Ralk? Wun? Spralk? Sprun? I wonder if there is a name for a walk/run endeavor to start the day? Sprinting, probably? But that sounds too grand.
That’s what I’ve been doing, however. Short little bursts still, but they’ve gotten longer and faster these past few weeks. I’m loving it, too. It feels great. I’m wondering if I should add a few evening ones in, just to burn off the days’ indulgences and undue energy.
Although, as I read long ago, “energy begets energy”.
While our children were growing up – until they left for college – I spent a few hours a day at the gym several times a week – weights, yoga, pilates, and, less regularly, some sort of cardio experiment. For a while, I had private yoga instruction, too, and we always swam all summer.
For me, it was just a normal part of an active lifestyle, as routine as brushing my teeth.
When our sons left for college and we moved to a rural area where there were far less gym options, I wasn’t worried. I had country roads to run and ride my bike on, an exercise room in my house, and four acres of garden and yard to tend to. I stayed busy and active. But eventually, the gardening took precedence. Big job that it was, it wasn’t enough to keep up with my disastrous eating habits.
To this day, I still eat like a teenaged boy – a wild, teenaged boy.
When we moved to back to the suburbs, so many things were going on in our lives that my workouts pretty much ground to a painful halt. But I continued to eat what I wanted, when I wanted, and still enjoyed a glass of wine or two every evening.
I love fresh fruits and vegetables and herbal teas. I also love fried foods, ice cream, Dutch gin and rosé.
Lately, that hasn’t been feeling so good. My clothes all still fit. I’ve worn the same size for years and years. But take it from me, I’m not the same.
For one thing, I’m weaker. Of course, I am. And there’s a heaviness around my waist that I can’t like. I’m not as flexible as I used to be, either. Anastasia, what have you done?
Obviously, I don’t diet. I am also not of the “no pain, no gain” school. Absolutely not, although I can see where that would work for certain personalities.
Well, then, what?
It’s okay to be gentle with ourselves. I’m not out to impress anybody. But I should take care of my body so that I can fully enjoy what time I have left on this earth. More to the point, I would like to continue to have fun with our children and grandchildren and all of our loved ones.
My family, by the way -- our children are sooo very fit. Our older son works in the fitness industry -- he's a guru, really -- and our younger son and daughter-in-heart are the most active people I know. My brother owns gyms! And all our family works out more these days, not less. No one nags me -- they are all wonderfully sweet and supportive -- but I'm pretty sure none of them expected me to ever NOT be physically fit.
And I probably am reasonably fit. But I can do better.
So... Modified… everything. I do modified pushup several times a day. I don’t sweat and I don’t hurt my joints. But now, a few weeks in, I can do more regular pushups. I can see that becoming a trend.
I’ve begun lifting again – oh, what a blow to my ego. But my muscles seem to remember what to do. And my yoga practice – it’s probably the most challenging aspect because, damn it, I didn’t even realize how my shortened, lazy asanas were chipping away at my flexibility. This, I’m having a hard time going slow with, which is against yogic philosophy. Let go of ego. Breathe. Be kind to yourself. I really can’t imagine not having a yoga practice. Everyone, absolutely everyone, should.
My walk/runs are beautiful. I love being outdoors early morning, always have. My sprint time is beginning to equal my walk time, although not always. So far, my longest, um, spralk is about a mile and a half. Hardly marathon material? Is that what you’re thinking? I’m grinning at the very idea. You’ve got that right!
I’m drinking more herbal tea than wine these days, although ice cream, well… How can such creamy deliciousness be bad for you? I will have to leave it off my shopping list for a while.
If you take anything away from this, my “confessions”, I hope that it might be some small encouragement. Little steps do make a difference. I’m feeling more myself again and more confident in my physical capabilities. Every little bit really does help.
Cheers, friends! Wishing you joy!
Welcome, Silver Dagger Tours and Hep Aldridge!
The adventures continue…
In 1521, the Aztec empire fell to Spanish Conquistadors in bloody genocide. The Aztec ruler, Montezuma, was murdered, and his treasure… disappeared.
Legend says the treasure was spirited away by Montezuma’s elite Eagle warriors, headed for an unknown desert location in the southwest of what is now the United States. It has never been found.
Dr. Colten X. Burnett and the Risky Business team have a lead. Will the unexpected map they now have in their possession guide them to the long-lost treasure in the land of the Mescalero Apache?
