Happy Birthday, Nicholas!

Nick on his Kindergarten Graduation Day.

Nick is my second son, born this day in 1975. Wow. That seems like such a long time ago. I was twenty-three years old. There was the blizzard on January 10 1975, the tornado May 6, and then along came Nick in November. Here I go with a story he has heard probably too many times.

Since their father couldn’t miss bowling night, I took Frankie, his older brother, Trick or Treating that night. In an old neighborhood like ours, many houses on a street may have one side of the street up on high banks, with two sets of stairs going up to the houses. It was crazy. There were fences in between the yards, so there was no cutting through the yards. Up the hundred stairs, trick or treat, then down the hundred stairs. Up the hundred stairs, trick or treat, then down the hundred stairs. And so on, over and over again.

With all this activity, I prayed God would not make this baby come tonight on Halloween. I’m glad he wasn’t, it really didn’t matter. I would have loved him the same. He was one of three babies in the hospital nursery who had black hair at birth. He always looked older, I thought. One baby was black, and the other dark haired baby was our neighbor’s grandson. Nick was easy to pick out in the nursery. As time went on, he did bear a resemblence to my father, who had black hair and big brown eyes. So did Nick.

Nick has a big heart, loves to help people, is a talented handy man, has learned a lot of things from taking stuff apart and puttinig it back together. He was always tearing apart his wagon, bike, and toys. He didn’t try with my car, however.

He amazed me as a toddler, he loved being read to. I was shocked because he could read at the age of four. I thought he should go to kindergarten early so he wouldn’t be bored when he got older. He wasn’t, and he loved numbers. When he was three, he spread the financial page of our newspaper out on the floor, and moved his index finger along the lines of numbers and said, “I just love the little tiny numbers.”

Today he lives with his husband in Gladstone, Missouri. I don’t get to see him as much as I’d like, he has an odd work schedule. I do miss him, it’s always fun to get together. Hope we can soon, Nick.

Lve me some Snoopy!

As far as writing goes, it’s 4 p.m. and my blog isn’t finished yet. Had to get Dan out to do his duties at the VFW Post he Quartermaster’s at, I got to see our dentist, we did some errands, had lunch, and poof, it was 3:30 p.m. I swear, the days go far too fast.

Still adding flesh to my characters, it takes a bit more than I thought. Describing everything about these characters may be overload, but I most likely will edit out anything that is a back story to the story at hand.

It’s a beautiful sunny afternoon, only 34 degrees, though. The early darkness is helping make it cozy by the fireplace in the evening. I’m wishing you a cozy evening, too.

What do you like to know about characters in stories before you begin to read?? Or do you just like to discover quirks and faults as they become evident?? Or should they be spelled out in a prologue?? Let me know what you think. I’m interested in your thoughts. Leave a comment, give a like and you will have two entries in my NaNoWriMo giveaway, one $50 Visa Gift Card. Drawing will be December 1, 2019. It could be you with a little extra Christmas cash!

Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow.

Gratitude Journal – November 4, 2019

It’s a chilly morning in Nebraska. The temperatures fall around freezing every night, and the warmth of the day depends on:

If the Sun is out.

Our Roxie (RIP, dear) loved to lay under her tree in the shade on a hot day. Looks like her sister Lexie (brown dog) joined her that day.

If it’s windy or not.

Weather must be perfect for hot air balloons. A gentle hint at a breeze is perfect for these balloons to gracefully lilt along.

The high temperature is during the sunny part of the day.

Roxie and Lexie were inseparable.

Any precipitation falls. Any. A 50 degree day with rain can feel like icicles piercing your face if it’s windy. It feels icy all day.

This was an early spring hail storm. Not fun!!
A snowstorm from late last winter. I’d rather have snow than wet, icy preccipitation. Yes, I would

I’m grateful to have all these seasons. It seems there are many more than four at a time now. I don’t think it would be the same to only have the warmth of California or Florida all year around. It just wouldn’t be the same. What would I do without the arthritis rearing it’s ugly head every cold, wet, snowy day. Or every horrific humid day that makes you have a headache all day long.

The four seasons are kind of strange to be grateful for, but I am happy to know all of them. The warmth or lack of it just goes along with the brand of Christmas, New Years, Easter, 4th of July, etc. You’ve got to have the weather.

