The Sunshine Factor

where sunshine is a way of life


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“Saving Mr. Banks” movie

Yesterday I was given a real treasure.  I finally felt better after battling a virus January 1-10th.  My friend Pat and I saw the movie “Saving Mr. Banks”, and I must give my five-star recommendation!

This movie explores the story of how Mr. Walt Disney, after 20 years of discussions with Mrs. P.L. Travers (author of the Mary Poppins books), finally talks her into letting her Mary Poppins character  2013-08-07-MaryPoppins come alive in a movie, a movie that became a favorite of children and adults alike.  “Saving Mr. Banks”  was a very warm and touching movie, as it explained P.L.Travers’ life as a little girl and the events that shaped her psyche and her ability to write.  The audience also got to know a little more about Walt Disney — his loving and compassionate nature that never gave up on people.  imagesSZY1V5UP

In my humble opinion, a new year of quality, high value movies has begun with this wonderful movie.  Please go see it!  🙂

Mary_Poppins8

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Let’s Give Them Our Support!

I again realized the importance of writing book reviews the other day, when I was talking with a new friend.  I see book reviews on Amazon all the time.  Why are they helpful, and what purpose do they serve?

  • They are helpful tools for Independent authors — those who publish their own books, who don’t have a publishing house getting the word out about them.
  • We advertise for these authors when we help our friends and family to find good books.
  • Writing book reviews is the new “word of mouth” vehicle.
  • These authors thrive on a broad audience base — and what better way to find them a good audience?
  • Book reviews are not hard to write, and they don’t have to be lengthy.  As long as you read the whole book and comment on it truthfully, it is a good review.
  • If you wrote a book and wanted your name out there, wouldn’t you want people to help you?  If I self-publish my books some day, I know I will be hoping for lots of book reviews written by you.  🙂
  • Writing a book is a time-consuming, sometimes very difficult but courageous adventure.  Wouldn’t it be nice to give authors an “atta boy!” or “atta girl!” affirmation?
  • A book review gives life to a book:   instead of seeing just the picture of it on Amazon, a reader can get a much better understanding of it and, if they are like me, would be more likely to pick it up than something with no review.
  • WordPress is a community of writers, and many of them publish their own books.   Let’s support them as best we can!

This blog has a page of book reviews I wrote about my WordPress friends’ books.  I haven’t written a book review lately — but next year I hope to once again spend time in some delicious reading.  🙂  Speaking of which:  my new website will offer a space for book reviews that you have  written.  Let’s build up our community!

 


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How to Repurpose a Sled

English: A pair of "Lovikkavantar", ...

English: A pair of “Lovikkavantar”, a common Swedish glove. Svenska: Ett par Lovikkavantar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These ideas are from me; hope they are useful to someone.  🙂

1.  Repaint and attach shelves.  When you lean it against a wall, the sled will hold flower pots or books.

~or~

2.  If there is enough room in your entry way, attach hooks to the sled, and it can hold numerous hats, caps, gloves, mittens and scarves.

 


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Versatile Blogger Award

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My good buddy Tom from http://readtomlucas.com has given me this award.   I am almost speechless (and for me, that says everything!  LOL)  Tom, you were my first follower ever on Sunshine, and I credit you with half the enthusiasm I have for blogging!  I hope my readers look you up.  Thank you so much for this award!

I am supposed to pass this award on to 15 other versatile people.  Tom, hope you don’t mind, but that has to wait till later…

Next, I am to list seven interesting things about myself.  Well, they’re interesting to me, and hopefully they will be to you, too.

 

1.  I was married last December 12, 2012 — the same day that Tom Lucas introduced his new book, Leather to the Corinthians to the world.  From Florida to Minnesota, there was just one huge happiness party!  🙂

2.  One day when I was in kindergarten, I came home from school and told my mom this fib:  “Mom!  Ya know what I learned in school today?  The colors blue and red are best friends!”  Maybe I was born with this wild imagination!  🙂

3.  I was a profound sleeptalker and sleepwalker as a child.  As an adult, a medication I took rendered me totally forgetful about what my actions were the night before, so I might have walked (or did other things) in my sleep, and occasionally I still talk in my sleep.  Fortunately for me, the chemo side effect of insomnia has finally gone, and I don’t need any sleep aids.

4.  When I was in second grade and my sister was in fifth, our class got to see her class play.  But I panicked because I couldn’t see my sister on the stage.  I didn’t recognize her with her stage makeup on!

5.  I played “Auntie Em” in my 4th grade reading class school play of “The Wizard of Oz.”

6.  As a child, I won a trip on a helicopter for a new store opening.  But alas, the helicopter never showed up!

7.  I am now back to a normal, 5 day a week schedule at work.  I changed it because my writing career is taking off.  I am blogging, reviewing books, am a professional proofreader, and hope to enter writing contests and write articles – as well as write all the books on my long list of writing projects!  And I will write them all!   🙂

 

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NaNoWriMo 2013!

