Come Here to share your stories.
Come Here to share your stories.
I went for a walk today, alone and social distancing, while I listened to music. It was an amazing, warm, sunny day, and the song Living Hope by Phil Wickham came on at the same time I saw a man with 5 little girls dressed in bright colors, all twirling around and laughing (the girls, not the man 😂). Such needed food for the soul during this time in our world. It reminded me that no matter what happens, no matter the state of our world, everything is going to be okay, because He is in control. 🙏💖
Listen and Enjoy.
2019 was a challenging year in many aspects, but the lessons learned make everything a gift. Top lessons learned in 2019:
Have you learned anything in 2019 that you will bring with you into 2020? Please share.
We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. -Edith Lovejoy Pierce
We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives … not looking for flaws but for potential. -Ellen Goodman
Every year at work I create a gratitude poster. I hang it in the breakroom, provide a couple of Sharpie markers, and send out the expected office-wide email. I say “expected office-wide email” because I’ve been doing this for 10+ years.
I work at a District Attorney’s Office so we see a lot of heartbreaking, soul-ripping things that people do to one another. Secondary trauma is a very real thing. So a little gratitude goes a long way in getting through the days in a healthy way. It helps to write down what we’re thankful for as well as read what others are thankful for. It changes one’s perspective. There have been numerous studies done on gratitude and the effect it has on the human mind. It’s one of the easiest and most inexpensive mental health treatments available. I’ve had a ton of positive feedback regarding this poster and we get a little bit of everything written down. Some of them make us laugh–which is therapeutic in itself–some make us ponder, and some warm our hearts. Below is an image of this year’s poster. Enjoy!
Always grateful. Grateful always.
At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. – Albert Schweitzer
NaNoWri is well underway and I’m keeping up. Barely, but I am. Typically I like to get ahead during the first week so I have some fudge room. Not so this month. In fact I got behind and took the weekend to catch up. I set aside a day at our place in the mountains, by myself, no husband and no dogs, and just got down to business. I also scheduled two 2-hour writing sessions on Monday since it was a holiday where I work my day job.
This NaNo stuff isn’t for the weak of heart. It’s hard stuff. But it’s also some of the most satisfying and rewarding times as well. There’s something about setting a goal and striving to reach it, no matter what, that is so inspiring.
It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
So onward. I have words to write, a goal to meet, and a journey that matters. Until next week…
If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. –Toni Morrison
The human race seems so busy “doing” that we forget to just “be.” Never hesitate to press the pause button on the busy-ness of life and enjoy simply being with your loved ones.
Doing life with others brings incredible joy.
― Karen Ehman,
NaNo No-No’s–try say that fast three times!
Last week I listed some must-have’s for NaNoWriMo participants. This week I’m sharing a couple of things you’d do well to steer clear of and a couple of tips.
Stop your inner critic and editor. They seem to be persistent little buggers during NaNoWriMo, and they’re exactly what will stop you from getting your word count in. Stop them as soon as they start, before they have a chance to gain momentum. There will be plenty of time in the “Now What” months of January and February for letting your inner editor take charge when NaNo supports the revision and publishing process. It might not be a bad idea to keep the inner critic away much longer though. Unless s/he can be gentle.
Don’t compare yourself with anyone else. Accept your process. Don’t compare your process, what works for you, with anyone else’s. We are all individual, and writing isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. Each person’s process is as unique as the person is. Don’t try to conform to be anyone else. There’s only one you and only you can tell your story. Your way. Do it proudly and with confidence.
Schedule writing time. It’s all too easy to come up with a list of things that just have to be done. And getting those things done becomes the focus, telling yourself that you will get the writing done as soon as your list is complete. But there’s always going to be dishes to do, laundry to be done, toys to pick up, phones and emails to answer, dogs to walk, garbage to take, refrigerators to clean…Make appointments with yourself by scheduling your writing time–in ink so it can’t be erased–in your planner. And stick to it. If you make an appointment with someone, you wouldn’t cancel it because you didn’t think it was important enough to keep. An appointment with yourself is no different. You’re worth it.
Make a playlist. I love to write to music. And matching the genre to the scene I’m writing not only makes me more productive, but it adds depth to that scene. I love using Pandora because I can choose any station at any time. It’s quick, easy, and affordable. (Free, if you don’t mind listening to commercials.)
Reward yourself. When your dog accomplishes a trick, s/he likely gets a treat. Or when your child masters something, you more than likely reward him or her. Reward yourself. Set small goals for yourself throughout the month. Decide ahead of time what the goals will be and what the reward will be when you meet said goals. It will give you just that little extra push to git ‘er done. I’ll pretty much do anything if I can have dark chocolate. Or any kind of chocolate, for that matter. NaNo is no small feat. Looking at it as 50,000 words can be overwhelming if you don’t have smaller goals tucked within.
Absolutely no one loses! If you make it to 50,000 words, good for you! You’re a winner! Your dedication and persistence paid off. But guess what? If you don’t make it to 50,000 words, you’re still a winner! Every word you write is more than you had before the month of November. And every word is one more closer to writing the story that only you can tell. And the world needs your story.
The scariest moment is always just before you start.
That’s the thing about books, they let you travel without moving your feet.
Some more of nature’s beauty. As you’ve probably been able to tell by now, I absolutely love sunrises and sunsets. God’s love language to His children.
There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them. ― Jo Walton
And the yellow sunflower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood.
― William Cullen Bryant
Every sunset is an opportunity to reset.
― Richie Norton
Anyone remember B. Dalton, Waldenbooks, or Borders? If you’re a writer, you likely remember all of them well. To authors, brick and mortar bookstores are the equivalent of water to a river.
We all dream of having our books holding space on the shelves. Even before I began to take my writing seriously, I spent endless hours dreaming of that exact thing at one of the bookstores in the city in which I lived for many years. Anyone remember Media Play? It was exactly what it sounds like–a bookstore, a movie store, a music store–all things media. It was a dream!
A couple of weeks ago we were in a town that has a Barnes and Noble bookstore. My husband and I looked at each other, no words needed, and both headed in that direction. I felt like a little girl going into a toy store. The minute I opened the door the smell of books hit me full on and I thought I was about to drool. I paused for a moment and inhaled deeply before proceeding into the store.
I headed for the coffee shop and ten minutes later stood in awe of all the talent from creatives that surrounded me. Memories of days past, before life became so busy, flooded my mind. At Media Play curled up in one of the chairs with a coffee and a book. At Borders camped out on the floor, sitting cross-legged in front of shelves of books, in author/reader heaven. At the mall, veering off into Waldenbooks, disappearing behind walls of books.
We didn’t stay long (it was close to closing time). But the half hour we were there, the memories, the smell of coffee and books, the sheer joy of it all, was worth far more than what we spent on the numerous books we left with.
When was the last time you were in a brick and mortar bookstore?
You see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are, simply put, the best of places.