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!




Wednesday, April 1, 2020

STILL SAFE ... AN IWSG POST

Hi All,

It is already the first Wednesday of the month! I am glad I realized it before the day was out...
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 anxious...

I am hoping and praying everyone is well during this crisis. Sadly, at this time we are all sharing the same insecurity. But we must all remember that we must not panic and just take it one day at a time. We all know what to do to stay safe, but there are those people who think they are immune and care more about their own agendas than staying home like the rest of us. We must pray for these people because these are the people that will be spreading this horrific virus.

I am proud of our smaller community(Lake Buena Vista) in Orlando. People here are staying home and leaving only for the necessities. Vineland Avenue, which is usually bumper to bumper with Premium Outlet shoppers and families going to Disney, is now empty. I see only the occasional walker or jogger, keeper their distances from one another and me. The grocery stores are complying and keeping customers the proper distance and disinfecting the carts. Overall, I feel somewhat safe. I have never washed my hands so much, but if it will save my life, I will continue to do so.

I am anxious about one thing though. This virus is keeping me here in Orlando. I had come down for a much-needed vacation after finishing my kitchen remodel in my new house up in NW Illinois. I arrived on March 3rd ready for a few fun months of Disney, Universal, and Sea World. I honestly had no idea how bad this virus would become, or I would have never left. A week or so later, all the Orlando parks closed. Now I am stuck. Not sure when I will be able to travel north again. Almost all the states have restrictions, and I would have to travel through five states to get home. 

Since we are all writers, we are comfortable staying home for days at a time, but this is very different. I am a social person and not being able to visit friends or go out for meals is certainly depressing me. There are only so many movies and shows I can watch before I am ready to scream...and trust me, I have. It does help...so if you feel the need...let it rip! Lol

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 my friends. Keep in touch. WE need each other now more than ever.

Sending you all TONS OF VIRTUAL HUGS!





Sunday, February 16, 2020

TIME FOR AN EARTHLY ANGELS POST....

Hi All,

Sorry, I have been so scarce, but the new year started off bumpy for me. As most of you know, I went in for a basal cell removal in the first week of January. Sadly the cell was much bigger than expected. They took out a rather large chunk from the right side of my nose. Needless to say, the swelling and pain were unbearable at times, but thankfully I managed to persevere I always do. lol The swelling is finally coming down, but now the scar is more prevalent than ever. Harry Potter has nothing on me. LOL... I just wish mine was on my forehead too, instead of front and center on my nose. The scar is the full length from the top of my bridge to the tip. Not pretty. I am hoping with time and the scar cream it will diminish. Time will tell. If all fails, I will need laser or reconstructive surgery. Let us hope and prayer it fades.

I thought I would give you an update on my situation before getting to the real reason why I am posting.

As you can see from the title I had another Earthly Angel encounter! It has been quite a while and although I haven't posted any stories, I am hoping you have encountered an EA in your lives.

This story begins as yet another friend of mine had lost something precious to them. This time a wallet (last time it was a purse). My friend was clearing out his storage unit and haphazardly flung his coat and his wallet fell out. I had no idea of this until I received a phone call from a stranger in Chicago looking for my friend (apparently my number was in there). He asked me how he could get in touch with my friend. Stephen was so incredibly sweet. He was so concerned about my friend losing his wallet, he could only think of getting in touch with my friend as soon as possible. 

As soon as I finished talking with Stephen, I called my friend. He was on the road moving three hours outside of Chicago and was more than halfway to his destination. He realized he lost his wallet only minutes before I phoned him. He was running low on gas and pulled into a gas station. Realizing it was missing, he was just about to go into a panic. Thankfully I calmed him immediately with the good news. 

I phoned Stephen back. We chatted for a while and I realized he was an EA. He wanted nothing but to help. My friend was willing to head back to Chicago to pick up his wallet, but Stephen insisted he would send it out special delivery the following day. Since it was after five on Sunday, he waited until Monday morning. My friend insisted on giving him a gift card or something for his kindness, but he downright refused. He kept saying it was no inconvenience at all and he knew how it felt to lose a wallet because he lost his last year and sadly his wasn't returned. 

Like clockwork, my friend's wallet was returned to him. Not only was everything intact, but he didn't even use the money inside to send the wallet ... he paid the postage out of his own pocket! How honorable is that? 

Naturally, my friend sent him the postage back and insisted on sending him a gift card for him and his wife to have dinner. I texted Stephen that his package would arrive, and he was not all happy. He really didn't want anything for his kindness. But, my friend is kind, too, and once I explained that to Stephen, he agreed on enjoying a meal as a thank you for his good deed.

Imagine...even in a big city like Chicago, there are Earthly Angels around. Rember this when traveling through big cities. Not all city people are ruthless and unkind. There are EA's EVERYWHERE!!! And it was my pleasure to post about Stephen today. 

Thank you, Stephen. May you remain as kind as you are and continue to help others who need your help. It is a wonderful gift to be an EA...

I hope I find all of you well and in good health. I am finally relaxing and enjoying my new kitchen! YES...it is finally done! I can cook and bake again. Although it was stressful, the end result is a beautiful, Italian, Tuscan-like kitchen... Here are a few pics...




 I just love the fireclay farmhouse sink! 


I am also enjoying the mudroom. With all the snow we've been having it's great not to have to track Hamlet through the front with his wet paws.



