Friday, August 31, 2018

WHAT EVER HAPPENED...? "Fortune Cookies"

I know this may sound silly, but I actually take to heart some of those words printed on tiny slips of paper that you get in a fortune cookie after a delicious meal at an Asian restaurant. I take some of them home with me and post them on various walls in my home, so I can read them again and again. Here are some of my favorites, with the punctuation as it was [along with an occasional comment from me] that have actually helped me think better:

·       An exciting journey awaits you with your first step in a new direction [Teaching is over – brain injury advocacy has begun.]
·       Don’t be afraid to take that big step
·       People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be
·       Yesterday was a dare to struggle. Today is a dare to win
·       Your talents will be recognized and suitably rewarded
·       Complaints are like bee stings but compliments are like butterflies
·       You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf
·       You will be called to fill a position of high honor and responsibility
·       Don’t be afraid of fear
·       Security is not in having things; it’s in handling things [Handle things better, Janet.]
·       The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be
·       Happiness depends upon ourselves
·       Better face danger than always be in fear
·       Your love of life can carry you through any circumstance
·       The most beautiful views have the hardest climbs
·       When life hands you lemons, exchange it for cookies [Chocolate chips with nuts are my preference.]
·       You can’t start a new chapter if you’re stuck at the table of contents
·       You will be the sign someone was waiting for [I hope this book helps families dealing with brain injury. Then all this work was worth it!]
·       You show your true face to people that really matter
·       Moments are best when you live in them
·       Laugh often, laugh hard, eat and repeat [Why I so often enjoy the restaurant I got this at.]
·       Do not give up – the beginning is always the hardest
·       You have the ability to touch the lives of many people
·       A person is not wise simply because one talks a lot [I need to talk less.]
·       Honesty will reward you well
·       Settle a dispute you’ve been having – be the bigger person and let it go
·       You will be well rewarded for your hard work very soon
·       If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed
·       Don’t let anyone tell you how to walk in your own shoes [Unless you have been through brain injury, please don’t think that you know what it is like.]
·       Enjoy yourself while you can
·       Be braver today than you were yesterday
·       Adversity is the first path to truth
·       Patience is something you should never leave home without
·       Your life does not get better by chance – it gets better by change
·       Common sense will get you further than GPS [And it is quieter.]
·       Make your words count – don’t count your words
·       Being wiser sometimes means being quieter [Amen!]
·       You can’t erase your past, but you can write your future
·       Don’t be grumpy – be grateful
·       Quirkiness counts for something – embrace your uniqueness
·       Don’t hand out advice like candy [Stop correcting everyone, Janet.]
·       Don’t be a worry wart because who wants a wart?
·       Who you are and who you can be is a work in progress [A sign I made for one of my classrooms told my students that.]
·       The closest distance between two people is a good laugh
·       The sooner you accept it, the sooner you’ll get over it
·       The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace
·       The issue isn’t what you are saying; mostly, it’s the way [Yup!]
·       Look around; happiness is trying to catch you
·       Expect much of yourself and little of others
·       Q. Why do some people have headaches? A. They never used it before. [Or – in my case – they have an undiagnosed brain tumor.]
·       Music is the soul of language
·       If you want to win anything – a race, yourself, your life – you have to go a little berserk. [Sometimes I go more than a little.]
·       It is good to let a little sunshine out as well as in
·       Listen to yourself more often
·       Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do
·       The issue isn’t what you’re saying; mostly, it’s the way
·       Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings
·       Something spectacular is coming your way. [Perhaps it is that my book helps somebody else.]
·       Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow. [A real struggle for me.]
·       Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall
·       You will be graced by the presence of a loved one soon. [Really?]
·       Forgive the action, forget the intent
·       Smile! A smile will make you young forever
·       You have a strong and sensitive personal nature. [I sure do!]
·       Nothing is a waste of time if you learn something from it
·       You feel restless – change is just around the corner
·       You are not a person who can be ignored. [That’s for sure!]
·       To have joy, one must share it
·       To build a better world, start in your community
·       School is a building which has four walls with tomorrow inside
·       Fear drives you and makes you better
·       Stand tall! Don’t look down upon yourself
·       Our first love, and last love is…self-love
·       A great man never ignores the simplicity of a child. [I never ignore children, just some adults.]
·       The hours that make us happy make us wise
·       Stuff happens. It is your response that counts
·       Learn to listen, not hear
·       A simple kindness today will soon bring you unexpected rewards
·       Pick a path with heart
·       Don’t spend your time stringing and tuning your instrument. Start making music now! [Do you like that one, Maggie?]
·       May your faith always exceed your fears – no price is too great to go through life afraid. [!]
·       Romance comes to life this year in a very unusual sort of way. [Nope!]
·       Welcome each day as a fresh new beginning
·       One must know that there is a path at the end of the road
·       A family reunion in the coming months will be a tremendous success! [I pray this one’s true.]

