Wednesday, September 06, 2023

So...September Already? IWSG


How is it possible for time to flow so swiftly? I can't believe it's already September, though, I'm very happy with the weather we've had. Not like some areas of our world where the heat is so extreme and lives are threatened every day.

The question for this month I answered last month, so will say instead that I'm so very proud to be a part of this group. I really appreciate all of the writers/artists here on IWSG, and love how diverse we all are. 

I've started reading again. I don't know why, but during Covid, I couldn't read. I stopped reading and wondered if it was just part of growing older. But, I'm not THAT old, and I'm back reading again, so perhaps it was a coping mechanism? I did so many other things, including crocheting and learning to knit. I practically lived in my garden...

I know lately I'm not the best at visiting or answering, and I'm sorry. I am slowly getting my butt back on the ball (literally! On an exercise ball) to spend more time here. To spend more time developing the stories I have lined up, waiting impatiently to be put on "paper." Husband is going in for second knee surgery so will have much time staying at home this fall. 

Thank you all for being a part of this community, for your support over the years, and for being who you are, wherever you are.

Please visit our wonderful co-hosts this month:

Sonia Dogra, J Lenni Dorner, Pat Garcia, Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen, and  Meka James!

Ready to go see Barbie, pink as we can be! Saw Oppenheimer as well, both worth seeing IMO...

Monday, August 07, 2023

August "Rush" Overdue IWSG


Okay, I've set a reminder now for September's post since life is so busy these days that I always miss my post, this time by five days! I woke up in the middle of the night remembering I didn't post. So, lost some sleep, but finally made it here.

Grandchildren are so worth it, missing the post I mean! Yes, I blame it on grandchildren, happily. I am more in love than ever with them, and their parents, and wouldn't have missed this opportunity for the world. They leave tomorrow and my tears are not staying very well hidden. I am taking full advantage of loving on them, giving the older one lots of "surprises" (which don't always involve sugar) and snuggling the chunk that is the younger one (who is sleeping on my bed as I write this). 

All this to say writing has not been foremost on my mind this past month (yes, they've been here five weeks), and I will severely miss them when they've gone. I will have a lot of time this fall to write as my hubby is having another knee replacement surgery, this time the right (the left is much better thanks to it's newness), which the dr said would happen sooner than later. Ah well. Aging is not for the weak. 

The September question (s) is/are: Since the IWSG celebrated 12 years on the 6th, when did you discover the IWSG, how do you connect, and how has it helped you?

I think I started with the IWSG in or around 2013? So ten years? I found it because of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge that Arlee Bird started. I loved the format of that and when all I did was write, it was a challenge that I gleefully took part in. I joined the IWSG to give myself the discipline of blogging at  least once a month. Well, it works most of the time! It has helped me in more ways than I can count. I think the main thing is exposure, but the second best thing is I found a group of writers that changed my life, my work (for the better) and gave me a community that I don't have where I live (so far). Even though we don't make contact as often now as we used to, for years we have had each other to communicate with and commiserate with. We live all over the world and though are from all walks of life, we are true friends. I thank them all for being there for and with me through all these years...

Melissa, Mark, Alex, Elizabeth, Jo (who is no longer with us here but always in our hearts), David, Eva, Carrie, and our leader in the beginning, Al. 

Some of us are no longer "in" the group, but I don't mind. They are my friends. We will be for as long as we have memories. 

See you in September...

Since the parents don't want their photos on the internet,
this is a safe one of me and the youngest chunk!

Thursday, July 06, 2023

July In The Time Of Heat and IWSG


I used to love July, the summer, the heat, the freedom. My tolerance for heat has diminished drastically with age. However, this July I'm in heaven. Our grandson's (and their parents of course) are visiting for a whole month! There is so much to do, so much to explore and enjoy with all four of them. Our eldest is 3 and a half, the youngest is six months. So, I get a baby fix while also spoiling our eldest to the core. Grandparent prerogative. 

Which means, since they landed yesterday, I am late posting here. I'm just tickled pink at having them with us for the first time ever. They live in France and we've visited them there, but having them here is checking all the boxes for me. 

I also, just recently had an experience that I'm still processing, and getting ready to, can you believe, write it down. I went to Maine for ten days with a young French woman, Flo, who wanted one last adventure before heading back to France to begin her doctorate. She's been in the states for almost five years, finishing her masters and working. I went because all of her friends (my daughter included) were working and couldn't go with her. She really wanted a partner, so I stepped up.

This is one of those "life moments" when you know you are doing something that you will never forget and that it will impact you beyond the doing of it. I feel blessed to have gone with her and even more blessed that I challenged myself to do things on the trip I thought I was done doing. We camped in a tent six nights out of nine. We hiked up and down mountains. We hiked the AT (Appalachian Trail) in Maine! (I did some of it in my high school years in NC) We had no itinerary, no real plan except to hike in Acadia National Park, and to sea kayak, and we did both, among other adventures. I'm proud to have said yes and gone on one of the best adventures of my life. 

I'll stop for now because I could go on, and I really want to write this trip down, which would take up way too much time here. Perhaps when it's done I'll post it in chapters...?