Join this bold, inimitable team as they face new dangers and uncover secrets that the mountains and deserts of New Mexico hold as they search for the lost Aztec treasure.
**Don't miss the other books in the series!**
Sunken Treasure, Lost Worlds
The Risky Business Chronicles Book 1
Goodreads * Amazon
Sunken Treasure, Lost Worlds: Revelations
The Risky Business Chronicles Book 2
Goodreads * Amazon
Sunken Treasure, Lost Worlds: Encounter
The Risky Business Chronicles Book 3
Goodreads * Amazon
Hep Aldridge is a certified scuba diver, cave diver and amateur archaeologist whose main area of interest is Pre-Columbian cultures of the Americas.
He has led or been part of archaeological expeditions to Mexico and Honduras, making discoveries that have been reported in National Geographic Magazine.
Hep's related interest in space, and space exploration and "things unknown" was fueled by his father who worked for NASA.
While living in New Mexico, he began to question the many strange and unexplained things he saw in the night sky in the mid 60's, and also developed an interest in lost treasure that has stayed with him his whole life.
The combination of these diverse interests led to the genesis of the Risky Business Chronicles, Book One, his first novel of a three-part series.
Hep is an Air Force veteran and resides on Florida's Space Coast.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Happy August 9, Book Lovers! The day is ours!
I do love books. It's a strangely emotional attachment. We've moved a lot and replaced possessions many time over. We even got rid of a piano once, only to buy another later on. But I am loathe to let my books go. In fact, I've mentioned to Joseph several times that if we do ever move again, wherever we go and however much we might downsize, I would want to take my books with me.
And I've noticed that our elder son Bashir, while leaving almost everything behind in his various moves across the country, has also held onto his book collection. And he's remarked upon it -- that he just can't let go of his books.
And I'm so very proud that our younger son Raji and daughter-in-heart Julia have books all over their home and that their little ones -- our dear little grands -- are great readers.
God bless them. You see? Emotional... In wishing our children and grandchildren well, I wish them an enjoyment of books and I'm thankful that they appreciate them.
If you know me, you know that I love ebooks and audiobooks just as much as hard and softcovers. There's room enough in my heart for all.
I'm not one to wax poetic about the smell of books, the tactile pleasures of holding a book in your hands, turning pages... In fact, I prefer an ereader under a wide variety of circumstances. But not only is there more to a book than its cover or even its content. They can remind us of loved ones, of good times, of weathered storms, and that we can always learn. And always hope.
I'm a big fan of coffee table books, especially well-written ones. I enjoy gifting them when I find one that focuses on a loved one's hobby or passion. For myself, books are amongst my favorite souvenirs, which goes back to reminding me of a happy time.
There are some types of books that are just better as soft or hardbacks. Cookbooks, for example -- oh, there are so many gorgeous cookbooks. I prefer them to online sources, although I certainly appreciate both. Books with beautiful illustrations, travel and gardening books, certain how-to books -- I prefer these as hard/softcover volumes. I also like to have very important books like the Bible in hardback.
Prayerbooks, so personal to me... I like to have favorites in both ebook and bound.
We have plenty of bound volumes.
But there is a lot to be said for ebooks. I absolutely love them. I appreciate that they can be stored on multiple, connected devices. I can carry my library of around 1000 ebooks times two in my purse with ease -- one library in my kindle and the other on my phone. To be clear, I do understand that the library is on "a cloud" somewhere -- and that's even better. It's safeguarded.
As I've already mentioned, I'm not very sentimental about the tangible attractions of hardbacks, although I have to admit that my bookshelves would look pretty empty without them. But my point here is that I find it easier to read a novel on my kindle, especially in bed or by the pool or at the beach. A kindle is also much more convenient for travel, especially when I hope to read more than one book on a trip, which is often.
And the access to more, more, more and instantly is wonderful! And then there are so many free ebooks introducing me to great, new-to-me authors. It's fabulous!
And allow me to confirm for you -- audiobooks are books! Yes, they are. And listening to an audiobook equals reading a book. It's not the same as watching a movie based on a book. Whether you are reading or someone is reading to you, you are still getting and interpreting the words from printed matter. It's not a short or altered version of the author's words. It's ALL the words and if you don't know some of them, you'll have to learn them.
If I'm not working at my computer, or eating, or sleeping, I am probably not sitting down. I am so glad to be able to listen -- and I listen to a lot. I guarantee that I know those books just as well through listening as those who read them themselves.
