mountainous hills of water sprout like surfers beneath waves. Ship’s captain steers tourist-filled-boats pass beautiful houses planted on the sea’s edge.  Just imagine the visitor’s delight to rent for a few. Pretty penny, but so worth it. Lovers steal selfies, kisses, and quiet love.

I quietly doze off. Calm, cool, relaxed.

Nice way to spend a quick getaway doing something different…fishing.
Edgewater, Water Taxi, Sovereign, Imagine, Gallant Lady, Waku, Days-Like-This…all boat names… but couldn’t agree more.

Time to chill.

Cheers!

Weekend In Paris…

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ~Dr. Suess

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I have always wanted to visit Paris. This was the promised gift to myself when I hung up my student cap after years and years of continuous studies. Then the workaholic that I am, saw 4 years go by in a flash embarking on community initiatives, writing, and more.

A month ago my oldest surprised me with a Birthday Weekend trip to Paris. But how can I visit Paris for just a weekend? That’s when my youngest ‘scolded’ me. “Go”, she said. “You have always wanted to do it. Just go.” I agreed and made it into a long weekend. Wonder of wonders! I discovered I even had time to spare. Time to watch the rain, the people, and the waves of the Seine River go by at sunset.

Travel Across Continents

The flight was long but it was far from boring. I read. I wrote. I watched movies. I chatted with my oldest, slept, and I ate. Before we knew it, the descent was upon us.

Travel’s Cultural Differences

Cultural differences are everywhere. In Paris the hotel rooms are tiny spaces. Just enough to get by, yet absolutely comfortable.  TV channels are in le francais. Plugs for chargers, electrical items and such differ. Disappointed, frustrated for sure I was at first, but then it’s not about me. I travel for new experiences and that’s what I got.

A polite society…bonjour, merci, pardon,  were among the basics to know in that language and will serve as the basic entre to service. They are curt and offer no apologies. So do your research before you go and you’ll be just fine (smile).

Travel’s Cuisine

Food in Paris is divine. Delicious. Sumptuous. Absolutely satisfying. But don’t rush….it ain’t fast food. When you visit the unique restaurants among which my fav is the Cafe, you dine, taste the delectables, and chill. No rush for the check. You ask, you eventually receive.

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Transportation

Getting around you have the choice of the cabs, buses, the metro. But may God help you if you do not understand the linguistic pronunciation of the place where you are going. When you arrive at your stop, you may not even know. So ask, ask, ask information before you board. Then read as you progress at each stop.

Speaking from experience…do I need to say more? Hint…frustration (smile)

Notre Dame

Paris Sites To See

You haven’t been to Paris if you haven’t visited La Tour Eiffel, Notre-Dame, Le Louvre and smiled with Mona Lisa. Sites …beautiful. Historically meaningful. Mesmerizing. Long walks. Tired feet, but worth every minute.

The Eiffel Tower

So that’s a tiny glimpse into my Parisian journey for the first time. The trip was memorable. The photos provide the stillness of the moment.  A dream come through. Would I go back? Yessss definitely!

I encourage you to take the time to step out and achieve your own dreams. Big or small, they will come through despite the odds.

Cheers!

The Ravishing Benefits of Going To The Beach…

Live near the beach? Grab your swimsuits and go enjoy the slow swooshing sound of the waves as they crash against the shore.

Anne Gherini shared in this INC article research about the benefits of going to the beach (as if we needed another reason …smile). From the points listed, here I share my top 3.

  • Listen to the crashing waves puts your brain at ease
  • Feel the sand between your toes as it stimulates your mind
  • Remove the Blues. Stare at the ocean and get to that relaxing meditative State.

In this world of mad rush, stress and strain, plan a trip or two to the beach for a quick getaway. Then bask in the Benefits to relax, unwind, reboot. Your Brain cells are sure to recharge pushing you further along the Skewed productivity chain.

Cheers!