Monthly Archives: December 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year! 

My wish for you in 2012 is that you find wonderful blessings coming your way, that you discover the Meaning of life, that your path is strewn with good things, and that you prosper in health, good cheer, and enough to keep you comfortable.

For my writer friends .. in 2012 may your words flow and evolve into something worth sharing with the world, may your contacts prove beneficial, may all your hard work pay off so that your hopes and dreams come true.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! 

Thanks for reading my blog, special thanks to my regular followers,  and … Creative Musings! 🙂

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

‘Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Immanuel, which being interpreted is God with us’ – Matthew 1:23

Pondering those words … God with us …

Only HE knows how grateful I am for His love (for me), His sacrifice (for me), His willingness to do what no man could do for us (even for me), His abiding Presence (with me).  (It’s okay to personalize it, you know.) For many reasons, without Him my life would not be worth living. Yes, I have so many blessings and precious people in my life, but … if you have ever felt that inner despair of worthlessness, that sense of hopelessness and lack of purpose, then you know what I mean. With Him life makes sense.

My heart overflows with gratitude today as we remember Jesus’ birth, coming as a humble baby to become our great overcoming King.

May I wish you the blessing of His joy, His Peace, His Presence in your life as you celebrate this day. May you enjoy the sweet company of family and friends – even strangers who need a friend today. Perhaps you are like us and often invite someone to join you for a festive meal. Appreciate it.

My day is starting out very quietly, but by 1:00 pm this festively decorated house will be full of family, plus an invited guest, for a hearty meal. Four people cannot be with us then (one being our daughter in Alberta), but there will be twelve seated around Dad’s table. Exchanging of some gifts will follow the main course, and then the dessert table comes under attack. 🙂 There will be lots of joyful noise and laughter, especially with an excited six-year-old among us. As the day progresses, this house will be made tidy again and gradually it will dwindle down to a few people here as my husband and I move on to our house with our own family. There we will enjoy a wonderful time with our daughters, their guys and our grandson. I am excited about today with my family.

The Lord has put LIFE into my life — much more than gifts and festivity. 🙂

My prayer for you is that you too may experience the true joy of this season – God with us.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Book Review: My Goat Gertrude – by Starr Dobson

 
Book Review: My Goat Gertrude
Author: Starr Dobson
Illustrator: Dayle Dodwell
Genre: children’s (age 4-8)
Pages: 32 (with beautiful illustrations)
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing
Released: 2011
Price: $18.95 CDN
My Rating: Amusing, well-told, beautifully illustrated; for young children’s enjoyment.

If you are looking for just one more gift for a child this Christmas, or a special stand-alone gift, may I recommend this book by Starr Dobson? My Goat Gertrude is a fun read, written as told from the perspective of a little girl named Starr.

One day Starr’s daddy brings home a surprise, a white goat, much to the dismay of Starr’s mother but to the great delight of Starr and her sisters. This goat’s purpose is to be a help to the family, but she seems to cause more chaos than anything – not that the little girls of the family mind that. But one day Gertrude proves herself to be an ally to Starr, in an odd sort of way.

This story is entertaining and beautifully illustrated.  The fact that Starr Dobson claims that it is a true story makes it even more interesting. Plus, “a portion from the sale of this book will be donated to Special Olympics Nova Scotia.”

Starr Dobson is the producer and co-host of the Maritimes’ news magazine program Live at 5.  She has a husband, two children, one dog … but no goat.

(Shhh! I purchased My Goat Gertrude for my young grandson for Christmas, I’m sure he will enjoy it.)

You can find My Goat Gertrude listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

PiBoIdMo is over, but for me it has just begun

PiBoIdMo is the other challenge I took on for the whole month of November. I learned about it in 2010 and first took part in it then … but let me explain …

PiBoIdMo – Picture Book Idea Month – is the brain child of Tara Lazar. Check her out here: http://taralazar.wordpress.com/about/

The challenge is to write an idea a day during the 30 days of November.  The idea can be as simple as the name of a character, or the title for a story, or as complete as the whole outline for a story, or something in between. Thirty ideas in thirty days. Sound daunting? I thought so.

In 2010 I did both NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo, and succeeded in both. It was exhilarating, exciting, tiring, fun. This year, I tried both again, and if you read my last post you will know that I didn’t get a win in NaNo, but I’m pleased to say that I did again meet the goal for PiBoIdMo. Yay! I got 40 ideas, maybe more depending on how you count them up.

