Q&A #3: from Hugh’s Views and News

Question of the day 2


from Hugh’s Views and News,

asked a good question for which I hope I have a worthy answer.

Hugh is curious-

he wants to know what my advice would be to anyone wanting to start a blog.

Hugh already has a great blog.  He really doesn’t need my advice, seeing as how I’ve got an okay blog. :)  I think great outstrips okay any day, but hey!  Who’s judging?! (everyone, but that’s beside the point. haha)

I’ve been given advice about my blog. Of course, I didn’t get any of that advice until after I started one. Well, no, I take that back.  I think the first piece of advice I got about blogging was from some friends and family on my Facebook page. They noticed me writing long “notes” on my timeline.  They said, “Why don’t you start a blog?” I’m not sure if they thought I had a talent for it or if they wanted me to blog so they wouldn’t have my notes pop up on their news-feeds….I get the last laugh, though, because I always post a link to my blog. It likely shows up on some new-feeds. HA!  Just kidding.  I love my people and they tolerate me.  It’s a relationship I can work with. ;)

Here’s my advice

ONE: Either have a theme or don’t.

People seem to go either way on this and I think both ways work as long as the people visiting your blog know what to expect. There are millions of topics available, so make your voice heard. Be as random as your want or as specific as you desire.

TWO: Be Y-O-U.

Just be yourself.  Don’t try to be or do something that isn’t you.  People can tell, even in writing.

THREE: Try to be consistent. 

I struggle with this, but wish that from the beginning of my blog I’d set a schedule for when I would post.  It can be anything really. Suggestions would be once a week, once a month, every day, every other day, Mon-Wed-Fri, or something that fits your lifestyle and your topics.  It helps people who follow your blog to know when they can expect a post from you.

FOUR: Don’t let other people’s blogs dictate what you write.

Your blog is yours, not someone else’s.  Besides, who’s to say that your blog and what you write about won’t matter to someone, help, or encourage someone?  Your voice is important and you can make a difference.

FIVE:  Blogging is a community.

Check out other blogs. Get to know your fellow contributors. Leave worthwhile comments, not just links to your own blog.  Being active in any community is a small part of what makes it a better place.

SIX: Choose a “WP Theme” for your blog.

But, if it’s not working for you, don’t be afraid to switch.  Just try to stick to a similar format, though, so that people don’t have to try to relearn how to navigate your pages. (9/30/14- check out: RonovanWrites. He has some great advice for extra customization, too.)

SEVEN:  Use photos and memes.

I’ve been told this is important on more than one occasion, but sometimes it can become overcrowded or distracting, so don’t go overboard! Make sure you keep them as closely related to your post topic as possible. This is a skill I have not mastered! ;)

EIGHT: Don’t be afraid of HTML.

It can be a little tricky, but there are thousands of websites out there that have lots of HTML code available.  They spell out exactly how to use it. So, when you are comfortable with your blogging skills, try switching to “Text” mode after you’ve typed up a post and add some extra HTML fanciness…like font size, color, style, etc. :)

That’s probably enough advice from this girl!  Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog.  Thanks again, Hugh, for the question!

Before you go,

What questions do you have about starting your own blog?


What advice would you offer to our friends who’d like to start a blog, but might be overwhelmed with the prospect?

I’d love to see your questions and answers below! OR, even better,  if you’ve already got a blog, write a post highlighting your advice for starting a blog. THEN- please post a link in the comments on this page so that anyone visiting can find more great advice! :)

Q&A #2: from J.A. Merkel

question of the day 1

J.A. Merkel asked,

What are your biggest influences when it comes to writing (people, books, television, movies, etc.)? Anything that stands out in your mind above all the rest?


You know, it’s funny that you ask, because I would say that almost everything and everyone around me influences me when it comes to writing.  I don’t mean that I base my stories on anyone or anything in particular, but everything  I write has been influenced by who/what I’m surrounded by.

The question wasn’t if I’m influenced, though.  Job asked what the biggest influences are for me.

Writing Influences

1) My family


  • They show me how people can love unconditionally, and I want to share that with the world through stories.
  • They teach me what it means to be selfish and to give selflessly.  I’m surrounded by real people who inspire me to create imaginary people that act R-E-A-L.
  • My family can think I’m crazy but still support me in my writing goals.  I’m driven to succeed because of them.

