Tag Archives: writing

Wednesday:)What’s Happenin’ In My Wacky World?

11 Aug

“Do anything, but let it produce joy.”

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

(Words to live by, Walt. Thanks)

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I woke up early again today, deciding I was going to roll over, take the day off and not walk. My knee was acting up, I didn’t go to bed til after 1am, and I was tired. All good excuses, right?

I have this imaginary Angel/Devil on my shoulders argument thing going on in my head all the time. The Devil on my left shoulder says things like, “Don’t walk, stay in bed, or eat those brownies, or you don’t have to go to church today. 👿 Then, the Angel on my right shoulder says, “It’s a beautiful day, go enjoy the birds and get some exercise, drink more water, have a smoothie for breakfast, and I’ll see you at church on Sunday.” 😇

I’ll confess, the Angel doesn’t always win, especially the eating brownies part. But, she’s usually right, so I got up and went for a nice walk before it got too hot. I got in two miles. (Thank you Angel.)

Me and my shadow.

Today, I was really looking forward to our Words With Friends writing group over at The MillHouse at 1pm. Melissa Cantu is such a talented and inspirational facilitator/host. I am ever so grateful that she started this group.

Thank you, Melissa! 🤗
Our guest speaker today was Rachel Francis (second from left) who conducted a thought provoking poetry workshop. A beautiful group of talented ladies, all bringing their own unique and wonderful ideas and insights to each meeting.

I tend to bring the comic relief, with my weird sense of humor and outbursts of silliness. I read to them my Country Western Poem/Song that just needs a catchy tune and fabulous country singer to make it fly off the charts. It’s called, “I’ll Just Have Another Beer.” I’m thinkin’ Garth Brooks or Blake Shelton should sing it. It’s about this guy, and his girl left him and stole his truck and his dog. Typical country song, but funny. I read it with a thick southern twang. 🤦‍♀️

Now, saving the best for last. Remember how I’ve been praying and doing my best Navajo rain dances. Well, this afternoon, I heard big thunder booms. The sky got dark, but no rain. Friends were posting on Facebook that it was pouring rain by them, just a few miles away on the other side of town. But, no rain here. So, I went outside, lifted my hands to the sky and chanted my best rain chant. Finally, a nice little down pour. (You’re Welcome!)

It only lasted about 5 minutes, but I’ll take what I can get. (Maybe someone up there didn’t care for all my singing and dancing.) I should have stuck to show tunes like, “Singing in the Rain.”

Wednesday:) Words With Friends and Words Of Wisdom

8 Jun

“Voice is not just the sound that comes from your throat, but the feelings that come from your words.”
― Jennifer Donnelly

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You know what is even better than writing and sharing your words? Well, it’s writing with and sharing with other writers. When a group of talented writers get together, the creative energy is amazing.

Melissa Cantu started and facilitates a woman’s writing group that meets every other Wednesday at The MillHouse in McKinney called Words With Friends. Melissa always has thought provoking and creative writing exercises for us to experiment with. Just being around likeminded writers is inspirational.

Today, we started out with a brief quiet meditation with the sound of ocean waves in the background. It’s interesting how a calm mind can facilitate creativity.

One of the exercises was to think of the lyrics to a favorite song and describe the feelings and words that the song might evoke. Then, we shared our songs and feelings. For some reason, the first song that popped into my head was the theme song from the old movie, “Friendly Persuasion.” Pat Boone sings, “ Thee I Love.” Oh my goodness, if you haven’t seen the classic movie from the 50’s, you NEED to see it.

After writing down words, feelings, and emotions about our song, we were to write a short story inspired by the song and words, and where we were in our heads when we were reminiscing about those feelings and thoughts. I chose to write about today, in the present, where I am today, and that contentment transcribed into words.

Then, we shared with the group just the last two sentences of our story. Here are my last two sentences. …

Time is fleeting, but for just a few moments, it’s so lovely to just sit here today, sit in the quiet, feel the soft breeze against my skin, and say, “Here I am. Today is the best day of my life.”

I really enjoyed meeting some new writing friends and sharing ideas and words. Thus… Words With Friends. Thank you Melissa. ❤️

After the session, I wandered around the MillHouse for a few minutes and ran into one of the resident artists setting of for a watercolor class she was teaching this evening.

Cindy Gilstrap is a very talented artist and I enjoyed chatting with her. She teaches a lot of different art mediums and it sure looks like a lot of fun. She can be found at The MillHouse or at http://www.JunqueArt.com

Oh, I forgot to mention that another thing Melissa asked us to write down and share in our writing group was, “What is your Super Power.?” I said mine was FRIENDSHIP. I enjoy making new friends and being a friend. Hey, I guess Cindy is my new friend for today.

