The Big 50

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When I press the publish button, this becomes my 50th blog on this website.  I give myself a gold star!  I had no idea back in November when I decided that I wanted to get my lyrics out for exposure to a possible collaboration, that I would be writing this today.  I didn’t even know I wanted to start a blog.  But here I am.

What have I learned so far?  I still love creative writing.  Whether it is about serious topics, made up things called Tish-isms, Zumba classes, or me vs the weekend, I am really enjoying this blogging thing.  I like sharing my thoughts here, and since I am Always Thinking…they will continue to accumulate.  I hope I never need a shovel for them because the snow in New Brunswick has that covered.

While I am not a fan of numbers, I have started following the stats for this project.  I am somewhat speechless at times when I am reviewing the results.  It is growing, slow but steady, in the right direction.  The likes and comments I have been getting are very encouraging, also.  This has been a positive experience.

I have written a poem, as one entry.  The lyrics page has 20 songs on it, two of which I have written this month.  They do not count as separate blog posts, they are not in the 50 count on the blog itself, but they are here also.  Since a few of the 50 are shared from another blog source, they balance that out a bit.  I can’t write this without remembering I wrote my first guest blog that was shared on another person’s website.  I never even dreamed that I would write from my heart, and that other people would read it, like what I wrote, and tell me they want to read more.  How great is that?

In the blogging world, I am finding my way.  If you are reading this, thank you for doing so.  If you are following my blog, I am following yours too.  If you have seen the tweets and facebook page, you are getting a little more of me through those different locations.  I have one story on Medium, and that is just for fun.  I hope to write more like that, and I will likely share between this blog and my medium account as I expand it.

I hope to keep growing the blog as I prepare to write my books.  I am definitely having a lot of fun, and this is good.  As long as it continues to be fun, I will keep writing.  I am certain that I will have slow times of dealing with life in the real world or the dreaded writer’s block.  It is a challenge I will have to face when that time comes.  Until then, I will keep up the positive stories, and expanding my horizons.

Thanks for reading.

Tish MacWebber

Always Thinking…

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It was dark when I got up before…

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…and made my way to my desk.  As a writer, you learn very quickly that when you wake up in the middle of the night and an idea is floating around in your head, it is best to write it down somewhere before it drifts off into the darkness.  It can take many forms, a dream, a nightmare, a whisper in your ear, and sometimes it could be a word or a sentence forming a complete thought.

I have learned, through my songwriting, that an idea MUST be written down the minute it happens, because the second you forget it, there is no rewind button to find it again.  So I had an idea in the middle of the night, and I came into the living room to write it down.  I have a lamp at my desk, and it is easy enough to do.  I find I sleep better after I write it down, as it won’t be lost when I need to work on it.  This is also true because I don’t fall asleep trying to memorize what I don’t want to forget.

Sometimes a good dream can make an incredible story, or a joke.  For example, I shared this story in October before I had this blog set up, before I had even thought of starting it.

So this morning, my husband tells me a story that woke me up and made me laugh. It was about a lizard named Guano. Apparently, this lizard was bad news. He said he lit granny’s chair on fire, and she was still sitting in it, and he didn’t know whose grandmother it was. Then he commented to a guy; as he saw it looking at him with one of its googly eyes as it was riding down the street on a Harley, that he didn’t know lizards drank Jack Daniels. The guy replied, ” Happens in Montreal all the time.” (We don’t live in Montreal).  Finally, he then asked why the lizard is named Guano, because he obviously is not an Iguana. The guy answered with…wait for it…”We call him Guano because he’s bat shit crazy, man!” And that, folks, is why you should write down your dreams, because sometimes, there is a good story in there, or in this case, a great punch line! It was my husband’s dream, and it was very entertaining!

If I hadn’t written it down the same day it happened, it would have been lost.  A story like that is begging to be shared.  So,  when I have an idea at work, I e-mail it to my personal  e-mail at home, to be waiting for me.  When I have an idea in the middle of the night, I make my way to a pen and paper and write it down.  It is where the song Lucky came from.  We woke up in the middle of the night to a beeping noise.  The battery on our smoke detector was losing its juice, so it started beeping at us to change it.  In the middle of the night, of course.  The first line of the song started in my head, and within a few minutes, I had written the whole song.

