Simple Saturday

Many things are swirling around in my head this morning. Lots has occurred in the last 24 hours. First thing I’m thinking of my cousin Mike and how grateful they must be to have pulled off two wedding receptions in August and early September now that COVID is peaking again in Nebraska. Rules for bars are again, mask to enter building and leave, and mask to walk around in building.No more standing room only events. Events must drop to below 50% capacity. I would not be surprised if the bars and schools be closed again before Thanksgiving to slow the spread again. Our hospitals are nearing a much higher capacity than they want. I just pray to God we can get the election done, in the books, and move on to whatever is next.

Photo by Annie D on Pexels.com

Second, I’m thinking about Estes Park. It is one of our favorite places to make a destination. We love the nature, beauty, scenery, and people. Always something interesting going on. Flood visited there a few years ago, and now a two month old wildfire is calling for evacuations. Prayers for those folks, their families, property, and the wildlife. It all suffers during events like this.

Third, we had a great Post and Auxiliary meeting last week. Ron Hernandez, the founder of Moving Veterans Forward in the Omaha/Papillion area spoke to us about the Victory Apartments, and the other opportunities that are available for the Post to help him get off the ground that will serve Veterans locally. I see a lot of opportunity here for us and I’m excited about it.

I have some things to update for our Post website, and need some lessons from our Web Host, Image Masters. Luckily, the host with the most is my brother in law, Brad Shuck, and he’s always willing to teach me more about how the website works and can work. Great guy. Great photographer, too. He’s in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Check out his work.

Today is the day to make good on my intentions to bring in any plant that will perish with a frost. We’re due anytime, and I have some succulents that will be great inside the house. I don’t want to lose them. That’s for a little later on, and I might let them sit after spraying them for bugs to see what comes out, if anything. Then the transplanting can happen.

Even if we’re quarantined again it won’t be so bad. I’m already looking at grocery delivery, that’s the one thing I’m no longer crazy about doing. It’s kind of a hassle, and hard for me to carry a lot in from the car, after picking it up to put it in the cart, unloading cart, reloading cart with bags, putting bags in the car, that’s a lot of lifting and moving the same stuff to get home. I need to consult with our daughter Tracy to see how we can get started. She’s on to all the shopping stuff. Bless her!

Gavin Has Been Such a Blessing For Our Pups. And Organic Bones.

I’m organizing all my social media marketing information today, too. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are both used by the Post and by me as an Author. I’m starting up on both of them, so I figure planning them side by side should work. They are both meant to give exposure to the target audience. The Facebook is pretty well established for the Post, and my author page could use some boosting. I still have some online training to review and add to the plans, so that will be some good stuff to sit by the fire and do while the Babe watches football. This is what life is meant for. Being together and getting things accomplished. I’m grateful.

The second chapter seems to be pretty good so far. It’s about 1900 words, which is pretty fair. I don’t want to get hung up on word count, so I’m planning a little ahead. I don’t want to go much further than Chapter 3 before next Sunday night when I send Sam Tyler, my Book Coach, the updated versions for her feedback. I’ve mentioned before, if I’m way off track, I’d rather have just a chapter or two to rewrite than the whole book. Makes sense.

The Babe made some stellar Beef Vegetable Soup late yesterday. It’s reheating now in a great big soup pan. Tis the season for good stuff like that. It’ll be ready after a bit, and will be a welcome break from the morning. Of course, now that it’s afternoon, it’s time to get those plants inside. Life can be mundane, yet accomplishing those tasks gets things done, and you can move on to other tasks and relax. Ahhh. Saturdays. Even retired Saturdays are good.

Thank you for reading, it’s something else I’m eternally grateful for. We’ll meet you again tomorrow, with more tales of marketing myself, the Post, and being an author. Be Safe. Be Courteous. Be Patient. I’ll try to be, too.

Winning Wednesday

My world was restored yesterday. We picked up Addison after school. It’s been a quarter of the year since we last did, since she ran Cross Country during that time, and it’s after school. She placed quite well for being a first timer. She is in incredible physical condition due to about twelve years of dance. She is probably more fit than many football players are. Gosh, I love that young lady. She’s smart, kind, thoughtful, funny, and beautiful.

What Toby Mac Writes, I Live! How Does He Know Me? He Knows LIFE. In That, He Knows Me.

