Category Archives: Beginnings

2015 – A New Blank Page

Another year of my life – and yours has just slipped away. A year in which I did much, but not nearly enough of what was on my maybe-unrealistic annual to-do list. But being of the self-flagellating persuasion, I just re-read my motivational post written exactly a year ago. No, the year did not fail me, nor I the year. But the overflow from last year’s projects and intentions will be more than sufficient to fill 2015. In this new year the emphasis will be a different one.
It will most definitely be on the writing. In fact, I’ve just been invited to join a secret society of writers, the sole purpose of which is motivational. Nothing like encouragement from other like-minded people to get you onto your backside in front of that computer (but, no, NOT on social media!!) to work at those stories brewing inside your being, to get them flowing from brain to arms to fingers tapping on keyboard. Thank you, new friends, for including me in this venture!
To other friends who find making plans and setting goals either futile or too daunting, I wish you a year that changes your mind. And maybe, in reality, those goals and plans do exist. You just aren’t opening your eyes.

dchubbardwrites

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Happy New Year to everyone out there in the blogosphere!

Last night we were invited to a party with old friends, good food, freely flowing inebriants and a fireworks display, solely for the purpose of celebrating the advent of the New Year. No doubt a great many of you did the same. And a great many of you (I won’t include myself since I was the designated driver) woke up at midday a bit worse for wear. Never mind. Who’s counting anyway?

Backtracking to 12:30 a.m, when the hubbub of cracking explosives, kissing and hugging, and the slurping of bubbly had subsided to a virtual quietude amongst the guests, I asked the fatal question:

Has everybody made their New Year’s resolutions?

And what exactly was on their lists?

The response was a deafening cacophony of denial. No one had bothered to make – or even think about – what they…

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Filed under Beginnings, Endings, Fiction and Other Truths, Seasonal Reflections

PEACE ON EARTH??

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The Peace Bridge author is getting ready to shut down this device for the Holidays and do lots of real-time interacting with family and friends for the next couple of days.
I’d like to wish you peace for Christmas. It is such a precious commodity for its being so rare. Every year the situation on the world stage seems to deteriorate that much more. Or are we just more aware of it, with our never-ending flow of news – BAD news!
There are brief flashes of good news. For example, two grandbabies have just been born – one of them is a friend’s, the other is our very first.What kind of legacy will we be leaving them?

Since I don’t believe in praying to God, I’m praying to you to reach out with a simple act to make the world a more peaceful place. You and I won’t be able to influence world politics to any extent, but if we start close to home, in our neighborhood and in our towns, maybe small kindnesses will swell into larger ones.
I’m thinking specifically of the refugees flooding into Europe from the countries that are war-torn and sinking into chaos. I’m thinking it’s time to do something hands-on to help make them more welcome in our societies which must appear so totally foreign to them. I’m thinking 2015 is the right time to pitch in with more than words. How does that old saying go?

Many hands make light work.

Yeah, that’s it!

Wishing you peace on earth.

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GERMAN REUNIFICATION – 25 YEARS AGO

WE’VE COME SO FAR – WE MUSTN’T TURN BACK

I am shaking off the stupor caused by house-related renovations to comment on a breath-taking event that took place 25 years ago. Throughout the spring and summer of 1989, the situation in the German Democratic Republic escalated. East German “tourists” went on holiday to Czechoslovakia and Hungary – just about the only places they were allowed to travel. But they did not return home. They ended up camping on the grounds of the German embassies in Prague, Budapest and even Vienna, while behind-the-scenes frantic diplomacy was deciding their fate.

Back in East Germany, while the powers-that-were were gearing up to celebrate the up-coming 40-year birthday of the German Democratic Republic (DDR) in October, activists in Leipzig and Dresden and other eastern cities continued their weekly Monday Demonstrations. The meetings and marches were non-violent and centered around the Protestant Church, an institution just about tolerated by the government. Plenty of “unofficial” Stasi operatives took part, to be sure.

