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Hey there!

This is one of those awkward moments of introduction, right? Okay, here goes. I use the moniker AR Neal, which is short for my whole name; I hyphenate because I’ve been married twice and my son has my first husband’s last name.

In case anyone is reading this and is remotely interested, I am a woman; I guess I need to update my Gravatar or something…

So I’ve had another one of my famous epiphanies.

I am an activist, or should I say I am on my way to being an activist. I now realize the heroes of my life–my nana, my dad, Jesus, Angela Davis, Dr. King Jr., Malcolm X, my husband, our pets, Gandhi, and a host of others who have crossed my path as bright and shining lights for only a moment–have lived their lives (and in some cases, given them) for causes worthy of our attention. While I am under no illusions that I fit into the same class or category as any of those mentioned above, I pray to be able to appreciate their perseverance, resolve, resilience, and vulnerability (thank you, Brene’ Brown!) and have some of those qualities attributed to me one day.

Welcome to a place for my thoughts, comments, rants, and ravings that don’t fit with the other random musings I post on blogs for my family and such.

Confused? You should be.

80 Comments

  1. indytony January 9, 2013 9:01 pm

    Well, you’ve finally arrived! I nominated you for a shameless, self-promoting “Beautiful Blogger” award. Please accept it as a compliment, as I really do appreciate your blog. As for how you respond, you can keep passing it along (and accomplish world peace, or something like that) or just sleep easier tonight knowing that someone values your work.

    Should you decide to pass it along, find out how here – http://writingforfoodinindy.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/a-beautiful-blogger-award-am-i-blushing-or-is-my-blood-pressure-going-up/

    • AR Neal January 9, 2013 11:20 pm

      {takes a bow, and passes the baton} Thank you, sir! I like arriving, so long as it’s not on an airport carousel from which I cannot escape…but that’s a different story… πŸ™‚

  2. gretchenfogelstrom January 20, 2013 11:21 pm

    I just found your blog and find it fascinating. You have a way with words that I really enjoy. I found you as I was searching wordpress for writing/photography blogs. I just started a blog and after reading your post “Picture it & Write” thought you might be interested in joining my new group: http://www.storiedimpressions.wordpress.com. I love the idea of taking a photograph and writing the story that jumps out. I’ve just started and asking anyone who is interested to join me. Thanks for your posts, I’m enjoying them.

    • AR Neal January 20, 2013 11:31 pm

      Thank you! I just checked out Storied Impressions–very nice idea, by the way, and you take lovely photos. I look forward to submitting. I don’t use my Flickr account much but maybe you’ve just given me a purpose for it!

  3. Gretchen January 20, 2013 11:50 pm

    Fantastic! That is exactly the idea – fun. Glad you’re joining me/us. Looking forward to seeing your posts – email me if you have any problems with the Flickr part: storiedimpressions at gmail dot com.

    • AR Neal January 20, 2013 11:53 pm

      Great! Will do! Happy photo-ing πŸ˜‰

  4. billgncs February 1, 2013 3:21 am

    interesting juxtaposition of heroes.

    • AR Neal February 1, 2013 3:44 am

      Yes! How could a person not be inspired by such a list!

  5. The Good Villager February 23, 2013 10:45 pm

    I love your writing. I’ve only just tuned in thanks to the photo challenge. What kind of an activist are you? Are you focusing on a particular problem?

    • AR Neal February 23, 2013 11:25 pm

      Thank you so much, Tara! Thank you for reading πŸ™‚ My “day job” is in higher education, so for the most part I find myself becoming activated (which is really at the core of activism–being activated regarding a problem, issue, cause, etc., which could include what we typically view as activism: marching, writing petitions, etc. etc. or more generally drawing attention to something by speaking out about it or on its behalf) regarding issues that affect the marginalized, or those whose voices have more often been silenced (the poor, people of color, gender equality issues, faith-based inequity, ageism, beautyism…). My focus changes and as I continue to find my writing voice I believe I will continue to focus on a variety of issues.

      • The Good Villager February 23, 2013 11:51 pm

        Fantastic! I’m having a lovely day for chats about activism. I completely agree with your comment that activism really is about being activated. I have often thought about it as a flame being ignited. I’ve recently met someone who suddenly had a blowtorch turned on within her and she’s currently exploring direction. Quite exciting.

