Comments, Connectedness, and Kindness

I wonder why people feel so free to be outright a-holes, mean sons of bunches, and screaming ranting judgmental karens out to intentionally destroy some innocent person’s reality.

We’re All Connected with the Great Circle of Life

I’m thinking about the comments we all make online — on Medium, Substack and other article sites, social media — from Facebook to X to instagram and tiktok.

What gives people permission to be so mean?
What makes them think that’s OK?

I wonder — if that person being so horrid was saying those things in front of their mother, would they still be saying it?

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How Peace Bringer Brought Spring Back

Isn’t it just like life! You have to brave going through the shit in order to finally get to the gold – which has so much more value, the more trouble it was to get it.

TRIGGERS: If you are sensitive to mentions of violence or harm, you may not be brave enough to read those parts. You might want to read the happy parts though. (This is a pretty long read.)

Spring Came Back!

It was the heaviest blizzard so far this year. I was on my way home, slowly inching my old truck up the last leg of the hill. My windshield wipers, clogged with thick wet snow, just made smudges as they scraped left, right, left, right. There was more ice on the glass than clear space. Hunched over the steering wheel, my neck strained forward, still, I could barely see.

Out of the corner of my eye, I notice a dark form moving out in front of the State Park entrance sign.

Snow swirled madly in the yellow cones of light from the lamps above the sign. I crept closer to see. What the heck was anyone doing out here so late at night, in this hella storm?

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I Had A Tantrum Yesterday, and It Wasn’t Pretty

Finding out I had zero choice set me on fire. I can usually put up with automated customer service, whether on the phone, or online chat. But this time? Oh my.

We bought a new mattress/box-spring set from a company we found online. It was delivered, unpacked and set up; the delivery guys left; I made the bed up all nice and cozy.

What do you mean I can’t talk to a human?

Looking forward to a nice shakedown nap, I sat on the edge to take my shoes off — and the side of the mattress sagged right down to the box spring. Surprise and shock! Holy moly — this was a new mattress??

Disappointed to the max, I called the company to see about returning and replacing the mattress.

No human; only a recorded message.

I was given three options from which to choose:
1. I could return it with no replacement, and pay 99 bucks shipping and 99 bucks restock fee.
2. I could exchange it for a new mattress and pay the same fees, plus the fee for shipping the replacement to me.
3. I could say screw it and keep the thing.

I hung up, irritated.

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Are You A Writer or Author?

Do you know where to publish your articles and stories? I’ve added a rich list of various places to publish at the end of this note — you’ll want to bookmark and save this — lots of good info.

The Truth Comes Out© Angela Treat Lyon

Maybe you already know about websites where you can publish your articles and stories. I didn’t know about them until last year, when a friend introduced me to them. I’ll get right into it:

GET PAID:

You can set up to get paid for your writing in various ways. I started writing stories, essays and articles in January 2023. It’s now January 2024, and I have published around 120 articles and stories now — I make a small amount each month from medium.com and substack.com.

Want to read one of my most popular stories? Go here:
angelatreatlyon.com/how-the-voice-of-dreaming-saved-my-life/
And a silly one: angelatreatlyon.com/silly-kitty/

After you have written and published for a while, you get a feel for what your readers like and want more of, so you can start to make money from your writing. My readers seem to appreciate both deep personal stories and silly, fun ones.

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SILLY KITTY

Kitty comes from the planet Amberocity. They have the most amazing spiral deserts that intersect with ferocious thick carnivorish jungles.

Silly Kitty© Angela Treat Lyon

My neighbor’s cat, Kitty, is from that planet. She came here because she was scared of the jungle. And she likes chocolate ice cream, which they don’t have on her planet.

She loves to run in wider and wider fast-circles and chase her long tail until she falls down completely knackered and caked with thick mud. Her favorite thing is to be revived with dark ale.

She is very nosy. With great wailing squawks, she hikes herself up and clings to my window’s narrow sill, where she meowers loudly as she stares at me as I go about my work.

