Tuesday’s Toils

Tuesday is a busy day. The Babe is at the Post, even though it’s his day off. Doing some interviews for some help up there. He’s so good at assessing people. He had a lot of experience. People said he was tough but fair. They miss him where he worked.

My Colorado grandbabies are hard to buy for. We’ve quarantined most of the year and still haven’t met Cody. He’s already walking with a walker toy, and chases his sister. Go get ’em, Cody! His parents do not want photos of either child posted, so I must follow their wishes.

I went to a local Learning Express Toy Shop in Omaha this morning. I had specific toys in mind for each of the kids, one who is almost a year old (January) and one who will be three (March). After browsing online, I found every single item I wanted. The prices were more than reasonable. I’ve purchased items for our other three grandkids there many times. I just like gifts they can learn from. The creativity of children is so vast. Their imaginations expand and have so many ideas and dreams. How exceptional their minds are! I want to encourage it, not numb it with electronics.

We already know three don’t care for reading. I am sad about that. I can’t imagine not liking to read. My family all loves to read. Sons don’t really anymore, but daughter with the kids is teaching hers to love books. Their daddy is a very smart man, too, and reads. Not sure if they have time to read anymore, with two babies in the house! So if you want a cool and unique gift, go to Learning Express. I believe they are a national chain. Good prices and don’t have to worry about their construction. I’m excited to see photos of them with their fun, new stuff.

With a couple of days until Thanksgiving, I’m going to bake my mom a Mince Pie. Have you ever heard of that or eaten one? They originated in the UK. During the Century people ate them, yes, they were “Mincemeat” Pies. They had scraps of meat (beef or lamb), suet, fruit, and other ingredients. A Christmas tradition, the ingredients have transformed over the years. Today, the ingredients are a mixture of apple, raisins, molasses, molasses. You can either make it at home or buy a glass jar of the filling.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Mom expresses every Thanksgiving and Christmas she used to take a Mince Pie and go visit our Aunt Phyllis Jewell. They were the only two on both sides of the family who liked it. Aunt Phyllis left this earth a long time ago. I wish I could bring her over to Mom’s tomorrow with the pie. At any rate, I’m off to bake a pie the easy way; pre-made crusts. Then more Keto bagels. A good thing to do on such a rainy and cold day.

Thank you for reading today. Whatever you do in the next few days, remember the older people in your life. Phone them since few of us can gather with them. They will be happy for days. Seriously. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Patient. Be Courteous. We all need to be, all the time. Me. You. Uncle Eddie. Everyone. We are all quite raw right now. Let’s be forgiving, too. We’ve all done things less than great in our lives. It’s part of being human, growing up, and dealing with temptation. Let’s give the gift of love and acceptance to each other. The world will be better for it. See you tomorrow!

Fabulous Friday

It is really a beautiful day outside. I swear God sends cold fronts through the humid and hot areas like Nebraska to give us a break and make us feel like living again. It improves the general feeling of your soul and gives your mind a break. Still, I like the four seasons. Four “alleged” seasons. It seems like we skip a lot of spring and a portion of fall many times. Hope there is comfort to deal with the rest of the pandemic we are having.

Where we live in Gretna, it is very close to Omaha. The VFW Post we attend is in Omaha. We have concerns about the possible mask ordinance Omaha was considering. It appears the health department has backed off from enacting one. I say it’s a shame, the legalities were questioned and they asked people to use their best judgment. With those rights comes responsibilities. To me, it makes sense to wear a mask. We do not often make the best judgments. Some use motorcycle helmets as an example. I favor helmets, seat belts, and wearing masks. Yes, it’s annoying. So are helmets and seatbelts. But I’m safer using them.

