Entertainment · Movies · Writing

Reasons Why Stephen King’s New Hulu Show Has Me Hooked

Okay, so the Hulu exclusive mini-series 11.22.63 isn’t exactly owned by Stephen King, but he (and several other writers and directors) work with J.J. Abrams to produce an amazing depiction of time-travel and “what-if” suspense drama. Stephen King is synonymous with the phrase “the king of horror.” People just know who he is and what he is about. So I expected some gore and major suspense. Time travel is always a plus (because who wouldn’t want to go back in time a few times and witness history in the making?) So cool, yet also terrifying!

11.22.63 is about a man (played by James Franco) who goes back in time to the Kennedy Assassination. Don’t worry, I’m not here to spoil it for you. But if you enjoy suspense and creepy characters with a great plot, you’ll enjoy 11.22.63

11.22.63 show is worth subscribing to the Hulu free trial period if you do not have a Hulu account. (Hulu, Stephen King, J.J. Abrams, or anyone else is not paying me to say this, btw.)

Here are a few reasons why I love this show (no big spoilers):

  • The show transcends age-gaps. Setting and characters are in the 1960’s. For people like me, who didn’t grow up in the 1960’s, I appreciate being able to see what I think is an authentic setting for the time-period when an important event in US History took place.
  • You don’t have to be a history buff to follow the storyline. It’s important to be able to live in the present moment and also understand turn of events that brought the present moment to pass. This show, I think, is informative in an entertaining fashion. The characters and turn of events make you believe what most history majors already know or suspect…or have hoped for as the lead character in this show travels through time. To people who have a general knowledge of history, it’s even more fresh to absorb the show and events as respectful entertainment.
  • James Franco kills it. A lead character makes all the difference in if I stick with a show or save it in cache to watch when there is nothing else on. This show is FAR from cache. I’d watch the entire series (once it’s finished) more times than my niece and I watched Girls Just Want to Have Fun when we were teeny-boppers. (I’m surprised the VHS tape didn’t die on us and blast out the speakers of the television dancing to the music.)
  • Two legends combined equal darn-good happenings. J.J. Abrams and Stephen King tag-teaming a show are like two Undertakers from WWE giving you a front row seat to see them wrestle. When invited, just GO.

Speaking of GOING-it’s time to get going on more writing and who knows-I may be able to sleep better this weekend? Have a great weekend!

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Winter is coming to end, but until the sun comes out to play, why not have a preview of Serendipity Summer-my most recent romantic comedy fiction book? 

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Serendipity Summer is now available at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | I-Tunes 

To take part in giveaways and to VIP reader events, sign up for my newsletter. I send a newsletter out monthly with relevant information and fun topics. Each person who signs up for my newsletter receives georgous free printable bookmarks. 

Accreditations: 

Undertaker gif-kiia8bitw, tumbler.com; Hulu, hulu.com; Stephen King, stephenking.com; J.J.Abrams, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._J._Abrams;WWE,http://www.wwe.com; Girls Just Want to Have Fun(film),https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girls_Just_Want_to_Have_Fun_(film);James Franco, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Franco; 11.22.63 (Official Trailer), Youtube.com; Picture of Impala taillight-Andrew Beierle,http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1960-chevrolet-impala-1-1175381

Humor · Inspiration · Movies

Sleep is for the WEAK. Unless You’re Human.

A few friends and I joke about being vampires because we work indoors all day, and we love to read all night. It’s a notable quality to have a sense of humor when life is busy or throws unexpected “OMG. Why is this happening?” moments our way. I’d like to forewarn you, this post will be a bunch of weird, rambling musings. I’m pretty sure my head might fall to the floor and roll around at any moment. No worries, it’s detachable head syndrome. I pick it right back up, and it fits back on my shoulders until it falls off again.

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Image credit: pumpkincraze.com 

I’ve undergone a lot of the “OMG” moments while simultaneously also thinking “Wow. This is really happening.”

A month ago, when I had time to watch television without losing sleep, the current season of the show Nashville ended. It may have ended before that, but the fog is thick in memory lately, so go with it. 😉 Anyway. Nashville is an over-the-top drama that I find entertaining and funny. I am sad to see the season end so until next season is on Netflix; I’m watching Monarch of the Glen.