It’s amazing how long she can stay in that position. Her back claws barely stick to the nubbly wall, and her front toes cling fingernail screeching tight to the window frame. But – she never once has fallen off. I wonder if she’s transmitting spyish code to her home planet about humans.

I think I should introduce her to Dawg.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The original of Silly Kitty is gone, but maybe you would love to have a high quality reproduction on paper, metal, acrylic or canvas! You can get her matted and framed, too. Just let me know what you’d like.

Meet DAWG.

I bet you don’t know that there are dog-aliens. They look and act like our dogs, but you can tell at night, because their eyes gleam green when the moon is full.

Dawg© Angela Treat Lyon

Dawg is a silly, fun-loving, very tall, very fast-running critter who came from the planet Outlandia, which is covered with very high mountains and very deep oceans and not much else.

She loves rabbits. As in chase and play with rabbits, not x them out of existence. She’s very kind, you see.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The original of Dawg is long gone, but I would love to make you a high-quality reproduction – maybe you’d like one printed on paper, metal, acrylic or canvas! You can get her matted and framed, too. Just let me know what you’d like.

Teachers: Make Money Selling Your Lessons

Here’s something that surprised me recently – did you know you can sell your lesson plans? You can! And people pay dearly for them! You can also sell your worksheets, class exercises, reading guides, and other helpful educational resources!

ARE YOU A TEACHER/INSTRUCTOR/PROFESSOR?

Why teach one group of kids in school, when you can teach thousands through other teachers all over the world?

Teachers write and sell their materials

HOW to DO THAT & WHERE TO DO IT?

Here are some handy-dandy links to websites where you can sell your teaching stuff, as well as a few how-to sites, so you can find out how to do this. Check them out to see if any of them fit for you.

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Caught by A Monster Outgoing Tide

(Published in Small Craft Advisor Magazine)

My friend Jana and I decided to take the little blue skiff out — we’d row across the harbor to the tiny crescent-shaped beach right under the old Tiffany mansion, and have a lazy picnic.

two girls in a row boat

It was a hot, lazy day….

But we never got there.

We were bored. It was a hot July noon on Long Island’s north shore. The sun felt like it was drilling down through our skulls, right into our brains.

We grabbed our floppy hats, packed the boat up and took off from the main dock, telling Ralph, who was in charge that day, that we’d be back mid-afternoon some time.

The tide was at its peak. It would be high for a bit more time, and then the water would start slowly moving out of the long harbor into Long Island Sound.

There wasn’t a shred of wind. The surface of the water was glassy, a huge mirror reflecting each movement of the oars.

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What’s Your Destiny? Mine Is Scary.

I’m assuming that I’m going to live to be 100. So I’ve been thinking about what I want to see happen in my life in my last 22 years.

Journey Master

On the one hand, most of me just wants to disappear to a small hideout on the beach somewhere. I want to putter in a thriving garden, splash down the beach ankle-deep in foamy waves, throw paint around in my studio, and maybe write a few more books. To hell with the rest of the world.

This other part of me, though – man, what a loud, insistent, bossy rebel. She wants to write and paint and draw and carve and talk and blab my beliefs and ideas and tips and tricks and stories all over the damn place.

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Why Should I Bother Making Art in Times of Fear and War?

I got a call from an artist friend who was all upset about the way the world seems to be inside out and utterly falling apart.

Uh-Oh!!!! Bear Is Surprised by Baby Skunk Fats!


She said, “When I look at how
the world has gotten, I think why bother making art anymore? People say they are either too worried about rent to buy art, or scared about what tomorrow will bring. What’s the use? I feel like giving up. I keep wondering what the heck good does art do?”

Later on in our conversation, she made me laugh when she answered her own question.

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Excruciating Pain and Horror to Unending, Exquisite Love

The emergency room intake attendant side-eyed me in disbelief from under frowning grizzled brows. Holding my pulse with one hand, with the other he was hurriedly filling in my chart with cryptic slashes and numbers.

