Writing Has Changed My Life

2019 is the year I have decided to get down right serious about my writing. I started this new journey back around Thanksgiving by creating a separate Facebook page dedicated to that idea. I wish I had done this sooner, as I have found myself brushing shoulders with a lovely group of fellow writers and authors who are on their own writing journey. It has certainly been a very rewarding experience, and I have learned so much.

One of most important things I have learned on this journey, is networking in some form or fashion is very important for a writer. Being an author can certainly be a lonely journey, because I have found that people who do not have the writing spirit in them have no understanding of the journey. You tell a non-writer that you are writing a book or story, they give you this blank look on their face, as the concept has clearly went over their heads.

But it’s okay. I write for myself . I enjoy the creative process. I enjoy creating new worlds, people, and journeys for those people. Initially, when I started out back in November, I had intended to see myself published in 2019, but now that I have taken a more serious look at the writing process, I have a lot to learn. So, for now, I am learning. I am teaching myself how this process works and what all goes into it. And I am learning from others. Will I see myself published this year? Well, I have this blog. Everything else will fall into place as time goes.

I also have discovered Wattpad. I have a reading account there. But the door to post a story is certainly open and waiting for me to publish there. I am also looking at Booksie, but haven’t made a definitive decision about joining, as yet.

And then, there is the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

A successful journey is taken one step at a time. All one has to do is take that first step. And here I am.

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I Stand Out In The Crowd….

…because I march to the beat of my own drum.

I found a new writing prompt that I am going to give a stab at.

I am not one to religiously follow current trends or ideas. Nor am I one to believe everything I hear. I like to be the silent observer, quietly watching, listening, and observing, forming my own opinion on matters. I think that it is very important these days to do that. Following angry or boisterous crowds can get you into a whole lot of trouble.

Be your own thinker, is my motto. It will take you further.

My Vacation Bucket List

I’m a dreamer. Not ashamed to admit either. I think that is why I love to write. As warm weather fast approaches, I begin to think about summer and fun and vacations. I think we all have a private or maybe not so private bucket list of places they would love to one day visit.

Here are six places I would love to one day visit:

  1. Alaska. Yep. I would love to go up north to the last wilderness frontier in America. I would love to see the wildlife, the open space, and even the Northern Lights. I would love to take an Alaskan cruise. Screw going to the Bahamas or those other warm places. Take me to Alaska so I can look at the whales, the glaciers and whatever else one of those cruises offer.
  2. Hawaii. I know I just said screw those warm places, but I would love to visit Hawaii. I think it would be the coolest thing to ride a horse on the beach. At sunrise. Or go look at a live volcano. But, with all that fun, my primary reason for wanting to go Hawaii would be to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial. I have an uncle that was killed during the attack. I want to see his name on that Memorial.
  3. Grand Canyon. This is actually the most feasible vacations on my bucket list, as I live about five hours from the Grand Canyon. Such awesome beauty and creation should be viewed with one’s own eyes. I would like to either take the helicopter ride that is offered or the mule ride down to the bottom.
  4. Paris. Yep. I want to see Paris. The last month of my European military service, I spent traveling all over Europe. The last weekend I was there, I was supposed to visit Paris, but for some crazy reason the tour bus missed my stop, so I didn’t get to go.
  5. Yellowstone. If you can’t tell, I am a nature lover. I would love to go to Yellowstone for the sole reason of admiring the beauty and wildlife that populate that area. A bit of fishing might be cool to.
  6. Canada. There was a travel show I watched one time about a train ride across Canada. I would love to do that. I think it would be a great way to see Canada, and if it was anything like the train rides I took when I was in Europe, you get to meet all kinds of people.

What is on your vacation Bucket List?

The Edge Of Forever

Mom and dad called their favorite picnic spot The Edge Of Forever.  It was a place they had found and claimed, way back before us four kids were even a thought, that overlooked the entire valley and beyond.  They took us there often throughout their lives.  It was also the place where mom’s ashes were spread when she was no longer with us.  I remember the view as clear as day.  It was truly the edge of forever.

“Take me to the Edge Of Forever when I’m gone.” Dad said to me one day.  It was my turn to take care of dad.  His cancer had taken such a toll on him, that he was in hospice.  “I want to be with your mother.”

“Of course I will, dad.” I said. My older brother, Daniel, had already mentioned doing this. It’s only proper, was his reasoning. Nobody certainly disputed that, so it was a given we all would make one more trek to the Edge Of Nowhere. We all hadn’t been up there since taking mom’s ashes, three years before cancer took a hold of dad. Outings out there just weren’t the same any more without mom, and he lost his desire to go.

