A Gift of Love Fan Page

Friday, March 17, 2017

Words of Inspiration, On the Subject of Writing, Move that Pen

Stop telling me she's just a dog.
She's loyal, compassionate, and honest.
She's character wrapped in fur.
She's family.

We all have a story to tell. What is yours?

Today I share starter sentences, nuggets of ideas to hopefully inspire you to move your pen:

The best Christmas gift in the world I ever received was ...

There wasn't a star in the sky that cold and frigid night I ....

The greatest part of becoming a friend is ....

Once upon a time ...

And of course, a few favorite quotations:

"Be so happy that when others look at you they become happy, too." --Linda Della Donna

"How you make others feel about themselves says a lot about you." --Kushandwizdom

"Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names." --John F. Kennedy

What are you waiting for? Pick up your pen. Set that dang clock timer. Write something.

Go ahead. I dare you.

See you in print,

Linda Della Donna
Come journal with me; 
your book is yet to be.

The E and mE.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Be Happy, Be Open, Be Free

Accept you were born to be great.
Break free and away from the chains that bind you.
And live an amazing life!

I'm working on writing. Again. I am working hard harder hardest. I have a goal. Okay, I have a few goals. And I like that. It keeps me focused. While it is important to follow your writing passion, it is important to read, research and not forget about living life to its fullest--it is important to nurture your muse. 

As every writer will attest, writing is a solitary event. If you are a single person, even if you are not; if you live alone, even if you don't; add writing a book to the mix of life, and that amounts to a whole lot of alone time. 

It's okay. It's who you are. Writing has its rewards. Just remember, when scheduling time to sit and write, be sure to schedule time for meetups, important dates, anniversaries, falling in love, making a new friend, paying attention to the friends you have, writer workshops, and your personal needs. And sticking to it.

Writing Tip: It takes courage to write. Writing makes you vulnerable. When writing, don't be afraid to bare your soul.

Writing Quotation: "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." --e. e. cummings

See you in print,

Come journal with me;
your book is yet to be.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

What Sister Said, Eltrut, Fear

"When you no longer worry what someone will think about you,
or the words you put on paper, you'll lose your fear of writing."
--Linda Della Donna

I am a writer. There, I said it.

When I was in sixth grade the teacher gave a homework assignment to write a composition. 

"Write anything you want," Sister said. "Fill one page with a story," she said. "Hand it in tomorrow."

I had no idea what I would write about, but I went home determined to write something and that evening while sitting in my bedroom gazing into the eyes of a nickle-sized, four-legged, slime green, dime-store creature, perched on a rock in a small fish bowl, I decided to write a story about a turtle. I gave him a name, an address, and because my father was a carpenter, I gave the little guy a hammer, a saw, and a job. When I was done, I had more than 1000 words and a title--"The Adventures of Eltrut."

The next day, I handed in my work and got on with the rest of my sixth-grade life. I told no one about what I had written, not even my mother. I was too shy, too insecure, and too self-conscious. And too worried someone would make fun of me. To me, my story was just words on paper. And a secret.

One afternoon some weeks later, I was called to the front of the class,"Linda," Sister said, handing me my composition, "I want you to read your story to the class." 

I did. And when I was done, Sister proclaimed, "Linda, you're a writer!"

I will never forget that day, Sister's words, or the twinkle in her eye when she said them. I didn't realize it back then, but that teacher had planted a seed.

Thank you Sister Mary Ancilla wherever you are.

Linda Della Donna
"Come journal with me;
your book is yet to be."

The E
Loyal Friend
Mighty Muse

Monday, March 6, 2017

Manhattan Monday, A Sunday, Grand Central Station, I Love Concrete

Sunday arrived cold as a witch's you-know-what. I didn't care.

I like the cold, and more, I liked the idea that because of the cold weather, I'd be only one venturing out to spend time in it.

I bundled in warm coat, scarf and boots; I donned a pair of my warmest gloves. Then I headed out the door. I wanted to catch MetroNorth, the express train to Grand Central Station.

The wind was blowing hard. There was no one on the platform. I waited for the train alone.

Waiting for the Express to GCS.
I was the only one here.

I arrived Grand Central Station to sunshine splashing through the windows. It spilled down onto the floor casting long shadows. There were no harried businessmen and busy business women rushing about to get to their jobs. There were protestors and I watched as they stood like mannequins, side by side, holding their protestor signs.

I raised my camera and the protestors posed proudly for photographs.

I stopped at The Big Clock. It's where everyone meetsup. And I snapped another photo.

I laid down on the granite floor ...

... and I snapped a photo of the ceiling. Or, two.

