January small stones

I've been faithfully writing my small stones every day - even though my time has been limited the past few weeks. I took on a consulting job three weeks ago back working at my old day job - helping engineers write and produce a proposal to the U.S. Government. It's always interesting and fulfilling and very busy, but doesn't come close to the pleasure I feel when I'm doing my creative work. I'm happy to say the job will be over on February 21. That said, here are my January Gems - my daily attempt at writing a short piece every day of the month. They aren't meant to be masterpieces. Just a way to jump-start my writing for the day. January Gems Happy New Year everyone. I love that we’re still keeping up with our small stones. Let’s make 2017 a great writing year. The floats in the Rose Parade are spectacular. They’re getting more elaborate and tech-y every year. After our recent heavy rains, it’s gotten unseasonably cold here in southern California. But not so cold t … [Read more...]

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Thoughts about the est training forty years later

In 1976 I participated in the Erhard Seminars Training (est), an organization, “founded by Werner H. Erhard,” that, according to Wikipedia, “offered a two-weekend (60-hour) course known officially as the est Standard Training. The purpose of est was ‘to transform one's ability to experience living so that the situations one had been trying to change or had been putting up with, clear up just in the process of life itself.’ The est training was offered from late 1971 to late 1984.” Est, the Wiki says, “focused on transformation and taking responsibility for one's life.” As a parting memento, we received a little brown-covered book of aphorisms that pretty much summed up what we learned in that training. One aphorism that has stayed with me over the last forty years is: “If you keep your agreements your life will work.” Since that time, keeping agreements has been the way I live my life, and I find myself very impatient with those who don’t keep theirs. So it was no surprise that … [Read more...]

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Some thoughts about going back to a day job

My first inclination was to say no at an offer to work on a proposal for three weeks. Not because I don’t like the work. I like proposal work a lot and feel I can really do a service in helping a group of engineers write one that will win them a government contract. My main reason for wanting to say no is the more than hour drive on the freeway each way (Manhattan Beach to/from Anaheim CA). During the drive to work I have to face the light force of the rising sun, whereas my drive home is usually at dusk that turns quickly into a night sky. Traffic stops and goes along the way are also is in the mix. Driving under those conditions make me nervous and long for the ten-minute commute back and forth to the day job I retired from in 2010. However, I do like the work and I loved being asked to do it. I’ve had so much experience helping engineers write proposals that I didn’t question my ability to help them out again - even after being away from the work for so long.  Once I walked in … [Read more...]

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Diversions still help

I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I’ve agreed to take on a consulting job for a few weeks. Actually I signed on because I was told the assignment would be over before Christmas. Yet as soon as I arrived, I found out it goes into January as well. So, I offered a compromise. I’ll work in the last week of December (two weeks beyond my initial commitment) – tomorrow and Friday and during the first week of January, and then I’ll be finished – just in time to get ready for my husband Bob’s hip replacement surgery the following week. It’s not that I don’t like the job. I’m working as a technical writer and advisor to young engineers, helping them write and produce a proposal – something I’ve done in the aerospace business for years. The work is always interesting especially when the engineers are receptive and smart. However, it takes me over an hour each way to get back and forth. In my old work life I never spent more than ten minutes commuting each way because early on, my husband and I … [Read more...]

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