Audra Krell

On Purpose

Archive for the category “Current Affairs”

Johnny Castle On Writing

This past Wednesday, marked  two years since Patrick Swayze passed away. I thought of him and back to my 17th summer, the year Dirty Dancing came out. I saw it with my boyfriend’s family and was embarrassed by the sensuality, so I loudly announced I didn’t like it afterwards. Those very people are now my in-laws and we laugh because Dirty Dancing is one of my favorite movies of all time.

If you don’t know, shame on you  Patrick Swayze plays a character named Johnny Castle. He is a dance instructor at an affluent resort in the Catskills in the 60’s. Dirty Dancing is a coming of age movie where a teen girl played by Jennifer Grey, rebels by falling in love with Johnny, a working class entertainer. DD was the first film to sell over one million copies on VHS.

Everything you need to know, can be learned from Dirty Dancing and not from Kindergarten. But that’s for another series.

Today I give you 3 things from Johnny Castle which writers will do well to remember.

  1. Nobody puts baby in a corner.  You can write in obscurity and wait for an agent or publisher to invite you on stage and ask you to dance. Or you can stand up, pursue the writing life and never look back.
  2. You’ll hurt me if you don’t trust me,all right? Once  you find an agent, trust them and let them lead. Agreeably make the changes they request. Drop scenes, characters and 4000 words like the bad habits they are.
  3. It’s not on the one, it’s not the mambo. It’s a feeling, a heartbeat. Be original. Dance your own dance. Look deep inside and feel it, breath it. Let writing beat your heart.

And it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t say:

Have the time of your life.

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How to Say No to Negativity

I've seen post after post about people giving up negativity for Lent. Claiming you want to is the first step, but once you're in, how exactly do you do it?

Here are 5 ways to avoid negativity.

  1. Be slow to speak:  Think about the words you will say after someone is done talking. Our first words often aren't our best. Once we've adopted a negative lifestyle, almost 100% of what we say is a negative, cynical comment. A little thinking allows wisdom to prevail.
  2. Be quick to listen: Not just as an exercise, but real, active listening. Maybe ask a question about what you just heard, nod your head at the appropriate time or ask the speaker to expound on their subject.
  3. Drop the need to be right:  A know-it-all comes across negatively. How often do you find yourself saying, " I just love Susie. She knows everything and enthralls us moment by moment with her fascinating facts and opinions on everything, even stuff she knows absolutely nothing about."?
  4. Practice: Listen to the news, radio or podcasts without forming thoughts and opinions until after the speaker is finished speaking.
  5. Believe: Know that you can choose to be positive. Know that you're giving a positively wonderful gift to others!

What do you need to work on most?

Wrestling Faith

By now you've probably heard about Joel, who refused to wrestle a girl and thus had to forfeit the match.

He walked away because of his faith. He believes in respecting women and didn't feel he could do that by wrestling.

Rick Reilly, a noted ESPN columnist wrote a demeaning story (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=6136707)  about why Joel should have wrestled her. He says the young woman "relishes the violence" and "loathes being protected."

So, she's asking for it Rick? I didn't realize that if we decide a woman is asking to be disrespected that it's okay to do whatever we want to her, because she "deserves it" since she asked for it.

I thought we'd been trying to fight against those messages for a long time.

The world needs a whole lot more real men like Joel. He is a man who stands up for what he believes in, based on who he is, not on who other people may or may not be. Whether the young woman wanted to be respected and defended or not, Joel chose the right way based on his convictions and beliefs.

Integrity and respect mean more to Joel than a wrestling title. My mom taught me that you'll never regret being nice to people. Joel's conviction and kindness will take him a lot further than any wrestling title ever could.

Negativity-Free Zone

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Photo credit iStockphoto

Had dinner with an old friend last night and she said she's giving up negativity for Lent. She is encouraging her entire extended family to quit complaining. I love the idea and hope they all see lasting results.

Then today I came across this post from Trevor Lund. He will send you 40 daily emails to help you and yours quit the negativity addiction throughout the Lenten season.

It's easy to develop and hard to recognize you've got a problem.  You know, a complaint here and there about how much you hate people in the media, politics and Hollywood. A bash about the local grocery clerk. A disgusting eye roll toward the homeless person riding their bike alongside the road. A cruel word to the opposing team in the name of competition. Berating the serviceperson who isn't working hard or quickly enough in your opinion.

Before you know it, your "opinion" which you become known for, is one of utter negativity toward the world in general. People can always count on you to find the bad and make it uglier. 