2) Other Books

pic from "Bloggers Unite Book Club"

pic from “Bloggers Unite Book Club”

(I’ll just list a couple examples on each)

  • Biblical accounts -Ruth, Paul, David
  • Classic fiction- Persuasion, Jane Eyre, Chronicles of Narnia, Grapes of Wrath
  • Christian fiction – The Chiveis Trilogy, Gods and Kings
  • Young Adult fiction – The Books of Bayern Series, The Hunger Games
  • Board books – Guess How Much I Love You, The Going to Bed Book
  • Biographies – Left to Tell, anything Jane Austen
  • any good BOOK!

3) Movies



  • movies help to influence my ideas of story flow.  I enjoy seeing movie adaptations of my favorite books because it gives me a sense of what others find essential to a story or plot-line.  It also paints pictures of what could very well be in my own imagination. Sometimes the movie-makers hit the nail on the head, other times, they smash my fingers…
  • I have a soft spot for classics and musicals (Bollywood has some great musicals), but I’m also influenced by epic movies such as Gladiator, Robin Hood (yes, the Kevin Costner version…and the British TV show of more recent days), Braveheart, the Passion of the Christ, Far and Away, etc.
  • I am addicted to BBC adaptations of Classics (yes, it did need it’s own point)
  • TV shows like Merlin, Continuum, Once Upon A Time, Firefly (& Serenity), Star Trek, What Not to Wear
  • I like comedies, but I have as of yet to be influenced to the point where I can convey comedy well in my writing…really need help here! (hint-hint)

4) Nature




  • I’m influenced by all this beautiful stuff I’m surrounded by
  • The ugly stuff also makes me think differently
  • The world we live in, what we experience….it all has some influence on us, I think.
Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

What stands out above all the rest?  Well, the biggest influence in life and writing, the one that truly stands out, is God.  I know not everybody believes like I do.  I wish everyone did, but for now, that is only a dream.  In the meantime, it is God who influences me above all else.  The Bible may seem like a bunch of fairy tales to some, or a book of cruel histories to another, or something completely different that I haven’t even contemplated before.  When I read the Bible, though, I see man’s depravity under the exposing light of God’s provision and constant love.  Our sinful history puts his mercy on display.  He influences me to compassion.  He influences me to truth.  He influences me to hope and joy.  Every day, by action and word, I want to reflect what he has given me, and that’s his mercy and grace.

I’m not perfect and I make lots of mistakes. Do you know anyone who is perfect? It’s highly unlikely, but don’t the imperfect people influence you, too?  The people I live with, the people I work with, the people I play with…good or bad, they all influence my life in some way, and so they influence my writing, too.


I have no doubt, everyone didn’t think of the question the same way I did!

I’d like to turn that question around on you!  

Do you write fiction or non-fiction?  What is your biggest influence when it comes to writing?

Q&A #1: from Storytime with John

I asked for questions over the last week and some of you sweet people took the time to give me a few.  THANK YOU. :)

Question of the day

The first question came from Storytime with John.  He asked:

What is your definition of a successful writer?

I have to start out by saying I loved the questions people asked.  Not one of them is a question I would consider easy to answer. It will take more than a passing glance.

To answer John’s question, what is my definition of a successful writer, I had to really consider what I saw as successful.

I would say success is accomplishing what you set out to do.  It requires vision, defined goals, courage, support, effort/hard work, a pinch of stubbornness, and a time-frame within which to accomplish your design.

A successful writer is not just one who publishes a book or two. That is successfully publishing a book, sure, but I doubt it makes one a successful writer.

Let me explain.  Being a writer basically entails writing things that will touch people’s lives – make her think, encourage him, embolden him,  make her laugh, give her hope, open his eyes to things he may not have known before, let her know she’s not alone, educate him, make him cry out against injustice (and maybe do something helpful about it), celebrate with her someone’s restoration….if I keep going then this will end up being a really, really, REALLY long blog post.

As a writer, if you can touch someone’s life, then you are successful.  If you can help someone to think more deeply about your subject or gain new insight then you are successful.  If you can make someone laugh – you are successful.  If you can teach someone something new that will enhance his life, you are successful. I think you get the point. :)


I define a successful writer as someone who touches lives in big and small ways.  It can make all the difference in the world.

Here’s a quote to leave you with from someone who has accomplished success on many levels. I’ve never read his books, but I like how Steven King puts it:

photo only is from stevenking.wikia.com

photo only is from stevenking.wikia.com


I’m looking forward to answering the next question next week!