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I found the new-to-me show on BBC and I love it. This thought leads me to an “OMG” : O.M.G. I apparently have the feels for countryside mini-series in whatever country around the world.

Buy me a bonnet, I’m bonnie!

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It’s possible to walk through a pasture used for parking and not step in a cow-pie. For those who aren’t familiar with what a cow-pie is: it is cow or bull poo. My daughter and I walked a half a mile, some of it through uneven pastureland used for parking at the Fall Festival. It was worth it to see my husband cross the finish line in his first 5k race. I wanted a picture of him, but my phone went dead, but here’s his smiling and handsome face. Next to him is my nephew who ran beside him.

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This leads me to another OMG thought: O.M.G. I am so proud of my husband for running his first 5k. I’m glad I didn’t sprain and ankle carrying the cooler with their drinks in it through the field. Thank you, cows, for not leaving your crap in our immediate path.

I knew from the start that writing is a full-time job with minimal pay–if any–until years from starting the journey two years ago. I’m still swimming in the writing waters with an optimistic spirit though some days seem more jaded than others. I know I am meant to write and publish, and I’m at peace with the decisions I make in writing. I’m exceptionally happy to have gotten in with Booktrope Publishing and work with team professionals. All this happening over the course of a couple of years leads me to another OMG: O.M.G. the book that first started as a popular blog series has transformed into viable word-baby novella that a publisher loves.

But to be fair–I loved it first 🙂

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Serendipity Summer — To be released October, 2015

In Laurie Kozlowski’s contemporary romance novella, Serendipity Summer, friends once separated by life’s unexpected challenges discover they have a second chance at love in the charming mountain town of Riverbend, Tennessee. Jake and Anna reunite during a sensual, late-night swim and restoring an old inn together blasts their chemistry off the charts. But as destiny urges their hearts forward, intruding secrets from the past threaten their opportunity to finally have lasting happiness.
Serendipity Summer is the first book in the Riverbend Way series and reflects small-town life, includes some comical relief, and incorporates heartwarming characters who triumph over difficult life circumstances.
Please note: Serendipity Summer contains detailed sex scenes and occasional strong language. This series is recommended only for those 18 years and older.

This post concludes a few O.M.G. meandering thoughts swirling around in my brain. If you have any to share, put ’em in comments (‘omg’ thoughts, I mean. Please do not leave your brains in comments. The comment section of this post is a brain-removal free zone. lol) I’d love to hear about them. 🙂

Flash Fiction · Health and Wellness · Humor · Inspiration · Laurie's Works Of Fiction · Mental Health · Movies · Music · Musings · Uncategorized · Writing · Writing Life · Writing Tips

Go-To Resources To Unleash Creativity

There are times when we need to change up our routine to keep sane. For instance, if you work in the same cubicle doing the same tasks for the same minimal pay–perhaps your life could benefit from creativity. Or if you’ve finally taken time off to use your vacation time and don’t want feel like you need a vacation (from) vacation, simple creative activities could help.

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Check out this list of go-to resources to unleash creativity and use the ones that catch your interest. The lists are in two categories: writing related and non-writing related. I admit most of the recommendations are veered toward introverts because I’m a happy and proud introvert myself. 🙂

Writing Related

The thrill is gone. Once upon a time you had the feels for the book or story you started, but the thrill is gone. Maybe you need a break from a long-term goal. Your imagination can go wild when you write flash fiction. From 100-1,000 words, challenge yourself with a new story trope or idea.

Not sure about where to find ideas? Try TVtropes.org and find tropes from your favorite categories and genres related to movies and TV shows. Finish your story piece and publish it or keep it to develop later. But finish it. You did it! Now go back to that big idea. You can do that too.

No idea where to start or what to do. Do you like movies? Most people have a favorite movie they know or can quote. They are familiar with the story. But have you ever applied your writing to one of your favorite movies? Screenwriting tips from Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat” method uses a three-beat system to divide scenes up into three beats. Take a look and print off the worksheets. Then sit down and take brief notes when you watch the scenes in your favorite film or even tv show. You’ll eventually begin to grasp story structure.

