It’s WHAT Time?

So, it’s 5:22 a.m. on Tuesday, November 23, 2021. Yes, that’s a.m. I had a cortisone injection in my shoulder yesterday and it woke me up because it’s very stiff and sore. I’ve been awake for over an hour, trying to go back to sleep. But now, there is coffee, ice pack on my shoulder (cannot find my cool flexible packs. Drat!). What does one think about at this hour?

Well, for one, even with less sleep, I’m well rested. What was different yesterday? I didn’t do much but get in end of the year dentist appointment, a visit to the ortho hand, arm, and shoulder guy (a genius if you ask me!), and write about some memories of friends. OH! And I sent my kid book file to another illustrator. I hope to hear from her today or tomorrow. Wouldn’t it be grand if she could get to it? And then, I could get to it! Hope. There is always hope, isn’t there?

I started reading a beautiful story yesterday, “The Sewing Machine,” by Natalie Fergie. It’s about two families, three secrets, and millions of stitches. I’ve already read 87 pages. It is reminding me of how much I love sewing. It’s also told me I need to do something about it. I haven’t touched my machine(s) for over a year. They will require oiling, and come cleanup. I need to piece the rest of a quilt together, and then quilt a panel of a winter scene, in greyscale, with red cardinals on some of the branches. It’s going to take the place of the poppy quilt, which will be taken down and on sabbatical for a time.

I have to hear the rhythm of the machine again, feel the feed dogs grab the fabric, while I control the speed it feeds through. The rows will be sewn together, then I’ll put it on my board downstairs to see how the rows all look, one after another. I bought a little 11 x 14 ( I think) painting of a tree, with a pair of cardinals. The caption is “What I love most about my home is who I share it with.” A small bush at the bottom has “Dan & Kathy” written on it. It’s part of my truth, and that’s why I need to quilt the wall hanging quilt and get it up on the wall.

I’ve also thought a little about finally making our felt , sequined Christmas stockings, which would be decorative only, since we don’t do gifts. After making stockings for everyone and their dog (just about), it’s time we have some. The Babe’s has dogs all over it, and about six ornaments to match. Mine is a Father Christmas, dressed in winter-white regalia. It’s beautiful. Yes, it has to be done. Even a start. My hands have missed the activity.

My writing? I’ll still work at it, just not every day (save for the blog. I won’t stop that.) I think my creativeness will really kick in after the holidays. I’m going to enjoy the season, and start some new traditions. Even if they’re just for me!

And I’m genuinely happy for some folks who have completed NaNoWriMo already. I will not finish, unless I do nothing for the next seven days but write feverishly. I could, but would not get anything else done.

I have my completed chapters printed off and placed in a 3-ring binder. I will likely write many more by the end of the year, which will not be that far away. We have New Year’s Eve plans at the VFW Post 2503 with friends. It will be fun.

The other sewing I do is clothing. I haven’t sewn for me in years, but I plan to. I have had such success on Keto, I was able to purge a lot of things from the closet. I shared them with a friend, and she’s happy to have new clothes to go on a trip to Hawaii with. I’ll go for it. Sharing is what it’s about. I have a ton of fabric and patterns, so something should fit this less lumpy body. We will see how it all goes! Should be fun.

Thanks for reading today; I’m going to set a schedule for cooking on Thursday, to make sure the ginormous turkey will be done in time for our meal. Our newer gas stove has a temperature probe in it for roasting meats. It’s never wrong, I’m amazed. BTW: it’s only 8:15 a.m. I’ve already had a little cat nap. Going to be a great day, I look forward to the sunshine and warmer temperature today. Have a beautiful day, and we’ll see you tomorrow!

Simply Saturday

After a restful day Friday, I think I’ll survive! The time leading up to Veterans Day was extremely busy, now I can settle down and concentrate on doing the rest of the month with NaNoWriMo. I am behind on that, and I need to plot some more scenes and chapters to finish. After that, it’s getting back to business to see if I can finish the month with 50,000 words more written for my novel.

A big part of the work with writing is learned through reading. I would imagine I read far more than 50,000 words a month. I’m reading a book now that is hard read; it’s the story of a woman who was molested by her grandfather. Her mother did not believe her. They had a volatile relationship through life. Laura Davis wrote other books; her “The Courage to Heal,” is a bestseller and has helped heal many women who had the same experience. A horrible one to have had experienced. I cannot imagine.