Happy Wednesday, my friends.

Thoughtful Thankful Thursday:) Life is Good

1 Apr

“Take as a gift whatever the day brings forth.”- Horace

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Today, I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for my family, friends, my dreams, talents, and my gifts.

One of my childhood dreams was to be an art teacher and artist. I was blessed to be able to teach art for a few years. I continue with my art six decades later. Another dream was to be a writer, so I always wrote stories and poems and journaled as long as I can remember. I still do, as you can see.

So, the other day, I was intrigued by a writing group that popped up on Facebook and was meeting at the MillHouse in downtown McKinney. I tried registering online, but I had trouble navigating the website to register. (I’m a writer, not a computer genius.🤦‍♀️) Therefore, I decided to show up in person to see if I could join the group.

Yesterday morning, I was shuffling through some ancient journals, folders, unfinished stories, and stacks of my writing. It was obvious that I had a lot to say but clearly never did anything with my words. I always said that I was going to write the “Great American Novel,” but never did. So, I grabbed a brand new notebook, a black pen, and took a leap of faith.

Just a smattering of my many pages, stories, poems, and the Great American Novel is in there somewhere. I belonged to a small writing group quite a few years back, but we disbanded when some ladies moved away. Those were good times.
My new writing friends at the MillHouse. (Missing one girl who left earlier)

Karen and Mellisa (on the left) facilitated the group, and we did some impromptu writing exercises and played fun writing games. Even though I was brand new to the group, they made me feel welcome, just like we were old friends. I have a feeling I found a place to make my dreams come true.

After our meeting, I had a little time before going over to the Cotter’s house for my weekly Charlatintos Spanish group. (More groups, Miss Toni?) I’m trying to work on my Spanish and our little group of four amigos has been enlightening.

As I wandered around the MillHouse, I found some old artist friends working in their studios.

Andrea Holmes is such a sweet, talented, and prolific artist. She was getting ready for one of her many art shows. She’s also famous for her awesome murals and window displays all over McKinney and nearby towns.
Lisa Temple is another talented artist and friend.
Then, I made a new friend. Robin Pedrero and I chatted a while. We probably have run into each other here and there, but never formerly introduced. New friend! 🤗

So, yesterday was a day of working on making dreams come true, making new friends and visiting old friends.

Then, to my delight, when I got home and checked my mailbox, there was a very sweet thank you note from the folks over at Towne Creek.

I am so thankful for all my blessings and it’s so nice to be thanked for the little things I do for others. It’s like a mutual admiration society with the world. I looked back at my journals today to see when I started volunteering doing art with the seniors at Towne Creek. I started in August of 2007. It’s been a while. Such blessings.

Happy Thoughtful Thankful Thursday, my friends.🤗

Toni’s Extrovert Diaries Day 9:) My Book Will Be Published! YAY!!!!

2 Apr

“Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life. The secret of success is in turning that diary into the best story you possibly can.”

― Douglas Pagels

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It’s been a long time in the making. I’ve kept a daily journal for almost forty years now, and I’ve always dreamed that someday I’d be a famous author. It wasn’t until I became good friends with my neighbor Alicia last year, that I realized that I had an important story to share with the world.

Alicia has written over thirty best-selling novels, has been on countless talk shows and interviews, and has lectured to and hosted many writing workshops. When she heard my story, she said, “Girl, you need to share this with the world. I’ll get you in touch with my publisher when it’s ready. It’s really good!”

Well, it’s ready and the publisher loved it. I received my contract in the mail today! The printed books and e-version will be available in May. Yay!

This all seems like a waking dream. I knew my story was good when I shared it with my retreat sisters at St. Gabriel two years ago. Everyone cried and laughed and gathered round to hug me when I finished reading the final excerpt. Because, through all the heartbreak, pain, lies, and betrayal, God turned my darkest days into beautiful blessings. “Only God could do that!”

This is a “tell-all” account and journal of what really goes on behind the scenes at an exclusive Texas country club. I like to call it “The good ol’ boy network.” Anything goes, and it’s always going on. I’ll walk you through all the lies, e-mails, texts, cover-ups, call girls, sex, and slutty waitresses waiting to pounce on wealthy men. It was all a big game to them, and they tried to get all their buddies to join in on the action.

Because this is a true story, I changed the names and places “to protect the guilty.” You noticed, I said the “guilty,” not to protect the innocent. There was nothing innocent going on there.

