Wednesday, July 1, 2020

What's Your Favorite Flavor of Ice Cream?

Spinning Your Gold: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions 
 “You should not be replacing more than one meal a day with ice cream. We do not consider a pint or tub of ice cream to be a single serving.” 
–Jerry Greenfield, Co-Founder, Ben & Jerry’s

Did you know that July is called the Ice Cream Month? And today, July 1 is National Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day?

There’s a good reason as this 2,000-year-old treat can always cool and soothe the hot summer blues, body, and creative soul. Marco Polo returned to Italy from his Far East expeditions with a recipe for sherbert. Seems Catherine de Medici of Italy later enjoyed her “cream ice” in 1553. And it didn’t take long before everyone could buy a scoop starting in 1660!

Did you also know that your favorite ice cream flavor speaks volumes about your personality?

To verify this, there’s research conducted by neurologist Dr. Alan Hirsch, founder of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation. “Seems Hirsch uses various standardized psychiatric test results to make statistical correlations, explaining that the same part of the brain (the limbic lobe) is responsible for both personality traits and food preference.”

Hirsch says the taste for your favorite ice cream is set during childhood and tends to remain constant throughout your life.

As an author, this invites me to consider myself and story characters –not to mention family and friends- in this new, sensory light. Hmmm…I wonder what ice cream my 3x Great Uncle Liberty Raymond killed at the Battle of Fort Wagner in the Civil War enjoyed as a child on his New Hampshire apple orchard?

It’s fun to wonder what other sheroes enjoyed like Ann Hasseltine Judson, Julia Tarrant Barron, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Golda Meir, and Mother Teresa. I’m also curious about the favorite ice cream flavors of writers like Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Rumi, Isaak Dinesen, Hafiz, or Peace Pilgrim. 

As I now write while juggling a somewhat melting cone…

Descriptive adjectives flow.
Plot twists sweeten.
Vocabulary gets sprinkled with multi-syllabic words.
Creative insights gather.
Memories of happy moments drip ... drip ... drip.

For fun, here are my assigned ice cream flavors from Hirsch’s research to seven well-known people with birthdays in July:

* The Dalai Lama, July 6 - Vanilla
* Sylvester Stallone, July 6 – Rocky Roads
* Tom Hanks, July 9 – Chocolate
* Malala Yousafzai, July 12- Vanilla
* Ernest Hemingway, July 21 – Coffee
* Robin Williams, July 21 –Butter Pecan
* J.K. Rowlings, July 31 – Chocolate Chip

So what’s your favorite ice cream for cooling down this July? What do you think about the ice cream matches above?

P.S. Your special invitation awaits you to join me and other sister writers in my free, private women's Facebook group, the Writer’s VisionQuest. Our intention is sharing and giving resources to “transform your words into somewhere brilliant.”

P.P.S. Visit my Amazon Author Page to learn about upcoming workshops and events, and books to enjoy for your summer reading.

Copyright Lore Raymond, 2020. No portion of the blog post or information on this site may be reprinted, re-used, or copied to another website without prior written permission from the author.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

5 Prayerful Ways to Call for Peace, Protest Injustice

Spinning Your Gold: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

“Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” -Soren Kierkegaard

After months of COVID-19 self-quarantine and days of civil unrest, do you find that:

Your body is drained.
Your heart is aching.
Your mind is blown.
Your spirit is swirling.

What can you do to be a part of today’s solution and be changed?

How can you, as Mohandas Gandhi suggests, “Be the change you  wish to see?”

Like many, you might not be able to march in the streets to protest. Yet, your heart seeks to walk for justice, peace, and the healing of racism.

With Number Five representing a change in numerology, here are five inspired steps you can now take to shift the negative energy to positive energy:

1. Join a mindful prayer community- You’re invited to my online Facebook event, WAVE-Praying Together Matters, to pause and pray each day from June 4 to July 4—Independence Day in the USA.

2. Pray- In this month-long “event,” you’re called to set the alarm to different times each day and pray, however, and to whomever. What’s essential is that you enter your private, sacred, and silent space. 
That simple. That powerful. 
RSVP now to WAVE-Praying Together Matters. (Women as Visionaries Everywhere & Friends)

3. Write a prayer- Even if you don’t think you’re a writer, your thoughts are things. They can become a prayer. Put them on paper. Share that positivity for a brighter future.

