Monthly Archives: November 2015

Just another manic monday

I’ve said it jokingly to several people now, but in the shadowy corner of my soul where all my truths hide, I’m pretty sure it’s there among the cobwebs;

I’m so far behind right now,

I’ve lapped myself twice on the back field straightaway.

*sigh*

I had five days off…in a row, and accomplished not a lick of anything remotely able to be counted. In my defense, it was Thanksgiving and so two of the five days were food and family focused. Still, three days and nothing done but housework, and baking/decorating a sheet cake. (Which for the record, I have not done in nearly 30 years.) I have also seen the final season of True Blood, which is laughable as I have not seen the others. The final series of the show does not on any level I can comprehend, resemble the books that sponsored the series. A prime example of why I don’t watch such drivel to begin with.

Right now, my sense of self and direction is more like a compass sitting next to a magnet than anything that resembles prophetically directional. *double sigh* I have not lost my way, more I’m spinning in circles trying to stave off the dizzy long enough to move beyond the rail I’m turning upon. I have multiple pages of things that need doing, and I know what most of them even are without looking…I’ve just lacked the motivation to pick an item and start moving.

In the lag time, it’s now Monday again. I’ve returned to work and the piles of things that accrued whilst I was off not accomplishing other things and thus, my to do list is exponentially longer…though now not with anything remotely close to what I want to do, these are the things that I must do. So, it is with a heavy heart that I dive into the list and pile and hope that there is something that resembles energy after I’m done to try once again to tackle the list that is all my own to do. Monday comes every week, but it seems to me that more and more they are Manic and crazed days, over being just another page on the calendar. Hopefully, that will change soon.

Sav

 

 

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It’s a wonderful time of year

The holidays…….some look forward to them and some just hope to survive them. It is all a matter of perspective.

Personally, I love this time of year. It starts with Thanksgiving and continues through the end of the year. It doesn’t matter what your religion or which holiday you celebrate, be it the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, or any of the other holidays that fall during this time of year. These holidays bring out the best in people.

With Black Friday being the exception, this time of year is when everyone stops and looks around them. We all come out of our own little bubble and finally see the other people around us. We see the homeless man that we walk past everyday and never noticed, the withdrawn child that is struggling with the divorce of his parents, the single mom that is doing everything she can to give her kids a wonderful memory and we see that we are not alone in our struggles .

When I write I escape from all of my troubles and struggles. Most people don’t have the option of escaping. This is the time of year that everyone opens up their hearts and offers a helping hand. The bell ringers stand out in the cold hoping to gather enough loose change to make a difference in someone else’s life. The working people buy an extra toy to put in the collection boxes to help make sure that a child gets at least one present for Christmas even if their parents can’t afford it.

Children are enthralled with the magic of the season. Santa Clause has been given the credit for that. What everyone fails to see is that everyone of us is Santa Clause. One person may not exist to claim this title but he is very much alive in each of us.

The magic that captures the children is seeing the change in the adults around them. Their parents and relatives are not yelling at the car going slow in front of them, they are being encouraged to give to those less fortunate than them, they see a change that most of us don’t even realize is happening.

The magic of the season is held in all of us, we just have to let it run free.

~Miranda

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Focus on the good

Looking back on my life the past couple of three years, it’s been a veritable roller coaster. Things are finally on a somewhat even keel, for now anyway.

While my life is far from perfect, I do have more than my fair share of blessings. With Thanksgiving this past week, one always seems to be more aware of those said blessings. I gripe about my boss, a lot, but yet I have a job. My truck is an older model and could use some work, but it’s paid for and runs well enough to get me back and forth to work each day. My girls are with me and we are still managing to face each day. I have cherished friends who are the best support system a person could ask for. There’s my up and coming book, and the second of the series is in progress.

My book is now in the hands of the beta readers. They will tell me what I need to know to improve my book. I picked four people whose opinions I value, and who I know will tell me what I need to know, rather than tell me what they think I want to hear.

While waiting for the feedback of the betas, I will be spending time on Book 2. It’s actually coming along nicely and I’m starting to get a bit excited about it. I’m kind of a plotting pantser… I have an outline … a general outline at best, but the ending of the book hasn’t come to me yet. I have no doubt that it will let me find a stopping point that will lead to the third book of the series. What was that? Was that my publisher cringing? LOL

Regardless, it will come together eventually. Today, I’m not worried about it. I’m focusing on the good in my life. When you focus on the good in your life, the bad tends to fade into the background. It doesn’t disappear, but it’s no longer insurmountable. There’s hope, there always is.