Apply what you learned about writing to a short story idea. Perhaps the story could also have potential to become a working outline for a novel (Here is a helpful site to download free resources to outline a novel, when you’re ready.) You’re off to a great start. Keep writing!

Blog? What is this blog thing and how do I do it? A blog is a place of unlimited potential for just about anyone. You can make a blog as formal, as funny, as serious as you want to make it. It can be on any subject under the sun. Blogs are happy places where you can be yourself on your part of the web. You’re able to monitor comments or turn them off. Blogs LAST beyond the ever-changing whims of social media channels. Check out Hubspot’s blog topic generator for ideas on what to post. Visit bookpromotion.com to know how to effectively pimp your blog out. Also, don’t be afraid to go to your favorite blogs and see what they are doing. Copying posts is a BIG no-no without permission from the author, but you may come across content that inspires you to write your own spin on the topic.

“I’m all out of love for ideas.” Yeah. We’ve all been here before. It sucks. To re-vamp your inspiration try Pinterest. Type in some of your interests or things related to your interests. Like if you enjoy cooking, type “recipes” or if you only like to eat vegan type “vegan food.”

Non-Writing Related

Oh my, are the options endless here. I’ll throw a few out for you to explore. Of course, if you think of any others, do those too. You know you better than anyone.

*Love Machines (technology)*

I-Movie is a fun way to create a movie or book trailer. It’s simple to put something together and share it with friends for fun or compile something for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. The music is pre-loaded, but I think you’re also able to upload your own music. Just be sure to use royalty free images and music.

Did you know you can create simple memes, Facebook banners, and jazz up your photos in MS Word and Pages for Mac? You can. It’s time- consuming, but for those who love to tweak (not twirk) until the sun comes up, you’ll love doing this. Here’s a YouTube tutorial for Facebook banners . There is a ton of instructional videos on how to design on Word or in Pages (for Mac.) Go crazy designing and show off your work.

Move to the beat. Playlists encourage movement and happiness. If you’re sad, there’s a song for it. If you’re mad, there’s a song for it. Playlists on Spotify are a fun way to categorize music for whatever mood you want to nurture. If you’d rather bypass the low monthly fee, try I Heart Radio. There will be commercials on your favorite radio stations, but that is why it’s free. YouTube is another way to categorize music videos into stations, and it works sort of like a playlist. If you’d rather not be bothered with ads, the small monthly fee is well worth it.

*Hands-On Hobbies/Occupations*

Crocheting is a skill that can be learned and is a creative and relaxing way to create numerous things. Check out Crotchet Guru on YouTube.

Repurposing home goods is good for the environment, but it also saves money and encourages practical solutions in a creative way. Here are some ideas from a previous post I’ve written. Pick something you like to do and make it your mission to complete it.

Pottery creation is a way to spin ideas while creating original art. You can paint, glue, and design to your heart’s content. Then use the final product later as a centerpiece, stepping stone, or pen holder.

Adult coloring books are a thing now. Check out these free and printable designs. For those who are mentally burned out, coloring is a subconscious way to soothe anxiety and stress associated with burnout.

Cuddle an animal if you have high blood pressure, PTSD, have anxiety or depression, or want a better perspective on life. Local animal shelters are always in need of volunteers to walk and care for the animals. The advantage to volunteering is that you’re able to love on the animals too. When potential adoptive parents come in to ask about the animals, you’ll know their best attributes so they’ll find a loving home. Who doesn’t need more love in their life?


Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow this blog. I follow back and enjoy keeping in touch through blogs and email. My email is authorlauriekozlowski@gmail.com . I have two FREE flash fiction stories for you to enjoy. The first one is a humor diddy: Undercover Panty Agent . The second story is suspense: Dagger of The Damned. My usual genre is contemporary romance fiction and I write for Booktrope Publishing. More on recent publications can be found >here<.  I have book to be released soon and will set up a newsletter because it will be fast forward from there! 🙂 Happy reading and writing!

