Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ode to An Eternal Optimist

I confess. I am an eternal optimist.

The glass is always half full.

The way I see it there is nothing to be gained by being pessimistic or dwelling on the negative.

I repeat mantras of positive thoughts, and sing bible verses in my car. I write positive affirmations on the bathroom mirror in lipstick, pin pithy saying to my walls and I am a sticky note quote junkie.

How did I get to be Mary, er Tina Sunshine?

I grew up in a (LOUD) Italian family appreciating the only the finer things in life, such as home made sauce simmering all day on the stove, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and yes, lots of Dean Martin. So you can see I obviously had a wonderful childhood which contributes to my annoying behavior.

Being in the Army taught me I could do anything. Imagine that. Anything with proper training and discipline. A chubby, pasta eating girl, from Buffalo, New York could walk a 26 mile march, in combat boots and a full pack, after only six weeks of training. Amazing.

When I became an Oncology Certified R.N. I learned to appreciate life, and death. When you are given the awesome responsibility of holding someone's hand as they take their last breath you come to realize how very precious each moment is and you don't waste one.

On my journey to publication I have used all these life skill experiences to keep me focused.

It took me ten years to publish my first short story in Woman's World Magazine. Since then I have sold six stories to them.

It took me another ten years after that to sell my first novel to Steeple Hill Love Inspired. I'm thrilled and humbled to see my name among so many wonderful and talented authors.

I'm proud that during my journey I was also enrolled as a full time student at the School of Hard Knocks, from which I graduated Summa Cum Laude.

The take away here is to never give up. Time passes whether you pursue your dreams or not.

As we sit here in the in the fourth month of this year, no matter what personal or career trials you are facing...I encourage you to...

Post your favorite motivational quote, positive affirmation or pithy saying for a chance to win a copy of your choice of any release from any Seeker who has a release that is still available.

Winner posted in the Weekend Edition.

BTW, stuff happens, and DiAnn Mills will be with us as soon as possible.


  1. Can't think of a quote, but the coffee's on.


  2. Great post! It has started my morning with a dose of inspiration.

    As for a quote, I'm fond of what Joseph Heller said:

    "Every writer I know has trouble writing."

    It reminds me that I'm not the only writer who needs gallons of coffee, thousands of rewrites, and a frequent pinch on the arm to bring me back to reality. Writing isn't easy for anyone, and that's a comforting thought! :)

  3. Hi Tina

    What a wonderful post! I loved your uplifting message and hearing about your inspirational journey to publication.

    You're right; positive quotes/affirmations are great pick-me ups. Two that I like when things don't seem to be going as planned are: "let go and let God" and "out of this situation, good will come."

    Look forward to reading other's inspirational quotes. :-)

    Love and blessings,


  4. Good morning Helen. Mocha Java is delicious. Thanks.

    Susan. I am adding that to my list.

    Good morning Nicola. And Amen.

    Glynna Kaye shared this one from Joyce Meyers that I now keep over my computer:

    "Most things that are truly worth doing are never easy. When we ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit, we are not filled with the Spirit of God to do easy things. He fills us with his Spirit so we can do impossible things."

    and of course I keep a large picture of Albert Einstein too

    Insanity: Doing the sme thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    And my favorite by romance author Karen L King: What have you done today to make your dream come true?

  5. Tina, that's a wonderful quote from Joyce Meyers - I'll have to add that to my list! :-)

    Love and light,

  6. Tina, I love your positive attitude and discipline to stay the course.

    I chose this motivational quote after attending the My Book Therapy Deep Thinker's retreat in February:

    The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
    —Vince Lombardi

  7. Lisa, excellent. And good morning.

    It rained in Denver last night BTW. RAIN. NOT SNOW.

    This is a sign of Spring...yippeee.

    Muffins are here!!! Dig in.

  8. Mornin' Tina. What a fun post! Yes, it's RAINING in Denver -- or, it was. Now the dark skies are clear. Don't you just love those drive-by squalls???

    Please, anything but more snow.

    I've got pithy sayings going through my head all day long, usually triggered by some buzz word granted access to my cliche mind vault : ) But the one inspiration I have is a simple word:


    Something about seeing that word reminds me I'm on the right track and I'm not alone.