        What I find really interesting, and it’s only an initial observation and likely a bit reductionist, but I see generalists and specialists in activism. The former (a category I loosely put myself in, I suppose) applies a set of values and methods to the world. There is a problem or group that requires attention, the generalist helps. The focus turns to what demands attention. The specialist, on the other hand, has a specific focus – gay rights or single teenaged mums, for example – and can use a really in-depth knowledge of specific history and issues and apply them to the issues at hand. We need both.

        Anyhow, I go on. But I’m very glad to have run across your blog πŸ™‚

        • AR Neal February 24, 2013 12:41 am

          I completely agree–we certainly need both! I welcome your comments as we all take this journey called life together πŸ˜‰

          Andree’ Robinson-Neal, EdD

          Β“Seek peace, and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14b)Β”

  6. Pingback: Sisterhood-In-The-World-Bloggers Award « Mama Bear Musings

  7. TheImaginator March 24, 2013 11:01 am

    Congratulations – you’ve won the Sunshine award! Click here to find out more http://theimaginator.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/sunshine-award/

  8. Eric Alagan March 27, 2013 4:42 am

    Thank you for “Following”

    I’ve also ticked to receive your updates. Guess we might “see” each other more πŸ™‚

    All good wishes, Eric

    • AR Neal March 28, 2013 4:09 am

      Thank you, Eric! “See” you around!!

  9. Carrie Sorensen April 7, 2013 1:18 am

    Hey. πŸ™‚ Carrie from chasingervery.blogspot.com. The the story you wrote for our prompt entered you into our monthly ad contest and you won! (Link: http://chasingrevery.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-to-z-c-snapshot-prompt.html) On Wednesday we’ll post a button for your page. I can make one inspired by your blog, or you could send me a photo this weekend and I can use that for the button. Once I make it, you’re free to take a copy yourself if you like, and it will be posted on the pages of all the blog hostesses for the next month. πŸ™‚

    • AR Neal April 7, 2013 1:41 am

      Wow!! Thank you!! What should the image size be? I’ll get right on it and will email you the image once I have the dimensions πŸ™‚ Thanks again!!

  10. yerpirategunn April 13, 2013 5:28 pm

    PS….http://yourligo.weebly.com/haibun.html if you’d like to …!

  11. Pingback: Shine-y | thematticuskingdom

  12. Pingback: Liebster Award – Official Acceptance | Theresa's Blog

  13. Theresa Jewel Ammons May 18, 2013 6:34 am

    Congratulations, AR Neal. I’ve nominated you for The Liebster Blog Award. See http://jewelammons.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/liebster-award-official-acceptance/ for how to accept and pass it on.

  14. yarnspinnerr May 19, 2013 3:53 pm

    Congratulations for all the awards πŸ™‚

    • AR Neal May 19, 2013 5:04 pm

      Thank you, YS! It is truly an honor.

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  16. Ayesha's Dublin May 23, 2013 8:28 pm

    I like the theme you chose for your blog. it’s crisp and clear. Much like your writing.

    • AR Neal May 23, 2013 8:54 pm

      Thank you so much, Ayesha!

  17. Toni Slate May 29, 2013 5:09 am

    AR Neal It’s a delight to meet you. I’ve been looking for my writing voice too. It’s here somewhere. lol

    • AR Neal May 29, 2013 2:30 pm

      Thank you, Toni! I am sure you’ll find it as long as you keep writing πŸ˜‰
      Andree’

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  19. Kevin Daniel June 5, 2013 4:27 am

    Hello, nice to meet you. Looking forward to getting to know your blog better!

    • AR Neal June 5, 2013 4:38 am

      Hi Kevin! So glad you stopped in!

  20. dcardiff June 6, 2013 5:36 pm

    I admire all the people you have mentioned (except your nana , your dad, your husband and your pets, although I probably would admire them if I ever had the chance to meet them.

    What I have found is that doing one good deed a day, for one person at a time, will lead to to your goal, whatever it is. Best wishes on your journey.

