Wednesday, December 2, 2020

A DECEMBER IWSG_HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


 Hi Everone!

Sorry I am posting so late. I just realized it is the first of the first Wednesday of the month. Thanks to Alex and all the IWSG hosts, we are able to catch up and air our anxieties and share our advice to others as well. If you would like to join, please click on the site and sign up!


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Even in these troubled times, I was able to have a few friends over. I had two tables separated by twelve feet and one family was at one and the other was with me and a few close friends. It was a cool day, but we managed to enjoy ourselves with throws and the help of an outdoor heater. One of my friends said it was one of the best Thanksgivings she had ever had. It was a wonderful day and it was nice to have some normalcy.

For the past few months, I have been deligently working on the exterior of my house. I tried several times to sit down and write, but with such limited time to finish before winter set in, I felt it was more important to spent my time away from writing. But now that the holidays are upon us, I will have time to write. YAY. This week I plan to finish putting up the Christmas decorations. Trying to stage a 2400 sq ft house plus the huge front porch is quite the challenge. For the first time in my life, I have a large enough space to actually put out ALL my decorations. And believe me, there are TONS. I can actually open up my own Christmas shop. I have four trees to decorate, a fireplace hearth, LR, DR, and kitchen... not to mention the entry and staircase. I have about half done, and I hope to complete the rest by the end of the weekend. THEN, and only then, can I work on my writing in between baking. Even though I don't foresee anyone spending Christmas Eve or Day with me, I hope to have an outdoor cocktail party for about eight people out on the front porch. I will be enclosing the porch with heavey canvas, and there will be a patio heater, so it should be warm enough with our coats on. I will have a real tree decorated out there, so it will look quite festive. The porch is such a wonderful space because of it's size. I'll post a pic on how I set it up for Thanksgiving.

I want to wish all of you a SAFE and HEATHY Holiday season. Please be careful in your travels and gatherings. We are not though this pandemic yet. Holidays can still be special with the proper planning. 

Sending you all a huge HUG and PRAYERS for you happiness and safety.











         

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

AUTUMN...A TIME FOR REFLECTION...A IWSG POST

 

Hi All!


I hope everyone is doing well. This time of year is certainly my favorite, even though allergies for me are at their highest. But, this does not damper my love for this time of year.

As the year closes, I tend to reflect on what had happened in my life during this time. Sadly, for most of us, Covid has taken a heavy toll. In 2008, I had to reinvent myself by looking for alternative income because my design business had closed for several years. That is when I picked up writing. Now, I find myself back in the same situation. Writing saved my sanity once, I am hopeful it will do it again. 

Shortly after my first novel, I had joined the blogger community and THIS community. I had met some of the most AMAZING people I had ever known and to this day, I still feel that way. Alex, is one of them. Without him, we would have the IWSG. Astonishing. To think, I was in the community when Alex first created this group. I am honored to be apart of it. Thank you, Alex, and all the countless others who have given so much of their love and time to help others in our community. IF you have not signed up yet, do so at his site.

Although this year has certainly been taxing, I am thankful for many things. I finally found the home of my dreams, and although it is a nightmare trying to pull it together, I have never been more happy with my residence. I did have to give up my Florida condo because of lack of business, but I am fine with that. I can now breathe again financially. And once again, I managed to use my time well, including getting back to my writing. After another readthrough and edit of my second novel, I have submitted it into the mentee program of PitMad. So, I am hoping one of the talented people who are giving their time to mentor, will find my novel intersting enough to take me on. For sure, it is a LONG SHOT, but you just never know. This may finally be my time. I had a lot of interest in this novel in the past, but I never managed to get signed by an agent. So, with a mentor's help, I may get over the next hurdle. 

As for my current WIP,  I hope to finish it by the end of the year. There are a few snaffu's with the person who's life I am writing about. We have a few areas that need to be ironed out before I complete the last few chapters. This has been a GRULING project and has taken me three times as long as my other two novels to write. But, with a bit more time and PATIENCE, I hope to get through it. Like my second novel, this one has great potential and I NEED to get it right.

Most writers know how difficult our journeys are, and I hope that we all get there in the end. It has been ten LONG years since I completed my first novel and I believe that this year will end well. Hope and prayers are our most powerful allies. 

Take care everyone, and stay safe!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

COOL AND CRISP-A NEW SEASON, BUT THE SAME OLD ANXIETIES- AN IWSG POST


 HI ALL Happy September!

Once again,  I am posting late. Thanks to my blogger pal, Michelle Wallace, I saw her FB post to remind me this is the first Wednesday of the month!