    Can't wait to see what other quotes come up. This is fun!

    Brought more coffee and added biscuits and gravy. Mm-mm-mm. Gotta love a hearty breakfast : )

  9. Tina ... God knew I needed this today, so maybe He had Diann running late just because! :)

    I have so many favorite encouraging quotes/Scriptures, but one of the first I ever got regarding my writing was back when I finaled in the 2005 Golden Heart with you, Janet and Myra. A girl at work had these little Scripture cards and one day she brought one to me, telling me that she felt God wanted me to have it. I immediately taped it to my computer, and it remains there today. It said:

    Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God? John 11:40

    Ah, faith. When all else fails -- contests, queries, pub boards -- faith tightly grasped will see us through to where the Glory of God resides.

    The other quote that I had taped over my desk at work was a picture of Rhett and Scarlett under which I taped the following quote:

    Frankly, my dear, I DO give a damn.

    Fun post today, Tina, and very inspiring. Just the kick in the pants I needed, so thank you!


  10. "Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur

  11. Tina, you are my polar opposite! I guess that's why I love you so much. Opposites attract! Seriously, I have a bit of the choleric/melancholy in me, I tend to be cynical, which is why it is a miracle of God that I am even here. And other than the miraculous dream in which God told me to keep writing, my epiphany happened a year or two ago when I was contemplating the fact that no one thought my medieval romance would ever get published, but I just felt that it was going to happen, and it was going to be a major publisher who would publish it. I suddenly thought, "I choose to believe." It was as simple as that, but it was profound to me. That was going to be my mantra. I choose to believe. I CHOOSE to BELIEVE it's going to happen. Maybe not today, not this year, but some day.

    Here are some of the scriptures I have taped to my computer monitor: "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Rom. 15:12

    Kim Sawyer sent me a verse two or three years ago. She said this verse popped into her head when she read my prayer request on the prayer loop.(I think this is the one): "For Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Cor. 12:10

    Here's one by Corrie ten Boom. I'm not sure where I found it or who sent it: "Look around you, be oppressed. Look within you, be depressed. Look to Jesus, be at rest."

    I wouldn't have survived--with MY pessimism!--this writer's journey without God, scripture, and Christian writer friends!!!

  12. Julie Lessman has been a big inspiration to me, too. I have saved her "Hope Scriptures" on my computer two or three times because I couldn't remember what I saved them under! And printed them out, and read them through my tears. And who else could you see for the first time in a year and burst into tears on her shoulder, and she doesn't treat you like the crazy person you are?

  13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengtens me." Phillipians 4:13

    Great motivational post, Tina!

    As always, I'm rushing off to work.

    The birds are chirping outside my window. So relaxing.

  14. One saying that often flits through my mind is:
    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

    That's a little how books are to me. A loooooooooong journey, taken one step at a time.
    That's a little how diets are too and when I think of the thousand miles I need to walk to lose weight, all while eating celery, I usually just sit back down and go back to writing my book.

    I'm going to stop doing that though, maybe tomorrow.

  15. I am also hugely fond of this line from a Robert Frost poem.

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by.

    To me, that's writing. I chose an unusual path, a road much less traveled by. The whole poem is lovely.

    Here's the whole last stanza

    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

  16. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
    -Albert Einstein

    That's a great quote I found and put on my website. It reminds me that when everything gets difficult the best opportunities will open up. It keeps me pushing when I'm tired or sick or frustrated. Difficulty also makes you grow and mature, especially in trusting God.


  17. Well, my quotes are on my home computer's monitor and scattered around the desk. I'm stealing this from an article I read last week. It was written by Liz Curtis Higgs:

    "When we were “made in the secret place,” when we were “woven together in the depths of the earth” (Psalm 139:15), our love of narrative was born. We didn’t decide to become storytellers one bright, sunny afternoon; storytelling was part of our cellular structure from the very beginning. Kinda scary, when you think about it; thrilling too."

    I found this very confirming, during a time when I was really doubting myself and why I put this amazing desire ahead of so many other things I could be doing.