4. Post a prayer-full memeRemember Meister Eckhart Tolle’s wisdom, “If the only prayer you ever say in your life is thank you, it will be enough.” On social media, share gratitude (or peace) memes and quotes for how you see the world; this is expressing robust advance appreciation and gratitude. You don’t have to wait for the good to appear. See it happening now. Use the hashtag #PrayingTogetherMatters.

5. Be the prayer. Be the light. - As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fiercely and non-violently demonstrated in his life, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Together, we can do this, let us pray.


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

30 Creativity Quotes to Inspire Your Writer's & Artist's Heart & Soul

Spinning Your Gold Blog: Words to Open Hearts and Inspire Actions
Did you know that May 30 is National Creativity Day?
For inspiration, enjoy these 30 quotes designed to tap into 
your writer’s and artist’s heart and soul.

Creativity is:
“Creativity is an act of defiance.” -Twyla Tharp

“Creativity is a wild mild and a disciplined eye.” -Dorothy Parker

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” -Albert Einstein

“Creativity is a crushing chore and a glorious mystery. The work wants to be made, and it wants to be made by you.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

“Creativity is one of the highest transmissions of love.”-Suzy Kassem

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” -Scott Adams

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” -Albert Einstein

“Creativity is just connecting things.” -Steve Jobs

How creativity manifests:

“To be creative is to look madness in the eye and challenge it to a spitting contest.” -River Fairchild

“Create with the heart, build with the mind.” -Criss Jami

 “Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.” -Dee Hock

“When people ask me how did I get so creative, I tell them it’s because I ate paste as a child.” -Anon

“That’s the great secret of creativity. You treat ideas like cats: you make them follow you.” -Ray Bradbury

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.” -George Bernard Shaw

To create a work of art is to create the world.” -Wassily Kandinsky

What erodes creativity?

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” –Sylvia Plath

“There is no innovation or creativity without failure. Period.” –Brene Brown

“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.” -Pablo Picasso

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy.” -Ray Bradbury

“Negativity is the enemy of creativity.” -David Lynch

“Never, never, never give up.” -Winston Churchill

Why create?

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” -Maya Angelou

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” -John W. Gardner

“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.” -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.” -Pablo Picasso

“The creative adult is the child who survived.” -Ursula K. LeGuin

 “What if the very reason you were created was to be creative?” -Michelle Dennis Evans

“Writing reawakens my childhood fantasy more than anything, opening up creative worlds.” -Leo Tolstoy

“Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.” -Virginia Woolf

“Art, freedom, and creativity will change society faster than politics.” -Victor Pinchuk

Hopefully, these 30 creativity quotes inspired your writer's and artist’s heart and soul. 

Which ones did you like the most and why? Please share other personal favorites in the comment section. 

Express your creativity!

P.S. Let's connect and express creativity together! Are you a woman who writes? An author or messenger? 

Please join me in my women’s free, private group, the Writer’s VisionQuest. By giving and receiving resources, our intention is to “transform your words into somewhere brilliant.

P.P.S. If curious, visit my Amazon Author’s page to better know me through my stories and messages.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Soul Comfort for Cat & Dog Lovers

“A piece of my heart is at the Rainbow Bridge.” ~Anon
Do you honor and celebrate the Rainbow Bridge Anniversary of your furry ones? 
I do.
Sasha Kitty, my precious muse, left her fursuit five years ago today.
Today’s shrine to celebrate Sasha Kitty. (L-r) Memory box with cremated remains; ceramic votive with her favorite cat food, a Love candle, Angel Kitty, and photo of us.
Through a kind and gentle demeanor, she inspired early morning writing that landed in half a dozen books. After she died in 2015 and still grieving, I wrote a story that appeared in 365 Moments of Grace, a collaborative work that became a #1 Amazon International Bestseller. (Published July 27, 2016, by DandiLove Unlimited.)
Divine Dialogue With Sasha Kitty

Mom and I left the vet’s office that night drowning in a sea of grief. The decision was made to end Sasha Kitty’s suffering. While struggling to drive home through torrential tears, I heard, “I left something for you.” It was Sasha Kitty. She repeated herself two more times.
The next morning, still grieving, and still wondering what the “something” was that she had left for me, my soul craved comforting. I started my spiritual practice of Divine Dialogue Writing. As I had done for years, I invoked the angels, asking: “What do I need to know for my best and highest good now regarding Sasha Kitty?”