My asthma doc ordered me to have a COVID test before my appointment with her last week. I thought I would test negative and did. I believe curtailing my social activity and social distancing, which includes wearing a mask when shopping is helping. Please think long term on the outcome, it may make more sense.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

In addition to working on my Poppies Quilt, I’m devouring a couple more books for writers: Write Great Beginnings, and Point of View. It appears there is more competition than ever to attract a reader who will read a book. It also appears there are fewer who start a book who actually finish one. I have only quit reading maybe 4 books in the last ten years. When I buy them, I think it’s a terrible waste to not finish. One was borrowed from the library, a biography by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. Brian is a genius and has had mental illness for nearly his entire life. It’s a very sad story, and one that concludes well. There are better versions written, believe me.

In addition to having a hook to attract a reader, you have to do a lot to keep them reading. Each chapter ending should make them just want to keep reading. I love books that do that. They are easy to read and quick. No time wasted. Now to learn how to do exactly that.

I have some real characters to introduce once I build them. It is such fun to be able to do that. There is something I read to make sure to appeal to the theater of the reader’s mind. What does that mean? Simply put, have you ever enjoyed a book more than a movie? Yes, an author needs to write so well the images in our minds are vivid and our imaginations can take us through the story. That’s the challenge.

Conflict is the center of fiction. Intensifying the troubles that stand in a main characters way. The problems are big, and he or she drive the story with their decisions. Because they chose this, something else happens. I’m told it gets easier the more I understand it. I trust Sam Tyler, my writing coach. She has made this endeavor so good for me. I’m so lucky to know her from the Nebraska Writers Guild. She is a writer and coach. Very good with critique. Asks hard questions. All with good reason. If I can’t answer the questions, how can I write my answers to them?

AHA! There it is! This is also a great living example of why/how to outline everything (major events) in the story you want to tell. Sure, you have it all in your head, but trust me, your memory isn’t that great some (most) of the time. As I write, other ideas spill out and I can end up in a completely different area than I wanted to be. I’m learning to be a planner, not a pantster. A pantster is writing by the seat of your pants. When you think you have a great idea, it’s easy to think you don’t need to plan anything. I can be foolish at times!

Just as maps are not always up to date in Google, our outlines can leave a bit to be desired. We need to be open (always) to modifying the outline. Even if you’re well into the story. Lots to think about. Lots to wade through.

And There You GO!

Off to work on another unrelated issue. I’m helping get information together for the new VFW Post 2503 website. It should be a fun project. The one we have is pretty outdated and cumbersome to work on. I’ll be learning some WordPress tricks I don’t know and will benefit tremendously from it. Thank you for taking time to read the blog today. I appreciate it, and hope to see you tomorrow. Stay Safe, my friends. I want you all with me the rest of this journey. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Careful out There!

Taco Tuesday

It’s 3:30 p.m. and I’m just starting to write the blog for the day. It was a day to take Mom to the Cardiologist for an annual visit. She has an appointment for next year, July 20, 2021. She thought it was silly to make an appointment a year in advance at her age. I told her it was an optimistic way to look at it. It’ll be here before you know it, right?

After the doctor, she “needed” to go to Hobby Lobby. She replaced some 30 year greenery in hanging baskets on the enclosed front porch. She gets her money’s worth out of stuff, for sure.

One of the best projects my folks did to their house was to enclose the front porch. It’s good sized, has combination windows, and has offered a nice place to sit in the evening without bugs of summer. It’s good for about three seasons if you push it. I spent hours playing on the open porch, and my kids all played there too. Although she lives in the house we all grew up in, it’s her home, not ours anymore. Our homes are where we live. Of the houses my kids were raised in, only one is still standing. They remember “the white house,” and talk about the neighborhood. The house was razed by the city for street improvement.

The home they left for adulthood is still standing. It’s the house I bought by myself and the house the Babe and I first lived in after we married. Home is wherever we live. Mom has only lived in probably two houses her entire life. I can’t imagine her moving to assisted living on her own. I think she’d be mad at us if we suggested it as a good idea. That big house just wears her out. Bathrooms are on second floor or in basement, there is nothing on the main level.