Laurie Kozlowski


Fitness · Health and Wellness · Humor · Inspiration · Movies · Musings

The Biggest Block To #Creativity and Tips to Prevent It

Whether it’s a craft project or you are fortunate to secure a creative career, being able to manage time and tasks is a big deal. Most jobs require employees and managers to perform basic tasks, such as being able to stay organized, take care of their health and communicate effectively in tandem with continuing their skillset.

At first it may seem like someone with a creative career or growing hobby is less structured, more sporadic, or that they have advantages over someone working in a more common work environment.

However, creatives have a way of becoming so dedicated to seeing a project through that surface advantages may become a block to their very livelihood: their creativity.

Time management should not be ignored, especially in creative careers. Poor planning may cause bigger problems to arise such as lost communication from valuable sources, health problems, working way too many hours and causing creativity burnout.

Here are a few tips to prevent this from happening to you.

Start the week with a plan.

It’s Monday. There are pages of files not put away because of much-deserved time off after working a six-day work week. Email is overflowing, and you’re certain you’ve deleted that important message from a lead client. You feel sick because you haven’t been eating well. Who has time to cook when you could be working?
Also, your three points daily checklist goes out the window when a co-worker needs your guidance to work out details of a project at the last minute.

As soon as you’re aware you have an hour of time to think about your schedule and upcoming events for the next week, outline touch-points as a day-by-day reminder. You may even do this as you go, and keep lists with reminders and alarms on Wunderlist or another app. An hour is a small price to pay, especially when due dates and deadlines are looming.

The point is to be aware of what is ahead. After adjusting the reminders a few times, you’ll have a fail-proof routine.

Busy doesn’t always equal productivity. I like how Kory Kogon author of The Five Choices distinguishes “busy” from “productive” in this video on inc.com.

Reserve thirty minutes to file away emails and messages every week.

If you’re unable to manage that, take fifteen-minute breaks daily, to ensure your files are in backup storage files and are sorted. Gmail requires users to make use of folders, tags, and favorites to sort. If convinced your computer is on the verge of crashing while typing an important document, set up a free account on Dropbox as a backup on the cloud. Double save files. The only drawback to this system is that you have to be consistent saving files to your main saving source plus remember to back up the file on Dropbox time. Once you’re in the habit of keeping a filing backup system, you won’t have to worry about recovering files or paying someone to do it for you. Instead, you could buy your dog a year worth of treats so this doesn’t happen or buy ridiculous items like the tiny broom slipper.

Write email responses or messages ahead of time and send them at the beginning of the following work week.

Set an alarm for every couple of hours (or your preferred time increment) to remind you to get up and walk around if you have a sedentary job at a computer or sitting constantly.

Walk for 15 at least twice a day. The health benefits of walking is far better than the risk that comes with always sitting without exercise–blood clots, heart desease, and diabetes are leading health complications related to not exercising. (American Heart Association.)

Pre-prepare super simple meals ahead of time.

Quinoa can be prepared in five minutes, is gluten free, and packs protein to keep a stomach full. There is instant oatmeal, and add raisins, Splenda sweetener, or berries (unthawed in the fridge overnight) to enhance a bland breakfast into morning fuel.
Oatmeal is one of the wonder foods in whole grains and has been proven to curb high-cholestorol.

Coffee is usually good in moderation, but some side-effects like ulcers can cause discomfort. Also, caffeine is addictive. Instead try this: eat an apple. No joke. This works every time. Sure, it will take time to get used to, but it’s better than keeling over in pain from an ulcer.

How you like them apples? (quote from the movie Good Will Hunting.)

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Make a brief outline of the week ahead, even if you get off track.

Daily checklists are bound to be rearranged and moved around unless your sole mission is to be a robot. The fact is, we’re humans (gasp) I know. Surprise, surprise.

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Image Source, Jo Gibney 

So it’s good to note to pre-write those emails even if you don’t get around to it. Set reminders to take care of the most pressing issues on the days when you know you’ll have a pocket of time to deal with them. Preferably not on lunch break. Take lunch with a friend or watch a favorite show or read a physical book. Start a creative hobby you want to excel at and take note of your progress. Maybe join a creative community in real life or a nearby city.