In the mean time, please leave any comments or questions of your own below or connect with me on

Facebook at WritingRaci or Twitter with me at RachaelRitchey

I’m on Google+ & Good Reads, too!

Ask Me Questions! (pretty please!)

It occurs to me that I have no idea how to really connect with people. I don’t mean I can’t connect at all, but I really want to make great friends through this blog and I guess I don’t know what you really want to know about me in order to…well, for lack of a better word, bond.

So, for the next week 9/10-9/17/14, I’m asking you to please write at least one question you would like to ask me in the comments section.  

I will answer every one of them in a blog post, and I will likely respond personally to each person.

I will probably ask some of my own questions and I hope to have a conversation with you! :)  Really, you’re also helping me improve my blog by doing this, and I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to do it!

Please ask whatever you want! It can be as serious or  silly as you want it to be.



Beautiful Lesson #1: Beauty and the Best Friend

At the hospital with Reagan earlier today.

At the hospital with Reagan earlier today.

A few posts ago I said I wanted to explore the concept of beauty more, and that hasn’t changed!  It just seems like life gets in the way of my best laid plans sometimes.  I’m going to combine two of my favorite subjects into one blog post tonight: Beauty and My Best Friend.

As you probably already know from my previous post called, “A Day to Pray, A Lifetime of Hope,” I alerted you to the special girl in the bed in the picture above.  Her name is Reagan.  Well, Reagan seemed to be doing better, but the middle of last week she took a turn for the worse and had to be admitted to the hospital.  Apnea (usually during sleep) is when someone stops breathing…here let me get the mayo clinic description:

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly and you feel tired even after a full night’s sleep.

There are two main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax

  • Central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing

Well, she’s got it and other complications, but options become extreme for her because of her other health issues.  Her family is having to make some tough decisions and they’ve asked for all the doctors to gather together for a care consultation so that all can be on the same page.  It’s just tough!  In the meantime, Reagan is in the hospital being monitored and having her needed antibiotics administered.

In fact, today, I spent the morning and early afternoon with her because Mom and Dad both had prior commitments for the day that could not be shirked off on someone else.  They have been the most amazing parents to not only Reagan, but also their other girls.  They try so hard to balance life and keep it as normal as possible for them during these times of duress.  Reagan needs her mom and dad. She needs to not be left alone in the hospital, but the other girls need their mom and dad, too.  I and others are occasionally able to step in and help keep that balance viable for this family.  It’s easy to do because our relationship is strong and we are committed to each other, like family. One or the other of them spend every night with Reagan in the hospital.

THEY ARE SO TIRED six days later.  So very tired.  Please pray for them.  Here, this is what Sheila asked:

Day 6 of Reagan’s hospital stay:
Thank you, Rachael and Kelly, for staying with our sweet girl today. PICC line inserted, and we weren’t there with her. We are so tired and would love continued prayer for renewed energy. Our girls are all affected by the separation of our family, and it is difficult to be a sibling of a child with special needs – being asked how your sister is doing, what is happening… and simply not knowing how to respond. Our girls are struggling, too. Please pray for Reagan’s sisters tonight.

Our physical breath is such a precious gift.
Inhale grace.
Exhale praise.

Now, I said this post was going to be about beauty and best friends.  Well, here’s the thing…

Beauty that comes from the inside, the really potent kind, is probably best described  overall by the attribute of love.  I’m not talking gushy-ooshie-gooshie romantic love.  I’m talking, sacrificial love.

Maybe that term is too vague or doesn’t make sense for you, but let me show you a picture:



Yes, I am a bit taller and have to bend down so I don’t look like a giant next to my best friend, but it’s worth the back pain (I need to rub in my extraordinary height here….j/k! I’m not THAT tall!).

This woman is beautiful.  She’s pretty on the outside…pleasant to see, really. The thing is, though, she’s even more beautiful on the inside.  This woman has a heart overflowing with sacrificial love that doesn’t stop at her family.  Sheila is a perfect example of the first kind of beauty I want to touch on: A heart full of love.

There’s this famous chapter in the New Testament, Corinthians 13, that talks about love.  Paul says he will show us a “still more excellent way” and that is the way of Love. The first verse of 13 says, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”  He goes on to list having knowledge and power and even faith that can move mountains.  But he reminds us that these things are nothing without love.  He then says you can give away everything you have and sacrifice your very self but gain nothing by it if you do not love.