My writing was productive yesterday. I fleshed out at least three scenes for the second chapter. The scenes are important to the story, they help with character definition and telling important history. The feat for the writer is to keep out anything that doesn’t further the story, that isn’t important, and isn’t pertinent. You don’t need to know how mean Katie’s kindergarten teacher was about nap time in 1957. Maybe the teacher didn’t help Katie’s fears, you just don’t need that bit of trivia in the story.

By writing an outline, I know where the story is going. Sometimes while writing, the story decides on it’s own to take a twist you hadn’t planned. And if it fits with the scene, it’s great. If not, you write the notes out to add in an appropriate place or simply put it on the shelf for another story. That can happen. This is certainly better than wandering around, clueless. Unless you’re a person who can do that, become clueful, then write a NYT bestseller! They do exist. My thought is they have more structure to their writing than they care to admit.

I just searched my free photo library for “words.” Sad to say, I had to page down four times to get to something other than “Black Friday” sayings. Isn’t that sad? I seldom care about Black Friday, even less this year, whatever date is is. If there were a time to make heartfelt gifts, homemade creations, works of our art for our family, it’s right now, during this Pandemic.

A special drawing from a grandchild, a photograph by an amateur neighbor kid, a baked goody from a car pool family can all lighten a heart during these times. We used to make time for these things every holiday season. I love when someone takes the time. They don’t have to. But they do. And that’s why it’s special. Make time for someone today. Before you can’t anymore.

I’m having another good writing opportunity today. The dogs are asleep for awhile, and I have on music I haven’t heard in awhile. Dayna Jones is another musician from South Dakota. She has a lovely, strong voice. Her lyrics are so telling. Maybe that’s why I enjoy music so much, and always hear the lyrics. It is storytelling at it’s finest. Putting impactful words to music. How much better can it get? Check Dayna Jones out wherever you secure your music. She even has CD’s for old folks like us!

Dayna Jones, Leaves. Get It Today!

As part of my research, I’m going to read “From Generation to Generation,” it is a memoir and a workbook in one. “Healing Intergenerational Trauma Through Storytelling” takes us to a second generation Holocaust Survivor. Serious traumas can be passed generation to generation even though the events are unspoken. Types of behavior reflect that trauma, and are passed, unknowingly, to the next and subsequent generations.

Of course, the Holocaust is an extreme, terrible event to survive. My traumas and your traumas will not be so dramatic. Ours are lesser, yet they are extreme, terrible events to our grandparents, parents, us, and our children. Do not minimize your trauma. Do not ignore it. It affects you. And your children.

Illness and addiction affect many generations in families. Coping behaviors become something to survive in and of themselves. It is amazing how the human mind protects itself, and the body that goes with it. Flight of Fight. Adrenaline Rushes. Amnesia of traumatic events. Thank God for creating us as He did. We’d never make it without these safety features.

That said, lingering below the hard, crusty surface of any Veteran I know, there are war stories too terrible for them to repeat out loud. There are things a regular person back home could not think of doing. Those same things are what we expect of our combat veterans and others. Male or female. Young and Older. It happens to everyone in some way. Self medicating is not the answer. Help is available, and it can stay off your record. Contact Moving Veterans Forward for a conversation that can save your life. 1-402-301-6300.

It’s time for me to switch the thinking and expand on my scenes to make the chapter I’m working on. Sam Tyler, Book Coach, you’re making my life easier. I’m hoping yours gets easier with this work I’m doing. Lol. I appreciate what you’ve taught me.

Thanks to all of you for your time. I appreciate it and plan to see you all tomorrow! It’s going to be a windy day today, so it’s a good day to write. Be safe out there. Be calm out there. Be courteous out there. We’ll get through this. I know we will. You will, too. Hang on. Hang in.

Thursday Zoomies

No, it’s not about Goldie or Lexie running around the living room chasing each other. I’ve decided to use the term to describe my talk with Sam Tyler, Book Coach, this morning.

Where did the word Zoomie come from? It’s referring to FRAP’s, Frenetic Random Activity Periods that dogs have once in awhile. They just are overcome with a huge amount of energy and for a short period of time, they run laps, circle quickly, whatever activity they choose to do. It releases the energy, and stops as soon as the energy is expended. Wish people would/could get them. There is no cause for alarm in dogs, as long as they can zoom around without hurting themselves. People, too.

