Monday Morning, Beautiful Day

As I’m listening to Steven Van Sant and the (also a member of the E Street Band!) Disciples of Soul, I’m feeling pepped up. It could be the coffee, but I just feel energized and good. That’s a glorious thing on a Monday when the week and our souls are still fresh from the weekend. The Babe finished carpet cleaning with his new gadget. It looks great, and the dogs are glad we’re moving the furniture back where it rightfully belongs. They don’t like disruptions in their world.

This CD has it all. Party Mambo reminds me of our beautiful daughter-in-law, Monica. She is Puerto Rican and really has the beat going on. She taught Blake to salsa dance. I wish we had a dancing family, my people didn’t do that. Except for wedding receptions. We weren’t Polish, but all weddings had Polka music, and at a certain point in the night, they attempted the Flying Dutchman. Chaos ensued. The more alcohol consumed, the more chaos. It always looked liked people had such fun.

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If you’ve been a reader for a year, you may remember I entered NaNoWriMo last year. At first I thought I would not enter this year, but I decided why not? I’m writing anyway. Some very prolific writers from the Nebraska Writers Guild are journaling about the pandemic, and about the political climate. I might do some of that, and I want to do something meaningful to me. Last year’s project finished at over 50K words, and I was glad. It requires editing, and I had a couple people read it. It was pretty raw in its writing. It needs polish and perhaps a different point of view. The proposal is good; the execution needs work.

While I ponder this, I think I need to take some notes, they just may spark some ideas. Any written, typed, and scribbled words “count.” You don’t want to vomit words all over the page. You want some purpose, some intent behind them. I’ll be looking for people to BETA read for me. I’m still pretty green on what that entails some folks saw my criteria last year and complained they “weren’t being paid to edit,” and I excused them from volunteering. Note to self: Clarify EVERY task needing people’s input for. Beta read, Edit, Copy Edit, etc.

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If you’re an author, you probably love words. You love putting them together to create scenes in your head. If you have too many words, you may defeat your own purpose. I’ve done this. Put way too much detailed description where I think it’s necessary, only to find out it’s unnecessary. It’s something you learn. The work I’ve done with Sam has been so worth it. If you might work with a book coach, try it for a month or two. I’ve learned so much more than I thought possible. New things, Baby steps, you’ll get there nicely.

One year ago, I foolishly thought I could just publish what I had. I thought I was “done.” Nothing could have been further from the truth. I worked like a Pantster. A Pantster wings it. No outline, no character development on paper, no scene construction, no checking anything over. Just do it, like Nike says.

I am now planning what to say, write, and do next. This is working much better. I am focusing on exactly what belongs in every scene and on every page. Nothing else. It has reduced some stress I was feeling. Self-induced, really. Not that it won’t happen again. Humans are hard to break bad habits, you know. And writers are probably worse!

Have a beautiful day and thank you for reading. I appreciate it. We’ll see you tomorrow, right here again. Don’t forget to vote, deliver your ballot properly to a ballot collection box. I do not care who your candidate is, just vote. It will make a difference. Every vote counts. Be Safe. Be Courteous. Be Kind. Be Patriotic.

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The Last Day of 2019

I’ve been quilting today. For the first time in a long time, I’m using invisible thread. It’s not something I dreamed up as a prank, there is truly invisible thread. It keeps me from having to change thread over and over to make it match different colors on the quilt. Anyway, it’s challenging because it’s nearly impossible to see. It taught me some patience today, and I’m grateful for that. If it was easy all the time, where would the fun be?

In the back of my mind, I’ve thought over and over about things that would be great to accomplish during the brand new year that begins tomorrow. Why wait until then? You can start today, tomorrow, or a week from now. The two main things are: 1. START. 2. KEEP MOVING. All steps that keep you moving towards the goal, however small they are, will get you there. How do I know?

I know because a few goals have been very important in my life. When my dad was dying, I talked with him about the only regret I had. At 37, I had not graduated from college. I got married at 18 because I wanted to, and was divorced at 30. I had a couple years of community college level classes and had earned a programming certificate and started working in that field. My dad said, “Just keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll make it.” I have remembered that my whole life. I graduated from college in 1995, twenty-five years after I graduated from high school. Yes, it took a long time, and it was worth it. Having my degree in my forties made me more marketable. It was hard, raising three kids, working full time, and having a life. My kids were so good during that time. They had a good example of someone working towards a goal.

My point with all this is we set goals all the time. We take up a new hobby, we decide to spend more time reading or playing piano, or spend more time with our spouses and children. Whatever it is, start doing it. Keep doing it. You will not be sorry. You will be happy you did. My dad taught me so very much. As a little girl, I remember if I went somewhere downtown and had to walk to a store, he would take my hand. I could hardly keep up with him, but he slowed just enough so I could. He teased as most dads tease daughters. I was so proud to go places with him. I’m a very lucky woman to have had such a gentleman for a father. If he were still alive, he would be 96 years old tomorrow. He guides me even now, thirty one years after the last time I talked with him. He is missed.

