I Have a Really Good Excuse

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It started when the county chopped down my favorite half pink, half white dogwood.

It’s the end of March and I know that means it’s time to report on my month’s doings (or not doings, as the case may be). But really, I have a good excuse for this month’s slacking off. Come to think of it, I have several good excuses.

As I mentioned above, there was the whole tree cutting debacle. The county is widening a main road up the street from me and it was bad enough when they took out enough pines to build a small village of log houses. But The Special Dogwood that makes me smile every time I pass its blooming March splendor (and I pass it a lot)? How could I be expected to write through such a blatant disregard for my tree?

Then I had that SCBWI conference, and there’s a ton of stuff to get done before a conference, right? Totally legit excuse for not getting the writing going.

And then I also had a reception in Athens at the Georgia Children’s Book Awards and Conference. Not for my books; SCBWI was there to promote our regional authors, the ones who like to network and get those school visits. Also a totally legit excuse because there was also a lot of stuff to get done before the reception.

I did manage to get several books read even though I had that very bad, horrible, no good cold (also a legit excuse for lollygagging, by the way). Let’s see, I think the total read was five, so I’m still a couple of books ahead on my Goodreads goal. I had to wait two months to get Hillbilly Elegy, a memoir by J. D. Vance, but it was well worth the wait and my good read pick of the month.

I got fired up about a picture book idea after the conference and I’ve written a rough first draft so there’s that. And I managed a couple of blog posts, too. Which brings me to today’s post over at The Muffin where I talk about “When You Don’t Want To Write.”

March was…challenging, remembering how the Beneficent Mr. Hall was so great about shoring me up during the March conference craziness. But sometimes, just when you think you want to throw in the towel, someone comes along.

So a big thank you to Lovely Lisa for a long lunch. And for being there, just when I needed shoring up. I can highly recommend long, long lunches with a writer friend for those times when you need a good excuse for whatever ails you.

And here’s hoping your March was delightfully full of words and writer wisdom; I’d love to hear all about it. It also shores me up when I hear about my writer friends’ successes (and yeah, I could use some fall back good excuses, too, just in case April slaps me upside the head. The county is not nearly done).

A Quote, A Sign, And a Conference

Comparison is the thief of joyIt’s very possible that I’ve shared this quote with you before. It’s right up there in my Top Ten Quotes and I feel like I say it, either out loud or in my head, at least once a day.

That’s how often I find myself comparing.. Whether it’s my work, my stuff, me.

Except now, I’m aware that I do it. And that’s half the battle, in getting and keeping my joy.

So a very talented friend who’s obviously amazing with calligraphy created this gift for me.(She hears me say it all the time; she’s probably thinking that Cathy and her constant quoting are robbing her of joy!) Anyway, I rushed home and set the framed quote on the dining room table and grabbed my phone to take a picture. Today, I downloaded the picture for this post and as I looked at my phone’s pics, I noticed a glare in the photo. Shoot, I thought, I’ll need to take another one.

But then I looked again, a bit more closely, and I saw it. What I mistook for a glare was the reflection of my gold cross in the joy.

Now, I don’t see how you could get a clearer sign than that, and just in time for my SCBWI writer’s conference this weekend when I really need it.

I’m thinking the good Lord wants me–and what the heck, probably all of us!–to embrace joy, to focus on all of our good gifts and blessings. And that’s just what I plan to do.

(Hope to see lots of writer friends at Springmingle’17 and I promise to tell you all about it!)

What To Give A Writer (And This Means YOU)

DSCN5786Yes, yes, I know you’re busy! But you have two minutes–and this is an important two minutes!

Off you go to read The Muffin where I shared “A Wish List For The Nice Writer.”

I know ALL of you are on the Nice Writer List this year, so before you find another perfect present for someone else on your list, please think about what you’d like. And then give yourself a wonderful writer gift. And then, tell me what you’re getting ’cause the Beneficent Mr. Hall is driving me crazy, asking what I want and I can’t think up anything new…

(Be creative! Think HUGE! ‘Cause honestly, I’ve been an awfully good girl this year.)

Timely Reminder(s)

ImageOver at the Muffin today, I opined about a timely reminder, courtesy of my stars. 

The LIbran stars, that is. Every once in a while, I’ll read my horoscope and think, “Wow. That’s pretty sage advice.” And then I wonder who actually writes the horoscopes and if I could get that job.

Anyway, now that I’ve piqued your interest, you know you’re sitting there, wanting to find out the sage advice. So go and read the Muffin and feel better about yourself and your writing. But then come back here if you haven’t commented on the Sneaky Art giveaway. 

Well, technically you’ll have to comment here if you want to be entered into the drawing. Remember that there are two giveaways, so you have a swell chance of winning either the book or a fun rainy day pack. You have till Fun Friday to enter!

And now I shall leave you with yesterday’s Libra horoscope (which is also pretty darn good advice, especially for the writer type):

“It’s one of those rare times when it’s actually positive to dwell on the past. You’ll learn something. There’s a bit you missed, and when you look back, it will click into place.”

(Seriously. Who writes those things? It’s like a sparkly gem of Zen writer wisdom.)