I’m calling the Zoom Meetings we have as my Zoomies. I get so inspired when we talk, and I just want to dig in and write more. Today, however, I am going to follow her non-writing advice first. I’m not reading enough. I know I’m not. I need to read at least thirty minutes a day. No excuses. It doesn’t mean read Facebook, or Twitter, or look at Instagram photos, or reading technical stuff about writing. I need to read fiction with characters, scenes, character and scene development. I need to leave out the narrator intrusion I’m becoming (in)famous for. It’s not good, yet, unbridled, I can’t seem to stop it. I need to rein it in, and keep it in check.

Since all of my books still reside in boxes, it would take some time and help moving heavy boxes for me to find my Elm Creek Quilters series of books (very good scenes and character development), I’ve opted for a couple in my to be read pile. And I mean pile – a full tote bag, a stack on the nightstand, a stack on the old sewing machine, and a shelf on a corner cabinet. I’ve found “Charms for the Easy Life,” by Kaye Gibbons; and “The Whistling Season,” by Ivan Doig. I plan to spend some time on the deck, reading. As long as those pesky no see ums don’t bother me. What are they? Those tiny black bugs you can barely see but who bite with a vengeance.

I think I’ll start with “Charms for the Easy Life.” This book is about a family without men. All females, living in the backwoods of North Carolina during a sad and singular era, according to a review I read. It should be a good read, at least I’m looking forward to spending the afternoon with these ladies. How about you? Assuming you can dodge the no-see-ums what do you plan for outside on this beautiful day?

Thanks for stopping your day to read. Hope to see you tomorrow, too. Take care of each other out there. Be safe.

Reading to Your Child

There is a meme out there stating something about the trees getting ready to show us how wonderful it is to let go of things. That’s a great thought. But with trees letting go, the process isn’t really over until we clean up the leaves, use them for compost, or putting them in our yard waste containers. Unless you live in a forest, then they leave things where they fall.

The sun rises much later, at least where we live. It sets much earlier, also, and we use the fire place on mornings it’s really cold. Not much, but we do in case it’s too cold. Usually, we warm up during the day, and it’s bearable. We’re hoping our furnace makes it through another winter. The house is probably ten years old, and HVAC systems don’t last much longer than that. Hope and Holy Water might help.

My writing coach Sam and I broke down the steps in writing a scene today. It made perfect sense. She may make me into an outliner yet. I have been a pantster, and it’s pretty unpredictable. Although some good stuff still can be written that way. I would guess an accomplished writer would be more successful at it than a rookie like me.

I am going to create some scenes, and build on more details later. It should lead me on a better path than what I have been on. There are so many words, sometimes it’s hard to pick the right ones. Keeping on task and staying in the scene will make all the difference in the world. Now, to just do it!

Isn’t this phenomenal?

One of my favorite things to do is read to little kids. They sometimes act as if they aren’t listening, but they are. They may have a favorite part of the book they pretend about, and do it well. Those are rich opportunities for their little minds, like little sponges, sopping up everything around them. I hope they are all good things. Our little ones deserve a childhood filled with wonderment, curiosity, learning, and security. Holding them while reading can instill most of this. Help your child’s life have a good start. Read often and willingly. They will appreciate it.

Isn’t This Fun?

Whatever you call it, it’s fun to read. Share it with your favorite young person today. You’ll be glad you did! I’m so glad to be working with Sam Tyler, my Writing Coach. We dissected a scene today, and really broke down all the elements to an effective one. It all makes sense when she talks about it, and it makes a huge difference in what I want to do. Thanks, Sam!

We all can be better at what we call our passion. We have abilities far beyond what we are using, we all do, be they physical, creative, scientific, or repairing things. If we all would use our gifts to their max imagine what kind of lives we could have. Not in terms of monetary wealth, but of satisfaction with our efforts and our lives. A good feeling could make our lives better, our interactions better, and our group of associates better. Not a lot is wrong about improving on what you do now.

I See You

Thank you all for reading today. I appreciate it so much. Be kind to each other, be patient. someone needs your kindness today. Be generous with it. You may need it someday. See you again tomorrow!

Getting Schooled

Happy, happy Wednesday, folks! I’m just hanging out waiting for a webinar to begin. I’ve not used this meeting software before, so hope it goes well. Just to be safe, I downloaded their free software, but I’m waiting to see if the link the speaker sent will get me in. Wish me luck.

