NaNoWriMo 2015

NaNo-2015-Participant-Banner

I’ve participated in, and loved, NaNoWriMo for the past three years. This year, however, I decided not to because I have two WIP’s I really want to focus on editing.

The problem?

I’m not getting it done. I had a writing schedule that I followed faithfully for a while, but that “while” didn’t last very long.

Here’s how it goes more often than not, or some variation of it:

I see it’s time to sit down to write. I really should throw a load of laundry in first. The dishwasher needs to be started. I need to make a quick phone call first. Ok, now I can write. Oh wait! I need a cup of coffee/can of root beer/square of chocolate–you get the idea–first. Whew! That’s done. Okay, now I can write. I sit down at my desk, or usually my floor desk because I love to write sitting on the floor. The door is closed, I’m ready to write until I hear a little scratch on the door–the dog wants in. The dog is in the room laying by my side. NOW I can begin. My phone rings. It’s one of my boys. I have to take this call. Family first. Checking to see if I’m going to be home because he’s stopping by for a visit. Are you kidding me??? I LOVE when my boys come by. That takes priority over everything. Or it might be my other son asking if I can watch my granddaughter. Again, are you kidding me??? I would move mountains to be able to spend time with my precious princess.

Again, family first. I need to get the toys out, especially the playdoh, watercolors, and sidewalk chalk because she’s a budding little artist,¬†child-proof the house, and figure out what I will feed her for lunch/dinner, etc. I may even need to run to the store to get a special snack for her.

So! I’m finally able to sit down to write and remember the laundry needs to be folded, the bathrooms need to be cleaned, I need to make dinner for my husband and perhaps even have a conversation with him…

You get the picture.

While I decided to spend time on my WIP’s rather than create a new project, it wasn’t getting done. And all because of one little word–well, okay, two words. Procrastination and guilt. They’re best friends, in case you didn’t know that. Putting everything else first to make writing time perfect, and feeling guilt over taking time to write when I should be doing something “important.” Oh, yes, that “should” word is a writer’s enemy in case you haven’t figured that out yet.

So NaNoWriMo it is! The fun, support, fun, motivation, fun, and inspiration I get from being part of a tribe of writers, the positive energy that flows through the keyboard knowing I’m part of such a huge mutual goal…WOW! It’s the justification I need to sit my butt down and write. Seat. In. Chair. Or on the floor, in my case. Family still comes first, and it always will, but the rest of what threatens to take control of my time no longer does during November. And who knows? Maybe that will stay with me for a while, however long that “while” may be.

It’s not too late to decide to jump on the NaNoWriMo train. Just hop on over to the website here and create your novel. Ready, set, go! ūüôā

 

 

The Rainbow After the Rain

This morning as I was doing my “prayer and meditation time,” finally feeling better after having a flu bug that knocked me down harder than I can ever remember, I thought about something my sweet¬†grandma said I told her numerous times years ago.

“Grandma, I like getting tummy aches ’cause it feels so good when they go away.”

She said she thought it was so funny when I said that.

However, maybe I was on to something at that young age, with that sentiment that was difficult for grandma to understand.

It’s not by avoiding the difficulties that we get to see the joy, but by going through them. By embracing them even.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (James 1:2)

Going through the pain of losing loved ones has led me to a greater appreciation for the people who are still in my life.

Going through the devastation of suicide with a boyfriend years ago and with my stepdaughter later has led me to an empathy for others experiencing that devastation, enabling me to shine a light so they, too, can get through that very black space of so many questions and so much guilt.

Going through the process of healing after being sexually assaulted by a stranger at the young age of 18, working my way through the fear and turmoil that followed me for years, the PTSD, has given me the aptitude to help other victims of crime along that dark, lonely path. The path that only a survivor can possibly understand and give hope to the still suffering that there is light at the end of that tunnel.

August 14, 2013 036

At the risk of sounding clich√©, it’s not until after the rain and the cracks of thunder, frightening¬†bolts of lightning, that we can see the incredible rainbow that brings peace and awe.