CHAPTER ONE

I know I’m not the first woman in the world who was lied to, cheated on, and thrown away like a piece of trash. But, I thought he was the last person on earth capable of such atrocities.

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This all seems like a waking dream because it is. And, because it’s APRIL FOOL’S DAY, I thought I’d try to fool you with yet another story that really never happened. Well, all the details are true except for the fact that I don’t have a publisher or a book deal. YET…. But, who knows? Maybe someday, I’ll have that book published after all.

Sentimental Saturday:) Stories, Stories, and More Stories

14 Mar

“Nothing stirs up old memories like a big box of old photographs, letters, magazine clippings, and handwritten stories.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I was inspired by a good friend to dig out some of my old stories that I used to write when I was part of a weekly writing group. My old dusty Dell laptop that hasn’t been used since the Kennedy administration, (just kidding, not quite that old) has dozens of my old stories on there in Word documents. But, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to forward or print them or get them out of that antiquated machine.

So, this morning, I rummaged through my cluttered jam packed closet and found an old box that housed many of the afore mentioned stories, along with magazine stories that I had written for McKinney Living Magazine, and newspaper clippings from the time I was a guest columnist for the Dallas Morning News NeighborsGo.

Wow! Talk about nostalgia.

Now, I will meander down memory lane and read some of these old stories. I’m hoping some might be worth revising and sharing. But, I have a feeling some will be a bit boring. Wait! I take that back… I almost forgot. I AM AMAZING! I’m sure all my stories are AMAZING!

Happy Saturday!

100,000 Views and Counting…WOW!!!

1 Feb

“Small goals and small dreams often turn into fabulous feats of magic.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I’m sitting here with a cup of tea and my iPad, basking in the glow of my recent achievement. I knew I was getting close yesterday, but this morning, I turned over in bed, grabbed my phone and checked the time, then my WordPress stats. YES! 100,022 views. Amazing! Yes, I am.

Now granted, that’s the total number of views from when I first started my blog way back in 2013, but I never thought I’d keep writing and sharing. When I started my Blog about nothing. It’s just about my daily life, and I related it to the Seinfeld TV episode where Jerry tried to pitch a sitcom to NBC and based it on nothing.

When I started writing January 1, 2013, I was just the everyday average happily married suburban housewife living in the quaint city of McKinney, Texas, writing about happenings on the square, my family and friends, and my lovely life in Texas. My goal was to see if I could write a blog and post every single day for entire year. Little did I know that just a few months later, My heart and my world would plummet down from the sky, get dragged through the flaming mud of hell, and id be forced to survive an excruciatingly painful and devastating divorce after 39 years of marriage.

But guess what? I survived and I flourished with the help of family and friends. And, I never stopped writing or sharing. Through the tears and the laughter, this blog and this writing helped me get through the worst of times and open my eyes to the wonderful world I had been missing. I have written 2,235 consecutive posts, with 53,594 visitors, and have more than surpassed my goal of trying to write for just one year. I’ve made a zillion new friends along the way, and I’ve been inspired by each one. Writing about my “nothing life” just might inspire someone else. Who knows? How great is that?

I currently have 844 WordPress followers, 347 Facebook followers, 133 friends on Twitter and 42 friends on Tumblr. That’s a lot of friends. How blessed am I? Bless YOU all for being a part of it. Sending virtual hugs.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom From Facebook

27 Dec

“All my wisdom, knowledge, and vital information was ascertained on my Facebook page.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Thought I would share some words of wisdom that I found on my Facebook page just today. Some very great quotes shared by some very dear friends.

Words to live by. Hope you are having a great Wednesday and day after Christmas.

OK! Just one more Gamma picture for good measure.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Terrific Blogging Adventure

12 Jun

“Life is short. Live it, taste it. Never waste it.”

“My daily blogging has become an intimate personal diary of my life. I have shared my joys, laughter, tears and sorrows. And, because of you, there is never a day that I can’t find something wonderful to write about.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I’ve been anxiously awaiting this benchmark number. You may recall, my original challenge to myself was to write a daily blog for one entire year. That would be 365 consecutive days. Today, I have written and passed the 2,000 mark of consecutive posts, with over 92,000 views, and 49,000 visitors. I have 774 WordPress followers, 347 Facebook followers, 135 on Twitter, and 38 on Tumblr. I think that’s pretty awesome!

THANK YOU!

