Life is Good



Fall Color
Minnesota has beautiful fall color. Some years, like this one, maple leaves fell to the ground before turning red, but sumacs look great. Some years sumacs are so-so, but oak or aspen leaves are gorgeous. I never know what to expect, but I have never been disappointed.

The above photos were taken at the William O’brien State Park. When we were there, I heard myself asking my husband: “Are we in heaven?”

Kind People
Every time I met/saw/talked to a kind person, I felt intoxicated. Sometime I got this hang-over effect that would last for days.

My friend Sonia invited me to give a talk about my book to her AAUW group. It’s an opportunity that every author would have dreamed for. I do, too, even though I am not actively selling my book anymore.

It was a magically night! All of the women there are wise and kind. I instantly connected to each one and I didn’t want the meeting to end.

Kind people make me happy. 😉

Writing a Book
A lot authors would tell you that writing a book is like giving birth. I agree.

Some authors consider their books are forever their babies. I don’t quite feel that way. I am more like a surrogate mother. After I am done writing and handing my book over to readers, I consider the book is theirs.

Right Brain, Left Brain


We all know that right brain is for creativity, and left is for logic. For many years, my left brain was heavily utilized (I was a computer programmer) and right brain was more or less idle. All these years my right brain kept sending me signals letting me know how unsatisfied it was, but I didn’t get it. Now that I’ve finally learned to pay attention to both sides of my brain, I am much happier with my life.

Life is good. Happy every day! Thanks for visiting my blog.


About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in photo, photo and thoughts, random thoughts, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Life is Good

  1. loisajay says:

    Helen–my heart is so full after reading this. What a beautiful post. Happy every day to you, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cee Neuner says:

    You are sounding so wonderful Helen. Happy day back at you and many more. 😀 Congrats.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mabel Kwong says:

    Certainly looking like a beautiful autumn in Minnesota. What a great panorama, and looks like there was an endless field of sumacs. So many of them. Don’t think I’ve seen them yet here in Australia. I’m the opposite of you when it comes to writing my book. I really want it to be something that I can be proud of, something that speaks to me and also something that others can relate to. Writing a book is certainly hard work…and you do the best you can 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Mabel. You are not the opposite of me. We all want to write something we can be proud of, something speaks to us… I was referring the emotion that goes with the whole process: you can’t wait it to come out and when it comes out, you wish it would stay longer. Anyway, that’s how I felt when I was pregnant with my daughter. (And other emotions too.)
      Some writers have strong attachment to their book. They want readers to get their message as it was written. I don’t have that kind of attachment. I want readers to read my story the way they want to read. Wish I could explain better ;-(
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        You explained it well, Helen. To some of us, our message is very personal and we truly believe in it – and hope others can see that way too. But for some of us, we are more than happy to let readers share in our perspective and make up their own minds about it. In short, each to their own 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Edward Tan says:

    How gorgeous the Sumacs look like!

    Writing a book is like giving birth to a baby…such a beautiful metaphor, wish i can give birth to a baby!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Edward. I know you can! 😉 Knowing your target readers is very important. We can’t please everyone; we are not supposed to anyway… I have a feeling that you do have many target readers. 😉
      Have a wonderful day.


      • Edward Tan says:

        Thanks for your encouragement. 😊
        I agree with you that we can’t please everyone, I focus writing stories that I love to share with others, and I’m more than happy if my readers find my stories inspiring and arousing.

        Anyway, have a great week ahead!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. neihtn2012 says:

    You were in heaven, Helen. Beautiful captures, from those colorful meadows to that red leaf.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amy says:

    Good morning, Helen. Beautiful photos and beautiful writing of your “life is good”. Congratulations for all you have achieved and now be happy every day! Thank you for sharing with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, Amy. We’ve never been to this part of William O’Brien Park. Good thing we talked to the park ranger and he told us where to go.
      I deeply appreciate all the kind people I have met (do you hear “you”?) They make this world so wonderful for me. It wasn’t so wonderful sometime in the past. 😉
      Like many people, I worry about the election. No matter who wins, I hope our positive energies will overcome the negative.
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amy says:

        Thank you, Helen. Actually, I was thinking about the election when I was reading “people are kind.” This election is different, because we have no choice to elect the best or better candidate, like in the past. I don’t see any integrity of these two.
        Aside from the election, I think people are okay and can be happy when there is no competition and have minimum desire, expectations… I’m using my left brain this morning. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Helen C says:

          Good morning, Amy. I like your “I am going to have a drink” photo 😉 I wanted to comment but I didn’t have time at that moment. I was going to say that I, for sure, need more than one drink before I vote ;-).
          I am telling myself to forget about the integrity (in this situation), and consider who will be a better president for the country. But even that I still need drinks… Ha.
          Have a wonderful day.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Jet Eliot says:

    I so enjoyed your post today, Helen. Your autumn photos of the open field and forest are lovely, and the quote/image were a beautiful reminder. Enjoy your balance and your week, as I know you will.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, Jet. Thank you for your kind comment. The older I get, the more I appreciate how each person is different. I love reading your blog, and seeing your photos. You take me to places that I am not brave enough to go. 😉
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. prior.. says:

    Hi Helen – that park does look like a slice of heaven!