Blessings to you, and yours. Till next week,

~ Madison

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Counting down and paying it forward

Tis the day after Thanksgiving and all through the house, no one is stirring, not even to reheat leftovers… The holiday itself is ended, but the replete calm of time together is in full swing. Chess, books, old movies, and time to just talk is my favorite part of this holiday…week. (until the next week in a month or so) We take five full days to just enjoy the company of each other. I love this time of year.

Of course, no family gathering would be complete without something getting broken. This year the pull switch for the kitchen light and the toilet handle in the main bath needed to be replaced, hence a trip out into the madness was necessary. Thankfully, the Ace is not the prime destination for most Black Friday shoppers and was survivable.

The challenge now is to hold tight to every moment and not let the craziness of the season overcome us. Sadly, this time of year, which should be about being together has become a time of about spending and having, and push & shove has become more pronounced than the love that the season boasts.

I want to have faith, but find that more and more the sweet portrayal of what the holiday is supposed to be about exists more on commercials than in life. There are still too many without a warm place to sleep or food for their belly. There are too many who jump to fight instead of lend a hand to someone in need. I would love for this to change.  For us, it already has.

Our season is not about things anymore. It is about a warm meal and family together, no matter how long, no matter how far. Time is the season now. We spend every spare minute we can appreciating that we have those moments and planning to spend more. Every year at this time we take those things we no longer need and take them to the shelter for someone else to give them a use, and stay to serve a meal. It is time we get to be together, and we get to pay forward the blessings we have been given.

I hope that as we count down to the end of the year holidays, Yule and Christmas…that you find a way to give beyond what your money can spend, to those beyond your circle. You’ll be glad you did.

Abyrne

Turkey and All the Trimmings

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Happy Thanksgiving!

One of the first indicators that we had entered a new phase in our lives was Thanksgiving.   My family used to have a huge gathering at my parent’s house. For some people it’s about the turkey, for other’s it’s about the pie, and for others it’s about the people.  I come from a big family. At the last Thanksgiving gathering at my mother’s home there were 38 people,  either blood or  related by marriage.

It was always a festive occasion.  My sisters and their grown daughters would plot their course for Black Friday shopping. The men would go off into the den and play poker.  I would  help clean up then sit and watch The Sound of Music with my mom, and then It’s a Wonderful Life.  I have never been into the Black Friday thing.  Seriously. I would have to use my writing skills to hide a body or two. It’s best if I  just stay  home that day and get out the holiday decorations.

When my mother passed away in 2009, our family no longer gathered en masse. My siblings have grown children and grand children, so now they have their own family gatherings. I miss it.  We still have dinner with my husband’s family,  but it’s not the same as my family.  He has one sister and they have three children the same ages as ours. It’s nice but it isn’t the same.

We’ve adopted our own traditions. I love to cook,  and do it quite well.  What? You don’t think I got to be Queen sized by being a lousy cook did you?

I make homemade yeast rolls are that my family goes nuts over. We skip the pumpkin pie – I know I know,  sacrilege.  It would go to waste so I don’t make it. I make either  apple or  cherry pie.   It used to be the one time of year that I would get  green bean casserole.  I don’t fix it because I would be the only one to eat it. I miss my dad’s corn.  He would raise the best tasting corn – EVER! I’ve never had corn as good as what my dad grew and tend to shy away from it because it’s not his.  I avoid corn. My husband has to have cranberry sauce,  made from  fresh cranberries of course.

It’s not really about the food,   but the “comfort” aspect of it matters. Ever since my kids were small we have played the Thankful game.  Once everyone has loaded their plates with their choices, we go around the table and list three things that they are thankful for. Let’s give it a shot, shall we?

I am thankful for:

  1. I’m thankful to live in America.  Even with all the political hubbub,  there is no other nation that can hold a candle to ours.  Freedom is of great value!
  2. I’m thankful for my children – they are the greatest joy of my life. Mother is the best title I’ve ever earned. Even on their worst days,  I wouldn’t trade them for the entirety of the world.
  3. My husband. We had a rough couple of years and  we came too close to calling it quits. We are complete and total opposites. I’m outgoing and talkative (I know, you never would have guessed!) and he’s  quiet, reserved and introverted.  I can strike up a conversation with anyone. He  would prefer to not talk to strangers at all or even some people he does know. For all of our differences (VIVA LE DIFFERENCE!)  he is my best friend. I nearly lost my best friend.

