Mandala Madness Day 9

In both eastern and western cultures, the mandala has come to symbolize harmony, unity, wholeness, and healing. When I consider the mandala’s ancient roots and its use in indigenous practices around the globe, I understand why it’s such a part of our planetary culture.

In part 5 of this project, I introduced blue which promotes peace and emotional health. I was inspired by my lovely blue hyacinths. I added green because of the new green leaves on the maple tree. Green promotes love and respect for nature.  I introduced pink a milder influence of energy than its counterpart red. I returned to orange and it’s creativity and red for its high energy.

It’s raining here in New Jersey again, so I curled up in my recliner with the mandala across my lap and played some Willie Nelson and Ronnie Dunn on the stereo. Before I knew it part 5 was completed. It was a lovely peaceful afternoon for me crocheting.

I am very pleased with how the red and orange worked together in the half moons.

There was only one minor glitch this time and it was with the shells in row 40, I had the first two repeats completed when a message box appeared on the video. The instructor had asked us to do double crochets when in fact she meant for us to do treble crochets. Phew, good thing I hadn’t gone any further than that.

Macavity as soon as I laid it on the table immediately tested the comfort level out. I am happy to say it has his paw approval. 🙂

Tomorrow, I must focus on getting several of my poems ready for the contest deadline so I am going to have to let my mandala rest. 😦

Mandala Journey

I’m on day 8 of this Mandala spiritual awareness journey. I have just completed Round 34. Phew, those popcorns were frustrating. I had to take this apart 3 times to get it to work. At the beginning of my third attempt, I paused the video and counted the popcorns in the picture. That is where I discovered the popcorns were in clusters of 13 not 12, then 2 half double crochets, 5 single crochets on each side. Once I did it that way everything came together. Thank goodness for the picture. 🙂

Since we last discussed colors I’ve added black, pink, bright spring green and royal blue.  I chose black to invite mystery into my spiritual arena because things in my world were feeling very mundane.  I was looking at my pink hyacinths in the front flower bed and the new green leaves on the trees so I added those to my Mandala. I noticed how dark my buds were on my other hyacinths so I decided to add royal blue.  I decided to measure my progress at this point and on Round 34 it is 36 inches.

This is when I introduced the black, it really added a pop to the sunbursts.



Round 34

This is where I added the pink, spring green and blue.DSC_0025

I’m looking forward to Part 5 with the interesting half moons and shell shapes. I’m thinking I am going to do the red again though I am not a huge fan of red just to keep the colors balanced in my Mandala.

Thank you for following me. I was so excited to see I’ve reached 101 followers.  Godspeed!

It’s All in a Nutshell Crochet Mandala Madness



Successful Brand Creating

In writing, the primary requirement of an opening is that the first few lines plunge the reader into the story instantly. The reader is hooked with the writing. But is it enough to keep them coming back again and again as you build your brand, your writing career?

I found myself contemplating how I am going to market myself as an author again after my encounter with this young woman.  She swears it is more than selling a book. It is about selling ourselves to the reader. I tried to decide in my head how to approach the first few minutes with a stranger.

What should matter most in the first initial conversation I have with the new individual? Is it the few first lines spoke or the way I  present myself before speaking.  I’ve been told a strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for a successful introductory encounter.

What about once I get into the conversation?  How important are the first words uttered?  Should I focus on hooking them like I do in my writing with the first few lines? Like having a practiced opening dialogue in the back of my head or should I simply fly from the seat of my pants.

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”– Albert Einstein  Great advice Mr. Einstein but how do I know the rules of the game when I’ve never marketed myself.

I’m very visual. I’m guilty of noticing the individual’s appearance like for instance is the person relaxed or tense. Did they make eye contact when approaching? Did the person extend his hand for a handshake? What kind of grip? Did it linger or not?

So I try very hard to match the social cues so we remain on equal footing. I always note something the person is wearing and specifically comment about it. I’m not really comfortable with small talks like the weather or the day itself so I tend to focus on the purpose of our meeting whether it be networking or social connections and go directly to the purpose of our getting together. “Success means doing the best we can with what we have. – Zig Ziglar   Thus far in life that has worked very well.

“For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” – Harry F. Banks

But then my never ending mind went back and forth on… is the real hook in the introduction and the presentation or the conversation that follows. For me,  both are important but I can never decide what has more value in the long run. I feel it is important to make the encounter memorable and connectable for the future with the minimalist of effort and time. Time is priceless to me and I would rather spend my time in pursuit of my passions than being a social butterfly but I do need my book to sell.  I agree with Picasso that “Action is the foundational key to all success.”– Pablo Picasso

So as I was crocheting Round 33 and 34 on my Mandala I was trying to decide again how do I market myself better. I would love to hear your thoughts and how you approach marketing yourself.





