Make Room For Better Stuff

Cleaning stuff out of the place, making room for the new. What the "new" will be I don't know until it comes along. Goodwill either loves me or loathes me, I'm not quite sure. I do my best not to give them junk or things they can't do anything with, or what I wouldn't want in another life perhaps.

It is still tough at times getting rid of things. Memories tied to them, money spent on them, the possible use for them down the road, size 36 pants may still happen some day.... right?????

Tough things to get rid of this year included the glass set mom and dad received for their wedding, the roulette set they received for an early anniversary, their wedding album (thought to myself what am I going to do with this). Dad's Coast Guard cap, the two Christmas stuffed bears on the window seat in the family room... That could be due to being lazy or just "how can I get rid of stuffed animals"?

Earlier in the year before things settled down enough, I bought stuff without much thinking beyond :Hmm, I could use that". These included a juicer, two filing organizer things, a hot air popcorn popper, rice cooker and a dry erase calendar board - despite knowing I can not read my own hand writing.

Rice cooker / steamer is still used (once I get past the Minute rice I still have, it will be used even more). Popcorn popper from time to time. Recently bought a coffee maker which is used probably too often.

But back to the making room for stuff.

This year has begun to teach me in a way that everything is just stuff. When mom passed, her stuff was still here.Which then became my stuff. A lot of his has been passed on to Goodwill, friends, other charities or for things no one in their right mind would need, the recycle bin.

The year has also shown me to simplify things (Sorry Terry Riffey, stole your "copyrighted" word). It's a constant process since I keep getting new plastic wear despite disposing of the stuff that just would not be necessary.

Anyway. Where was I and what was I thinking when I started this possibly never ending ramble.... I don't know. Must have something to do with the 50 degrees here in St. Louis in December or that the sun is out for one of the few times in the past 2 months. Or maybe it;s just something I had to get off my mind and out into space or something like that.

Whatever the case, thank you for reading this far (or just skipping to the end to see what the punchline would be). If I had to leave a lesson in this, it would be to clean out 1 thing a day to make room for whatever is to come.

To clean up 1 thing from every room you stop in before going to another. Do 1 simple thing at a time. Take a moment to fix that thing that has been bugging you for weeks. Move that tissue box with the tissue sticking out of it which casts a shadow of a killer dinosaur when you are trying to sleep.

And make 2015 a much better year than 2014 could have ever hoped to be. Sorry 2014. I know you are not over yet, but it is what it is.

Peace everyone!

I Think I've Been Here Before

I can't help but think, and stop me if I'm wrong, that I spend way too much time reading and thinking about writing than doing the actual writing.

Ah, you've noticed too. Going by the fact that the departure of Google Reader must have had a much larger effect on me than I cared to admit. Now I am out there spending even more time going to actual sites to read then having them carefully sent to me.

None the less, I still manage to read my fair share about it which leads to my thinking about it. Blogs by Chuck Wendig, Carol Tice, The Renegade Writer and I don't know how many others I've come across the past several months have been in my head. 

It's both a good thing and a bad thing. Good that it keeps my interest up there. Bad in that I don't quite get around to writing as much as I should be doing.

Don't get me wrong, the day job does include it's fair share of writing moments, so I am still putting words on a computer screen. (some of them even get to be seen by more than 2 people).

So the rest of this year will be about my getting more words on screens, in various formats, especially this blog. (I mean it this time. Pay no attention to those other times when I said I meant it and didn't quite make it happen. That was the old me- despite I'm older now than I was, go figure)

Anyway, I digress.

So tell me, what tricks do you have to keep yourself writing after a rather lengthy time away from the keyboard? Put them in the comments and I might just learn a few things.

Oh How I Miss You Google Reader

It seems so long ago word got out that Google was dropping one of the few awesome things I actually used on a daily basis. (not counting Google Mail and Google Drive).

Since the day it went poof (things do that, don't ya know), I have had so much free time not reading postings folks have put out there. It has meant 1 less web thing-a-ma-jig I had to visit to get my fill of the wit, wisdom, wordyness and wry wramblings (yes, I know there is a W in front of ramblings, go with it), of those I was trying to keep up on.

But I do miss those moments of reading whatever it was he somebody and she somebody put out there. It has meant my own searching for the sites all over again. Putting them in a list which I could click on and visit. It works, but it's just not the same.

Miss you much Google Reader.


Nothin To Say, Don't Say Nothin

Boy if that isn't the truth.

Well, actually, maybe not so much the truth as an excuse as how and/or why I haven't written anything here since Christmas.

Was I recovering from mass consumption of liquored eggnog? 

Did all the gifts I receive weigh me down too much?

Was I bad during the year that Santa didn't bring me my wildly anticipated collection of Weird Al DVDs?

Now while I would love to say at least 1 of those were true, I don't believe any of them were. Though that first one would have been tempting... minus the egg and nog.

Actually I have been busy buying books. (and yes, for those who know me, I have actually read parts of them). And yes, I took my girlfriend and her daughter to the Weird Al concert last Friday at the Family Arena in St. Charles. (That's how I roll).

