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Welcome to my new blog! I’m leaving The Puritan Chronicles’ site to use just for that trilogy, and adding this new blog as my general blog. My blog posts lately are just random musings, so I thought I’d give them a fresh new home!

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The (d)Evolution of the English Language

grammarpolice

It don’t make no difference if me and you talk right. It ain’t that important.

If the above sentence didn’t make you cringe while you read it, you are in the minority. According to Martha S. Lyon, in a response to the question What percentage of people might be using correct grammar while speaking an English sentence? :

While that is an estimate based on one person’s experience and, as such, could vary by 10%–20%, I am reasonably certain that no more than 25% of us speak English correctly.

I’ll confess that immediately after graduating from high school, my excellent grammar skills were so honed it was all I could do not to correct people. I have since learned this is known as Grammatical Pedantry Syndrome, which only served to establish my nerdy status in college.

Now, in my 50’s, I have, for the most part, succumbed to the daily bombardment of poor grammar. I even hear myself use it from time to time (*gasp!*). I’ve learned to “pick my battles”, as it were. And this year I had a recent revelation.

It occurs to me that the English language (and for that matter, probably all languages ) are constantly evolving. Everything evolves, changes, and grows or else it remains stagnant–it’s just one of those Universal Truths. Language is no different. It’s the reason we don’t speak like Chaucer or Shakespeare today.

Keeping in mind language is not static, I considered that maybe we shouldn’t cringe at double negatives and prepositions at the ends of sentences.  What if, in 50 or 100 years, such things are considered correct?  I think there’s a good chance this is the direction in which English is going.

So next time I’m within earshot of incorrect grammar usage, I’ll rein in my urge to correct them and, with a sigh of resignation, I’ll acknowledge that I’m witnessing the inescapable evolution of my mother tongue.

A New Idea

I still am a writer. Really I am.

Although I have all these great characters flitting in and out of my head from time to time, they are too  scattered and unformed to fall neatly into one novel, commonly referred to as Book # 4.

But they’re incredible characters and they need a home!

And then I had an idea.

According to Writer’s Digest:

Short stories range anywhere from 1,500 to 30,000 words; Novellas run from 30,000 to 50,000; Novels range from 55,000 to 300,000 words

These ornery characters may refuse to play nicely together in one cohesive novel, but what if I wrote a series of short stories, each one featuring a colorful resident of fictional Berryville, USA?

If I get any interested feedback on this proposed project, I’ll happily pursue the idea, so let me hear from you!

Because I still am a writer. Really I am.

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Resolutions–Do you make them?

In my younger years, I was a big fan of New Years Resolutions. Like most people’s, mine slowly fell by the wayside before February 1st. Then I’d get discouraged and feel like I had failed my attempt at making positive personal changes.

But change is an ongoing process with its own sense of time. It more than likely won’t click on like a light switch at midnight on New Year’s Day.  Every day brings change and progress. Other days bring setbacks and disappointments. But that, I’ve learned, is something known as Daily Life.

So as the clock ticks down 2018, I won’t be making a list to join a gym or be a neater housekeeper. I won’t set any goals that, if I don’t meet them, will rattle my faith in myself. I will just continue forward, accepting change and progress as it comes, and accepting them with gratitude. Likewise, I will–likely grudgingly–accept the disappointments and setbacks, because Daily Life is like a coin with 2 sides. You can’t have one without the other, but it’s my wish the positive changes far outweigh the losses for everyone this coming year.

Stay safe and may 2019 bless you real good!

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A word about Solstice

4seasons

Image from Forbes.com .

So here it is; the shortest day/ longest night. Yule. Winter Solstice. We can look to increasing daylight from now on!

I was inspired by the above graphic and article to post today because the image shows perfectly how the Solstices and Equinoxes look on Earth—kind of neat, huh?

I’ve never been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but I do think the lack of sunshine during this time of year brings me a bit down. Although I’ve never been a real “outdoorsy” type, I do feel a great uplift in the spirit when it’s sunny.