What did these people want anyway? Just everyday things really. Like being allowed to travel unhindered and not be walled in. Like the freedom to speak their minds without fear of arrest. Like not being spied on by neighbors and “friends” who had been enlisted for this purpose by the Stasi – the secret state security police. Just simple things really, things we in the West have always taken for granted.

Of course on the west side of the wall, West Germans watched expectantly, fearfully. There was no telling where it would all end. And from past experience, there was a good chance it would not end well. But bit by bit, the regime granted concessions. And then, almost by accident, on November 9th the wall opened. People turned up at various Berlin border crossings, demanding to be let through. East German border guards who were not able to get any clear orders from above, raised the barriers. Thank heavens, they had no desire to fire on their own.

And my husband and I watched this spectacle, wide-eyed and incredulous, from the comfort of our West German living room, along with most other “Wessis” (West Germans). From one day to the next, separated families could be reunited, ordinary “Ossis” (East Germans) could suddenly go where they pleased. And over the following months the road taken in Trabis and Wartburgs would lead to what became an inevitable destination: reunification.

Those were heady days, weeks and months. We became addicted to following the news reports on TV and radio, anxious to hear of the next unbelievable milestone in the journey to once again becoming one Volk. And 25 years later a generation has grown up that did not know the sorrow of a Germany rent in two by the post-World War II settlements. Those young people can’t imagine what it means not to be free.

And although the east of the country still lags behind economically, huge strides have been made, billions have been invested in infrastructure. BMW builds cars in Leipzig, VW in Dresden. Berlin is now, once again as it should be, the capital of the country. Both the Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the Federal President, Joachim Gauck, hail from the east.

Of course, the fall of the inner-German border was just the beginning. Along with it, the entire Iron Curtain came crashing down and the Soviet Union dissolved. Voila, the end of the Cold War and the commencement of a new world order.

Unfortunately, black shadows loom overhead. Need I list the crises that dominate the news every night? The new world order has not brought world peace but new instability. One of the crises in particular seems to me to be so stoppable. That would be the Ukraine.

Why, dear Mr Putin, do you want to go backwards rather than forwards?
I wish he’d give us an answer.

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Filed under Beginnings, Cities, Endings, German History, Remembering

The Wooden Leg

100 years ago today Russia declared war on Germany and the fatal circus that had already begun between Austria and Serbia began its rise to global dimensions. In the course of 1914 there were 22 declarations of war.

This morning I heard on the radio a fascinating persepective from a man whose grandfather was wounded early in the war. A very young August Müller lost his leg and his war service was over. Every year that loss was remembered and celebrated within their family. On first consideration, it seems a weird thing to celebrate.But think about it. If August Müller had not lost his leg, he may well have stayed in the war long enough to lose his life. Considering the number of dead in that war – 17 million on all sides including civilians – this would not have been surprising. Thus this particular branch of the Müller family has August’s wooden leg to thank that they are living and thriving today, 100 years later.

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Filed under Beginnings, German History, Remembering, World Wars

Too Busy…

My New Year’s goals and project planning are already proving a great success. All sorts of jobs are in the works and keeping me busy.

TOO BUSY TO BLOG.

How’s a girl supposed to write blog posts without having some time to think? How’s the same girl supposed to work on the novel-in-progress when she’s occupied with more mundane items like clearing out the living room? And I mean CLEARING OUT in caps! Everything has to be moved out in preparation for painting and new flooring.

I am a victim of my own organizational success. So please bear with me while I work my way through some of those To-Do List points. When I’ve had the pleasure of ticking a few off, I’ll return as a more reliable blogger.

…that is, if I manage to come to grips with Windows 8. I was forced to declare my beloved 7-yr-old desktop (with XP) for dead . However, during those years Microsoft was not standing still – although not all forward movement is progress, and I must now reboot this ol’ brain to a new system.

Of course, it’s all my own fault, for another aspect of my malaise is that so many projects have been ignored over several years due to the single-mindedness (stubbornness?) that somehow got me through writing and publishing The Peace Bridge. Wouldn’t it be great to have it both ways? To be submerged in the writing and still get those necessary – and satisfying – home projects done. A clone would be the answer, but I’m not sure that’ll happen in my lifetime. Looks like just being (one) human, with the usual backlog on the To-Do List, will have to suffice.

