Update

Since my mid-November post, I’ve spent a lot of time watching the changing seasons. Most winter days in the Pacific NW are gray, foggy, and rainy. Not uplifting.

I spied a joyful surprise on one of these gray days as I returned from our mailbox. Abundant blossoms are peeking from beneath the leaves on our Christmas Rose Helleborus. (See image above, thanks to Pixabay).

 
With the changing seasons come changes in our lives.
 
Unfortunately, my surgery still isn’t scheduled yet. My husband and I have been waiting for this date for some time. But, insurance companies do not move quickly in approving surgeries.
 
Waiting leads to boredom. I find myself dabbling in a variety of pastimes. Lots of reading, some knitting, adult coloring, and trying my hand at journalling. While dabbling, I sense joy in what I’m doing. Quite often one thing leads to another.
 
Like thinking. I’ve been doing some deep thinking about my writing. Starting now, the focus of my site and blog is changing. I’ll no longer post instructional writing topics and tips. Book reviews from time to time remain in my plans.
 
The big change is a move toward a more contemplative style of writing. Within my life experiences, my faith, a love of words, and memories, there are many things to share with you. I will be bringing to the blog a greater sense of who I am and where I come from. I’m excited about writing something new and fresh.
 
Also, the newsletter will no longer be part of my online presence. If you have received posts via the newsletter, please take note. To receive future posts, you must sign up using one of the following choices:
 
  • The first, “Receive Updates Via Email,” is in the sidebar. Simply enter your email address and click on the button; and
  • The second has no label but appears below the first. A simple click on this blue bar immediately signs you up for updates: 

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I hope you’ll come along with me on this new journey I’ve set for myself.

Stepping Away for Awhile

Beginning Friday, June 9th, I will be stepping away from this blog, my book review blog, and social media as I recover from surgery. During my time away, I’m hoping to regain strength and energy lost during my 18 month battle with chronic pain resulting from a fall in January 2016. I’m also hoping to take advantage of the quiet time to work toward completion of my memoir and ready it for publishing.

When I return, or perhaps before, I may propose some topics for blog posts and ask for your input on what you’d like to see and read here.

In the interim, I wish you the sunniest days of summer, the sweetest of fruits from the summer harvest, and some time for yourself and your loved ones.

 

Due to Technical and Physical Difficulties…

Combined technical and physical difficulties have overwhelmed me. For this reason, I’m signing off the blog, newsletter, and social media until both situations improve.

Consistently, I’m seeing the benefits of giving in to self-care as a priority. When I return, hopefully by March 1st, my plans include the topic of self-care for everyone, but with an emphasis on creatives and the pressures we place on ourselves.

My promise to never stop writing doesn’t need me to ignore caring for myself–and yes, my computer’s needs when it cries out.

Via National Association for Baby Boomer Women
Via National Association for Baby Boomer Women

Closing Up Shop for December

Yes, I’m closing up shop during December. 2016 came in as usual last January, but it has been a long journey to healing from a fall I took at the end of January. A minor setback recently has required further treatment. I’m hoping by January 2017 to be free of the chronic pain I’ve experienced this year.
Not only that November brought shocking news for some of us with the election results. I won’t deny I have dealt with frustration, fear, and anger. Yet, there is nothing I can do. I have decided to accept the situation by keeping a watchful eye and ear on matters affecting my family.

Bottom line, I’m feeling quite overwhelmed and behind in my writing and family life. I have decided I need to take the month of December to “clean up” my act. Then I will begin the new year with a fresh start to my writing, the blog and newsletter, and even social media.

I will not be posting here or on Facebook or Twitter during December, with one exception. Amber Lea Starfire the 5th year of the “Take the 31 Days of Gratitude Challenge.” The challenge runs during December on her Facebook Page, Writing Through Life. My participation there is all important to what I’m calling an “Advent of preparation.” I need a breath of fresh air and more positivity in life, and this is how I plan to achieve it.

Any writing I do will be on my manuscript, and some time will focus on what I can bring to you in 2017. Christmas and the birth of the Christ Child is the focus of our holiday time.

The first newsletter of 2017 will come out on Wednesday, January 18th. My first blog post will publish on Wednesday, January 4th. Hope to connect with you then.

Sending the warmest of holiday greetings and abundant hope for the coming new year to each of you!

Scripture verse, Romans 15:13
Scripture verse, Romans 15:13

I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Peace to you.

Blog Temporarily Out of Order


Without any comments pro or con on Windows 10 upgrade, I dropped off my laptop with the Geek Squad today after having it sabotaged while attempting said upgrade. When it comes back home, I cannot say.

I’m currently infringing on my husband’s computer time by borrowing the use of his. Thanks to him for allowing me to let you know I’ll be “out of the office” all week.

Therefore, no posts, no social media, no newsletter this week. I have lots to share with you when I return–knowledge gained at a writing conference, progress on the book, and more.

Until then, happy blogging!

What I Learned from Another’s Writing Retreat

Recently, my “I’ve met her in person” and online writing friend, Shirley Showalter, and my online writing friend, Kathy Pooler, reported in respective blog posts here and here about their Lenten plans as well as experiences at a writing retreat they attended. As I read their blog posts, I began to ponder anew my commitment to observing Lent. I’ll receive ashes on Ash Wednesday and help with communion several times during the days leading to Easter.

Ann Voskamp quote for Lenten season
Ann Voskamp quote for Lenten season

But personally what is my commitment? Where do I need to learn restraint? Where can I find silence in my life to focus more clearly on God’s role in my life and my role in the lives of others?

I went back and re-read Shirley and Kathy’s posts. In them I found a depth of commitment in several of their thoughts and sentences. I would quote them, but I want you to find them for yourselves.

Here I’m making my Lenten stand, having discussed my plans with Husband Bob, partly to give accountability by having shared it with others and partly to give accountability to God and my family and home:

  1. Effective February 18, 2015, I’m stepping away from all social media. Yes, this includes Twitter and Facebook, which I have already moderated to a degree over the past month or so.
  2. Prescheduled blog posts will appear via social media due to the beauty of scheduling ahead on the blog. I will make myself available to reply to any comments, but I won’t be commenting on the blog posts of others. My newsletter will go out as planned in March.
  3. I am committing to leaving home at least twice each month, if not more, to work in solitude and silence on my book, a gift I’m writing for all those hurting from abuse but to also spread an important message God has taught me. I hope to set up a much-needed writing schedule and a stronger commitment to this book.
  4. I want to allocate more quiet time for Bible reading and prayer.
  5. And I’m giving up chocolate!

Granted I have been forced to step back before due to family issues or family health issues. I have never made a conscious decision to make this kind of change when I am feeling renewed and so healthy for a change and yes, let’s add happy to the equation.

I will resume my regular schedule April 14th reporting what I’ve experienced and learned. I have asked Shirley and Kathy’s permission to join them, and knowing them they’ll respond affirmatively.

There’s nothing like good writing friends to inspire you.

Do you have plans for sacrificing something for the Lenten season? Do you want to ask me questions about this post? There is space below where we can have great discussion! Join us, please.