    Cheers,
    Dennis

    • AR Neal June 6, 2013 5:40 pm

      Yes, if you knew them, you would admire them too πŸ˜‰
      I agree that a good deed a day does more wonders than anything! Thanks for stopping in!

  21. Especially Made June 8, 2013 5:06 pm

    I nominated you for the WordPress Family Award. You can have a look here.
    http://especiallymade.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/its-a-beautiful-day-in-this-neighborhood/

    • AR Neal June 8, 2013 5:17 pm

      Thank you so much!!!! I will post it prominently on my site after crafting a post that will honor others who have helped grow this wonderful WP family! Blessings to you and keep up the great work!!

  22. Lyn June 16, 2013 10:15 pm

    I realised something this morning…I wasn’t following you. I’ve seen your avatar everywhere – even on my own blog when you’ve been kind enough to “like” one of my stories – yet I’ve not followed you. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen you around so much, and read some of your flash fiction stories when I’ve clicked on the “little blue froggy linky thing” that I thought I was following you. I’ve remedied that now, and I look forward to reading all of your excellent stories. Blessings in abundance.

    • AR Neal June 17, 2013 3:18 pm

      Awww! Thank you, Lyn! I am glad you decided to jump in and follow my odd little bloggy-cave πŸ˜‰ Great to have you here!

  23. Pingback: Fan-friggin-tabulous. | Faces and Places and Wide Open Spaces

  24. Jayde-Ashe June 21, 2013 6:44 am

    Hello my friend, long time no speak πŸ™‚ I have nominated you for a very special award today. This is not only because of how amazingly awesome your blog is, but also because of how amazingly supportive you are of my blog. I know you have received more awards than you can handle so no obligation to accept, however pop by and check it out anyway. Go on. You know you want to.
    http://ajaydeasheblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/fan-friggin-tabulous/

  25. Author, Catherine Townsend- Lyon June 22, 2013 9:48 pm

    *What an Absolute Pleasure to read your *About*…..I love the hint of humor….Wish I could to that πŸ™‚ I’m now following becuz I don’t want o MISS A THANG!! Hugs & many Blessings, *Author, Catherine Lyon*

    • AR Neal June 22, 2013 9:56 pm

      Thank you so much for following! I try to explore various genres but I tend to stay close to literary and speculative fiction, just so you know!

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  27. behindthemaskofabuse July 11, 2013 10:24 pm

    Thank you so much for dropping by my blog and following. I have seen you around other blogs too. πŸ™‚

    • AR Neal July 11, 2013 10:29 pm

      Yes! I thought I was already one of your minions but as it turned out, I was not and needed to rectify that situation πŸ˜‰

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  29. Bams Triwoko July 28, 2013 5:23 pm

    Hi ARN… glad to connect and interact with you… πŸ™‚
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Best wishes to you.

  30. All Night Long August 21, 2013 4:46 am

    You have quite the trophies, good job!

    • AR Neal August 21, 2013 6:40 am

      Thank you, and welcome!

  31. Karina Susanto August 26, 2013 12:26 pm

    Hi there
    I wish to thank you for visiting my blog, liking my post and also reblog my post. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much. Blessing to you!
    Karina

    • AR Neal August 26, 2013 12:35 pm

      Thank you so much–it was a very important post and I am happy to share it. Have a wonderfully blessed day!

  32. The Real Cie August 31, 2013 1:31 pm

    A.R., I don’t know if you’d have any interest in being part of this, but if you’d like to be an author on the all-new, soon to be infamous opinion blog operating under the moniker Sly Fawkes please email me at chartley65@gmail.com and I’ll send you an invite to become part of the team.

    • AR Neal August 31, 2013 10:24 pm

      I am honored by the request and will send a message to your email πŸ™‚

  33. lifeconfusions September 28, 2013 10:39 am

    Hey, I’m two weeks old to this blogging thing….Just wandered off to your blog.
    It’s really nice meeting you! πŸ™‚

    • AR Neal September 28, 2013 4:36 pm

      Welcome to the blogosphere! Thank you for popping in πŸ˜‰

  34. tonyroberts64 September 28, 2013 9:28 pm

    You’ve lightened up your look. I like it!

    • AR Neal September 29, 2013 6:47 pm

      Thank you, Tony–I’m glad you like it πŸ˜€ I, am growing, little by little!