Thanks to our friend, Alex J. Cavanaugh, we get to post our anxieties or help others with theirs... A WONDERFUL day of the month. If you would like to join our group, hop over to Alex's site and SIGN UP.

As I prepare for my journey south, I am trying to finish up my current WIP. Most of us know the stress of moving, but when one has to travel almost 1500 miles to clear out their vacation home, then they have to load a truck and drive back the same 1500 miles in a fifteen-foot truck, the stress is epic. So, you can imagine how difficult it is to write, especially when you find out you have to add another story/chapter to the remaining chapters. (I am writing narrative non-fiction) I feel as though I will never finish. Just when I think I am down to the last two chapters, I have to keep adding more. UGH. But, at least I am writing. Many of you know I haven't written anything in months, but I am managing to write a chapter in a week to ten days. 

Thankfully, the weather is cooling and fall is definitely in the air. The nights and mornings are cooler and the sun sets earlier bringing down the heat in the early evening. I am also trying to squeeze in the remaining sanding and priming of my front porch. With only a few more months of painting weather before winter, I am crazed...nothing new there. LOL 

I thank you all for your good vibes and prayers as I prepare for my journey. Like most of you had said, masks, sanitizers, and washing hands will hopefully keep me safe as I journey to and from Florida. 

Next month I should be all settled back in and preparing for my much-needed vacation to Colorado for three weeks. November should be beautiful there and I am really looking forward to it. Of course, with the pandemic, it will not be as wonderful as it could be, but a change of scenery and escaping the house rehabbing, will do me good. 

TAKE CARE my Friends, and STAY SAFE! Sending a virtual hug to you all...


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

LIVING THROUGH THE WAVES OF ANXIETY...AN IWSG POST.

Hi All,

Once again it is time for another IWSG post. Thanks to Alex, we all get to meet once a month and share our insecurities. Please drop by his blog to sign up and JOIN OUR GROUP! 

I hope and pray all of you are healthy and well. In today's pressing times, we are all under a great deal of stress and anxiety. But how do we cope with it all? Trying to function in a world gone "WILD" is not an easy task. So many of us are reclusing, others are ignoring the situation and living their lives as if nothing is wrong. But sadly, life's situations are taking its toll. How on earth can any creative person keep up their momentum? 

Many of us are using other creative outlets which really does help. Cooking and baking have skyrocketed since March. I know I am still having a hard time trying to find basic baking essentials. Home projects are keeping many of us sane and busy. I should know. LOL, rehabbing a 1915 Craftsman home is a neverending battle. But what about staying focused on our writing? For me, I have definitely been affected by the times we live in, and my writing certainly has been on hold. LIFE is so crazy for many of us right now. But the funny thing is, I have started writing again. Not a lot, a few pages here and there, but I am writing! For which, I am very thankful. I have been on hiatus for so long with my WIP and it is taking me so much time just to finish up the last few chapters. I keep asking myself why? I wrote the first draft in about six months. After I had an editor look at it, her suggestions were, "Add more. I want to see more of everything and finish the story." I had thought it was finished, but she wanted me to write about Mommy Kay's complete life. Not just her life from the 50s-70s. 

The story is written from the POV of her daughter. Since this is, in reality, Kim's story, I have to include Kim's life and how it was affected by her mother. I realized this aspect of the story is far different from the zany and often insane world she grew up in with Mommy Kay. Now the story focuses on her marriages, child, and her work. A far cry from most of the book. How do I keep this section as exciting as the rest of the book? Will these final chapters drag down the story? I am honestly anxious and worried about it. There are a few MK situations woven into these chapters, but the focus has definitely shifted. This is my answer to why I have been procrastinating for so long. But how do I do it? All writers feel that parts of their manuscripts fall flat. And in fiction, I feel it is much easier to overcome these obstacles. But in non-fiction, how can you achieve this? You are working with a specific person's life. This is the question I ask all of you, non-fiction writers... Any suggestions? I could use some help on this one. 

I am hoping to wrap this up within the next couple of weeks if I can. If not, my writing goes back on hold. Another one of life's interventions. I have to return to Florida. I sold my condo and it needs to be cleared out. COVID is so bad there, I am freaking out about it. But I need to do this. Prayers and positive vibes would be greatly appreciated. Once I am safely at home again, I will breath easier.

Keep safe and healthy my friends. My prayers and good thoughts are always with you.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

MISSED POSTING FOR IWSG YESTERDAY.... SORRY EVERYONE!

Hi All,

SO sorry for missing the post yesterday. I COMPLETELY spaced it. Ugh. With all that is going on in the world and with my house, it is no wonder.