Star Fire

He looked back down at it on his lap, and glanced at me again. Not really seeing me.

“How is it possible that you’re still alive?” he whispered to himself, oh so quietly, as if in a trance. “You should be dead.”

Not surprised, I just sat silent.

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My Dad Thought It Was Sooo Funny When He Ripped the Covers Off Me

“I’m sorry, honey,” he said, looking back up at me, actual tears in his eyes. “I’m so sorry.”

Shylee – enraged and helpless

My dad used to burst into my bedroom, at dawn:30, throwing the door back with a thunderous bang.

He’d roughly yank all the covers completely off me and my bed, tossing it all aside, and cheerily spout, “Time to get uuuuuuuppp!!”

He thought he was being SO funny. N O T .

But could I ever convince him of that? Or that I felt terrified of him? Nope.

He was a very big man. I felt totally violated, my privacy absolutely irrelevant to him. Nope. Nothing I said to him got through.

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Get Your Audience Settled, whether Live or On Zoom

You’re about to lead a workshop or presentation. You want to begin, but your audience comes into the space full of energy, busy-busy chatting, walking around, chaotic. This is for you.

Speaking to your audience who loves you

What I’m about to show you works for in-person, online, and zoom events.

The first thing I do is bang on my podium. Or desktop.
LOUD.

Most presenters are polite, and don’t like to make waves.
I’m not polite. I intentionally make waves.

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Happy, Happy Birthday to Meeeeeee!

Yesterday was my birthday! I never thought of myself as a writer . . .

Waldo Dreams of Tango

I woke up to grey skies and freezing cold air — I’d forgotten to close my window to only an inch like I usually do. It was wide open, and all the cold night air was hurricaning around in my bedroom. Man it was cold!

But that’s OK — I jumped up and got warm, and decided to have a great day. I kept it mellow — napped and cruised a bit online, and then had a wee tiny party last night with two friends. Just the way I like it.

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Erecting Energetic Safety Zones

‘They’ say “we are all energy, frequencies…” So … I’m wondering … what if we could actually make use of that idea?

Star Fruit

We are all eating great quantities of chemicals, unbalanced or poisoned nutrients, plastic particles, and industrial byproducts that our bodies cannot use, metabolize or eliminate. We just can’t actually see it all, or I bet we wouldn’t do it.

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That Damn Cat!

How my mother was attacked by an enormous rasty-looking tabby cat….
(You can watch/listen to this story in a video at the bottom of this page!)

Scary Kitty!

My family used to live in a wonderful old 1880s farmhouse. Upstairs, my folks’ bedroom had a dutch door that opened onto a wide, sunny deck.

My mother liked to have her lunch on the deck when it was nice weather, and spent hours reading there on weekends.

One Sunday afternoon when I was 9, she put down her book and went inside to take a nap. She laid down in her bed … forgetting to close the top half of the dutch door, and dozed off.

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Signals that There’s Something Going on Under the Surface

Speaking with my business coach about a plan we were creating for my own coaching, I started to get really sleepy. If I didn’t lie down right now, I’d simply collapse on the floor in a puddle…

Stepping into my Dreams

(Watch/listen to me reading this story to you here!)

I had been blazing wide awake the moment before, and now I felt as if I was going to flat pass out on the spot!

Did I really need a nap?

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God Rays Under the Water

27 Days Sailing from KAUA’I to CALIFORNIA, Part IV

Each day, just as evening began to shade the sky, an enormous, rippling line across the horizon in front of us appeared, darkly ominous, growing bigger and bigger. The first time I saw it I about wet my pants!

God Rays Under the Water

In no time at all, it was upon us. The sea was spitting and boiling, surrounding and encircling us. The boiling morphed into jumpy wavelets, curling splashes and tiny bubbles. What the hell??

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Sailing with Giants

27 Days Sailing from KAUA’I to CALIFORNIA, Part III

As we began to plod our way through the Doldrums, I started having a recurring dream when I settled down in my bunk to sleep after my night watch was over.

