Friday, August 31, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-August 31, 2018

It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

Last Saturday we decided to surprise our kids with a trip to Adventureland, which is a local amusement park. We actually kept our destination a secret until we were pulling into the parking lot. The look on their faces made the whole thing well worth it. We all had a great day, but I was so exhausted and sore by the end of the day that I could hardly move.

I've decided to take on a creative endeavor of another kind. I just made my first batch of homemade bath bombs, and I'm currently waiting for them to dry. Fingers crossed that they come out of the molds intact. I definitely enjoyed making them. This batch is citrus scented using both red and orange dye. I'm already trying to come up with other color schemes and scents I might be able to use. If this first batch turns out well, that is. If not, I might have to experiment with the recipe a little bit.

And of course I'm still working on my writing whenever I can. It's been a busy week, but I'm happy with what I've managed to do.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, August 24, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-August 24, 2018

It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

The boys had their first day of school yesterday. They were all smiles and ready to get out the door. I know that excitement won't last forever, but I'll enjoy it while I can.  The house was definitely more quiet than I'm used to while they were gone, but Zoe made sure I didn't have a chance to get bored.

We took the kids out for ice cream on Sunday. And yeah, my husband and I ate some, too. I told myself I wasn't going to, but I'm not sorry I did. It tasted so good. Ice cream is always worth celebrating, right?

I'd also like to celebrate coffee. It's been a hectic week, and it's never easy getting back into a new schedule. Coffee has been a lifesaver.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, August 17, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-August 17, 2018

It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

Back-to-school shopping is done. Lyle is obsessed with Minecraft, so we got him a creeper backpack. He spent an entire day carrying it around with him, so I think it's safe to say he approves of it. Both Jude and Lyle are excited to start back to school next week.

Zoe is learning new words almost every day, it seems. She also likes to spend her time somersaulting around the room. I wish I could borrow some of her energy. I'd certainly be able to get more done in any given day.

As far as writing is concerned, I had a revelation the other day about my current WIP that I think will make for a stronger story. So far I'm happy with the changes that I've made, and I'm looking forward to continuing to work on it.

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

WEP: Change of Heart

It's time for another Write . . . Edit . . . Publish Challenge!  This month the theme is "Change of Heart."  Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee have made this challenge possible, along with great work from Nilanjana Bose and Olga Godim.  Unfortunately Yolanda has not been well as of late, and I'd like to wish her the best.

I decided to write a letter this time, and while it turned out a tad more sad than I'd originally planned, I hope you all enjoy reading it.

*     *     *

Dear Tommy,

I’m writing this with a heavy heart. The burden of regret is one of the worst to bear, I think. I can’t help but look back at my past decisions and wonder how my life might have been different. If I had accepted your proposal and officially entwined my life with yours, I would undoubtedly be somewhere else entirely. I keep thinking about that unknown place and wondering if I would have found joy and comfort there.

I need to say this. Keeping this truth hidden away inside has been tearing me apart. I wanted to say yes. I wanted nothing more than to be your partner in life. It’s a big commitment, but I longed to make it more than anyone could ever know. I only turned you down because I was afraid.

I knew you would never hurt me on purpose. I never once imagined you would cheat on me or belittle me. That’s was never you, was it Tommy? When I think of you, I remember you as the peacemaker. You’d rather say a kind word than escalate an argument. You’d rather talk through a problem than shout about it. It took me a little while to get used to this. My home growing up was anything but tranquil. In time I came to love your gentle nature, and I wanted to live that life you offered to share with me.

No, you never would have harmed me intentionally, but there was one way you were going to inevitably break my heart. You were going to die, and while death inevitably parts all lovers, they generally have the hope of spending many happy decades together. That’s what I thought we might have when we first fell in love. We both thought as much, didn’t we?

The cancer diagnosis threw both of us for a loop. I’ll never forget the look on your face when you told me the news. You sank to the ground, devastation etched into every line of your face. The world was falling apart around us both. It wasn’t just the word “cancer” that left us reeling. That world alone is frightening enough. The words “inoperable” and “terminal” were far worse. I think I could have dealt with it all if there were better odds. I’d like to think I could have held your hand through all the treatments if I had a possible future to focus on and bolster me when the times got tough.

