Wednesday, January 18, 2023

2023: On the Road Again

Outside, finally, I can see more green than snowy white. 

Too late! We're in the final week of packing to travel south to Las Cruces, New Mexico. When I looked last, the temperatures there were in the mid 50s F. Sunny. Way warmer than here. The Organ Mountains and the Tortugas roughly a ten-mile drive away from Las Cruces.

David Mark on Pixabay

My laptop is up-to-date with writing, quilting projects winnowed down and ready, a new journal awaits, and my latest project, watercolor painting, is packed in a travel bin. What I love about writing, and/or drawing/painting is simply the act itself slows life down and leads to introspection. I'm not sure how to describe the simple pleasure of mastering a line -- whether words or a stem of flowers. This learning how to watercolor is too new to share any pictures, but I did wake up this morning already 'seeing' a painting. For now, like any new skill, I'm practicing, a nice balance as I draft scenes on that next art crime mystery.

And about the writing, I did hit a block by writing a series of scenes that simply didn't fit my characters. I came close to putting this latest story away. A friend told me, "Write what you love." Somehow that encouragement led me back into this story set in Cairo, Egypt, with renewed energy. You can anticipate an update later this month.

We'll drive slowly down, visiting friends along the way south, hoping to avoid any major glitches. For at least a week, I won't have to cook! Did you know there's less caffeine in a soda than in a cup of coffee? This time, we'll be gone about 2.5 months, a pretty long time to be away from home, to shake loose the ordinary and explore what is new. Las Cruces offers a welcome mix of Hispanic culture, history, and those mountains, many national parks to explore, including White Sands. The last time we visited this amazing park, 2011, we were stunned by the stretch of yes, white sands, as far as the eye could see. Yet, shrubs somehow survive in this desert.

White Sands National Park (Camp 2011)

May 2023 be good to you -- with unexpected opportunities to do more of what you love!

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

IWSG 2023: Happy New Year!


January 2023. Who can believe we're really here? Another year beckons -- with hope and promise and, most likely, new challenges, whether within our worlds or without.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) never lets us down by posting an optional question each month to inspire us (see below). What IWSG is really doing is asking us to connect with the writing community, with other writers who care about us and offer support, no matter where we are or what projects we're knee deep in. I hope you will, gentle reader, consider joining in!  

January 4 question - Do you have a word of the year? Is there one word that sums up what you need to work on or change in the coming year? Our fearless leader, Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh says, "For instance, in 2021 my word of the year was Finish. I was determined to finished my first draft by the end of the year. In 2022, my word of the year is Ease. I want to get my process, systems, finances, and routines where life flows with ease and less chaos. What is your word for 2023? Why?"

My word for 2023 is simply CHERISH. If you've been reading my blog, you already know that I do want to cherish each day, somehow to appreciate what is and to try to nurture positivity. No matter what. As I was thinking about this, I realized this goal is for more than how I interact with others. I also want to cherish my inner life -- what some will call the muse. To listen to my heart and follow my best intentions -- whether to connect with those I love (family and friends) or to simply write. 

We recently watched that old Bill Murray and Don Ackroyd movie, Ghostbusters, and laughed as they worked hard to clean the slime out of the sewers of New York City. It's probably nerdy, but my writing feels like that pink slime, rolling right along with all else. And I always want to jump in, to see where that fast flowing tide will take me. Not the prettiest of images. Not always positive. But essentially, that part of me that remains mostly hidden comes to life in my writing.

So, I did spend a few hours yesterday, working out my writing goals for the coming year. One is to return each Wednesday to talk with you, dear readers and friends. Know that I wish you the very best in the coming year, even as we already know tragedy comes in a moment. My husband was devastated by Damar Hamilton's unexpected injury last night in the Buffalo Bills game against the Bengals, and so was I. Even as we hope for a positive healing, we are sorry for the agony his family and fans are facing as we wait out this critical next week. Two many of my friends are facing serious health issues, and I don't even want to touch political, economic, and global issues facing us all.

Yet, we will persevere. We know this, and I hope we will together cherish each day.

Please join me in thanking the generous co-hosts for IWSG's January 4 posting: Jemima Pett, Debs Carey, Kim Lajevardi, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and T. Powell Coltrin!  Why not visit and see what everyone's doing as we begin 2023. You just might get inspired! And, yes, IWSG does have a twitter handle at @TheIWSG (hashtag #IWSG). Will you tweet this month?

If YOU would like to participate, please know that it's not too late. The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the IWSG badge in your post.