After shuffling the Doreen Virtue Angel Cards, I pulled the All Is Well card with this message from Archangel Jeremiel: “Everything is happening exactly as it is supposed to be with hidden blessings you will soon understand.” At that moment, Mom walked into my bedroom. She wondered what angel message I’d received. So I showed her, and she exclaimed that she’d got the exact same angel oracle card that night!

Repeating the same question as before, I drew another card, and got Hello from Heaven! with Archangel Azrael. His message: “Your loved ones in Heaven are doing fine. Let go of worries and embrace their loving blessings.” A quiet whisper followed: “Sasha wants to work with your guardian angels to help you be peaceful, so watch for other signs from Heaven.”

Two weeks later, I pulled the All is Well card again. “You’re too funny, Sasha Kitty,” I mused. “The All is Well card was just returned to the deck; I’ve had it sitting on my desk since you left. Now it shows up again! Did you know it’s the two-week anniversary of your new cat adventure?”

“I know,” I heard her whisper.
“I miss you.”
“I know,” she said.
“Hope all is well.”
“It is. Chirp.” (Her sweet acknowledgment sound.)
 So, what was the “something” Sasha Kitty left for me? It was the unwrapped gift of knowing that life continues after death. She’s just in another room--for where there’s love, communication continues…even with the furry, four-footed ones!

P.S. Today’s card, Rainbow Blessings offered this timely message: “Blessings are showering your life.” It comes from the Sacred Traveler Oracle Cards by Denise Linn.
I think not. 
How about Divine synchronicity?
From the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, Sasha Kitty continues to bless me with happy memories as we connect through Divine Dialogue Writing. 

Her presence inspires me to remember, reflect, and write something new.
“Let’s write something together like we used to do. What do you say?”
“I hope you like this blog. I pray you crossed over the Rainbow Bridge five years ago, knowing that you were deeply loved.”
How I now imagine Sasha Kitty--still musing while dreaming of seagulls, or maybe angels?
Photo Art by Christine Ellger Tutt.

Related Blog Posts You Might Also Enjoy:

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Four Words of Advice for Coping with CV19

Photo: Andrew Dees
“What you do not use yourself, 
do not give to others. 
For example advice.” ~Sri Chinmoy

Feeling enraged and gutted after seeing new COVID-19 death and infection numbers, I wanted to respond by offering my brilliant, written advice for dealing with CV19. 


* I started to say how you should be and what you should do.
* I started to become the “know it all” that I dislike reading, hearing, and seeing online.
* I started to “should” on you, which no one enjoys, including me!

After smugly reading the first draft, the Inner Whisperer said,

"Stop. Does this really serve or help anyone?"
"No," I replied to myself.

So, I’ll keep the pontificating essay for my eyes only.

Instead, here's what my heart now yearns for during Week 12 of self-quarantine--it’s the gentle, self-care reminder that guarantees PEACE from everything--four words of advice for CV19:


Taking this advice, my mask, journal, and I will visit a favorite Florida beach at sunrise on Friday morning; it’s the first time since early March.

Then maybe I’ll...

Sit in the sugar sand and get grounded.
Write a sweet gratitude list for another disease-free and DIS-ease free day.

* Shift my negative energy to a positive vibration.
Toss seashells, symbols of prayer, into the Gulf of Mexico.

A favorite beach, Pass-A-Grille Beach, FL, never disappoints.
(It’s south of St. Petersburg Beach.) Photo: DeeAnn Feick

Related blog posts you might enjoy:
* The Cheapest COVID-19 Therapy in the World
* Anne Frank Might Suggest These Five Reasons to Write Now
* Helpful Tips for Making Your Own Corona Mask

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Celebrate Your Mother by Writing HerStory

Question-With Mother’s Day 2020 approaching, what might you gift your mother with to become a priceless heirloom?

My answer-Take the time now to write a story, blog, essay, or poem to tell her story.