Now it’s your turn.  Leave a comment of what you are thankful for this year!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now go eat some  turkey!!!

Ellie

In this life

Today has been long. I’ve been to University, three grocers, the hardware, the bank and a few other stops. I’ve toted bag after bag into a house smelling like bliss, but have managed to neglect to eat more than some pretzels and mustard, and still…it has been a good day. Long, but good.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here. I have so many things in each day that make me crazed, but in each one are also things that I am thankful for. It’s sounds cliché, but as the house prepares bit after bit for the “day” of Thanks, I want to stop and remember that I am indelibly blessed, every day, multiple times over.

I have a roof over head, food for the table, family to cherish, and as was true yesterday, I am above ground to experience life once more. I will take tomorrow as the ‘official’ day of thanks, but want to do more than that. I’ve seen the ‘x’ number of days of gratitude posts and encourage everyone who reads this to stop each day and recall that there is always something to be grateful for, even if in that moment it is only a breath.

Gratitude is about so much more than a day, or a number of days to recount what we have. It is an attitude, and I think, a way of living where we know that each moment is a gift to be treasured. Frustration too is a gift we are given to take stock of what we value and what could be better.

I think Thanksgiving will always be my favorite holiday as it is supposed to be a reminder of this. I need the reminder, far more oft than once a year, but as there is only one ‘official’ Thanksgiving, I’ll embrace that for what it is.

New Year’s resolutions are wrote to many, forgotten by others, and cliché to the masses. I think more so than a new calendar year, I’d like to start on Thanksgiving remembering that each day is one that I have been given and to seek that which can be better because I embrace the gift. So tomorrow I begin my resolution of remembering. Remember each moment and taking whatever I am presented with as the gift and opportunity that they are.

I wish everyone a blessed day of Thanks tomorrow, but more than that. I wish everyone many days of thanks and blessings from here forward. We could all do with a little more gratitude and recognizing that which brings us together to the table than those things that divide us from one another.

May your belly be full, your home be warm, and your cup run over with friendship.

Aedan

Simple Things

It’s the week of Thanksgiving. Everyone is hustling to make sure their feast with family and friends is perfect. They’re laying out the game plan for hitting the best sales. Perfection seems to be the goal. The perfect holiday. The perfect family gathering. The perfect gift.

In that drive for perfection, we tend to lose sight of what is right in front of us. The small perfectly imperfect moments that lend themselves to creating the fondest memories. We lose sight of the simple things that make us smile.

So, in this week of giving thanks, I want to say…..I’m thankful for my family, near and far. I’m thankful for my friends, wherever they are. I’m thankful for the laughter and smiles of my child. I’m thankful for the readers, whose enthusiasm encourages me to write. The song of the birds, the caress of the wind, the quiet stillness of the falling snow, the light of the moon..casting her glow. I’m thankful.

beautiful-quotes-imagesUntil next week….Happy Reading!
~Jolanthe~

When you grab the bull…

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((Firstly, MONSTER shout out to Damaged Goods for the photo))

Today’s post is a bit of a rant, and a bit of ‘business plan 101.’ Those of you who know me, ought to be aware that I will err on the side of professional, caution, and calm. I may be seething…but. Those who know me also know that when I’m at the end of the rope, all bets are off.

Today is one of those, ‘Run’ days. Don’t matter what direction, don’t matter if you’re dressed for it, RUN. Period. You do not want to be between me and the devil I’m chasin. My horn is down and I’m focused. I will run this down. I will not deter, give up, or give in until I am fully satisfied. Why? Because at the end of the day, right now…I’m pissed off.

So, why am I pissed you might ask? I am pissed because under the guise of a really terrific idea, I have encountered not only an incredibly disorganized undertaking, but also I have been witness to the blame game, finger-pointing, it’s not my fault drama that can ONLY be seen as fraud, and taking advantage because it was NEW…maybe some have even fallen for it and are happily humming along.

Kinda like THIS.

Not this gal. No sir. I’m pissed, and have re-loaded.

Which brings me to the Business 101 portion of todays post. Let’s start with the basics shall we?