You’ll be surprised at how encouraging it is to do a different type of creative project and be great at it. Soon the creativity starts flowing; the creativity blocks aren’t quite as high, and the less-stressed side of you is free to deal with the issue at hand:

What the Kardashians are doing today.

Oh, no. Wait. That’s not it.

What is for dinner.

Hmm. Probably good to know, but what I mean to say is:
Don’t give up, plan for the best, and if it doesn’t turn out right, keep creating something and being proactive until it happens.

Tiny Disclaimer: I’m not a weight-loss, health, or time-management guru by any means, but the tips in this post are brought to you by things that work in my own sometimes chaotic life.

I’m happy to share with you: Serendipity Summer, my first book with Booktrope Publishing, will be re-released soon! I’m planning fun giveaways, contests, and you’ll have the opportunity to access first news and more freebies by signing up for my newsletter. My promise to you is that I will not spam my newsletter to your inbox. It shall be a wonderful a glorious way to keep in touch with those who follow my blog and publications, so they have first dibs on the most awesome events,freebies, and opportunities. For now you can follow my blog and be updated by email when a new post is up or if you haven’t checked out my author website–what are you waiting for? 😉 

Humor · Movies

6 Hilarious Movie Meme Quotes #movies #humor

Do you love funny memes and enjoy movies? Check out this mix of six movie quote memes! From current to classic movies, there is enough funny to go around. The Avengers

Image Source: Vitamin-Ha.com
Image Source: Vitamin-Ha.com

Titanic

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Image source: bestfunnyjokes4u.com

Nightmare on Elm Street

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Image source: evilmilk.com

Pirates of The Caribbean 

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Image source; YouTube.com

Steel Magnolias

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Image source: blogs.psychcentral.com

Baby Mama

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Image source: Buzzfeed.com

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Humor · Music · Musings · Writing · Writing Life

Kissing Trees, Finding The Superstar, and Overcoming The Stigma Of Romance Writing

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The Romance Writing Monologues

Please allow me to express my writing conundrum in a monologue channeling Mary Catherine Gallagher, Catholic school girl who wants to reach her dreams, from the movie SUPERSTAR. Although she wanted to be an actress, this is what I envision for the movie if she were facing the same crossroads as I am in romance writing. Let me just say, I do not smell my pits and kiss trees like MCG in the movie, though I can’t guarantee I didn’t laugh hysterically while watching this movie because I think every introvert with big dreams can be inspired by her quirky tale of stardom and success. Here are the voices in her (my) head:

MCG: Coming from a conservative small town, I am able to relate to the stigma many of my friends, family, and acquaintances buy into when it comes to romance books and writing. The whole 50 Shades fiasco on Mommy Porn seems a bit overbearing in my opinion, but I do love writing steamy scenes.

Angel: Frowns  It is not respectable to give into such temptations. Resist temptation and protect your fragile mind from sin.

Devil: Snorts  It takes a strong-minded woman to express herself in words articulately whatever content is written. Don’t listen to Angel. I think every one of the main characters in your series should get it on at least a few times in the story. Your sensual side has to come out somewhere. Why not on the page?

MCG: I’ve been on the fence with writing lately wondering how bold is too bold. What will people think if I wrote THAT?

Angel: You’re going to hell if you write such trash! Oh, I mean….I’ll pray for you.

Devil: Angel is a fucking liar. It’s not trash. Writing sensual scenes that a reader is able to connect with takes talent. The worst that will happen is you get burned with criticism from cold-blooded, sex-starved ninnies and jealous assholes.

MCG: This has done nothing to help me in my decision except to confirm that I am losing it. Angel, thanks for your prayers because I’m sure I will need some divine intervention to press past my deep-seeded fear of writing explicitly.

Devil, I really think you were an A-hole to Angel and should apologize. You do, however make some very good points…..and I am kind of tired of playing it safe in my writing. I’ll strongly consider your advice.

Angel:Crosses her arms and glares at devil  Go to hell!