I wish you all a WONDERFUL, SAFE, AND HAPPY Month and Fourth of July! With all the parties going on, PLEASE play safely... this virus is OUT OF CONTROL. If anything is stressing me out at all this month, it is that. WORRYING about all of us!

SENDING all of you a HUGE VIRTUAL HUG!


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

TAKING A LESSON FROM MOTHER NATURE...AN IWSG POST



Hi All,

I hope everyone is doing well and safe!

Once again it is time for another IWSG post. Thanks to Alex, we all get to meet once a month and share our insecurities. Please drop by his blog to sign up and JOIN OUR GROUP! 

Thank God we are all here to spend another month together. Now that the country is slowly opening, I hope and pray we still remain well. I must admit it scares me, but life must persevere and we must retain a new and safer way to live. I have begun to socialize with some friends and neighbors. It is time. As long as we all take precautions, there is no reason why we can't socialize safely. I know the numbers will go up, but we can't stay at home forever. I have altered my lifestyle to stay safe and hopefully, within the year we will have more ammunition against this killer disease.

I woke up this morning somewhat renewed, surprising after an intense thunderstorm ragging through the night, freaking out my poor pup. But when I stepped outside and into my side garden, I didn't see fallen branches and puddles of water, I saw some of the most beautiful peonies blooming. Mother nature is truly amazing.

Some news on the writing front, I am happy to say that I did a final edit on my second novel. I had put it away for a few years but this will be the last tweaking; it is as clean as it will get. I already submitted it to a publisher, so we shall see what happens. I plan on querying it as well, hoping to nab a really good agent. As for Mommy Kay, I will be writing the last few chapters this week. I am pumped and ready thanks to the glorious flowers and the rebirth of nature. After two months of life's anxieties, it really is time for me to move ahead. We all need too, especially with what is happening in our country. We must keep positive and protect each other. Kindness and love can be a lot more powerful than evil and hate.

I hope you are all well and here's a pic of my peonies to brighten your day...sending you all a huge virtual hug!

 


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

SAFE AT HOME- AN IWSG POST...

Hi All,

I hope everyone is doing well and safe!

It is time for another IWSG post. Thanks to Alex, we all get to meet once a month and share our insecurities. Please drop by his blog to sign up and JOIN OUR GROUP! 

This month, in particular, has all of us living very different lives from a few months ago. Thankfully, I made it back to my home in NW IL. Staying safe at home here is much easier than it was in Orlando. Now living miles away from the Chicago crowds, I feel very safe in my little haven. People here understand the urgency to keep social distancing, YET, we still talk and share our daily lives. One can still social distance and have a comfortable social life. With the lovely warmer weather, I spend much of my time on my front porch. It is wonderful. The stress of the daily headlines still persist, but the anxiety I have felt for the past month has now subsided to a normal level. My advice is to spend as much time outdoors as you can. It is wonderfully therapeutic. My gardens are finally taking shape after hours and weeks of planting and replanting. I have forgotten how time-consuming gardening is, but it relieves so much tension and gets our bodies moving once more. My time in Florida was spent on a couch and watching TV twelve hours a day. Not good.

These trying times have also made my writing almost non-existent. I had done so well for a while, but this pandemic has stifled any creativity in me...until now. If you feel trapped and can't focus on your writing, DON'T feel bad or beat yourself up. Find another creative outlet...I found gardening. Eventually, you will get back to your writing because your stress and anxiety levels created by our troubled times will slowly dissipate. 

Once I finish planting the remaining shrubs and trees, I will get back to writing. I actually did start re-reading my current WIP to get back into my story so that I can finally finish it. I also began reading my previous novel. It has been a few years and I decided it was time to start the query process again. This year I had purchased GRAMMERLY... it is a wonderful program to catch those pesky typos and other writing issues. So, I decided to download this work chapter-by-chapter... I was ASTONISHED how many typos it caught...I had five CP's edit it, as well as the twenty-plus times I had read through it. This program is totally worth the investment. I needed this. Try reading you previous works, it's working for me to forget the current situation for a while and write. 

Stay well, my friends, and keep your loved ones close. Social media is very helpful in this department. If you feel overwhelmed, take a walk, even if it's just around the block. It will clear your mind.

We all have to try and keep our sense of humor and I am VERY GRATEFUL to all of you posting funny pics and anecdotes on Facebook. They are definitely helping me, and I am sure others, too.

Stay safe. Keep in touch. WE need each other.

Sending you all TONS OF VIRTUAL HUGS!