I write. I wander. I read. I remember.

I started writing my first novel at age eight. It was about a family of pencils that came alive at night and wandered around the classroom having various adventures. I was several chapters in when a well-meaning adult asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.

“I want to be a writer. In fact, I’ve already started writing my first novel,” I told her.

“Oh, that’s so cute. Being a writer is hard work you know. Most people never make it.”

This was news to me. I had assumed the only tough part about writing was plot…

Reflecting on habit #16 in my 30-day journey

Pushups are a solid part of my morning routine. I drop and do at least ten before sitting down for a day of writing.

One month ago it took everything in me to get to 8 pushups. Now I can do 15. I’m still stuck on knee pushups but I’ll transition to real ones soon.

I started this 30-day journey doing no exercise beyond walking several days a week. Now I’m walking daily, doing squats, pushups, planks, taking the stairs, and doing dumbbell lifts. I’m pleased with myself.

And I got a great story out of it too. Read about…

Forget Amazon. Support Your Local Library

Image by janeb13 from Pixabay

Libraries are the best! When you grow up poor with educated parents you learn to love libraries from an early age. Walk into one and the parental “no’s” turn into automatic “yeses”. Yes, you can bring that book home. Yes, we can do storytime. Yes, we can stay here in the air conditioning while you take a quick nap because it’s too hot at home to sleep.

My lifelong problem with libraries and nearly unlimited access to free books is managing to return books on time. …

It’s a surprisingly long list

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

In honor of the late great Jeopardy host, Alex Trebek, we start with the answer.

Write a Lot of Quality Content.

Unlike the game show, however, there is more than one question that leads to this classic advice.

  • How do I make money as a writer?
  • How do I improve as a writer?
  • How do I gain followers?
  • How do I get people to interview me on their podcasts?
  • How do I get invited to join a writers group?
  • How do I win friends and influence people?
  • How do I make my dating profile stand out?
  • How do I pass…

Reflecting on habit #15 in my journey

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Challenge yourself to choose three good events from each day and you quickly learn what brings you pleasure and happiness. For me, it is apparently food.

Each night when I pulled out my notebook and pondered what to write the first thing that leaped to mind was often food. Here are a few notations from my journal:

  • Delicious burgers eaten right near the water in St. Ives.
  • Nice lunch at a pub we’ve been wanting to get to
  • Yummy homemade pizza
  • Homemade scones & clotted cream
  • Delicious tacos & margaritas for dinner
  • Tasty quiche that used up several veggies
  • First…

Reflecting on habit #14 in my 30-day journey

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Progressive Muscle Relaxation seemed like a great idea. I struggle with falling asleep and staying asleep. PMR should be a perfect fit.

Turns out I’m bad not only at doing it but also at remembering to try!

On nights I actually remembered, things generally went a bit like this:

Oh right, I’m supposed to do that PMR thing. Okay, here I go, clenching my toes. Now release. Wait, I think I was clenching my whole foot. Okay well I’ll do my feet over again. No, I’m clenching my calves. I’m supposed to do just my feet. How do I clench…

Tips to make this fascinating and iconic piece of literature accessible to everyone

Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels

Chances are high you think you have a good idea of what’s in the Bible. Chances are also very high you are wrong.

Let’s try a simple True/False Quiz. Which of these appear in the Bible?

  1. “Money is the root of all evil”
  2. “Love the sinner, not the sin”
  3. “The lion will lie down with the lamb”
  4. “This too shall pass”
  5. “God helps those who help themselves.”

How about this? Which of the following stories appear in the Bible?

  1. God tells one of His prophets to marry a woman who keeps cheating on him to give the people an example…

Reflecting on habit #13 in my 30-day journey

Photo by Noah Boyer on Unsplash

Choosing a personal motto and repeating it to yourself throughout the day will keep you grounded and focused on your goals. The theory is sound but I found my implementation weak.

“My choices matter” is the motto I picked to repeat regularly to myself throughout the day as one of my habits midway through my 30-day habit journey. My motto was excellent. My memory was seriously flawed.

I did repeat this motto to myself daily — whenever I happened to look at my habits spreadsheet. Not once in the month did I think of my motto spontaneously during the day.

Why wasn’t this curated?

I was pleased with this story. It’s a bit out of the norm for me as it doesn’t include any personal tidbits and I tend to throw those into most stuff I write.

Still it is firmly in my wheelhouse of affirming yet realistic takes on aging. I published to Crow’s Feet which is where I usually post such material. It got a decent number of reads and a few comments.

What really befuddles me is why it didn’t get curated? I’m batting almost 1000 these days on stuff that meets the basic standards for distribution getting picked up.


Mary DeVries

Writing, wondering, and wandering across three continents. Living, Learning, and Laughing along the way. https://tinyurl.com/MaryDeVries

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