Saturday, the home health care nursing started their regimin with Dan. They will come three times a week to change the charcoal sponge in the wound and each time attach a new container and tubing to the wound vac. He’s fortunate so little infection is left, so not much drains, but it’s still the procedure.

The nurse trained me on how to take care of Dan’s packing, etc., in case of an ice or snow storm and no one can get to our home to take care of the wound vac, etc. I am capable of doing it and am not queasy about it at all. They are part of the deal, and I’m grateful for the help, truthfully.

Goldie is doing great. Doing well with potty training, sleeps almost all night in her kennel, tolerates her collar and leash when necessary. I think Lexie is warming up to her, as long as Goldie doesn’t get in her face.

Back to working on the book and word count for today. It’s been four days, haven’t missed one day yet. I’m just writing freestyle, I guess I’d call it Going to write paragraphs and fit them in where they will read the best.

The Business of My Day

Thanks for reading today. I appreciate your company on my journey. Invite your friends along, please. And please like the blog, the individual post, and comment. You may earn two chances a day at a giveaway I’m having at the end of NaNoWriMo, a $50 Visa Gift Card. Two entries a day, for liking and commenting on each post. It’ll be fun! See you tomorrow!

My Inspirations to Create

If you were to look just above the top of your phone, notebook, laptop, desktop, what can you see, right in front of you, at this very moment?? This is what I see:

My view at this very minute. Inspiring me.

If you have a human sitting across from you, please, you can read my blog later. Interact with your friend/spouse/lover/child/sibling/parent. If it’s a stranger, smile. Be kind. If you have no one close by, observe.

Listen to the sounds you hear. I’m not going to video, but I swear I have music on right now by Rick Tiger. Learn about Rick at

http://www.ricktiger.net.

Rick has written and recorded many, many thoughtful, storytelling songs. I am inspired by that. It’s creating at it’s best. Rick and his wife Joyce are such nice people.

Dan and I met him a few years ago, and we’ve become fans. We met Rick through Jimmy Weber, who is also in my creative soundtrack arsenal. Jimmy has an extensive musical background that you can check out for yourself at

http://www.JimmyWebercountry.com.

Jimmy is a remarkable human being I’m proud to call a friend. He’s deeply involved in his community and with fellow veterans.

We met Jimmy through Billy McGuigan and his vast assortment of very talented friends. Billy, Ryan, and Matthew McGuigan have our attention whatever and wherever they are performing. Songbird Tara Vaughn has taken major part in the productions and my, she has grown as a performer. She can still belt out a song, but she has been creative herself by starring her own show, “She Rocks.” And I can assure you, she does. New guy Max Meyer can do things with a guitar I can only watch in awe. My hubby Dan gets a kick out of how Max has blossomed, become more comfortable on the stage with Billy and the others. It’s such a neat thing to watch. Visit their schedules and story at:

http://www.billymcguigan.com

Yesterday and Today, Rock On, Legends of Rock, British Invasion (with the Omaha Symphony), Billy and the Downliners, Rock Twist, and everything they do is superb. It inspires me to try and do something superb.

About a year ago, I sat down to start jotting ideas, lists, books to consult, etc. So much to learn!

All these folks have closed shows with words like, “Follow your dreams!” “Dream On” “Do what you love.” It really set me to thinking. I could do what I want right now.”

About a year ago, I purchased this book from Amazon. I started reading and thinking about how I’ve always wanted to write books for children. My daughter, Rebecca, has always encouraged me to do that. I miss her, she’s lived in Colorado for the past 18 years, has a great guy for a husband, and a beautiful baby girl named Kayla. They prefer I not post photos of them and especially not Kayla, and I respect that wish. So, with Rebecca leading the charge, and those generic encouragements from the stage, I’m following my dream.

For me, this is the perfect time of life to create, write, and publish my stories. I’ve always wanted to, I like to create, and my living doesn’t depend on it. I wouldn’t have taken the risk of quitting my job in the IT world for something I thought I could do. After all, I had three very hungry kids to feed. This is now my turn!

The person who inspires me daily is my husband, Dan. (I called him “Babe” in public with our VFW friends one night, and that is now his name, “Babe,” or “The Babe.” He is all for it if I want to do it. Something I’ve never had in a partner before. Babe, thanks for always being in my corner.