1-DO NOT accept money for a job you cannot perform.
2-DO NOT sign contracts with third-party venues if you do not have the ability to fill said venues..
3-DO NOT spend the money you have erroneously collected until such time as the job is completed. THUS if someone catches wind of your shenanigans you can refund the money timely and NOT be facing a fraud charge. 🙂
4-DO your homework on what your endeavor will take to bring to fruition.
5-DO make sure the people working for/with you are capable of providing the service/s you have advertised.
6-DO own up to your short falls and mistakes. NO ONE wants to hear about how it is everyone’s fault but yours.

No, I’m not naming names. Not yet. I may or may not depending on what tune I hear from this person/vendor in short order. I have tried to be courteous and professional throughout, but this scenario may well deteriorate quickly down to the dreg and I will be warning EVERY AUTHOR I KNOW not to do business with them…it’s up to them and the ball is in their court right now.

For every one else…Be aware, Be careful and look out for one another. We are in this thing together, and it’s really not as big a world as some of us like to think.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours this week.

-Savannah

 

 

The world around us

As  a writer I get inspiration from everything around me. I was told recently that I have too many voices in my head. I have to disagree. I am never lonely because I can escape into my head and enter another world. I feel sorry for the ones that have not figured out how to do that yet.

I have story lines for two more books and another series running around in my head all wanting their story told. I have stepped away from writing for a short period of time so that I can make my first series as good as it can be. The voices are very impatient in waiting for me to get to them. While I may not be writing right now, I am still getting ideas and fine tuning the story lines that are marinating.

The simplest of actions that someone else does and they don’t look around to see the impact that action has caused is something that immediately draws my attention. While they are too busy to notice the world around them I am quietly standing on the sidelines taking it all in. Not only the actual ripples that occur but also the possible ones continuously run through my head.

I find it useful to watch people when they don’t know they are being watched. I can then see how other people react to different situations without influencing their reaction. Most of the time it is strangers that I see in passing but there are times that someone in my inner circle will do something and my mind jumps up and has another scene roughed out.

As a writer I try to get the big picture in there. If all I did was write a book in the way that I would react to every situation my books would get pretty boring really fast. As I said I am an observer and nobody wants to read about an observer. Readers want the action and the drama that comes with it. While I am not prone to participate in drama it helps that I have a teenage son and a preteen daughter. I am learning all anyone could ever want to know about drama and then some!

While anyone is going about their day and just living their life they don’t expect to help to inspire a book. There are so many people that I have never met but have just seen in passing that have inspired many of the chapters that I write. I would love to thank them for their help but that would defeat the purpose and since I don’t actually know who they are quite impossible.

As you go about your day just keep in mind that you may not know it but the chances are good that the actions and movements you make during the day could very well be inspiring someone. It may not be an author, but it could be something as simple as inspiring someone to be kinder in their interactions with others, or to give the forgiveness they have been withholding.

Every action creates a ripple. What we do with those ripples is up to each of us.

~Miranda

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A day in the life ….

This past weekend I almost gave myself a heart attack. While going through the chapters of my second book, I noticed that several of the last chapters were missing. I panicked! So much for not working on any book … this became a priority!

I went through my file on my external hard drive … not there! I checked my flash drive … not there! Grabbed the printed manuscript .. there they are! No, wait … what about … ?? I recovered four missing chapters, the other two are gone. I spent my whole weekend retyping the missing chapters and putting them back into my two files. Then I had to recreate and write the still missing chapters.

I was heartbroken, heartsick and discouraged. After rewriting the last of the chapters, I felt a little better, but was left wondering if I had forgotten anything important. It has been a while since I had worked on my second book, the story wasn’t as fresh in my mind.

I imagine this is par for the course of being a writer. Sometimes things disappear for whatever reason. Who’s to say the rewritten chapters are better or worse when you can’t compare? You learn to let it go. You move on. You’ll catch it later in the revisions.

I’m not supposed to be working on these books right now anyway. I rechecked my calendar and realize I still have another week to go before I can start working on my first book again. I don’t think I’m going to make it. LOL Especially when the Thanksgiving holidays are coming up and I won’t be at work. It will be the perfect time to work on my book. It’s time for the oral read … can’t say I’m looking forward to it, but it’s putting me closer to finishing, and closer to publication. After these edits, it goes to the beta readers, more edits, then hand it to the Big Dog to await the Red Sea of Corrections. I hear she’s vicious with that red pen of hers.

Regardless, I’m excited. Things are starting to roll a little faster now. I’m *this* much closer to being a published author. It’s a good feeling, one of accomplishment.I think I like it.

Till next week,

                                               ~ Madison

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