This brings me to an important point, more than all the rest of my philosophizing. Those who might not have the best eyesight or leisure time to sit down and read a book but take the time and/or effort to listen have effectively read those books. The words -- from the printed material -- resonate all the same. And you can get distracted either reading or listening, so don't bother going there.
It offends me that anyone should think themselves so superior as to deny a book lover the satisfaction of declaring they've read and loved a book just because they chose a narrated version.
Whoops! Getting angry over here! And I shouldn't. It's National Book Lovers Day, after all. Enjoy your books, you lovers, and let everyone else enjoy theirs!
I am delighted and honored to welcome Nancy Light of N.N. Light Book Heaven today! Following her interview are an excerpt from N. N. Light's new book and my review. Enjoy!
Hi, Nancy! Or should I say, “Mrs. N”? Welcome! You are a shining star of encouragement and enthusiasm. I’m so happy and honored that you have agreed to an interview. Congratulations on your latest release, N.N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration: Advice for Overwhelming Times. I love it! I’ve been reading it every morning after my prayer time. It’s both deep and light-hearted, a lovely way to start the day.
But before we talk about the book, please, won’t you tell us a little about yourself and about N.N. Light’s Book Heaven? I can’t begin to imagine how you fit it all in.
Sure, I’d love to, but I have to be honest, I don’t like talking about myself. I’m in my element when talking about books and/or authors. Let’s see, my name is Nancy and I am one-half of the nom de plume N. N. Light. I’ve been a writer since as long as I can remember. My grandfather loved telling the story of how I was just starting to talk and walk when I would stand at the top of the stairs to the basement talking in a language foreign to him. I would stand with my hands on my hips and tell him a story with a great deal of emotion. LOL! I guess that is when I started creating stories.
Over the years, I improved my writing skills and got a degree in English Lit with a minor in art history and humanities. I explored life and put my writing dreams on the backburner. When I got married in 2004, my husband urged me to pursue my writing dream of being published. While I was querying literary agents, I started a blog. That is where most of the inspirational thoughts were first published. They came from my heart and my observations on life, love, and society. Spread the Light became my mantra and the feedback was overwhelming. Eventually, my husband and I chose the best inspirational thoughts for the book.
My husband and I also formed N. N. Light’s Book Heaven during the querying time period. It took off and this March we celebrated our seventh year in business. We wanted to help authors succeed and that is where the idea came for N. N. Light’s Book Heaven. We both love reading and wanted a place for authors and readers could connect over their love of books. Over the years, we’ve grown to become a full-service marketing/editing/graphic design firm. Our reputation is something we are proud of, and we strive to offer authors what they want most: a team of booklovers promoting books to readers through guerilla marketing tactics. We market books without it seeming like we’re marketing books. Think about those Tupperware parties from the 50s, only for this generation of readers.
It's wonderful that you enjoy your work. It shows. Your firm is highly respected and appreciated.
Now, please tell us about N.N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration! What inspired you to write it? I even love the dedication. Can you sum up your life philosophy or approach in one sentence?
The first book we wrote is called Princess of the Light and it was completely inspired by a homeless man in our neighborhood. I called him the Walking Man because that is exactly what he did. He would walk throughout the town we lived in. He wouldn’t beg or ask for money. He was a tortured soul and slept outside in a vacant lot. He didn’t do drugs or anything like that. He was, in my opinion, the forgotten man.
While I was writing the book, I started writing the inspirational thoughts. Words just poured out of my soul; I can’t explain it. When I look back at some of the thoughts, I’m amazed I wrote them.
My life philosophy, in all its facets, is the Golden Rule. I treat others how I would want to be treated. It’s this lifestyle which has led to a fulfilling life.
Some of the entries really touch deep. Was writing it an emotional experience? Was it hard or did the words just flow? Or perhaps both?
Writing for me is a very emotional experience. Whether it is fiction, inspirational messages, marketing for authors, or nonfiction, I write from an empathetic part of myself. I find writing inspirational thoughts much easier than fiction. I think it comes from my personality and willingness to help someone who may be hurting. It’s also a way for me to express my own spirituality to the world. I’m not preachy or anything like that. I use my own personal life to make a point.
It's a beautiful book.
You begin each entry with a wonderful quote and some of the passages have additional ones. Every once in a while, the quote is your own. Quick count - that is over 365 of quotes and a lot of beautiful thoughts. Did or do you have a system for keeping them organized? Were they difficult to sort through? Which came first, the quotes or your reflections?
