Catching Up (And So It Begins)

file0001845637670First day of February and I haven’t changed my calendar yet. (Or put away all the holiday stuff. Or returned my overdue library books…)

It looks like my word for 2016 is not going to be CHALLENGE. It’s going to be another C-word: CATCH-UP. And so I’ll start with the Muffin post I shared over the weekend (and forgot to mention until just now.)

I’ve probably written about the subject of finding your own style (and voice) numerous times; I suspect that means I have slip-ups and fall into that old trap of comparing myself to others, falling short, and then trying to write all fancy-schmancy. You can see what I mean in “Stepping Out in Your Own (Writing) Style.”

Fortunately, I always find my way back to me (and my own personal style). I suppose that’s why I used the Popeye quote (“I am what I am.”) instead of getting all fancy-schmancy and quoting Shakespeare.

But I could’ve quoted Polonius from Hamlet, if I’d wanted. I mean, I know the fancy-schmancy quotes, even if I don’t go around spouting them:

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Yeah, Mister Man would probably roll his eyes if I threw that quote around. But I bet he’d drop off my library books, if I asked real nice.


What’s The Word?

DUSTY  VINTAGE KEYBOARDGosh, another year? So soon?

I mean, dang. I’m still pondering. Though there’s one word–challenge– that keeps circling around in my head. I’ve pondered quite a bit on this word.

I’ve been so blessed this past year, seeing my books published, finishing a manuscript that not only I love but that my lovely agent, Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary, loves as well. I’ve enjoyed writing retreats and conferences and getting to know so many wonderful writers. Truly, a bounty of blessings.

And yet, I wonder if I haven’t got just a wee bit complacent, writing-wise. Sticking to the sure things, shying away from the scary challenges.

You see? There’s that word again: challenge. Perhaps that needs to be my word this year, as Margo Dill wrote about in her New Year’s post over at The Muffin. Her word is “organization.”

It just so happens that despite my lack of challenge last year, I did hit my stride in organization. You can find out how in The Best And Simplest Time Savers of the Year over at The Muffin.

So here’s to a year of words. May we find all the words–or maybe just the one word– to make 2016 a winning year!

Putting My Feet Up Till 2016

file2701263517189Ah, the week after Christmas. Let me just put my feet up for a minute and I’ll tell you all about the absolute wonderfulness of the December Lull.

Hold on a sec. Why don’t I just direct you over to the Muffin where I expounded on Late December Questions?

Well, maybe not expounded. I mean, it’s the December Lull and I’m sort of taking it easy. Let’s just say I loosely explained why these couple days are so perfect for us writer types.

And then you’ll know why I’m here in my big, comfy chair. And maybe you’ll join me for your bit of pondering.

(In your own chair, people. Your OWN chair.)

A December Writing Challenge You’re Gonna Love

DSCN8538I’m listening to my friend’s Christmas radio broadcast as I write here and honestly, it’s hard to not bust out into song. In fact, hold on a sec, I’ve got to rock it with Mariah Carey for a minute (hum amongst yourselves…)

Holy holly, that woman can sing. All I want for Christmas is a voice like that! And a book contract. And maybe that library cuff bracelet.

So on to the writing challenge! I promise it’s easy–way easier than say, holiday baking or decorating or wrapping presents. Much easier than wrangling sugar-infused kiddies or miniature dachshunds or the in-laws. And totally easier than actually writing…well, anything.

Just zip over to the Muffin and check out “A Giving Kind of Writing Challenge.” I hope you have fun with it, friends.

And oh! Wait! Maybe you’ll enjoy listening to BillElderRadio’s Christmas Special while you read. (But don’t blame me when it takes you twice as long ’cause you’re stopping to rock out.)




Writer Friends, Shopping Bonanza

file7571234131799I flipped from the December Blues to Holiday Happy when I started writing my annual post about writer gifts!

And I have writer friend, Tracey M. Cox, to thank for the inspiration. She shared her Pinterest board of writerish gifts last week and that reminded me of my friend, Robyn Hood Black, and the typewriter key earrings that the Beneficent Mr. Hall gave me.

And that got me thinking about all my writer friends and how incredibly gifted they are and how one might do all of one’s holiday shopping, checking out the bonanza of talents they have!

And then I started thinking…well, why don’t you just zip over to “What to Give a Writer” and you’ll know exactly what I was thinking. Also, some good great stupendous ideas for your holiday list, whether for you or the writer you know.

(And P.S. You’re welcome!)