When you asked me to marry you, I pictured what that would entail. Marrying you would have meant standing by your side and watching you waste away. The prospect of watching you die slowly and in agony scared me more than anything ever had before. At that time in my life, I didn’t think I could face it. I couldn’t imagine that I might have that kind of strength inside of me.

This sounds like a weak excuse. You didn’t have a choice in whether you faced this reality, did you? The only choice you had the freedom to make was how you coped with this. And you tried to make the best of it. You chose to embrace the love you had and focus on the positive things the world still had to offer you. You asked me to become your wife and make your last days that much brighter.

To this day, I don’t know how I managed to stand there and say no with such calm. I didn’t even avert my eyes. I was too stunned by the gravity of it all and the finality of my decision.

You were hurt, but you still looked me in the eye and told me you understood, that you couldn’t blame me for my choice. I saw how much you wanted to mean it, and maybe you even did mean it a little. The pain I inflicted on you with my rejection likely wouldn’t allow you to forgive me completely in that moment, and I can’t blame you for that. As wonderful as you always were, you were still a human man with human emotions. You had every reason to resent me for walking away. I know I do. 

My change of heart came too late, and my pain is of my own making. I should have taken that risk. I see now that I lost you the moment I said no, and it took your death for me to confront that fact. It aches to know that you are no longer part of this world, and I wonder how you felt about me after I walked out of your life. If I had come back and begged for forgiveness, would you have even wanted me there? I guess I’ll never know the answer.

Here I am, reading this in front of the black marble gravestone your mother selected for you. There’s a lovely forest scene etched into it, and it reminds me of that picnic we took for our last anniversary. That was a great day, wasn’t it? The cancer was already growing inside you, already killing you, but neither of us knew it yet. I’d give anything to go back to that place.

I’ll leave this letter with you, and I’ll carry my regret home with me. Hopefully that regret won’t tarnish the happy memories I have of our time together. It would be a tragedy to lose those, too. 

I’ll always love you.

Sincerely yours,

Word Count: 913

Friday, August 10, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-August 10, 2018

It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

I'm going to be doing some shopping for school supplies this weekend. Part of my joy comes from sending my boys off to class (I love having them around during the summer, but yikes I need my writing time too!), but I'm also celebrating because that means I get to buy notebooks and pens and all sorts of wonderful things. Yes, most of it will be for the kids, but surely I can indulge with a couple of items for myself. I always need more pens since my kids are constantly stealing mine. And really, can a writer have too many notebooks?

The weather was nice this week, so I took the kids to the park.  I even got some good pictures.

And here's another good picture from this week.  It's difficult to get a picture of all three of them together. Why won't kids ever hold still?

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, August 3, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things: August 3, 2018

It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

I've started a new short story and gotten a little more work done on my novel WIP this week. While I didn't put as many words on the page as I would have liked, I'll still celebrate the progress that I've made.

Summer is winding down quickly. My boys are looking forward to starting school again, and I've been doing what I can to get them ready. There was a clothing sale locally, and I was able to get some nice clothes for all three of the kids for super cheap. Success!

My husband and I pulled our old dart board out of storage earlier this week, and we've played several games since then. I almost forgot how much I enjoy a good game of darts. I can't say I'm a great player by any means, but it's fun all the same.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: August 2018

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time to convene another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has assembled another wonderful group of co-hosts: Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover, Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowery.

Be sure to visit the IWSG website!

The optional question for this month is: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

There are so many to choose from!  I think I would warn my fellow writers to thoroughly research before querying agents or approaching publishers.  There are so many wonderful agents and publishers large and small out there, but there are also sharks lurking in those publishing waters.  Bad actors will do all they can to present themselves as polished and professional, but in reality, their main goal is to take advantage of you for their own benefit.

Fortunately, the IWSG website has a page filled with writer resources, and many of them are dedicated to telling you which agents and publishers are legitimate and which are not.  You can also connect with your fellow writers who are further along in their publishing journey and benefit from the wisdom they've gained.  We writers need to stick together, after all!

Which publishing pitfalls would you like to warn others about?