My father was a very proper man, my grandfather’s were also. A little girl should not have to worry about incest. She should be safe from her brothers and uncles, as I was. It makes me sick to my stomach at the thought of not being safe. My heart hurts for all the people who have to worry about such a thing. I’m glad I don’t understand how this can seem normal to anyone.

Laura Davis also has taught survivors to find their voices, write their stories, and hone their craft as writers. The trauma needs to be recognized to be healed. Sometimes healing never happens. Sometimes it is a painful back and forth as a survivor drifts between healing and not. If a reconciliation can happen, it’s healing for everyone.

The first book was written in 1988, when people barely talked about childhood sexual abuse. I cannot remember when I first heard about pedophiles. It was probably in connection with the Catholic priests who abused kids in our Archdiocese of Omaha. There were priests who taught at my high school on those lists. Several were abruptly reassigned and a new teacher would teach religion class the rest of the year. No one ever said a word. In the 80s, it was assumed pedophiles were homosexuals. Wrong again! I defend homosexuals to this day if someone mentions that in a conversation. A pedophile is not necessarily a homosexual. Get it right!

After absorbing the struggles told about this daughter and mother, the denials her mother made, and the rage her mother had at her own daughter, I need something to keep me from having a funky outlook this weekend. I’m choosing gratitude. Gratitude I never experienced this horror, and prayers no one I know experiences it. Life is full of difficult topics, and we need to learn how to walk with survivors just as we would with a cancer survivor, or an aging, forgetful person. Let’s choose compassion. Let’s choose caring. Let’s choose calm. Let’s not desert the survivors so they walk alone. Be an unrelenting friend. We all need one. I believe the pedophiles will receive what they deserve with a quick and just punishment by God Himself.

As you enjoy this sunny Saturday, remember those who hurt. Those who are homeless. Those who ache to have someone reach out and be a listening ear. Be a good human. We all need to work on that. See you tomorrow!

Another Tuesday, Enjoy!

It’s another beautiful, sunny day here at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. I’m spending the day at home, doing some much needed home tasks and trying to catch up on NaNoWriMo. Folks, it may take me into December to finish 50K words at this point. I’ve had to sacrifice writing time to participate in volunteering for our VFW and the groups we support. Believe me, it is worth it. The friends I’ve made and the stories I’ve heard, I’m truly blessed to be able to know these leaders and know their stories. Veterans Day is an important day. It’s when we thank our Veterans when we think of their sacrifices. This year it is important to let them know we’re behind them, we support them, and we will listen. They need that more than ever right now. The withdrawl from Afghanistan was a mess, to put it mildly. I’ll leave it at that.

Yesterday was an amazing experience. Liz Boutin, a local artist, is sharing her art work about PTSD with us for Veterans Day/Week. I was able to listen to her inspirations for the paintings, which was a gift. From her time as a Red Cross Volunteer while a military spouse in Germany, she was in the hospital where the wounded soldiers from Iraq were sent. Some stayed long enough for her to hear their stories. She was part of the worst things in these soldiers’ lives.

They would open up to her, preferring a civilian over a military doctor or shrink who would put the information in their records. She needed a way to release the burden she was carrying. Her own mental health was suffering. She started journaling about her experiences. Later, she discovered she had PTSD. Doing more research, she learned about how art is therapy for those with PTSD. Liz has poured her heart and soul into this art. And it is beautiful. Hard to see? Maybe a little. But for the depictions of what she’s seen and heard and experienced, it’s an experience that is well worth having. I believe she is gifted in the world of art, storytelling, and observations in her life. We’re so lucky she is sharing her art with us.

We also have many reps from the VA to discuss everything from registering you for benefits to letting you know what you can expect in the process. It’s a convenient way for you to get started. We will have representatives from Moving Veterans Forward, ABATE, 22 Veterans Suicide Awareness Group, and information available from Guitars for Vets, and the Centering Corporation, the oldest grief organization in America. I have learned so much from them over the past twenty years.

Come see us Thursday. Veterans eat free, and we have a bake sale by the Auxiliary, some merch from various vendors, and Liz Boutin’s art is for sale. Don’t forget about the food and clothing drive we are sponsoring for homeless Veterans. We want them to have warm clothing this winter. It’s the least we can do. Help them out. Learn something new from our information sharing day. We welcome you. Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow!

