Tag Archives: inspirational

Impakter Ezine Features My Mutinous Boomer Dog Tales & More!

1 Mar

IMP-SmokeyPupSnow

For several months I’ve been writing a column for Impakter Magazine called “Diary of a Positive Soul.” Not a title I would have come up with, but when they approached me about it, I found the concept irresistible! The point of the articles has been to explore not just how to be happy, but how to stay happy. Here is the latest in this series:

DESTINY AND A DOG

Remember the scene in “Young Frankenstein” when Gene Wilder is twisting fitfully in bed screaming, “Destiny! Destiny! No escaping destiny!”

IMP-Young_Frankenstein

Ha! I love that! But even though it makes for a great Mel Brooks joke, is it for real? Do you believe in destiny?

This is the second of a three part series on a favorite theme of mine: dogs! The first one was about our indomitable dachshund, Zack, which you can find here:  http://impakter.com/diary-positive-soul-3/

When the next dog came into our lives, the question of destiny entered into the picture, as you’ll see.

It all started when our son Matt was sixteen. We packed up and moved 650 miles away from the home he had lived in from the time he was born and he wasn’t happy about it, to say the least! So, like all responsible parents, we bribed him into cooperating. He agreed to move without too much of a fuss if we’d get him a Golden Retriever puppy. Fair enough. However, when we actually moved, we found it was better to rent a home while we got used to the area, which meant we couldn’t get a puppy. We were legitimately off the hook!

Fast forward two years and we bought the house we were renting. Matt didn’t miss a beat. No sooner had the ink dried on the loan than he reminded us of our promise. OK, OK, we’ll do it, and promptly began looking for a Golden Retriever puppy, only to find that the price tag was no less than $1,800! But a deal was a deal and we put our names in the pot for the next litter of puppies. Shortly after that we traveled back to our original home for a big family Thanksgiving celebration. One set of cousins brought a terrific dog they had adopted from an animal shelter. Matt fell in love with him and to our delight, on the long 650 mile drive back, he said that he hated for us to have to spend $1,800 on a Golden Retriever puppy (yeah, so did we…) when we could rescue one from a shelter and have just as good of a dog. We told him it was a brilliant idea and I was calling local shelters the next week.

It wasn’t long before we found a new batch of puppies that had literally been left on the doorstep of an animal shelter. One of these was a funny looking, floppy-eared, short-legged German-Shepherd-something with an enthusiastic long tail. It was love at first sight.

IMP-LitSmokeyCovers

Matt named him Smokey McDoggerson!

When we brought the little fellow home it was not love at all for Zack. To him the young whippersnapper had way too much energy and was ridiculously friendly! And to make matters worse, he was already larger than Zack at only ten weeks old. Zack tried his best to ignore him. He was determined to have nothing to do with Smokey. Period.

IMP-Zac&LitSmoPorch

A few weeks later we could see Smokey was having significant problems with his legs. He was hobbling and noticeably in pain. One of Smokey’s parents had clearly been a full-size German Shepherd, but the other part of his heritage was evidently a short-legged dog because one of the bones in Smokey’s front legs was growing faster than the other. He was going to need surgery immediately on both legs, no question about it. The cost? Yep. $1,800 on the nose! Exactly what we would have paid for a Golden Retriever puppy.

Was this a coincidence? It sure didn’t feel like it at the time. It felt inevitable. It felt like destiny. When the surgeon told us the price, we were nodding our heads, yes, we know, eighteen hundred dollars…

After surgery both of Smokey’s front legs were in casts, which was too much for Zack. His big heart got the best of him. He simply couldn’t hold a grudge any longer. He licked Smokey in the face and snuggled up next to him as if he’d been there all along.

The surgery worked, but he was still short-legged and always would be, even when he filled out to his full eighty pound adult weight, which makes him very odd looking indeed (in an incredibly handsome way!).

IMP-SmokeyPorch

Now we’re back to the question of destiny. Obviously it was inescapable: we were going to spend $1800 on a dog for Matt no matter what! Ha!