Dan’s support rivals what my dad gave me throughout life. He wouldn’t want me to quit a good job and roam around trying new stuff, but he would have encouraged me to try it out in spare time, once I was done raising kids. A man of few words, he would tell me, “Just keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll get there.” Thanks, Dad!

Right now, I’m writing a realistic fiction. No escaping reality there!

Thank you, Billy, Ryan, Matthew, Tara, Kate, Kathy, Jimmy, Rick and Joyce, Dan, Dad, and especially, my daughter, Rebecca.

Thanks to all of you for reading, encouraging, and giving me ideas. Please leave comments, like and follow, and don’t forget about the $50 giveaway for November. Once per day, for your comments or likes, you’ll be entered in a giveaway for a $50 VISA giftcard. Share with your friends, please. Let’s have a fun November!

Headed off to write the 1,677 words for today. 50,000 will be here before I know it!

Super Saturday

It was a day of hilarity yesterday. In counting the words written, the words in my blog qualify since they are being published. Being a novice with WordPress, I thought I’d just go ahead and get a word count by typing the blogs into Google docs and copy to the WordPress daily blog spot.

Guess again!!! I have to release the doc to the Internet, copy the link, insert in in WordPress, kill a thousand year old chicken, turn to the left four times, following by hopping on my right foot to the count of 90. Sheesh!!

So upon discovering this, setting appointments for Dan and his wound vac nurses, I simply printed out the Google doc and proceeded to type it in again. It worked. Then at about 5 p.m. discovered there were conflicting versions. I deleted one, but it turned out to be the wrong one. I deleted yesterday’s blog.

Enter Dan, sweet husband of mine, who came up from the man cave to tell me he liked what I wrote, and I tackled him for his cell phone, so I could re-type for the third time the 740 words I had deleted. NEVER AGAIN will I delete any version when trying to view on my Google Pixel 3 phone. Gosh, so instead of doing 740 words, I typed it three times. Shall I report 2200 words instead of 740? It’s not cheating, is it?? What do you think??

Today, I’m working on the actual book. I am adding the Table of Contents. From that, I can create another outline and commit to paper or computer my thoughts and ideas for expansion. The meat and potatoes of the story. What I have already is just the appetizer.

Day 2 on the road to 55K words!

Some folks are again noting daily what they are grateful for during the month of November. It is very fitting to do that.

GRATITUDE NOTE: November 1, Grateful to be relatively healthy. My issues are mostly orthopedic in nature, not life threatening. For that I’m grateful.

November 2, Grateful to have relatively whatever I could want. I don’t want a million bucks or bigger houses and cars. I have a great blended family for which I am very grateful. We hope to spend more time with all of them next year.

One short week ago, Gavin, Goldie, and Grandma. Time flies when you’re having the time of your life!

I create the best when I’m listening to music. I often listen to the same musicians for a long period of time. Then the mood strikes for something different, and I swap CD’s out from the basement collection. Getting out the Christmas music is always fun. I can tell you with certainty this will not happen until December 1. I don’t rush it.

My mother and her three sisters were really nutty about Christmas decorating for their homes. My mom had the biggest house, so she really decorated a lot. She still has an overabundance of theme trees in every room, except for the bathroom and basement. I sort of did the same sort of decorating thinking it was normal but since my kids all left home and the grandkids in town visit less than they used to, it sort of seems to be a lot of work for just us to see. Dan (a/k/a “Babe”), thinks the decorations are pretty, but too much work.

Last year, I was down in the dumps and did not decorate at all. This year, I hope to. I can’t be down in the dumps, it’s not how to get things done. Chronic, intense, debilitating pain causes depression. This year, things are better, so it’ll be ok.

When do you start your decorating? Do you go crazy or do you do a small tree, stockings, etc.?? I love how things are so sparkling and beautiful. It’s very hard to let go of the glow of Christmas for the dark gloom of January. With that in mind, I decided not to display my snowmen with the Christmas decorations. I put them out in January, and it makes things brighter and more fun. Why not celebrate winter??? Winter has a bad rap, in my opinion. I think it’ll be a crazy winter again, and all we can do is buckle up for the ride. Complaining won’t make it better or make it go away. Have a good attitude whatever the weather.