Does anyone else feel particularly contemplative this time of year, despite all the frenzy and craziness of the holiday season? I’m glad Dave and I don’t get too carried away with all the decorations and shopping–we keep things on the down-low, partly because there’s no point in decorating when you have cats who can’t leave ornaments and wrapped gifts alone!

The nasty head cold I’ve been battling for what seems like WEEKS now seems to finally be finding its way out of me (and, thankfully, didn’t hit Dave nearly as hard as it could have!), so hopefully we’ll both greet 2019 with a clean bill of health.

Make the most of this shortest day, people! Here’s to wishing you all safely through 2018 and may 2019 be good to you!

The Intrepid Tammy Winand

Admittedly, I have very little wanderlust. I don’t care if I ever see the Eiffel Tower or the Grand Canyon. I can suffer from jet lag without even leaving my original time zone. With that said, I have great respect for wanderers like my hero Peace Pilgrim and  Rita Golden Gelman, author of Tales of a Female Nomad . What can I say? I love free spirits.

Turns out those two wanderers are not alone. I have this incredible friend, Tammy Winand, who keeps her friends updated on her wanderings (she has met the Dalai Lama multiple times—can you imagine?!) . Tammy is the author of 3 books; Everyday Exile, Haiku in Exile, and Monsoon Madness; Calm Before the Storm. I’ve read and enjoyed her works, and find her unusual lifestyle fascinating. On Facebook she’ll post things like, “In 2 weeks I’ll be in the Himalayas.” Boggles my mind!

Tammy is also a fantastic photographer. Check out her page to view her gorgeous photos.

Tammy graciously responded to interview questions I sent her, which I’ve posted below. If you find her as amazing as I do, I urge you to check out her writings and artwork.

Q: When did you begin living such a unorthodox lifestyle?
A: I guess the best answer is that I began doing seasonal work in
national park concessions in 2007. Contracts generally run 3-6 months, so
you always need to find a way to get through the off season.
You take the funds you saved and go where you can afford to w/o working…which usually means
a country where cost of living is extremely low
I also have a few streams of online income which most months is below $300 USD

Q: How do plan where you will go next?
A:  which way is the wind blowing???
tbh I am most drawn to the Himalayan region. I have spent 4 of the past 9 yrs in northern India in Tibetan exile settlements where
HH Dalai Lama resettled after fleeing the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959. He still lives in McleodGanj and the Tibetan community
and govt offices are located there. From here, to the north and east, inc other parts of India and Nepal, there are a huge number of
Himalayan Buddhist cultures

Q: What did a young Tammy want to do when she grew up?
A: Until my early teens I mainly wanted to be a ballerina, gymnast or ice skater.
My high school plans leaned toward linguist or literary translator, which I have not made a paid career, but I do a lot of anyway in my
everyday life!Q:Where do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years?
A: Metaphorically speaking, hopefully in a better financial position. I def want to still be traveling, studying, learning,
chronicling my adventures
I would ideally have established myself as a cultural documentary photographer by then, put out some photo books, etc
I am 50 now, so hopefully sooner rather than later!

Tammy

 

2018 in review

Happy December!  We are full-force into the dizzying holiday season, and despite the frenzy and craziness of this time of year, I have been joyously, almost serenely–happy!

Those dearest to me have been delivered safely through this year for which I am extremely grateful.  This year brought the addition of four beautiful great niblings to me, all of whom I had the joyful privilege of meeting (babies fascinate the heck out of me). Dave and I witnessed a niece’s graduation from the Marines Officer Candidate School in August. My meditation practice has taken off after a short lapse. Oh, and I got a brand new knee.

No, I haven’t done any writing this year, but that seems to be the way with me. My creativity is like a bumblebee. It’ll flit from flower to flower. Writing one day, crocheting another, trying something completely new the next.  But I have begun journaling again, and plan to keep that up through the New Year.

2018 was not without its disastrous headlines, replete with more than its share of  mass shootings and other miseries. Like every year, as 2019 looms ahead, I wonder what it will bring, and only hope that those I know and love will be blessed with a peaceful and productive year.

 

 

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