Life, Stories, Writing

What Is It to Have Succeeded?

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – that is to have succeeded.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson #Quote #Success #Life

As I look back over my life, the questions haunt me, ‘have I succeeded?’ and ‘how do you define a successful life?’

Success by the worlds standards might include the following:

  • He who has the most toys wins!
  • Building wealth and showing it off!
  • Amassing a large social media following!
  • Having a perfect relationship and a trophy companion!
  • Launching a billion-dollar business that changes the world!

I am sure you can think of many others things that might apply as well.

If you don’t define success for your life, someone else will define it for you.

  • What mountain are you climbing?
  • How do you know if it is the right one at the right time?
  • When you reach the summit will you see your mountain off in the distance?

For me the idea of a successful life has shrunk over the years. Not in terms of impact but in terms of grandiosity and self-serving vanity. The Emerson quote has been a favorite of mine since the first time I read it.

To laugh often and much to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others to leave the world a little better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.

I have stood at the bedside as a last breath was taken and I have no doubt my presence made that breath a little easier. You can read about this in my memoir to be published in 2021 and an update in a previous post here. I pray that I have also helped others breathe a little easier in times of trouble, strife and pain. For what good is a life that offers nothing of value to other human beings, living things and the world around us?

It’s probably not surprising to paraphrase Emerson this is my definition of success >

Now tell me, what is your definition of success?

Life, Poetry, Writing

Do You Believe in Fairy Tales?

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed. ~G.K. Chesterton #Quote #MotivationMonday #MondayBlogs

Dragons do not only exist in fairy tales.

Dragons are real and they exist.

Dragons can be beaten.

It is time to believe in fairy tales again, for the dragon is at our door. He is real, he exists, we must believe and fight with the faith of a child, always believing he can be beaten. ~M #WarriorPoets #Quote #MotivationMonday

#LiveYourDreams

Dragons do not only exist in fairy tales > Dragons are real and they exist > Dragons can be beaten. #Motivation #Encouragement

I am currently slaying some of my own dragons having writen my memoir which is to be published in Spring of 2021. You can read the announcement from last Saturday here or by clicking on the image below. 😉

#YouGotThis #NeverGiveUpYourDreams

Grief, Life, Stories, Writing

Memoir Update – Signed Publishing Agreement!

It’s official!

*Note: Working title and not actual cover.

Exciting news!!! I have signed a publishing and distribution agreement with Christian Faith Publishing for my memoir. I submitted my manuscript to their review board, they accepted the draft and want to publish my book. Woo-hoo! 😁

Signing the agreement with my daughter!
  • It has been a long journey for sure to get to this point, never stop chasing your dreams!
  • Expected publication date is still to be determined, sometime in early 2021.
  • Lots to be done before then – editing, proofing, typesetting, cover design etc.

I have been busy drafting my author bio and the book blurb. That is harder than writing the actual book. Who knew? 😳

Book teaser >

When did we come to believe the best thing you can do with death is ride off from it? In Cowboys Are Not Supposed To Cry, Mark Wayne tells his story of living a life with grief beginning in his mid-twenties. #Memoir #AmWriting #UpcomingBook #WritersLife

I hope to post some excerpts from the forthcoming book as I go through the editing process as well as other updates here on the blog. So be sure to hit the follow button and sign up for email notifications to get the latest.

*Note: Working title and not actual cover.

I would love to hear your initial impressions or thoughts. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and will help guide efforts as I move forward in publishing and marketing.

#LiveYourDreams

Adventure, Life, Writing

Let Them Deal With It – Motivation Monday

There are days my friend when it is all you can do to stand, but stand you must and this is your reminder that if today is one of those days, well…

Sometimes, you just have to let them feel the weight of who you are. And let them deal with it! #Quote #MotivationMonday #MondayBlogs

I believe in you, believe in yourself and believe in the God of the universe for He believes in you. #Encouragement #MondayMotivation #MondayBlogs

You are stronger than you know!

#JustBelieve #LiveYourDreams #GraceChangesPeople

God, Life, Writing

Happy Birthday to Me! – Motivation Monday

Yes! 😉 Today is my birthday! 🎂 Oh’ happy day right? 😃

Sometimes I am not so sure. What I mean is I have less years in front of me than I do behind me so another birthday is a reminder that time here on earth is finite. Time to get moving, live your dreams, seek your purpose, leave the world and others a little bit better.

AND WHAT GOOD IS A LIFE, THAT LEAVES NOTHING BEHIND, NOT A THOUGHT OR A DREAM, THAT MIGHT ECHO IN TIME ~Trans Siberian Orchestra “What is Eternal” from Beethoven’s Last Night #SongLyrics #Poetry #Music #Questions @trans_siberian

So with that happy thought ringing in your head, a question for you. Do you find a motivating quote, scripture, picture or something else to guide you? As I traverse this life between the eternities I often look to scripture for guidance, inspiration and solace. The following verse gives me strength, hope and comfort when the world seems out of control.

There are many others including quotes and even just photos that often have the same effect in calming my soul. Check out my Wordless Wednesday posts!

What about you? I would love to hear what gives you moments of respite during these chaotic and often confusing times.

#JustBelieve #GraceChangesPeople #LiveYourDreams

Life, Poetry, Writing

People’s Choice Voting – Motivation Monday

A little different Monday Motivation post for this week. I am hoping I can motivate you to take some action, read some great poems and cast a vote for your favorites.

If you saw my post this past Saturday – ‘Wake the Beast’ Poetry Submission – Top 11 Selection! you know that my poem made the top 11 for the My Still Waters anthology to be published by A.B. Baird Publishing later this year.

And now it is time for the –

PEOPLE’S CHOICE VOTING!!!

