EXERCISE TO PREP FOR THE DAY

imageThis should get me going on this Northwest Pacific rainy gray day. Puff puff.  Notice there’s a mattress and a pillow right next to the bike.

How about you folks? What primes you to hit your day running?

Book Review: Picking up the Pieces by Wendy Dewar Hughes

Author Wendy Dewar Hughes

Author Wendy Dewar Hughes

Wendy Dewar Hughes writes inspirational romantic suspense novels set in contemporary times. For a passionate reader like me,  finding a great book is like discovering a gold nugget while panning for gold.

When my husband finished reading “Picking up the Pieces” by Wendy Dewar Hughes, he passed the book to me, saying, “Now this is a great book.” His endorsement sent me to the pages immediately.  I highly recommend the novel to readers of all ages and genres. Stellar writing craft.  Gripping mystery and intrigue. Did it keep me hooked? Oh yes!

I walked in the protagonist’s shoes, felt fear amidst her dilemmas full of danger, and experienced the international settings through her eyes.  I felt like I was there. I cared deeply, and pulled for her on every page. The story and the characters stayed with me, like real people I know. This writer has gifted readers with a fine piece of work.

Here is a partial quote from the book blurb on Wendy Dewar Hughes website: “Jill Moss is pulling her life back together after her husband’s death when she is shocked to receive a message that her uncle, famed archaeologist Neil Bryant, has made a Mayan archaeological discovery of such consequence that his life is in danger.”  You can read the entire blurb at http://www.wendydewarhughes.com  Enjoy!

Wishing you all good reading, and to writers, great writing, and in addition, the best blessings in 2013.

TIME, WHERE ARE YOU?

BODY MAINTENANCE AFTER ??? YEARS OF AGE

Before: Prior to August Surgery

After: Taken in November 2011

Phase one: August 11 2011 gastric sleeve surgery provided a fighting chance to overcome lifelong obesity.  Appearance was not the issue.  Large gals can be beautiful. But as a nurse, I could see signs of health issues arising that might soon become irreversible.  Since the surgery I enjoy an energy surge, healthy lab reports, and a multiple of other benefits of weight loss.  Here are before [Aug] & after [Nov[ head shots. No, you don’t get to see the rest of me until I’m done shrinking.

Phase two:  I need a third hip prosthesis revision.  This is in no way typical, but the complications from the first surgery 11 years ago (infection) required further surgical interventions, but provided ten years of great mobility.  However, for every pound I carried, the load on knee and hip joints tripled.  Do the math.  I wore my poor baby out.  So February 23, if plans progress, the third hip prosthesis and I will shake hands—joined at the hip so to speak.

MY PASSION

 I’m a writer.  I want to write.  For readers and friends who read my blog who are not writers or authors, there is a difference between the two terms.  A writer typically is unpublished.  An author has published works waiting for readers to honor his or her craft by purchasing their stories, essays, or poetry.

But body maintenance and bookkeeping for two home businesses, plus domestic responsibilities have ensnared me in a time warp, gobbling up writing time (including this blog. But I love the connections with people, so what’s a gal supposed to do?)  Add the surge of energy directed at recapturing order in my home.  Most important, I love my husband, children, and grandchildren and friends.   Well, I love the dogs, too—I think.  But husband is their master and all I have to do is snuggle & coo at them.

Every problem has a solution.  The idea came quietly as I relaxed in Juneau with grandchildren.  When I got home, I juggled financial priorities, rented a low cost off-season room in a local B & B two days a week, and  left my home environment.  And wrote.

I’ll let you know if the seclusion works.  The wisdom in the writing world recommends writing every day.  I agree.  Hopefully, my two days will be a jump-start to new habit forming disciplines, guilt free.

Bloggers usually have a schedule for posting.  I don’t.  If I find something interesting, beautiful, funny, or informative—whatever it may be—I will post randomly as I’m moved or as time allows.   I would be honored if readers subscribed to my blog so they wouldn’t miss anything (smile and a wink.)  I strive to keep the blogs short, as your time is likely more valuable than mine!

Peace!

Holiday Season Juggling of Priorities

Christmas at our house another year

To family, friends, fellow writers and bloggers, may you reap some of the riches of the heart during this season when we dream. And play. And reminisce.

I’m also mindful of those whose grief is multiplied during this tender time of year when hearts are open and easier to break.  Reach out, and know that it will pass.

And to those who find the emotions of the season a burden, or the inevitable commercial involvement distasteful, hope you can look for the little things that make the struggle worth it.

