Thoughtful, Full Thursday

After the day at the VFW Post 2503 yesterday, I am so happy to know those good men, women, members, friends, and the public who stopped out. The dinner was exceptional, and the clothing drive was an enormous success. The Babe and I have Honda Pilot and a Honda Passport, two fairly good sized SUV’s. From behind the driver’s seat clear to the back hatchback, we stuffed our vehicles with coats, boots, sweatshirts, sweatpants, socks, hats, scarves, and other items for our homeless vets in the Omaha Nebraska area. Ron Hernandez from Moving Veterans Forward will distribute to the homeless he deals with every day, as they wait for their housing to open up. We are beyond happy about the success of the drive, and the generosity of the people who donated. It restores hope in humanity, and we sincerely thank everyone involved.

On another note, it’s amazing how much writing changes. Certain rules used to dictate “Said is dead,” meaning you should not use the word “said” to show – well, that someone said something. It was a fad. The directions now are to use action beats. What is a beat, exactly? It keeps you from info-dumps. Info-dumps are backstory in excess, which don’t add to the story. Action beats break up dialogue and are useful in revealing information about your characters. They can show body language, emotion, and other useful things. After setting out to add some to two chapters I already wrote, I like my story better. Amazing. Now, I need to reduce the number of “he said, she said.” Action beats also convey setting, or build a world.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

I tried a different writing schedule today, as you may tell, since this is so late tonight. I wrote my novel chapter when I was freshest this morning. It was good for a couple thousand words. I remember when I was just throwing out words, there could be 4K in a morning. And I’d have to edit them laboriously. (Word of the day?) I like not proceeding until I’m happy with the elements of my writing. It may seem to take longer, but I will bet over all, it takes less time. I’ll take copious notes and let you know my findings.

Wow! This Writing Stuff IS Complicated!

The meme above is a brief glimpse into how complicated it really IS to write a novel. And not only do you have to be the writer and a character, you must be all the characters! And reading as a writer is wayyyyy different from reading as a reader. Sam, it’s beginning to make sense! Clear as MUD!

Maybe I should take up drawing? Go back to quilting? After I finish out this month. Not before. I’m kind of on a roll which I think will take us through the next few chapters right up to the defining moment. My character has a huge life event happen. She must decide what to do to keep her children safe. And it’s not a normal defining moment. I’m eager to see where we go. Stay tuned!

This evening, maybe some reading by the fireplace while the Babe takes in yet another football game. How many can you guys watch, after all? I know as many as we can. You have to love those men when they hone in on something like a sport. It always amazes me when they can recite sports stats from thirty years ago, yet they quickly forget something simple like a gallon of milk. I know I do too. It’s still pretty amazing.

Have a beautiful evening, dark as it is and only 6 p.m. Dinner is ready, and I believe we’ll have a slice of cheesecake tonight. The nicest gesture, our new neighbors brought a cheesecake over for the Babe, to thank him for his military service. How very thoughtful! Although it’s not KETO, we had to eat a piece. It’s glorious! Thank you, sweet neighbors. We’re so happy you’re here.

Off to do some more reading. Feeling good after having a good day writing. Now to figure out a way to get a bunch of blogs written, then publish them later. Might be worth it. That’s a decision for tomorrow. Blessings on all of you and have a good night. See you tomorrow. Be safe. Be kind. Be courteous.

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Veteran’s Day 2020

Thank you to every Veteran for your service for this great country of ours. This year of 2020 has presented a lot of problems for her, yet, each of you love your country more than your own lives. I admire that undying love of country. It never goes away from what I’ve observed. Many restaurants will let Veterans eat for free today, others will offer discounts.

A free meal pales compared to the debt we to these brave men and women. Just think of it. From the trenches of “The Great War,” to the Battlefields of World War II, the tundra of Korea in winter, the jungles of Vietnam, and the vast deserts of the Gulf War (Operation Desert Shield), The Iraq War (Operation Desert Fox), and the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan, there are still many, many men and women who take the oath to protect America. I’m proud to know many veterans and am related to many more.

I hope our country and each of us are worthy of the commitment made by these brave men and women of our armed services. Yes, there are a lot of wrongs in America, and there is so much more that is right. A lot of the rifts begin and end with failure to communicate. A great deal of emphasis on perceived wrongs, rather than actual wrongs. Yes, slavery was horrible. Segregation was horrible. Discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, sex, orientation, you name it, it’s wrong. We must be mindful of what we have done to correct our wrongs. Those changes accomplished before us are relevant and of value. It’s taken a long time to get this far, which is a shame. It’s a good place to begin.

We need to right many wrongs; we are not perfect. No country is. I believe the United States of America is as close as we may get. We have for a couple of centuries governed by the will of the people. We have elections in which everyone is now equal to cast a vote for whoever they wish. We elect congressional representatives and senators to use our system of checks and balances. They crafted it with freedom, liberty, and justice for all.

When you see a veteran today, thank them for their service. We are such a fortunate nation. We owe them all our effort towards making this a nation worth defending as they do and always have done. Think about it. Be Kind. Be Patient. Be Forgiving. Be Courteous. Be all you can be to be worthy of each soldier’s sacrifice.

Our VFW Post 2503 in Omaha, Nebraska is having a spaghetti dinner today. Veterans are free, all other dinners are $8. A couple of Afghanistan vets contacted us this week, wondering if we could have a trailer sit on our property this week for a clothing and food drive. They were kind enough to let us ask for coats, hats, boots, and other warm clothes for the Moving Veterans Forward organization. The winter items will help our homeless veterans a great deal. The guys are taking the food, etc. to a local homeless shelter.

These vets are blood brothers, who are ending 2020 on a wonderful note, helping other veterans. The spirit is so contagious; I hope we work with them and their enthusiasm for a long time. These guys are definitely worth another soldier’s sacrifice. What else can we do to make sure we are, too? Thank you for reading. God Bless all of you. And especially, may God Bless America.