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Gratitude Monday #55

  Some Mondays I have a hard time getting my gratitude on.  Not this week.  I seem to have shaken the blues right out of me.   Top on my list is a new free-lance opportunity.  Yay!  I just might make my writing goal this year.  But that’s just the beginning.  The publisher said I’m a really good writer.  And that’s not all…. Oh, I’m just bubbling over.   So here’s my list this week: A publisher that responds to my “thank-you” with, “No, really.  You are good. I read everything you write.”  (Perhaps he sensed my disbelief.) I’m pretty…

Gratitude Moday Link-up #54

My to-do list is getting longer every day, and for some reason, editing my book slides down on the priority list.  This weekend, I disconnected from the internet (sort of) and got some body-moving tasks done.  I also got to do some fun things with grand-children and friends. So good for me!  While moving my body, and traveling to sites in my car, I had time to let my mind wander.  Sometimes I forget how important that is for my heart and my soul. I re-centered and gave my book top priority.  That first, then my other writing.  So here I am,…

Gratitude Monday #53: Sunshine and Happiness and a Party

A sunny day, the day after Halloween, the day after a blustery, cold Trick-or-Treat, the day of our annual Halloween Party.  Yay, for sunshine, Yay for 50 degree weather.  That leads my gratitude list this week. And here’s what else is on my list this week, in no particular order: Flute music:  At last I am back to practicing, which makes me feel very, very happy.  Nothing like a flute and the music to “Frozen” to wash away the blues. Three verses to Happy Birthday and three birthday boys to sing it with me and three successful birthday cakes to…

Gratitude Monday #52: Fall

In younger years, I disliked autumn.  Autumn ushered in winter.  Everyday of fall was a step closer to bleakness. Autumn was brown and dead.  Each cool day was a sign of things to come. Somewhere along life’s journey, I fell in love with fall.  I love the colors and the sounds and the smells.  I love the reds and the oranges and the yellows.  I love the rustle of leaves and the long shadows in the afternoon.  I love hot cider with cinnamon sticks.  I love a field of mushrooms growing in the mulch and the mustiness of harvested bean…

Ebola and Root Cause Anaysis

http://gty.im/89001431 Last month the CDC reported that worst case scenario, 1.4  million people will contract Ebola by early next year (2015.)  Somewhere around 70% of those will infected die.  (I wish to volunteer because I know about containment and proper donning and doffing of protective equipment.  I can help.) This month the first two cases transmitted to someone on US soil happened. The news media reports Ebola as “something we’ve never experienced,” and therefore we do not know how to deal with it. Ebola strikes quickly, is deadly, and no immunization is available.  Still, Ebola is not a mystery disease. …

Gratitude Monday #51: Home and Away

I’m home from a road-trip to Utah.  A road-trip tells so much more than a fly-over.  I feel spunky and ready to go.  So many mornings a woke up with things I want to write about:  blog-posts, a quality article for ASQ, improvements to my novel, and yes, maybe I’ll even be a speaker at a conference. I’m primed. So, besides my get-up-and-go, here’s what’s on my gratitude list this Monday: Waffle makers in hotels:  Such a warm way to start the day.  Marry that to a boiled egg and some cranberry juice, plop it down beside a hot cup…

Progress Report: October

How September flew by:  A wedding, three birthdays, a garden to harvest.

My Progress on Game Plan 2014:

  1. Get my novel published:  I will get editors, a cover designer, and a publisher.  I will.
    Progress:  I got through all the edits of my beta readers and Lisa Romeo, my editor.  Next up, a timeline study and a character consistency check.  I think I’m good on these, but, hey, check, check, and double check.  I’m still relying on Guy K’s artisanal how-to, APE, and I am getting a list of publishers together.  I really need to start putting a list of agents together.
  2. Knit or crochet yarn stash into hats for charity: I have a lot of yarn stash.
    Progress:  None in September.  October I’m back on it.  We’re taking a road-trip to Utah.  I’ll knit as when Loved-One drives.
  3. Make enough money writing to pay property taxes:  Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in 2013.
    Progress:   Four more newspaper articles and a contract as webmaster for ASQ1212.
  4. Expand my platform: a key to successful selling of a published book, I’m told.
    Progress:  Still growing  Fastest on Twitter; I just passed 700.  In the grand scheme of things:  paltry.  Still, progress is progress. BlogHer,SheWrites,Instagram, Twitter, FB page; Google+,Pinterest.  I re-did my Linked-In profile to reflect my writing career.  Already, I am getting new contacts.  Also, I agreed to help Wrestler #2 get his essay published, which takes time and introduces me to new people.