But to all, at this time of year and always, may something wonderful happen to light warmth within.

Having  juggled priorities, I must remove blogging from a fixed schedule, and post when time and inclination coincide.  I’ll be waving from my daughter’s hearth in Alaska.

Here is a wee poem:

Christmas is the time of year
When hearts make room for love.
It keeps the Holy Dream alive
To visualize a Dove.

A sign of peace to give us hope
To warm the hearts of men,
We wait and wait, yes year to year
For world love’s growth again.

The hope is like a tiny seed
Surrounded deep in error …
But Hope gives service to mankind
To ease him from the terror.

For some, the hopelessness of life,
From the pain of Hell,
The tiny seed of hope does flicker
“Maybe we’ll get well!”

It’s like an intravenous
That keeps us duly fed,
During all the hubbub
As mankind lies in bed …

But once the earth does flood with truth
And error does recede …
Christmas won’t be needed
For man to do a deed

Of brotherhood, of loving
‘Cause it will be a part
Of the new created nature
In mankind’s loving heart.

Love to all.

Organizing Content in Social Media

How sweet it is when we see a life rope headed our way.

Good morning, West Coast, and good afternoon in the East.

Jane Friedman, holding many credentials,  writes an excellent newsletter.  Anyone who participates in Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Tumbler, and so on, would find the newsletter listed here something to consider.  The links she shared promise great help in organizing possible social network posts/topics of interest to your friends and readers.  She calls these linked sites “Curators.”  I hope those interested can find something that helps streamline managing social media.

Have a great week, all.  Put yesterday away, let tomorrow come as it will, and enjoy today.

And the winner is Diana Murdock

On my October 25th blog, I offered a drawing for the Donald Maass book “Writing the Breakout Novel” to all who commented.  Diana Murdock was the name pulled from the bag.  Hope you find great things in the book, Diana.  I am currently reading “Fire in Fiction” and highly recommend it.  Now back to writing.  Weekend approaching, wishing you all a fantastic finish of the week, and something you enjoy on the weekend.

For your viewing pleasure, stick with this video to get the message.  I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

SIWC gave us a live security demo just like TV, for Master Class Day

Juneau AK Mendenhall Glacier with Fireweed in the foreground

The expected arrival of two former US presidents, Bill Clinton and George Bush, at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel on the same day of the master classes of the SIWC gave a live demo of the security set-up for such an event. Why did the presidents come to the Sheraton Guilford Hotel? For an economic summit.  An story there somewhere!

Roads closed, parking compromised, guards at the elevator doors and populating the lobby, and a heavy presence at every entrance. Secret service, Security, RCMP, crew cuts and suits, everywhere … casting eyes to and fro and maintaining that special blank blind look.

I had waited too long and barreled toward my favorite bathroom, suddenly blocked by two guards. As I pleaded with my eyes, already tinged yellow, a tall buff ‘suit’ wearing a squiggly wire leading from his ear to the back of his neck, and tucked down behind his open size 17 collar, gave me the, “One more word and I’ll shoot.” look.

Rumors? The Surrey Fire Department Hazmat team was on the way. Thursday slipped into the late afternoon, and they all disappeared.  Not a trace. Thankfully.

The writer’s conference rose above the milling ‘suits,’ limitations and elevator delays. Workshops, presenters from Canada, the US,  Scotland, and beyond, the MC nicknamed ‘Betty White of the North,’ the food variety served buffet style, the sharing at the round tables during keynotes and meals, the entertainment in “Shock Theatre” provided by presenters, and the hotel Sheraton Guildford service—all drew over 550 attendees into camaraderie—as we absorbed the full circle of instruction of immense value to writers.

Saturday night’s highlight, with a Royal Canadian Mounty standing on stage for protection, began as the audience buzzed with anticipation. Robert Dugoni, best selling author and presenter, stood beside the auctioneer, watched and perspired, as KC Dyer she auctioned off his T-shirt, the winner to strip

1958 photo of Mounties in Uniform, Musical Ride Cranbrook BC

the shirt away on stage.   The crowd cheered and laughed until muscles couldn’t bear it.  We heard a few bids by men and female shouts, “How much for the Mountie?” Bidders hiked the price to buy the symbol of the black T- shirt, “This day, we will write!” Our motto after his keynote speech Friday brought us to our feet. KC Dyer managed, using innuendo, to get the bidding up to $400, the final bid echoing through the banquet room from a male voice. Anyone want to guess who got Robert Dugoni’s T-shirt?  We laughed long and hard, loving every minute.