Considering my doctor advised us to get a ranch style house and forgo steps, I’m so glad we did. I’m looking at knee replacement whenever I decide I can’t take it anymore. I’m not ready yet. For all the surgeries I’ve survived, this one gives me the willies. I can’t see any of my major scars very well. A knee, well, it’s out there. I’m not vain about it, just gives me the creeps. And the creeps are not good.

My Memories of Summer Reading Club at the Omaha Public Library. Good Times!

Isn’t this little saying by Julia Donaldson just lovely? It reminds me of every summer, my brother and I raced to see who could read the first ten books. He usually beat me. He spent more time reading and just did it faster. That’s ok, I wasn’t a slouch at it. Almost all the kids in class received a bookmark as the award when we started back to school in September. The stories usually captivated me, and I loved the true to life stories.

Three of our grandkids say they don’t like to read. That makes me sad. I hope someday they change their minds. The two grandkids in Colorado are read to a lot, and chances are, they will read on their own when the time comes. Books are my favorite gift to give and receive. Gift cards to book stores are the best.

Now Here’s An Idea!

It’s just so easy to order books on Amazon for delivery. I do like bookstores, I just haven’t been out to one for a long time. It still feels weird to go out and get necessities. A friend of mine is releasing a children’s book. I’ll share a link when it’s available online. Shouldn’t be too long. I’m excited for her! She has a nice little family, a husband and two little boys. One was just born in the last couple months.

As I watch my mom toddle along, I wonder how long we’ll have her. She’ll be 91 next month, and still lives alone. It was old folks day at the cardiologist, and saw many “children” bring “Mom” or “Dad” to the clinic. Some couples were there, but not many. Although she complains about the cost of the blood thinner, I think it’s kept her from having any more strokes the past few years. And the Babe is on blood thinners, too. So two main people in my life are kind of living on the edge, either of them could have an event at any time. I’m not going to worry about it. It it occurs, we’ll deal with it. I’m just not ready to give anyone up yet. Prayers are always welcome.

For tonight? I’m going to read a book I’ve had going since pre-COVID. I just haven’t finished it. It’s my kind of story – former Navy Seal, Cop in Colorado, solves murder cases, etc. I just want to see if perhaps I can make good on the Goodreads estimate of number of books I may read in 2020. It’s not too exciting, but it’s an accomplishment. How about you?

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your support so much. Wash up, Mask up, Be Kind, Be Tolerant, Be Courteous. We all need each other to treat each other well. This will pass much more easily if we do. Do what’s right. Do something your grandma could be proud of. See you tomorrow, be safe.

Easter Sunday

So some folks are saying this is an Easter like no other. Easter comes and goes just as Christmas does. Whatever is in your heart at the time is what the holiday is for you. Since our family is scattered all over the place and five family schedules are about impossible to sync up, we don’t gather as a family. Our kids all know each other but aren’t close. They were all gone from home when the Babe and I met. It’s different, I suppose, if you get together while the kids are younger. They will have grown up somewhat together. We are kind of glad ours did not. The three oldest, the boys, were all good. The two youngest, the girls, were the type that if they had met when they were in middle school, what one didn’t think of, the other one would have. Yes, I’m sure of it. The girls were the subject of more conferences than you can imagine. They have all grown into good, responsible people, and you know sometimes getting to this point in life requires a few detours. Love them all!

So our celebration of Easter will be with food. For just the two of us. And we’ll just hang out and be together. I hope the Babe is weathering it well. I think we’re doing ok with each other, but then it’s not all that different than any other day in retirement. Except that only one of us goes to the store now. Except that I should make a face mask before a routine doctor visit tomorrow. Except that we stand at least six feet apart from the neighbors when we chat now. Our neighbors are on kid enforced lock downs. Ours didn’t do that for us. If we need something, Tracy and TJ will pick it up and drop it off for us.

