Tag Archives: Happy New Year

Happy New Year!; news; word for the year

2019! 2019! 2019! 2019! 2019! 2019!

It’s hard to believe it is 2019 already, but that’s what my calendar says so it must be true, so …

                    HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!

I have a bunch of news to share with you.

About LIFE: Looking back, 2018 proved to be a more challenging year for me on a personal level. Sometimes you learn surprising and/or disappointing things about people. It can be quite impacting. Enough about that, except to say I’ve also learned more about myself, and that there is more to self-care than I realized. Although we are soon completing 8 years of daddy-care, I’m now giving myself time for new things, which I’ll tell you about. First I’ll mention that in November 2018 I passed a landmark birthday. It doesn’t even bother me; in fact, I’m rather happy about it. There really are some benefits to getting older.  🙂 My family had a surprise party for me, too, which was fun.

About HOME: We have a new kitchen and I love it! (did I tell you this before?) My husband completely renovated it from a tiny space to a very large and up-to-date one. I have an ocean theme happening in there and it brings me such peace. Did I say I love my new kitchen? From start to finish it took a year, but it wasn’t that bad living with my kitchen things stored in several rooms, and using a two burner hot plate, knowing what was coming. We still got along fine, despite a few enthusiastic discussions, and it has all come out better than expected.

About WRITING: You all know that writing was my main reason for this blog, well … writing and books, books, books. Because of … stuff in my life … stresses, depression, much tiredness, and so on, the joy of writing disappeared and writing became a burden to me. All that hoping and planning and effort had to be set aside; I did the minimal and stopped expecting more of myself than I could manage. The heaviness lifted which confirmed it was the right thing to do for now. I still am interested in writing and believe I will come back to it again as I always do. Can’t stay away. My blog suffered and I feel I’ve let you down, for which I apologize.

About ART: Since I have to be doing something creative, you might be wondering what I was led into now. In July, thanks to a set of situations that God put together so beautifully, I began PAINTING LESSONS!  Yes!  This is something I’ve been wanting to learn since I was 17, decades ago. It didn’t work out for me then, but the time is right for me now and I am loving it. My teacher is a very talented professional artist who is patient, easy to work with and fun to be around. That’s what works for me. 🙂  I started with private lessons, then joined others for two sets of classes spanning eight weeks, and now I am renting space in his studio and getting help when I need it – which is still very necessary. I’ve met other interesting painters, all women, and two in particular I paint with the most. They’re funny,  talented, and great to spend time with in the studio. Being the only one with no background experience in painting, I learn something every time I’m there to work on something, which is only one morning a week at this point, but I’ve completed two oil paintings that now are hanging in my house. If you are interested in seeing some of my teacher’s work: ARTCAN

About READING: If you happened to peek at my reading progress, which you can access from the menu at the top of the page, you’ll have seen that I did a huge amount of reading last year. My total?  1389!  I can hardly believe it myself! Most were pictures books, but I read several novels and also enjoyed audio books. Goodreads sets a reading challenge every year, so in 2018 I set mine at 500. Guess I beat that one with no problem! This year I may have set my personal goal too high – 1000 – but I’ll see what I can do. 

About EVENTS: The exciting news for 2019 is that another of our daughters is getting married to a great guy. They’ve set the date for April and are having their ceremony in Jamaica, following that small event a few weeks later with a big  celebration with family and friends in May. It’s going to be a busy spring!

About MY WORD FOR 2019: The past several years I’ve chosen a word for the year. Actually, I wait for it to be given to me, and this year it was immediately revealed. FLOURISH. That’s got an expansive feel to it, freeing and creative.

About GOALS: As you know, I don’t set new year resolutions, I set goals. I didn’t do very well with them last year, so for 2019 I simply want to improve in my painting skills, read lots, and gradually get back what I lost. 

Now it’s time to stop and let you do some sharing. What were the highs and lows of your 2018? Do you have goals for 2019? And do you have a word for the year? 

I hope to hear from you. ♥  Sending you love.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

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My words for 2018

Again, HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!  I hope your year is off to a great start.

