ALMOST EVERYTHING by Anne Lamott

I want to share this with you. I received an invite to listen to a Podcast, an interview with Anne Lamott. If you’re unfamiliar with her work, she’s predominantly and non-fiction author of the most memorable Bird By Bird, a must read if you have ever thought of writing a book or doing anything creative at all. 

By Stacey Camp on Goodreads

5 Stars:

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

“Haters want us to hate them because hate is incapacitating. When we hate, we can’t operate from our real selves, which is our strength.”

Oh Anne Lamott, how do you manage to rip my heart into pieces and then mend it ever so carefully back together? This is what Lamott calls a paradox or conundrum, that life brings both immense joy and heart-wrenching pain, pain that, at times, is unbearable. Take her discussion of having children:

“We are consumed by the most intense love for one another and the joy of living, along with the grief and terror that we and our babies will know unbelievable hurt: broken bones, bad boyfriends, old age…Every day we’re in the grip of the impossible conundrum: the truth that it’s over in a blink, and we may be near the end, and that we have to live as if it’s going to be okay, no matter what.”

Lamott’s Almost Everything: Notes on Hope is meandering and rambling in the most poignant way, a method of writing only Lamott can get away with. It is structured around themes that she wants to share with her grandchild, stories she wants to pass on that she deems critical for one’s survival in a brutal world.

As with Lamott’s other books, I highlighted nearly everything. So many beautiful passages, so much wisdom that has come from the pain that Lamott has known well. This is not a pain she monopolizes. Rather, this book is about how pain is part of the human condition. And because it can happen to any one of us, Lamott believes that we must find peace and happiness every single day. That joy cannot come from a number on a scale or your paystub, though:

“Could you say this about yourself right now, that you have immense and intrinsic value, at your current weight and income level, while waiting to hear if you got the job or didn’t, or sold your book or didn’t? This idea that I had all the value I’d ever needed was concealed from me my whole life. I want a refund.”

“The opposite of love is the bathroom scale.”

Lamott argues that happiness is not found in materiality but something that is omnipresent, waiting to be found in the most mundane places. There is also beauty in grief and beauty in tragedy, though she certainly does not argue that there is a rhyme or reason as to who gets saddled with grief in this universe. Grief is not a lesson to learn, forced upon those who have sinned.

“We do get a taste of the spheres in birdsong, eclipses, the surf, tangerines. In the dark, we see the stars. In the aftermath of a devastating fire, the sun rose red. To pay close attention to and mostly accept your life, inside and out and around your body, is to be halfway home.”

How do we cultivate this love of the quotidian? Through play, observing the world around you, through helping others, and, of course, through reading:

“Books! To fling myself into a book, to be carried away to another world while being at my most grounded, on my butt or in my bed or favorite chair, is literally how I have survived to be here at all. Someone else is doing the living for me, and all I have to do is let their stories, humor, knowledge, and images – some of which I’ll never forget – flow through me, even as I forget to turn off the car when I arrive at my destination.”

As always, Lamott also has some brilliant things to say about writing:

“Write because you have to, because the process brings great satisfaction. Write because you have a story to tell, not because you think publishing will make you the person you always wanted to be. There is approximately zero chance of that happening.”

“We have to cultivate the habits of curiosity and paying attention, which are essential to living rich lives and writing. You raise your eyes out of the pit, which is so miserable and stifling to be in and which tried to grab you and keep you there, until something sneaky hauled you out and changed you.”

Lamott won’t give you easy answers about life in this book, but she will give you a lot to chew on. She challenges you to be reflexive, to examine what’s holding you back in life and what you need to move forward – that these things are not a one size fits all sort of solution. We need to dig deep and find that with which we struggle: confront it and learn to live with it the best we can.

Above all else, she asks her reader to sit with the world: watch it, learn from it, listen to it, breathe it in. For “God is often in solitude and quiet, through the still, small voice – in the breeze, not the thunder.”

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I loved this book. I love nearly everything Lamott writes ( Bird by Bird is one of my all-time favorite books!). Thank you to Edelweiss, Anne Lamott, and Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House for an advanced reader copy of Almost Everything.


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And let me add this NUMBER 1 Best Selling book by Anne Lamott. This is every author all time favorite handbook. It’s been described by many as a book with advice on writing and on life in general!