    If I had one word on the wall to look at it would be

  18. What an encouraging post! Thank you!

    My encouragement comes from the Bible: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

  19. I just wrote an Ode to an Eternal Pessimist on my blogsite if any one is interested. LOL

    so many excellent quotes. I should have got here earlier cause you used some of mine...


    Here are a couple verses

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

    I know the plans I have for you says the Lord a plan to give you a hope and a future...

    I don't know what the future holds, thankfully God does.
    I just have to trust in him and keep walking

    another poem Footprints... is always a good reminder that I don't take this journey alone


  20. Just what I needed today!
    "Never give up."
    Thank you for sharing your story to publication.
    A quote from Mary Manin Morrissey came into my thoughts. “You block your dream when you allow fear to grow bigger than your faith.”

  21. "Try? TRY? There is no try.

    There is only do or do not."


  22. Awww, Mel ... "who else could you see for the first time in a year and burst into tears on her shoulder, and she doesn't treat you like the crazy person you are?"

    Only another "crazy person," I assure you, my friend.

    And, Dianna ... LOVE that Einstein quote: In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

    What a great post today!


  23. These are both from Helen Keller.

    "It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision."

    "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do."

  24. I love this one, too, because it's is absolutely true for writers.

    genius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Thomas Edison

    I'm also fond of this one:

    Men are from Earth. Woman are from earth. Deal with it. --George Carlin

  25. I also have this one on my blog and have for years.

    "If you don't need God to pull off what you are planning, you are not dreaming big enough." --Michael Hyatt

  26. This is a great post! I don't really have a quote, but I do have a Bible verse that I chose as my graduation verse: Jeremiah 29:11

    "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

    God has control of my life, and I love giving it to Him, so I don't have to worry. :)


  27. Being a writer of WWII romances, Winston Churchill's quote has graced my computer screen since I typed in the first words.

    I will never, never, never give up!

    But I added another line:

    Because Christ will never give up on me!

    Have a great day,


  28. Love your optimism, Tina, and your incredible writing journey ;).

    One fave quote--it's from a fortune cookie I got not long ago--LOL: "Always over-deliver & under-promise."

  29. I like many quotes from Emerson.
    Can't think of any off the top of my head. I like to find quotes that reflect my writing. Fun post!

  30. You guys are good!!

    Tina and Mel go stand in the corner until you get optimistic.

    Marilyn that is the IT GUY MANTRA.

  31. Awww, do I have to stand in the corner? It's Mary's fault.

    Mary, see what you made me do?

    What if I do a few flips?

    FLIP (groan) FLIP (splat)

    I'm feeling so optimistic now? I'm going to copy your style and change my ways.

    Sunny days sweeping the clouds away...

    I'm even posting another ODE to Optimism on my site as we speak.

    Yeah Right? LOL

  32. I collect quotes from the many blogs I read. This one appeared on NovelJourney, from author Michael Snyder:

    "Read more than you write. Write fearlessly. Have fun with it. Love what you do or do something else. God’s gonna do what He’s gonna do. So you may as well enjoy the ride."

  33. Actually,

    I'm feeling somewhat optimistic today.

    I finished my first round of edits for In the Manor of the Ghost.

    So I have this half smile on my face. Just a bit of a trip upwards on the right side my lips at the edges.

  34. EXCUSE ME???? TINA PINSON?????


    By the way, I consider myself a pessimist. And I have no hope of changing. No hope. None. It can't be done.

    But don't mind me. Pay no attention to me.
    Nobody ever does.

  35. Okay, my favorite quote actually belongs in yesterday's post about showing not telling.

    "Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader -not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon."

    Fun post and am liking everyone's quotes.

  36. Thanks, Mary!

    Your pessimistic attitude has caused the bit of lift at the edge of my lips to slip southward.

    Are you proud of yourself?

  37. Wonderful post.
    The best way out is always through.
    Robert Frost

  38. Another quote.

    "The pen is mightier than the sword" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  39. "There's plenty of time for rest in the grave."

    Benjamin Franklin

    Love that man. Smart dude. Savvy. Wise and productive beyond his time and years.

    What a gift to this country he was. Whenever I get tired, I remember this phrase, this guy who continued to work for our freedom until they laid him in a tomb.