It’s been over 5 years of blogging, telling stories, taking pictures, and sharing my little world with the rest of you. If I have influenced, inspired, or brought joy to just one person, I have accomplished my goal. This has made my life so joyful and rewarding. Every day, I wake up wondering what I’ll write about. I see beauty that I’d never seen before. Writing helps me focus on what’s important. And that is… “Life is short. Live it, taste it. Never waste it.”

Montage Monday:) Week in a Peek

16 Jan

“A photograph shouldn’t be just a picture, it should be a philosophy.”

Amit Kalantri

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It was a good week and a bad week. Good part-I had a birthday. Bad part-I’m getting old. More good about that…I received a lot of calls, gifts, texts, and well wishes, flowers from my son, calls and FaceTime with my grand-baby. Good part- I baked several batches of brownies for different occasions this week. Bad part- I had to taste test a lot of brownies to make sure they were just right. Good part-I’m now a Medicare card carrying senior citizen. Bad part-again, I’m getting old. But, I’m just kidding. I don’t feel old, so you’re only as old as you feel. I feel pretty young, silly, and loved. I can get away with wearing the sock monkey hat, too.

I hope you had a good week, and have a great one coming up.

Monday:) My Five Year Mission~ Mission Accomplished

2 Jan

“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.”

~Benjamin Franklin

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It’s a new year, and every January 1st, I’m reminded that it’s a chance to start a new page for the new chapter of a new story.

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

http://youtu.be/S6R3MiAv9ac

The following is my very first post on January 1,2012. A lot has happened since that first story five years ago. My plan was to see if I could write something every day for one entire year. Like the Star Ship Enterprise, it turned into my five year mission…to boldly go… well, I’ve explored strange new worlds. I’ve shared happy news and sad news, and I have met wonderful new people and made great new friends, and I’ve been hurt and betrayed by someone I loved for over four decades, I’ve complained about politics, and solicitors, but I no longer have to complain about my dogs or husband. They’re now EX’s and gone. Yep, a lot has changed. What didn’t changed was my resolve to write every day, and I didn’t miss a day in five years

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My mission now complete, I can relax and now write only when the mood strikes. But, the one thing I’ve learned these past five years is, when you look for something to write about each and every day, it teaches you to focus on the beauty and importance of life.

My New Year’s resolution… I don’t have one. I haven’t changed in nearly 65 years, I’m not going to change now. I LIKE ME, JUST THE WAY I AM.

This was my first blog post five years ago,

 

 

New Year’s Resolutions

2

JAN

SALUTATIONS AND FULMINATIONS

It’s a new day. It’s a new year. It’s a new blog. As I get ready to toss out the old, well-worn 2012 calendar, I’m reminded of two things. One: I always make New Year’s resolutions that I seldom keep for very long. Two: I don’t have a new 2013 calendar. Now what? But, with all the fancy-dancy digital and techno-gadgets at my disposal, who really needs a paper calendar? Let’s face it, I don’t need one, but I still like the old fashioned ways. I prefer turning the real pages of a book as opposed to swiping my index finger across an illuminated tablet, and I enjoy the tactile custom of flipping over a calendar page filled with scribbled appointments and birthday reminders. Don’t get me wrong, my iPad is jammed with info, pictures, contacts, stories and reminders. I just need both.

This year, my resolution is not just to do more writing, but to share my writing with more people. So, here I am, and if you are reading this, I’m off to a good start. Thank you!

It was difficult to come up with a title for my new blog. It seemed like every idea I had was already out there when I Googled it. I wanted to use words like ruminations, contemplations, or rantings, but they were taken. Therefore, I did what every perplexed writer does in time of need. I looked up some words in my red Webster dictionary. In this case, I used the on-line version, but many times, I actually use the old fashioned hard cover copy on the book shelf.

The word fulminate popped up during my exhaustive search. Whoa! That’s a good one, and low and behold, my Google search didn’t bring up much with that word. Perfect! If you aren’t familiar with the word, as it was a new one to me, the synonyms are rant, rave or spout. Yes, perfect.

My plan is to share happy news, discoveries, stories about new places and fun people, thus the salutations. But, once in a while, I get a bee in my bonnet, and I start ranting or complaining about politics, phone solicitors, or the ever popular things my husband does to aggravate me, therefore, the fulminations.

Today is New Year’s Day, a great day to start a new project. I think I’m getting off to a good start with my inaugural post. Wish me luck!

 

After five years, I’ve had 82,919 views on my site, nearly 20,000 just this year. I have made hundreds of new friends. I’ve written 1,839 consecutive days, and have read thousands of posts from the many interesting people I follow. It’s a NEW YEAR, blessings and joy to you and yours.