    And I enjoy getting to know more about you!
    Do you have your book listed anywhere on your blog? You should because even if you are not promoting it fully – it might be nice to give readers the option of getting it!
    And whew – I have a lot of thoughts on book writing.
    I like how you noted some folks say their book is their baby – which I get because we do get immersed and pour into them – but I also get what you mean with yOur release and after reading what you wrote to Mabel I get it even more.
    and I recently heard a quote where someone said “the difference between writers and authors is that writers put out 6 books in a year and then authors put out one book I six years”
    And I say that is hogwash!
    Because straight away we cannot measure time as quality – someone could write slow and take ten years and not have the quality that others had in a year! Can u tell I did not like that quote?
    It depends on the person, their goals, and what they love doing or not doing

    And books serve so many purposes and so I think authoring books is as diverse as hosting a blog – we find our own groove and our aim matters.

    When we lived in CA – this guy was unemployed and decided to write a book – he decided what he was knowledgeable to write about – he ended up writing a college book and did fairly well – it took me a while to appreciate the way he approached his first book –
    And for me (sorry to ramble) but in 2009 and 2010 I was making this huge PDF files and stalling them together with tips for homeschooling and with health talk – and in hindsight it is an example of how books meet very real needs – they allow a mass amount of info (or a story) to be communicated coherently and orderly –
    And then there is the work side of a book – which is why I think I was stapling those thick pdfs –
    But there is a different art to writing and then editing and formatting the work – and another skill to market and promo
    My first book was in 2001 – and still sits in manuscript – my first published book was 2005 and it was a bit of work – and I have had others – and currently am bringing some informal ones to their completion (feels so good) and I think I feel more detached to them rather than feeling the cottling baby –
    Thanks for the nice post !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Dear Yvette,
      You probably wondered why I didn’t reply your comment. Well, I keep things I like the most the longest. It seems to me that replying a message or an email, somewhat, marks the end of this matter. At least part of the message would end there. And if I don’t reply, the comment/email stays with me as fresh as the moment I received it.

      Well, that’s only a part of reason for failing to reply to you sooner. The AAUW group asked for 6 copies of my book and I discovered that I only had 6 left. I tried to order more, but since I didn’t continue the contract with my previous publisher, I had no way of printing it. So I had to find a new publisher. I thought I would reply your comment after I have my book published with the new publisher. It shouldn’t take long since I do have cover design, and pdf file for the book. Well, that was what I thought…

      I wanted to get the whole thing done so I can share with you my experience, but it takes longer than I had expected. I received a proof copy last week and I am glad to say that it is getting to the end.

      Sorry for the late reply.

      I like your suggestion of list my book on my site. I should and I will. I wasn’t a good salesman. My mom used to laugh at me saying if I am selling a $12 thing, customer negotiates to buy it at $10 and I would tell the customer $5 is good enough. I am much better now. 😉

      Writing can be magical. I have some stories to tell and I will blog about this sometime later. Anyway, have you experienced that after writing a letter/story, you didn’t remember a word of what you had written? It’s like an out-of-body experience. Particularly in that case, I had a hard time to claim it was my baby 😉

      Since I started photographing, I have created 4 photo-books. Photo-books are easier to make since I don’t have to worry about making English mistakes, editing, formatting… And photo-books do tell stories in their own way. I thought I would be satisfied, but I don’t know. Sometime, I think all those editing, formatting… may still worth it. 😉

      Again, sorry for the late reply. You’ve motivated more than you know.

      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 2 people

      • prior.. says:

        Oh you made my day and thanks for explaining and sharing! I did wonder a bit, but I also know people have reasons – I really know that and your reply confirmed exactly that!
        I will be back to reply to more here – but had to say thanks real quick-

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful shot from the Park, Helen. I know this park but have never visited it. Hopefully next summer.

    BTW, I never knew that you are an author too, and have authored books. How nice! Share the details pls. You are such a talented person, and a celebrity.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. cjxeunice says:

    Short and sweet. Loved reading it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. restlessjo says:

    What a lovely positive post, Helen. I’m so glad that life is good 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. carol1945 says:

    I did not know about your book; I would love to read it. I especially liked the quote you have with this post. I would like to put on my computer desktop picture for awhile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      I am in the process of moving my book to a different publisher. I received a proof copy but after reading a couple of chapters, I stopped. I need to go back to get it done. (Can I email you on this?)


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