Devil: Smirks at Angel  I thought I saw a little bit of devil in her angel eyes.

Thanks for stopping by! If You Enjoyed This Post You May Enjoy These Posts For Further Reading:

Writing Journal Entries From A Moody Beginner

Super Freak Out Moment Of The Week

From Bookworm To Writer: Beautiful Men Included

Coming Out Of The Romance Writing Closet

From sweet closed-door romance novels to explicit erotic fiction, most enjoyable romance stories incorporate a delicate balance of relationships and intimacy.What do you think, dear readers and writers? What level of steaminess constitutes a well-balanced romance novel? How much is too much?     

Health and Wellness

A Sure-Fire Way To Burnout & Extinguishing It

“What is the point of self-help books? If they didn’t write the books, I wouldn’t need help for myself!” – This quote paraphrased from a survivor of an accident, who is now thriving as a para-pelagic, upcoming olympist, and businessman.

This is the age of information. There are a plethora of helpful tips, ideas, and informational materials to be shared. Many times those who are discerning enough to recognize what works for them are considered wise. So many people seeking, piling up on info for various reasons. This is a good thing, I suppose.

Argumentative rebuttal: But I don’t want to be ignorant!

There are drawbacks to being an information addict. I would know, because I’ve become one to a certain extent. I’m just a member and not the president of the hankering-for-my-next-information-fix club. It’s not exclusive, this club. It will pull you in one link at a time, and soon you are drowning in a sea of information.

Argumentative rebuttal cont’d: I’m reading info about getting too much info right now! Hypocrite!

*Let me put it this way: If one desires to be stressed for the rest of their life, they won’t bother with schedule boundaries or managing their time.*

I nearly went insane the past couple of weeks simply because I refused to slow down. There was too much to do. I was the only one to do it, or it wouldn’t be done right. I wasn’t a control freak, adding unnecessary stress to my already chaotic life. No, I had a plan that NEEDED to be done, and NOTHING could wait! I was a beast of productivity, ignoring the ball of stress knotting in my stomach on a regular basis and the constant brain fog from lack of sleep. My creative fury was fizzled by the end of the second week, the brain went on a constant vacation, and I crash-napped at the doctor’s office waiting room, at family events, and during time I desperately wanted to spend with my daughter.

Finally, I gave in and did this:

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A long, peaceful walk in the park with my daughter. Watching the squirrels scamper across the crunching leaves, water crashing upon the rocks, lounging the day away while breathing in some fresh, country air in wide, open spaces.

The fact is, most people wear several “hats” and have to accommodate their obligations to get to where they want to be in life. So, what takes priority?

My husband works for a major retailer. His boss told him he expected all 800 stores to be in the top 200 ranking in a certain area they were competing in. When he told me this I laughed *so* hard. A non-mathelete, myself, common sense would tell anyone that the reasoning of my hubs’ boss was just a little *skewed*.

I couldn’t help but think of the movie Talladega Nights. Ricky Bobbie’s NASCAR loving father: “If you ain’t first, you’re last!”

*Everything cannot take priority*

It’s a difficult choice, deciding what really matters. Choosing to step back and breathe, letting go of the guilt and thinking one could be doing something useful. But, how can someone be useful if they don’t take care of themselves?

Multi-tasking is only part of life, but it must be prioritized like anything else, to fit into the balance of life, or one may find themselves not living at all.

Argumentative rebuttal for the win: But I don’t want to miss anything! How will I ever be able to laugh again unless I see another post of that grumpy cat on Facebook?!

Look. What do cat’s do? Take naps, rest, and lick themselves. Okay, please don’t do that last thing. Kind of gross.

It could be in the park watching squirrels, on the beach sinking toes in the sand, at a coffee shop lounging out to jazz, or a stroll through the neighborhood.

Something to slow down, clear the mind, and renew strength. It does a body good. Regularly schedule in some down time. Think of it as a sanity-preserver. Have a good, long rest. Then, go to town on the info train and get your knowledge on. Never stop learning.

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Hoping you have a very productive week and enjoy some rest and relaxation! 🙂

~ How do you spend your down time? ~