Being “destined” to spend that money on a puppy was certainly not a life changing experience. It was one of those humorous moments in life when you think you’ve outsmarted fate ~ as if we could! But our personal destiny? That’s a big one for all of us. So, do I believe in destiny? Yes. And no…

In my experience it seems there can be a force at work in our lives if we let it. Call it Fate, Destiny, The Universe ~ I prefer God. I think of this force rather like a spiritual jet stream, invisible but very powerful and going in a specific direction. When I’m “riding the jet stream” as I call it, I feel completely connected to all that’s right and good for my life. When I’m not, I’m stumbling all over the place to find my way. When I lift up my spiritual “legs” and let this prevailing wind take me where I’m suppose to be, then yes, I’m in tune with destiny and it feels great!

IMP-MR-ArmUpHap

Am I able to live like that all the time? Of course not. Invariably I choose to put my feet down, stubbornly stand my ground, refuse to feel the flow and BAM! What was that thing called “destiny”? It’s gone because I’ve obstinately chosen to do it all myself. The flow is still there somewhere, but I’m not part of it.

IMP-Fog&Mtn

Today was one of those magnificent days that I was riding the jet stream. It feels wonderful and it’s my intention to ride it again tomorrow. It makes me extraordinarily happy when I’m carried along by my destiny, I feel connected to The Universe ~ to God. And that’s the point of it all, isn’t it? Figuring out how to be happy and stay happy. But that’s just me.

This isn’t the end of our destiny discussion, just the end for today. Next time you get to meet the funniest dog I’ve ever known: Shadow. AKA Stinker Bell! Until then, be as happy as you can possibly be ~ I insist!

Marsha

Marsha Roberts, Author of “Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant” which can be found on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007H0RS60

More information about Marsha and her book can be found on her website: http://www.mutinousbabyboomer.com/

 

Advertisements

Memories are for Christmas

23 Dec

FrontDoorInSnow-IMP

I was rummaging through the garage the other day looking for some Christmas decorations when I stumbled upon a long forgotten box of story notes, scripts and sketch books, primarily belonging to my husband, who is also a writer, Bob Rector. You might have read some of his WordPress blogs ~ he’s RectorWriter. Anyway, I picked up a sketch book and a priceless piece of paper fell out. It was written by Bob in 1993 and stars the indomitable Zack, our dachshund from years ago, who I’ve often written about.

Reading Bob’s brief account of our household twenty-one years ago was like time-traveling for me. He gave a crystal-clear description of each person caught in an instant of time and I was moved to happy tears by the memory. I would like to share it with you here, just as I read it, in Bob’s handwriting, in Bob’s words and complete with an hysterical sketch of Zack’s face.

Bob1993Story4IMP

ZackDogHappyHour-cr

The thing that caught me off guard was the date, June 5, 1993, because as I read it I could have sworn this took place at Christmas. There was no mention of Christmas, but it just felt like it: warm, joyful, loving and deeply personal. I could almost hear wood crackling in the fireplace and see the reflections of lights and decorations in the window. And I wondered why this brief chronicle of our lives would automatically make me think of Christmas. And I decided it’s because every good, beautiful memory is like a gift, a Christmas gift that can be opened over and over again.

MouseEarsDadReads-cr

Now there are many writers, philosophers and psychologists who say that we should leave our past behind us. Some great thinkers tell us that if we hold on to our past, we are doomed to have old baggage drag us down, and negative triggers continue to plague us with repeating unhealthy habits. According to them, we should practice present moment awareness.

I beg to differ. I believe that who I am is a conglomeration of a bunch of present moment awareness events: memories, good and bad. Yes, we all have things we’d like to forget, painful recollections that make us wince when we’re reminded of them. Wince or worse. But for me, those are a part of who I am too, I just don’t want to dwell on those. I want to focus on what went right in my life, those moments that stay with me forever because they are so vibrant that they have imprinted me in every way that’s lovely. SnowMatt-IMP

I can still see, smell, taste and feel those precious bits of time as if they were literally yesterday. I’m sure you have those too.

As for me, I’ll go with a pretty solid thinker by the name of Dostoevsky. You see, next to the page with Bob’s story of our household was another piece of paper with this quote printed on it:

“You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since childhood, is perhaps the best education of all. If a man carries many such memories into life with him, he is saved for the rest of his days. And even if only one good memory is left in our hearts, it may also be the instrument of our salvation one day.”

