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?



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.


 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  A writer typically is unpublished.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!


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.

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.

Refurbishing for Fall, as in Autumn.

Decision time today.  I feel like Mary Poppins when she said change is in the air.

While I stirred the blackberry freezer jam, my ‘hunker down and get cozy genes’ also stirred.  The crisp cool days, misty fog in the mornings, and  deciduous trees coloring my world, make me dream of hearth fires, an afghan throw,  and a good book. And maybe a Castle episode or two.

My blog days will change to two times a week until November.  Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The third day I have reserved to update my blog site and my website.   My guide?  Two books by Kristen Lamb, “We are not Alone, The writer’s Guide to Social Media” and “Are you There Blog?  It’s Me, Writer.

I kinda hope my subscribers will miss the three blogs a week, but in reality I think we’ill all be glad of the gift of time … one less blog to read as Thanksgiving approaches in Canada.  (I grew up in Canada.)  So one more blog this week, on Friday, and the following week, only on Tuesday and Thursday.

A five minute detour for you down memory lane:  the movie trailer for “Mary Poppins.”  Makes me want to rent the movie!

Hope your Wednesday is a wow day.

Technology: The wonder of Our Age

Deep sigh on the beach can put technology on hold

Without lists and calendars, life could get complicated. Forgetfulness complicates the works. To the rescue?
Spread sheets!

  • Packing lists
  • Car mileage (taxes),
  • Writing time logs
  • Goals and progress

Quicken eats time, but provides great financial information.  Do we need it?  Well, for taxes, yes. But do we need to know how much we spend on groceries? But the date & price of a purchase way back in 2007 can be found on quicken. Now that’s neat!

Hotel reservations near a specific location?  Not too long ago, a travel agent took care of everything.  But hands on searching, planning, finding and booking are rather fun.

Another plus side?  The wonders of the internet and word processing. Writing a manuscript on a typewriter? Oh my, am I ever grateful for word processing! But sigh … handwritten letters can be unfolded, handled and gathered into our hearts many times.  Like the unsolicited ‘thank you’ letter from my grandson.

Expenses for record keeping are shifting from banks and credit accounts as they encourage us to go paperless.  How many of us print our own statements for backup, saving the companies the cost of mailing and printing and assembling?

Keeping abreast of tech advances gobbles up time, but once mastered, saves time (?) and gives us more information.  Updating computer hardware, DVD players, TV’s, software, phones, MP-3’s keeps us on the spending edge.

What about technology most benefits or frustrates you?

A Writer’s Toolkit

Cassandra Jade, Australian Author

Cassandra Jade, an Australian Author, shared in her  July blog entry a writer’s tool kit.  It is worth a read.

She suggested creating a skim reading spread sheet to briefly summarize where the WIP has been—and is headed—so if we have been away from the project, we can skim it quickly and get up to date without reading the manuscript again.

The direction of the original plan often changes so doesn’t provide a reliable review.  Who has time to read the whole thing again before continuing on?

As a thank you for the idea, below is a promo about her book.

Have a great writing day.  I’d best get to it myself.

Genre: Fantasy Length: Novel
Digital ISBN: 978-1-61650-146-4
Digital Publication Date: May 3, 2010
Formats: .epub, .lit, .pdf, .prc (Kindle and Mobi), .lrf (Sony Reader) and pc and raw .html

What do you do when the universe conspires against you?

Calandra has her future all figured out: She’ll live with her overbearing mother another year, then she’ll be free to pursue her heart’s dream—being a librarian. Then her mother is murdered, she’s stalked by mysterious beings, and the future she’s longed for crumbles.
On her quest to return the chaos of her life to order, hidden truths are uncovered that set her on a course she could never have imagined. She must confront ancient secrets, battle mysterious forces and survive the wrath of the gods before peace is restored and her life is again her own.

Writers Share Tips for Organizing

A photo to enjoy

In response to a request for writers to share their organizational tools, here is a Summary of organization points shared:

Laurie Ryan: Time organization? Well…each night I take a look at my schedule for the next day and build in my writing time. I had tried writing first thing in the morning, but I’m too anxious to check my emails. So I build it in later, so I satisfy my email addiction and promo/marketing needs.

Marianne Strnad:  I’m a list-maker, so I write down what I need to do for the day and in the order it needs to get done in so I don’t make unnecessary trips or have to double-back, etc. I also don’t proceed to the next item on the list until the previous one is complete. To avoid distractions at home, I unplug my “triggers”, the TV, radio, cell phone, etc. I also build in rewards, allow myself a favorite food or snack for good behavior. After all that, I hope.

Crista Mchugh: I get myself in a writing “place”. When I was in my house in Spokane, I had my own office where I could lock the door and stay focused. Now that I’m living in a cramped apartment with my husband, my daughter, my dog, and my cat (yes, we’re all very cozy), I go to a local cafe to write on my day off from work. One I get to my “place”, I’m totally in the zone and can usually write 3-6K in a sitting. Until Meg gets older, I don’t think I’ll have any better solution since she absorbs so much of my time and attention at this time.

Jacquie Rogers: Organization? You jest. Plow through and hope for the best.  It’s past midnight–way past, so I’m not in the running for the book, but I’m the only one who responded in verse.

So who did I pick as a winner? Every one of you.  Please contact me through the GSRWA loop to give me a mailing address for the books.

Thanks for the ideas.  Every writer’s organization tools are unique and must fit into their life style.

Win a Copy of “Wild” by Pamela S Beason

A Child is Missing in the Wilderness

Win a copy of Pamela Beason’s autographed self published book, no longer available as her novel was picked up by a New York publishing house.

This story will debut with a different title, and a few minor changes … sometime in 2011.  I enjoyed reading it, and noticed that for me, a notorious ‘skipper’, I skipped no words in this novel.

To win, subscribe to my blog and add a brief comment with your most effective time organization tools, listing the major things you do, to keep those words flowing onto the pages, while attending to the business end of being a writer—and not neglecting personal obligations.

Last date to comment will be Sat, August 21 at midnight, Pacific Daylight Time.  I will choose the winner and post it on Monday, August 23.  It is my hope that we will all benefit from reviewing the time challenges that every writer faces every day.

I will pick the one (s) most likely to help me, totally subjective, and send the book.

Have a great writing day,  and a wonderful weekend.

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