 

BIRD BY BIRD

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Ranking The Zodiac Signs By Who Is Most Likely To Run Away From Love — Thought Catalog

1. Aquarius Aquarius is known to run away from emotional expression. Aquarians are free spirit individuals that love to live in their own world. Aquarians care deeply and love strongly, however, their communication skills do not always properly express that. While Aquarius is off in Neverland Wendy is constantly wondering when Peter will come home…

via Ranking The Zodiac Signs By Who Is Most Likely To Run Away From Love — Thought Catalog

Always fascinating, right?

Shhhh: I’m a hopeless romantic, PISCES.

You?

WHY do we procrastinate on our goals?

Rohith Kumar
Rohith Kumar, studied at University BDT College of Engineering

Because

  1. Our goals aren’t so strong enough, clear well defined planned enough
  2. We haven’t learned to be self-organized, self-disciplined, have that patience and tested our skills, talent and potential to do what we set our goals
  3. We are tangled to our past, tangled to our abilities to outperform, tangled to believe that whatever we set goals it’s too trivial for this time to do.
  4. We over calculated the tasks how easy it is to achieve or undercalculated what’s required from us to achieve that goal
  5. We haven’t made written truthful introspection of our activities, capabilities, strengths, weakness, and risk towards this goal
  6. We are actually slacker but think that we are lazy and all those great quotes seams just made for us to feel “good”.
  7. We think we know people, everyone who could be so useful to help for our goal, while we are alone in this path
  8. We need constant motivation and goal mostly is motivated than a self-inspired decision.
  9. We are unhealthy, bad food. lifestyle, low concentration, and willpower.
  10. We got a bad circle of friends, relatives, and family who pamper whatever we do
  11. We are covered by many distractions which so easily get the higher priority than the goal
  12. We haven’t found a fun way to achieve that goal and mostly think of the good feeling of accomplishment.
  13. We have all the information about how to get things done but don’t know how to do it. (Like all the above points)

These I think could be the reason quite often we procrastinate. Will add more if I think something fits in.

Lynda Filler Author of
Love front with quotes

Your date is going so well that you agree to go back to his/her place.

What’s one thing he/she could do to completely ruin the mood?

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*You know I love to share my Quora answers!

If I’d agreed to go to your place, you’ve more than likely already done enough right things to get me there. What could you do further that would be stupid? Let me make a list.

  1. you could ramble on endlessly about your ex—I’d be bored
  2. you could ask me too many personal questions about past lovers—that seems to be in annoying abundance lately
  3. you could ask me about STD’s insinuating that I sleep around
  4. you could open up a bottle of wine and insist on drinking the whole thing
  5. you could become a rather sloppy drunk and I would walk out immediately
  6. you could take too long to make a pass at me, and I would be totally bored
  7. you could fall asleep in the middle of a passionate moment and I would leave
  8. you could be a ‘biff-bam-thank-you-mam’ kind of guy in which case I would be a ‘no-second-chance’ kind of girl

I hope you enjoy this  ‘tongue-in-cheek’ silly, yet serious response from me today!

 

more by Lynda Filler

LOVE The Beat Goes On

Love front with quotes

 

How do you justify loving someone, when he or she is not interested in you?

A Quora question that I answered today that totally spoke to my heart:

 

I would call that “unconditional love.” I learned unconditional love when I was in a relationship with someone who chose to do Missionary work rather than to be with me. I told myself that he was just not interested enough in me! I was so sad, messed up, disappointed. I cursed him, hated him, for two weeks. (The incidents surrounding our relationship filled a poetry book!)  And then I had a really good talk with myself.

If you love someone unconditionally, you must accept that they may have values, dreams, goals that take precedence over you.

Once I accepted that I loved him “unconditionally’ we continued a relationship by mail, email, letters, and became incredibly close. It was an honor for me to have experienced his heart. I will cherish his communications with me always.

He died 4 months later in South Sudan. After he passed, he’d left someone to stay in touch with me for a year. I called him my bodyguard–and that’s definitely a future book. It seemed my dear friend had left me his journals. Unfortunately for me, my bodyguard refused to turn them over. He said they were too dangerous for those who were still alive. I knew my friend had never married nor had children. But he had saved money and had substantial investments. I discovered he used his money to support 15 orphanages around the world–mostly Africa, the Middle East, and Mexico.

So to answer your question, he gave me far more of his heart than I could ever have experienced if he had given up his life’s’ work to be with me. One day I will write his story.

