The Face In The Mirror

I was combing my hair with the aid of my hallway mirror, thinking how good life was. When there was a knock on my front door. It was Frank, a friend of mine, looking very somber.

“What’s wrong, my friend, you look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“I think I have, in my mirror. I dislike the person I see in my mirror!”

“Oh no, you’ve got a big self-esteem problem, then!” I said.

“Self-esteem? What exactly is that?”

“It is a realistic and positive opinion of yourself. In other words, you like yourself.”

Frank continued:

“Well, as I was looking at my face in the mirror, my wife comes up behind me and says:

“You’ve got a peculiar nose, Frank.”

“So, I start noticing my nose and some other blemishes, all the time devaluing myself!”

“Hold on now, your self-talk is getting distorted.”

Frank looked quizzical.

“The other day my boss passed me in the office and scowled at me. I just know he’s upset with me for some reason. I probably won’t get the promotion I put in for.”

“You are assuming the worst again.”

“I’m not a good enough person for the job.”

“Those are the WRONG thoughts to have. You should never downgrade your “CORE WORTH”. Judge your skills and if they don’t come up to scratch, work to improve them.”

“I’d like to have more self-worth feelings, but I don’t deserve them!”

“Now, you’re talking silly.”

“I feel I’m not worthy of a good life. Life always hands me the fuzzy end of the lollypop.”

I shook my head in dismay.

“I always say, “I must be happy. I should be happy.” I keep putting demands on myself!”

“My friend, Frank, our lives are full of “shoulds and musts”, but this is distorted thinking.”

Frank just stared at me.

“The word “should” denotes you are not happy, so you feel inadequate and frustrated. Replace “should” with would or could or want to.”

“You mean: It would be nice to be happy. I could be happy. I want to be happy.”

“That’s right, you’re getting the hang of it now.”

“Maybe I should tell myself how wonderful I am, in the hope of becoming wonderful in many pursuits.”

“No, self-esteem is NOT about over-the-top positive thinking.”

Poor Frank, he looked completely confused.

“Why doesn’t OTT positive thinking work?”

“Because, that type of thinking is immature, stressful and isn’t grounded in reality. People with good self-esteem have no need to inflate themselves. They realize their strengths and weaknesses and work to overcome the weak points.”

Frank got up and walked over to the hall mirror and peered into it, ever so tentatively.

“Okay, Frank, take a long look at yourself, look deep into your eyes and you will see the goodness of your “CORE WORTH”. Look at yourself with “like” not “dislike”. Look deeply and you will notice a change in your eyes, they will become softer and not so glazed. Look in the mirror and smile, you’re a good person!”

“I do feel better than I did when I came in,” he smiled.

As Frank was walking out the door, I said:

“One last thought, remember, if life hands you lemons, break out the TEQUILA!”

The Singing Christmas Ghost

Adam felt a chill go up his spine. He shivered as he stood listening to the Salvation Army band. A crowd had gathered now to listen. Adam shuffled his feet, he felt that chill again, even though it was a mild December evening.

“Deck the halls with boughs of holly,” came a booming voice behind him. He turned around to see a big man in a red jumper and red trousers. He was bald, with a white fringe of straggly hair, and a full grey beard. The man’s smiling eyes looked straight into Adam’s.

“Come on, lad, sing along with the band. Singing is the window to the soul!”

Adam started singing with the man with the booming voice. His enthusiasm was infectious. It was fun harmonizing with him. All eyes in the crowd were on Adam, he was in the lime light!

The band stopped for a break. The bearded singer turned to Adam and said,

“We sounded good together. You have a fine voice, lad.”

“I don’t think so,” Adam stammered timidly, thinking back to earlier in the day…

“Hey Adam, we’re going caroling tomorrow night, we need an extra voice, can we count on you?”

“No, I don’t think so, I can’t sing good enough,” whispered Adam, kicking himself mentally for saying that, because he enjoyed singing. He sang a lot by himself around the house. But Adam was afraid, he had become withdrawn since his mother died and he was living alone now.

“Well, if you change your mind, we’re meeting at the square at 7:30,” said George, one of his workmates.

“What’s your name, lad? Mine’s Nick.” The booming voice brought Adam back to the present.

“Adam, sir.”

“Not sir, Adam, call me Nick.”

“Okay, Nick,” whispered Adam.

“You should sing because you have a very good voice,” bellowed Nick.

“Well Nick, I just had an invite to go caroling tomorrow, but I didn’t think I was good enough!”

“Nonsense son, I’ll help you, we’ll sing together to get you started.”

Nick said he would meet Adam the next night at the square. Adam said he would be there, but he didn’t know why he had agreed!

The band started playing again and Adam turned to watch. When he turned around again, Nick was gone!


The next night, Adam arrived at the square on time. The other carolers were there too, but no Nick. Adam felt his old timidity coming back again.

“Come on, Adam, line up with us. We’ll start with “Silent Night”,” ordered George.

Adam started singing, “Silent night, holy night…” All of a sudden the booming voice was singing with him again. Adam turned around and there was Nick, smiling and singing at the top of his voice.

Adam smiled and he sang more enthusiastically then ever. He felt a surge of confidence which was a foreign feeling to him. The rest of the night went off wonderfully. All the carols seemed to be sung with such feeling.

“Who said you couldn’t sing? You have a fine voice. You should try out for the church choir,” said George.

“But George, it was all because of my harmonizing with my friend here, Nick.” Adam turned around to introduce Nick, but he was gone!

“I haven’t seen or heard anyone singing with you, Adam, but the rest of us carolers. Are you alright?”

“Yes George, I’m okay,” said Adam, looking around for Nick.

“Well then, I want to see you at the church for an audition Saturday night,” said George, disappearing down the street.

Walking home, Adam wondered what happened to Nick, or was he just a figment of his imagination. The night was getting chilly again, thought Adam, pulling his coat tighter around him.

“Well son, your singing was mighty good tonight. You’ll make the choir easy.” Adam turned around and there was Nick, his face beaming with accomplishment.

“Where did you go? I wanted to introduce you to the fellas.”

“I couldn’t stick around, Adam, I had some other work to do,” smiled Nick.

“Nick, I’m nervous about the choir audition, will you come with me?”

“My boy, I’ll be there in spirit.” Nick started laughing and he slowly disappeared in front of Adam’s eyes. Was it all a dream? But now he was determined to go to the audition.

Saturday night came and was a success for Adam. He was made a member of the choir and he felt on top of the world!

Walking out of the church hall, he noticed a picture among the many pictures of past members. It was Nick!

The caption read: Nicholas Klaus, Choirmaster and Choir Member Recruitment Officer, from 1950 to 1980. Died Christmas Day, 1980.

So Nicholas Klaus was Adam’s singing ghost. Well, he was certainly Adam’s Saint Nick!

My Writing Year

I’ve been reflecting on my 2012 year of writing:

My blog, “Writer Dave” features 400-500 word stories that I write to entertain and inform in my light-hearted way. It has been up for over a year. In that time, I’ve posted 100 stories and received over 450 comments and over a 1500 hits!

I have self-published an ebook, “Web of Guilt” on Amazon Kindle.

I have been to London to some Literary Lunches and met some big names in writing and show business. I always pass out my cards at these functions. The cards have my blog address and ebook advert printed on them. I have had some feedback from people I have met at these lunches.

I have met lots of interesting writers online. Some have read my blog and given me some valuable feedback.

I am now working on my second novel and will publish it on Amazon Kindle. This hopefully, with two books on Kindle, will give me some name recognition, which, I am told, will help sales.


BRING ON 2013!