Tag Archives: Writing

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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Plugging along, and quotes for readers and writers

I should have been twins. 

If I were twins I could divide between myself all the things I want less to do so that it takes half the time to do them. Then all I want to do and have the most interest and desire for can be enjoyed … giving me a better chance to feel accomplished in completing things – or getting better at them.

Or maybe not.

If I were twins I would most likely take on twice as much, get hopelessly overwhelmed with no recovery possible, and continue to not have enough of me to go around.

So, I am plugging along. Not getting nearly as much accomplished as I want to. Being way too tired too much of the time. And behind as usual. Almost hopelessly behind with little chance of catching up. That’s me, plugging along.

The good news is, I found some quotes to share with you today.

For the writers:

I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later i can build castles. – shannon hale

I like that quote. 🙂 

Now this one for readers:

ordinary people have big tvs. extraordinary people have big libraries. – Robin Sharma

I think I would have a fairly decent-sized library if I could shelve all of my books in one room. I’m aiming for a big library. One day I hope to be that organized. 🙂

And a final one for today:

Dinosaurs didn’t read. Now they’re extinct.

Keep reading, folks! 🙂

Anything you want to say about anything today?  What book(s) are you reading – or writing – now?  🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Is it only the second week of 2018?

Is this only the second weekend of the new year? Somehow it seems it should be later in the month already, as in … nearly February, probably because I haven’t had a week like this one in a long time. Every day there was something happening to cause stresses, frustrations, mix-ups, dealings with people and misunderstandings, anger-inducing situations – yes, I still get angry over things. And more than once this week. It’s exhausting! I was already tired anyway. Today I’m looking for it to be a great day that continues into next week … and beyond. Please.

2018 has already shown itself as one in which I will find it difficult to keep up my regular blogging routine. Actually, looking back I see my routine started hiccuping once Fall 2017 arrived, and it continued to flounder as the year wound down. Life got busier in our family for awhile.

*sigh* Okay. I admit it. I’ve never been great at sticking to a routine. I try, I really do try.

This year I have to plan time for more writing. Already I’m not managing my  goals for the year very well at all. I think I need to take the major part of one day this week and do some purging of my space while I’m home for my week off so I feel less pressed in upon. Then I have to work on some writing projects I want to get done right away. I’ll continue to post here as often as I can, mainly because I don’t want to lose contact with you, and because I enjoy blogging – which is really the same thing. I have some book reviews to write and some books to read. Did I say some? Many. Many books to read. (I have to refer to my own list of goals. Maybe a daily checklist would work.)

Speaking of books …

IT TAKES A STRONG WOMAN TO ADMIT SHE HAS TOO MANY BOOKS …

WHICH I TOTALLY DON’T!

 

 

 

 

 

BOOKWORMS WILL RULE THE WORLD

AS SOON AS WE FINISH ONE MORE CHAPTER …

 

 

So, that’s what I have to say about that. 😉

How are you doing two weeks into the new year? Keeping up your goals or resolutions or routines? Do tell! Oh, and do you find a daily checklist or chart to be helpful? If you’ve found something that works for you, would you please let me in on your secret?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂  

 

Writer Waiting – a poem by Shel Silverstein

I’ve been reading Shel Silverstein’s work; one of his books of poetry is Runny Babbit: a Billy Sook that I read in December – as you can see on my “Books I read in 2017” page. On my “Books I read in 2018” page I listed others of his I’ve read this month – A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, and now I’m reading Where the Sidewalk Ends. I don’t know how I missed reading him before this. I even discovered that The Unicorn – a song sung by The Irish Rovers – is a poem by Shel Silverstein! There are a few other familiar verses that turn out to have been written by him, as well.

Today I want to share one of his poems that I especially like, from page 58 of Falling Up – –

Writer Waiting

Oh this shiny new computer –
There just ain’t nothin’ cuter.
It knows everything the world ever knew.
And with this great computer
I don’t need no writin’ tutor,
‘Cause there ain’t a single thing that it can’t do.
It can sort and it can spell,
It can punctuate as well.
It can find and fill and underline and type.
It can edit and select,
It can copy and correct,
So I’ll have a whole book written by tonight
(Just as soon as it can think of what to write.)