I (Spy) Love 

Everything you love about Amazon. For your business.

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In case you missed this:

 

What is Amazon Business?

 

Amazon Business is changing the way companies buy supplies. For most small businesses, buying supplies can be time-consuming and frustrating. Finding the best product at the best price with the most convenient payment terms can be a challenge, especially when they have other tasks that need to be completed. Amazon Business is the solution and brings big benefits to businesses of all sizes and industries.

How does Amazon Business work?

Amazon Business is a business-to-business marketplace that combines selection, convenience and the value customers around the world have come to know and love from Amazon.com, with additional business-specific features including bulk pricing, Pay by Invoice*, downloadable invoices and spend management tools.
In this marketplace, multiple sellers compete for your business orders. It’s like a “reverse auction” where customers save time, money and hassle in the process.
Choice, value, and convenience: Amazon Business simplifies the entire purchasing process for businesses by helping them find, compare and order exactly what they need with fast, reliable shipping and flexible payment options. It’s a shopping experience Amazon customers will instantly recognize and understand. Plus, it includes features that are especially helpful for business buyers. Helpful purchasing tools: Amazon Business gives users access to helpful purchasing controls that can ensure that only authorized purchases are made, together with tools to integrate with their existing purchasing system and provide detailed purchasing analytics.

Free accounts: Unlike warehouse clubs or subscription-based online retailers, Amazon Business accounts are free, even for companies with multiple authorized purchasers.  Once registered, those with accounts are able to search hundreds of millions of products in the Amazon Business inventory, where multiple sellers can compete for their business.

*Subject to satisfactory credit checks and credit limit

 

12 Books Every Man Should Read

Reblog from CRISTIAN MIHAI

Whether sexual in nature, or books that deal on subjects such as family, history, or the relationship between men and women, these are must-read books for any man, true treasures of information when it comes to a man’s place in today’s society.

Memories of My Melancholy Whores
Gabriel García Márquez

It is almost impossible to read this short novel and not be moved by the life of G.G. Marquez’s main character. An old man wishing to feel alive, wishing to spend his 90th birthday in the company of a virgin woman, so full of life. How many have found love at a young age? How many have located it at 90? How many lived to be 90 years of age?

The day the old man meets his love, that’s when all fear of dying is obliterated. The simple act of contemplating a naked woman, without any sexual desires being involved, that’s what some of us might call love. Real love.

Memories of My Melancholy Whores need to be read at least once. Maybe more than once.

Two of Us
Alberto Moravia

Released in 1971, Alberto Moravia’s novel is all about the cold war between a man and the lack of performance of his organ. So to speak. Yes, this might shock the faint of heart, but this novel deals on subjects that are all too relevant in today’s world. A lack of self-worth, the idea of finding one’s physical appearance disgusting, the obsessive nature of man.

 

The 120 Days of Sodom
Marquis de Sade

 

The 120 Days of Sodom, or the School of Libertinage, was written by the Marquis in 37 days while imprisoned in the Bastille.  Considered the most perverse book ever written, a true encyclopedia of sexual excesses, a long time thought to be lost, it was finally published in 1904.

It is worth reading by those who believe that love-making is repetitive in nature, that one cannot imagine new pleasures (depends on how you defined them) into existence.

 

Emmanuelle
Emanuelle Arsan

 

Eroticism as a concept, as a code, as ceremony, as art, as science.

“No one is born anything. One must learn. Our way of becoming men, of mutating into men, is to reject our ignorance and our myths, like a hermit crab casting off its old shell, and don the truth like a new garment. Thus we can be indefinitely born and reborn. With each ‘abrupt mutation,’ we’ll be more human and we’ll remake our world to suit out pleasure better. ‘Learning’ is learning to enjoy. Ovid already said it, as you’ll recall: ‘Ignoti nulla cupido!’” (you cannot desire what you do not know), Nihil volitum nisi praecognitum (Nothing is wanted that was not previously known.)”

As Oscar Wilde said, everything in life is about sex. Except for sex. Sex is about power.

