Monday, Full of Promise

Good morning, from the sunny Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. If you don’t appreciate the beautiful blue I can see this morning, I’ll say a prayer for you. It’s been dark and overcast for a few days. Even without talking with Mom, I know she’s grateful for more light to maneuver around in. It also makes the day go faster, your internal clock gets off kilter with too much darkness. Hang in there, Mom!

Listening to the sounds of Bruce Springsteen right now, “Letter to You.” It’s a nice collection, all what I would expect from him in his later years – he’s 71 years old. The words ring true in my heart right now, as I listen. We all have fears and doubts that haunt us right now.

I see it through the eyes of a believer in God. He provides for us, maybe not what we want, but what we need. We sometimes don’t know the difference between the two. It’s amazing if you’ve seen His timing in your life. An event can happen that puts you on a totally different yet much better path than you are on at the time.

I put my worries in God’s hands right now. I don’t know how we will end up at the end of the week, but I cannot drive myself crazy about it. What good does that do any of us? Our mental stability is shattered and that is when trouble happens. We hear all sorts of rumors and dis-information, I don’t trust most things I read online anymore. And television news? I think not. I suppose my information will all become “after the fact,” and my primary concern is for law enforcement in Washington DC, the Capitol Police, the Secret Service, and all the other agencies who are keeping order in our nation’s capitol until after the Inauguration. I hope Biden and Harris help us settle down. He is my president, whether I voted for him or not. Let’s just move ahead.

I had a noon class today with the Storyteller Academy. It’s a free, seven day series of classes about Picture Books. I gleaned something very important during the class today. Jim Averbeck mentioned you need to consider the child’s emotions. I’m so glad to hear this. It is about the child, and things which may evoke some strange feelings they are unfamiliar with. My book talks about loss, and how they feel. It is offering ideas to cope and heal, too. It’s a topic people don’t like to talk about, which is exactly why we need to talk about it. Grief can derail your life if you don’t know how to handle it.

Let’s have a positive attitude for the rest of the day. I’ve accomplished a lot, although I wish I could have published this sooner in the day. I’m plotting about how to do more in a week than we do now, and if it’s possible. These books won’t write themselves!

Thank you for reading today, we’ll see each other tomorrow! Be Safe. Hugs and Love to all of you.

Remnants and New Horizons

If you know the Babe and me personally, you know I have supplies for a bunch of hobbies. And I mean a bunch. There is a giant closet full of fabric of all kinds. Partial Bolts, large pieces for specific projects, remnants that go with my stash for quilts and clothing, and fat quarters (no, it’s not a body part), fat eighths, pre-cuts, Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, Cinnamon Rolls, it all sounds so delicious! Those are all the names of certain cuts of fabrics for quilts. It’s a vast collection. And I swear I have a use for it all. It’s not hurting anyone, and it’s not eating anything, so it’s fine. Of course, when the Babe talks about it, I could mention the barn-shaped shed, the woodworking tools, all that. We won’t go there.

Those remnants and bolts are important to me for future projects. Just as are the manuscripts I looked at yesterday are important to the author’s journey I’m on. It’s gearing up this year. It’s time. Now or never? No, not that extreme. It’s becoming important to move into it. Call it intuition; call it timing; call it what you want. I’m ready. Let’s go!

There are people to contact, questions to ask, formats to learn, photos or drawings?; What font? What do kids like? I feel like I’m on the high dive at the Olympics! Have I mentioned I can’t swim? Terrifying yet exhilarating. Woo hoo. I hope you’ll stay with me. We’ve come this far.

As my new friend Carol Gino taught me in her book, “Me and Mario” (the story of her twenty-year relationship with Mario Puzo, author of the Godfather), Puzo said a story is like making a quilt. (Boy, did this make sense to me!) I can take these parts of a story (pre-cuts, layer cakes, bolts, and so forth) and put them together. Through the magic of ProWritingAid and editing software, I can rearrange the pieces in any order, until it reaches the most pleasing arrangement.

Today is all about a beginning. Keeping parts of what is important. Building on those pieces. Adding more when you see fit. Changing things that don’t work. Being brave to be yourself. Be brave enough to tell your stories. My musician friends have done that very thing all year. Facebook Live got a workout. They established Venmo accounts. Survival is what it’s about now for them. As soon as you can, go see live music again. Please! They need your support now more than ever.

As I write a to-do list for me through the month of January 2021, know how grateful I am for your support all this time. We’ve met nearly 500 times through my blog. Thank you for being here! I’m off to pick up groceries (it saves me so much time!) and stow them. Then write the e-mails, etc. for creating the LLC, contacting the illustrator, all stuff that’s overwhelming and exciting. Who says retirement is boring? Not me, never! Blessings on all of you.

Christmas Eve Day, 2020

Gosh, what to do? I have three songs to talk about and only two blogs. I see some doubling up for today. Another song I love to hear this time of year is another one we sang in Church choir on Christmas Eve. I previously knew it to me as “When Blossoms Flowered Amid the Snow,” And I believe Latin was the language we sang it in back in the day. This is Heidi Joy’s version of Gesu Bambino. I absolutely love her voice. We did not attend this concert at Omaha’s Holland Performing Arts Center, but we enjoyed her Christmas performances at a Lutheran Church in Papillion, NE. They were wonderful.

As I look out the window and see our modern version of a “White Christmas,” I’m grateful for our lives. I’m grateful I started writing and have made new friends with the same interest. I have new things to explore next year such as; should I form a publishing company, should I print a children’s book in the first quarter of 2021? I know I’d like to, I took December off from writing my novel, now is the time to circle those wagons and dig deep. I’m writing some revealing things and to make those things real to a reader, I have to make sure they love the character and her struggle. I’m hoping they will, and I will reach out again to Carol Gino to ask her a few writer questions. She was great at answering a couple I had before. As I mentioned yesterday, I am totally immersed in her book, “The Nurse’s Story.” I’m standing right next to her in every patient room, feeling the pain she felt for them in her heart. I want to write that way. More practice!

I will get there. And I’d like you to come along on the adventure! In the next week or two, I hope to; contact an artist, contact an attorney about LLC’s, go talk to a local publishing company we work with at the VFW Post. They do marvellous work, and I will learn a lot. It might be a good thing for me to go forward for the children’s book, I’ll have something to show for my hard work. More hard work on the way. I’m ready.

The other Christmas song is another creative one, one that blasts you out of your funk until you realize it’s Christmas! Be Happy! Celebrate our Saviour! All really is right with the world. It’s the Carol of the Bells, complete with pyrotechnics and laser lights of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Enjoy a listen! See, you’re fully awake now. I hope you can find at least one thing to celebrate this Christmas season. Music, children, church services, neighbors, or friends. Or all of them.

It’s time for me to go make a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies. We’re giving a dozen to each of five neighbors; and the Babe is home to be my delivery elf. My wish for all of you is a magical Christmas. May you feel the love of God and your families this Christmas Eve, and have a beautiful morning tomorrow. Remember the reason for the season. We’ll see each other tomorrow. I have one more song for you to hear. Be Safe!