Tag Archives: Valley Sunshine

More change; Valley Sunshine

Starting near the end of last year and continuing in January of this year I shared with you my thoughts and other people’s quotes regarding CHANGE.  I felt there was marked change going to occur – specifically, but not only, in my own life.

2016 is definitely shaping up to be my year of change.

A long chapter of my life ended this week. It was so hard to let it go.

When I was in my early 30’s, and the mother of three young children (a fourth born later), I started a friendship newsletter – called Valley Sunshine – that quickly turned into a Christian one which developed into a type of ministry. I started with about three dozen ‘members’, a number that rapidly increased to over 500 worldwide! It was phenomenal to me. That’s with no advertising except word-of-mouth, except for a few mentions in others’ newsletters. (Once there was a half page article in the provincial newspaper about me/Valley Sunshine!) For over ten years that continued – run on donations – no subscription fee, with mail coming to me almost daily from all over the world, occasional phone calls, and a surprise package now and again. It was like a huge family of friends who encouraged one another. I know the Lord touched lives through that little homegrown publication; it was my joy to be part of it, and I look forward to one day knowing all He did through that humble publication. With the passing of my mother (my greatest “fan”), I took a long break from VS publishing.  A few years ago I started it up again on a much smaller scale by subscription as requested. (It remained non-profit.) Finally, this week, I sent the final issue out. It was a hard decision to come to, but a necessary one. Trying to compile that last issue I mourned the loss of this connection with people I’d grown to love, this change of calling on my life, the hard choices; however, eventually I sensed the relief of admitting it’s done – it’s run its course. I still feel the loss, and I will for a long time. But …

It’s time to allow change in my life to have its own space.

As a caregiver one’s time is used very differently, it’s taxed in a way one does not expect. The things that used to be easily addressed cannot be handled the same way. I had to accept it was time to let change happen and allow the Lord to redirect my life.

Writing in other ways has floated to the top of my life. As you may know, I’ve been interested in writing for MANY years, have taken courses and participated in various online writer’s groups. Now I’m working on children’s stories again. I have a writing coach/buddy. I’m a member of an online critique group, and recently joined an in-person writer’s group (mixed writing genres) that meets once a week. I’m a member of 12×12 and participate in PiBoIdMo and ReFoReMo. All these things are intended to help me learn and improve. Life is still busy. Writing is a huge part of that for me.

Now I’ve told you much more than I had intended to when I started this post. I was going to give you a fun quiz to do, and the above was going to be the lead-in. It just grew and grew!  Next post will be the quiz. 🙂

Much love to you.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to let go because it’s time so that you can move on to other things in your creative life?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

What is your passion?

I’ve been thinking today about what is my passion – where I put my efforts, how I use my time. Besides being with my beloved husband and my family, that is. This week I am working more on Valley Sunshine publication, hoping my duplicating machine won’t quit on me again. During the printing of the last issue my antiquated machine broke down but, strangely, when the repairman finally was able to come out to look at it, I tried it and it worked again! Now, I don’t know for how long it will be functional, but it means I can print off this issue, or at least for as long as it prints off the pages. That is one place I put my time – writing, compiling, sharing the Lord and His word through this little publication. I enjoy the contact with my readers/subscribers.

And you know I like to write stories, but I haven’t been able to really settle into being creative that way the last several months – except for book reviews and a few interviews. Working on my novel is something I have yet to mold into my life again, but I am really enjoying blogging. Because of time restrictions now I don’t get to visit many of the blogs I follow, though.

Another thing is, of course, reading books. Last week I began reading War and Peace which is four books in one, and I learned that it took Leo Tolstoy six years to write it! I figure it will probably take me a year to read it. 🙂 At least.  But I also have several other books on the go at the same time, so I will keep adding titles to my “have read” list for this year.

But I think my greatest passion is worship – worshiping the Lord, and being in fellowship with other Christians to “be the Church” with them. It is uplifting and joyful and a blessing to all involved. Part of that is talking about God’s Word, learning more and sharing about it .. such wonderful food for the soul. Religion does not quicken my spirit, but relationship with Him does.

So, what is your passion? Where or how do you most like to spend your time?  Do you enjoy creating? If so, what? Do you like to travel? If so, where and how?