November 3-Already?

Customer Service is a dream when you receive it. And a nightmare when you don’t. It’s even worse when they don’t believe you paid your bill in July. Yes, July of 2021. I’ve already provided verification from the bank for the online bill payment. Just around Labor Day. And yet, Phillips 66 tries to tell me I did not provide info even though the bank did. They want it faxed to them. Again. I asked the lady how does that help me know you’ll pay attention to it this time? No notification on the fax cover sheet or anything. So no wonder they lost it. But to treat me like a person who doesn’t pay their bills, not wise. I will no longer do business with Phillips 66. That makes me very sad, I did for over 31 years.

It reminds me of about ten years ago, my good credit record allowed me to have a lower interest rate at the old Sears Department Store. I received that account with the divorce, and I was able to use it for a credit rating when I hadn’t worked. It was valuable. I cancelled it after the Babe and I received a letter stating Sears would raise our interest to 18%. It wasn’t because of anything we did or didn’t do. We were still stellar customers. They just had to raise everyone’s. Well, we know how that turned out. Sears went under. Probably because people like myself decided they’d take their business elsewhere. Sad, really.

I am grateful for good customer service. And, it’s even better when an issue is resolved. I’m also grateful for the good credit I’ve enjoyed for decades. We are happy to have such a good record, and it wasn’t easy to do. We persevered, and are doing fine. What a blessing.

There was another customer service snafu that affected our household today. This one had to do with prescriptions being transferred from one entity to another. The former pharmacy was stellar in their performance. The new one performed poorly last month, splitting my order between two stores. This time, I opted to have them placed in bubble packs as they were previously and delivered. I had to check several times about the delivery, was told someone had to be home. We were. Several hours later, I called because I hadn’t taken any meds all day, waiting for the delivery. It had not been taken with the driver. Holy smokes.

Long story, short story, no lives were lost in either incident. I’m not happy with myself for being human and getting angry, but wow. The possibilities to get things right abound. The possibilities to get things wrong exists, and unfortunately, take a front seat at the least opportune moment. Two perfect storms formed today. Hope that’s the end of the bad luck and life lessons now. We’re ready for less aggravation for sure.

On the NaNoWriMo front, things are going along. I did another 1,667 words again today. The subject matter is tougher the more chapters I write, and it’s emotional. It will be more difficult as the time goes on. I’m still on target, though, and should be able to maintain the pace. There are numerous Facebook groups and ways to communicate with fellow writers. Two young women have little kids. I have to admire their persistence and dedication. At their ages, I had the energy to study late, get up early, and keep weird hours, too. I hope they do well, too.

Tomorrow will the the first morning all week I’ll get to stay home and get right to work. I’m behind on advertising our Veterans Day Dinner and Resources Info. Must catch up tomorrow. And Friday night is a Guitars for Vets Fundraiser supporting Toys for Tots. Great organizations in need of support. It’s going to be a fun night. Thanks for catching up today, we’ll get started early and will see you again tomorrow. Be Safe out there.

November 2 – Grateful & NaNoWriMo

What a great day it was yesterday! Sunday, the Trick o Treater’s honored the lights off indication as we were not participating, and only one rang out bell. Worked out great. Our Doc suggested we not hand out candy after having COVID a few weeks ago. There could already be yet another variant not yet identified. His prediction is we’ll have COVID for a long, long time.

I had such a great visit with my Frankie, and we had a great breakfast. We were finally celebrating his birthday, and it was the best. I always feel I go back to my roots when I’m around one of my kids. Nothing helps you remember living your young life like your kids do. And I’m grateful to have three of my own and two of the best step kids ever created. All five of them are individuals, team players, and hard workers. Their spouses are the same. Frankie is the only single person of the five. That’s ok. He’s very happy. He does what he wants. Only has himself to answer to. Nothing he does hurts anyone else. That’s what it’s like to be single.

Then, home to write my first 1,667 words for NaNoWriMo. I found it took me quite awhile to get settled, figure out where I left off (even though I researched it Sunday), and figure out where I left off. I had a few minutes of doubt, but started writing and it was like I hadn’t quit. A year is a long time to leave a manuscript untouched. Or maybe it isn’t. Any authors out there, how long have you left a manuscript alone? Do they change? Do you change? Of course you do. And they do because your ideas change. It’s inevitable, isn’t it? I would think so.