In March 2016, I took my own advice and entered the Spiritual Writer’s Network Contest organized by Shanda Trofe of Transcendent Publishing. My entry “won” with a story about how my mother, Clare, came to be. It also celebrated being published for the first time in Finding Our Wings: A Collection of Angelic Stories and Poems.

Now four years later, the story is edited to better reflect more details of mom’s life and my storytelling skills. As you read each paragraph, may you find beauty, inspiration, and love to write your mother’s story.

Divine Appointments for an Angel’s Birth

If you conceive another child, Mrs. Lelash, you could die,” said the doctor to my Grandmother Ella aka Mamie.

This was not the news she hoped for at her annual checkup appointment. She hoped for encouragement and support in her quest to have a second child. Why? She was crystal clear that her daughter Joan Marie, now two years old, would not be an only child. 
My great-grandmother, Magdalene Jane Watt Esplin with my grandmother, Isabella Marie (also Ella or Mamie), Arbroath, Scotland, 1906

Rewind. Fear, sadness, and loneliness were often the childhood companions of little Isabella Marie or “Ella,” the only child born on Tuesday, September 13, 1904, to working Scottish parents. 

Life compounded these feelings when separated from her father Thomas Campbell Esplin. He preferred the warmer climes of Calcutta, India to Arbroath, Scotland’s soggy weather. Work called him to India’s jute mills as a weaving foreman.

Hope started to shine years later when at 17, she boarded the S.S. Columbia, with her mother bound for the USA. Like millions of other dreamers, they passed through Ellis Island to live with Ella’s Aunt Linda and cousins in Beverly, Massachusetts. Sadly, their family reunion was short-lived as Ella’s mother, Magdalene Jane, later met heavenly angels at 43 years young.

My maternal grandparents on their wedding day, William Joseph Lelash and Ella Marie Esplin Lelash, Monday, July 11, 1927.
Life’s tempests like the ones during her Atlantic crossing carried a now 20-something Ella from the east to the west coast of sunny California. It was there that she would accept a life-changing appointment--an all-day date with my grandfather, William Joseph Lelash, 13 years her senior. 

It seems he lost track of time, showing her his favorite southern California sites. Only at the end of the day did he realize he had not offered his date anything to eat or drink!

No matter. 
They eventually married on 7-11-27.

Fast forward. “You’re pregnant again?” asked my grandfather.
“I am,” my grandmother softly replied. 
Then again, with more joy, “I AM!”

Though faced with the possibility of dying, there was no choice other than to have this much-wanted second baby. You see, these soon-to-be parents were devout, practicing Catholics. She had what she most sought: the blessing to have another child.

Cloistered Poor Clare Nuns gathered in the garden.

One day a letter arrived asking for a financial donation to the Poor Clare Nuns of Oakland, CA. They, like many, found themselves struggling through the Great Depression. As a cloistered community, these spiritual, Catholic women remained within the convent’s walls for life. Only two nuns were designated to go “out in the world” gathering food, supplies, and medicines.  

My grandmother responded to their financial request with great faith and hope. She took precious few household dollars to send to the Poor Clare Nuns and requested prayers for her unborn child.

The Hotel St. Catherine, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, California

Now 1932, the Great Depression raged on to finally end in 1939. Still, life for the Lelash Family on Santa Catalina Island (Named for Saint Catherine of Alexandria) offered a simple, idyllic time removed from the mainland’s more challenging economic struggles. 

The family of three, soon-to-be four, gratefully enjoyed meals provided by my grandfather’s employer. He served as an assistant general manager of the Hotel St. Catherine (1928-34), which enjoyed guests from 1918-1966 until demolition made room for another luxury hotel. 

The dining room of the Hotel St. Catherine, Santa Catalina Island, California, where my grandfather worked as an assistant general manager.
Imagine, the hotel’s dining room could seat 1,200 for dinner! This once enchanting, carless getaway offered foreign dignitaries, and Hollywood celebrities escape by plane, yacht, or ferry from public scrutiny. Bison, cattle, and sheep roamed the sparsely populated, pristine island. The 1930 Santa Catalina Census Records reported that the animals outnumbered the 1,897 residents.

“It’s time! It’s time!” yelled my grandmother in her wise woman’s knowingness of “my-water-is-breaking-the baby-is-coming.”