[I’d like to give a big round of applause to the Mid-Hudson Buffet in Kingston, NY, that not only was a great field trip for my students, back in the day when we celebrated Chinese New Year, but also my favorite all-you-can-eat place nowadays. Their food and fortune cookies cheer me up!]

For the coming year, I [Douglas Winslow Cooper] will be
excerpting, weekly, material from this almost-final version of the fine book by Janet Johnson Schliff, M.S. Ed., which she wrote over a three-year period with some coaching and editing help from me, through my business, Write Your Book with Me.

Her memoir is now available in paperback and ebook formats from Outskirts Press  and



Janet Johnson Schliff was on WKNY  Radio 1490 at 9:10 a.m. on Thursday, March 1, Kingston, NY.

Janet spoke at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 at Barnes & Noble in Kingston, NY. I [DWC] attended, along with about 40 other people. Congratulations to Janet on a fine talk!

Janet Johnson Schliff spoke at the Starr Library in Rhinebeck, NY, at 7 p.m. on March 6. 

She spoke at the Golden Notebook Bookstore in Woodstock, NY, at 2 p.m. on March 17. 

She spoke at the Morton Library in Rhinecliff, NY, at 6:30 p.m. on March 28. 

She spoke at RCAL in Kingston, NY, at 4 p.m. on April 3. I was able to attend. They gave her an impromptu book-launch party.

On 4/4/18 Janet spoke at the Parkinson's Support Group at the Starr Library at Rhinebeck at 2:30 p.m.

On 4/27/18 Janet spoke at the Stone Ridge Library at 5:30 p.m.

On 5/4/18 Janet spoke at the Hurley Library at 6 p.m.

On 5/9/18 Janet spoke at the Kingston Library at 6 p.m.

On 5/14/18 Janet spoke at the Staatsburg Library at 7 p.m.

On 5/31/18 Janet spoke at the Clinton Community Library at 6:30 p.m.

On 6/9/18 Janet spoke at the Tannersville Mountain Top Library at noon.

On 6/11/18 Janet spoke at the Gardiner Library at 7 p.m.

On 6/20/18 Janet spoke at the Marbletown Community Center at 6 p.m.

On 7/13/18 Janet spoke at the Esopus Library at 7 p.m.

On 7/20/18 Janet spoke at the Pine Plains Library at 6 p.m.

On 7/23/18 Janet spoke at the Ulster Library at 5:30 p.m.

On 8/11/18 Janet spoke at the Northern Dutchess Bible Church in Red Hook at 1:00 p.m.

On 9/06/18 Janet will be at the Inquiring Minds Bookstore in New Paltz at 7 p.m.

On 9/15/18 Janet will be at the Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie (93 Market St.) at 2:30 p.m.

On 9/22/18 Janet will again be at the Tannersville Mountain Top Library, at noon.

More signings will be coming up. A fine feature about Janet by John DeSantos [845 LIFE] appeared in the Middletown Times Herald-Record on Monday, March 12, as part of Brain Injury Awareness Month. An article about her book was just published in the May 2018 Living Rhinebeck Magazine. An article about her book appeared in the May 14 Daily Freeman of Kingston, NY. and another in the Family Life section of the Poughkeepsie Journal on June 8th. The Millerton News published an article on Thursday, August 2, about her talk at the Pine Plains Library. 

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