The Last Day of the Year

New Year’s Eve is a little like Christmas Eve, isn’t it?

In that moment before, there’s such potential, such excitement! For what, who knows? And that’s the point, I think, when one’s standing on the precipice, right before the leap: there is no telling what is coming next.

The last week of the old year, I do a lot of thinking. It may look like napping or cleaning or eating cookies, but I am really engaged in an inordinate amount of ruminating and pondering. You can read how I apply all that thinking to my writing life over at The Muffin with End of the Year Thinking. But I also do a lot of thinking about me and my…well, all the other parts of my life.

And as I do a lot of inbox cleaning this time of year, I happened to come across a two minute video I’d saved by Matthew Kelly, a prolific Catholic Christian author. It’s titled Five Lessons from Roald Dahl so I knew immediately why I’d saved it.

I am a huge Roald Dahl fan, a lover of his children’s books and his macabre short stories, too. You can watch Kelly’s excellent video and hear the lessons we should learn from the following Dahl quotes but honestly, I think we’re all sharp enough to get the points:

1) “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”

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“I will not pretend I wasn’t petrified. I was. But mixed in with the awful fear was a glorious feeling of excitement. Most of the really exciting things we do in our lives scare us to death. They wouldn’t be exciting if they didn’t.’ – Danny the Champion of the World

‘A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.’ – The Twits

From The Witches: REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses and they work in ORDINARY JOBS.

And finally, perhaps Dahl’s most well-known quote:

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’ – Billy and The Minpins

I have no idea what can be coming next in this old world of mine, but I feel like a little Roald Dahl wit and wisdom might be just what we all need before making the leap into 2022. Happy writing, happy living, and happy New Year!

~♥Cathy (and Libs)

November NaNo and Novenas

I would just like to say to anyone who may have sent an email or text or message that’s gone unanswered, I have a really good excuse.

To my friend whose novel came out and I read and thoroughly enjoyed but haven’t quite got round to posting that review yet, it was wonderful and I will get to it. (And P.S. You can read all about it in this interview with Kara Bietz on her book, SIDELINED.)

And even though Libs can’t read, I feel like I should apologize for letting her out and then forgetting to leave the door open so that she could come back in. (To be fair, she seemed pretty happy, sitting outside on the steps in a sunny spot. Where I found her three hours later.) Again, I have a perfectly good reason for that oversight.

See, I had this idea for a cozy mystery–which I’d made a good start on–and I was determined to employ some “planned neglect” during National Novel Writing Month (NaNo for short) and…well, you know what? I wrote all about it already over at the Muffin in “Planned Neglect (Or How I Met My NaNo Goal Without Even Trying).

(I managed to squeeze in another blog post over at the Muffin earlier this month. It is always quite the adventure “When The Universe Strikes.”)

Anyway, here it is, November 30th, and I’ve completed about 15,000 words more than I scheduled, just by ignoring almost everyone and nearly everything. That seems like a pretty fair trade-off, right?

(Oh, wait! Today is the feast of Saint Andrew which marks the beginning of the Christmas Novena. You can find out more about this special Advent devotion here. And sure, I was writing, writing, writing, but you know this Catholic girl remembered to say her prayers today!)

Boo, Y’all

October is a bit of a busy month for me, but not necessarily in the work department. More in the fun department.

It’s my birthday month and Juniorette’s birthday, too. (She managed to come along exactly one day after my birthday, thereby providing me the best birthday gift ever whilst simultaneously putting my birthday on the back burner for…well, let’s see. How old is she now?)

Anyway, the point is, there’s lots of shenanigans. There’s Juniorette dancing at Fright Fest which goes on during October at Six Flags:

There’s my home team winning the NLCS and going to the World Series! (That’s my T-shirt from when the Atlanta Braves won the NLCS last time…22 years ago. And yes, of course I still have it. And wear it on special occasions. Namely, when the home team wins again.)

There’s the ridiculously cute magnet that was on a birthday card to ME. (My friend just thought it was a ridiculously cute dachshund in a sweater; she didn’t realize it was a magnet. And I was about to put the card on my fridge because it was so cute when I thought, geez, this card is heavy. It had two magnets on back. Hahahaha!)

And there’s the raccoon that has absolutely no fear of me OR Libs and clearly has decided that October is “Help Yourself To the Birdseed” month. So there’s lot of bringing in the birdfeeder and putting out the birdfeeder and chasing away the raccoon and forgetting to put the birdfeeder out again and…sigh. I think you get the picture. Speaking of which, here’s the little bandit:

Seriously, that raccoon is having a ton of fun this October. But what the heck, why should I have all the fun this month? Hope you’re having a boo-rific October, too!

Oh! And just in case you popped in, hoping to get caught up on The Muffin, then here’s some Halloween-related advice in Saving Your Sanity (In Five Easy Steps). Also, here’s my NaNoWriMo tips (NaNo Planning) for those who are fixin’ to jump into this writing challenge the day after Halloween. Buckle up, writers, it’s going to be a bumpy November!