How are you doing with your 2014 goals? Any successes to report? Would love to hear from you.

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Filed under Beginnings, Fiction and Other Truths, Goals

INERTIA

…can be a great help. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My last post was all about grabbing 2014 by the…hair on its head and making it count. Since I wrote it, I’ve read some other views on resolutions and must conclude that the word carries with it much too much hopelessness. Resolutions are made to be broken.

Going through my own private and personal “resolutions” for the New Year, I discovered I hadn’t even used the word when writing them. I’d written about GOALS, a more positive term, one associated with actually getting things done, a term used by businesses across the globe. So if I mean business, I must talk GOALS.

In the first few days of the year, I have to admit that exhaustion overcame me whenever I looked at the list of goals I’d saddled myself with. Everyone’s worst enemy (Well, it’s at least near the top of the list of the worst enemies we have to face…) is INERTIA. I spent 2013 NOT getting on with some very important goals. I blame it on inertia. I did, indeed, have some pretty good reasons for part of my inactivity. But they were not really good enough.

When I did have time to act, inertia was keeping me from getting that ol’ ball rolling, making me think: I really ought to get on with________ (insert any goal here). However, the project in question loomed on the horizon as an insurmountable mountain. So what have we got there?

Newton’s First Law at work! Our long-dead but favorite physicist Issac Newton (1642-1727) formulated it for us with scientific precision:

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

Newton’s first law describes an object’s desire to resist a change in motion. How often does that describe any one of us, busily doing our couch potato imitation?

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So do we give up and keep reading the newspaper or zapping the TV remote? That’s one conclusion we can draw. But somehow I discovered, if I could just bring into play the above-mentioned “unbalanced force”, maybe I could move my tushie.

I’m not exactly sure which force finally unbalanced my inertia, but something seems to have done so. Fourteen days into the New Year, I have actually started several of the projects  that are written in indelible computer screen ink. Sometimes all it took was a phone call or an email to set off a chain reaction that forced me to follow on with the necessary next step. Whatever works.

What this means, of course, is that the second part of Newton’s First, about an object in motion staying in motion, has now got me moving. And suddenly I’m thinking, INERTIA is probably my best friend. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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2014 – A Blank Page

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Happy New Year to everyone out there in the blogosphere!

Last night we were invited to a party with old friends, good food, freely flowing inebriants and a fireworks display, solely for the purpose of celebrating the advent of the New Year. No doubt a great many of you did the same. And a great many of you (I won’t include myself since I was the designated driver) woke up at midday a bit worse for wear. Never mind. Who’s counting anyway?

Backtracking to 12:30 a.m, when the hubbub of cracking explosives, kissing and hugging, and the slurping of bubbly had subsided to a virtual quietude amongst the guests, I asked the fatal question:

Has everybody made their New Year’s resolutions?

And what exactly was on their lists?

The response was a deafening cacophony of denial. No one had bothered to make – or even think about – what they could do with 2014.

It could be that I’ve been reading far too much motivational material to help psyche me for the work at hand, but I was surprised, and a bit disappointed at their reaction. Each of us goes to such lengthens to extend our lives, but to what purpose? Not that I’m suggesting we all have to take on unrealistic, unachievable goals, but maybe we should become more aware of the passing of time and how profligately we throw it out the window. For suddenly, we may find that the commodity we most cherish has run out on us.

A few days ago I took stock of 2013, how it let me down and how I let it down. Then I began thinking about my priorities for 2014. These kinds of assessments are very private and personal. They don’t have to be shared with anyone. So I don’t have to confess at the end of the year whether I succeeded or whether I fell short. Unless I want to. And as a typical member of the human race, I am more inclined to share the successes rather than the failures. But if I think about it, failures aren’t written in stone. I can keep working at those issues and maybe I can move them to the positive side of the balance sheet.

If I keep my eyes on my priorities, I can transform the blank page that is 2014 into a worthy story.

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Filed under Beginnings, Endings, Fiction and Other Truths, Seasonal Reflections