Monday, January 09, 2023

Still In France and Very Late for IWSG

 Happy New Year to All. I know it hasn’t been a great beginning for everyone. As always there seems to be a balance of wonderful and awful. I hope you had more of the former than the later over the holidays and the beginning of this new year. I’ve had both, but much more positive than not. We tend to rethink the year behind whenever we get a new one, and I haven’t so much as thought of the past year, but of what the future might hold. I have also spent some time just being where I am. Not dwelling on anything but the now. I am comfortable yet not quite “happy”? I think the recent past has made it “acceptable” to stay in my own little world, and I find I am missing contact with friends, the ones far away that I used to write to a lot. Because I’ve been traveling since November and missed sending out our usual Christmas/New Year letter, I feel even more out of touch than usual. And I missed posting for IWSG for December and January! So writing has definitely taken a back seat. After March I hope to be able to calm my head for awhile and spend some time writing letters and stories. I realize I’m also treating this blog more and more as a type of journal instead of a “marketing” tool. Perhaps that too, will change this year? I don’t know. I seem to be a bit lost in my head.
So, I will end this here. I will continue our travels and visits here in France and think about what comes next later. Here are a few photos of French beauty and age…

An ancient church in Toulouse, Notre-Dame de la Dalbade…

Known for its painted front…

Toulouse Tram tracks, Place de Justice…

A doorway completely covered in stickers and this was in the middle…

Another photo of previous church

A restaurant with a beautiful motif 

Me and JaiJai in St. Bertrand de Comminges in the Pyrénées…

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

November, Sorry I Missed October!


Fall this year has taken its time in coming, but has finally arrived. The colors, the coolness, and the soon to come time change all contribute to Autumn moving-into-winter. I've been traveling A LOT due to all sorts of reasons, but mostly taking care of family and seeing friends not seen since before the pandemic. I've shed tears seeing these dear folks, of happiness, and the fact we're all getting older. How many of us will be here in the near or far future? It's a sad thought, but also galvanizing.

I wrote while on the road and it was another long lost friend regained. The novel is progressing. We travel again soon, and won't be home for months. Luckily our son will be staying in our house. I will have time to write again and I look forward to the time I'll spend with the characters. I hope to do them justice with new inspiration.

Our IWSG co-hosts this month are the wonderful and daring: 

Diedre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford, and Diane Burton!!!! 

Please drop by their blogs and thank them for their service this month!

The IWSG question this month is: November is National Novel Writing Month. 

Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

Yes I have a few times and written either first drafts or completed novels already started. It was an amazing experience every time I did it. I'll be participating in my own way this year, just not in November. I'm planning on Do-It-In-December this year! What are you working on this month?

Halloween decorations on our street

Old Man's Cave Park in Hocking Hills, Ohio

My husband enjoying our first back yard fire of the season

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

September Healing And IWSG


Hello and welcome to September’s post, including for IWSG.

I have so many things I want to write about today, and none of them have to do with my current wip. That being said, I will only write about one thing at a time and space things out over a couple of posts. 

Boney and (my husband) Geoffrey in France.

I wrote in April about losing our little furry love Boney, short for Bonaparte. Four months later, after looking all over (on the internet) for a new little love, I found one and he is a literal dream come true. Meaning, I found him, applied (he is a rescue!) and set the appointment up to meet him. This was beginning of August. Then my “other” father was hospitalized and diagnosed for bypass surgery (Eyes bugged out at this news). I wrote to inform the shelter (Kind Hands 4 Paws in Zanesville, Ohio) that we’d have to either postpone or cancel the appointment because we needed to leave almost immediately to go help my mother during my father’s recovery in North Carolina. She wrote back completely understanding the situation. While in NC, about two weeks later, I dreamed about the little one I’d found, then named “Jack Jack”. Out of ALL the dogs/puppies I’d looked at and applied for, this one came to me in a dream. When I woke up I immediately emailed the lady, Becki, to ask if he was still available. I cried when she responded “yes.” That morning when I went down stairs to tell my mother I tried to look him up again to read to my mother what his description was, only to find he was “no longer available.” I was shocked and couldn’t understand since it had only been half an hour or so since I’d received her response. I called. I emailed again. That afternoon I called again. I never heard back and was beginning to despair. The next morning she called to explain why she hadn’t been able to respond to me the day before. Whew! She was sooo nice and apologetic and she’d had to take a day off for personal reasons, but she asked first about how my father was (he’s doing REALLY well after a quadruple bypass!!!) and said that she’d loved my application so much that she had taken Jack Jack off the site… after I’d had to cancel! Two weeks ago! I cried again. We set up a new appointment, and on September 1st, she brought “JaiJai” to our house in Columbus. We’d already named him! He started as he meant to continue, friendly, curious, loving and affectionate. We stayed home three days then left again for NC for another week to be sure my parents were up to us not being with them anymore. JaiJai is adapting to us as we are adapting to him. He is a joy and delight and we feel so very lucky. I am glad I listened to my dream self and didn’t let him go. He is perfect for us, helping heal the hole in our hearts left by Boney, and filling it with love and wonder again.