True, it is not quite September, yet I am already talking about something coming up in November.  But, NaNoWriMo  (National Novel Writing Month) 2013 is coming sooner than we think, and I wanted to give us time to start thinking about it.  This year I participated in NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) in April, and you saw my results on this blog.

A few weeks back, I thought about writing a fictionalized version of my forefathers’ history.  After some wise counsel from my mentor, I’ve decided to write that during NaNoWriMo this year.   Hmmm….maybe it’s not a coincidence that I thought of the story idea a little while ago, then came a vehicle for it.  I’ve posted a milestone widget in my sidebar regarding NaNoWriMo, and I’ve also created a page for it.

If you want to elaborate on one or more of the answers above, please email me at debbstanton@yahoo.com, using “NaNoWriMo 2013” in the Subject line.  I will be most delighted and appreciative of your support!

Thank you,

Debb


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Stories

I am a music lover who particularly enjoys songs that tell a story. (I’m not surprised, since I like stories so much.) The more you listen to a story song, the more details you pick up. Stories can bring on many different emotions and can teach you something, if you’re paying attention.

I think human beings are a form of storytelling. Sometimes there’s plenty of action or suspense or mystery going on in their lives, questions to be answered, character descriptions…

What story are you telling by the way you live your life? Do people see the real you, or are you an actor portraying yourself?

Let’s carry this one step further. If you were a story or a book, what type would you be? Adventure, comedy, poetry? Sunshine Factor wants to know. Please let me hear from you soon. Thanks!

00000——–> the zeros are a gift to you from my cat Rachael.


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Sunshine Factor Blog Turns One Today!

copy-sg201935balloons.jpg Hello, dear readers, followers, and friends!   of193teddybearbirthday

I thank God above for Sunshine Factor reaching its first milestone. A year ago today my first post went public; I had no idea what life in the blogging world would bring, but I’ve loved my first year! I have met so many nice people through WordPress; I am humbled to have received 160 followers (not counting my Facebook peeps). I have written 575 posts so far, which leads me to believe I do have something to say. 🙂  In the past year I’ve started some other blogs, I collaborate with Eric in the Story Squared blog, and I collaborate with Lyn in the Sunday Showcase blog.  Adventures aplenty abound!  🙂

Blogging has turned my world upside-down (in a good way), and I am so thankful for all of you out there and for the chance to share some of my writing. I have also learned a lot from you, and I cherish our friendship.

I recently changed my blog theme to include some of my favorite things: castles and tartans! Let’s see how long I keep this theme! LOL

Thanks,  and God bless you,                                                  4201_1140582920254_1419477_n-puppies-in-a-bowl

Debb

 

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Commonality

The farmer in the dell

The choir director in the choir loft

My cats in their sleepy nap places

The writer in her favorite writing spots

The housewife in the house

The flowers in the garden

The bus driver in his bus

The baby in its bassinet

The page in the chapter in the book:

What have all these things and people in common?

They are right where they are supposed to be

Not second-guessing

but accepting

and growing and thriving

They are doing what they are called to do

and even if they can’t think about it

(i.e. flowers)

they are all the richer

for being in their right place at their right time

Isn’t it nice to know we each have a purpose

even if we haven’t spotted it yet?

Never fear, friend so dear

You are purposeful too

and I am very glad our paths crossed!

—DJLS

 

 


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A New Month – Happy August!

English: Poster promoting early diagnosis and ...

English: Poster promoting early diagnosis and treatment for cancer, showing a rooster crowing at sunrise. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my favorite months is July, and I never liked August much, as it was too hot for my tastes. Then, when my sister died of cancer in August of 1994, it really became a dreaded time of year for me.

No longer! 🙂 I became a cancer survivor in the month of August, and this month it will mark four years. Can you believe it? I am so very grateful. And it’s amazing, the 24th of August, the day my sister died, is the exact date of my cancer survivorship! Something bad was replaced with something very good!

Another item for celebration is this blog turns one year old this month! Already!

Oh, and one more thing. You probably know how I liken the first of each month to New Year’s Day. New month, new adventures, new things to learn. Well, as a kid I always was eager to get back to school in September. I always loved to shop for school supplies in August. (And to this day, Office Depot remains one of my favorite spots; I still like looking at new supplies…) So this really seems like a new year for me! 🙂

I wish you all a most happy and loved August!

Debb


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Do You Ever…

Do you ever have a phrase or sentence in your head that you would love to see in print somewhere? Just curious. I’ve had the same sentence in my head for a long time now. I can even see it in my mind: the paper book is open. The last page of the chapter is on the left side. The paragraph only goes halfway down the page. Its last words are:

“And he was gone.”