If you are a creative person, or if you have a problem in your life that you just can’t figure out, I have two pieces of advice for you:

1) Sleep on it.

2) When an idea strikes, no matter where it comes from, write it down!

You will thank yourself for following these two simple steps, I guarantee it!

The Story of Tish MacWebber

Once upon a time a man was introduced to his granddaughter, Patricia MacLellan.  When he met her, he called her Tish.  It stuck.  Tish MacLellan grew up in Cape Breton, in a house that used to be a church, on the world famous Cabot Trail.  She spent her summers at local beaches and at a place she calls The Cabin.  She learned to swim, and spent a lot of time rock hopping along the shores and coastlines of Cape Breton Island.  She had a wild imagination, and dreamed of owning a horse someday.  She still has her walkman with the best mixed tape ever, and it still works, even after putting all of those years and miles on it.

She loved to read, and began writing.  Creative writing is one of many hobbies that she spent her spare time on.  She kept a diary and when she got older, she called it a journal.  She enjoyed cross stitching and embroidery.  She learned to knit and to crochet.  In high school, she wrote her first song.

Her love for animals made her decide to take a pre-vet program at NSAC.  She was ill during her first year, and this delayed her completion of her B.Sc in Agriculture, majoring in Animal Science.  While studying at NSAC, she met her future husband, Roy Webber.  They dated, fell madly in love, and made it official with a wedding.  The same day they got married, there was a hurricane.  It was all very memorable, and all who attended the celebration of their marriage had a wonderful time, despite the weather.

Before the wedding happened, Tish was thinking about the name she wanted after she married Roy.  She thought it would be a fun thing to create a new last name, and they could both become the first MacWebber Clan.  Roy did not agree to this idea, and did not want to make any changes to his last name.  Not even when Tish told him that she would create a brand new tartan for the new name.  Tish decided to go the traditional route and take his last name, and legally became Patricia Webber.  It didn’t take her long to adapt to her new name.

They moved around the Maritimes so much, that Roy’s family joked about them being gypsies.  After living all over Nova Scotia, they moved to New Brunswick, shortly after a brief time living in Prince Edward Island.  In Fredericton, New Brunswick,  they made new friends, had roommates, and eventually bought their own mini home.  They had cats constantly as pets for many years.  After living in apartments for the majority of the years they were together, Tish decided that it was time, now that they have a home of their own, to get a dog.  She  looks forward to that.  She still has no horse of her own, yet, the baby barn is not quite big enough for a horse.

When Tish decided one day that it was time to take a chance and share her songwriting with the world, she thought about creating a blog.  Little did she know that it would build itself into a bigger project than she had imagined.  She had also always wanted to write a fantasy trilogy, being a fan of reading them, herself.  She asked her friends online what the best options were, and decided to go with a Blog page here, on WordPress.  Then another new friend stepped up and made her think beyond the surface of what she was building.  She revisited an old idea of hers to write her novels under a pen name, and she remembered wanting to become the first MacWebber.  So, there it was.  Tish MacWebber became her pen name.

Her beginner attempts at creating a blog page were good, but they weren’t great.  So she asked again for help, and her new friends helped her some more.  One of them took her page and changed it, and this was her new and improved starting point.  Tish absorbed all the information this friend had shared with her, and thought long and hard about the next steps.   She is very grateful for all of the help her new friends have given her, and she plans to return the favour, even if it is just by paying it forward.  When she asked about her colours, branding and logo, people liked it for different things, but it wasn’t what she needed it to be.  She kept thinking.  After about three weeks of mulling it over in her mind, things clicked into place, simultaneously.

She searched through hundreds of colour palettes, picking her favourites.  She found one that she kept referring back to, and decided that it was the one she would choose.  Then she made a tartan design.  She got her friends and family to give opinions on her progress as she tried to put the pieces all together.  Her father told her that a circle would not be wrong on a tartan, rather that it would be the french connection.  Her mother is french, so it fit.  The motto for Clan MacLellan is, “Think On.”  Her logo was developed with the phrase “Always Thinking…” because she is a dreamer that does think a lot; but also to honour her ancestors.  Her cousin helped her pick the final design, and through their online chat the “…” was added to the logo.  So that explains the colour, logo, and the circle.  But the circle is made up of diamonds.  The diamonds symbolize the marriage of all these things together, and connects all of the dots.