Congratulations all who put the conference together—atmosphere warm, superb education, agent/editor appointments plentiful, blue pencils with authors reading our work valuable, and workshops to hone our skills in writing, business, social networking, films and the future.

Many writers and presenters are heading to ECWC.  Wishing you in GSRWA another “best conference ever.”  Sorry I’ll miss it this year.

Last year I won a raffle basket.  Anyone who comments will be drawn for a free book, Donald Maass “Writing the Breakout Novel.” And if you guess the specialty item I won, you get an extra ticket in the draw pot to win.

My Blog plan is to write once weekly on a variety of topics,  so I hope you’ll stop by each Tuesday.  Cheers!

Autumn Breezes Bring Change, or When Life Throws a Roadblock, Can We Find a Detour?

The picture has nothing to do with the post but I like it. My granddaughter in o4.

Autumn breezes blow in change.  Swimming for exercise started yesterday.  In an outdoor pool.  Brrrr. But the water is warm and the walk from the change room to the pool is short.

The first attempt after surgery August 11, revealed the top step was too high for my worn out hip implants.

Like many things in our lives, the hurdle could work as an excuse.  Swimming usurps 3 hours of my day driving to the pool followed by the swim, shower, fix hair, and get home.  Life without exercise is not an option, so the brain got busy with a solution.

The home health supply store ordered a metal medical footstool with a grab type handle that would not float. Perfect.

New problem.  How am I going to cart all that stuff into the change room? My right hand needs to operate a cane.  Aha. I went to a department store and bought a rolling duffel bag.

Swimming day arrived. I filled the duffel with swimming things, purse, water bottles, and stowed the footstool upside down on the top, using a bungee cord. Stares and smiles followed the bag lady strolling along the resort sidewalk.  A tall, dark and handsome man with a great aura asked if he could help.  I thanked him and said I had it all figured out.

After the swim, the same kind man, his wife and child shared the hot tub. The conversation thrilled me. A Spaniard now living in the US and working in Canada, he praised the US as the example of freedom for the whole world, and much more that I wont post here. He talked of his belief that wonderful things are in store for mankind.

The conversation was reward enough and lifted me, but I also had my trusty laptop in the rolling duffel bag, and went to the resort’s spa lounge and wrote for an hour.

Now all I need to do is find someone to do my housework and the bookkeeping,  in arrears, so writing can continue.  My brain is working on that.  My husband is willing to help, but I have to (shudder) ask.  But if the motivation is high enough … well, who knows.

Hope you enjoy the changes October brings. Would love to hear your stories  reflecting  your  detours around a problem.

Self Discipline Versus Freedom

Sun Setting, Peaceful Time of Day

I promised a Thursday blog, but I didn’t say what time … did I?

Yesterday, as I dragged away from a 12 hour day at my  computer at 10:30 PM, I decided to approach Thursday by relaxing over my “do list.”  However I am a disobedient child, not to anyone else, but to myself, and today, when I planned to do some catching up on bookkeeping, I am writing. Yesterday, my list directed me to write, so I worked on the books.

Most folks don’t want to be backed into a corner by others. But me? I resist my own efforts for a disciplined approach to accomplishments.  There are a multitude of classes and books covering goal setting and motivate behaviors.  Goal setting to me, feels like a trap.  Self discipline again.  And there sits my trusty timer, smiling at me. I do know it works for others, so I’m not knocking the concept. We are each unique.

Forgiveness and love begins at home in my own heart, toward myself.  And it’s working.  I am relaxed today, and in five years no one will care about my “do list” including me.  The deep creative part of me is stirring amidst this peace.  The writing improves.

In a prior post we discussed the subconscious response to positive thinking.  Folks talk about “wanting to do something” and “believing you can do something” and both are important. It is getting to the “wanting with your whole heart” and “Believing with your whole heart” that is difficult.  We have constructed barriers or fences for protection. Michael Hague, writing teacher extraordinaire,  calls it living in our identity, but once we are brave enough to break through, we can live in our essence.   So if something in the subconscious is more powerful, the half truth must be overcome and the barrier removed.

I have a tight fisted grip on freedom.   What does freedom mean to you?   And I’d love to hear what you think about self-discipline, not mine, but yours.  Grin.

Guest Blogging

Rocky Mountains

I would love to have some of my subscribers join me on the blog site where a guest blog (written by me) is sitting there without you all.  A comment like, “Howdy” would be wonderful, and such a gift.  See you there!

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