 

Dangerous Liaisons
Choderlos de Laclos

 

Published just years before the French Revolution, Dangerous Liaisons is a novel of moral and emotional depravity is a disturbing and ultimately damning portrayal of a decadent society. The Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, two rivals (and ex-lovers) use seduction as a weapon to socially control and exploit others, all the while enjoying their cruel games and boasting about their manipulative talents. Merteuil challenges Valmont to seduce an innocent convent girl, all the while being occupied with the conquest of a virtuous married woman. Eventually, their human pawns respond, and the consequences prove to be more serious–and deadly–than the players could have ever predicted.

Often compared with Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Dangerous Liaisons has been adapted a number of times.

Sexus
Henry Miller

 

Or read some other of his novels. Tropic of Cancer or something. But you must read something by Henry Miller, if only to be dumbfounded as to how someone can be so pornographic, have such a disgusting way of describing certain depravities and such pitying views when it comes to certain characters, yet you cannot stop reading.

It is shocking, yet you must read more.

A brilliant writer, one of the most influential writers of the last century, Henry Miller deserves the most to be on this list.

Women
Charles Bukowski

 

“I was sentimental about many things: a woman’s shoes under the bed; one hairpin left behind on the dresser; the way they said, ‘I’m going to pee.’ hair ribbons; walking down the boulevard with them at 1:30 in the afternoon, just two people walking together; the long nights of drinking and smoking; talking; the arguments; thinking of suicide; eating together and feeling good; the jokes; the laughter out of nowhere; feeling miracles in the air; being in a parked car together; comparing past loves at 3am; being told you snore; hearing her snore; mothers, daughters, sons, cats, dogs; sometimes death and sometimes divorce; but always carrying on, always seeing it through; reading a newspaper alone in a sandwich joint and feeling nausea because she’s now married to a dentist with an I.Q. of 95; racetracks, parks, park picnics; even jails; her dull friends; your dull friends; your drinking, her dancing; your flirting, her flirting; her pills, your fucking on the side and her doing the same; sleeping together” 

So Much to Celebrate!

Let’s wish Christa Maurice a happy Authorversary! And have an opportunity to win a $75.00 gift card to a retailer of your choice!

Christa Maurice

For my 10th anniversary in publishing I decided to throw a party and invite everyone. And since I’m an introvert, I decided to throw it online so I wouldn’t have to clean the bathroom for guests or stock up on snacks which I am most likely to eat myself. This does mean the party can go on all month long. Big wins all around! So without further ado, on to the games and conversation. Click the images for more information.

Contest #1

Contest #2

Contest #3

Contest #4

Every author started somewhere. Here are a few authors first published books.

Conversation #1 Sweet

Conversation #2 Spicy

Conversation #3 Hot

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Because we all love a good story! Especially if it’s true.

In no particular order, here are some books I’ve put together that I found intriguing. Some I have read, some not. Those that I haven’t have been added to my TBR. Anything you’d like to add to our list, drop it in the comments. Enjoy this selection.

Promise Me Dad: A year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose  by Joe Biden
Joe Biden, former Vice President, and possible future presidential candidate lost his son Beau to brain cancer after a momentous struggle. When Beau was in the midst of his fight against the disease, he made his father promise that he would be all right. Over the next year, Joe Biden served his country as Vice President while his son slowly lost his battle. In this remarkable memoir, Biden opens up about that period of his life, discussing with disarming intimacy the personal and political struggles he endured while working to make the world a safer place and trying to decide if he would run for president in 2016. Biden’s wisdom and advice for anyone who has lost someone close to them is powerful, and his insights into life’s problems come from someone who has dealt with some of the most difficult challenges in modern times

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It’s Not Yet Dark: A Memoir by Simon Fitzmaurice
A doctor gave filmmaker Fitzmaurice four years to live following an ALS diagnosis in 2008. By 2010, he was at death’s door and given little hope, but nevertheless chose to take extraordinary measures to stay alive. In the years since he’s fathered twins and continued to work as a documentarian. Fitzmaurice talks candidly about his daily struggles, but also about the family that sustains him in a life that’s radically different from the one he’d planned for.

 

Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
Isaacson begins with the presumption that Leonardo da Vinci was perhaps the most creative genius in human history and proceeds from there, digesting more than 7,000 pages of notes da Vinci left behind and producing this biography. Unlike anything else you’ve ever read about the most famous artist of the 15th and 16th centuries, Isaacson paints a portrait of a restless mind that exhibited unusual curiosity and made magical connections between disciplines that had never been made before. At the same time, he shows da Vinci as a man whose always-churning mind could leave many projects unfinished as he dashed from idea to idea. When one of our best modern writers tackles one of the most famous minds in history, it’s time to pay attention.

