And So It Begins . . .

This is officially a new year for us to spend however we may. We have an advantage this year, as there will be an extra day to give us 366 do-overs. What will you do with these 366 chances? The mind may be a little boggled with all this freedom to choose, with so many possibilities.

I belong to a group online called “I Create Daily.” I’ve been a member for about a year. It is a group of people who are creative in many different ways, some artists, some writers, some fiber artists, some photographers, who are united in finding more ways to push our creative selves to do all we can do. This takes a different mindset than just wandering through our lives, creating a little here, and a little there. We are reexamining how we spend our time, how we think, and how we can create better than we believe we can. LeAura Alderson and Devani Alderson are the leaders who ask the tough questions and encourage our answers. It helped me write the first draft of my novel last year. I wrote during a thirty day challenge, and learned new ways to encourage the words out of me.

Because of the group, I looked for any writing groups I could find. I found the Nebraska Writers Guild, and joined. There were two conferences I attended last year. The first one, I was surrounded by romance writers (I’m a fiction girl, or children’s books) and terminology I couldn’t decipher. It was a little tough to remain optimistic. I was also older than many people, and probably the same age as others. The second one, I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of women of all ages that clicked with me, and several I’ve kept in touch with. It is wonderful. We are learning about each other and encouraging each other to write, to tell our stories, and to keep telling them. I’m really looking forward to spending more time with these smart, dedicated women, all of us learning about ourselves and what we are capable of.

The Babe and I spent a little time at the VFW this afternoon. I volunteer to help him in the office, so I updated the spreadsheets they use for inventories and accounting, to prepare them for another month of keeping track of all the parts of the business side of the volunteer organization. It’s a good way to use some of my abilities to help the veterans out. I enjoy it a lot.

Yesterday, I mentioned it is my Dad’s birthday today. It dawned on me this afternoon, I made a mistake reporting his age. I have corrected it in the blog, and am here to announce I made the mistake, and fixed it, and am continuing on. It’s my first humility lesson, and I’m listening. Instead of 95, he would be 96 today. I loved his birthday. Since it was a big holiday, the family actually came to our home and celebrated New Year’s as well as his birthday. It was a fun day. At that time, all the bowl games were played New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Some folks grazed at the buffet, the men had adult beverages in front of the TV, and the women sat at the dining room table with their wine or cocktails and talked. I usually had to find the kids when they escaped the room. Most of them played either in my little brothers’ bedroom or in the rec room in the basement. It was a great way to start the year.

Dad died in 1988, three weeks before his 65th birthday. What a shame, he had just retired. We miss him, and I really wish he could have met the Babe. They would have gotten along famously. So plan your goals. Set them out in front of you, and think of how you will execute them. Join the FaceBook group I mentioned if you’d like. The people are becoming friends and quite a support system.

My goal for this year is to publish several children’s books, and my novel. I have 365 more days to work with, and I don’t want to waste any. We all only have so much life, so many days allotted to us. I’ll be sixty eight years old in May. That’s entering the age where you never know what may happen. The body is aging. Many of our friends have had strokes. I pray I don’t have one. Everything I enjoy requires use of my mind, my vision, my hands, and attention. I pray these all stay intact.

With our good VFW Friends.
back row: Judy, Nugent, Lora
front row: The BABE (Dan), me, Kris, Lenny
The Babe and me on New Year’s Eve

Thank you for reading today! I appreciate your time and your input. Any topics you’d like to see covered? Anything but politics, thank you. Come back tomorrow, I’ll be here. I hope you are, too.

Looking Ahead

Three of Symbols of What I Plan to Do More Of in 2020.

The great debate will begin soon about what your New Year’s Resolution will be. Losing weight, quit smoking, work out more, you know, the usual stuff people resolve or “give up” if you’re Catholic and do Lent or Advent.

Would it make more sense to decide to change yourself or your habits?? Maybe it would become more of a permanent thing. A lifestyle change. Nothing trendy or hit or miss. The three ornaments I shared at the top of this blog are symbols of how I would like to spend more time next year. First, is read more, and sell books next year. I have been in contact with my editor friend, and we will proceed together with edit/rewrites on my novel. It will be a learning experience, and I’m glad to have a friend for guidance. Her name is Sam and we met through the Nebraska Writer’s Guild Fall Conference. Nice woman, I will learn well from her. There are other books very close to being ready to publish, and with God’s grace, I will publish them next year also.

Second, I plan to make more time for quilting and sewing. One of the ways we waste time the most (and I am guilty as charged) is on our smart phones. Yes, I’ll play crosswords, word games, endless games of solitaire, and read Facebook until my eyes ache. And then not have time to work on a project I’d been planning to start for a month or two. In the past two years, I’ve joined a challenge through All People Quilt. It’s called a UFO Busting Challenge. In the quilting world, there is a term “UFO” to described all of our Unfinished Objects (a/k/a/ quilts). I have so many of them. So many. My group is culled because of working on a certain project each month until they’re finished. Some make it to be finished, others do not. But, they’re all closer that they were. I can share those too, once I make up the list for 2020.

Third, I plan to continue writing often, in addition to the daily blog. I can tell that some days the blog is good, some days not as good. General mood, level of enthusiasm, and topic all make for a good or fair blog. I deeply appreciate you all coming back day to day, and having the interest to continue doing so.

Right now, we are waiting for Gavin to come over to spend the night. Do you have fond memories of spending the night at your grandparents? I do. Sometimes it was with a cousin, other times it was alone. It was wonderful! Hoping he has good memories after he’s grown up. I’ll be here again tomorrow, I hope to see you then. Thank you!