Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Welcome To 2019, The New Year! IWSG in January

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Welcome to 2019, a new year for all of us to discover. Here are some quotes I thought summed up what I would like to share with all of you. I hope you enjoy them and perhaps take one or more of them to heart.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're 
Doing Something.
So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: 

                                                     art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you're scared 
                                                     of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
Neil Gaiman

 This one is appropriate for all writers...
“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”
Brad Paisley 

This one is special, hitting it right on the head,
“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
Oprah Winfrey


I hope you all had wonderful and productive holidays (productive in that you had FUN!) and that this new year brings new light and wonder and fantastic-ness into your life. 
Please click HERE to find out the winners of the newest anthology, which will be coming soon!
Flying book mural in Columbus, Ohio

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional! 
January 2 question – What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?
I like people asking how I write and what inspires my stories. 
I don't like when someone asks me, "How is the writing going?" 
 
The #IWSGPit Twitter pitch is once a year now – and the next one is Tuesday, January15.
Don’t miss it!
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

The IWSG Goodreads Group is currently reading
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
The discussion will start January 23, 2019 and will go to the end of the month, but it will be up indefinitely, so you can hop in whenever you're able.

The stupendous co-hosts for the January 2 posting of the IWSG are:
Please visit them and thank them for co-hosting and getting the year off to a great start! 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Sunday Selections #1

Welcome to Sunday Selections.
My first post in joining the others participating in Sunday Selections is about The Okefenokee Swamp in South Georgia. A lush, vibrant, hot, buggy, and beautiful microcosm of life to remind us winter doesn't last forever. The swamp is fun to visit and easy to get to, and kids love it. Well worth the time to put on your itinerary, and thought you're pretty much guaranteed to see at least one alligator, you'll most likely more, not to mention turtles, spiders, all kinds of birds, and fish.
Thanks to Drifting through life for keeping Sunday Selections alive for us latecomers to find.
Bird song fills the forest as you boat through the swamp.

The small canals running throughout the swamp give good access to wildlife in and out of the water.

First alligator of the day!

Lily pads, cypress trees, swamp grass... the list of plants is endless.

The boardwalk that runs to the tower we are in. The view stretches forever...

The cypress trees give the clear water its brown color, like a strong cup of tea, but I wouldn't want to drink it!
Do you see the 16 footer in the water behind Florent?

Our young French friend, Florent touching his first alligator!

We survived the Okefenokee!!!

Here is a smaller one in one of the "zoo" like areas.

This one just hangs out wherever it wants to, wow.


Sunday, December 09, 2018

WEP Heartfelt


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HEARTFELT

The hour was so early it was still night outside as I entered the church. To call it a church was almost a misnomer. More like a cathedral, its vaulted ceiling so high it shimmered in the dim lighting, the arches swooping up as if great arms held the heavens in their carved and smoothed never-ending strength.
The damp chill almost crystallized on my face as I closed the huge wooden door behind me. The silence set upon my ears like an insulating blanket, warming me despite the chill.
Emptiness echoed my steps as I turned to the left and walked the isle toward the chapel I needed. I passed two other alcoves on my way, but their saints were not the one I had faith in.
For years it’s been a habit of mine that whenever I visit a church or cathedral, I light candles. Thin ones, fat ones, tall ones, short ones, sometimes in little glasses, red or clear. Sometimes they sit on spikes, sometimes in metal holders in rows. Sometimes the candles just take up space on a wax-dripped surface all mixed up in size. Once, in a small chapel in a cave, the candles were on an uneven, smoothed by time and many hands part of the wall that jutted into the tiny chamber and served as a candle holder.
Traveling as much as I have, churches have become a mainstay, some famous, most not, yet each of them infused with a sense of purpose, and solemnity, of quiet and peace, and sometimes hope, no matter the faith of those who built or used it.
This time I had not come just to visit. I’m not a religious person in the traditional sense. I feel Spirit in everything and everywhere. Sometimes it doesn’t feel god-like to call it God, but I do because others are more comfortable with that name. The moment I entered this church, that by someone’s deeming was unfit to be labeled a cathedral, I felt the calm and peace I so desperately needed. I hurried my steps. My heart yearned, my need overshadowed everything.
I reached the small chapel of St. John and now felt trepidation. I had lit so many candles all over the world thinking of the many friends or family I knew that I felt would be happy to know someone thought enough of them to light a candle in another country for them. This time was different. This time my heart was on the line, and so was another's.
I have, since the day I met her called my mother in law my other-mother. She took me into her safe keeping before I even met, much less married, her step-son, and made me her own. She is the cherished being who understood much in me, a young woman searching the world to find herself but still at the mercy of random bouts of homesickness. She gave me tea, aspirin, and a hot water bottle when the homesickness hit, without questions, and then taught me how to walk a dog and polish a silver teapot. A practical woman.
Now my other-mother lay in a hospital fighting for her life. Her amazing, loving heart was damaged. So, I approached the chapel now with my own heart fighting against doubt and hoping against hope that lighting a prayer candle for her would help. She was in another country from me, so I couldn’t sit by her bed. I couldn’t hold her hand or give words of comfort. All I could do was this simple act. A simple act that had over time become more meaningful for me than anything I could describe as simple.
I stood in front of the chapel. There was the candle rack with at least ten candles burning. There were the new candles waiting to be lit. There was the little box for my coins or paper money. And there were the matches in case they were needed.
Seeing the ten candles already burning on the rack fortified me against my worry. The warm golden light they cast created shadows within the arched chapel area. St. John stood with arms spread, hands open, vulnerable, offering, as if of himself, to sacrifice whatever it would take to give solace to those in need.
I didn’t want to ask anything for myself and yet my need overwhelmed all but the image of her. The thought of losing my other-mother was more than I could bear. She was my angel on earth. She was my haven. She had given me strength for over thirty years and I wasn’t read to lose her.
But today was not about me. I sighed and walked to the candle rack. The first candle my fingers touched was white, smooth and cold. It had a small seam running down its side, slightly damaged, not perfect. I smiled. This was the right one. I reached over and lit the wick from a ready flame on one of the ten who awaited this one. The candle flickered in my hand while I searched for the right spot on the rack. Once I placed it, my eyes found St. John again before I closed them and lifted my face to the heavens. It was my turn to give to my other-mother as she had given to me. So, I gave my prayer to her, to the chapel, to St. John, and to the heavens.
In the shadowed, cool silence my heart lifted, leaving behind my worries and doubts. The slender candle resting in its place on the rack unerringly sent out its warmth and light. It didn’t know how hard its task was, didn’t know how far away she was. Just as my other-mother had given me love over all these years without question, the candle gave light and warmth and hope to me in the dusky cradle of the church. 

Copyright Lisa Buie-Collard 

Thank you Write...Edit...Publish, so much for the opportunity to participate in this challenge!