Okay, so I am so excited because I purchased a “real” bike about two months ago! It has a really nice gel seat and a total of 21 different gear combinations. The color is slick black and it doesn’t have the bar that goes across the middle. I have very “not so fun” memories about accidentally falling on that bar. I haven’t had a bike since I was in elementary school. It was an ugly brown bike and it didn’t have any gears. I mean really, what young girl is going to feel cute riding around in an ugly brown bike? Needless to say there was no love affair with that bike at all. I don’t really remember any memorable bike rides on that thing.
Tune to April 27, 2013. After stopping at a couple of different bike shops to survey the terrain and figure out what options were available. I finally found a local bike shop The Bike Lane where the sales person wasn’t try to sell me the most expensive model. Where previous conversations that left me mind boggled at the other stores were clarified and my ‘silly” questions and clarifications were addressed. I absolutely LOVE my bike! I have ridden over 140 miles and what I love about it is that you can put on so many miles in such a short time. I love that you can actually GO somewhere! The whole experience has been so liberating!
I’ve had the chance to ride with my friend to the George Washington Mount Vernon Estate. I actually had it on my list but she called one Sunday morning to see if I wanted to ride. I don’t know why I was putting off for some other milestone. I had so much fun! I was so excited that I was able to meet the challenge and I got a chance to see a part of Alexandria that hadn’t seen before. Your perspective from a bicycle is so much more intimate. You see so much that you don’t see when riding through a neighborhood in a car.
The hills are a challenge, but I finally figured out how to maneuver the gears! My favorite part about making it up a hill is knowing that I’ll be able to coast down the hill with the wind blowing across my face on the way back! That is the best reward!
Stay tuned for Michelle’s Bicycle Adventures!
Where are some of your favorite bicycle paths?
First time at the beach.
First amusement park visit.
All with my best friend!
by Michelle Lynn Thompson
My heart is so FULL
My mind stimulated – FREE
Just BEING with you
by Michelle Lynn Thompson 07/23/2012
It’s your turn! Below are some great tips form the Academy of American Poets on how to prepare for your Open Mic performance!
Chances are you’ve walked by your local coffee shop or neighborhood bar and seen a crowd of people listening to a poet reading his or her work. Usually free or requiring a small cover charge, open mic (short for “microphone”) readings are for anyone who wants to read their poetry in a public venue. Sometimes open mic nights have a featured reader or writing workshop, but generally there is a sign-up sheet for anyone interested. Each poet is called to step up to the microphone and read a poem or two.
Participating in an open mic reading can be a lot of fun. Some people attend just to listen, others to try out a new poem for an audience, and still others stop by to see if any crazy hijinks will ensue during the reading. It’s a great way to meet other writers in your area and find out about your local writing community. Check your local newspaper or library, ask at your local coffee house, or find a writers’ group in your area for information.
Here are some general public speaking tips to get you started:
- DO keep it short. If you see the MC tapping their watch or looking desperate, finish your poem and exit the stage gracefully.
- DO try to eliminate filler from your speech, as in “um, uh, well, yeah” and do speak clearly into the microphone. (If there is no microphone and you feel uncomfortable speaking loudly, clear diction will help your voice carry.)
- DO look at the audience when you can. Eye contact will always energize a performance. DO relax and have a good time! If you look comfortable in front of a crowd, the crowd will feel comfortable looking at you.
Lord, You know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occassion. Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful, but not moody. Helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but You know, Lord, I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the endless recital of details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others’ pains, but help me to endure them with patience.
I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occassionally, I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint – some of them are so hard to live with. But a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And give me, Lord, the grace to tell them so.