NaPoWriMo: Day 17

Unpredictable rhyme patterns help increase the flow of the poem and invite the reader to explore your thoughts and theirs.

Business in Rhyme

Poetry prompt: In between rhyme

I suggest you start with an internal rhyme like:

I try to write, remembering your kiss as you held me tight.
‘Type, type!’ I say to myself; ‘Don’t get fooled by a sentimental hype!’

So, you see the first and the last word in the stanza rhymes, giving the verses completely new feel and meaning to the written sentence.

For your exercise, you can call to mind an issue you have and pick one word of your own interest (it might be connected to a topic you are writing on, project you are working on or any other word that ‘bugs’ you somehow).Write in flow, without too much thinking – just try to follow this one simple rule; don’t pay attention to the logic or the meaning behind your verses; use simple facts about the situation, what you think, what others might think, what you could try…

View original post 141 more words

Interests Beyond Writing

If you have time to breathe you have time to meditate. You breathe when you walk. You breathe when you stand. You breathe when you lie down. – Ajahn Amaro

Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment. – Alan Watts

Life is a mystery – mystery of beauty, bliss and divinity. Meditation is the art of unfolding that mystery. – Amit Ray


I’m on round 30 working on my Mandala. It now covers most of my lap and I am only on Mandala Madness Part 4 and the series goes to 10. The directions are easy to follow along though I will admit the sun bursts were not easy for me. I had to work the yarn around to have mine look like sunbursts. What about you Tami, did you have to keep adjusting yours?

The sun has been shining in New Jersey, we’ve had the heat off and the windows open enjoying the birds harmonizing in our neighborhood. I love listening to the birds singing in the morning.  Unfortunately, the bad part of having the windows open is hearing your neighbor’s yapping dog. GRRRR…

Friday, my grandson Chris and I cleaned the lower yard. I enjoy spending time with Chris immensely. He is 8 years old and loves motorcycles, card tricks,  and soccer. He enjoyed showing me a card trick learned. I introduced him to the game of Cribbage. He was getting the hang of the game by the time the afternoon ended. “A grandson is a gift from above. One to cherish, one to love.”

Hope you’re enjoying a peace filled day!

Interests Beyond Writing


“Each person’s life is like a mandala – a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life.”– Pema Chodron

“Most mandalas have an intuitive, irrational character and, through their symbolical content, exert a retroactive influence on the unconscious. They therefore possess a “magical” significance, like icons, whose possible efficacy was never consciously felt by the patient.”~Carl Jung


Mandala (pronunciation mon- dah- lah) means “circle”.  A Mandala represents wholeness, a galactic diagram reminding us of our relation to infinity that extends beyond but also within our bodies and minds. Mandala’s appear to us in all aspects of life, the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon. Our intimate circles of family, friends even community can be considered a Mandala.

Mandalas are circular designs symbolizing the notion that life is never ending. The symbolism behind the creation of a mandala may have significant meaning for many individuals whether they are Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Pagan or of any other religious orientation.  Most Mandalas are created by people to symbolize their journeys through life. Mandalas tell the story of where an individual has been.  In some cases, they will reveal the individual’s path in life.

Luckily for us, the internet has a wealth of Mandalas and their meanings.  I discovered many sites have mandalas ready for coloring as a free copy or download.  It is always best to select colors intuitively.  In reading about Mandalas because Tami’s latest project looked so beautiful, I discovered this information about what the colors represent.


RED for strength, high energy, and passion

PINK for love, intuition and the feminine

ORANGE for creativity, transformation, self-awareness and intuition

YELLOW for learning, wisdom, laughter and happiness

GREEN for physical healing, psychic ability, love of nature and caring

BLUE for emotional healing, inner peace, and meditation

PURPLE for all things spiritual

WHITE for mental focus

BLACK for mystery, deep thinking, and individuality


I decided to create my Mandala joining Tami in this exciting project. I love crocheting and find it soothing to do while I am thinking about different poems. It is National Poetry Month, and I am doing the 30-day challenge as well.  I never have idle hands or an idle mind.

I chose shades of orange for the first color of my Mandala because I was beginning a creative project. Yellow because crocheting brings me joy. I chose shades of green to reflect my love of nature and my surroundings. (The lighting in the house makes it look blue in the picture but they are definitely green. One is light and one is dark.) It was in the 70’s the last two days here in New Jersey. I chose red for my passion in life. (I had a great day writing, two poems and 900 words in my short story Death and I.)



The instructions are very easy to follow along.

I hope you take a moment to check out Tami’s beautiful Mandala. She was my inspiration for creating this project. It’s fun doing projects with other people and buidling relationships along the way.

Crochet Mindful Mandala – Rows 30 thru 34


“I believe that any man’s/woman’s life will be filled with constant and unexpected encouragement, if he/she makes up his /her mind to do their level best each day, and as nearly as possible reaching the high water mark of pure and useful living.”
Booker T. Washington