What is your passion?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

NaNoWriMo 2010 is over — I WON!

Yes, NaNoWriMo is over for another year.  If you have not been following my posts — this is the first NaNo challenge for me and I WON!  That means that I met the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days – with a few words over just to be sure – and I now have the certificate to prove it.  Yay!

My ‘novel’ is not completed, though.  I stopped writing in a place where there are three conflicts set up to be resolved, but I think it was a good place to stop for this challenge.  Now I have the personal challenge of completing my ‘novel’ and doing a LOT of editing.

Writing my last post I was SO TIRED, and I had to laugh today when I read it over and saw the typos I made last night.  And I don’t know why I didn’t say in that post’s heading that I had won in NaNo.  Too tired to think it through, I guess.  🙂

Last night I also signed the pledge to verify that I had completed PiBoIdMo, and now we wait to learn who, of all of its participants, win those great prizes that Tara Lazar gathered to give out on December 3 or 4.

Talking to my husband over supper tonight I realized that I really did accomplish quite a bit of writing last month (November) — 50K words for NaNoWriMo, 30 picture book ideas for PiBoIdMo (I actually got 44), and I completed and mailed out the Autumn issue of Valley Sunshine newsletter.

No wonder I’m tired.  I am ending this day early.   Hopefully tomorrow I can get more accomplished in my house than I did today.

And it’s now December!  Time to get my house in order to start decorating for Christmas!

So, how was your day?  Have you started Christmas shopping and decorating?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Day 24: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo

Wednesday, Day 24 of NaNoWriMo was a good day.  Today it rained and then snowed a little more, so I didn’t hang the laundry out to dry – which I prefer, but it takes more time to do.  That just meant I had more time to do the ‘writerly‘ things I enjoy.   So, I got Valley Sunshine all printed off on my cantankerous duplicating machine, collated into 63 copies, stapled, stuffed into previously prepared envelopes, sealed ’em up ready to go … but not in time for today’s mail.  My sister stopped in and offered to take them with her to mail in the morning, so I kept the local ones to go here and she took the rest.  Yay!  They will all be on their way tomorrow!

With Valley Sunshine done I was able to start my NaNo writing earlier in the evening.  Today I wrote 2849 words, taking my total to 32178.  Now I have the challenge 65% completed!  That is encouraging to me.  With only 6 writing days left in the challenge I have to write almost 3000 words each day to win.  Sadly, according to my stats on my NaNo page, at this rate I will finish on Dec 8.  Okayyy, NOT acceptable!

I’m still getting ideas for PiBoIdMo.  This afternoon I told my sister that I had yet to come up with an idea for it today, and she said “snowflake”.  (It was snowing at the time.)  I said, it has to be something different, I’m sure that’s been done to death.  Then an idea instantly dropped into my mind, a storyline to do with snowflakes but something different.  TaDa!  Idea #36 which I wrote down and added to later as the story evolved.  Then on Twitter I read something that gave me another idea, although it may be rather distorted.  Some of my ideas are lame, some are crazy mixed-up ones, some have amounted to nothing more than a title as yet, but a few just might make it.

I’ve been really enjoying all this writing.  It’s amazing that the month is nearly over already.  NaNoWriMo has allowed me to see what my mind, given the chance, can create with words – beyond what I have ever attempted before.  PiBoIdMo has been fun and very inspirational for me.  I am hoping that some of the people I have ‘met’ through it will be people I can stay in touch with somehow.  You know, ‘writerly’ types.  😉

Another bonus for me is that I have discovered the blogs and websites of some very talented people who love to write.  Some have been published and some are still on the long journey to reach that goal.

If you are a creative person, have you had a chance to enjoy the company of like-minded creatives?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

Day 23: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo

Tuesday, Day 23 of NaNoWriMo looks better than the past several days.  I managed to write 1768 words but I started a little earlier this evening, too.  I don’t know why I end up writing in detail what seems like tangents to the story, you know … added story lines that don’t seem to have much at all to do with the main story.  But, this is going to work out, right?  It’s all going to come together and make sense.  (Trying to convince myself.)