While I wouldn’t count it joy while in the midst of those dark times, the fact that there was joy in my life afterward is nothing short of miraculous. Those trials have led me to a closer relationship¬†with my God. My Savior–literally. Left to my own, I would not have survived, but He carried me through those troubling times. Like the footprints in the sand poem.

footprints-in-sand1

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

And today? I’m so thankful I’m feeling better and embrace this day with renewed energy and passion for health.

Peace, my friends. Have a beautiful day.

“K” is for…

Kindness

I read a post yesterday on a blog I follow, In Her Words Avenue, and it reminded me of an incident that happened several years ago that, each time I think of it, reminds me never to underestimate the power of kindness.  Its ripple effect travels endlessly.

When my grandfather was lying in a hospital bed, the angel of death at his door, family members surrounded him as he breathed his last few breaths.  My grandfather was  the pillar, the cornerstone, of our family, and his death left a huge void in each of our hearts.

The deacon’s wife from my grandpa and grandma’s church,¬†such a¬†kind, warm-hearted woman,¬†stayed with our family offering comfort in presence and in kind words.¬†And I will never forget her words.¬† My grandpa’s name was Vince, and she said ever so gently, “The bus to heaven was coming through town, there was one seat available, and Vince was chosen for that last seat to heaven.”

Wow! Hearing my grandfather was on his way to heaven brought a blanket of peace.¬† I had not a single doubt that my grandpa would go to heaven, the God-loving, God-honoring man that he was, so it’s not that I needed to hear someone say it, but the validation in this kind woman’s words was music to my soul.

To this day, her words and her kindness  echo through my life when I least expect it.  She made a difference to a grieving family that day and long afterward.

That evening on her way home from the hospital, the deacon’s wife was in a car accident and went Home to her Lord.¬† The same Lord that so mercifully and lovingly¬†sent her to comfort our family in our time of grief. He knew we needed her.

There wasn’t just one seat left on that bus, but two.¬† And I can just imagine my grandfather escorting her through the gates of heaven.

Today I’ve been encouraged to re-commit to making it a daily practice to live more intentionally,¬†making it a point to¬†say at least one kind thing to someone every day.

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† -Scott Adams (1957)

Peace.

 

Ten of My Very Favorite Things

1)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The smell of a fresh rain–and the sound of it falling while snuggled in a sleeping bag in a tent with a good book.¬† It has been a long time, but the memory is vivid.

2.)           The smell of fresh brewed coffee, and that first cup of the morning. Yummmmm.

Coffee cup

3.)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Snuggling up with a quilt made from squares of my grandmother’s clothes after she went home to Jesus. Covering up with that quilt after a bad day or when I’m not feeling well is like being enveloped in a hug from my grandma, who was a second mother to me.

photo (22)

4.)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Sitting around the bonfire after dark roasting marshmallows and making s’mores, listening to the crackling of the fire and watching the flames spark and the embers glow in hues of blue and orange, and watching the sparks of light from the fireflies off in the woods.S'more

5.)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Sitting on a dock by the lake watching¬† the sun sparkle on the water’s surface looking like a million sparkling diamonds.

6.)           The smell of Night Blooming Jasmine body lotion from Bath and Body Works.

7.)           The feeling of accomplishment after an intense kickboxing session or a long run drinking in all of nature surrounding me.

8.)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Beginning each day with prayer and ending each day in prayer and a gratitude list, naming and recognizing blessings given to me that day. That makes for a beautiful day and a restful night’s sleep.

9.)           Long bike rides on the Platte Trail in Colorado or the Paul Bunyan Trail in Minnesota to connect with God and that encourage and open my mind to create ideas for writing.

Paul Bunyan trail, Brainerd MN

10.)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† And the very best of all, all of my family members–including my dog, Roxie–under one roof at the same time, watching them interact, knowing they are all safe and happy.¬† A mother’s greatest joy.

All is Grace.