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The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir, by Ariel Levy
Celebrated writer Levy tells her life story with verve and gusto, exploring as a central theme the way the universe laughs at our plans. As a young child Levy was taught she could do anything, but also warned not to depend on a man for support. As her star rose as a writer for New York Magazine and elsewhere in the 1990s her life began taking unscheduled detours: she married an older woman with substance abuse problems, she conceived a child using a sperm donor but suffered a miscarriage, and she never lost a burning desire to seek adventure and new experiences. The end result is a compelling and compulsively readable memoir.

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Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II, by Liza Mundy
Stories of World War II often focus on the heroic deeds of male soldiers, but newly declassified documents reveal a shadow army of women who also did their part—the codebreakers. Recruited from colleges and secretarial pools for their math skills, these women were set to the task of breaking enemy codes, but their efforts and achievements were top secret, and their stories largely unknown—until now. Battling the expected sexism and hostile attitudes of their male counterparts and supervisors, tens of thousands of women helped to end the war much more quickly than it would have otherwise, and Mundy rescues their stories from obscurity and gives them the credit they deserve. In fact, she makes a solid case that without these women, we might not have won World War II at all.

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The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story, by Douglas Preston
Preston, also known as one half of the team writing the Agent Pendergrast series of thrillers, details his involvement with a team seeking to prove the existence of a lost city in the Honduran wilderness. Legends tell of a city destroyed by a series of natural cataclysms, abandoned as cursed, and forbidden for centuries. Using a combination of cutting-edge technology and boots on the ground, Preston and his team locate two large sites and a wealth of archaeological treasures to prove that a lost civilization once existed in an area of the world where no human being has set foot in centuries. Preston’s skill as a novelist makes the deep-dive into the past at once entertaining, gripping, and informative.

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We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True, by Gabrielle Union
Actress Union tells her story with wit and sensitivity, a story that includes her struggles as one of a few black students in a predominantly white high school, the devastating rape at gunpoint that almost broke her, and her recovery and pursuit of a high-octane Hollywood career. Union addresses topics including parenting, raising black kids in a culture often perceived as steeped in racism, and teen sexuality—always with disarming humor and perceptive insights that mark this as much more than a typical Hollywood vanity memoir. Without much of a filter, Union comes across as a nuanced survivor who has managed to keep both her sense of humor and her ability to love despite her experiences.

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Learning how to fight!

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Well, some might call it ‘communicate.’

Years ago I had a friend who told me a story. He said when his parents fought, they stopped speaking to each other. Their record was six months! They later divorced. Can you imagine? I can’t. I get over things very quickly, but not everyone does.

I came across the following article posted on Paulo Coelho’s Website. It’s from The Manuscript Found in Accra. It made me think of my temper and a recent reaction I had to something a friend said to me. My heated response had nothing to do with the subject at hand. Afterward, I realized it’s merely a reflection of how I am feeling, the hurt and sadness that’s in my heart, towards the relationship I now have with someone for whom I care a great deal. I think I have to learn how to fight!

I wanted to share it with you.

If someone confronts you over ideas or ideals, step up and accept the fight, because conflict is present in every moment of our lives and sometimes it needs to show itself in the broad light of day.

But do not fight in order to prove that you are right or to impose your ideas or ideals on someone else. Only accept the fight as a way of keeping your spirit clean and your will spotless. When the fight is over, both sides will emerge as winners, because they tested their limitations and their abilities.

Since both respect the courage and determination of the other, the time will come when they will once again walk along hand-in-hand, even if they have to wait a thousand years for that to happen.

Meanwhile, if someone merely wishes to provoke you, shake the dust from your feet and carry on. Only fight with a worthy opponent, and not with someone who uses trickery to prolong a war that is already over, as happens with all wars.

Such cruelty does not come from the warriors who meet on the battlefield and know what they are doing there but from those who manipulate victory and defeat for their own ends.

The enemy is not the person standing before you, sword in hand. It is the person standing next to you with a dagger concealed behind his back.

The most important of wars is not waged with a lofty spirit and with your soul accepting its fate.

It is the war that is going on now as we are speaking and whose battlefield is the Spirit, where Good and Evil, Courage and Cowardice, Love and Fear face each other.