Dare to be Meek!

Together and humble we possess a much higher truth-quotient than alone and proud.

Mitch Teemley

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I printed these buttons up a few years back as a play on the misunderstanding of the word meek as “timid” or “afraid.”  The true meaning is nearly the opposite. Webster’s defines it as “humbly patient.”  Most of us are better at being proudly impatient.

The best test of meekness lies in the use of the word “wrong.”  When cornered, we will sometimes admit we were wrong in the past, and even laugh about it. But to admit that we’re wrong in the present?  Oh, look what time it is, I really do have to run.

It takes humility to say, “I was wrong.” It takes courage to say, “I am wrong!”

But that’s exactly what people need us to do. Because when we admit our errors in the present, we empower others to do the same. We’re all on this journey together and none of us is right…

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Televolution

simpsons-aired-in-1987-its-really-evolvedD’oh! How television has evolved!  In 1989, human culture took a giant slouch forward with the arrival of the most wonderfully dysfunctional family ever.  28 years later The Simpsons is the longest running scripted program–and one of the most influential–in U.S. television history.

It’s hard to fathom now, but many American parents were afraid to let their children watch The Simpsons in those early years for fear it would have a “bad influence” on them. To which my wife and I sympathetically replied, “Don’t have a cow, man!” We gleefully solved the problem by watching the series with our kids and regularly remarking, “Don’t act like Bart or you’ll grow up to be a Homer!” It worked. We would often overhear them admonishing one another when either did something sneaky or selfish, “Hey, don’t be a Bart!”

So thank you, Simpsons, for teaching us how not to be. And for making us laugh so hard that our beverages of choice frequently emanated from our collective noses.

One final note: To those who don’t like The Simpsons, I’d simply like to add, with love and respect, of course, “Eat my shorts.”  ;>)

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How to Draw Women

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I draw lots of things. Mosquitos. Criticism. But women? Not so much. Dude, if I’d realized it worked like this when I was a teenager, I’d have paid way more attention in art class!

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The Wishing Map 31

Have you ever manipulated someone, and then felt remorse? What did you do next? Did you fix that bridge? Or did you burn it?

Mitch Teemley

Wishing pix-Title-(framed)

Note: To read The Wishing Mapfrom the beginning, click here.

The Wishing Map

Chapter Eight: Liulah (Continued)

Previously: Zack had begun changing into a cloud shepherd, and in the process forgotten about his lost sister.

⇔ ⇔ ⇔

It would be nice to think Zack struggled against the change. But he didn’t. He embraced it. Yet somewhere in the deepest part of his mind he knew he was sacrificing something—or someone—in exchange for the safety and pleasure he was enjoying. He just couldn’t remember who it was.

They played for two days straight. Not that they knew it—sylphs don’t count time as humans do, in fact they don’t count time at all. Neither do they sleep. But they do think, and sometime during the second day, Liulah began to think very hard. She spoke the word “sister” out loud to herself over and over again. Finally she said…

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A Note to My Virtuous Friends

“To do good is noble. To tell others to do good is even nobler…and much less trouble.” ~Mark Twain

8a8d21f5d0288aee5008a8630f086eda_400x400Many of us who are writers and teachers hope, I suspect, to establish our own nobility by telling others how to behave.* Yet most of us are at least part-time purveyors of the sins we condemn, and spotty practitioners of the virtues we extol.

A. A. Milne, creator of Winnie the Pooh and real life daddy of Christopher Robin, was reportedly a cold and distant father. Beloved Victorian moralist Charles Dickens summarily dumped his wife of twenty years for a 17 year old actress.

Are we trying to get into heaven by riding the coattails of those we shove?

The Apostle Paul admonishes us to “be a model” to those we teach, “both in word and in deed, in love, faith, and purity.” “Live there,” he says, “be that person…so that your progress is apparent to all…for by so doing you will not only save yourself, but your hearers, as well!” (I Timothy 4:12-16)

*Yes, I, as a writer and teacher, am using this post to do precisely that. Please excuse me while I remove the plank from my eye.

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The Cure for Writer’s Block!

Great stories (essays, plays, etc.) aren’t written, they’re REwritten!

Mitch Teemley

Writers blockWriter’s Block

 There are two primary definitions for the word block:

  1. An obstacle to be avoided
  2. An objectused (as in construction)

The cure for Writers Block (and its evil twin, Trouble Getting Started) is to abandon definition #1 and embrace definition #2. But before one can do that, it is necessary to understand what writer’s block is and what it’s not:

Writers Block is not about being unable towrite. People who do not have the luxury of waiting to feel inspired (journalists, staff writers) know that being unable to write, short of a serious medical condition such as coma* or death, doesn’t really happen. Why? Because writing is simply putting thoughts into words. If you have thoughts (and can read), you can write.

The real issue is fear of being unable to write well, which amounts to the fear of not being able to write…

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Light

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I’m not called to show people their darkness–

They already know about that.

I’m called to show them His light. 

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”  ~Matthew 5:16

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