I gathered inspirational thoughts that I had written from the blog. I got to choose from over 450 inspirational thoughts. It was quite the process for organizing them by month but honestly, I had fun doing it. Each inspirational thought was formatted as it is in the book: date, quote, reflection.
Your Valentine’s Day reflection is soooo lovely and romantic. Would you like to share a few thoughts about love and Mr. N?
There is not enough time for me to talk about love and my love for Mr. N. I’m a romantic through and through. I can’t speak enough how transforming love is, in all its forms. Whether you’re talking about the love a parent feels for a child, the love friends share, romantic love, or self-love. The greatest of all these is unconditional love. I didn’t realize I was missing unconditional love until I met, fell in love, and married Mr. N. He loves me for me, flaws and all. We just celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary and I love him more today than I did on our wedding day.
I learned a lot about love and the different types of love by reading The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis.
Mr. N and I are retired now from our careers and work solely on our business, N. N. Light’s Book Heaven. I love spending every minute with him and I’ve never been so happy.
One last thing about love and then I’ll stop. Take my advice and tell your loved ones every single day, “I love you.” You never know what will happen in a day and they could be gone forever.
Do you have another book in the works?
I have a few manuscripts I’m working on. Life is quite busy with running the business and helping authors succeed. Writing is, and will always be, my first love but I am content with what I’ve accomplished so far.
Last question: do you have any words of wisdom you’d like to leave us with?
Don’t regret anything you’ve done or wish you’ve done. Now is the time to make your dreams come true. It’s never too late.
Thank you for spending some time with us today, Nancy. May the kindness and encouragement you always share be returned to you a thousandfold.
N. Light is the award-winning husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N.
Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.
They’re blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.
In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.
"Spread the Light and inspire others to do the same." -- N. N. Light
In 2013, we wrote a mission statement and started a blog. We wanted to test a theory. Could one person (or in our case, one couple) use uplifting words to create change?
The answer is a resounding yes! People from all over the world responded to our short inspirational thoughts of the day, and our following grew. What started out as a few people promoting kindness and goodwill turned into a movement. In every city, there are Light-Bearers making a difference and we want you to join us.
Everyone needs inspiration. It doesn’t matter what spiritual belief you hold dear, you have the Light inside you. Kindness, compassion, empathy, encouragement are all attributes of the Light. In this book, you’ll find a ninety second inspirational thought for each day of the year. You’ll be inspiring people to spread the Light daily with our collection of inspirational thoughts. From giving of yourself to simply smiling, these are easy concepts for anyone to apply!
Excerpt from N. N. Light's Book of Daily Inspiration:
I find it refreshing to unplug from it for a while. You kind of forget how deeply you get embedded in it. --- Will Wright
When was the last time you unplugged? Turn off the computer and shut off the phone?
When I left for vacation, I left my computer, laptop and cell phone at home. I unplugged. Was it hard? Not really because I have been doing that with MR N since we've been married. Whenever we go on vacation, we unplug.
The benefits are so amazing! You feel so relaxed and free!
Can't do it for a whole week?
Try it for a day and see what happens. Go for a walk. Spend some time with your friends and/or family. Bond with your kids. Reconnect with your partner.
It will refresh your soul and you will see the world in a whole new light!
What a beautiful, loving, encouraging book to open every morning. I just want to hug the authors! The love --and light -- begin before the book does, with the dedication.
"We dedicate this book to those who fight for truth around the world and more specifically, in the printed word. You inspire us every day."
So does N.N. Light.
With at least one eloquent, motivational quote and gentle, thought-provoking reflections for every day of the year, N.N. Light's Book of Daily Inspiration is like a warm hug, a pat on the back, a kind smile or shared tears when you need them -- all rolled into one. It brims with love, compassion, and wisdom.
The reflections are deep but not heavy. On the contrary, they're light -- and this, I think, is one of the authors' guiding points, that there's light within and around us, light to reach for when needed,
light to share.
Some of my favorite reflections: Valentine's Day, very personal from Mrs. N., gratitude in November, self-examination in December to encourage yourself to be your true self, to give and forgive and to shine. Throughout the book, there is spirituality without preaching, encouragement without pity, positive reinforcement, and life-giving love.
Go for it. You'll be glad that you did.
Many thanks to the team N.N. Light for the love and light that they share.
Keep me away from the wisdom that does not cry, the philosophy that does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. – Gibran Khalil Gibran
From me to you with a smile.
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