My new reminder for 2020. It will spark a great memory and spur me onward.

Tonight, the Babe and I are meeting friends at the VFW for the annual New Year’s Eve dinner and dance. The band is DayBreak. It will be fun to see our friends after a few weeks of being other places. Dan doesn’t drink, so we have a designated driver. I pray for all of you to be safe, make it safely home, and wake up well tomorrow.

Thank you all for reading today, I appreciate you taking time to do so. I’ll be here tomorrow, and hope to see you then.

Monday, Monday

Today my fellow author and I talked for three hours! It was wonderful. We talked about my book, why I chose certain things to write about, and how including more things could explain some areas better. It’s all food for thought and it comes at a good time. I have printed the entire book off, and will be able to edit and add to my story in the proper places. It becomes more real, something you can hold in your hand. We talked about her book, too. It was fun to talk about all the possibilities we have.

The rest of the day was interesting. Goldie was not too keen on going outside every time she needed to. She needs to learn a bit more about going potty outside in Nebraska in the winter. I would hate to do it! Holy smokes, can you imagine? The pioneers must have had a very hard time, even though it was all they knew. I have a new appreciation for indoor plumbing and baths after seeing our beautiful pup trying to get the hang of everything. She is doing very well, but today was a tough day.

The Babe has found a great pet store that has the largest selection of bones for chewing on. Rawhide bones are not good for their digestive system. It’s amazing how long they’re occupied with a very large looking hip joint bone.

Goldie is enjoying the bone a lot!

Then when Lexie has it, she can’t be bothered with anything else.

I’m excited about getting back to working on my book. It will be a challenge, but I think I will take 90 days to be thorough with it. It may not take that long, but I’d rather allow a lot of time than not enough.

In between, I can finish the children’s books that are ready for artwork. It will be fun to look for just the right photos or drawings. It will be good to fill in days when I’m not working on the book.

So tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. Do you have plans? We will have dinner and visit with friends at the VFW. Probably be home before the rush home starts. We have no desire to be driving when people are inattentive and possibly impaired. After hearing the report today about the four Gretna girls who were killed last summer, I believe there are a lot of kids out there who drive impaired often. The trick the kids are using is putting Vodka in water bottles. Who would think of checking each kid’s water bottles? They do it at school, on school grounds, and all over. I find it sad. Four lives were lost. And for what? Nothing that will make the world a better place.

If you are planning to go out, please be careful tomorrow. Get a sober driver if you need one. Thank you for reading, I appreciate it a lot. I’ll be here again tomorrow, I hope to see you here, too.

2019 Winding Down

With Christmas over, many folks are taking the tree down, exchanging gifts that weren’t right for them, spending gift cards and cash they received, and all the things that go with after Christmas sales. I read a great meme today that spoke of not forgetting the Christmas spirit after the decorations are put away. Let me second that statement. Don’t forget to be kind to people, hold a door for the people behind you, tell someone they look nice. You never know what those around you are going through. That doesn’t change because the calendar does.

As we look towards 365 new chances, let’s remember that although we have a lot of chances, let’s spend them as wisely as we can. Many of us, me included, spend too much time on our smart phones. I try to justify it because it’s either crossword puzzles or grueling strategy of solitaire that I’m spending some time on, that can keep my brain functioning. In reality, it is time that could be used more wisely. Since my goal for next year is to publish several books, I have a lot to learn about that whole process. Learning the ropes is the perfect way to keep me focused so my goals don’t go by the wayside. If I need to take a break and relax, playing those games is perfectly ok. Brief breaks, not lost days are allowed.

Today has been a relaxing one. Cozy clothes, watching the rain and grey skies, and starting to read, “Show, Don’t Tell”. I need to do a lot more showing than telling with my book. I’m beginning with the first five chapters, that my editor has reviewed. I’m nervous, yet exhilarated to be starting back working on my dream. I’ve also found “WordPress for Dummies” which will help me grow the website and blog in conjunction with book releases. Being self taught on WordPress is a blessing and a curse. I’ve learned some things by accident, and have added features that were needed. I can now load a video for you all to see, it was just a matter of paying a little more annually.

If I get really gutsy, I will vlog, too. I’m not crazy at all about having my photo taken or being recorded while talking, but in today’s world, I may need to do that to market my books and myself. Adjusting to new things keeps a person young. Just so they catch my good side, I’ll be happy.

Although the Babe and I don’t exchange gifts, I did acquire a lot of books during December. Some about writing, some reading for pleasure, and some books by John O’Donohue, who wrote about Celtic Wisdom, Blessings, and Beauty. I look forward to reading all of them, in between many works of fiction, stories about young, unwed mothers and a real story about a woman named Carol Gino, a nurse and author, and her relationship with Mario Puzo, the author of The Godfather. I’m really looking forward to that! I need to unpack all my other books and find a good storage area for them. Three years of not seeing my books displayed is long enough. Don’t you think?

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it and will see you here tomorrow. I’m ready for and look forward to the new year. Who’s with me?

These ornaments will remain out all year, in my studio. Reminders of my future and the good ways to spend my time.