I was taught to "leave things better than you've found it." And my mother was/is a huge advocate for "be respectful of others". And when looking out into the world and intermingling with other humans, I forget that not everyone had the same amazing momma as I did.
I try never to travel on the weekends as there seems to be heavier traffic and people get upset if I don't want to go 75 on the highway dragging my camper. (Now if it was just me and Xander - my truck- I'd be all over it!)
So, that usually leaves me in campgrounds over the weekend.
Normally, I don't mind. I love hearing the kids squealing in the cold water and playing into the sunset. I love seeing that families are spending time together. I love the smell of a good campfire and grilling of their fresh catch of the day. I love that people still appreciate nature... sort of... and that "camping" is still a thing that is sure a tradition that will carry on into the future.
This weekend, there was such little regard for others and zero respect for the grounds and the nature around it. It just makes me so sad. Who taught you that this is okay?
There was trash, broken bottles and cigarette butts all over the place. People left their wrappers for the brand new floaty devices all over the beach.
People drove through the campgrounds- despite there being signs, despite the children running around- too fast or in the wrong direction! Would it take SO much time out of your life, just to follow the rules?
While I was out walking a vehicle sped past me and kicked up all kinds of rock dust, but also shot a rock out that hit me in my leg. That sucker hurt! I have a lovely purple bruise commemorating the moment and a regular reminder, every time I accidentally bump it, about that rude human.
If you want to play music at your campsite, that's fine. But don't assume everyone else needs to hear it. And, in the same instance, if you are in a neighboring campsite and the music is not to your liking, is it REALLY necessary to play YOUR genre even louder?
The bathroom... oh... please... just... can't you just... you know, be considerate of others? Or at the very least take responsibility for yourself and don't assume that it's someone else's job to come along after you and clean things up.
And please... keep an eye on your children and pets. Neither are meant to be left in a vehicle while you go out and play. No other explanation should be necessary. And if you keep your pets on a leash or lead, there would be no need to scream and yell obscenities at them because they are not staying in the invisible parameter of your space.
All of these things, state parks especially, are here for your enjoyment. Please stop doing the things that will make the state parks decide that it's just not worth it anymore.
We all have different ideas of what we want to experience in our campground vacations and we all have a different idea of what a good time is. Please! Go camping! Have a good time! Create awesome memories for your children and yourselves- but don't rob others of theirs.
Please don't make my state parks unsafe for me, I would just be so sad.
Consider this a public service announcement.
-Pick up your trash.
-Respect others and their space and property.
-Take care of your littles, furry and otherwise.
-Leave things better than you find it.
And our state parks will be here for years and years to come.
Rant over. Have an amazingly beautiful day.
This morning I had a private prayer meeting at the sunrise service. It was just me, the Platte River, the sun sneaking up over the plains and God. The birds were the choir and a slight breeze kept the heat away.
The brand new sunlight caught the mist coming up from the water and gave it warm etherial look.
Per our usual conversations, I begin with gratitude. How thankful that I am that I can take this journey. It's come at a high cost, and I never want Him to think that I don't realize it. I also know that there will probably be a high cost when my travels end, and I let him know that I accept that too. I am grateful for the littlest things like a safe place to sleep and the beautiful orchestra of nature around me, but I am most grateful for an audience with Him.
Because, and I'm sure He knows it... it's not long before I begin to fret about all the things. "How am I going to afford this?" "What happens next?" "What if this... what if that..."
His answer, is always the same..."Let me take care of that, you take care of the things that are in your control."
At which, I instantly felt the tiniest sting of reprimand.
Am I doing all of the things I'm supposed to be doing? Maybe... but am I doing them to the best of my ability? Probably not.
I am easily side-tracked with the latest, newest idea and I usually chase it down for the length of my leash to see what I can do with it. Sometimes I have no business being there. Sometimes I can find a few nuggets to make the things I do better and sometimes, I think that I have the power to bend time... that's my biggest problem, I think. I WANT to do all these things, so I TRY to do all these things, but it turns out that I have the exact same number of hours in the day as everyone else. I'm not SUPPOSED to be doing ALL the things apparently. And He waits patiently until I can come to our meetings for Him to tell me so.