There is a lot more to JaiJai’s story, but this is enough to read on a blog post! Finding true companionship is such a blessing. I wanted to share this with you hoping you too, have experienced listening to your heart and finding a beautiful story that heals you.

Our IWSG co-hosts today are:

Please visit their sites and thank them for helping us all out!

And here is little JaiJai (JJ)…

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

The Heat Did Not Wait For August



So, today's post is a bit different, and yet pertains to all artists of any medium and their struggles. I recently read the actress Viola Davis' memoir "Finding Me." She dives right in and gives raw, passionate, desperate descriptions of the life she has led. I felt uncomfortable in the first few chapters, but each time I thought to put the book down, I picked it back up and did what she wanted me to do. I dived in and swam right along with her. Her story is of course courageous, loving, and again, raw. Her life is not sugar coated and her story all the more touching for her honesty. What amazed and inspired me was this painful honesty and her true, deep modesty. She inspires the true meaning of freedom and the responsibility for that freedom, hard-earned and well deserved. She was born into the same country I was, but her story is vastly different from mine. She took responsibility at an early age to be the best that she could be in a world that stood against her. She also presents a lesson to me as a writer that goes very well with the question of the month in August. " you try to be original, or do you write what readers want to read?" Viola Davis' story is this question: Do you be original or give what you think your audience wants? "Finding Me," her answer to that question, is a compassionate, sharp, no nonsense read.


August 3 question: When you set out to write a story, do you try to be original or do you try to give readers what (you think) they want?

I start out writing what I want to write. Once I get the first draft down and am revising, I often change things that little voices in my head (and not the ones I should be listening to, as in, my characters) tell me will make readers like it better. Then I have to go back and weed some of those nasties out and go for what my characters tell me they want/need to do as best I can. This little balancing game drives me mad. Reading Viola's story has made me re-think what I'm going to do next...

Please visit our IWSG co-hosts this month and thank them for helping out!

Loni Townsend,

Lee Lowery,

Tara Tyler,

And Me!

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

July IWSG And I’m Still In France


Sooo, this happened. I contracted covid the last week of our trip, which means I didn’t go home. My husband did because his visa ran out and he didn’t get Covid. I’ll be here another 10 days and I must say, if one needs to be in quarantine there are worse places to be! My parents-in-law are amazingly wonderful and caring and they have nursed me back to health (with us following ALL Guidelines for their safety) with thoughtfulness and kindness. I am happy to report after 13 days of dealing with the symptoms I tested negative yesterday. I am still not up to speed, but knowing I’m no longer a danger to my beloved “beau-parents” is a huge relief. I hate to think how sick I might have been had I not been vaccinated, because this has been a long haul and I’m not yet my usual self. Experiencing this has not been fun and I hope that anyone else who has had it or has it now had or has had a mild case. 

See? Worse places to be. I hope all of you have a safe and enjoyable summer…

IWSG Question of the month: if you could live in a book world which one would it be?

PERN Anne McCaffery’s  world of dragons. I have been waiting soooo long for a movie to be made, but so far nothing has happened. If I were rich, I would produce a film and hire her son to write the screenplay. If you like sci-if/fantasy, PERN is a world worth visiting.

Speaking of visiting, please visit our IWSG co-hosts today and thank them for their care of us! and 

Also, writing this on my IPad, so not great at fixing links.