When I first started reading and researching all the things you need to do in this world to release a book the non-traditional way, I became pretty overwhelmed. I wanted to quit. For some people, it is a “you must learn and do everything at once!” kind of urgency. I had a hard time believing I had to start marketing the book before I even started it. But then, I started to market myself. To tell some folks what I dreamed of doing, and I started to write. Now, I’ve changed ideas within the first manuscript. Sam, my trusty book coach, coached a whole different book from me than what I had my heart set on. The heart knows not what the brain should do. Once my brain got on board, it makes perfect sense now.

So based on the prior thoughts I was wrestling with, by this time last year, I was convinced I had to do my cover, write my blurb, learn Kindle Marketing, learn all things Amazon, keywords, tags, categories, and on and on and on, until I wanted to dive into the special edition, 1975 leftover bottle of Crown Royal my dad received from an ink salesman who serviced the World Herald account Dad was in charge of. (Nope, didn’t touch it. It’s still there for the next special occasion.) It could drive a sane person straight into anxiety.

I backed up and pondered the options for awhile. Writing is the more important thing to me. And blogging, which is writing every day. So that went to the top of the list. And I churned out over 40K words for NaNoWriMo last November. Just because you churned out 40K words, doesn’t mean they’re useable. The goal was words, not finished writing.

I even ran a contest; whoever commented every and any day would be in a drawing for $50. The winner was my friend Pat Riedmann. She donated it back to be used for kids who are learning to write. Since COVID happened, I couldn’t donate to a summer camp held by local writers, etc. I am donating it to be a retainer for a young artist I’d like to have illustrate my children’s book, “Roxie, What Are You Doing?” Hoping the deal works out, it would be fun.

I adore children’s books. Now that I’m a Grandma, I hope to write one the littlest ones will learn to read, and I can write something to interest the older ones. An audience from eight months to thirteen years is pretty expansive in the genre of kids books. I’ll be guided in the right direction by God, I know I will. It always seems it happens that way. If I listen.

The webinar was great, this lady knew what she was talking about. It was regarding using Goodreads for advertising. Four out of five suggestions available are free. Your name will be in front of many, many people. I’m enthused about promoting myself and my book there. More on that later.

Thank you for reading today. I’m so grateful you do. I enjoy our time together. Time to rest up a bit now for it’s Hamburger/Food Night at the VFW Post 2503. Take care, everyone. I will see you tomorrow. Be safe.

#365! And Dog Ears

Despite cloudy skies on this beautiful Tuesday, I’m celebrating! Today, you are reading my 365th blog post. Enough to make a year! In the beginning, I was very sporadic, but then when our Roxie died last summer, I sat down and wrote about losing her. I’ve not missed a whole lot of days since probably Thanksgiving, and today is #365. I’m proud to have developed the habit of at least writing this every day. Writing needs to be a habit. This is. Even if I post very late in the day and it’s very brief, I haven’t missed the day.

I am grateful for all of you who read my posts, whether casually or with your morning coffee every day like my cousin Paula. It makes an author feel good when people look forward to reading. I’ll keep it up if you all do! Thank you so much!

By the title, you may think I’m writing about dog ears in the sense of turning pages down to find your place. Since I just addressed the other meaning for dog ears, I will. I grew up in a family of readers. We always used a book marker. Either a shard of paper, a real book mark, or something. Never turn down the page of a book, whether you own it or borrow it from the library. And never a textbook. Other people had to use those things. I still don’t to this day. If I highlight, underline, write notes in the margins, it took forever to do that, too. Studying became easier in college while working full time and going to school full time at night, with three kids.

The real point about dog ears, is Lexie’s been acting a little weird the last few days. About a week ago, I noticed her ears may need cleaning out. It’s a rare event. Of course, I forgot about it. Now, it appears she’s hurting. That explains her odd behavior. I feel so bad! All of you, right now, if you have pets that can get ear problems, check them out. Better be safe than sorry. I have some handy dandy ear cleaner for her, and cotton balls to wipe out the mess, so if I can get her to hold still, we’ll be good to go. Poor Lexie.

Our best friends have many types of ears, and the ones labs have, unfortunately, are the kind infections can breed in. They’re often warm inside, both from body temp and the folded over ear, and sometimes dirt lodges in there. Goldie stays away from Lexie, but Roxie used to lick her ears like crazy – never an infection. I guess it’s partly luck with them, too. Good luck or bad luck, I don’t want it to get too far away from us. If it’s not better in a day or two, I’ll call the vet.