I have been given a great deal of success and growth with my podcast, Bag of Bones. I love it. I really love everything about it, but I'm not utilizing it as best as I could. Meaning, I'm spreading out, instead of digging the well a little deeper. I jumped into a second podcast before Bag of Bones was even a year old and one, both are extremely research intensive, and two, I wasn't able to give them the amount of time I need to bring forward the quality I desire. So, with heavy heart, I am cancelling the release of Trails of History. Maybe postponing it? I don't know, but for now, it needs to come off my plate so I can continue to grow and nurture and monetize the podcast I have currently.
The other thing I need to remove right away is the more public version of the Writer's Lounge. I am moving this branch of my company to a more niched down version. I am discontinuing the Facebook group. It takes a huge amount of time creating daily posts for people and it's just not being used. And I am also discontinuing the League of Authors Membership site for this year. I love the concept of this- but it's just too big for me to deal with at the moment.
I am going to switch my focus to smaller group coaching to writer's who are ready to get their first book written and published. Many people SAY they want to write a book but few actually put in the time and effort to do so. I want to work with those few and help them with all the crazy transition stuff to make it a dream come true.
And then finally, my readers have been most patient with me, allowing me to follow this path and that- not having a new book from me. I need to get back to that. I owe you all A Devil's Errand that was supposed to be released in May, but I will do my best to get it released before the end of the year.
So keep an eye out, these transitions will be happening slowly throughout the website. Things will disappear and new things will pop up, fear not... all part of the Master's plan...
I've never been so happy to do the dishes!
I have been without running water for a little over a week now and nothing makes you more grateful for the things we take for granted like having to be without them!
The hose for the water going into the Beach House busted and the hot water heater decided to call it quits as well. In all fairness, it was over thirteen years old, so it had every right.... however...
I ordered the necessary parts thinking that they would be here in two days (I mean that's why we pay the extra for Prime, right?) only for it to take five days. Ugh.
Do you have any idea how difficult it is to function with no access to water? No bathrooms, no showers, no clean dishes, no coffee, no cooking, cause you can't rinse your dishes, (it IS sugar ant season and they are everywhere here in the South!!), no drinking water, no washing your hands.
There were times I would absent-mindedly still turn on the faucet expecting magic to happen...
Today, my hose came in. I hooked that sucker up so fast and turned on all the faucets just because I could... and water came out. It was a miracle! I heated some water up on the stove and set about doing my dishes. Such a glorious task that I will not complain about ever again! (Okay, at least for a week or so...)
This got me thinking about all the things that we take for granted. Being grateful doesn't have to be for something amazing or life shattering! Sometimes I think that we need something short of a miracle to remind us to be thankful. And then we chalk it up to luck. But life, in general is filled with uneventful days sometimes blending one into another. And yet, in the midst of our complaining and trudging through what feels like mundane lives-even on the worst days- we wake up in the morning, and our eyes take in the sights around us. Without any extra thought or effort from us. We take in the inside walls of our home. We're surrounded by "things" that bring us joy, comfort, security. Our heart is beating and directing our insides that serve us the best that we can.
And when we get out of bed, our legs support us and keep us upright. We flip the switch and darkness becomes light. Pushing a button gets the brown, flavorful liquid of life bubbling and gurgling away.
Take in that deep breath... because you can.
Feel the rain on you skin. Close your eyes, hear the birds sing their songs.
What are some of the things that you are thankful for that you take for granted?
The love of a faithful pet? The sweetness in your children's faces? (No matter how old they are.) A best friend? A key that turns the motor over on your vehicle? Tastebuds! A well-prepared meal. Money enough to cover the bills. That hidden money in a coat pocket. A reliable job.
Everything might not be where you want it to be at the moment, but there is SO much that you can be grateful for every single day. Every. Single. Day. I mean, I still don't have hot water, and I probably won't for a while until I can afford a new hot water heater, but life is still good.