Land Ho!

My habit was to lie in my bunk fully dressed, because I didn’t trust James. He never did anything after that first attempt to molest me (Part I), but once was enough to freak me out. It soon became a non-issue, seeing what happened as I fell into sleepy-land.

Maybe ‘recurring’ isn’t quite the right word – episodic would be more like it. I’d go to sleep almost immediately, and merge right into the dream I’d had the day before. Only instead of the dream being a repeat, it was a continuation – as if I hadn’t been gone at all.

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I Was Tossed Around Like A Rag Doll; My Angels Took Good Care of Me

27 Days Sailing from KAUA’I to CALIFORNIA, Part II

One moment, sunny sweet skies — the next, the Mother Hulk of a demon storm with hideous, grotesque grey-green and black clouds pelting us square on with sheets of ice-cold rain.

The Story of Life

We were hard-put to keep our footing, being tossed around by gigantic heaving swells. I could hear the planet saying, ‘it’s ain’t over yet, you puny humans.’

You know about the Doldrums, right? Officially, the area called the ‘Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone’ is known to sailors around the world as ‘the doldrums’.

This is the windless belt of ocean around the earth near the equator where sailors sometimes get completely, utterly, desperately stuck. Boats with no other way of propulsion than wind can be becalmed there for weeks. Some never make it out.

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Almost Raped 400 Miles from Land; How One Tomato Saved My Life

27 Days Sailing from KAUA’I to CALIFORNIA, Part I

I struggled to sit up, holding my head on with both hands. I couldn’t seem to stand, so I slid off the bunk, and inch by inch slowly creeped on my hands and knees over to the box….

Cruisin’

It was a hot mid-August, 1984, just a few months before my 39th birthday. At the start of the month, as a representative for the Hawaii yachting association that held a trans-pacific race from California to Kaua’i every two years, I had welcomed ‘James’ and his son, a father/son team, who had come in second in their 31′ yawl in the double-handed (only two people on the boat) race from California to Kaua’i.

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I Was A Disaster As A Mother

My now-grown kids have told me they loved it that I was an artist and showed them by example about being creative.

Together – detail

However, my personal opinion is that I might have felt more successful as a nurturing, loving mama if I had not been so completely focused on my artwork all the time.

But I wonder — could I really have been the lovey-dovey mama so often praised and put forth to us as the ultimate ideal mother?

I ponder this because my own experience as a child wasn’t exactly the fertile field of affection and acceptance I would think such a lovey-mama would have had in order to grow up to embody such a way of being.

As a young child, there was no tolerance for my being an overly sensitive, empathic child. I heard, ‘suck it up, keep your head up and stop complaining, straighten up and die right’ — words left over from my dad’s military years, drilled into all 4 of us kids’ minds.

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Dreams of Devastation Morph into … Pickled Red Onions?

I keep having dreams where I’m standing in a dried up, deserted field.

In the distance, I see the crumbling husks of hundreds and hundreds of houses, and the blackened, burnt skeletons of the once-magnificent trees that used to shade them. The cracked mud on the bottom of the creek is rock-hard, bereft of even a single drop of water.

CUTTING ONIONS: Me in kitchen cutting up onions with my pals Felix the Kitty watching the birdies outside, and Fido the Puppy watching me, with onion tears flying out of our eyes

In the fields, filthy, haggard humans scrabble in the dirt, raising great clouds of dust. Compared to these skin and bone remnants of long forgotten, better times, Scarlet O’Hara looks like a fat pampered doll.

There’s more, but it doesn’t matter — I awaken with such a heavy feeling of foreboding that I have to double my meditation and yogic exercise routine to come back to my inner peace before I start my day.

Yesterday was the fifth morning of waking up with the mangled shreds of these terrible dreams still hanging on in my inner vision.

I got mad. I yelled at them.

“What the hell?!? What do you want me to know? Is there something I should be doing? Tell me straight — stop torturing me!”