You might have even heard the next part in verses 4-8a:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Doing good and being wise are great, but when we only do good for the sake of doing good (i.e. for recognition) and not in love then we become childish in our actions, and likely, pride is the reigning character trait behind our motives.  You know when you do something nice for someone else and then get cranky when you feel you haven’t been given the thanks you deserve?  Well, that’s a small example of what I’m talking about here. Actions and words, given in love, do not require a thanks in return. As nice as our service is, it’s not nearly as beautiful as seeing a person act out of a heart of love.

2010-1019-d This lady here is not perfect and doesn’t always love perfectly, but I would say that Jesus is the only one who has ever accomplished it. Sheila, though, looks to him for guidance and strength to love in the face of  unkindness.  She looks to him to lead by example how to love the unlovable.  She is generous, patient, humble, rejoices in truth and bears much.

It’s beauty at it’s best to love.  It’s beauty at the heart to do all that you do in love.  Our motives may not be evident to everyone, but eventually, if there’s love in a heart, it will shine through, and true beauty will be what you see, regardless. Or, if no love is present behind the actions, that will become clear, too.

In honor of my best friend, her amazing husband, and precious daughters, I’d like to encourage you to act out in love this week.  Find one thing you can do for someone and do it with a heart full of love.  Come back and tell us about it so that we can rejoice with you!



Sunday Thought: Be Still and Know


Be still….I’m like Ronovan. I don’t believe in coincidence, either. Thanks, Ronovan. This was something I read at just the right time….

Originally posted on ronovanwrites:

I read an article by someone I have come to consider a good friend of mine, Allison at Long & Luxe, and a phrase she used reminded me of one of my favorite all time scriptures.

Sunset Pear Harbor

gettyimages © Original Photo by Kathy Collins

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”-Psalm 46:10

Each person reading this has different beliefs and we each have something we turn to that brings us comfort and peace. During a period where I was dealing with high blood pressure, which due to my weight loss I no longer have, and some newly found health problems at the time my world was chaotic. My mind was not able to focus and things had no stability to me.

I’m not one to believe in coincidences. Some people say…

View original 625 more words

A Day to Pray, a Lifetime of Hope

Reagan (and our families) enjoying my hometown's little local parade on Independence Day 2014

Reagan (and our families) enjoying my hometown’s little local parade on Independence Day 2014


It’s Saturday and I found out just two days ago that my friend’s daughter, Reagan, is having more hemorrhaging.  Click here to read my previous post about her and this reoccurring health issue. I asked her mom if I could share here with all of you. So, because I’m having trouble finding the words I need, I’ll just post her updates.  Be sure to read the previous post about Reagan if you need a better understanding of the seriousness of the problem and, most important, the preciousness of the girl.

On August 28th, Reagan’s mom said this:

Would appreciate prayers for Reagan. She is hemorrhaging from lungs again; third round in past 7 days. We are in close contact with our cardiologist, and he is calling another heart/lung specialist in Philly for ideas. It’s a waiting game. We are home; the hospital is another location to wait, so we would rather keep her home. We are thankful for good nurses and humble doctors who are willing to keep digging for answers. Picking up a round a steroids and an antibiotic today. Hopefully, it will alleviate the coughing and subsequent hemorrhages.

And God reigns through it all.

Here is what my dear friend posted on her Facebook page this morning:

Friends and Family, please continue to pray for Reagan and for wisdom on our next step. She had medium hemorrhaging last night; a few hours prior to that she was crying as if in pain. It is very discouraging. Our choices: wait this out hoping hemorrhaging will stop,coiling procedure at hospital again, taking out lung. Remember, there are thousands vessels and without an active bleed, the surgeon won’t know where to place the coils. Then, if he does coil, it just places more pressure on those other 9,999ish other vessels that aren’t designed to carry this much blood flow. Her little body is just getting pushed beyond capacity. We don’t want to rush her in to a surgery that is a best guess. Currently, her coloring looks good, and she is happy… except for the hour of crying last night. Oh, this is hard, and my heart is aching. Please pray.

It is times like these where our faith is tested. Why, God? Do I really believe that you are there? Softly, it comes:

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance;

in your book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me,

when as yet there was none of them.”