We bloggers are encouraged to write so that each reader can read our blog and come away with something. So what is the take-away value of this particular post? I have no idea! But perhaps it can make you smile, or that you can know that you’re not alone? Or so you can be aware that I’m so glad you stopped by? 🙂


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Happy July!

Lake Michigan - Landsat Satellite Photo

Lake Michigan – Landsat Satellite Photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may have read that I am crazy about the first day of every month. First days are like a miniature New Year’s Day, when we get a new clean slate and have another chance to work hard and at the same time enjoy ourselves.

July is the month of my birth, so I am really happy when July 1 arrives. Even before cancer, I loved birthdays, mine and everyone else’s, and I never got depressed over an upcoming birthday. Now A.C. (after cancer) I love birthdays even more. They are proof that I have a life, that I am still alive and have not missed out on anything. My birthday is a wonderful time in which to count my blessings…and thank God. 🙂

Thinking of July reminds me of the sweet cherries that my dad raised in his orchard in Michigan (and the peaches…and the apples…and the apricots…and the pears!) and how the National Cherry Festival was always held during the week of my birthday. My mom would take us kids to downtown, we would set up our folding chairs to wait for the parade, and I would take my birthday money and buy myself more Nancy Drew books. How convenient that I had something to do (read) while waiting hours for the parade! 🙂 I didn’t receive an allowance, and the fact that I used the very occasional money to buy Nancy Drew books…well, does that explain why I love books more than practically anything?! 🙂

My dad could not go to the parades with us, as he was busy in the orchard during that time of the summer. He hired migrant workers to pick the cherries; he didn’t have shaker machines. If I recall correctly, July, August, and September, he often worked 18 hour days in the orchard (the peaches came in late August).

Thinking of July also reminds me of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes. We lived very close to it. My best sunburns were achieved there on the beach, as if memory recalls correctly, I was down at the water all day, every day. 🙂  In my mind, I can still hear the slap of the water on the innertube I was floating in and the smell of the lake water that was occasionally splashed onto the magazine I was reading while floating.  🙂

Oops, I digressed again. Thank you for taking a trip down Memory Lane with me. I do hope that even if your birthday is not in July, that you have a phenomenal month. 🙂


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Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Portrait of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, ph...

English: Portrait of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, photographed by Louis Fabian Bachrach, 1918. Image courtesy of the Lindbergh Picture Collection, Yale University Manuscripts & Archives Digital Images Database. Retouched by MarmadukePercy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“So beautiful is the still hour of the sea’s withdrawal, as beautiful as the sea’s return when the encroaching waves pound up the beach, pressing to reach those dark rumpled chains of seaweed which mark the last high tide.”

— Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Isn’t this a beautiful description of the sea?  It seems so poetic.  I’m also thinking it would be good to appreciate the sea (or lake or river) during the summer.  Was this quote moving to you?


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Sunday is Coming…Please submit your favorite post of last week!

Wow, it’s that time of week again when I ask you to send me your favorite posts from last week – those you or other people wrote.  Photos are another good find to be celebrated.   I will post them on “Sunday Showcase” tomorrow morning.

You can email me the link or links to at:  debbstanton@yahoo.com.  My mailbox, who feels empty lately, and I would feel much obliged.  🙂

 

See you tomorrow!


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I’ve Posted Something on My Summer Reading 2013 page

Jester reading a book

Jester reading a book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just to let you know, if you’re interested, I’ve read my first book in my summer reading program and wrote a review on it.


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Another New Page!

Hi folks!

You might remember I vaguely said I wanted to read one book per week this summer.  Well, now I am making it official, kind of like you guys holding me accountable to my goal. 

I made a page so you can check my progress periodically.  🙂

So as not to be perfectionistic about it –  I decided that for the weeks I am reading new books for book reviews, I will allow more time to read a book that’s on my “to be read” shelf at home.  For instance, right now I know of three more books that I will be reviewing (yay!  what a blessing!).  So for a week that I am reading one of those, I will say I can take up to two weeks for a “regular book”.

Have a good summer, by the way! 🙂
Debb


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New/Revised Pages on My Blog

Greetings!

I now have a page called “Bloggers’ Books I’ve Reviewed”, with each review having its own sub-page.  (The sub-pages are in alphabetical order.)  Please check these reviews out regarding the wonderful books they’re written about!

I’ve updated my Blog Awards page so that the latest award is near the top.

Just doing some spring housecleaning, in a manner of speaking!  🙂

Have a great day!  Keep spreading that sunshine!  🙂

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Book Review on Author Collette A. Henry

Hello friends,

Yesterday I read Get Outta My Head:  My Journey Living With Brain Cancer by Collette A. Henry.  Collette has a great blog here on WordPress, and I would like to share with you the review I wrote about her book on Amazon.com:

I am so glad to have been given the opportunity to read Collette’s book.  Like her friend Allen O. Green states, she does have a winning smile, and this book shows me that she has a winning life!  Her attitude, passion for helping others, and engaging way of talking with her readers, make this a very inspiring book.  In fact, I am a breast cancer survivor, and I learned more cancer facts through Collette.   She is helpful to all people, in my opinion, sharing exactly what cancer is and how you can do healthy things for yourself to hopefully keep cancer away.  Collette has a very great story that needs to be read.

