Yesterday was our first day back at our homeschool co-op. It was a good day. I was mean to my son later that day, over something that seemed important at the time, but in the long view, I don’t know if it was worth being mean or not. It is ever worth being mean? I don’t know how I could have handled it better but I am thinking on it.

Probably the best part of yesterday was when I was about to leave, and another mom asked me how my husband was doing with his medical issues, and I was honest and told her how I was feeling about all of it – to the best of my tongue-tied ability, at least. She listened, and she tried to understand, and she prayed over the whole situation. It was such a relief to have my feelings not explained away or dismissed. I didn’t feel ridiculous or regret sharing with her and it was such a balm to my soul.

Today I’m back in the office, considering my to-do list and working on checking off some things. I’ve got a calming blend in my essential oil diffuser and relaxing spa music on spotify, and my big chunk of amethyst next to me. I feel okay. There’s a small tension still within, but overall I feel better.

I have several projects in my mental inbox, and I’m trying to decide which one I should focus on first.

  • The WIP on sexual assault I was working on before I went back to my Rat Queen revisions. This story feels very close to my heart, and I was making good progress before I put it on pause last month. I could probably get that one done in a month or two if I really put my nose to the grindstone.
  • The WIP I was working on before the sexual assault one. This one was a lot of fun, but I got overwhelmed by the whole thing when I was working on it. I think it will be amazing, if I can ever figure out how to get it where I want it. I’d like to get it over and done with.
  • A play I promised my niece I would write for the local theater, for Christmas. Honestly, it should be done as soon as possible so they have time to prepare for it. This shouldn’t be hard at all, because I’m basically going to just redo “A Christmas Carol” to be set in our small town, but I’m not looking forward to actually putting in the work setting everything up. Making the changes I want should be easy. Getting the rest of the play transcribed from the original story sounds like it’s going to suck, big time.
  • The new, fresh middle grade magical realism that I haven’t even got set solidly in my head, but sounds SO VERY MUCH FUN to write and create! But I really can’t let myself get too deep into it, because I have the other stuff I need to do first. Bother.

So, yeah. I know I need to do the play first, gross. But that way the actors can get to work on their lines and stuff. They definitely need those by November…and October would be even better. Then I think I’ll get back into the sexual assault one – hopefully can wrap that up before the end of the year. Then back to the other YA WIP…and then the new shiny one?!?!?!

Fingers crossed.

Writing retreat

I’m on a writing retreat with three friends at a cabin in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. It’s beautiful here. We sat around a fire earlier in the burn pit (I made the fire and it actually happened, whoot!) and now we’ve retreated to our own spaces to write. I’m excited about getting more work done on my novel, and I think this might be just the way to get it really going.

I’m very thankful for the opportunity to be here, and for the opportunity it’s giving me. I just wanted to get on here and warm up a little before I dive in. I’m hoping I write a little on the blog each day. As usual, we’ll see.

Anyway, on to the novel.

All kinds of writing

The last two days I’ve been writing, but not fiction. My children’s dance teacher, who had been an important part of all our lives for more than a decade, died last week after a long battle with cancer. I have been writing the obituary. It’s the first one I’ve written in a while. I guess the last ones I wrote was when I was working for the newspaper in the early part of the 2010s. The last one I wrote that wasn’t work-related was my sister’s in 2009.

So I’ve been working on the full and brief versions of this obituary for two days, talking to the family and sending them drafts for revisions. I’ll be sending it to the local newspaper this evening, and then the others will be submitted in the coming days. In the meantime, I’ve been working on my new manuscript, reading and revising, and creating a few new words.. I went to my writing group on Saturday afternoon. Church was cancelled due to paint fumes on Sunday, thankfully, because it gave me more obituary writing time. Then we went to my husband’s family’s home for the Superbowl, and the ladies all went to the movies (The Greatest Showman, by the way, was AMAZING). Then more obituary writing.

Today’s co-op day, so I’m with the rest of the homeschool moms, manning the greeters table while revising the obit and talking to the family.

And blogging.

And working on SCBWI Oklahoma blog parade details and publicity for the upcoming conference. And helping to sell snacks as a fundraiser for the senior class, lol.

I’m thankful, though. I’m thankful this family trusts me enough to allow me to write the obituary for them. I’m introverted and awkward sometimes, so I don’t know if I’m the best person to lean on in a time of grief. I’m not good at knowing when to hug, or when to bring a meal, or when to say something. I am good at writing, and being able to use that gift to help the people I care about is something I’m very grateful about.

Thirty Days of Gratitute 30

So I never go around to finishing this. And now it is halfway through January. But I have a blog post to publish about our amazing SCBWI Oklahoma Spring Conference Blog Parade (!) so I guess it’s time to wrap this puppy up.