You now have the opportunity to head over to the A.B. Baird Publishing website and cast your vote(s) for your favorite poem. I would be thrilled if you like my poem ‘Wake the Beast’ and cast a vote for it but better yet, read all the poems and vote for your favorites. There are some amazingly talented writers out there and you won’t be disappointed.

Just click this link A.B. Baird Publishing and either scroll down the page to the My Still Waters or click the My Still Waters hyperlink in the left hand column. The directions for the People’s Choice voting are easy, read each piece and cast a vote for your favorites. It is that easy!

Also, if would be appreciated if you are on Twitter to follow me @mwschutter and tweet the link below.

People’s Choice voting is live until 8/5 at https://www.abbairdpublishing.com for the upcoming anthology My Still Waters. My piece is ‘Wake the Beast’ and would love to have your support. #PoetryCommunity #WritingCommunity #Poetry #Writing #WritersLife #MondayMotivation #MondayBlogs

Thanks so much and have a great day! 😉

Life, Poetry, Writing

‘Wake the Beast’ Poetry Submission – Top 11 Selection!

I recently submitted 7 poems to A.B. Baird Publishing for inclusion in the upcoming anthology “My Still Waters.” The theme of the anthology is poems related to self-hope, self-discovery and healing.

My poem submissions included:

  • Healing is Never Perfect
  • Just What I Need
  • My Black Heart
  • My Broken Mind (honorable mention)
  • New Chapters
  • Wake the Beast (short list)
  • Words I Wanted to Say (honorable mention)

The publishers narrowed the list to 120 poems for inclusion and a couple of weeks ago I received notice that 5 of the 7 had been selected to be published in the anthology. Better yet two received honorable mentions and ‘Wake the Beast‘ made the short list of the top 25.

The first two lines of my poem are:

I tiptoe around afraid to wake the beast – He rests sleeping his power unreleased “Wake the Beast” #poetry #poetrycommunity #amwriting #writerslife

And now I have received another notice that this poem, ‘Wake the Beast‘ was selected for the top 11. I am so honored and excited. There are so many talented poets and writers out there and to be chosen is wonderful. The final 11 pieces now move to the final round of judging for the competition and the winner will be announced on Monday, July 27.

Additionally all 11 poems will be posted on the A.B. Baird Publishing website and Instagram page. There they will compete for your votes and the title of “people’s choice.”

Voting begins next Tuesday, July 28 the day after the competition winner is announced. I encourage you to visit, read the poems and vote for your favorite.

If it happens to be mine ‘Wake the Beast‘ I would be honored and I thank you in advance.

Adventure, Life, Photograph, Writing

From Here to There – Motivation Monday

“From here to there”

They say each journey begins with that first step, followed by another until we are on our way. To paraphrase Bilbo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien) it is a dangerous business going out your front door for there is no telling where you might be swept off to.

Doesn’t the true adventure lie in the unknown? In not knowing what might lie just up ahead, as our nervousness rises our yearning for adventure drives us forward!

Doesn’t the true adventure lie in not knowing what comes next?

My friends, what is stopping you from taking that first step on your own great adventure? #LiveYourDreams #MotivationMonday #MondayBlogs

#LiveYourDreams

Life, Writing

“Social Distancing” – The Oxymoron of 2020?

Photo by Joshua Miranda on Pexels.com

Social distancing, seems to be all the rage now days. For the health and safety for ourselves and others. But really what is social distancing? Let’s start with the definition of oxymoron from the Merriam Webster Dictionary online.

Oxymoron  – a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (such as cruel kindness); broadly: something (such as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oxymoron).

Okay, that makes some sense, simply put words that don’t often go together to explain something else. Examples include:

  • jumbo shrimp
  • deafening silence
  • small crowd
  • sweet sorrow
  • walking dead

There are many more but I will leave that to you to search them out on your own. On to the definitions of social and distancing, again from the online Merriam Webster Dictionary.

Social

  • marked by or passed in pleasant companionship with friends or associates // an active social life
  • of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society // social institutions
  • tending to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others

Distancing

  • the quality or state of being distant:
  • such as a: spatial remoteness // quite a distance between the two hospitals b: personal and especially emotional separation // feels a distance from her brother that wasn’t there before

“Social Distancing” – Social appears to be all about connection and distancing is all about separation. Call me a fool, but I just don’t get it.

Studies have shown that the use of technology does have negative effects including mental health issues. The article “Negative Effects of Technology: What to Know” published by Medical News Today in February 2020 cites studies that show the following are but just a few of the impacts on individuals overusing or creating a dependence on technology.

  • Isolation
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Sleep Problems
  • Reduced Physical Activity
Negative effects of technology and social media.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now ‘they’ are telling us to social distance from others, including family and close friends. Use technology and social media we are told to try and stay connected while we remain distant. I wonder what the actual end game here is? As we trod forward trusting the ‘experts’ who tell us ‘they’ only have the well being of each individual and society (there’s that word a derivative of social) as a whole.

What’s your take on all of this?

And what do you do with it?

Adventure, Life, Photograph, Writing

Pondering Distractions

“Brutus”

Pondering distractions, as the urgency grows!

Pondering distractions, as the urgency grows! #BusyDoingNothing

Are the things we are pondering sometimes meaningless distractions in the grand scheme of things? We focus our attention on what this hand is doing and the other quietly goes about implementing a different plan. While silently a inside we feel a growing urgency that is creeping forward with an agenda that we cannot name for it is hidden from our view.

We are so focused on what is right in front of us that we fail to see the danger that stalks us. There is so much going on in our lives at this time. I wonder if those things in our cities, our nation and around the world are simply distracting us from an even bigger story?

Those without a plan are at the mercy of those with a plan, but sometimes you can over plan these things, so be careful while planning your plan. #LOL #Humor #Word

Now what are you going to do? #Question #LiveYourDreams