“The instrument of our salvation.” A powerful statement.

What a wonderful gift I received when I opened that box from the past. When Bob wrote it so long ago, he had no idea it would mean so much to me to find it decades later. It made me wonder what I am doing today that will set up good memories for those I love in the days and years to come. For me, that’s where the importance of living in the moment comes in, the significance of every single day. We never know when we might do some kind gesture for someone that might be their “instrument of salvation” at a dark moment.

Marsha&Tree-cr

So Merry Christmas to you. May you find the gift of cherished memories tucked under your own little Christmas tree inside yourself. It is my hope that the coming days bring you opportunities for more exceptional memories to be created. But if for some reason this Christmas isn’t full of all that’s positive and encouraging for you, don’t forget the treasures that are with you still, inside your heart and mind. After all, Christmas is for memories.

Until next time.

Marsha

Marsha Roberts, Author:  Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant

http://www.mutinousbabyboomer.com/

CROWD FUNDING FOR A BOOK — CASE STUDY

13 Nov

Ever thought about launching a crowd funding campaign? Curious about how it works? Then this blog is for you!

Several months ago I realized I had taken my book as far as I could without some marketing money. People really love it, but as you know, it’s hard to stand out in the crowd of so many ebooks without placing ads, etc. So after a great deal of research as to what worked and what didn’t with other campaigns, we launched “Marketing the Miraculous Mutinous Boomer Book!” on IndieGoGo. In this RectorWriter blog post, Bob shares what went into the making of the pitch video.

If you’ve ever thought about doing a crowd funding campaign yourself, this should interest you very much! We are now full into the project and I’ll be blogging on my experiences in researching how best to go about this, putting together all the initial material and the follow through that has to be done daily. It’s quite an undertaking! But I’ve always believed that I was given the lessons in “Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant” to share with as many people as possible. And I intend to do just that! Hopefully, this Indiegogo campaign will give a real boost to our efforts. You’ll find a link to our Indiegogo campaign in Bob’s blog and we would very much appreciate it if you would take a moment to go there, Like & Share it, etc. ~ thanks in advance!

Click the link below for Bob’s blog.

CROWD FUNDING FOR A BOOK — CASE STUDY.

SO YOU WANT TO MAKE AN AUDIOBOOK

21 Jul

MBBAudioB-Promo1FBSO YOU WANT TO MAKE AN AUDIOBOOK.

This terrific article first appeared on the RectorWriter blog and it describes a great deal of what we experienced once we decided to turn my “Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer” book into an audiobook. Although we are seasoned production professionals, we ran into unexpected problems and wanted to share our experiences with you. Hope they are helpful! Just click on the above link & you’re there. Enjoy!

Marsha ~ The Mutinous Boomer!

Mother’s Day Perfect Gift $.99 Kindle Sale!

9 May

A Bestseller in Amazon’s “Happiness” Category, Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant was written by a woman (me!) and for women. The perfect Mother’s Day gift or to just treat yourself! Although I’ve been thrilled by the response I’ve received from my readers who are men,  my Mutinous Boomer book has a decidedly female outlook and voice. To celebrate Mother’s Day, you can find out for yourself why it’s been called “5* Soul Candy!” ~ “Funny, touching and inspirational” ~ “A Charming and Uplifting Read!”

Image

Have a wonderful weekend and remember Mutinous Boomer Rule #1: Be Happy!

Marsha

Visit me on my website:  http://www.mutinousbabyboomer.com/

Get the Deal on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007H0RS60

There’s a Reason that Dog is God Spelled Backwards!

17 Oct

I’d love to be a dog for just one day, living in our house, being taken care of by me and my family. Now that’s the life! I’d have the best seat in the house, get my tummy rubbed whenever I wanted and could stretch my legs out and find the most comfortable position in the universe to sleep in. But most important, I’d be able to answer the nagging question: what are dogs thinking about? I mean, how do they know so many things?DH-Pic#1-Shadow

How does a dog know that when you’re packing your suitcase it means you’ll be leaving him for a while?

How did my dachshund Zack know when I had a migraine? It was the only time he was allowed on our bed and he would lay at my feet, occasionally carefully easing his way up towards my face to check on me, like a gentle nurse. Such a comfort.