Tell me about what you will do this month to prepare for the upcoming holiday season. Will you travel? Will you go to a warmer climate? Comment below, and like my blog. You’ll be entered in a November giveaway I am announcing today.

For every time you comment or like a post, you will be entered in a contest to win a $50 Visa Gift Card to use for your Christmas shopping for 2019. Yes, every like, every comment, will get you an entry. This is for the entire month of November, 2019. Enter today, maybe you’ll be lucky!! I’d love to send you a gift card in the mail. Tell your friends!!

p.s. Babe, you’re not eligible. You have my heart and soul, but I’m not giving you $50 for reading my blog. Thanks for entering!!

Let the Fun Begin

Here we are, a brand new month beginning, a very important month to a group of writers from all over the world. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal is to actually write 50,000 words in one month, thirty days. Can I do it? I plan to. We will need to see how far I actually get, knowing full well that life very often gets in the way of a lot of things. Dan and I have learned that in spades the past year. But we must keep going.

I love all the quotes and memes about perseverance and tenacity. An old friend I used to work for used the word tenacious describing me. I had to look it up. I was flattered, and he certainly meant it as a compliment, describing my working full time, being a single mom with three kids, and wanting to get a college degree. I finally made it.

It’s been started for awhile.

So, in the spirit of keeping on, I won’t bore you with the list of projects and details that I admitted out loud to you. On the internet. Preserved forever. No pressure, right?? My novel and a few other projects are listed on the blog post yesterday, if you’d like to scroll down and refresh your memory. Right now, I’m eager to dig in and write. I had little time to finish an outline of where I’d like my thoughts to take me while yielding actual countable words. I do have this vision in my mind of the outline, and I think once my fingers hit the keys, I will have enough ideas and words to keep up with the 1,677 words a day that will count towards the 50K goal. (Please feel free to quote me on this later should I whine I’ve run out of words).

If you think about it, that is a lot of words. My novel, as it sits now, is 38,388 words. I felt is was complete and wonderful and captivating at 33,507. My dear friend Kris read it, gave me some honest feedback, and I started to embellish the stark prose that was waiting to be adorned.

It will be challenging to add more details and description to what I’ve written, but I need to learn to add this in the first place. I think this executive summary style comes from being in the business world for twenty some years. Just the facts, Ma ‘am, Just the facts. It’s hard to deviate from that norm and create a new one. That is why choosing those words is so very important.

My first participation, hopefully not my last.

At the Nebraska Writers Guild Fall Conference 2019, #NWGFALL2019 I sat in on a session about using poetry as a way to improve your writing. By using fewer words, you will improve your writing. It was amazing. Poetry says so much more without a high word count. I would think writing songs/lyrics would follow closely behind poetry. Think of the poems and song lyrics you have heard and still have in your mind over a lifetime.

“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree.” Joyce Kilmer, 1913

“and I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time.” Jimmy Webb, 1968

Suffice it to say, I was alive and heard Glen Campbell sing Jimmy Webb’s incredible song “Wichita Lineman” on the radio, I was not alive when Joyce Kilmer wrote her lovely poem about trees.

Those two passages just popped into my mind while writing this. A third one also did:

“Sticks and stones will break my bones, words will never hurt me”

and I think this is totally wrong. Words have the ability to devastate a person, destroy a child, or start a war. Or all three at once. Anyone who has ever had someone gaslight them knows this firsthand. It’s terrible and hard to recover from.

Strong words? A story was told in that session about a group of famous writers talking about how many words you needed to tell a story. Ernest Hemingway is credited with this quote, and wrote a series of six word stories that followed this one:

“For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Worn.”

I am moved to tears by these six words. I want to hug and kiss my grown children over these six words. How about you?? Please leave a comment below, like my blog, and pack your bags to come along on this journey towards finishing my novel. I will share parts of it from time to time, ask you opinions, have you select one passage over another, and other things similar.

I’m going to keep track of all the comments, likes, new follows, etc., and there will be a prize at the end of the month, based on your contributions towards helping me finish this novel. I think it will be fun, hope you’ll join me. Participating will not hurt a bit. I promise. Thank you so much for reading today.

It may come to this once in awhile. Just dig deeper!