Back to quilting today. And I’ll do some reading of “As Waters Gone By.” Sam, my book coach, tells me it is a great example of backstory being woven into the fabric of a story – you don’t notice it, but it’s out there when it’s important to see/know it. I need to learn that. You can add it through dialogue, which probably is the easiest way. Conversation is a lot easier to read than a 90 page information dump. We writers sometimes take a long, long way around things to say something simple. And we don’t need to. In fact, we shouldn’t. Thanks, Sam. See? You’re in my head and on my mind. I’m learning and I’m excited about that!

It’s kind of funny, the free photo library that comes with WordPress doesn’t have one photograph of a dog eared book. Not a one. Dog ears come up just as I’ve shown above. Worthy dog ears, but not exactly the kind they should be. Just so glad you stopped by today. I’m cutting it short today again, to get to the quilt. It’ll get done this month or bust! I want to post photos of how beautiful the colors look against a grey wall. The background makes a lot of difference. Just wait until you see what I’m quilting next – it will go above our bed. I’ve shown it briefly before.

This one will be spectacular. Can’t wait!

So, I couldn’t wait to show you. I have never done a feather stitch, think I’ll try it out. I have a pattern for the feather stitch and can pounce it on. An eraser-like item is filled with chalk dust (they actually sell it at quilt stores), and you “pounce” it over the surface of a stencil. It should be a good way to try it. We’ll see how it goes. Another COVID project. Wash up. Wear a mask. Be kind, thoughtful, courteous, and let’s all stay healthy. See you tomorrow!

Bicycles and Books

Yesterday, I had a great session with Sam Tyler, my Book Coach. The hardest thing about writing is it’s been so long since I had formal training about writing, much less about writing fiction. And then, deciding what kind of fiction. I’m trying to learn how to dig deep, deep into feeling to write about a young woman and her changes in life. The changes were choices to get her to a place she’d never been before: acceptance, self-love, confidence, and peace. She knew it existed, and it was a struggle to break through and arrive there. My coach is teaching/reminding me of the formal aspects of writing, and overseeing my demonstration of what I’ve learned.

The kind of books I like to read? Cop stories, mysteries, long forgotten stories about little children during the depression, stories so far away from feelings and healings it’s not funny. Well, I never did want to do things the easy way, according to my mom. Yes, I prefered to find my own way, not the easy way. My job for the next couple weeks is to keep writing new stuff and dig deep. Harder than it sounds.

The Babe and I are getting things cleaned up and placed back in our living area after the new flooring and fireplace facing. It looks so nice, we’re planning on enjoying it a lot this winter. We love the gas fireplace and spend a lot of time there. The dogs love to lay facing away from it, with their butts right near the glass and sleep the day away. They know how to enjoy life, you know?

Yep, I’m learning to make this a fine art.

Thanks to my fellow author Rhonda M. Hall for the meme above. This woman bikes all over the place, all over trails over hills and flats, every day. Bikers are devoted people. No, not the Harley riding, leather wearing, tattooed, club members. The bicycle crowd. They are an industrious lot. A few years ago, when I lived at the top of a hill, I bought a bike and cycled the Keystone Trail just after it opened. I could do the trail to and from, but to get up that hill at the end never was even a remote possibility. Ever. Couldn’t ride anymore after my giant back surgery in 1995, so gave it up. Great exercise, though. I have a stationary recumbent bike I need to do every day. Always new goals to add, aren’t there? I will if you will. You go today, and I’ll go tomorrow.

Part of writing includes reading. You’d think not. One thing I’ve learned, is the more you read in your genre, the better you are able to write in your genre. I didn’t know that before. I figured, reading was reading, writing was writing. Nope, not at all. I have a book Sam suggested I briefly review on Amazon (the first 10 pages are free, often). I liked what I was reading an ordered the book. It’s called, “As Waters Gone By,” by Cynthia Ruchti. It’s a beautifully written book, full of great examples. I’ll be trying to read during quiet moments this weekend.

Bicycles and books, reminds me of the Summer Reading Club at the Omaha Public Library. When we were old enough, we would ride our bikes to the South Branch and go inside to check out books. We would take a long time to peruse the shelves for what was available. Every summer we raced to finish the ten books first. We never did. A girl from my class had rheumatic fever, and couldn’t run and play outside. She always first or in the top ten. We were forced outside every day, every morning. Dad was a night worker, so we had to be quiet, inside and outside. No a/c. I always felt bad for him.

