Mistakes

Just stopping in to catch up with everyone.  It’s been a while since my last post.  I’ve been working in my garden, taking some photography classes and I’ve finally started writing again.

I took this photo a couple of months ago.

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It’s become my own personal train wreck – It’s blown out in the center and yet I find myself continuing to look at it, acknowledging what I like and analyzing my errors.

And that got me to thinking about mistakes – Mistakes don’t have the power to define us.  It’s up to us to learn from our failures and embrace our growth. And that’s the key thing – GROWTH.

So here’s wishing us each a season of growth and a harvest of self improvement!

See you later!

Love Ya!

-Deb

It’s been a while…

And I don’t know where the time went.

It started with me needing a little break from social media.  I thought a week or two might give me a reprieve.  But those couple of weeks turned into a couple of months and then some.  I never imagined my little break would last quite so long.

In that time, I traveled to New York City – tried some street food (not too shabby), visited Chinatown and made my way around on the subway.  A nice visit but not in any hurry to go back. (Mark one off the bucket list.)

arches-national-park-1I also made a trip to Utah – visited Arches National Park (Wow!) and realized that Utah may be the most random place I’ve ever been.  As we drove down an interstate – in the middle of nowhere – we watched someone parachute onto a field along side of the highway.  And the terrain – seriously, it was like driving into an old movie.  I half expected to see cowboys and wagon trains.

Then there’s school.  I started taking some night classes at the community college. Nothing crazy – just some photography and Photoshop classes.  It’s been challenging. As Albert Einstein said, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”

I took a hiatus from writing.  It’s been months since I’ve done more than jot down a potential scene or two.  Instead of being an escape, writing became work – and that sapped all the joy from the process.

I’ve got two grandsons now – Bodie (Bo) and Jaxon (Jax).   It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was sitting in my high school English class discussing the Canterbury Tales. It’s crazy how time flies.

Maybe it’s the age thing – knowing that 50 is only a couple months away – but time is becoming a much more precious commodity.  Spending that time in the real world has held much more appeal than hanging out in the twitter-sphere.

So – that’s an abridged version of what’s been going on in my life.  It’s been busy but good.

I’ve missed reading your posts and I’ll try to stop by a little more frequently.

Y’all take care.

 

 

NYC – Here I Come

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Image from Microsoft Word Clipart 

It’s official!  I’m headed to New York City!

For a visit anyway…

Having never been to NYC, I’m reaching out to those of you who have.  I’ll admit it, I’m a little excited.  My trip is in November but I want to have a game plan for conquering the city in one day.  Yep.  I’ve got 12 hours to experience the Big Apple.

There are things I have to do – like buying a hotdog from a street vendor.  And seeing  as how I’ll be there the weekend before Thanksgiving, I’m assuming I can find roasted chestnuts…  Not that I’ve ever had them but with it being the Holiday season,  it seems like the seasonal thing to do.

And then there’s sightseeing…  So much to see, so little time…

If you’ve visited/lived in the city, what is your favorite “go to spot”?  Where do you find the best hotdogs, pizza and chestnuts?  What event/attraction do you suggest top my list of things to do?

Wishing you a most wonderful day!

-Deb

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Writing Process: Timelines

I must be a slow learner.  You’d think that after self publishing two stories (1 novel, 1 novella), I’d have figured out what works for me and stuck with it. But no – not me. In an effort to become a better writer, I’ve attended writers conferences and workshops. I’ve purchased books and followed different blogs. I was like a sponge soaking up everyone’s advice only to find out that what works for one writer doesn’t necessarily work for others.

Take outlining.  I’ve tried it – not once – but several times. Do you know what it got me?  A case of writers block. Following an outline literally sucked the fun out of the process. No matter how many times I tried to implement the “you’ll write more books if you outline” strategy, I failed miserably.

Acceptance.

I had to accept that I’m me – just me – and because I’m me, my writing style is governed by the things that make me tick.  In my everyday life, I don’t live by lists.  I may take one grocery shopping but chances are I’ll forget something on it and pick up three things that aren’t.   I’m not a planner/plotter, I’m a pantzer and that’s okay. Don’t get me wrong. While an outline might rob me of my creative breath, a timeline lets me breathe easier.

I’ve accepted that I’m never going to write a story from beginning to end. Instead, I write scenes as they come to me. Most of the time they are in order but there are those times a character may get really excited and spout off about something that happens fifty pages into the future.

writer 1

Image:  Microsoft Word Clipart

This is where my timeline comes in handy. As I edit my story, I complete the timeline.  It allows me to visually see what’s going on. I’ve tried different writing programs but I guess I’m old school. There is something about the actual writing of the events on the timeline that solidifies the story in my mind. I feel like I am better able to identify inconsistencies in both the plot and characters.

If you haven’t found your process, a timeline might help. If you have, stay true to what works for you!

Happy writing!

-Deb

 

 

Autumn Bucket List

I have always been a summer person.  Give me a pair of shorts and some flops and I happy. Let me walk in the grass or along the beach with my bare feet and I’m in heaven.  But holy cow, this summer had me longing for a little frost on the pumpkins.

As I’ve been counting the days to the arrival of September and the official start of pumpkin scented candle burning – and having nothing better to do because it’s been too hot to be outside – I decided I needed an autumn bucket list.  Nothing like daydreaming about cooler temperatures.

autumn bucket list

Number 5 on my list is truly yummy!

All you need is a pot of water (low rolling boil) and a can of sweetened condensed milk. Remove the paper from the can and place in water (on side so it rolls).  Bring water to a slow, rolling boil. The can should always be completely submerged and you’ll need to roll the can about every 15 minutes or so to ensure the condensed milk caramelizes evenly. Add more water as needed.   Boil 3-3 1/2 hours.  Drain water.  Carefully remove the can and place in cold water.  Let cool before opening.  (Maybe an hour or so.  The can should be cool to the touch.)  It’s really important to not rush this process – patience is essential.  Nothing worse than being burned by hot, gooey caramel.  We serve with sliced granny smith apples.  Delicious!

Here’s wishing you a fabulous fall season!  And if you have a must do activity or recipe feel free to share in the comments.

-Deb