Other than that, I’m just dying missing Gavin start a new level of baseball this year. I think he’s been ready to play in an advanced league, not only because of his awesome skills, but because I think he needs to be at a more competitive level player wise. I hope it brings him past some of the issues there were apparent with younger kids. Younger kids tend to play in the dirt. Yes, play in the dirt when they’re bored, tired, don’t care, or whatever makes them do this. If he is around boys who are in position, watching the pitcher and batter, ready for the ball he won’t have time to play with the dirt. His potential is there, I’ve seen it. Ever since he could hold a toy it’s been a ball. I want to watch his Dad coach him as Grandpa Randy coached his Dad.

We’ve lost Grandpa Randy, but gosh, he’s still here making us laugh at his antics. The Babe and Grandpa Randy would look at each other and say, “That’s the Raabe in him.” “No, that’s the Stricklett in him.” Now Grandpa Randy has front row, third base, front row seats to watch his grandson play ball. Once this virus hits the bricks. And it will. If it’s later than sooner, I just want us all well. Whatever it takes.

I started to re-read some of my printed out novel yesterday. It’s kinda cool, you can turn on an add-on before opening the document in Chromebook, and Pro Writing Aid will flag whatever they think were my goofs in each paragraph. Some aren’t goofs, sometimes they suggest a different word or phrase, some I just ignore. I like it a lot. It’d be great to be through it by the end of the week, then tidy other things up on it for the rest of the month.

I’m not sure if I need to have a whole group of people read, re-read, critique, edit, and pulverize what I wrote. Feedback is great. What do you do if you’re a writer? I have moved a bit off the center of what I was telling my original story about. It was “flat” I suppose, a person simply remembering different rooms in her house, after it’s empty. All that is left are the memories. Past that, it was her recollections. Now, I’m telling the story but have added a cast of characters who are her brothers, who help tell the story. I think it is told better, and I’m finding I took parts of real people and combined them to land on these brothers. Some are good people, some are not. They all have a different bad habit or addiction to deal with. Several individuals do not have the family “illness” of dependency, co-dependency, or addiction. They may have a different form of the same sickness, but they are quite aware of it and all it entails. It’s a story about saying, “I am not inheriting this part of my family.” Some do, and some don’t.

My hope for all of you who are stressed out is that you all learn this about life.
It will make your living so much better!

I thank you for stopping by today and reading. I’m off to enjoy this person, the Babe, who is my best friend. We will have a nice, quiet day. No Easter egg hunts, but just a few thoughts about the gift all Christians received today. Whether you asked for it or not. We are all blessed. Thankful. Grateful. I will see you here again tomorrow. Blessings!

This Too Shall Pass

It’s all going to be all OK. I know it is. Just have to get through the next two and a half weeks.

You know the feelings you have when you’ve been dealing with things out of the ordinary (say, medical/health issues)? It’s been a very long six weeks, and this tough exterior is starting to crack. Yes, as together as we all think we are, we’re but mere humans and we get worn out, worn down, and wobegon. Don’t you just love the word wobegon? It brings to mind hearing Garrison Keillor and his stories told, painstakingly slow, as only he can. They were worth waiting for every word. He can make me laugh. That’s what I’m in need of right now, laughter.

I get a tremendous kick out of reading things that make me laugh out loud. Babe (Dan) just looks at me, then I say, “You’ve just got to listen to this.” Then I proceed to read sometimes an entire page to him from what I’m reading. Sometimes he’ll laugh, sometimes not. He never says anything, he just listens. That’s the Babe, always listening. It is one of his finer qualities, for which I’m eternally grateful. He’s patient while I carry on.

I am also listening to Peanuts Greatest Hits, by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. This is on purpose, it’s some of the greatest Jazz there is. Jazz always lifts my spirits. And even more so with Snoopy on guitar, Schroeder on piano, and Pig Pen on bass.