  40. I think I'm echoing someone else but my go-to motivational quote is:

    I can do all things through Christ who strenthens me. Phil. 4:13

    ~mary bailey


  41. Who let the stinkin' pessimists in????

    Oh, mylanta, Mel and Tina I'll be takin' a switch to yer south ends....

    And the funny thing is there's such HOPE in your writing, that who'd a thunk a blatant pessimist could pen such loveliness????

    It takes all kinds to make all kinds of stories.

    "No one can make you feel bad without your permission." Eleanor Roosevelt

    Sage. Succinct. Smart. Savvy.

  42. Ruthy,

    I say this while, jumping and darting away from that switch you're sporitng.

    Every group needs their pessimists, pit against a good pessimist a optimist radiates sunshine and warmth.

    People wouldn't see the beauty of your glowing optimistic glory when not pit against the dark clouds of pessimism.

    They would not know the glass is half full. If they didn't see our half emptiness.

    Thus and therefore or wherefore and whatever
    We are of utmost importance, even though we are, as Mary says, hard to find, and often overlooked.

    I've waxed so poetic I lost myself. It's a common trait with pessimists.

  43. Hi Tina:

    “You can have anything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

    I heard Zig Ziglar say this in person in Tulsa but he was quick to add (not often quoted): “That’s any one thing. Not everything there is. You need a specific goal.”

    Tina, I think you are doing a great job in helping other people get what they want and thus you are on track for success.


  44. There is no silver lining that I can't find within the dark cloud. Mary Connealy

  45. I love this one.

    And for the support of this Declaration (of Independence), with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

    Uh, I think maybe there is some brief recognition of God in our founding documents. :)

    (Tina made us take this pledge about Seekerville, too. She's really strict)
    And for the support of this blog, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

  46. "Our fortunes?" Does that include Ruthy's MallowCups? I am thinking not. Nice try Connealy.

  47. Thank you, Vince!

    Ruth bangs us over the head with the Ben Franklin quote. In fact she is like my old Drill Sgt.--every now and then she calls us just to make sure we are writing and not sleeping. This is the reason why Seekerville is awake 24/7 and why Helen hs to make coffee at 1 am.

  48. Yeah, two quotes from Charlotte Bronte (the author who introduced me the MOST to Britain and writing)

    "I'm just going to write because I can't help it."

    ** "Cheerfulness, it would appear, is a matter which depends fully as much on the state of things within, as the state of things without and around us."

    From the Bible? Philip. 4:6-8
    "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice. Let your gentleness be evident to all, the Lord is near. Do not be anxious of anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. and the peace of God which transends all understanding with guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.

    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

    There was a FANTASTIC quote on Mary's blog about 3 weeks ago that I wish I had saved. If I can remember it, I'll post it up here.

    thanks Tina. It's so nice to know that all your hard work has been rewarded. Soooo happy for you.

  49. My husband has always said about preaching:

    "If there's anything else you can do, do it. If not, then you must preach."

    Applies to writing!!


  50. Tina P., have I mentioned lately that I think your good nature and hard work are absolutely wonderful?

    That you are a gift from God, totally?

    And that even if mean, ol' Tina R. calls you out, I'm in your corner...

    The "P" corner, where Pollyannas like me meet up with somewhat more pessimistic Pollyannas like you, because you rock, woman.

    Hard-working, no-nonsense gals like you and Mel are awesome.

    (Notice I'm being nice because never let it be said I pestered the pessimists. Pollyanna wouldn't do it and neither will I. Until maybe... like... tomorrow.)

  51. And Tina R., don't think I didn't notice that you DID NOT answer the two AM check-in call last night....

    Why, might I ask????


  52. Just wanted to say, have you ever noticed how a person's weakness can become their strength? I mean, the reason I'm always such a ray of sunshine is because I know I tend toward negativism, so I work hard to be positive. So being a pessimist by nature isn't necessarily a handicap when one works to overcome it.

    Am I right or am I right?

  53. LOL, Melanie
    I was just thinking about what you wrote and realized that it's one of the reasons why I like to lecture to college kids. I get to talk for large amounts of time without interruption.
    Weakness becoming strength. LOL

  54. Tina, what a wonderful post! Not only are you an optimist but you're an organized optimist. And a huge blessing in Seekerville, dear friend! The inspiring quotes are awesome.