I didn’t think I could do it. Some days the idea well ran dry, but on some other days I got more than one idea for a story so that by the end I had passed the target. whew!

Again, if you have been following my blog, you will know that life has changed a lot for me. Because of that I really wasn’t sure I could dredge up enough creativity, but I very much wanted to try. And I am so glad I did.

Tara Lazar, if you are reading this … Thank you (again) for a fantastic 2011 PiBoIdMo! 2010 was great, but I don’t know if this one was better or if I was more open to seeing more, but … wowsers!!

Last year I took the pledge, read all the daily posts, commented on some, gleaned a little here and there, completed the challenge, and then I put it all aside. I didn’t even get one story pulled together, so I guess in all actuality I broke the pledge. 😦  Sorry, Tara. (Really I should be apologizing to myself as it is not hurting Tara that I did not follow through, it is my own loss.)

This year I took the pledge, read all the daily posts (and was moved to tears a few times – what was that about??), commented on most, absorbed more this year, completed the challenge, and then … then?  Then wow! I had a personal revelation, an awakening in my hopeful heart.

I don’t know ‘where I was’ last year in all of this, but this year… this year! … I realized Tara is making the way for me to move forward as a writer of children’s books. She is giving me all the tools to draw out what I need and what I need to do, and THEN .. after the 30 days were over she didn’t stop there. Just as she had guest bloggers write pre-PiBoIdMo posts this year, she had a few more guest bloggers post for several days afterward. wow!  And somewhere in there I got it. I see now.

I took on PiBoIdMo in 2010 for the challenge and fun of it. I learned things, I worked at it, I succeeded in meeting the goal, and I was delighted that I had some nice story ideas that were worth developing … some day. This year, all of the same things but with one major exception. I have to complete by honouring the pledge. And I think I should do it twice .. to include last year, too.

I realized that this is not just fun and games. If I really want to write children’s books then Tara Lazar has handed to me all I need to do just that! duhhh!

This year, I got it, Tara. I understand.  That is what the tears were about. That is what PiBoIdMo did for me this year. I am learning how to be the writer I want to become. Thank you.

And one of these days I may just say, “Hello, my name is Lynn, and I am a writer.”  One of these days ..  🙂

How about you? Have you had any personal revelations or awakenings lately that have had an impact on you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

NaNoWriMo – incomplete but not a failure

It is over. NaNoWriMo 2011 ended at midnight November 30.

I did not “win”.

I tried. I even pulled two all-nighters of writing, not getting to bed until 4:00 AM, but it was not enough. I just could not manage the 50,000 words required for a win.

It was my own fault. Getting started was really hard this year. Because I wanted to complete my novel started in NaNo 2010 (50,265 words written then), I think I felt restricted and I had lost my momentum. (Those reasons and life stuff.) Once I finally got going with it, ideas kept unfurling themselves and evolving into more depth and extended drama.

My story is not yet complete. It is getting ready to wind down, though. Some details have to be worked out to fit into the story so that the conflicts and questions can be resolved. I need to write several thousand more words to settle that out.

Here are my stats:

Your Average Per Day … 1,071
Target Word Count … 50,000
Total Words Written … 32,150
Words Remaining … 17,850
At This Rate You Will Finish On December 17, 2011
 
Yes, I wrote 32,150 words. A lot of words, but not enough for a win. But, I do not consider that to be a failure, just an incomplete. According to my stats, if I were to keep at it the same way I would meet the goal in 17 days. If today is any indication, that is not going to happen. I got up at 7:00 AM, took care of the dog, went back to bed and didn’t wake again until noon! (All-night writing binges do not a wakeful mind make. 😉 ) But do I even want to keep up the same pace until the 50,000 words have been written?
 
What I want to do is finish my novel’s first rough draft. And rough it most definitely is! Once I bring the story to a satisfactory end, then begins the editing. Oh my! I have plot holes, repeats of scenes but in different ways, – a couple of those, and they were by accident because once you begin NaNo you are not supposed to go back and reread or you will not have time to finish .. so you just write on, – I have names mixed up, facts missing, details confused, a time line that must be established, and unnecessary fluff to be sifted out. For this to become a readable novel there is yet much work to be done.
 
*Laura, do I sound like a writer to you?  😉
 
NaNoWriMo 2011 is over, but the challenge has not ended for me. I have a novel to finish!
 
Do you get totally wrapped up in your writing projects so that you cannot stop until you have them done? Or do you easily put them away to work on at a later date? Do you lose your momentum or inspiration if you wait?
 
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂
 
Next post: PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) update.