So many books, so little time! Addison commented to me on the way home from school yesterday, “Grandma, I don’t know how you can read so much.” I told her it was my way to have fun. I do believe if you don’t instill reading in kids when they’re young, they will find some other way to entertain themselves. My folks both read a lot. Magazines, books, everything. Not the Enquirer, though. That doesn’t qualify, in my opinion.

Right now, just outside my window, there are probably ten Painted Lady Butterflies on my Butterfly Bush. It’s so pretty. I tend to gaze at them a lot. I’m glad to have not only a window in my studio/office, but a beautiful view, too. I chose this bush and wanted it outside my window. Good choice, it’s lovely.

Hope you find a good book to curl up with and just relax this weekend. I’m on a mission to get out house back in order, then the book is getting my attention. Oh, and I have a new grandpup to meet sometime, too. Can’t wait to see how excited the kids are with Josie. Hope to introduce Lexie and Roxie to her later on, too. Stay safe out there, distance, do the mask, wash the hands, be kind, thoughtful, courteous, and patient. We all need people to do the same for us. Thanks for reading. And I’ll see you tomorrow, right here.

#Three Hundred Fifty!!!!

I am so proud to share with you, this is #350 of the posted blog pages. It is an accomplishment, a routine to establish, a goal met. I write every day, and I have proof. I know some days have been better than others, and that is normal. The days I have a block, I concentrate on beauty around me. The Babe, Our dogs, nature, my flowers, whatever sticks in my mind. For instance, yesterday I did not set out to talk about my history of Presidential Voting. It just flowed there. It seemed to come from the place of my heart that knows arguing will not solve this issue with people. I wasn’t looking to lose readers, friends, or anything. I don’t think that happened. Thank you.

THIS is what yesterday’s post was.

The flooring guys finished up yesterday, and had to come back today for 1/2 hour to finish up setting the toilet in the guest bath upstairs. No big deal. The dogs, bless them, are so worn out from not being able to nap on their respective couch spots, that they will probably sleep until it’s time for us to go to the Post later for Hamburger Night.

We’ve been helping Tracy get Addison to and from school this week since Dad’s out of town for work. Grandpa takes the responsibility seriously. He missed out on school stuff with his kids, so this is an eye opener. Granted, it’s totally different than back in our day, but it’s even so different than when my kids were in school. Addison and Gavin are happy to be back at the school. It’s built just outside their fence. What a great thing! The lot was empty when they moved in, and suddenly, there was a school.

I received my first two chapters of “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons” back from my writing coach, Sam Tyler, and they’re coming along nicely. I have some homework for today, and we’ll have a conference tomorrow. I am so excited about this whole process. I’m learning, my brain is engaging, and I’m telling a story that’s been on my heart for a lot of years. Yes, it takes a long time, but nothing good is easy. Hard work yields great things. Sam is teaching me how to pull good stuff from myself. It’s amazing.

Yes, It Is!

So my workshop class yesterday was pretty flat. She had us read the first thirty pages of three different “Literary Fiction” novels. One was a Pulitzer Prize Winner. I’m quite open minded. One was total garbage. Almost pornographic. It should have had a warning. Anyone who knows me knows I am pretty accepting of most things. This book was not steamy in a good way, it was full of shock value, nothing of substance. And a third one, I couldn’t take seriously because a gay writer was the narrator about his life and loves, and I pictured this guy talking through the story.

Remember that voice? It’s all I could hear reading the first 30 pages of “Less.”

Ever since I was a kid, I have always pictured the characters in books as a tv or movie star. Or a real person, if I know one who fits the description. The voice always mimics a character I have heard. It’s imagination, at work. And I’ve always had an active one.

As my work on storytelling continues, it is exciting and a little intimidating at the same time. It definitely stretches you as a human, so you notice more things, wonder how to describe situations and people, and search for words you may not have used in an eternity. Sometimes, when writing about an era 50 years ago (after my high school graduation in 1970, for example), it’s a challenge to remember clothing styles, manners of speech, and even what the laws were back then. Some things we take for granted now were not possible in the 1960s and early 1970. Equality for women. Establishing credit in a woman’s own name. Having a bank account if you’re a female. Seriously, it was that bad. This is what feminists really did for us as women. Basic rights, equality in the eyes of the law.

As you ponder that fact, just remember how fortunate we are, as women and men, to be free to live as we do. It is a precious commodity. Let’s protect it. Let’s revere it. Let’s remember how it came to be. Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it a lot. Be safe out there. Be cautious, courteous, and caring. Wash Up, Mask Up, Let’s get rid of the COVID-19 Blues. See you again tomorrow.