In two and a half weeks, I’ll be hearing the Christmas tunes while I’m working on my novel. Last year, I didn’t put up a Christmas tree. Things weren’t going great and I just didn’t have any Christmas cheer. First time since I left home. It is way different when your kids are all gone, and no one wants anything but cash or gift cards. Sure, it’s easier, but nothing can make a person feel as good as picking out something with the gift receiver in mind. It is a good feeling. I miss the whole activity, shopping, wrapping, watching the person open the gift. Hopefully you get it right and they love it.

In the past, we have adopted kids through our church to shop for. Samaritan’s Purse had a very good program. When our granddaughter Addison went to Sunday School, we did that, and filled a red box for a little boy and a red box for a little girl. The photos and email’s about those children really make you think about how very fortunate we all really are.

Aside from Garrison Keillor, another humorous author I love to read is Bill Bryson. It all started with the movie, A Walk in the Woods. I read the book after seeing the movie, and the first half of the book, I laughed until I couldn’t stop. It was addicting. The Babe had a lot of passages read to him from that book. The second half of the book educated me about the National Parks and many things about these beautiful places I did not know. My family was all about learning from reading. I really appreciate that about that crazy bunch of people I grew up around. Always an adventure with them and a book.

The key to any reading experience at this point in time is time and quiet. With a puppy in the house, that’s about impossible. She explores a lot, and the doors to Babe’s office and my studio remain closed, as do the bathroom door, our bedroom door, and the laundry room door when I remember. Otherwise, the familiar search for Goldie, making sure she’s not squatting somewhere she shouldn’t, and saying, “What are you chewing on?” The Babe is doing great with taking care of her, it’s really lifting his spirits. That is so necessary for healing.

So for now, this is my circus and these are my monkeys, so to speak. It is a beautiful sunny day. I will find a stack of beautiful, happy music to hear while I write today, and all will be well, here at my little part of Lake Wobegon. It’s OK to visit there, but I don’t want to stay too long. That just isn’t me.

 

Love my Veterans

What I remember about Veterans Day as a kid was about the Armistice which ended WWI. From Wikipedia:

The Armistice of 11 November 1918 was the armistice signed at Le Francport near Compiègne that ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War I between the Allies and their opponent, Germany. Previous armistices had been agreed with Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Once I started high school in the fall 1966, Father Vernon announced a moment of silence, at 11:11 am, on 11/11, and every classroom was quiet. We understood what it all meant. And we respected it.

Now, in present times, we have a kid in You Tube saying kids shouldn’t know about WWII. It’s too traumatic. Life is traumatic at times. Everyone needs to learn to deal with it. Period. Yes, even little kids. Life isn’t touchy-feely. It will eat you up and spit you out if you do not know to cope with the harsh parts of it.

As the Vietnam War dragged on, I was appalled at how the veterans were treated. It was very wrong. This era may have been when as a society, we began to consider respect a thing of the past. I believe we quit having respect for those who keep us free, those who serve and protect as first responders, and those who are elected to lead our great nation. Can you disagree?? Yes, and you should do it respectfully.

We have many veterans my extended family. My dad and his three brothers all served. A few years ago, I purchased memorial bricks to be placed around the flagpole at the Benson VFW Post 2503.

From the far right, my Grandfather, Father, and two Uncles. The family served in WWI, WWII, and Korea. Proud of them all.

A few years ago, I petitioned the Army to receive my dad’s medals. Two Bronze Stars. We never knew.

Veterans Day isn’t about free meals, it isn’t about a sale at JC Penney or Nebraska Furniture Mart. It is about those who
who served. Those who came home and those who did not. Those who came home and settled into mundane lives, all the while thanking their God that they returned home. Those who returned home but are still fighting a worse war because it is a war within themselves.

The Band of Brothers and Sisters extends through all branches, none are omitted. The example of their brotherhood is amazing. They are always there for each other. When you have entrusted your life to another soldier, you can say you are comrades, brothers in arms.

God Bless all of you. And may God continue to bless America. What do you think of on Veterans Day? Leave a comment, like the blog post and my site, and you will be entered to win a $50 Visa Gift Card. Drawing on December 1, 2019. Thank you for reading and 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!

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.