Continuing with the 12 Days of Christmas set up by Julie Hedlund, for Day 6 we were to implement a plan for the year, develop a blueprint for 2018. Mine is eight points, as follows:

  1. Take a picture book writing course – Susanna Hill’s specifically;
  2. Purge, or list on Kijiji, something every day, or every few days;
  3. If I must play game on iPad or computer, limit it to 15 minutes a day;
  4. Read for 1 hour a day, at least;
  5. Work on a manuscript to prepare it for submission, each month;
  6. Pray for 1 or 2 picture book critique buddies;
  7. Write daily in journal and read daily devotional;
  8. Believe in myself.

So far I:

  1. signed up for Susanna Hill’s Picture Book Magic class for February;
  2. purged nothing yet;
  3. um … forgot to time myself but I’m sure I went over, but was listening to a book at the same time;
  4. didn’t time myself, but I think it was about an hour;
  5. polished nothing yet, but came up with a draft for a new story;
  6. heard from someone about this and I’m waiting to hear back from her after my response;
  7. forgot to write in journal, but I’ll do catch up; did read devotional;
  8. am getting there!  🙂 (a carry-over from my 2017 word – PROGRESS.)

As has been my habit for the last few years, I have been pondering what my word for the new year should be. I started this personal tradition in 2013 with my word being GRATEFUL. I don’t think I had a word for 2014; not sure why. For 2015 it was POSITIVITY; 2016 was CHANGE; 2017 was PROGRESS. This year’s? I waited and listened and waited and prayed and waited. As a result, I believe my word for 2018 is COMMITMENT. I was thinking it was REALizing, a word I like; I don’t like the word commitment. I would prefer REALIZing or SHINE, but I think my word is … COMMITMENT.  *sigh*  The negative aspect of that is an old feeling of being trapped into something I will not want to keep doing because it’s hard to stay with it. The positive aspect is that it will help to keep me on track to actually complete and accomplish my goals. So, if I look ahead with anticipation instead of dread, I’ve found my word.

COMMITMENT in 2018.

I also found a quiz on Day Spring: Find Your 2018 Word of Truth. Out of curiosity I did the quiz. My word there came up as SIMPLIFY. That astonished me at first, but when I read over my blueprint for 2018 … yep! Simplify fits.

For me in 2018 it is COMMITMENT and SIMPLIFY.  That looks like a great pairing. If you want to try the Day Spring Quiz, <– click there.

What is your word – or what are your words – for the new year? If you do the Day Spring Quiz, please let me know what your results are.

Thank you so very much for adding good things and encouragement to my life. I wish you all the best in 2018. May the light of creative joy fill your heart and life.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings.  🙂   

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! What are your goals for 2017?

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It is already day three of 2017! I must still be recovering from the busyness of Christmas to make me so late writing here. (Unfortunately, we all know that doesn’t have to be the case.)

christmas-bells

Briefly … we got all our shopping, mailing of ‘away’ gifts, baking, and preparations finished on time – Yay! – minus mail-out cards that I didn’t do. On Christmas Eve we had six family members come by, then on Christmas day seventeen of us met around Dad’s dining-room tables (two tables end-t0-end) and enjoyed a delicious dinner to which all eight households had contributed. Gifts, desserts, and clean-up followed that. Afterward, my sister and family went home to enjoy their own time together, and my daughters and families and my dad all came to our house where my husband and I hosted another round of gift exchanges, snacks and an enjoyable evening get-together. It was a busy family day. Dad and I then went back to his house for sleep and the start of my week there. On New Year’s Eve nine of us got together at Dad’s for games, snacks, and fireworks. Now this week I’m home where I have so much to do!

new_year_icon_55464The rest of this post is about my goals for 2017, decluttering what remains of past creative interests being one major project. I love to sew but rarely get to do that anymore, so I will pack up the huge collection of beautiful fabric to sell – what I know I’ll not use myself. Most was part of the online retail business I had for a while that had to be set aside. Now I need to sell off the greater part of it to reclaim my space. Know that feeling? 

lots-of-fabric

Along with that I have lovely sewing embellishments and crafting supplies to liquidate. Life circumstances can change one’s plans a great deal. I had hoped to sell most things through my business; now I’ll let them go at even lower prices. 