Late Sunday

Hi, guys!

Checking in late today, just finished sending Chapters One and Two off to my Book Coach, Sam. It seems the day just flew by, so here we are, at 9 p.m., and I’m just writing today’s blog. I kind of don’t want to skip a day, so I’ll be brief.

I did a Target run this morning. Armed with my mask, I didn’t see anyone else without one. I’m glad about that. The last time, a whole herd of a family were wandering and touching everything. These are scary times, and I hope we all comply just to make it end sooner than later. Yes, I’m tired of it. Yes, you are, too. It just felt safer after all is said and done.

Photo by Noelle Otto on Pexels.com

I believe we will vote by absentee ballot for the November election. The ballots are to be dropped off at special boxes that go directly to the Election Commissioner office. That is how it should be. I would not leave my vote to the USPS. Not now and not before all this stuff going on. Pure and simple. No problems.

Gavin and Addison are getting a puppy! I can’t wait to meet her, Josie is her name. She’s a Lab/Shepherd mix, aren’t they all?? He is over the moon. I’m so happy. The dog will be as good for the boy as the boy will be for the dog. Pictures to follow.

There was some bad weather earlier today, I hope none of you were affected by it. The thunderstorms with hail and very strong wind are scary. No doubt about it. I hope you and yours are safe and sound.

I get to be involved in rolling out a new website for the VFW Post. It will be so cool, they have needed a new one for some time. The I/T Company is doing all the front end work, and tomorrow, I have some research to do for them. It’s great to be part of the team to spruce up the place! More on that later, too.

Well, that’s about it for the day. It’ll be an early start to the day tomorrow. Hope you all have a good night. See you back here again tomorrow. Sleep well!

Thursday Insights

Hi, guys. It’s nearly noon and I’m just getting started with today’s blog. I had a great session with Sam, my book coach today. I have more changes to make, and they’ll make my story better. We talked about how different writing a book is from writing a blog. And it is so different, it deserves a moment to discuss it.

This blog is written from my heart. It’s content are my musings on any given day. Some days, I have ventured into current events, but I try to steer clear of them. I talk of things of my heart, people I love, how the Babe and I spend our time, and how grateful I am for the life I’ve had so far. God’s been pretty good to me. It could have gone so many different ways.

Great Words for These Times

Actually, these words are great for any time, not just now. Be rare. Be someone people can trust. I think we all need someone we can trust totally. Those people are the ones who are hard to find. Of course, I trust the Babe. Be a trustworthy friend.

I may have mentioned before, the only bad thing about masks is you can’t smile at someone. That’s not good. Many times while going through Target, I’ll come across some little kids or moms and dads, and want to smile as I excuse myself and walk past. They don’t know I’m smiling as I do it. Isn’t half the communication lost then?

I need to put blinders on as I write about a scene. I notoriously try to cram backstory in while trying to fool myself into thinking it belongs there. Sam cannot be fooled, that’s her job. So, I’m writing some more and reminding myself along the way; “If it has nothing to do with the scene, leave it out.” Much easier to say than do. I have a book to read with good examples of how to give the backstory with few words, usually dialogue. It’s amazing how differently the author has accomplished that. Writing is a lot harder than most people think. I don’t hate my work, I like it. It just needs tweaking.

The Babe is working on updating some things about the house. New fireplace face, new flooring in the kitchen, entry, and two bathrooms. It’ll be nice, just hope it goes well. People are eager for work, after being quarantined off and on. We should be able to complete both projects before any additional distancing is required. I think having retired from a business that provided updating to existing homes and dreams coming true in new construction, he naturally thinks that way. I just have the benefit of his knowledge. Thanks, Babe!

Well, I have some rereading and rewriting to do. And probably a lot of rethinking. It’s all ok. Blocks of time will be spent now since we no longer have Gavin to keep us busy. Miss that little guy. Gosh, I hope the school kids adapt well. Tuesday will tell for him, Wednesday for Addison. And all the teachers, please be safe. Thank you for doing what you do for our children.

Thank you for reading today. Anything worth having is worth working hard for. My dad always said that. And I’m remembering his words, because I’m working hard to my novel. And I know it will be worth it in the end. Be safe, Be kind, Be thoughtful, and Be courteous. We need to be good to each other. See you again tomorrow.

My Story. So Worth It.