Tish does tend to overthink things at times.  However, when she does this in terms of being creative, and it works, it makes her feel amazing.  Being creative is her passion.   She is going to share it with the world, and see how far it will take her.

My coffee is cold. Time to get a straw. Better make it a bendy one.

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Coffee in a pretty yellow cup and saucer.

I have been taking care of a friend’s coffee mug for about three years now.  She has moved out of the country for work.  So I have a few of her things in storage, some of them I have promised to use carefully, and one of them is an extra large coffee mug.  It holds more than 20 oz of coffee.  When I enjoy my coffee out of this mug, I tell people I am having a bucket of coffee.  It really is that big, much bigger than the pretty yellow one in the picture.

I am not the type of person that has to have the coffee piping hot to enjoy a cup.  I like it warm, not too hot, but with some heat left in it is optimal.  So when it gets cold, I have two choices.  Reheat it in the microwave and wait for it to be at that perfect temperature again, or go get a straw.  Today, I choose the straw.

I know, some people that read this will shudder, and think that cold coffee is disgusting.  When I drink coffee, I don’t put anything in it, I drink it black.  I used to dress it up, but I decided to go cold turkey a few years ago, and I convinced myself I would learn to like it.  I now enjoy it this way.

I have tried bulletproof coffee.  Who comes up with this stuff?  Maybe I just don’t know how to make it right, but I did not enjoy my only attempt at this creation.  I will stick to taking my coffee black and sometimes flavoured.  Some of the flavoured coffees work for me, and some don’t.  I like a good variety, and when I decide to splurge on K-cups, I try new flavours whenever I can.

I was talking to someone the other day, and he said I should drink Ethiopian coffee.  He said it will keep me up for nine days; and that I will save money because I won’t be running to Timmy’s all the time.  I live in Canada, Timmy’s is a reference to Tim Hortons Coffee and Donut restaurants.  When I was a child, I thought it was Important Donuts. They are the main Canadian preference for coffee shops, and a place a lot of people like to spend time, cafe style.  If you ask your friends if they want a Timmy’s, you usually get replies that include a double-double in them somewhere.  Now, I’m all for a good cup of coffee, but to me, being awake for 9 days sounds a little extreme.

Why the bendy straw?  Well, the bucket is fairly tall.  I like options, and bendy straws are more fun.  Why not?  I am sitting here getting ready for New Year’s Eve in my mind.  I have a lot on my to-do list for today.  I am invited to a house party, and it is a potluck.  My husband and I have gone to this party for several years now when the weather cooperated.  The forecast is good for tonight, so we plan to attend.  He will be working until I pick him up on my way to the party.  With a big list of things to do and only me here to do them, as much as I would have liked to drink a cup of coffee at that perfect temperature, it wasn’t in the cards today.  So a bendy straw it is.

I am feeling a little nostalgic today.  2016 was a difficult year in many ways.  A lot has happened.  I lost some weight, so that is something I would like to continue in 2017.  Living a healthier lifestyle is one of my resolutions this year.  It will be something I blog about, because it is important to me, and I want to share my successes.  Maybe it will help another person in their struggle, and it will do some good. I started this blogging adventure in November and decided that I need to write those books I have wanted to write my whole life.  So that is going to happen.  Writing the Fantasy Trilogy is another resolution.  I hope that the music world stops in to read my lyrics.  I dream of a collaboration with musicians to make my songs audible for the world, not just to be poetry in a blog.  I have had the pleasure of making new friends online through this project, and I am grateful for those who took the time to help me get this blog from an idea to a reality.  I thought I was only going to make the two resolutions for 2017, but something joined the ranks in the last 24 hours.  I have attempted to complete home cleaning and organization challenges for the last 2 years.  Last night I signed up again, and I am not committing to finishing it in 16 weeks, but I am committing to finishing it this year.  I joined two last year, as one is more for in-depth cleaning (16 weeks) and the other one is for quick organizing (31 days) so I will be working on both challenges in 2017.  My final resolution is to finish them within the year.

Well, I am now making that annoying noise through the bendy straw.  I have finished my coffee.  Time to walk away from the desk for a while, crank the tunes, and tackle my to do list.  However you ring in 2017, I wish you well and hope you accomplish what you need to do in 2017.  Happy New Year!