It’s a little hard at first to wrap my brain around the fact I’m writing into the future; i.e., what I write about will be published at 4 a.m. or so tomorrow morning. It’s the best I can come out with during the month of NaNoWriMo. The shift is from the blog being the most important to the NaNoWriMo taking precedence. It’ll be fine. Just takes a few days (or 21) to form a new habit. Maybe we’ll be going gangbusters by December 1!

And that reminds me: I’m wanting to get back to doing squats every day. It helped me keep focus on my Veterans projects during the summer, and I’ve sort of lost that a little. This month is Veterans Day, and we have a lot planned for the entire week. I’ll devote a full blog to that later in the week. I’m proud to be a volunteer for Veterans. They deserve our support.

Since it’s a lot later in the day than I’d like it to be, I’d like to stop for now and start a lot earlier tomorrow with our visit. It will happen. Just grateful for the flexibility retirement allows us and so very grateful that, despite being “disabled,” I’m still able to get out and about on my own. Many are not as fortunate. This is my gratitude for the day. From deep withing my heart.

Thanks for reading today, Happy Tuesday! See you again tomorrow.

Day One – NaNoWriMo

And Day One of Gratitude

Sure, some folks think it’s cheesy to write what we’re grateful for during November. I want NaNoWriMo to be only one thing we talk about this month. I set up my 3 ring binder yesterday afternoon. I’m a nerd that way, I guess. When we were in grade school, I loved the feel of a new binder and a fresh ream of paper at the start of the year. Pristine, I suppose.

So the first thing I’m grateful for is the memory I have of starting school every year. I know the folks weren’t even middle class when we were all young. Dad probably didn’t start earning a great salary until after I left home. Years after he retired, I was making what he was making at the newspaper. I worked in I/T and finished my college degree, along with numerous certifications along the way.

And my kids and I struggled while I bought them school clothes, supplies, etc. It was hard for me, as it was hard for the folks. Our grandkids don’t know those struggles. Their parents make considerable higher salaries than we and our parents made. Unless your kids wear uniforms to school or have a strict dress code, you don’t really have any added expenses for school clothes.

My big thing was wearing brand new socks. Our family did not have a clothes dryer until I was a junior in high school. Seriously. Mom hung clothes in the basement during the winter and outside in the summer. The socks and underwear were always sort of stiff. Yuck! To this day, I marvel at a brand new, fluffy, soft pair of socks. It doesn’t take much to please me, what can I say?

I have mixed feelings about my novel at the moment. It seems like I wrote a huge amount last year with my coach. I submitted the first chapter as a stand alone short story to the Nebraska Writers Guild Anthology for this year. It was accepted to be published. I’m over the moon about it! Where I get concerned is probably by my own thinking that is timid at the moment. Much as I know I can do this, and I will do it, I’m looking at eating the elephant with one huge bite to gag on. That won’t happen. Not all 50K the first day. (Would that even be humanly possible?)

Of course not! I’ve now got some experience behind me, some coaching, the NWG printing Chapter One in December, and the excitement of a new undertaking. Now I know a few things I didn’t two years ago. I have better skills. I have the support of the Babe and all my friends. It’s going to be fun.

This will probably be it for today, I’m writing a day ahead and will have more to talk about tomorrow, after my writing session. We will have great fun this month, after getting the first day nerves out of the way. Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it so much! See you tomorrow!

All Hallows’ Eve

So the other day when I was at the doctor’s office, he asked if I was giving out treats or not. I said I hadn’t decided yet. He told me they weren’t going to. He said it’s a perfect super spreader of COVID. When you think about it, he’s right. I’ve decided not to pass out any candy, then no one can pass things to us, either. It makes sense in this time of COVID.

Tomorrow is my big day, I’ll start writing 1,667 words a day for the whole month of November. I think it should be attainable. I’m already writing blogs a couple days ahead, then scheduling when to publish them. I love that about Word Press. The only thing is I still need to manually publish to my Jewell Publishing LLC page and my personal page, Kathy Jewell Raabe. It is all ok, at least I’ll pre-schedule the daily blogs, leaving more time for my novel. It’ll take a bit to put my mind back in the story, but we’ll get there.