“Let’s get you to the airport!” replied my worried grandfather, despite his deep faith in God and the angels. 
Note: Once upon a time, it was Santa (Saint) Catalina Island; now it's Catalina Island.
While in labor, Ella courageously flew the 22 miles over the channel to Long Beach, California, in a small passenger plane. Upon landing, she traveled to White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles, the “City of Angels.” I’m sure my grandfather said many rosaries until arriving there on the much longer ferry ride to the mainland!

Thanks to Dr. Ralph Thompson, Clare Ann Lelash arrived on Friday, May 13, 1932, at 5:45 am, weighing 6 pounds, 14 oz. Blond curls and hazel-green eyes highlighted the cherub’s rosebud mouth. My grandmother chose the name “Clare” in appreciation for the prayers to the angels by the nuns to make Clare’s delivery a healthy one. 

Clare Ann Lelash, age 2, 1934

The arrival of Ella's second daughter now guaranteed that her daughter, Joan Marie, would never live life as an only child as she had endured. Ella was grateful, relieved, and happy!

As her second daughter grew, my grandmother wanted to thank the Poor Clare Nuns for their diligent prayers. She sought an appointment to introduce them to their very own angel, “Baby Clare.”

She bundled the toddler up and flew to Oakland, CA, from Santa Catalina Island to make the introduction. Upon arrival, Clare was announced and then placed on a turn style in the wall that swiveled from the public reception area to the inner convent area. No one other than the nuns, priests or doctors were allowed inside the convent walls. (Typically mail along with donations of food, clothing, and money were placed on the turn style.) 

Years later, my grandmother shared the story of how she happily listened to what sounded like an orchestra of joy! These sounds came from the nuns inside the convent who were not mothers, but who would become "spiritual mothers" to her second daughter forever. Through thick convent walls, the “Ooh’s! and Ahh’s” mixed with laughter faintly chimed like the church bells that called the nuns to meals and vespers. 

Much later, the turn style swiveled around. Finally, Baby Clare came into view as the nuns returned her to an anxious and relieved mother.

And what a sight! Pinned medals of Saint Clare and other Saint’s blanketed the baby’s cotton gown. Each medal reflected a Poor Clare Nun’s prayer for “their” child’s continued health, wealth, and happiness.

Now. Karen Goldman explains, “The angels hold their hands around us like children cupping candles. They protect us gently lest our flame goes out when the wind is strong.” 

The many prayers to the angels “to hold their hands around us (Baby Clare)” from my Grandmother Ella, Grandfather William, and the Poor Clare Nuns ensured the healthy birth and protection of Clare--now soon to celebrate her 88 successful turn-around-the sun.

Sometimes someone will come into our lives with no motive and with a pure heart to help us grow and to guide us in living our best life...this person is an earth angel. 

Throughout life, Clare’s presence and kind, generous efforts invite strangers and, all those who know this back story, to describe her as an ANGEL—and truly one who arrived by Divine Appointments. 

My siblings, Cathy and Michael, and I agree. We lovingly refer to mom as our “Angel.”

Mom celebrated the completion of this quilt for another angel--Arman Sarraf--her fifth great-grandchild for his first Mother's Day with mom, Samantha Bigues. (5-5-20)

About Lore (like “story”) Raymond
Lore is the eldest of three children born to Clare and Richard Raymond.

She is also a transformational thought leader and bestselling co-author, teacher, and book coach. Four books are set for publication in 2020-21, inspired by her world travels.

In 2008, a Peruvian shaman bestowed a sacred condor feather and the title of “chacaruna”--a bridgekeeper--while co-leading a trip together. He challenged Lore to help people express their authentic power and messages. She now emboldens clients to discover their authentic voices and then translate the information into books and other channels. Her intuitive wisdom finds expression in sacred service for those stuck or reluctant to write or create.

Still thriving after 14 years, Lore facilitates the monthly Women’s Divine Dialogue Writing Circle in Tampa Bay, FL.; here, her creation of the Divine Dialogue Writing System TM is taught and practiced.

St. Petersburg, Florida, remains home after 38 years with global sojourns elsewhere! Lore also holds two Masters degrees from American University, Washington, D.C. (Human Resources), and; Framingham State College, Framingham, MA (Education). 

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