Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Sandra J. Jackson for winning the Paradise on Paper writing contest for her short story “Forever an Echo.”

Sandra, please contact me at dreamscometrue@live.ca in order to arrange for you to receive the feedback to your story and to arrange for you to guest blog with us.

Thank you for entering the contest!

Rebecca Taylor

Winter Alphabet Poem

By: Rebecca Taylor

A biting wind

Blew over everything

Creating chills

Determined to be seen and felt

Every hand that ventured out was enveloped

For protection against frigid frostbite

Gusts came from all directions

Hovering in the air

Inside homes fires burned to prevent icicles

Just waiting to form from freezing temperatures

Kids were told to stay inside

Learning to play board games instead of in the snow

Mittens were a must to walk to the bus

Necks were covered by scarves to protect against the nippiness

Of the bitter cold

Pots of warm liquid cooked on stoves to warm the body

Quilts covered children and pets

Reading adventure books

Soaking in the words with each turned page

To keep them entertained

Until they could once again slide down hills with their toboggans

Viewing the snowy countryside

Warm in their snowsuits

Xavier joined his grandfather

Young at heart in the yard

Zero snow fell as they built a fort.

Taken away

by: Rebecca Taylor

Much ahead for an average family

Until the door opens to a bar

And a man gets into his automobile

Turns on the ignition and drives down a street

Not realizing that his alcohol consumption

Has made him inept behind the wheel

A crash takes place and life is lost

Waves of fury, grief and sadness grip the people

That knew the one that was taken away

Jail time ensues for the one who caused the accident

His family too feels persecuted by his actions

The lesson to be learned as history keeps repeating itself

Whispers the man in his lonely dark cell

I should have given away my keys

Before they too were taken away

Please learn from me

Before you’re put away

And your future is bleak and grey.

 

This holiday season please remember to use public transportation, a designated driver or stay over if you are going to drink. Here’s to everyone getting where they’re going safely this holiday season. Please take care. 

Gratitude in Life

by: Rebecca Taylor

The call for submissions to a magazine a while ago gave me the opportunity to reflect on a lot of things in my life – of the people who I have met along the way, of the path I am currently on and the places that it leads. As the administrative assistant at the front desk of a senior’s home I deal with dozens of people in a day – both in person, on the phone and through e-mail. While some encounters may seem insignificant, I’ve learned that even the smallest tasks can have a big impact on the lives of other people – to dispel loneliness, to find someone the information that is going to make their day easier. The simplest thank you can make a big difference and change someone’s day and a smile may be the sunshine in the rain.

 

We can complain all we want about certain things in our lives, but the truth is that everyone is dealing with something. It is so easy to wallow in “me” but it is the little reminders that pop up all around us that help us see that maybe things are not so bad. We have many choices which we can make – one of which is to accept a situation and move on from it. This is a lot easier said than done sometimes for a lot of reasons – maybe because moving on means that we are leaving some people behind, or that they are leaving us behind. Some friends are only really with us for a certain period of time, we may try to keep in touch and we read each other’s status updates on social media – keeping us in the loop of events in their lives – their weddings, the birth of their children, the deaths of pets and people close to them, but our own lives and kilometres may separate us and we lose touch. With some people, we may be grateful for the time we had with them. With the more difficult people we encounter in our lives – we can either become annoyed or take it in stride as an exercise of patience.

 

Everyone comes into our lives for a reason, we have to be grateful for the time we have with the amazing ones and if they leave us – because their time had come to take a different path or God calls them home, we have to realize that they didn’t abandon us, but left us with memories to warm our hearts. When we think of these people, and smile, or hear their voices in our dreams, we know that we have been given gifts. Instead of being angry that these people are no longer in our everyday lives, we have to be thankful for the time that we had together. It is often our outlook that can make the biggest difference in our lives. Brian Tracy an American author said, “ Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” If we can try to be thankful for the things that happen to us, for the chance to live a life surrounded by kind people or memories of them and beauty which sometimes surprises us in the most amazing ways, we can take on life. Gratitude and positive thinking walk hand in hand helping humans to open doors to amazing possibilities in this journey known as life.

 

 

Human

Previously published by Long Story Short.

by: Rebecca Taylor

 

Do not try to determine my lifestyle by the clothes I wear

Because I am made of many components

I wear many hats in one day.

 

Do not think that you can know who I am

By the make up or the jewelry that I wear

They can be a mask or a mirror.

 

Do not judge me by my age

Youth is not a synonym for irresponsibility

Any more than maturity corresponds with middle age.

And when old age creeps up

It does not mean I have nothing left to offer the world.

 

Do not speak down to me because of my gender

Male or female, we all have something to offer this world.

Do not form opinions of me because of my nationality

It only gives you clues as to where I come from.

 

Look at my personality; see who I really am

Take the time to know me

Before you decide whether or not you like me.

 

Listen to my words and hear what I am saying

Do not form preconceived notions

Based on my height or my weight

These are just genetic factors.

 

Think before you speak because if you hurt someone

That wound may become a permanent scar

Remember that all over the world, we are the same

Each of us, with our own qualities

Making us who we are, one of a kind

But one as well, a human being.

What Matters

by: Rebecca Taylor

****I wrote this in June 2013 and believe that it is important that we all consider this****

There are important issues to consider in the world – things of concern, yet if you read the news, you will see that it is full of fear and pettiness. However, the problem is that the ridiculous conflicts are infringing on some people’s human rights. Language is an issue, but I don’t think it needs to be. There is absolutely no reason why in Canada we cannot all live in harmony. It is the conscious effort we all make to communicate that is important. I consider myself bilingual (English & French). English is my first language but when I went to school I began to learn French in kindergarten. I can carry on a conversation with most people in French and if I do not know I word, I can speak “Franglais.” Many French Quebecers that I know try to speak English and if they do not know a word, they will say it in French. We manage to get the point across and that is what matters. Why are we fighting about one language needing to be larger on signs? Are we not all equal? There have been so many fights to be equal over the years – rights involving gender equality, skin colour, religion and sexual preference. It’s actually quite simple if you stop and think about it, we are all human beings. The next time you go to introduce yourself think about this fact. Where we come from is a part of our history and I can honestly say I like my small town roots, the history of my province and of my country but if it comes down to an argument of who am I, the best answer might just be “a person.” Let us stop the arguing and make a pact to get along. We should not allow a few people to cause pandemonium. We need to step up and say enough. Money and valuable resources are being spent to enforce language laws yet there are problems with our roads, our education and healthcare systems. Would these funds and human resources not be better used in places where they can benefit everyone?

Rosa Parks said, “Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.” I say, let us join together and overcome our differences. We are all equal; we are all unique human beings who have much to offer this world, if we stand up and get it done. One step in front of the other will lead us down the road where we want to go, let’s start and we will build bridges as we go to make anything possible. There is a Kenyan proverb that says “Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” Let all humanity be that bundle. Someone also said, “TEAM=Together Everyone Accomplishes More,” let these wise words be a lesson to us all. If we are all willing to set aside the pettiness and the fear, we can make good things happen. Things that matter. I believe it’s possible to make positive change, do you?

**ALSO, check out the POP Writing contest!**

Paradise on Paper Writing Contest!

Paradise on Paper Writing ContestClick on the image to enlarge details of the contest. Thanks.

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