He knows our days. I praise you, Lord, for Reagan is indeed fearfully and wonderfully made.

Does He speak to you through His word? He comforts my soul when nothing else can.

Please be praying for Reagan, for her mom, dad, and two younger sisters.  They are like family to me and mine.  I can’t see through my tears right now.  If this ache is so large in my own heart, I tremble at the thought of what Reagan and her family are feeling.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and keep them in your prayers.  They read my blog, so if you want to leave them a comment, please do.

Ps 18 2

 UPDATE: Sunday morning’s message from Mom said there had been another small hemorrhage in the night, but it had some clots in it which was different.  It is possibly a good sign that Reagan’s body is trying to close off the bleed.  It’s hard to say, though, and most of it is all guessing.  They have been provided with wonderful in home nursing care and have been able to get some rest, too. Thank you again for praying, and I will update over the course of the week. 

UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept 2nd, 2014 “Reagan attended school today. She slept through most of her day, but she ATTENDED SCHOOL. No bleeding since Sunday morning. Thank you for praying.

She is still having episodes of pain and on pain meds. We believe it may be abdominal cramping due to the antibiotic. One more day of hard meds.”  

me: We are all so very thrilled by this news.  Reagan always has a nurse at school with her nowadays.  Since there haven’t been any more bleeds in the last couple days she was able to have a normal day today…well, as normal as can be expected.  That is just amazing and wonderful.  I’m so grateful to all of you who’ve shared this post and prayed for this sweet family.  You are so very appreciated!  On a sober note, this is something that is likely to happen again. It is always scary and will be in the future, I’m sure.  Pray for their continued strength, for the helping hands that are needed, and the joy of being with their daughter all the days God has ordained for her.  Reagan isn’t normal, but trust me when I say, she is incredible.  A blessing in disguise.

WEDNESDAY, Sept 3rd, 2014 

Reagan is in the hospital. She had two very disturbing respiratory episodes today, one at school then one immediately at home…her chest was moving but no air was exiting or entering her mouth…We again ask for your prayers for our sweet Reagan…We are in hospital with her hoping for answers. Waiting. Praying. Hoping. Please pray with us.

Big change from yesterday.  Thank you for continuing to pray for them.  I know this is a let down, but we hope and trust in the creator of heaven and earth. His love for Reagan and my friends surpasses all others.  I trust this, and I hope you do, too. Your prayers for healing, comfort, strength, patience, wisdom, hope, peace, etc. are all appreciated.  Thanks so much for taking the time to keep updated by reading this and for praying.  It may seem insignificant, but I can assure you, it is not. 

With my heartfelt gratitude,


Being a Part of the Body

There’s this old game…I don’t know how old, but it’s called something like “Here’s the Church.”  Do you remember it? There are many versions of it and you can even find it on YouTube. I’ll explain how I learned it.  You  play it with your hands…clasp them together, fingers on top and say, “Here’s the church,” then point your index fingers up and touch them while you say, “Here’s the steeple.  Open the door,” flip your clasped hands over, “Where’s all the people?”  Now, fold your hands together, intertwine your fingers together into your palms and repeat, “Here’s the church, here’s the steep, open the door,” flip your hands over and wiggle all your fingers, “There’s all the people!”


Photo is from grandparents.com

Photo is from grandparents.com


I really do have a point for sharing that game with you.  I hope you figure it out. :)

The following is a “note” I posted to my personal Facebook account about three years ago.  I happened to be re-reading my old notes and re-shared some of them.  A very special (wonderful really) lady asked me to make a a copy of it for her and in the process, I decided to re-post it here as well.


So, I cried at church this Sunday.  The tears were from frustration and from feeling like I’m letting people down.  I’m so thankful for our worship pastor, though, who has been an encouragement. His heart is full of honesty in the words he says.  Church, as I referred to it above, is a group of people, not a building… and as I briskly walked toward the bathroom, tears streaming down my cheeks, I saw the compassion of The Church.  Not one person who saw me go, in my embarrassed state, had anything written on their face other than concern and love.

As I was in the bathroom, bent over the sink, trying to remove the evidence of tears from my cheeks and eyes, I was struck, just struck anew with what it is to be the Church.  Just as my arm raises the hand that washes my eyes clean, so do the people who are a part of the body of Christ.  Each person plays an integral part, each person cares for the needs of the other. When we work together in our special roles (each one is special, great or small), we make a complete set, a WHOLE.