And then, if you're an artist, it seeps into your creations. Colors every piece with shades of gray and lots of black. You sing the same old sad song, write the same poem, tell your dark story one more time.

In short, negativity kills creativity.

Creativity breeds life and I want to fully live.

What about you? Do you have a negative complaint behavior you need to quit?

Leading Millennials

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Thom S. Rainer has a great article here on what millenials want in a leader. Through his article you can learn who our Millenials are and more details about what they are looking for in a leader.

I have a huge heart for Millennials, as Steve and I are raising 3 later born Millennial boys. I love to study articles like Rainers, because it's important to learn about what their generation is seeking.

For me, learning turns into leading. Millenials are looking for gentle spirited mentors, as well as authentic and down-to-earth pastors, politicians and the like. My favorite quality in Millennials is their zero tolerance policy on lying and inauthentic people. If you consistently lack integrity and are manipulative and deceitful, they will leave you. Forever.

Honesty wins every time. It's a good policy to implement for every generation.

In what ways are you leading the Millennial generation? 

 

400 Comments is $400 for Heifer

 

Want to be a part of something bigger than yourself? It's easy, just leave a comment on this post to help fight hunger in the United States and around the world.

Heifer International is an organization who fights hunger by giving needy families livestock, training, or other assistance. 

For every comment a live person makes on this post between now and Christmas Eve, my husband and I will donate $1.00 (Up to $400, sorry robots don't count).

Please include the following in your comment:

  • Your name
  • Where you live
  • A wish/blessing for 2011

Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men.

 

How to Not Be A Grinch

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Tips for loving Christmas:

  1. Say no. Say no to family, friends, commitments, obligations and traditions if they aren't healthy, fun and doable.
  2. Don't take "no" from others personally. Exercise respect by realizing they are doing what's best for them.
  3. Plan to join in the fun, not be the center of it. We set our expectations too high when we attempt to make ourselves or our kids the very center of the celebration. The only person at the center is Jesus.
  4. Know when it's time to go. Have fun, share glad tidings of joy and move on. Enough said.
  5. Be aware of what matters to others. Honor their traditions, think of meaningful ways to show what they mean to you. Speak their love language.
  6. Remember those serving over seas, and those here who are missing their loved ones. Go out of your way for these people.
  7. Give more than you get and your Christmas cup will overflow.

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Last Minute – Really?

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It's 8:00 a.m. on December 3rd. 

In the past 33 days I have:

  • Completed a 55,000 word novel
  • Completed 90% of my Christmas Shopping
  • Kept the boys in clean clothes, daily school and sports uniforms included
  • Nursed a very sick 12 year old back to health
  • Wrestled with faith and fear that my son had a heart problem (It's all good, it's as big as ever!)
  • Made daily trips to the grocery store trying to keep 3 teen boys from starving
  • Consumed 34 Starbucks Chai tea lattes. (There was a day when I needed two. Sue me.)

So on this Friday morning I decided to settle down for a long winter's nap.

Thought I'd check my email first.

When what to my wandering eyes did appear?

An Ad saying "we're down to the last minute here".

I sprang to my purse and tore open the sash

only to find I'm clean out of cash.

Seems I'd been pilfered by a teen herd

but never fear folks, it's only December 3rd!

Seriously, retail giants and elves alike; I'm not buying this (pun intended).

We are not down to the last minute.

I will not succumb to a false sense of urgency. And neither should you. 

Relax and enjoy the season. It's only beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Need U Now Eye in the Sky

Oh boy kids, what we've got here is what you might call a situation. An assistant to the group Alan Parsons Project is claiming Lady Antebellum ripped off Eye in the Sky with their smash crossover hit, Need You Now

Watch the video below and be amazed-

 

And to all my fellow WriMos out there, be careful of what you write and publish. The world doesn't need "The Twilight of Harry Potter".

Or do we?

Coffee Shop Conversations

Thank you to Zondervan for providing me with a copy of this book.

I found Coffee Shop Conversations to be helpful in showing me how to have meaningful conversations with others who do not share my faith. There is a gentleness,a respect and love in their instruction for being in relationship with others.

Early on in the book, the Finchers remind us that "walling people into categories prevents us from loving them." This is true. We cannot love people if we've made negative judgements and especially when we do it within the first seven seconds of meeting them.

Authors Dale and Jonalyn Fincher are doing great work in the area of developing tolerance toward all.

Win a $25 gift card to Starbucks by following them on twitter @Soulation. Let them know you did by leaving a comment HERE and you'll be entered into the drawing.

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