craft-suppliesAs yet I have not managed to repurpose the room I had for my publishing. That room is planned to be my writing room; however, there is much to pack up and get rid of first, including the antiquated duplicating machine I used. It will be set out by the road during Spring cleanup and hauled away if I can’t sell it cheap. 

writer

I have started 2017 with several goals involving decluttering and selling off things, thereby reclaiming and repurposing space for writing and living. It means I have to get busy! There is so much to do here it can overwhelm me in short order, so I have to focus really hard on one little thing at a time. I don’t want to be paralyzed by the hugeness of my goal to free myself from things I no longer need or use. It’s going to take serious effort as I can become exhausted simply by the enormity of the project. Months ago my daughter introduced me to a minimalist website to help me simplify my life, which I’ve yet to take on because it seems like even more to do. 🙂 I think minimalizing is a great idea, though; who of us needs to have all the things we accumulate! Here’s the link if you are interested in looking at what is offered. http://my.becomingminimalist.com/  

My underlying goal for which all the aforementioned is aimed is to write, write, write. I’ve signed up for Storystorm (the new name for Picture Book Idea Month) hosted by Tara Lazar for the whole month of January. It’s no longer only for picture book writers. Next week I will be renewing my membership in the year long 12×12, hosted by Julie Hedlund. I still have manuscripts to bring as close to perfection as I can, and then start the process of submitting them. The one I sent out late in 2016 has not seemed to hit the mark (the publisher will contact me by the end of January if interested), so after January I will have to revisit that manuscript and find other places to send it. (I could do it now but, obviously I have other things to do.) I’d love to have an agent, so in order to be ready for that search I have to prepare several other of my stories to completed as-good-as-they-can-be manuscripts. 

Another of my goals is to set up much better records of submissions, rejections and all that fun stuff. Oh, and I must not forget the many books I want to read!

So, my goals are:

  1.  declutter and reclaim space through selling and getting rid of things
  2.  set up a writing room – through decluttering and getting rid of things
  3.  write, write, write – which includes submissions, and well-written manuscripts to prepare me for an agent
  4.  set up organized records for my writing
  5. read, read, read

Yikes! Although that seems like a short list, for me it’s a HUGE undertaking. Can I do it this year? I can try. There are twelve months in which to make my best effort. I didn’t even mention that I have specific plans for my blog this year, and I still want to learn to draw much better. Whew! (now I need a nap)

pooh-nap

It’s your turn. Tell me … what are YOUR goals for 2017?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Bringing in the New Year

Can you believe 2016 is here already! How did you bring it in?

On New Year’s Eve eleven of us got together at my Dad’s. We all contributed snacks of varying types. Dad and a couple other people enjoyed working on a jigsaw puzzle awhile, and we all enjoyed the snacks, conversation, and table games. And snacks. And we ate and nibbled and snacked. Did I mention food? There was a lot of it – just snack food, some healthy, some questionable, all good. Perhaps I should have warned you that we are such party animals! .. who like to snack.  😉

At 12:50 my brother-in-law and nephew set up fireworks on Dad’s lawn near the bird feeders. (All survived quite well, by the way. 🙂 ) It wasn’t nearly as cold and deep with snow as two years ago when we did this. My daughter and son-in-law had also brought fireworks, so beginning at midnight both boxes were used which made a long and thrilling display.

Here are two images I captured through the kitchen window, not great ones but it gives you an idea of the colour, and you can imagine the sizzling, popping and booming going on.

New Year's Eve 2016New Year's Eve 2016.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final canister they set off was a big one. When it lifted off in a blast of colour and noise it did a surprising mid-air turn, shooting over Dad’s two-storey house and not missing it by much. whew!  That could have been an interesting ending to the evening. 

Yes, 2016 has begun. A new year to try new things, improve on the already tried, and find success in achieving goals. I’ll write soon about that point.

How did you bring in the new year? 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, dear readers!

May 2016 be an exciting year of change in your life!

May God bless your life according to what is suited to you.

Thank you for faithfully visiting my blog. I hope you continue to find things of help and interest to you here.