We carry each other to the places we need to be.  We hold each other up when we are hurt or in pain. I protect and gently hold my arm if it is broken or damaged.  This is the example of Christ.  Even when we see each other in a humbled state we do not give up on or ignore those pieces of us (the BODY OF CHRIST) that need some extra love.  We pick each other up with encouraging words and a helping hand.

I was crying for myself- for not being good enough, but I was reminded (and lifted up) first by words then by the actions of those around me. The reminder was that for God I am good enough (because the Goodness of CHRIST resides in me), and for the rest of the Church I am good enough (because we are a part of ONE body), and that for me- I am what God wants me to be.

So, My Church Family, may God continue to grow you in the love of the body and the love of the lost.  May He place the seed of the Gospel deep in your hearts so that the vine of Christ spills out from your doors and is used as the vine others are grafted into.  May you be a light, shining in the darkness and may you be known by your love for each other as you serve in all faithfulness.



And there you have it.  I’m a cry baby, but at least I got something encouraging out of it. :)  Church isn’t a building, it’s the people inside it, who gather together and share their lives, loving and caring for each other’s needs.  Now every time I read this, I am reminded and encouraged again.  I hope it can embolden you to change the way you see and feel about church today, too.  Or better yet- maybe it will remind you, as it has me, that life is not meant to be lived alone, nor are we designed for selfish pursuits.  There’s so much joy in serving others and sharing.

Thanks for stopping in!  I’d love to hear from you about some encouraging thing that’s happened for you lately. :)

I’ve heard I’m Random

Ok, maybe not in those words, but I think it’s accurate…I’m Random.  Or is it?  Is anything really random, or is it organized chaos? Or chaotic organization?

My house is full of that-chaotic organization.  Watch where you step!  You could find yourself slipping on a scrap of paper left over from a craft project, stepping painfully on a Lego or Hot Wheels car, or tripping on a basket brimming with laundry.  The dishes…well, there might be more than a few in the sink.  What makes it organized is simple: I know where everything is located.  Can I tell you where it is? No…probably not.  I keep thinking I need to work on my directional instruction techniques.

Aside from my house being a bit random and messy, I could easily say my mind is in the same state of being.  There’s all kinds of things rolling around in this head of mine.  Most of it wouldn’t make sense to the average person.  Every so often, though, I come across someone who “gets” the beautiful mess that is ME.  I dislike very few people in this world, but it’s incredibly affirming to have someone understand you, even a little bit, and still accept you and – hold on! – like you.

So many people wander through this world searching for acceptance,  affirmation, affection, hope…Sometimes we look right through them, sometimes it’s as though our vision bends around them, avoiding the one who our mind doesn’t quite comprehend.

I think we all may be a little random.  I think we all are a bit messy inside and out.  Don’t let your messiness keep you from seeing the beauty in someone else’s randomness.  Sometimes accepting those quirky differences is just the thing that make you realize what a gift you could have right in front of you in that other person.

Don’t look through the odd ones. Look for them.  Look for us… because we can all make a difference in someone else’s life if we put in a little effort.  It’s a simple gift you can give with the potential for tons of personal benefit.

And, if you’re odd, like me, you can do the same thing for someone else.  If you’re odd, don’t let your insecurities define you.  You are a beautiful person, designed to be who you are and loved more than you could ever comprehend on this earth.  I know it’s true, because I’m odd, too.


I’d love to talk with you.  Please feel free to email me or leave a comment below.  You can also find me on twitter @RachaelRitchey or Facebook WritingRaci


Pearls of Wisdom from a Thirty-Something Man


Reblog from Suzie81-
I just get it. Maybe you will, too… :)

Originally posted on Suzie81 Speaks:

imageMy best friend turns 33 next month. He’s only a few months older than me, I met him when he was my boss at the bar that I worked at when I was 19, and we have been friends every since. For the sake of confidentiality, I’m simply going to refer to him as P.

Over the years we’ve talked about anything and everything, but as we’ve aged I’ve noticed that our conversations have developed from discussing our latest love interests and the varying degrees of our hangovers into more deep and meaningful thoughts such as the best cleaning products to remove mould, his awesome Batman moustache every Movember (which was number five on Google Images after I included it in my blog last year) and our favourite films. We have an understanding about certain subjects – he’s allowed to talk about Doctor Who (he’s the world’s biggest fan) and…

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