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The Female Perspective: A Wee Little Break & New Years Celebration!

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


Hello Friends!!!

This weeks blog is a day late and a bit different than the norm. I am going to be taking a bit of a break as I need to focus on other projects — Namely finishing as best I can my fourth novel, the sequel to “The Last Daughter of Lilith”!!! I have a title, FINALLY, which I will reveal when the publishing date gets a bit closer and I have AMAZING cover art done by the one, the only, Frankie B. Washington, which I will also reveal when the time is upon us.

For my last blog of 2016 (thank you Jeezus that 2016 is almost over) I wanted to end the year on a positive note. When so much is going wrong in the world it’s hard to focus on the good things and it can be even harder for those who are alone or feeling unloved to find the light in the dark. So I wanted to offer up a few New Years traditions that can maybe help start 2017 off on a positive note.

And as the legendary Leonard Cohen once said;

There Is a Crack in Everything, That’s How the Light Gets In.

Also, being perfectly imperfect is the best way to be, you’ll have way more fun that way.

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New Years Traditions 

A Jar Of Good Thoughts — It can be fun to get a nice jar, a nice, big jar, and place it somewhere that you cannot overlook or forget about it. Next to the jar put a small notepad or a basket of small pieces of paper. Next to that put a pen (or pens) and every time something good happens in the new year, no matter how small it seems, even if you got a new, cool pair of socks (thanks Celeste) or awesome Prince earrings (Jenny!), you write that on the paper, put it in the jar and by the end of the year you have a jar that represents every good thing that happened to you that you then read out loud with friends, or alone. Whatever suits your fancy.

A Cleansing Fire — Fire is the ultimate cleanser. It burns the just and unjust alike. It can destroy and it can be the impetus for rebuilding. It can be devastating or deadly, or it can be cleansing and forward-looking. In this case, we want the fire to represent the good that is to come and our break with anything bad in the past. Build up a nice, SAFE bonfire in your fire pit and/or fireplace or wood stove. Write down all the things (good or bad) that happened and say them to yourself (or out loud if you feel safe) and toss them into the fire.  Let those thoughts, occurrences burn up and be ashes, let them be free and in turn, you’ll be free of them as well. Free to enjoy the new year lighter and freer, with an open heart.

Have a New Years Puja! — A puja, put simply, is an act of worship. I learned about it in my yoga training and it is an amazing and lovely experience. Most importantly, you don’t have to be some yoga guru to perform one. You can hold a New Years Puja right in your own home!

Importance of New Year Puja

New Year is one of the most popular occasions for the people of India. It is celebrated on 1st January, i.e. the first day of year according to solar calendar. The New Year day is very prominent for the life of a person as it is the day for new beginning leaving all the mistakes, miseries, bad habits behind and making resolutions for performing good deeds, improving oneself in every fields and achieving great success. The New Year day also holds enormous astrological significances. It is the day on which the earth begins a new revolution around the Sun. Lots of people hold puja on this day with a desire of happy and prosperous year ahead. They make new resolutions and promises in front of the god and ask for strength and blessings to fulfill those resolutions successfully.

How to do New Year Puja

The New Year Puja basically consists of offering prayers either in a temple or at the one’s house. It may also consist of other rituals like Havans, Aarti and donations. Usually, the New Year puja is accompanied by a feast among the participants. The Puja is done while focusing on wishing for prosperity and success for the participants in this New Year.

~ Click here for more info.

More than anything else, make New Years a day of letting go of the past and a stepping forward into a new year that is full of possibility and hope (no matter who is president). We can all get through this together. We are one, we are powerful and we are ready to face whatever comes our way with grace, sensitivity and most of all, love.

Happy 2017!!!
Happy 2017!!!

So tell me, how are you going to celebrate the end of 2016 and how are you going to step into 2017? Tell me in the comments below!

See you in 2017 Friends!!!

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The Female Perspective: Some Of My Favorite Things

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


I thought for a bit about what I wanted to write about this week, I’ll admit to being still a bit heartsick over the election results and I’m not ashamed to admit it. While this is not a political blog and I do not want to get political, I also can’t pretend to be business as usual. So I decided to do another post about some things that make me happy in the hopes that it will cheer others or even inspire them to share what makes them happy as well!

Also, it’s a bit of a gift guide too since it’s that time of year again folks!

Christmas is my favorite time of year. It’s a time that has always felt hopeful. One year is nearing its end, while another looms before us, full of hope and opportunity. I admit that I am a bit frightened as to what is coming for us in 2017 and beyond, but I will not allow my fear to drive me, I will keep hoping for better things on the horizon.