I was hoping for a cancer experience book that could make you feel comfortable with the author.  I was not disappointed.  If I could, I would give Collette and her book a standing ovation.  🙂


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Like the First Day of School In a Good Way!

Kids bookshelf with German and American childr...

Kids bookshelf with German and American childrens books (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Picture of graves decorated with flag...

English: Picture of graves decorated with flags at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Good morning!

Today in the U.S.  it’s Memorial Day.  I wish to thank all of the people who died in service to our country and the people who still serve.  Freedom is such a precious gift!

Even though it’s the informal start of summer today, I feel like it’s the first day of school – making plans for how I will spend my spare time in this new season and what I want to accomplish.  Can you tell, I loved school and college?  🙂

I want to read one new book a week.  This is possible because a) I have one bookshelf devoted entirely to books I haven’t read yet, and b) I am a speed-reader.

I want to comment on posts that I like instead of just liking them.

I want to get my spring housecleaning finished before autumn arrives!  🙂

My goal of more, good quality sleep is still on the agenda.  To be booted out:  freakish nightmare-type dreams.  Not good!

I want to work on my list of writing projects more and find an agent.

Most importantly, I want to continue my quest for antiperfectionism.  That means, I understand at the outset that I cannot possibly get all these things done, but I have a list of things to do when and if I get the chance.  🙂

Happy, happy summer!


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Sunday Showcase Begins May 26th! That’s Tomorrow!

Yoo-hoo! Anyone ready? Beginning tomorrow, May 26, I will have a Sunday post each week to showcase the favorite post that YOU wrote last week (Sunday through Saturday). I got the idea from Valerie at http://atlantamomofthree.wordpress.com, who has something very similar every Friday. She has given permission to either join her blog party or co-host your own. If you link to her blog she will link back to yours and add your name as a cohost on her blog. (I will do the same on mine)

For Sunshine Factor, I would welcome any submissions from you any time during the week (if you’ve written a whale of a post and KNOW that it’s going to be your favorite this week!), and I will post them Sunday morning. Here’s your chance to give your favorite post more screen time and more readers. A favorite post can include something meaningful, your funniest, your favorite…you name it. Simply send me the link…you get the idea.

I would have joined Valerie’s party, but it’s already Saturday and I missed hers. 😦 Valerie – hope you don’t mind I started my own “party”. If I get organized enough, I will pop back in to yours some Friday! 🙂

Yes, Virginia, my muse (inspiration) came back. 🙂   Dear friends: hurry on down to send me your favorite post of last week. Sorry for such short notice for this first week!


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A House Without Books Is… Empty!

Signature of Dr. Seuss

Signature of Dr. Seuss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lately while cleaning out my furnace room full of holiday decorations, I happened upon a cardboard banker’s box.  With glee I discovered the box was filled with books from Dave’s childhood and also his mother’s.  I had always planned to go through the box sometime, but somehow the books were just pushed to the far rear shelf…until today!

Yay!  Here is Dr. Seuss!  Sometimes my poems resemble his, though I never had a Dr. Seuss book of my own…here are some classics…even some short novels.  They have found a place in my bookcase in the family room.  These will never be given away or sold – they are too precious.

Books from my childhood are in the guest bedroom on shelves.  Then, there are my friend Patti’s story books from her children.   I am thinking they will go in the bookcase in my office upstairs…

I have two bookcases, and of course they are all gleaned down to only the ones that are important to me, but the cases are still full.  (I even have one shelf as the “to be read” shelf.)  I have a plan that states I will give away each book as I read it, so as to not to need three bookcases!  Lately, I haven’t been reading books, not even magazines, but only posts from my dear friends and artists on WordPress.  Perhaps, though, I can formulate a plan for my summer like last summer:  back then I read one Nancy Drew book a week until my set was all read, then I sold them.  But you know how summer goes…always lots of plans and determinations, but life gets very busy, and plans (at least mine) go awry.  But, so what that I am working fulltime and have two blogs and am exercising again and want to add tennis to the mix…I’ll have to try real hard to follow up on the reading books part!  But what a nice thing to shoot for!  🙂

As you can tell, books have always been very important to me.  They are like dear friends who comfort you on a lonely day or night, travel bureaus that can take you to places far away, and smile-bringers and relaxation managers who want you only to relax.   Yes, my home is not lacking for books.  For this reason, my house is my home, and it is never empty.