Happy 4th of July to you all. Hope you enjoyed the day...

Please go and visit the IWSG co-hosts this month and thank them for being there for us all,

PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi Gwen Gardner Pat Garcia, AND Natalie Aguirre!

Thursday, June 08, 2023

June! OMG it's June IWSG Already!

I'm so glad to realize that I've only missed IWSG by one day. Last year, I missed so many that I got relegated to the end of the line on the sign up, after at least 6 year or so of not missing any. Be that as it may, I'm not at all upset to be able to say I actually have been writing after a hiatus of over a year not writing. It finally feels good to be writing, to be reading, to be ready to take on the monster of my fear and disinterest. Have you gone through this? I know there are words for writer's block, but that is different I think from what I've gone through the last year and a half. In all my adult life, ever since I was an adolescent I've read. I've never, in my memory not read. But during Covid, and since I realized I was trying to write for money, I've stopped readying novels. I decided to try again and started with a novel called "The Rose Code," by Kate Quinn. What a great way to get back into reading! What a wonderful novel to find and discover my love of reading with. I highly recommend it, especially if you're a history buff. I've been interested in the "Ultra" story of WWII for a long time, Bletchley Park and all that. This story makes it so much more real and interesting to me. 

Then I read "Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret" by Craig Brown. I don't recommend it. Because, perhaps it's my being female, but I found it "sensational" and not at all complimentary to the Princess. It's hard to understand her point of view, especially when written about like this, but I came away feeling that she was very misunderstood and maligned and generally not looked upon with any sympathetic eye. I felt sorry for her. I felt that there was no way, in that time, for her to have won at all. Talk about the "Spare Heir". I think she and Prince Harry would have had great conversations.

Then I went on to read "All The Missing Girls" by Megan Miranda. So, after a drought of reading, I'm on a roll! This also, is another book I would hesitate to recommend. I felt disturbed when I finished. Mainly, I believe, because it perhaps hits too close to home in that we are all human and who are we to judge others when we haven't lived their lives? When we don't "know" anyone's full story? 

Anyway, now I'm on to another, and I'm on chapter 4 of my WIP. I feel that the judging I'm doing for the contest I've agreed to judge for is really helping me get my "writing" grove back on. I feel so blessed to have these opportunities, to judge, to read, to write. For now, though I feel insecure about being "good enough", I do feel blessed to be where I am. Perhaps this is a new beginning for me? Who knows? I'm just very glad to be where I am right now.

Sorry to have rambled so long! Enjoy June and the beginning of summer! 

Please visit our amazing co-hosts for this month, 

Patrcia Josephine, Diedre Knight, Olga Godim, J. Lenni Dorner, and Cathrina Constantine!

Some love from my garden...

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

May Brings Rain and IWSG


Hello Everyone. I hope you are enjoying spring weather! We are off and on. The last week has been mostly rain, which my garden is grateful for. 

From my garden, anemones

I have three new adventures in writing that I'd like to share, for the first time in a long time. And I apologize in advance for this post being so long.

The first is I'm judging again for a well known writer's contest. Not only am I happy for this, because it's helping me appreciate writing again, but I'm also happy because it's testing my boundaries. They've asked me to judge genres I don't usually judge, because they thought I was a good enough writer to do well with the task. I was floored. Totally unexpected compliment, which made me almost cry. The person who asked me to do it I hold in very high esteem, so for them to think I could handle this was a bit overwhelming. I feel very honored by them thinking of me. 

The second is I'm meeting on Friday with three people who voice for audio books! I don't as yet know if I can afford them or not, but I'm excited to even think of the prospect of having my books turned into audio books! It will be a steep learning curve for me, I'm sure, but I'm willing to learn. 

The third is a realization of what possibly might be the biggest obstacle (apart from writing for money only, as I've mentioned before) to my continuing to write. My father. In the beginning he was my biggest reason for writing, my biggest fan, my inspiration for wanting to become an author. It was his dream to be an author. He wrote five novels and tons of poetry, only to find no home but his for all his work. To this day it sits in my sister's attic in boxes. I have written five novels but not tons of poetry. When did my journey turn from his being my inspiration to me following in his footsteps? I don't know, but I do know I don't want to write "because" of his dream anymore. I want to allow my own dream to be what motivates me, spurs me on to be the best writer I can be. This is new for me and I'm grieving over realizing this revelation. Yet I am also happy to realize I need to follow my own path for my own reasons, not his.

To me, this is the beginning of falling in love with my stories again. To me, I'm nervous, yet it's a nervous excitement at the prospect of finishing my current work in progress. For once, I'm happy to feel this way and not down in the dumps for not writing. Thank you for reading this far. 

Please go and visit our wonderful IWSG co-hosts this month, 

Joylene Nowell Butler, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Meka James, Victoria Marie Lees, 

and M Louise Barbour!

May 3 question: When you are working on a story, what inspires you?

Music. Quite simply finding a tune or song that gives shape to a scene I'm working on is amazing and feels like it cements the vision of the scene in my brain. Then I have to work to get that scene on paper, but the visual is always there helping. If I need to refresh, I listen to the tune again! Though I have had inspiration from other sources, music is a first one for me.

Happy May!