  5. Experience Night at the Museum with Two More Grandkids.
    Progress: 
    Complete!  Yay!  Miss K and Mr. L.  Mr. L plans to be a paleontologist when he grows up.  Miss K has her heart set on fashion design.  The two kids were congenial enough, but they never really talked to each other.  Really interesting dynamics.
  6. Travel Route 66 with Loved-One:  I plan to get some sponsors and write about out trip.Progress:  This goal is post-poned until spring or fall of 2015.  But, we are going to Utah.  I got an app, “RoadTripper” to plan the sites along the way.  Guess what?  A Route 66 road trip is pre-ordained.  Yes!  Springtime trip, here we come.
  7. Volunteer:  Last year I tried a women’s shelter.  Maybe this year, the food pantry.
    Progress:  Success with “1st Way Pregnancy.”  Volunteering is going much better.  I’m trained.  The women we help are wonderful.    (This shelter mission is “To provide loving assistance, emotional and financial support for women and girls who find themselves in a crisis.”  The values of “1st Way Pregnancy” match mine, that is: empower women to make life-affirming choices by offering financial and emotional support.  Rather than shaming and coercing with rules and regulations.)
  8. Read two book a month:  This goal doubles my 2013 rate.
    Progress:First, the book I read in July.  You know, the one who’s title  I forget.Joel Greenberg, A Feathered River Across the Sky  Oh my gosh!  This book is the most interesting book I read all year.  Okay, a side note, most of my book club did not really care for it.  But to me it’s utterly fascinating.  I read aloud to Loved-One.  I am flabbergasted that carrier pigeons were once so abundant that flocks of over 34 billion flew overhead.  The flock often darkened the sky and took more than 12 hours to pass.  Now theses birds are extinct.

    James Petterson & lisa papademetriou, Home Room Diaries illustrated by keino.  Keino is a big part of the fun found in this book. The main character, Cuckoo Clarke, is a freshman in high school.  Each of Cuckoo’s friends have a wacky nickname based on their biggest vunerability.  They consider themselves misfits, and are working for a more peaceful, get-along high school with “Operation Happiness.” The illustrations are integral to the story, as it’s written as Cuckoo’s diary.  Maybe this would be different if a read it on paper, but I stopped reading all the conversation “bubbles” in the illustrations.  In order to read them, I had to click to enlarge, which got tedious. I just looked at the pictures, which are delightful.  A great read for junior high kids, looking forward to high school with a little bit of fear.

    From past months:
    Elizabeth Berg, Never Change
    Matthew Kelly’s Rediscover Catholicism.
    Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings
    Louis Erdrich, The Round House
    Kate Atkinson by Life After Live:  A Novel by
    Doreen M. McGettigan.  Bristol boys Stomp:  The Night That Divided a Town
    Adela Crandell:  A Land of Milk and Honey
    Eric Larson:  In the Garden of the Beast
    Beth Nonte Russell:  Forever Lily.
    Graham Greene:  Our Man in Havana.
    Michael Allan Scott:  Flight of the Tarantula Hawk – A Lance Underphal Mystery.
    Linda Lawrence Hunt:  Bold Spirit:  Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America.
    Rachel Thompson: Broken Pieces (interviewed)
    Guy Kawasaki: APE
    Hilary Grossman:  Dangled Caret (interviewed)
    Candice Millard:   Destiny of the Republic.

  9. Get new carpeting for the lower level:  Ugh!
    Progress:  Not yet.  The wedding went beautifully.  Loved-One cleaned the carpet with our new Kirby, and got someone in to stretch it.  Voila, it looks like new.  Well, maybe not brand new, but good enough for a few more years.  It rained, mud got dragged in, but hey, it’s just mud.  All water soluble.  The carpet is back to almost new again.  Yeah!
  10. Send St. Patrick’s Day photo cards to friends and family: Progress:   Complete.  I got  great feedback from my Welcome Spring card.  Several people thought they just received an invitation to something; they weren’t sure what.  They loved the pictures and the surprise out-of-the-blue greeting.  I think I’ll do this again next year.
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