  35. neenslewy October 5, 2013 11:24 am

    Hey you! I finally got time to venture out into Blogland…. Love the new look site (which may not be ‘new’ …. it has been a while!) I have started organising the Inkspill schedule and am interested in taking you up on your offer (especially as I now realise 3 days was ambitious for a 1st attempt at a virtual writing retreat… it was because the wellwoman weekend – which was my original inspiration was a full weekend!)

    Searching blog for contact details. If I can’t find any could you leave some on the Inkspill sticky post at the top of my blog or use (with a real @ sign) awritersfountain at hotmail.co.uk

    Thanks hon

    • AR Neal October 5, 2013 4:54 pm

      Hey there, friend! So glad to see you!! I have a contact page now but will pop over to the Inkspill post at your place πŸ™‚

      • neenslewy October 6, 2013 8:40 am

        Thanks – couldn’t find the contact but have the information now. Cheers

        • AR Neal October 6, 2013 8:57 pm

          No worries (it’s the “Reach out and…(Contact) page) πŸ˜€

  36. Oloriel October 22, 2013 2:06 pm

    Hey, I just reread your mythology workshop story! It is awesome! πŸ˜€ I wanted to leave you the comment I prepared but unfortunatly I could not find how to post it πŸ™ Anything I am doing wrong or am I looking to the wrong places?
    Best regards, hope you are having a wonderfull day! πŸ™‚

    • AR Neal October 23, 2013 1:49 am

      Hello and thank you so much! I have my posts set to stop allowing comments after a certain number of days, but you found my “About” page, and that’s just as good!!
      I hope you will stop by from time to time in the future also!

  37. Jayde-Ashe December 6, 2013 9:49 pm

    Hello AR!
    Hope all is going well over here!
    Just wanted to pop by and say a huge thank you for all of your support this year with The Paperbook Collective. I loved reading and publishing your flash fiction, so if you ever have any floating about in the future send it my way! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your family, all the best for 2014.
    Cheers,
    Jayde.

    • AR Neal December 7, 2013 7:22 am

      Thank you so much Jayde and best to you always! Now, I can’t wait to sport a Paper book t-shirt, notebook… πŸ˜‰

  38. Glynis December 12, 2013 3:03 pm

    Another award coming your way. I just nominated you for the Sisterhood of Bloggers award. Congratulations!
    http://glynisrankin.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/sisterhood-award/

    • AR Neal December 12, 2013 5:59 pm

      Awww, thank you!! I will wallow in the joy when I get on my laptop tomorrow!

  39. Glynis December 21, 2013 5:20 pm

    I don’t know what happened but I post a comment about the award and it didn’t come through. We are having tornado weather….shaking head. Anyway I just wanted to show you some love and perhaps send some traffic your way. πŸ™‚
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    http://glynisrankin.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/awarded-again/

    • AR Neal December 21, 2013 5:54 pm

      Thank you, dear one!

  40. Leanne April 8, 2014 3:23 pm

    Hi AR! This is Leanne from over at Writings and Ruminations. I just wanted to let you know that we are featuring you/your blog as our featured monthly blogger for Writer Wednesday Blog Hop. I know you haven’t written for the hop in while, but we just want you to know that we still consider you part of our community and want people to continue hopping over to your blog to check out your stuff!

    I pray you are well.

    Leanne

    • AR Neal April 8, 2014 5:15 pm

      Hi Leanne! Thank you so much; I am getting started in my own entrepreneurial endeavors so yes, I have not been very visible… I am so honored to be featured!

  41. Jim Brennan August 9, 2014 8:23 am

    One to the most honest and engaging “Abouts” or introductions I’ve ever read (and that’s a lot.) We share many heros, though I don’t know your husband, dad, nana or your pets, but I trust your judgement. I’m going to follow you, but please don’t get frustrated with me. I’m a writer by profession, so you know I get lost in my head a lot (not necessarily a bad thing) and can become a character in my own stories. Be well, and never stop what you are meant to do.

    • AR Neal August 9, 2014 8:25 am

      Thank you so much, Jim! I am honored–and look forward to engaging as you get lost in your own head πŸ˜‰

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