I won’t give up and neither should you.

And now, onto some of my favorite things!

#1. SOCKS! 

I admit to having a crazy obsession with socks. I’ve managed to temper it as the years have gone on mostly because I have such a massive collection I really cannot buy any new ones. That does not, however, stop others from indulging me in my obsession and I often get fun new socks for my birthday and/or Christmas. One of my favorite places to shop for socks is a Portland, Oregon shop called Sock Dreams. They seriously have a HUGE selection of the coolest socks. My favorites from there are by far what they call the “extraordinary tie dyed thigh high“. I LOOOOVE them so much I fear for the day they die and therefore only wear them sparingly! I really need to get a new pair one of these days.

SOCKS!
SOCKS!

What I love about them is that they have a wide range of prices and styles and their customer service is nothing short of spectacular. I have ordered socks from them to have them come, regular USPS shipping, in less than a week. It’s fantastic!

#2. Geeky Things from Think Geek

They have some of the funnest stuff around, from SHIELD logo yoga pants, to solar system glassware and more. It’s truly a plethora of geeky goodness. I can browse for hours when I am avoiding my real work and still not get through everything they have to offer.

Also, a Book of Spells Wallet!?!?! Are you kidding me??? So cool.

#3. Stuff on Etsy.

Who doesn’t love Etsy? It really is a wonderfully diverse and fun black hole of shopping exploration. With finds like a Narwhal Cardigan and or awesome prints of parody art by Dave Pollock, you cannot go wrong in terms of gift giving this year!

Photo By JL Metcalf
Photo By JL Metcalf

FYI, I have a nifty little shop on Etsy called Juicey Creative Works and it includes photographs, signed copies of my books and art by none other than Frankie B. Washington!

#4. Neighborhood Love Notes on social media

Inspired to create a love bubble around the world, I came across this just a day or so after the election. I thought it was such  beautiful and simple idea. Simple get some sidewalk chalk and write love notes to the world, to your neighbors on your sidewalk.

Let’s spread love and support for all people who may live in fear of the current events. While hateful groups feel emboldened to spread their bigotry via vandalism, let’s counter with colorful reminders that we are not alone in our fight against intolerance and our commitment to solidarity.

NOTE: You can do this anywhere, anytime, and anyplace! Modify, change, get creative. Just grab your crew and go.

Initially imagined by Ashley Horan, here are her own words from her Facebook page –

“A testimonial, and an invitation:

I was terribly unproductive today. I realized I needed to make something, rather than think about anything. Thinking about my queer and trans and Muslim and undocumented and poor neighbors, I realized that I needed to tell them – before doing anything else – that I see them and I love them. So I bought sidewalk chalk, and wrote love notes to my neighborhood.

As I was working, at least seven or eight kids in my neighborhood–none of them ones that I had known before –stopped and talked with me on their way home from school. They told me about their fears, their hopes, their dreams. One of them took the time to stop and create a square of his own.

Tomorrow, I am going to go to other places in the city where I know people are hurting and tell them in this way that I love them, too.

My unsolicited advice: go buy some sidewalk chalk, and meditate about who you love – rather than who you fear – for a little while. This will certainly not change the world. There is so much other work to do. But it saved my heart today.

Those of you who are part of congregations, religious communities, or other communal spaces where you will be gathering this week, an idea: one of my colleagues had the idea to do a “reverse offering” at her church this weekend, where she will pass out chalk to the congregation and charge people to go out and write notes to folks in their communities wherever they see the need. This is brilliant.

Please, if you do this in a communal OR an individual way, will you take photos and post them with the hashtag #NeighborhoodLoveNotes? Let’s spread the love!”

Ashley Horan
Ashley Horan

What could be better than that this time of year?

#5. You, Dear Readers

Yep, it’s true. For all those that read my blog, even if you never leave a comment, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I do this for fun and I do this in the hope that something I say inspires someone else to write their own blog, or to watch a movie I might suggest, or just to laugh a little when they feel sad. I take blogging seriously, even when it is a lighthearted blog like today’s. It’s important that we all feel heard and we all feel loved and I know for the last two years, it’s been a tough go for some/all of us. Let’s do our best to #SendLove to one another, to #BeLove to one another and to remember, we are all in this together. No matter who you voted for, we are all human beings deserving of love, respect and kindness. As I’ve seen online so many times (and apologies for the swears if it offends);

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As always, thank you for reading! See you next week!!!

And, please, share what makes YOU happy!