 As we enter a new year, my goal is to write more, read more, and progress forward to publication.  (I don’t set resolutions.)

What are your goals for 2016?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

As the New Year comes in …

As the new year comes in …

 

This is my last post of 2014. It’s been a good year for me in blogging, despite the difficult times when I was not able to muster the energy to keep up my schedule. (I’m still trying to break through one of those phases.) As we close out the old year I have a few thoughts and questions for us to consider together.

Do you meditate on the past year and lament your losses and mistakes, therefore forgetting to celebrate your successes and good efforts?  or do you remember the good stuff and ignore the not-so-good events?  or are you one who celebrates it all … the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the gains and the losses … as stepping-stones along your way?

This quote was in my mailbox this morning:

“Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything… we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to realize it as such.”  Henry Miller, The Henry Miller Reader

 

I believe that our attitude has a great deal to do with how we view life and what comes our way. It affects everything from our mood to our health. We are not only what we eat, we also are what we think. 

Yesterday marked the seventeenth year since my dear mother passed from this life; seventeen years ago December 30 we sat with her as she released her last breath. Yesterday held a sadness for me because sometimes I miss her so much it hurts, but that day in 1997 was a day my mother was set free from the cancer that was attacking her body. I can look at it as a day of loss – which it was on a deep personal level – but I can also look at it as a day of celebration for her as, with an expectant heart, she went Home to our Lord. I will see her again and I do look forward to that.

In the meantime, I have a choice to make. I can let reminders of grief pull me down, I can live in that sad place and dwell on the negative hard places that naturally occur all along the way, or I can remember with an inner peace and joy how she lived her last days and died with such grace, never once complaining about her lot and suffering! (Seriously, it was amazing.) I can make it my goal to be more like her in that way, taking what comes with grace and dignity. That’s not an easy thing to do.

This was one of Mum’s favourite Scripture portions, especially verse 13:

Philippians 4: 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Through experience I have learned that my attitude affects everything. If I think sad, negative, angry, discouraging thoughts all the time, if I choose to live with regret, I get mentally and then physically pulled down. It does work that way. I get anxious, moody, sad and ill. If I think positive, hopeful thoughts and try to be cheerful, if I let my spirit soar above the problems, I feel better and make life more comfortable for everyone around me. My motto is “I live in hope”, meaning I try to keep looking to the better day, the better situation, without letting go of the progress I’ve made and the good I have now.

Happy New Year 2015 Images 5

As the new year comes in …

I truly want to make a difference – first in my own life, and then in the lives of those around me and beyond. I’m a bit of a recluse so the latter is really hard for me unless I can be anonymous (a joy of mine) and not have to face the masses or even a small group. But when the Lord moves me … that’s another thing.

So now, as we close out 2014 and open the door for 2015 to sail in, let’s agree to live the positive upbeat life and not allow the negatives and past regrets to pull us down.

Philippians 4: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Something I would love to have happen in 2015 – starting now – is more chat between us, so I truly HOPE you will leave a reply to my final questions of this year.

Have you experienced such hard things in your life it’s been a struggle to rise above it? What have you learned from how you face life, how has your attitude made a difference? What advice do you have for others … as the new year comes in?

My sincere wish is for the best year yet for you – a year of successes and accomplishments! I look forward to hearing about them.

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See you in 2015! Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2014 has arrived!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

A new year has arrived, our calendars are fresh and ready, the resolutions are in place and waiting to be broken. 😉

Is that unfair and negative?

Are you a person who works very hard to keep their new year’s resolutions, or do you give up in despair a few weeks in?

Or,

Are you like me and don’t really make new year resolutions?

Do tell! Share with me what your resolutions are for 2014, or if you didn’t bother to make them at all – why not?

This is my week at Dad’s, so some of the family came here for the evening to make it easier on him. There were nine of us plus a guest who stayed a little while. We played table games, had yummy snacks and drinks, and then at midnight our son-in-law and daughter set off a fun display of fireworks they had brought for the occasion. That was quite enjoyable, and I’m sure the neighbours got to watch a lot of it, too.

How did you see the new year in? Did you do anything grand or special?

I wish you blessings for a truly HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