I walked 42nd Street. To Bryant Park. The air was frosty and the ice skating rink was an avenue of ice skaters.

There were tables and chairs surrounding the skating rink. I pulled up a seat and sat. I sipped a cup of hot chocolate. For awhile I breathed in and breathed out enjoying the smiling faces on happy skaters. 

After a time, when I couldn't feel my toes or the tip of my nose on my face, I headed to Hell's Kitchen and Five Napkin Burger over on Ninth Avenue to warm up.

The hostess showed me to a table with window view. The waitress took my order--Bacon, cheese burger, medium well, with side of sweet potato fries--I liked the service, it was excellent. I especially liked Robert the bar tender. Robert charged my cell phone while I dined. Yes, I am grateful.

When I was done eating, I walked the sunny sidewalks studying tall buildings. I love concrete.

Before I knew it, it was time to head home. I was back to 42nd Street, Grand Central Station and the rush of fast feet racing to catch a train.

I had time for one last photo of the ceiling. Yes, I laid down on the floor to snap it. And I was off. To catch my train home.

See you in print,

Linda Della Donna
Come journal with me;
your book is yet to be.

Writing Tip: Blocked? Think you got no ideas? Stop that. Ideas are everywhere. You have only to pick up your pen and write. 

Writing Quote: "Writing about a writer's block is better than not writing at all." --Charles Bukowski

Loyal Friend,
Mighty Muse
The E

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Be Happy, Be You, You're Beautiful Just the Way You Are

You're a diamond, dear. Nothing can break you.
--A boy friend

I attended parochial school when I was a small girl. Strict discipline tempered with religion, how to obey promptly, how to say, "Yes, Sister; No, Sister; Please, may I ..., Sister," and "Thank you, Sister," and oh yes, never question Sister, taught me fear--fear of authority, fear to express myself, fear of committing, oh horrors, sin and punishment by the devil.

That was a long time ago. I am a grown woman now. I've changed so very much. Looking back, I realize how difficult it was for me to conform. I was a square peg in round hole. And I wasn't very good at belonging to a club I didn't want to join.

But that was then. And this is now. And though it took me a lifetime of trials and errors to overcome my fear of writing, I did learn how to resist the urge to be like everyone else and to stop comparing myself to other writers. As Martha Stewart says, "It's a good thing."

Today I share quotations that have special meaning to me, words of inspiration that will perhaps motivate you to look inside yourself and discover the essential you. I hope they inspire you to erase your fear to write something.

Go ahead.

Pick up your pen.

Set a clock timer. Go!

I dare you.

See you in print,

Linda Della Donna
Come journal with me;
your book is yet to be.

Be true to yourself. --Grace Della Donna, my mother.

You're beautiful, just the way you are. --Frank Della Donna, My dad.

Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got. --Janis Joplin

Nobody puts Baby in the corner. --Patrick Swayze, Dirty Dancing

When writing the story of our life, don't let anyone else hold the pen. --Anonymous

I'd rather be disliked for something I am, than liked for something I'm not. --Linda Della Donna

Hanging at Main Street Garage

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Westchester Wednesday, My BabE and ME, It's a Beautiful Day at the Kensico Dam

Rise before dawn. Find a vantage point with a wide vista.
Wait for the first warming rays. Feel their strength, their vitality.
Observe the world as it wakes around you. Feel the renewal. --Patrick Lindsay

I'm one of those hardy writers who finds inspiration in blue sky. And, happy faces in sunshine.

Here are a few photographs of one sunny Westchester Wednesday framed in sky of blue at the Kensico Dam in Valhalla, New York. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed snapping them:

Today, temperatures soar to a record high. It is a February day in 2017. The air is spring-like. Who knew? I can't make up my mind what it is I like more--Fresh air tickling my nose, smiling faces smiling back at me, or people-watching the parade of people simply out for a walk along the avenue at the Kensico Dam, Valhalla, New York.

There are bikers ...

There are walkers ...

There are solo individuals ...

There are roller bladers ...

And moms and dads pushing baby carriages ... With big sister tagging along.

There are dog walkers ...

And there is EvEn that mighty musE of minE, thE E.

See you in print,

Linda Della Donna
Come journal with me;
your book is yet to be.

Writing Tip: Whatever your passion, do it from your heart.