A few weeks later, dad was gone. All four of us quietly made the thirty minute hike to the Edge Of Forever. The sun and the pine smell of the forest we hiked through had not changed. I had even packed us a picnic lunch. Brian, the second oldest, carried dad’s ashes. Once there, we all stared across the open space. “I never realized how close to the Edge of Forever, this really was.” Brain said, before spreading dad’s ashes over the edge. We all watched as the wind carried those ashes out into the open space and beyond.

A bird called out. Looking up, we saw an eagle circling above us. Another eagle flew up from the depths of the open space. It circled the long eagle, before the two flew off across the open air.

I waved goodbye, as tears streamed down my face.

Writing prompt from: https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2019/02/01/february-2019-writing-prompts/

My Goals For The Week

One time I heard that a goal without a plan is just a wish.

From the perspective of a writer, especially one who has yet to publish anything, that is so very true. I am a huge fan when it comes to setting goals. I set yearly, monthly, and weekly goals. It keeps me on track and gives me something to focus on.

My goals for this week are super simple. And all writing related.

I now have a public facebook that I set up for networking purposes and it is going strong, so I want to continue getting better acquainted with the authors and other industry people I have connected with. I spent the last two days sending out a huge number of friend requests. I don’t expect everybody to allow me into their circle, but I have gotten an overwhelming, but pleasing response, so that is very exciting.

I started doing weekend writing challenges, where I write in a genre not familiar to me. This weekend was the first time I did this. I chose the erotica romance genre. I have read quite a few books in that genre and had been wanting to take a stab at writing in that genre, so I had fun. And I actually like writing that genre. But. I need tons and tons of practice.

This week, I want to finish the first revision of a paranormal romance novella I had finished back in December. It is the first book of a series of five I plan to write. I haven’t decided yet, if I am going to spice up this series or not. That decision will depend on how well I do in my weekend challenges.

I am also working on a fantasy trilogy. I have book one outlined out, and six chapters written. I would like to see book two outlined, at least, halfway through by friday. If I get all of book two done this week, that would be great.

Unrelated to books, I feel the need to add in this. My weight loss journey is trudging onward beautifully. I did plateau this week, but that is okay. I’m not giving up. I like how I feel to much to stop now. And not only that, I have entered a realm I haven’t been in, in previous weight loss journeys.

What are your goals for this week?

Shadow

Vicious was the name neighborhood kids had given a black stray dog. I called him Shadow, because he was all black and he would appear out of nowhere. Nobody knew who Shadow belonged to and nobody ever came forward to claim him. He didn’t look like a stray, because he looked to well taken care of. I don’t know if I adopted Shadow or if Shadow adopted me. I think he adopted me though, because I was quick to defend him when the kids would be mean to him.


Shadow took to hanging out around my house, finding a place to sleep behind the garage. One night when it got cold, I snuck a blanket out of the house, opened the garage door and found a place for Shadow to sleep in the corner. I even took to sneaking food out to him. I even went so far as to using some of my own allowance money to buy a small bag of dogfood. Mom was very vocal about not wanting a dog around, so I didn’t dare ask to keep Shadow.


Then one day a kid on the street got bit by a dog. A black dog. Right away Shadow was blamed for it. I knew he didn’t do because he accidently got shut in the garage when we all went out for dinner. Shadow seemed to know he was in trouble, because he hid in the far corner of the garage behind dad’s tool chest. I knew Shadow was innocent, but I was afraid to say anything for fear of losing Shadow.


Later that night, dad came into the room. I knew before he ever uttered a word what he was going to ask, because the neighborhood kids were demanding I give up Vicious. “Where’s Shadow?” Dad asked, sitting down on the bed next to me. “Police have told me that if we don’t tell them where the dog can be found, we can be held responsible for future bites. And Dale is threatening to sue for medical cost for the bite his kid got.”


“Shadow didn’t bite Eddie.” I said. “Shadow got locked in the garage when we went to dinner. I just now opened the door for him to get out. And the gate to the yard has been closed. He couldn’t have got out of the yard to bite anybody.” Tears filled my eyes. I was determined to protect Shadow.


“I believe you, Sarah.” Dad said after some thought. “I knew Shadow has been in the backyard and you have been taking care of him. I will talk to Andy. See what we can do to protect Shadow.” Shadow now had another ally. A grown up. Everything was going to be fine now.