Life is so good.
Don't let a day slip away without taking notice of those things that make your life just a little bit better.
What are you grateful for today? Right now, in this moment?
Writers on Writing
My latest manuscript, A Detour Home, has been sent away to my team of editors and I am supposed to wait patiently until they arrive back to me covered in red ink.
It is a most anxious time for me and I have to remind myself not to text them with silly, insecure questions like: Are you reading it? Do you like it? What part are you on?
I just need to trust them and give them their space and hope it comes back marginally inked to death. (With every book, I try even harder to watch my grammar and punctuation as a competition with myself to see if I can improve with every venture.)
I do have lots of work to do in between the time that the editors are reading and when I get it back to do the correcting and formatting, like marketing plans, new projects and more, but this time, I thought I would try something new.
Once people find out that I am a full time author, they first off, wonder why I’m not rich and then they have a multitude of questions for me. I am all to happy to answer, and am flattered that people would be interested in my passion for writing and creating.
I recently put out a few memes that give snippets of some of the behind the scenes of being an author and they were well received prompting more questions.
So I thought, just in case you never get a chance to meet an author in person and ask questions, I would share the questions and the answers asked of me, here with you. I have about a dozen questions lined up from those who have previously written to me or have met me out and about, but if you’d like to add one I’d be most honored.
You can ask it in the comments below, or shoot me a message via the contact page or through my Facebook page.
Hopefully it will keep you entertained (or perhaps if there are budding authors out there, it may inspire) and it will keep me from pestering my editors and slowing down their progress. Fun experiment, wouldn’t you say?
Here’s a few inquires that I have gotten:
Please feel free to add to the list!
The answers can only apply to my writing quirks and you would probably get a different answer from every other author you meet, (or follow). But this is me and for what it’s worth, these are my quirks.
Thank you for being on this journey with me. I love writing and teaching and hope that my offerings touch your heart in the best of ways, even if sometimes it has to sting at first. I write from a place of love and hope that it brings you happiness!
Stay tuned for Operation Keep Elizabeth Distracted…
The Short Definition of Love
When you are asked the question, what is love? It can conjure up definitions, quotes, stories, experiences and scripture. And while every single one of those has truth, I'm going to oversimplify the definition today.
Love means putting others first.
There you go. Done.
Bottom line, love means putting others before yourself. Seem too simple? Let's break it down.
When you love someone or want to show love to someone, anyone, you want their happiness. And you are willing to put your needs second to ensure their happiness. No one shows this better than a parent.
Our children eat before we do... Our children sleep before we sleep... Our children get new clothes, haircuts, new toys, new technology and we are playing catch-up; happy with the few moments to ourselves in the bathroom! Lol
No matter how old our children are... you never lose that feeling. I would do everything in my power for my children if that was in their best interest. I love them with every fiber of my being. It comes natural to me.
In our intimate relationships, the same is applied. If you want nothing more than your partner to be happy, and he/she want's nothing more than your happiness, then you have found the right equation.
What things do you do in your relationships to see that your love relationships are your priority?
When you love someone else, you are constantly thinking, what would be in their best interest?
Selfishness thinks only of oneself. Love thinks of others.
It's not about what you can get. The power you can wield. It's about what you can give. How can you help? What can you do to make their life easier? What would make them smile?
It's not about following blindly, or losing yourself within someone else. It's about helping them to shine and you grow from their glow.
Love is shown in similar forms all day every day and can be displayed with everyone you meet.
Love is opening the door for someone else.
...letting someone go in front of you in line.
... buying someone else's order.
Following the simplicity of this rule, sometimes, showing love, by putting others first isn't always easy. At times, there are tough choices to be made still keep their best interests in mind.
By putting others first, does not mean you become a doormat. (That is usually the first argument I get when I talk on this.) It does not mean you have to do whatever the other person says, just to make them happy. It does not mean that you have to go against your beliefs or endanger you or your family in any way. If they ask you to do any of those things, they are not seeing you through eyes of love and you will have to make some tough decisions.