When we were kids, it was perfectly safe to go out on Halloween, around your neighborhood, and collect candy from every house in the neighborhood. There were a couple houses that were pretty scary, and no one knew them well at all. We avoided that house like the plague. The old nuns told us we needed to dress like the saints, maybe our patron saint, it possible. We were told to especially avoid dressing in devil costumes. They may have even told us it was sinful to do so. Nothing could glorify Satan like the red devil costume.

Our costumes were pretty basic. For many years, my older brother, who was rather small in stature, wore a purchased skeleton costume. It had a hooded face mask that was cloth, and eye holes cut. We hated those plastic masks since we both wore glasses. Couldn’t see a thing through the fog! We had a box of old costumes from Mom’s sisters. An angel smock in white, all sorts of sashes, etc. My kids used many of those, too. Grandma sewed them and they were sturdy. I suppose I gave them to Goodwill after my kids were finished with them.

I’ve told my Halloween horror story many times. Here it goes again. In 1975, when I was very pregnant with my second child Nicholas, we lived in an old neighborhood, on a hill. Most of the neighbors we knew lived down the hill, where there were long staircases up the hill to the houses, then the houses had at least 6 – 10 steps up to the porches and front doors. Did I mention there were fences between many of the yards, and you couldn’t cut across the yards? My Frankie was just four years old and very shy. I held his hand up all 10,000 steps, down them, then up the next 10,000 steps . . . well, you get the picture. I was 24 years old and in good shape. I prayed not to have a Halloween baby all night. He wasn’t born for another week, November 7. What a relief! Gosh, he’ll be 46 next week. Where does the time go?

The days are pretty chilly now and look to be all week. It’s probably time to bring in the outdoor furniture, and batten down the hatches. More evenings by the fireplace, which is our favorite. So relieved we feel better and don’t have any lasting effects from COVID. We have some friends who have lung issues and memory/other issues relating to impatience, general personality changes, and some balance issues. We are very fortunate. More blessings.

On the Keto front of my life, I’ve done a little back-sliding. Quit doing squats and was careless with eating, so I gained 5 pounds. I’m back at it, before it turns into 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50. That is where people get in trouble. I’ll be too busy to think about snacks during November.

Once we’re finished here, I’m putting my plans into a 3-ring binder to get organized for tomorrow. Each chapter will have a divider, along with notes. Part of the writing has to take you where it goes. The outline/plan/scene descriptions help get you there. I believe it’s a combination of being a pantster (one who writes by the seat of their pants) and an outliner. My book coach, Sam Tyler, helped me see how much easier it was to outline. It lends a structure I didn’t have before.

My first NaNoWriMo in 2019 saw me crank out 40,000 words and I was ready to send it to someone to edit, print, and call it good. I believe most folks who do that don’t find success. I learned so much from Sam and from study on my own I cannot believe it. Sure, I’ll go back and see if I can resurrect what I wrote. Maybe there were too many characters to do them all justice. I went down a path where two brothers were in a moral/physical/and life struggle. One told the other he would kill him if he ever heard of him hurting another character. Truthfully, it scared me. I may need to talk with someone about that. I just find it interesting, and wonder where and how that conflict would have resolved itself. You almost never know what path you will find yourself on when you go the pantster way. I am probably now a Planning Pantster.

Friends, I hope you each find abundance in your lives during this Autumn Harvest season. The colors are so beautiful this time of year. I remember reading stories in our Grand School Literature class about Harvest. Living in Nebraska my whole life, I’m a city girl, but I live in the country now, sort of. Our little town of 4,000 + is seeing a building boom in the last five years. Many housing divisions are set to begin, a large chain grocery store, and several retirement centers are touting their future location. Something for everyone! Building homes, schools, community recreation areas are all great signs. My hope is they really build a new library in our neighborhood. It will be perfect for us (especially ME!).

Be careful out there tonight with your little goblins. I hope you all stay warm enough! Have fun, and we’ll see each other tomorrow! Be Kind.

Serene Saturday

Like any work, change of habit, or recovery from addictions, getting ready to do the work isn’t actually doing the work. Authors joke when they talk (or write!) about writing, they need to know that doesn’t get words on the page. It doesn’t get the right words down on the page. Or words that make sense in the story or scene. NaNoWriMo talks about that all the time. I suppose I should have started prepping earlier. Having COVID the last couple weeks didn’t allow that to happen.