Writing Quote: One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. --William Shakespeare

Monday, February 20, 2017

Presidents' Day, Quotations, Words of Inspiration

Mount Rushmore

In honor of Presidents' Day, the American holiday celebrated here in the states the third Monday of February every year since 1971, today I share quotations from former presidents. I hope they inspire you to dream, learn more, perhaps pick up your pen, set a clock timer for fifteen minutes and write something:

My dream is of a place and a time where America will once againbe seen as the last best hope of earth. --Abraham Lincoln

The planter, the farmer, the mechanic, and the laborer ... form the great body of the people of the United States, they are bone and sinew of the country men who love liberty and desire nothing but equal rights and equal laws. --Andrew Jackson

Tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time. --Gerald R. Ford

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. --Thomas Jefferson

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. --John F. Kennedy

The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among free men. --James Buchanan

Sometimes I wake at night in the White House and rub my eyes and wonder if it is not all a dream. --Grover Cleveland

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader. --John Quincy Adams

Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality. --John Tyler

I have always done my duty. I am ready to die. My only regret is for the friends I leave behind me. --Zachary Taylor

All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work. --Calvin Coolidge

See you in print,

Linda Della Donna
Come journal with me;
your book is yet to be.

The E, My Mighty Muse

Author's Note: Resource for the spelling of Presidents' Day:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Westchester Wednesday, Road Trip, My Special Snowplace

Last week I went to StopN'Shop to see all the people buy up bread, milk, eggs and toilet paper because weatherman said the S word--Snow. I thought about writing a BookOrBust blog post about the event, complete with photographs. But after awhile, I became hugely bored watching Shoppers A, B, C and D argue with Shoppers E, F, G and H about who was next in line and fighting feelings of claustrophobia as the crowd of people-pushing carriages grew thick, thicker, thickest. It was then I decided if snow was coming, I rather be someplace else--Someplace where snow falling to the ground was a signal of celebration, not a trigger of sadness, stress and worry. Before I knew it, I had a booked a hotel room at a distant destination, my belongings , along with skis, boots and poles were stowed in Big Blue, Big Blue is my car, and with E, my mighty muse, pouched neatly at my side, headed north. Road Trip!

Crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge

Big Blue was gassed, GPS was set, and before I knew it, E and me were on our way.

Peace on Earth is a stretch of empty highway. Who knew?

There was zero traffic on the road. I figure everybody was at the stores buying up all the bread, milk, eggs and toilet paper.

Serenity now.

The Adirondack Northway was empty. I was the only car on the road. I gripped the steering wheel and delighted in the peace and quiet. I sang out loud to myself and E, I didn't know the words to songs, I sang out of tune, but it didn't matter because there was nobody to complain. I began to count my blessings--The company of a devoted sleepy dog at my side; a reliable machine--Big Blue--to take me to a pleasant place; good health, and so much more. My happy list grew with each roll of the wheel.

My Home Away From Home

It was five hours later when I arrived my hotel. Room 136 key in hand, it was time to unload Big Blue and settle in for a long winter's extended weekend of writing fun, leisure, and relaxation.

Carpe' Diem!

Morning arrived. And the sound of sun breaking clouds was my welcome alarm clock. Before I knew it, I was up, showered, dressed and headed out the door, my mighty muse tucked at my back.

The View

It was a white view from my mountain view. In the distance I could see the back of Whiteface and Mt. Marcy. Before me was Lake Placid, a snow-covered lake. It lay silent in a blanket of white while a team of dogs pulled a sled.

After a time, I headed out. There was snow. Everywhere. The world was clean and white. The sky was clear and bright. Nobody seemed one bit concerned. Life was pure and simple.

 I stopped for a cup of coffee.
No complaints here.

I took time to read about, what else? Snow!
No complaints here.

Main Street was quiet.
No complaints here.

There were a school of painted wooden bears set outside a store front. The tempereature was six degrees. The bears didn't seem to mind at all.

It was time to head to the mountain for skiing, ski watching, and apres skiing.

The lifts were just getting started when we arrived. Skiers were lining up for a lift to the top of the mountain. At the base of the mountain, skiers lined up to board the gondola. And the air was filled with sounds of happy voices.

Natural High

Who says snow isn't a tonic?

For those skiers wary of the great white outdoors, there is always the Mahogany run...*the bar* ... And the great white views from mountain-sized windows.

That night more snow fell...

... And fell
... And fell
... And fell
 ... And fell
 ... And fell
 ... And fell
... And fell.

And guess what? I didn't hear one complaint. I didn't see anyone race to a grocery store for bread, milk, eggs, or toilet paper. 

When morning arrived, when it was time for me to pack up and head back to that place I call home, I hated to leave. But I did. Then I wrote myself a reminder to stop along the way to pick up bread, milk, eggs and toilet paper. 

Homeward Bound

See you in print,

Linda Della Donna
"Come journal with me;
your book is yet to be."