Sometimes you have to make that call to the addiction hotline to get your love some help.
Sometimes it means you have to walk away from an abusive relationship to save yourself.
Sometimes you have to stand firm on a decision if it means the best for your family.
Love does NOT mean to follow blindly. If the other person loved you, was putting YOU first, you wouldn't have to be making these difficult decisions. You can love them, still, and love yourself too. By putting others first, it is a sacrifice. But you shouldn't be in love by yourself.
Recognize love coming back to you. Recognize when it does not.
Love is putting others first. The end. If the ones you are in a relationship with are not putting you first? They are not in love. If you are not putting them first? Guess what? You're not in love either.
The New Year is well under way and it looks like it's going to be a busy one!
2015 was awfully good to me and I expect nothing less from 2016.
For those who know me or have come to know me, can attest to the sheer diversity I have in my life. I am into all kinds of things! This year will be no different!
Last year, Daddy's Girl was released and given great reviews. This year, A Detour Home will continue the series in Bakersfield, AR with some familiar names, and introduce new characters to grow our lovely family.
Last year, this site was all about me.
Late last year I opened up the Book Club to allow new authors an opportunity to get their work in front of new audiences. And you, my audience, my readers, my friends have made them feel very welcome and I am so happy and proud that you have warmly accepted these new visitors.
They find me through a website called Fiverr and they pay five dollars to promote their book. I started this because my on-line bills were starting to out weigh their income, so the Fiverr would off-set it and help me out. I didn't want to compromise my site with a bunch of unsightly banners or advertisements so this seemed to fit in nicely. And, thanks to you, it now completely pays for all my websites, fees, and other silly stuff I am responsible for.
Sure, it started with the intention for a small income, but then I was able to "meet" some of these brilliant authors! There's a little bit of everything in the Book Club! If you need a new read (and you've already read my whole collection, Lol) there are SO many choices!! My to-read list is growing by leaps and bounds. There is fiction and non-fiction and something for every age group! I am so happy I chose to do this.
One of my favorite quotes by Zig Zigglar is, "You can have everything you want, if you help others to get what they want." That is SO true! I love seeing these new authors post their books on my site! They are so passionate and creative and amazing! And, like I said, you have made them feel so welcome!!
(And I know your favorite way to correspond with me is through e-mail, but I would be so grateful if you'd show a little love in the comment sections. These authors could use some positive feedback! Don't be shy! They are good people and who doesn't need a little positive reinforcement?)
Next- at the end of 2015, my daughter and I opened a vapor shop called Phoenix Vapes. Talk about a new world!! I am learning so much! If you are unfamiliar, it is proving to be the best, and healthiest option for people to quit smoking. The most common term is the e-cis, or electronic cigarette. (It is WAY more complex than that, but I didn't want to bore you with all kinds of extra details! It opened in November and we are still in the scary first quarter stage, but I am feeling pretty good about it. It's my first "brick and mortar" venture for quite some time and let me tell you how it not only sucks up money, but it sucks up quite a bit of time as well!! So, my writing has been put on the back burner for a minute until I can create a new schedule that includes everything. For the last few months Phoenix Vapes has been front and center, but now I need to get back to my writing.
Which brings me to...
More website changes... I am thinking of taking down the on-line store of this website and just promote my books and my upcoming events and of course, the Book Club. My goal for 2016 is to expand to the online courses we've talked about before, but time has not allowed it to happen. I'm not ignoring your requests, by any means... I just have to get back into the swing of things.
I was told that if I wanted to go down all these separate paths that I was going to have to divide into separate entities. Apparently, they were right.
Whoo! This blog turned out to be longer than I expected! Lol! But there you have it... So, if I'm missing from here, check one of the other sites or I'll be helping the world quit smoking!
Thanks for sticking by me...
Links you might be interested in:
Visit the Elizabeth Bourgeret's Book Club and see what she means with a huge variety of good reads, study material, audio books, and even coloring books. A little bit of everything. Make these authors feel welcome!
And finally, follow Elizabeth on Facebook!