So without further ado:

What talent or skill do you have that you are grateful for?

Writing, I guess. I mean, I know I’m thankful for it. I’m thankful for other skills too, but I suppose that’s the numero uno. It should be, right? On a writer’s website?

It’s been hard lately. I haven’t felt the muse for about two years now. I don’t know how to get it back. My super-smart published author friend Kim says I need to keep writing, and it’ll lift the fog I feel in my mind these days. I’m sure she’s right.

And I keep plugging away. I’m not as far into my new novel as I’d like to be, but I’ve gotten good feedback and when I read it, I can see that the skill is still there. It’s just not as easy to do at the moment. I’m still thankful for it, though.

What do you do when your creativity isn’t flowing easily? Ideas?

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What song are you most grateful for?

I don’t know. It varies a lot. Christian songs. I really like listening to Christian radio. The songs really seem to relate to me and what I am dealing with. There’s one called “Thy Will Be Done” that’s on the radio quite a bit right now that helped me through some difficult times. And I also like the song “God Help Me.” It really speaks to me. Sometimes I sing along and I feel almost like I am expressing my own thoughts to God as a prayer of my own. I like that.


30 days of gratitude 20

Twenty things! That’s a lot to be grateful for. Even if these are freaking weird.

So…what’s on the agenda for this post?

Who in your life are you grateful for?

Whoa. That’s a big one. And it’s a good one. A real one.

And a hard one. Because it’s basically endless. I’m thankful for so many people in my life, and I don’t want to just select one because how can I choose? And I don’t want to do a big list because I will definitely forget someone.

Dang. My family. My friends. People who love my kids. People who Ben works with. People we homeschool with, and go to church with, and do theatre and dance and martial arts with. My writing friends. My online friends. My school friends.

It’s impossible.

My mom. I’ll go with that. I am thankful for my mom.

And everyone else.

Seriously, you all, I am really, really blessed. All joking aside, it’s pretty mind-blowing. <3

30 days of gratitude 19

Thanksgiving is over, and the month of thankfulness is nearly complete. Even though I’ve been weird about when I actually have done these posts, I’m glad that I’m getting them done. I don’t consider myself too behind because I made the conscious decision not to take the computer on our trips to see family over the holidays. We had a nice time.

Anyway. Back to the grind.

What touch are you thankful for today?

I find this one weird. I find a lot of these weird, actually. Maybe next year I should go back to my own ideas instead of using something like this. But I want to finish what I’ve started.

Does this mean like the feel of something? Like fabric? Didn’t I already do one like that? Or like touched in the head? Ha ha.

Well, honestly, I’m thankful for the times that I am very still and quiet and I meditate on God and I can feel His spirit infusing my body with peace, joy, and love. And I don’t know if that’s what this question was asking and I don’t care.


30 days of gratitude 8

What book are you most grateful for?

I should probably say the Bible, and I suppose that it is true, because I believe it is truly the Word of God and that we should pay attention and follow it’s teachings. And when I read it, I do feel close to God. I read it every day, but I should read more. I don’t read much. I’ve read the entire thing twice, and the New Testament more than that, but I learn something new every time I open it, it seems like.

The book I am the second most grateful for is a book by Gene Neill called “I’m Gonna Bury You.” It was given to me when I was teenager, and I kept it for years. It’s not my regular type of book but it is very important to me. It has also taught me many things about life and I feel very connected to the author when I read it. It makes me want to be a better person, and to be closer to God in every way.

I could also mention that I’m thankful for the first book I wrote, Pairs, even though it’s not published or anything. It was the book that made me realize that I could actually write and finish a novel, and I will always be grateful for that. I hope I can get it to a point where it can be published one day. I would love to share it with the world.

30 days of gratitude 6

What in nature are you grateful for today?

First off, disclaimer that this is actually Nov. 8 and I’m going to roll the publish date back to the sixth. Just trying to be honest there.

I already did leaves, and fall.

Snow, I guess. I love the snow. Actually, strike that. I want to be thankful for how seasons change. I don’t like it when people complain about how hot it is in the summer and how cold it is in the winter. Yes, I too do not like extreme hot or cold temperatures. But I don’t see any reason in complaining about it.

I like how the seasons change. I like how it’s always something different. Sometimes I’ve thought that I’d like to live in a real temperate climate year-round, but how boring would that be? Snow is cool. And really hot days are cool. (Even though fall is best and spring is second best, duh.) But I’d rather have it be different all the time than the same all the time, even if it’s nice all the time.

Maybe I should think about how life should be like that. Or my outlook on life. I want it to be nice and temperate all the time. But if it wasn’t for the extremes, maybe it would be boring. I don’t know.

Anyway. Thankful for changing seasons.