Now that I feel human again, I will start reading some things other writers have shared and review my outline/guide/notes from last year when I was working with Sam Tyler, Book Coach. Plotting tasks to calendar follows next week, and the story should rise from all the notes, intentions, bright ideas, and otherwise faulty thinking. Getting words on the page is the goal. No editing. That will be hard! I constantly edit while writing. Always. The biggest mistake I make typing is the dyslexic twist on things – my brain and fingers are out of sync, and words get the letters mixed up. Or the whole sentence is out of sync. That will be a true test.

I don’t believe in writer’s block. I think the words are always there. I think they are hijacked sometimes because we procrastinate, we make excuses, we place blame on others. I know I do those things. Reasons are legitimate. Excuses are not. Illness is legitimate. Surfing Facebook is not. And we all do it. Just call it by it’s name. You’ll be more responsible to yourself.

For instance, I can clean the bathroom til the cows come home. Dusting? Not so much. I put the furniture polish spray can and dust rag on the TV stand and tell myself, “I’ll do it after I sit down a little while.” I believe my own lies, and procrastinate. In November, I vow to check myself on that bad habit. The house can be cleaner if I do my job. Period. Ouch. Truth hurts sometimes.

Doing this and reporting on it every day makes me accountable not only to myself, but to all of you. So what, you may wonder. No one will follow me if I don’t do as I say, if I am not true to my word. End of writing career. Or at least it will stall getting out of the gate. Not good. I’ve got three years invested already; and as the Babe says, “It’s too much to just quit.” Yes it is. I’m so glad my energy returned, it’s easier to think of writing when energy is available. I’m getting excited about it all.

Did you weigh in on my question yesterday? Doing another NaNoWriMo Drawing this year? Two years ago, you could comment on my daily blog and have one entry per day in my drawing for $50. Would you like to participate this year should I have another one? Let me know what you think. There may be a limit as to how many times during the month you can enter. I’ll have to think about that next week, too. In 2019, my friend Pat Riedmann was the winner.

I saw something this morning referring to the longer you live, the more friends you lose to death. True, and it’s just how life works. The past five years, we have had many, many friends, FB Friends, lifelong friends, and family pass away. All I can do it remember them with love. I wore a pair of earrings today which were a gift from a best friend in 1988, the year she died. She was in her early 40s and died from lung cancer. Five months later, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and died, too. It was a terrible year for sure. I smiled at the memory of my friend, and thanked her again for such a beautiful pair of earrings. They are lovely!

Pay no attention to the grimace on my face! It was supposed to be a smile. Sort of.

I hope you have a wonderful afternoon today. I hope you have time with a loved one, if you’d like. Enjoy the sun or the rain, whichever is happening. I’m going to have a session reading here in a minute. Hope to see you tomorrow, and it means a lot to me that you stopped by today.

Randomness on a Friday

Meetings last night and this morning led to the Babe and I having lunch out today. It was nice to just sit and be with each other. We both feel better, and I’m having another good day today. I’m so grateful to feel good again; it felt like forever since I did. I think that’s part of the COVID brain-fog. It took awhile to clear. The difference is so vast, I can hardly describe it. The headache is intermittent now, but nothing big.

We’re planning on a crowd for Veterans Day at the VFW Post 2503 in Omaha, Nebraska. If any Veteran is having difficulties with what’s going on around them, we’d love to have them come see us during the week of Veterans Day. We will have resources available for you to use, and an ear to listen. We have many friendly people who would be glad to share your story. The camaraderie of Veterans always amazes me. They have their own language, their own way to communicate, and their own way to keep in touch with each other. It’s a gift to me, being allowed to sit with them and witness their exchanges.

I’m signing up for NaNoWriMo again this year. I skipped last year, but participated two years ago. What fun it was! I am starting to gather my things together, and make sure nothing bothers my MoJo while I write 50K words. It should make a great dent on the novel. It’s fun looking at the plan and gearing up for it again. I’d love to get a week’s worth of blogs pre-written, and not need to be concerned about them. We’ll see how it goes.