Books bought this year include: (no affiliate links included)

So yes, I have been stalling quiet well with the writing portion of being a writer, at least with how this blog gets along. And no, I haven't made it all the way through any of the above books (just bought Yuvi's today, so give me a break on that one).

With that in mind, I hope by reading some portions of these I am able to give that activity credit for this post being written.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to the eggnog-less eggnog I just got last night.

One Fine Mess Continues To Grow

What you see here is not necessarily my mess, though I suppose it does look a bit like this. My stuff is messily tucked away in drawers and cabinets and on tables and under tables and even in a drawer within the very table paper and stuff is on top of as well as under. (But I digress).

A few weeks back, (something like 17 weeks back), I started the process of maybe getting ready to get rid of some piles of papers. Many sheets (about 5 percent) made it all the way from their "home" no what was to be the lid where they would await my trip to the trashcan.

So, long story made longer, this lid has been their new current home for the past 17 said weeks. They will eventually find their way to the shredded (if needed) and the recycle bin.

I think they are still here just because I may need the information or random ramblings which may be found on them, in the near future. Actually, I have no real idea what is on them. That would involve re-reading it all again.

As I like to say (see title of this blog entry), ya gotta get rid of some stuff so you can make room for more (and better) stuff.

Well, during the past group of weeks, I have managed to squeeze in more stuff WITHOUT officially getting rid of previous stuff. So as viewers of hoarders can testify to, this stuff can really add up.(Just so you know, some of the new stuff has made it onto the seat of the rocking chair (well, a chair that rocks but not your typical rocking chair).

My suggestion, and trust me, I know what I am typing, is to get rid of some of your stuff. Get it out of the way. If you haven't looked at it for a few months and it isn't all that important for say taxes, business, birthday shopping lists or whatev, get rid of it. I can almost guaranteed there will be more to take it's place before you know it.

So tell me, how much of a mess are you living in?  Oh wait. I mean are you living in a mess of papers, files, stuff you once thought was important and would read it for years to come only to realize you have not looked at it since you got it/printed it?

Let me know. Your secret is safe here.

Bullying Needs To Stop

Jessica Barba is a high school student who put this video together for one of her classes. The school suspended her because it interrupted the school.  Read the article here.

Help get the word out that it is time to end Bullying.

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David Stoddard
The Unmotivated Motivational Writer
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Make Good Art - Neil Gaiman

Take 20 minutes and watch Neil Gaiman's graduation address to the 2012 class of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. So many tips we all can work with.

So tell us, if you were to give a commencement address, what would you say?
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David Stoddard
The Unmotivated Motivational Writer
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Aww, You Shouldn't Have - The Liebster Blog Award

I must, I must, I must improve my bust. 

No, that isn't it.

I must take a moment to thank Paul for his "Out of his mind only for a moment" nomination of me, myself and I's blog. I take it he might have had better things to do, but I'll take it.

His blog It was a Dark And Stormy Night is not only named with the line which has never been overused in my own creative writing moments back in the day (Snoopy and I are like "that"), but it is humorous, educational and motivating. His post today (May 8th, 2012, in case years from now we are still reading blogs) also has me contemplating total home cleaning, which will obviously lead to the need to pitch a whole lot o stuff.

The Liebster is a pay-it-forward kind of award, meaning that once you receive the award, you pass it on to others. the rules are as follows:

1. Thank the person that gave you the award in a post on your site
2. Nominate up to five blogs with less than 200 followers
3. Let the nominees know they've won by leaving a comment on one of their posts
4. Add the Liebster image above so all your readers know that you are generally awesome.

I am guessing that 4th one is true as well, but I may never know since I creatively just copied those from Paul's blog.

In the process of coming up with those who fit the criteria, it dawned on me either I don't read much, or what I do read, seemingly everyone else is reading these folks as well. (So this too shall be something I must work on). 

So anyhoo... without delaying the proceedings any longer (other than starting this off with "So anyhoo... without delaying the proceedings any longer"), the nominees are:

I know there are probably a few million blogs I left out. So if there are others you'd recommend, feel free to add them to the comments. Make it a great day. Now get to reading.

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David Stoddard
"What I Don't Know"
Follow on Twitter:
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When Ya Started Writing - The Results

In a totally unscientific survey of only the best minds on Twitter, Facebook and pretty much the whole world wide web thing (meaning anyone who either accidentally or on purpose chose to answer the question in the survey of April 19th), we have learned that a majority of said folks started writing as a child.

My favorite (and I guess that's why it was an option) was the 1 respondent who choose "None of your business :-)  With the smiley face as part of the choice, I am guessing it was in jest or they are just being very very secretive about their pre-childhood beginnings.

The chart may be tough to read, so here are the results of the 17 votes:

  • Started writing as a child - 9 
  • Started in my teens - 6 
  • Started in my 50s - 1 
  • None of your business :-) - 1
The survey is still open (and probably will be until the Mayan Calendar says enough is enough). For those who may not have taken it, visit the survey here.

Last question since I need ideas, what are you planning on having for dinner on Mother's Day? (May 13th for those who may have forgotten).

Thanks for your suggestions.


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David Stoddard The Unmotivated Motivational Writer
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