Every day, I made sure the gate was locked and Shadow was still in the backyard. For three days, I waited nervously for the verdict, certain someone would come take Shadow away from me. I was no fully committed to keeping this dog, even though mom didn’t want a dog. Surprisingly enough she never said a word.


One evening there was a knock on the door. Opening the door, I saw a couple police officers. I was certain they had come for Shadow. Dad came to the door, before I could say anything to defend Shadow. “Go upstairs Sarah.” Dad said. “I’ll take care of this.”


I wanted to stay and see what happens. I didn’t want dad to come tell me they had taken Shadow without my saying goodbye. So, I stayed next to dad.


“Good evening, Mr Henderson. Good evening Sarah.” The police officer said looking at both of us. “We just wanted to let you all know, we found the dog that bit Dale’s kid. It belonged to the new family up the street here. Turns out they were hiding the dog.”


I sighed with relief. Shadow had been cleared of all accusations. I couldn’t wait to tell him.


Dad looked at me. He looked relieved, as well. “Thank you John for coming by and telling us. Can you please tell Dale, so he can quit threatening us with a lawsuit?”


“I talked to him before coming over here.” John said. John looked at me. “Do me a favor, Sarah. Give Vicious a more deserving name, will you?”
“His name is Shadow.” I said, smiling broadly.


And that is how Shadow moved into all our hearts and house. He no longer sleeps in the garage. He sleeps at the foot of my bed. And mom don’t seem to mind having a dog around.

Dare To Change

Recently, on another social site I frequent, the question was brought up about people who don’t want to change due to bad habits and whether or not they should be cut out of your life. Obviously, if someone is extremely toxic, for your own mental health, that toxic person should be cut out of your life.

But I took it a step further, and asked myself this question. Can people change?

Do I think people can change? I do believe they can.

Each one of us has a choice to make when a bad behavior or habit is revealed to us. We can choose to continue on the same path or we can choose to make an effort to change that bad behavior.

Usually change is for the better. Or change should be for the better.

I know, for me, I am working to change how I view food and my eating habits, so once I lose the weight I want to lose, I won’t gain it back. I will also have a healthy view regarding food. It is my hope to be able to pass on that new knowledge to someone else, so they don’t have to walk the same path I walked.

I am also spending some time this year to get to know myself better by asking myself and answering a daily question. I’m not sure where this journey will end, but I’m sure I will be at better place come December 31, 2019.

The Fine Art Of Contentment

To be content means to be in a state of happiness or satisfaction or a feeling of fulfillment. 

So many people aren’t content, and maybe don’t understand why. They want more to the point they thirst or hunger for more, and think or even do things to find that contentment. Things they later regret.

However, you don’t find contentment by looking for more things. 

No.   

Contentment is a state of being, regardless of the situation around you. 

Contentment is also finding something to do that leaves you feeling fulfilled, without the guilt of doing something you know deep down you shouldn’t have done.

I can safely say I am content today, right now.  Can you say the same thing?

Dare To Dream

Do you dream? If so, what are your dreams? You don’t have any dreams?

We all have dreams.  We dream of a better life, maybe in a different place or town.  If we’re single, we dream of finding our soul mate.  Maybe we dream of a better job, while we are getting a degree.  Or maybe we just want to be happy. Whatever it is we dream about, no matter how small or big that dream is, we all dream.

Maybe you don’t call it a dream. Maybe you call it a yearning. You know that thing you talk about doing or acquiring one day when things get better, you marry a rich dude, or get a better job, or win the lotto.

But whatever the dream or yearning is, there is something each one of us yearn.  Perhaps that dream has somehow been shattered, or cast aside for one reason or another. Dare to pick that shattered dream up, piece it together, and go after that dream.

My biggest dream right now is to be able to live off what I write.  I retire in a few years, so this is a very real dream for me.  But.  I’m not waiting until I hit 65 to do this.  I am preparing now.  I am writing.  I am interacting with the writing community.  At some point, in 2019, I will be joining a writer’s group. 

So there is a time of planning and preparing to see your dream fulfilled. For instance, I know people who dreamt of retiring to Florida.  They saved and planned their entire work life for that time.  They never stopped talking about it.  Then when they retired, guess what they did?  Yes.  They packed up and moved to Florida.  And they are as happy as can be.

What is your dream?  What are you doing to fulfill that dream?

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