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Got A Recipe for Eating Crow?

Is it better to just let things go? Or risk being criticized or countered or even cancelled, because of making a mistake?

Eruption of Life

In a post I read on medium the other day, the writer said something I thought was incorrect. I was surprised, because he seemed pretty knowledgeable.

Normally, I don’t try to correct people — it’s almost never received well.

But this one sentence in his post really bugged me, because I’d lived through the era he was discussing, and I wanted to bring a little clarity to the topic.

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How the Voice of Dreaming Saved My Life

Isn’t it funny how, even though a period of time was one of the most painful ones of your life, later on you can look at it as one of the most fortunate?

It’s January, 1999. After returning from visiting a friend back east, I’ve been homeless for months because I can’t afford to rent a place to live. I have but one suitcase and my dog. My thin, worn sleeping bag is woefully inadequate. Trying to sleep in your little uninsulated Kia? Not fun — nights in Santa Fe, New Mexico at 7000′ elevation are colder than you want to imagine.

Out of the blue, a friend asked me to house-sit as she and her husband went visiting relatives in another state.

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My Mind Starts Eating Before I Do

I’ll be sitting here writing, or doing some other task, and in the back of my head I’m busy preparing the juicy makings of a delicious tomato salad, or a nice spicy wrap around some cheese and micro-greens, or some yummy curried lentil soup… Or making art of some kind….

Slurping ice cream in the kitchen with my kitty and doggie pals...

Ice Cream!

If I don’t get up and just go make the darn food and eat it, more food ideas come, and come, and come … and they get louder and louder, and more and more enticing … until they finally crowd out anything else - even if I’m doing some Important Thing. So bossy!

I used to think that the feeling I get in my belly when I’m thirsty was hunger.

I’d feel empty, my belly would growl, and feel pushy, demanding. My mind used to interpret that as my body being insistent that I eat something.

So I’d go eat. Or, I’d try to  -  how many times have I stood in the kitchen and looked around, or opened the fridge and hunted inside, all the while feeling like ‘there’s nothing I want to eat in there.’

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You’re Always Late! You’re So Annoying!

It was Sara’s 40th birthday party. I had barely walked through the door when she pounced on me, screaming. Right in my face.

2 friends sit on a bench talking about ideas, surrounded by critter friends

Ideas! I love ideas!

Behind her, the casual low-level murmur of party-din dissolved into a ragged silence. Every head swiveled toward us, mouths agape with surprise.

I was so taken aback I almost turned around and left.

But I did want to be there.

I did want to wish her a happy birthday, meet people, have a good time. Now I was stopped in my tracks, unsure.

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Last Does Not Mean Loser

(Published in Small Craft Advisor Magazine)
We were in the last part of the first pack. The finish line seemed impossibly far away. It was right then that I made the most colossal mistake.
Two sailors racing in a Beetle Cat boat

Almost Home

I had been so proud! I’d been invited to be one of two kids to represent our local sailing club as skippers in a multi-club regatta held by another sailing club down on Long Island’s Great South Bay. In a Beetle Cat, a class of boats I had sailed in, but never skippered before.

And now, out of 14 boats, we were last. Not just last, but dead-seemingly-miles-and-miles-behind, last.

All I wanted was to be at home, buried under blankets in the deepest, darkest, corner of my closet, so I could cry my brains out.

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Why I Didn’t Follow You On Medium.com

Blind to All But Love

500! Never in my wildest dreams a year ago would I have imagined I’d be writing over 100 stories in ten short months, and be honored by 500 followers! 515, today — just blows me away.

When I first started posting on medium.com in January ’23, I had no clue what I was doing.

From formatting to links to tags, to how to get followers — no clue. Although I’m probably only a wee bit more clued-in, I think I’ve learned a bit about writing here since then.

One thing stands out —the conventions for following!

At first, I ascribed to the follow-for-follow advice I’d read about by supposedly successful writers on medium.

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