    Mary, my d/h remarked after reading about the Revolution that so much was against us he didn't know how we won that war. Our Founding Fathers believed in what they were doing and that God was with them. We must do the same.


  55. thank you Ruthy,

    Bring tears to my eyes.

    I appreciate you. You are truly among the nicest Optimistical Pollyannas I've ever had the fortune to meet.

    Even if you do walk softly and carry a big stick. At least you wield it with love and care for the nurturing of my well being.

    I'm sure Miss Mel would agree. And if we could but find Miss Mary she would probably give an aye as well.

  56. Melanie,

    I understand trying to turn a negative positive.

    I was voted as runner up class clown for that very reason. I tried to make every one happy and sunny just so they'd be around me.

    That's why I'm a writer too. I used to lie and get in trouble horrendously when I was a kid, so writing became an outlet where I could tell stories and not get myself in trouble.

  57. My favorite inspirational quote:

    "Holy rusted metal, Batman."

    (It does include the word "holy.")

    I have two favorite Ben Franklin quotes. One I'll post. (The other one should never be posted publicly, as it can be taken out of context.)

    "We must hang together, gentlemen...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately."

    Said by the late Jim Valvano, just moments before NC State faced Houston in the NCAA Championship Game.

    "Do we have a chance? We are the only other team on the floor."


  58. Well, since none of us HAVE fortunes, it's not that big a promise.

  59. There was a quote on MY BLOG?

    Hmmmmmmm I wonder what it was?


    I Would Kiss You Through The Screen Door But It'd Strain Our Love

  60. Tina P, the big stick, sure, but since when does Ruthy walk softly?

  61. Oh, I found another possible quote from my blog.

    The race for quality has no finish line--so technically it's more of a death march.

    Or maybe:
    I gave up smoking, women and drinking last night.
    It was the worst fifteen minutes of my life.

  62. Love the post!

    The quote I like is from Anthony Robbins: "The road to Someday leads to the town of Nowhere."

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  63. Yep. Walt that is a good sports quote..I, however, have a better one..

    If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be.--Yogi Berra

  64. You guys sure know how to have fun..good thing you don't need a hostess to do it.

    Carry on!

  65. Mel, I am positive you are quite a character.

    That's all I can know for sure until we meet again.

    And I have to give you credit..and Debra Marvin..you didn't say a negative thing when I nearly got you lost in Denver.

  66. Tina, I knew you'd lead us home eventually. I was having fun.

  67. "Good friends are hard to find but a true friend last forever" I don't know If I heard that or made it:)
    My favorite Bible verse is "At what time I am afraid I will trust in thee"
    I sure would love to win a book Please enter me

  68. Hey!
    Tina, I had NO IDEA that you have done all of these things....



    The quote that I used for my yearbook quote is:
    You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and
    Put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with
    You in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not
    Just live in a world but a world lives in you.
    - Frederick Buechner

    I absolutely love it and it definitely applies to me!

    My migraines have been a lot worse lately, so that's why you haven't seen me around as much. Just feeling....sick.
    Talk to you later,

  69. Well Hannah so sorry about the migraines. Your quote is wonderful!~~

    Lindsey, thanks for stopping by and sharing.

  70. A good friend will help you move, but a GREAT friend will help you move a body.

  71. Yes. That is awesome Mary. You just went up a notch in my estimation.

    A shout out to Sharon..my old boss who said that quote. How many bosses help you plot the perfect murder?

  72. Thanks Tina. I really do love it!

    LOL Mary!! SO true


  73. Great post, Tina! I read it yesterday but didn't have time to comment. Then I didn't get back online. And look at all the fun I missed!

  74. Tina
    LOVE this
    and thank you for your service to our country, ma'am!

    A favorite quote: Never, never, never, never give up. Winston Churchill.

  75. I am a quote junkie too. While I am probably too late for the drawing, I shall share a quote anyway!!
    "Anything that I have ever done that was ultimately worthwhile . . . initially scared me to death." ~ Betty Bender

  76. Thank you for stopping by Beth..and love your quote too!!

    My word verification is blessity.

    Like Blessity Do Dah.