What Will November Bring?

Aside from Thanksgiving, retailer invented Black Friday, the end to the Nebraska Cornhuskers football season, and possibly snow, what will it being for you,?

I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I will be finishing up several projects.

I will finish my novel, These Walls DO Talk.

I will finish my book for grieving families called Grandpa’s Gone.

I will finish another book, Roxie, What Are You Doing??

I will finish a children’s book called Bonus Grandma’s.

Challenge Accepted?
No idea what to expect.

It will be a month of learning and I am eager to see how the tally will end. Something new and different.

Dan now has a gaping hole where his incision was. A wound vac will be applied/installed/mounted which will remove dead skin, infection, debris, and will help shrink and seal the wound from the inside out. Medical miracles always are amazing. For right now, he could qualify as scary for Halloween! He is exhausted, in pain, and spirits kind of low. Prayers are graciously accepted.

He perks up caring for his new little blonde. I’m trying to spend time with Lexie. She is fine in the yard with Goldie but pretty territorial in the house. Any suggestions??

Have a safe Halloween evening. Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing. I appreciate it and all of you.

Never Thought THIS Would

actually happen. I’m an attractive brunette. I’ve kept myself up. Sure, I’m getting older but so is he. How could he???

I was the at the top for so long. Thought my place was secure. I’ve been so faithful. I’ve greeted him every time he comes home from wherever he goes when he’s away from me. I alert him at every leaf that falls off the trees, the people walking by, and don’t even ask about when the doorbell rings. Why, I just join in when they say “No Bark!”, “Quit!”, or the always ineffictive “NO!” I’m barking because they are.

I have gone with him on the walks he needs for controlling his heart disease. I’ve known when he is unhappy, upset, worried (he worries a lot!), happy, anxious, depressed, and having bad dreams about Vietnam. After all of this, he did the unthinkable.

Saturday, I got the shock of my life! He comes home with this little blonde. It’s always a blonde, isn’t it?? The little tart. Well, who does she think she is??

Woe is me!

Why should I even like her?? Well, it’s a little fun to run outside with her in the yard. MY yard. She seems to be looking to me for guidance. Why would I do that?? Why help the enemy? And I’m certainly not sleeping with her in my luxurious king sized bed.

I do not want that little blonde hussy in my house. But they let her in anyway. Well! I’m just going to lay in the sun on my king sized bed. No kennel with bars for me! Perfect place for a girl to let her thoughts organized. I’ll show them!

And the other female in the house. My adopted Mom. She’s no better. No matter how much I give her the stink eye, she is even holding the blonde. Why, I never! She should be loyal to me at least! What’s her issue?? I don’t potty in the house anymore. Isn’t that a good girl??

You’d think the sun rose and set in Goldie. The boy they call Gavin came over yesterday to see her, too. He does love and miss Roxie, my sister who died. We have all been sad. “Hey! Wait a minute!”

They might have something here. If the boy and his Grandpa and Grandma aren’t so sad, maybe I shouldn’t be either. Since I can’t play with Roxie anymore, maybe I’ll play with Goldie. I guess she’s not so bad after all. It might take a bit. But she might be fun. As long as she knows I’m in charge. I can teach her how to get treats.

Yeah! It’s the perfect plan! If I just stand by her she will be a treat 🧲 magnet. That’s the angle I’ll play now, they’ll never see through my master plan. Humans. They’re all just putty in our paws. Foolish mortals.

It will work out after all. She’s not so bad.

I can still tell her, “Go away kid, you bother me!” whenever I want to be alone.

Let me know your thoughts on introducing new fur babies to the family. Maybe my masters will learn something!

Thank you to our guest blogger today, Lexie, the big, beautiful, four legged lovey we are so lucky to have. She just had to let you all know her misgivings through all of this. For her, it’s pretty tough, but we’re hopeful she comes around. We just want her spunky again.

As Lexie said, let us know if you have tips for us. Transition is hard, whether you have two or four legs. How do you cope with it? I’d love to hear from you. Like our blog post, and share with your friends. Hopefully, it will brighten your day and their day, too. We appreciate you reading!

Oh! And here is Goldie. It’s tough being the new darling of the family!

Likes her kennel now. Trust me, she does not nap this much!