Pre-COVID, I had a drawing on December 1. Every day, if people commented, they could leave their contact info, and were entered into a drawing for $50. I’m thinking of doing it again. What do you think? Shall we do it again? With more followers, that could be a cool thing. I’d love to get a bunch of people. What do you say? It could be a lot of fun. Comment your opinion below.

The whole world must have been off work and school today. The sports bar we went to for lunch was beyond packed. Usually, you only see that many people on a Saturday. After being quarantined because the Babe and I had COVID, we were home again for about three weeks. It seemed like forever this time. We talked a lot during that time, and shared how odd we felt, not knowing what to expect. We remembered how life was during the Cuban Missile Crisis; Cuba threatened to launch. President Kennedy told them to think better of doing that. Our Catholic school prayed the rosary in front of the Virgin Mary statue in each classroom, and we learned we’d be gone in a puff of smoke should they launch. Our neighborhood was only twelve miles from the then Strategic Air Command. God Help Us All!

While there is still the danger of a missile or drone attack, we have to absorb it as a risk of living in this world. Sure, something could happen. But it might not, too. I’m betting on not. Hoping the world continues on long past my grandchildren’s lives. Be positive. It’s the only way. Thanks for reading today. See you tomorrow!

Monday Morning, Beautiful Day

As I’m listening to Steven Van Sant and the (also a member of the E Street Band!) Disciples of Soul, I’m feeling pepped up. It could be the coffee, but I just feel energized and good. That’s a glorious thing on a Monday when the week and our souls are still fresh from the weekend. The Babe finished carpet cleaning with his new gadget. It looks great, and the dogs are glad we’re moving the furniture back where it rightfully belongs. They don’t like disruptions in their world.

This CD has it all. Party Mambo reminds me of our beautiful daughter-in-law, Monica. She is Puerto Rican and really has the beat going on. She taught Blake to salsa dance. I wish we had a dancing family, my people didn’t do that. Except for wedding receptions. We weren’t Polish, but all weddings had Polka music, and at a certain point in the night, they attempted the Flying Dutchman. Chaos ensued. The more alcohol consumed, the more chaos. It always looked liked people had such fun.

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If you’ve been a reader for a year, you may remember I entered NaNoWriMo last year. At first I thought I would not enter this year, but I decided why not? I’m writing anyway. Some very prolific writers from the Nebraska Writers Guild are journaling about the pandemic, and about the political climate. I might do some of that, and I want to do something meaningful to me. Last year’s project finished at over 50K words, and I was glad. It requires editing, and I had a couple people read it. It was pretty raw in its writing. It needs polish and perhaps a different point of view. The proposal is good; the execution needs work.

While I ponder this, I think I need to take some notes, they just may spark some ideas. Any written, typed, and scribbled words “count.” You don’t want to vomit words all over the page. You want some purpose, some intent behind them. I’ll be looking for people to BETA read for me. I’m still pretty green on what that entails some folks saw my criteria last year and complained they “weren’t being paid to edit,” and I excused them from volunteering. Note to self: Clarify EVERY task needing people’s input for. Beta read, Edit, Copy Edit, etc.

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If you’re an author, you probably love words. You love putting them together to create scenes in your head. If you have too many words, you may defeat your own purpose. I’ve done this. Put way too much detailed description where I think it’s necessary, only to find out it’s unnecessary. It’s something you learn. The work I’ve done with Sam has been so worth it. If you might work with a book coach, try it for a month or two. I’ve learned so much more than I thought possible. New things, Baby steps, you’ll get there nicely.

One year ago, I foolishly thought I could just publish what I had. I thought I was “done.” Nothing could have been further from the truth. I worked like a Pantster. A Pantster wings it. No outline, no character development on paper, no scene construction, no checking anything over. Just do it, like Nike says.

I am now planning what to say, write, and do next. This is working much better. I am focusing on exactly what belongs in every scene and on every page. Nothing else. It has reduced some stress I was feeling. Self-induced, really. Not that it won’t happen again. Humans are hard to break bad habits, you know. And writers are probably worse!

Have a beautiful day and thank you for reading. I appreciate it. We’ll see you tomorrow, right here again. Don’t forget to vote, deliver your ballot properly to a ballot collection box. I do not care who your candidate is, just vote. It will make a difference. Every vote counts. Be Safe. Be Courteous. Be Kind. Be Patriotic.

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