My total word count for NaNo is now 29,329, which means that in the remaining 7 days I have to write 20,671 words!  Yikes!  Let’s see … that makes an average of … 2953 words a day.  Oh drat, I’ve not written that many in one day through this whole challenge — yet.  Looks as if that is going to have to change!  The fun thing is that I have completed 59% of the 50,000 words!

PiBoIdMo is still looking good.  I came up with two more ideas today for that challenge.  Granted, they aren’t very good ones and would need a lot of work, but .. they still count.  I now have 35 ideas for PiBo.

Today I also worked on Valley Sunshine.  I finally have this issue completed and next have to print it all off on my duplicating machine, get the copies all put together and stapled  .. and then into the mail they go!  Yay!  Hoping I can do all that tomorrow and then have my evening to write, write, write for NaNo!

When I get all this writing done – this phase of it – I am really looking forward to getting back into reading.  I have such an accumulation of books waiting for me.  And I have some to write reviews for as well.

What are you reading?  Are you finding any quality time for that?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Day 21: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo

Sunday, Day 21 of NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo:  Sunday is always a busy day for me, time away from writing, computer, home.  I got up early this morning and spent some time reading my Bible, then we got ready to go pick up our grandson to go to fellowship with me.  He enjoys the worship music and Sunday School. This morning he was very squirmy – his money for the offering kept falling out of his pocket, his papers and book (to keep him occupied if needed) fell onto the floor when he was enjoying the music, then his crayons followed suit so that he finally decided to pick them all up and sit there and colour.  That was nice for awhile.  🙂  He is so darling.

I think I neglected to mention in last night’s post that we got snow in the afternoon so that I was ‘encouraged’ to get out my winter boots.  It was cold today, icy and windy, so boots and winter jacket it was!  Looks as if winter weather has arrived.  (I’m not complaining but .. blah!  and brrr! and — blah!)

This evening (Sunday) I did not get into Valley Sunshine but I did work on my NaNo writing.   I’m continuing my wondering about how I am ever going to sort this story out and get it on paper (I’m writing longhand) in no less than 50,000 words before November 30 comes and goes, taking with it my last chance to complete this challenge for a win.  Completing is winning and I must complete! I did manage to squeak out 1298 words, taking my total count to 26525 and my completion up to 54%.  [just a note here: yesterday the counter finally showed my % and it was over 50% to 51%.  No big deal? Well, you try writing in this pressure cooker and see how much 1% point means!  🙂 ]

Tonight in my NaNo story there was another interesting little extra that got written in, another little thing that adds to the mystery and probably aiding in the final solving of it.  I think.  Maybe.  Quite possibly.  🙂

PiBoIdMo is not something I have to be concerned about anymore since I met the goal, but I am still trying to come up with an idea a day until that challenge ends.  Today’s was not coming until just past midnight, after I had posted my word count for NaNoWriMo, but I did get an idea which I’m counting for Sunday’s.  For some reason I remembered a young bluejay that was snubbed by his siblings .. and I had my story idea.

Have a great week.  What’s on your agenda?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Day 20: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo

Saturday, Day 20 and I finally made it over the 25,000 word mark in NaNoWriMo.  I only brought my total up by 480 words today, but it’s better than nothing.  Now I’m really at the 50% completion point.

I’m also at a place now in my story where I have to figure out some time lines so that things make sense.  Having never written a story this long I am challenged with how to bring it along toward the end.  It feels as if I’m at the top of the mountain now, the climb is over and I have to start write down the other side.  But, I also have the conflicts coming up, two – maybe three – intertwining things that will add into the story.  They have been sort of set up and are beginning to build.

Even though I reached the goal for PiBoIdMo I can either continue coming up with ideas for it or I can start working on ones I already have.   Idea 31 happened today, although perhaps not a very good one.  I do have a few in my collection over the past 20 days that appeal to me and just might make good picture books.  🙂

Tonight my husband and I went with four family members to a live theatre presentation of ‘Cinderella’ as you have never seen it before, or ever will again!  So funny and well done.

Tomorrow I am off with grandson to Sunday fellowship meeting and Sunday School, and afterward I may be attending Alpha.  When I get home I will have to work on Valley Sunshine to try to finish getting it together. I really want to get it into the mail on Monday – and still write more in my NaNo challenge each day, too.   I’m feeling the pressure.

My question to you today is:  What’s the last live theatre presentation you saw?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