Wednesday, December 06, 2017

December is for Family, IWSG, and Change

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Happy holidays everyone! I wish you all the best in this month so full of contradictions. For me Christmas has always been a time of happiness and family and friends, far and near, whether I’m with them or not. It is a time when yes, I like to give gifts, but starting with Thanksgiving, it makes me think about folks I might not have seen for a while and family I miss. I try to think of all my blessings and enjoy the newness of the season. In the North Carolina mountains I have found this to be even more true. I have found a deep love of how the landscape changes with the seasons; looking through the trees and seeing beyond them feels like I’ve been let in on an ancient secret.
Life has decided that once again, I am not ready to “settle” down. At the beginning of this year, my husband and I had planned on going to France to spend time with his parents, be with them before age makes doing things together more difficult for them. That didn’t happen as we ended up working full time jobs here in NC. I guess we were a little ahead of ourselves.
Today I bought my ticket to France, leaving in January 2018. Wow. I can’t believe it. I’ve always wanted to do a “writer’s retreat” and never had the time or money. Now I have both, and so will go to France and have my own “writer’s retreat.” I have friends and family who have welcomed me in and I will have a chance to really write full time again. I don’t feel “joyous” and happy in the “normal” way. What is happening instead is that my characters, my stories are creeping in again, letting me know, after a year away from them, that they are still here and ready to dance with me again. I am so profoundly thankful, happy, and grateful for this chance to write, to be alone, and to finish what I have started, four novels, all “finished” yet in various stages of revision.
When I look through the now bare trees up here in the mountains and I see those secret vistas that can only be seen at certain times of the year, I look at my coming change of life/place in the same way. What secrets will I be allowed to unveil in these coming months and how will they change me? Where will my stories and I be by the time I’m ready to come home? I will post again and let you know…
The question for today is: As you look back on 2017, with all it's successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently? 

And my answer is: I wouldn't change a thing, especially now! I have learned so very much this year  and though I've yet to process all of these new experiences, I feel blessed to have had the chance to do what I've done. And now it feels as though, because I did the right thing, I am now being gifted with a dream coming true. How can I regret anything?

 Please go and visit and thank the awesome co-hosts this month for IWSG:

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  1. That writer's retreat sounds just like what you need now!

  2. How exciting!! I'm jealous. Hope you get lots of inspiration and writing done on your trip, and, of course, spend quality time with your family. Merry Christmas!

  3. You are going to enter a whole new world and so will your characters.

    Trees aren't bare here in the eastern half of the state. It's so weird seeing leaves fall this late in December.

  4. You are going to love France. I've been there several times. Enjoy your trip. I'm in Germany and not far away from the French border. I love your answer also. It is good to feel blessed.
    Wishing you all the best and a successful crossover into 2018.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  5. I hope you have a fantastic time in France and get a lot of words written!

  6. I am jealous. That sounds wonderful. Have a blast! I hope you get a lot of writing done. :)

  7. Wonderful trip to look forward to. Enjoy your retreat, write lots, enjoy the process. Happy holidays.

  8. Enjoy it! Like that wouldn't happen. Have some fun for me too. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  9. Lovely post. May you have a wonderful time in France. Best wishes for all of 2018. I'm a new member to IWSG. What a lovely group.

  10. Perhaps your characters will enjoy the French vacation with you :)

  11. Hi Lisa - that will be an invaluable time with your parents-in-law ... and they'll so appreciate having you around. Enjoy it and also the writing that you'll be able to settle i to - take care and cheers - Hilary

  12. Ooh Lisa, can I come too? A writers retreat in France is just my thing. So excited to hear you talk about all the stories you have simmering. I hope they come to the boil and are very tasty.
    Happy holidays!
    May your 2018 be awesome!


  13. Hi, Lisa! It's fun to hear your excitement as you think about your upcoming trip and the time you will have to devote to writing. Wishing you every success and a wonderful time in France!

  14. I think you will love this writing retreat Lisa and I wish you well.

    I have read your blog in the past, not sure how I came to lose track of it.

  15. I'm in the Piedmont Triad area and my trees weren't completely bare until the (crazy and highly unexpected) snow came through this weekend. They sure are now. I hope France treats you and your writing well. :-)

  16. I love that you look back on the past year with no regrets. I think it is amazing you get to go to France in January and write. That sounds like a dream. Can't wait to hear about your travels too. :)

  17. A writer's retreat in France sounds like a great thing for you. I've been on a writer's retreat for a few years now--I've been retreating from writing. Maybe I need to go to France too.

    Hope you have a great time and get a lot of quality writing done.

    Tossing It Out

  18. Hi Lisa,

    Apologies for my incredible late comment. To go to a writer's retreat over in France seems like such an awesome resource for your good self.

    All the very best and have a wonderful holiday season.



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