What was Shadow thinking when a hummingbird zipped into our patio and hovered right in front of him? How did he know to be still and quiet? He was in wonderment as much as I was. A mystery.

DH-Pic#2-Humm

What do dogs have to do with me as a writer? Everything. My dogs have been with me like great friends through good times and bad. They lay at my feet while I write and do silly things to make me laugh so I don’t take myself too seriously. I can’t imagine life without dogs, which brings me to my point: there’s a reason that dog is God spelled backwards. They are always there for me, loving me unconditionally and I don’t have to do anything to win their approval.

DH-Pic#3-Smokey

So many examples I could give, but I’ll start with how I came to write my first book. The incident that became my first “parable” was about a tomato plant (of all things!). I was in my garden breaking up some seriously hard ground. My dogs Smokey and Shadow thought this was very entertaining. Mom had finally revealed the dog within, on hands and knees, burrowing into the ground. Smokey, my floppy-eared German Shepherd mix, was satisfied to lay in the shade and watch (after carefully positioning himself where he could guard the perimeter!). But Shadow was not to be left out of this blissful endeavor. Our shaggy little version of a black lab exercised his rights as the perpetual puppy and with his goofy grin, happily joined in the digging.

DH-Pic#4-GoofyGrinAfter I had my unexpected moment with the tomato plants, my dog parade followed me back inside, always my buddies. They both snuggled close to me on the sofa as I wrote about what I had just experienced. Who knows? Perhaps their sweet innocence was part of the inspiration that was to come. Part of the magic. I like to think so.

When I wrote “The Parable of the Tomato Plant” I had no idea it would be the beginning of a book. It was written more like an entry in a diary, then I slipped it into a rarely used drawer and forgot about it. Several years later I found myself as lost as I had ever been. Like so many other people, we had been hit hard by the economy, and I was feeling pretty beat-up by life. Looking for something else entirely, I opened the small drawer and found those few pages tucked away, waiting for me. When I read the “parable” I cried, smiled at the ironies of life and felt more hopeful. My dogs breathed a sigh of relief as my mood lifted. Embedded in what I had written was a clue as to how to get my life back again.

Holding those hand-written pages I realized that it was a bit of a miracle that I had found the clue on that particular day, when I needed it the most. I wondered how many other clues were hidden away, tidbits of encouragement laying dormant. Over the coming months I would discover many other clues in the daily miracles of life. Valuable information previously unseen was there for me to uncover, like so much buried treasure. Signposts pointing the way.

And that’s how “Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant” began. When I came to the conclusion that I had a book inside of me that needed to be written, my dogs looked up at me with anticipation. With their keen doggie-sixth-sense, they knew something was afoot!

Albert Einstein said, “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” My book is about what happens when I chose the latter:  real life collided with real miracles!

I would love to hear your thoughts on miracles and dogs and anything else that comes to mind. Feel free to leave a comment here or connect with me through my website or social media links. Have a wonderful day full of miracles and, of course, dogs!

Marsha

Marsha Roberts, Author

Confessions of the Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant

http://www.mutinousbabyboomer.com/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007H0RS60

MBB-PromoAdSm10-13

Stepping Stones in the Fog

15 Mar

Once again, I’m very happy to be a part of Boomer Lit Friday! I hope you enjoy my next excerpt from

Image

From Chapter 32:

Image

I’m sitting in the fog.  Literally.  I’m on top of a mountain, completely socked-in with fog, writing at a picnic table.  And it’s raining.  Fortunately it’s a covered picnic table.

I don’t know when the rain will stop.  But I know it will.

I don’t know when the fog will lift.  But I know it will.

I don’t know when the sun will come out and the skies will be blue again.  But I know it will happen.

I can’t do a thing about any of these things.  The rain, the fog, the sunshine and the blue skies are all in God’s hands.  And so am I.

Image

Have you ever felt like that? I would love to hear your thoughts. My book is available as an ebook or in print from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and others. Direct links are on the Mutinous Baby Boomer website:

http://www.mutinousbabyboomer.com/

Take a few minutes and hop on over to another Boomer Lit Author at:

http://boomerlitfriday.blogspot.com/

 CHEERS!

%d bloggers like this: