Christina Cole Romance

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A Thought for Today: Dream Big

When you dream...

 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about dreams. We’re reminded every day of the need to have a dream.  Go to Google, plug in “quotes about dreams”, and you’ll quickly come up with over 95 million results.

Yes, dreams — and our pursuit of them — are important. They’re part of who we are, part of what brings us the happiness and the sense of accomplishment we all need.

Maybe now in this age of “internet motivation” it’s no longer enough to have a dream. Perhaps what we should focus on are reminders of how powerful dreams can be, and most of all, how important it is that we dream big.

Don’t settle for little dreams. Let them serve as stepping stones to bigger dreams. Celebrate each small accomplishment, but don’t stop there. Keep moving. Keep following your heart. Always keep dreaming.

 

How big are YOUR dreams?

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Ever Heard a Parrot Cry?

Is there anything more frustrating than internet/computer issues? Oh, sure, of course there are many things that are far more annoying, but when I’m having trouble connecting to the online world, I’d find it hard to name those other irritations.

Well, except for one. Anna. Our parrot. She’s whining and crying right now, and if you’ve never heard a parrot cry…make a visit to YouTube. Here, I’ll help you, so you can listen at what I have to put up with.

Parrot Cries Like a Baby

Crying Parrot

Parrot Crying Like a Baby

None of these are our parrot, but you get the idea. Parrots cry. And they whine. And when this goes on non-stop while you’re trying to work — more specifically, while you’re trying to concentrate and actually think and write — yeah, it does get a bit annoying.

Anna on Piano

This is our Anna Banana.

She’s still at it. She hasn’t shut up since I came in here.

I came in here this morning planning to grab my Questions and Answer book and have a fun time answering whatever question came up for today. But, I got distracted. I’m still having internet issues, as well, so between Anna Banana and Fidelity Communications — our ISP — my morning is not off to a very productive start.

You see, I did find a short video clip of Anna. I’m trying to upload it to YouTube now. It’s about 80 seconds. The upload bar tells me it’s going to take about 20 minutes to upload. Yeah, right.  Correction. It’s now telling me 45 minutes.

Do you think there’s something wrong with our “high-speed internet service”?

Yes, I’m frustrated. I’m worn out from listening to the fussy, whiny bird. Thank goodness, at the moment, she’s finally shut up.  Maybe now I can actually get a little writing done without going crazy.

If the video clip ever uploads (I’m not counting on that to happen),  I will post the link.

THANKS FOR VISITING TODAY.

Sorry for the noisy bird!

BTW: YouTube tells me the video will be HERE.

DID YOU KNOW…Parrots love chicken meat. Source: Personal Experience and Guide to a Well-Behaved Parrot


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A Quick Update

Just a very quick little note here…

For some reason I’m having internet connection issues today. I’m able to get online from time to time but can’t easily access any websites. I’ve checked out our home network, done all the maintenance tasks possible (and the system says there are no problems), so I’m baffled as to why I’m having trouble.

Anyway, I won’t be doing any updates today to my Lovenotes site — my official author page on Facebook — and you probably won’t see me online much, if at all.

Take care, everyone!  I’ll be here in MLWR (My Little Writing Room) finishing up Book 4 of the Sunset Series and making plans for lots of intriguing twists and turns as I get ready to start work on Book 5.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR DROPPING BY TODAY!


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Fun Facts

didyouknowIf you’re a regular follower of this blog — and I hope you are — you’ve probably noticed the inclusion of a few little facts at the end of each post.  “Did you know…” has always been one of my favorite sentence starters.

I enjoy hearing those words; I enjoy saying those words.

Knowledge is power. We’ve all heard that a time or two, I’m sure. It’s true. Or, as another wise saying tells us, “The more you know, the farther you’ll go.”

Yesterday, I wrote about “the entirety of information known to man”. OK, so not everything is on the internet, and life really is about more than cat pictures. Right on both counts. Still, no one can deny that the internet is a source for fascinating facts — as well as cat pictures — and as I’m researching various topics for my stories, I’m always coming across zingers.

The one that shocked me most and inspired me to begin including a little “factoid” at the end of each post was learning about the age of consent in the United States.  In 1880, the legal age of consent was between 10-12 years in all states except one. Delaware, incredibly, set the age of consent at 7.

Children and Youth in History

Knowing this certainly makes me realize how much attitudes and ideas can change over time.  Of course, I was skeptical when I first came across that bit of information. That’s why I did a little fact-finding on my own. It’s important that we question the facts we’re told.

FWIW, no, Bill Gates isn’t giving away $5,000 to Facebook users who click a link, nor did Walt Disney leave a substantial bequest for the first man to become pregnant and bear a child, and we can safely use public toilets without worrying about venomous “two-striped telamonia” spiders lurking beneath the seats.

A great adage to keep in mind is: When in doubt, check it out.  Snopes comes in handy, so I hope you’ll keep it in mind too, although you’ll probably find a lot of people don’t really appreciate the truth when you point it out on their Facebook posts.

Just so everyone knows, most of the “fun facts” I post will be ones that I’m fairly certain are true. As much as possible, I’ll verify those little facts before posting them. Some, though, I’m willing to take at face value.

For example, when I read that chocolate was once used as currency, I accepted it. Why? It sounds logical. Knowing how many people love chocolate, I immediately saw its value.  Going back now for a bit of “after-the-fact” research, I’ve learned that it was actually cacao beans that were a form of currency, but I suppose that’s close enough to count…at least on the internet, right?

The History of Chocolate

And what of yesterday’s “Did you know…” fun fact that a hairball is called a “bezoar”? Fans of Harry Potter might quickly recall this helpful information:

A bezoar is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat and it will save you from most poisons.

cute-goat-clipart-silly_cartoon_billy_goat_photo_sculpture-r4f086284a3ef473cad532c6a73c0995a_x7sa6_8byvr_512

The Harry Potter Wiki

Actually, a “bezoar” can be any undigested mass that’s lodged in the stomach, not necessarily a hairball. So, as with the chocolate currency, my little factoid is basically true but doesn’t quite tell the whole story. Again, let’s say it’s close enough to count…on the internet.

Of course, the internet is not the only source of misinformation. It happens in every medium. A recent example is the retraction by Rolling Stone magazine of the story published about a sexual assault on the University of Virginia campus.

Rolling Stone and UVA – What Went Wrong

Because I read a lot of history and do a lot of research, I’ve learned not to accept a “fact” simply because it appears in a newspaper, magazine, or book. Even textbooks contain inaccuracies. A valuable practice I’ve learned in doing research is to look for three sources that agree before considering a fact to be true. It’s a good practice.

Another thing I’ve learned is that where history is concerned, there are many times where we have to accept the fact that we’ll never have a definitive answer. Sometimes the best we can do is research a topic fully, consider all the sources we’ve read, add in our own personal thoughts, and come to a conclusion that satisfies us.

Which is why I don’t believe that Aaron Burr carried away the body of his slain commanding officer:

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Burr…helped Montgomery to storm the heights of Quebec, and nearly reached the upper citadel when his commander was shot dead and the Americans retreated. In all this confusion Burr showed himself a man of mettle. The slain Montgomery was six feet high, but Burr carried his body away with wonderful strength amid a shower of musket-balls and grape-shot.  Lyndon Orr – Famous Affinities of History

You’ll find that “fact” in many history books, and you’re welcome to believe it if you choose. I choose to believe it’s more likely a fabrication, a way of aggrandizing Burr, and a bit of misinformation that’s been picked up and copied by so many historians that it’s become accepted as the truth.

Truth is, you see, a rather strange commodity. Facts are not always facts, and clever people know how to manipulate them to make us believe things that “ain’t necessarily so”.

It Ain’t Necessarily So – From Porgy and Bess

THANKS for visiting with me today. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you have, a quick “LIKE” a “SHARE” or a “COMMENT” would be greatly appreciated.



DID YOU KNOW: The opera “Porgy and Bess” was the first by an American-born composer to be performed at Italy’s famous “La Scala” opera house. It was presented there in 1955. 


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“The Entirety of Information Known to Man”

What a marvelous age we live in! I truly am grateful that I live in this modern era where technology has brought the world literally to our fingertips. At the same time, I do have to laugh each time of think of this very true little fact that appeared in the IPhone “reddit” app and went viral:

“If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about today?”

“I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in to arguments with strangers.”

Can you relate? I can. Although I’m not inclined to argue online, I definitely enjoy looking at pictures of cats. I love cats. I like sharing pictures of cats.

??????????

So, be forewarned. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, or if you’ve followed Christina Cole’s Love Notes — my official author page — you’re going to see pictures of cats.

For now, thought, let’s take a look at the first part of this viral response, the part that has to do with “the entirety of information known to man.” Maybe the internet doesn’t quite cover the entirety of information, but it does offer us a wealth of knowledge. Sure, there’s a wealth of useless knowledge and a lot of misinformation to go along, but that’s a small price to pay, I think, for the convenient access we have to history, science, books, movies, and a host of other helpful sites.

Today, it’s possible to learn a new language through internet sites. We can use Google Earth to travel to places we’ll never have a chance to visit. We keep in touch with family and friends by pressing a few keys on a computer, a tablet, or even a phone.

We use the internet not only for an exchange of ideas, but for goods and services, too. We buy, we sell, we trade, we give. With new “crowd-funding” applications, we can raise money for new ventures or contribute to worthy causes.

The internet’s greatest assest, perhaps, is its speed. In only a fraction of a second, I can find the score from last night’s ball game (Royals beat Angels 4-2), check the weather (45 degrees F. and cloudy), or download that new recipe I put on this week’s menu (Orange Salsa Chicken).