Wednesday, January 8, 2020

A NEW YEAR...A NEW BEGINNING! AN IWSG POST....

HI ALL,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It's 2020! WOW! I still can't believe it! Wasn't it only "yesterday" we were doing the "Y2K" thing and now it's TWENTY years later. We all have cell phones, computers, and every new gadget created in this new century. But, we still have our old anxieties lurking in the background and we drag them into each new year and decade. I say..."LET'S leave THEM in the PAST and start fresh. A new year and a new decade...Yay! What do you say? Agreed? You, bet!

First, the one thing I don't want to forget about is the wonderful people behind the IWSG! It's bigger and better than ever. Who would have ever imagined the success of this group thanks to the founder and our friend, Alex...here! here! This organization has catapulted into far more than any of us would have ever imagined. 

For those of you who have not joined, please do by stopping by Alex's blog and signing up right away...we need you! We can ALL use good advice and we all have some to give to others who are in need. I know I am thrilled and honored to be apart of it. 

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday. For me, well, it was interesting, to say the least. I traveled for three days in a fifteen-foot truck from Florida to my new country home in Galena, IL. When I arrived the place was covered in construction dust... and to top that, my kitchen was completely ripped out and had NO WALLS. I FREAKED...of course... who wouldn't? So now I was faced with only three weeks until Christmas and would be living in barely livable space. 

After my mini-breakdown, I dug in and started to clean. In four days, I managed to create a somewhat inhabitable place. Over the past five weeks, the house is now set, EXCEPT for the kitchen. I am staying here until it is done! Hopefully in a few more weeks. I finally have walls. LOL.

Writing took a back seat. I had planned to come to my new country haven and finish the remaining chapter of MK. HA! Talk about anxiety. I could barely breathe. Also, looming over me is the prospect of my basal cell removal surgery scheduled for tomorrow (just a small spot, pre-cancer, nothing to worry about...I hope and pray. That's what the doctor told me, anyway). On the plus side, I need to rest and not do anything strenuous to mar my face, SO,  now I have two weeks of post-op to chain myself to my computer and FINISH my editing. I will certainly do my best to IGNORE the construction dust, the noise from the kitchen floor install, cabinet install, etc. This is going to be quite a task for me... I may need to be drugged. LOL. I would appreciate some good vibes and prayers at this time for keeping my sanity and for the surgery. I am hoping once I immerse back into my manuscript, I will block out the rest. One can hope.

I will also be visiting your blogs as much as possible after every few hours of work. Although I am editing, I also have to write about five more chapters... no, I still haven't written them yet, but now I will.

Thanks for all your support and friendship throughout the years. Even though many of us have cut down on our blogging to a bare minimum, I still know we all love to keep in touch with our blogger buddies and wish them the best in their writing journeys and in their personal lives. I may disappear for a while, but the community is always in my thoughts and prayers. And...I always return. LOL

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE, and may 2020 be a HAPPY AND HEALTHY year for all of us!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

SLOW DOWN...LIVE THE LIFE YOU ARE MEANT TO LEAD.... AN IWSG POST

Hi All!

This year is flying by and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. What a crazy rollercoaster ride of a year. At least it has been for me.  Starting a new life is always difficult, but when you do so in later years, it means so much more. When you are young, you "go with the flow" and let life happen to you. But as you mature into middle age, you think of only planning each and every step very carefully. As we all know, LIFE has a tendency to leave hurdles in our way. You find that you are traveling on much bumpier roads than imagined. But, through it all, one has to persevere. Which leads me to my point...


Like with LIFE, one has to persevere with their writing. I am proof of that! I have been writing for the past decade, and I have yet to be traditionally published. Yes, I have had blurbs, book covers, and essays published, but not any of my novels. That will hopefully change in the forthcoming year. Now that I am on my way to my next level of life, it is time to finish up the manuscript I have been working on for two years. MOMMY KAY will be finished. It is time. We all work at our own pace and putting UNNECESSARY pressure on ourselves to "pump" out a new book every year is just too much. Writing is supposed to be a joyous thing. It is not meant to create stress for ourselves. So if you are in the middle of a manuscript and are frustrated that you have not finished it yet, DON'T. ENJOY the journey... Life is too short and we need to live it. I have lost of few friends this year. They "moved on" way before they should have. Enjoy each day. Slow down and take in your surroundings. Our writing will always be there waiting for us. With each new life experience, your writing will take on a new facet...remember the brilliance of a diamond comes from the many facets that are cut into it.  Just like with amazing and brilliant writing, our life experiences will flow into the facets of each story we write.

My journey has been a very slow one, but I am okay with that. When the time comes for my story to be published it will and when it does, my readers will live my story through my words. That is what wonderful writing is all about!

So take heart, live life, and enjoy the wonders that will unfold before you.

Another holiday season is upon us. Slow down, enjoy the time with your family and friends. When the new year evolves, then start it off fresh with a new spark of life.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! May you all be truly blessed and thankful.

I know I am thankful for the IWSG and for the many people who give their time and talent to continue its success. When Alex first started this group, I was one of the first to join. If you have not already, drop by his blog and sign up...Thank you all in the IWSG, WE love you!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

IWSG... IN MIDDLE OF MOVING.

Hi ALL,

Sorry, I don't have time to do a full post since I am in the process of moving. I hope you all have a wonderful October...see you next month!