Isn’t that a good one, especially if you are trying to think of something to write? 🙂

Do you have a favourite Shel Silverstein poem? Or someone else’s poem that speaks to you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Out with 2017, In with 2018 – Happy New Year! & thank YOU

As I write this it’s not long before a new year begins. Personally, I’m a little excited about 2018. If you read my last post, dated December 29, you’ll know I have moved forward in my writing life. Yes, I have a huge distance to go yet, but I lived up to my word of 2017 and made PROGRESS – however small it may seem. That was my goal.

you are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – c. s. lewis

I’m now thinking about what I want my goals to be in 2018. They won’t be unreasonable and unreachable, but they will challenge me and spur me on. 

I’m also waiting to know what my word for 2018 will be. I started focusing on a motivational/inspirational word for the year back in 2013. That year my word was GRATEFUL. Apparently I didn’t have a word for 2014; however, it was POSITIVITY for 2015, CHANGE for 2016, and PROGRESS for 2017. 

It’s been a tough year on a personal level, affecting my ability to write as much as I want to. As usual, I’m behind in my reading and yet I still managed to read over 600 books this year! That’s amazing to me – even if they are mostly picture books and therefore quicker to read. (My librarians are fantastic and I do my part to keep them busy. 🙂 )

Before I sign off I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of you for your faithful following of my blog, for your comments and encouragement, for sharing about Polilla Writes, and for your friendship. That means so very much to me.

Even though I fell behind a few times I kept at the blogging when I could do it because I enjoy the connection with you, even if I hear from only a few. I am grateful you are there, reading my words and sometimes adding your thoughts. Please keep coming back in 2018 if what I have to share is worth your time. I appreciate you. Do you have any favourites among my 2017 posts? 

What has 2017 meant to you? Do you have goals (or resolutions) for the new year?

Thank you for helping to make 2017 a year of progress in my life. See you in 2018!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

My Successes in 2017

Children’s author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity – what DIDN’T get done or achieved in the previous year.  Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list for 2017.

Since setting goals instead of making resolutions has been my way for many years now, sharing what I see as my successes feels much more positive. So, in 2017 I have surprised myself because I:

1. settled on my word for the year – PROGRESS – and set out to make it happen in my writing as much as I could manage, and grew in confidence as a writer;

2. celebrated my 7th year of blogging here on WordPress on January 9;

3. wrote 144 blog posts, including this one and one scheduled for Dec 31;

4. wrote reviews of 67 books on my blog, 42 of which were written by 12 x 12 members – past and present;

5. interviewed 3 authors here on my blog, and 2 illustrators – my first time to interview illustrators;

6. participated in Tara Lazar’s Storystorm challenge and came up with 30 ideas for stories;

7. entered Susanna Hill’s Valentiny writing contest  (my entry);

8. entered Vivian Kirkfield’s #50 Precious Words challenge (my entry);

9. participated in ReFoReMo (Reading For Research Month) and read over 100 recommended picture books to learn more about writing picture books – and the reading continues;

10. read over 600 books during the year, all but about 60 were picture books;

11. wrote a 500-word story for a writing challenge through InScribe;

12. attended an information session with other local writers, put on by the writers federation of which I’m a member;

13. attended 15 (or more) webinars about different aspects of writing, mostly regarding picture books;

14. attended a full day online Picture Book Summit & won the big prize;

15. participated in all the 12×12 webinars – except for maybe one;

16. gained a picture book writer friend through 12×12 & we share about our writing life nearly every day;

17. earned a place on the 12×12 winners wall because of writing 25 new story drafts, 18 more than in 2016, (12 are required for the win);

18. wrote 6 revisions of stories;

19. got one story polished and submission-ready;

20. submitted story (point #19) to an agent – my first time to approach an agent;

21. received a reply from agent (point #20) with positive comments and helpful advice – a champagne rejection;

22. posted one of my stories in the 12×12 critique forum and received wonderful comments and helpful critiques, one by a critique ninja;

23. was gifted a helpful critique by author Marcie Colleen to further improve my story (point #19);

24. prepared, arranged, and published my dear mother’s children’s story as a photo flip book and had 8 copies printed for family in her honour;

25. believe more deeply I AM A WRITER!

 

 

 

What are YOUR 2017 successes? No matter how small or insignificant they might seem, they add up and fit together somehow. Please share with us in the comments.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

 

 

A video for you by John Greene

Today I want to show you a video by John Greene. He is the author who wrote Fault in Our Stars that was published in January 2012. I have the book but haven’t read it yet, and … I might have seen the movie.

Anyway, I found this video that I thought you’d enjoy. He is quite hilarious in his presentation.

Have you read his book (or any of his books) or watched the movie? Does he make you feel better about your own writing?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