As a writer, I find the availablity of research material a welcome alternative to trips to our local library. I still use the library, but I use it more efficiently now than in the past. I can find books online, request them, and pick them up at the library. I can read on a wide range of topics before I visit the library, then focus my research on specific questions. I can also read reviews of new history books before I check them out. It helps me choose the ones that I’ll most likely find interesting and helpful.

Of course, we also play games through the internet. We watch movies, read books, listen to music, and…well, yes, there are other forms of “internet entertainment” that people do enjoy. I won’t go there. Use your imagination, all right?

And there are dating sites, too. For all sorts of folks looking for all sorts of relationships. I don’t go there either — I’m very happily married to the love of my life — but I know quite a few people who have found their own “special someone” through today’s technology.

How do you use the internet? What are your favorite online pastimes? Are you totally “hooked-up” and “turned-on” or do you still hold on to the vestiges of pre-internet days — landline phones, snail mail, photograph albums, CDs, newspapers, and magazines, to name a few?

Of course, we all know the best part of the internet will always be looking at cute cats. But what else do you do online? BTW, have you ordered your starter kit yet? No assembly required!

sTARTER 2

 

 

THANKS for visiting today!



DID YOU KNOW: The technical term for a “hairball” is “bezoar”. BE WATCHING FOR MORE FUN FACTS! 

 

 

 


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Original or Remix?

Yep. I’ve got the “Questions and Answers” book in my hand. I’m sitting here, blinking, thinking, and trying to come up with an answer for today.

Are you the original or the remix?

Why?

First, let’s start by admitting one simple fact. I’m old. Although I try to keep up with today’s technology and jargon, so many concepts and ideas and new words are being flung around each day that I don’t think anyone can keep up.

For what it’s worth, I was “tweeting” long before most of my friends even knew what “Twitter” was, and I was playing around online and “surfing the internet” before my children were. But while I might have had a bit of a head start on the computer age, the world has caught up, gone around, and left me in the dust.

My point? Uh…what, exactly is a remix?

I “googled” that question, and I was pleased to see that I’m not the only one who’s asked.

What is a remix, exactly?

Video artist, Elisa Kreisinger — please, take a moment to check out her blog — explains it as follows:

IMO, A remix is made when separate media elements are joined to form a new, different piece of media with an entirely different meaning than the original. 

She has much more to say on the topic, and it’s definitely worth reading, so again, please, take a moment to check out her blog.

Of course, what would the internet and our modern world be without Wikipedia? Never mind. That was a rhetorical question. You don’t have to answer. FWIW, I checked the Wikipedia definition of “remix”, too.

A remix is a piece of media which has been altered from its original state by adding, removing, and/or changing pieces of the item. A song, piece of artwork, book, video, or photograph can all be remixes. The only characteristic of a remix is that it appropriates and changes other materials to create something new.

From Wikipedia – Remix

So, what about ME? Am I the original, or am I a remix? After reading the Wikipedia definition, I might be inclined to say I’m a remix, at least in part. I’ve certainly been altered from my original state. I’ve had eyeglasses added to correct my vision, my appendix is gone, and I’ve changed my haircolor a time or two. Yet, reading on, I don’t think I can say that I’ve appropriated anything, nor have I created anything new. As I said before, yes, I’m old.

And, when it comes down to it, I’m still the same old ME I’ve always been. Somehow, it seems that no matter how much I change, I still remain who I’ve always been. I still have the same likes and dislikes I’ve had since I was a child. I wrote my first story at age four, and all these years later, I’m still writing stories. I still enjoy music and dancing. I have fun with crayons and finger-painting. I dabble in photography and sleep with stuffed puppies on the bed. Yeah, I’m still the same, just older, and maybe wiser.

I haven’t changed so much as I’ve grown.

Where my knowledge of classical music was once limited to Peter and the Wolf, The Barber of Seville, and Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, today I enjoy the works of composers from medieval times through the modern era.

the-child-s-bath-2Once upon a time, I knew little more about famous artworks than La Gioconda and Mary Cassat’s work, The Child’s Bath.  When I was about three or four, I had a puzzle of that painting. I loved taking it apart and putting it together every night.

That’s another thing that hasn’t changed. I still love working puzzles. I still love board games. I still have fun taking walks in the park, picking up pretty rocks, and I’ll never outgrow my love of cats, dogs, and horses.

So, yes, I’m an old “original” — and the best part of that is in the fact that being an “original” means more than being old. It means being unique, being different. It means being ME.



Are YOU the original or the remix?

Why?




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One of Those Days!

Hang in thereEver have one of those days? Yeah, the kind where nothing goes quite right, and life seems to have suddenly become a series of frustrations.

Yep, that’s how my day is going so far. Kindle not working. Having networking problems. Lots of errands to run and appointments to keep.

Tell me, please, to hang in there…it will get better. Yeah, it will.

I’ll be back tomorrow…

Christina