Friday, September 19, 2014

Crying Uncle on the #30DaysofWriting for September

I give, I give.

I am going to wrap up the failed attempt at the #30DaysofWriting and instead start working on a brilliant idea I have for the #31Days challenge that's coming up at

I started the month with good intentions, but we know where the road that is paved with good intentions leads, don't we?

So, with good grace and in a #BraverLiving choice, I'm letting go of this goal in favor of one that makes me really happy and excited: writing for the 31 days of October about books. Specifically, books I've loved. Some of them will be series, a few are pairs that go together, but all of them have meaning for me personally.

Till then, I'll leave you with this:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering 9/11

It's probably better to post a flag or a memorial photo, but this one spoke to me the loudest. It's a double rainbow I saw from the base a few weeks ago, and it was gorgeous. This photo, as impressive as it is, still doesn't do it justice by half.

The rainbow has been a symbol of God's promise ever since Genesis and the days Noah floated around with his family and hundreds, if not thousands, of his favorite pets in an ark.

God promised not to destroy the earth.

I wonder sometimes if we humans will do the job instead.

9/11 was a difficult, sad day. For me, it hit especially hard because it followed after the betrayal of women I thought were my friends, and the death of my beloved dog. These events made things difficult enough at work and at church, and to have a national tragedy on top of everything just made my sorrows seem very small in light of the greater national tragedy.

Praise God we eventually moved on, learned to forgive, grieved the loss of our family pet, and my husband joined the reserves. We became a military family more quickly than we'd intended, even though 9/11 slowed down the initial process. Thirteen years later, we are in Alaska, serving our God and our country as best we can.

So, the double rainbow: God's promise that He keeps His promises, He will never leave me, He is always there, and He not only brought me through the events of 2001, He brought us through the tragedy of my broken family of origin in 2002-03. He has been with us every step.

Thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 10 of 30 Days of Writing

Today's prompt: At the end of a long day, what do you do to relax?

Most of the time, I read. I will read till I'm nearly asleep in bed, that's how much I love reading. I'm finding my evening reading is easiest on my Kindle, because it's pretty easy to prop up on my nightstand.

I love reading.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Days 8-9 of 30 Days of Writing

Day #8's prompt: What was your favorite book this summer?

I got to read a lot this summer; I didn't get either of the full-time jobs I applied for, nor the writing job, and because of declining enrollment I wasn't able to teach a class.

My favorite fiction book was Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper, and my favorite nonfiction read was Jen Hatmaker's 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. Both were excellent and I keep thinking about them.

Day #9: I am choosing to talk about my trip to Powell's Books in Portland. What an amazing store! Books everywhere, and the atmosphere was cheerful. It was busy. Literacy is alive and well in America!

Of course a few days later they opened a section that was being constructed while we were there. But floors and floors of books. It was incredible. I loved it.
Here is a photo I took:

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Days 6-7 of 30 Days of Writing

Still "moving forward." Today, prompts #6 and #7.

6. When was the last time you received a handwritten letter?

I got a lovely thank-you letter from my grandma after her 90th birthday party. It's very special that she wrote something to our family. Her handwriting is increasingly becoming frail, but her words are strong and polite and lovely.

7. Grandparents Day! What is the most important lesson you learned from your grandparents?

I learned many things from my grandparents--I wish we'd lived closer than we did, but when we saw them, we talked and they cared for us and loved us a lot. I learned tenacity and strength from all four of them. I learned prayer and love and faith from my mom's parents, and the power of love and devotion from my dad's parents.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Day 5 of 30 Days of Writing

Today's topic deals with pizza, which I think is apropos for a Friday. Who doesn't love pizza and movie night on a Friday? We used to do this until my oldest got a job and works Friday nights. Now it's more for Saturdays.

A good, inexpensive pizza here in Alaska is the Great Alaska Pizza Company, or as we like to call it, Gapco. The best pizza has to be Moose's Tooth in midtown Anchorage, although my friend argues with me that the pizza at The Rock is better. I think it is all about one's crust choices.

As far as pizza jobs go, I did deliver Domino's Pizza for about six weeks between stints at Walmart during the summer between my junior and senior years in college. I think that job was just about as bad as my stint at McDonald's. Terrible tips, and a lot of wear and tear on my Oldsmobile, which died at the end of the next year.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Days 2-4 of 30 Days of Writing

Um, yeah.

I wrote every day, but I forgot to blog every day. But in the spirit of fighting perfectionism, I will neither quit nor beat myself up over this. I'll "keep moving forward."

So, prompts #2 and #3, and something else for #4.

2. Share one goal you want to achieve this month:

I am still finishing up with the Pre-PCS purging I began this summer. I went through both personal (my dresser and clothes) and common-area items (kitchen and buffet), as did my children and husband, and I've consigned about as much as I can at this point. I've made more doing that than I did when I tried having garage sales, so I know it's a good choice (donating the rest that is useful but not overtly valuable, of course).

But now, however, I'm into the paper stuff. I've already completed the sorting, purging, and organizing of my teaching files, with a stack of papers over 12 inches high that I've been shredding. Yesterday I hit a wall, though, with the girls' school stuff. It's going to take time to sort through and organize report cards and transcripts, old school projects and childhood drawings. I had at one time figured I'd scrapbook much of these, but it hasn't happened yet. Since they are teenagers, I plan to recruit their help with the art part of it. I am also considering the designation of a box for each child for now. Or file cabinet drawer, perhaps.

I also found old cards and notes. I've sorted boxes before, but this is a new collection. Not sure what's in there. It feels a bit like Pandora's box--open only if you dare.

3. Have you traced your family tree?

No, but my dad has traced his (which is half of mine). His family is in the United States, with the exception of his mom who is from Canada, all the way back to the mid-1600s. So I suppose I could begin the process of joining Daughters of the American Revolution, if I wanted to.

4. Freewrite:

Writing is not really hard for me, once I sit down to do it. Editing is, however. Getting words on paper is not the issue; it's wondering how to structure the random freewriting I come up with. Organization. Making sense of it. Turning thoughts into essays, devotionals, perhaps a book someday. That is the part that gets me every time.

Give me someone else's work, however, and I can usually make it better (unless it's already great, in which case I'll give praise where praise is due!).

Monday, September 01, 2014

Day 1 of 30 Days of Writing: September

Here I the daily discipline of writing another whirl this month. I haven't done this for a while, and my goal isn't to increase readership (although I'm waving to my handful of followers--hi friends! Long time no see). My goal is to get back into writing. I am a better writing teacher when I too am writing.

My friend Leann posted this link on Facebook, so I'm using these prompts when they work, and when they don't I'll write about something else.

My First Job

The first job I can remember having outside my own house was house- and cat-sitting for our neighbors across the street. They liked to go away for a week or so at a time, so my job was to collect the mail and their paper, and check on the cat twice a day. Inevitably, Kitty-Kat, their black-and-white cat, would leave a furball surrounded by vomit at the top of the stairs to greet me, and the litter box would hold a gift as well.

I remember when they got a home security system installed. Thankfully only once did the alarm go off, and I got it turned off before the police arrived. Whew!

I did this for each of their vacations until we moved after my high school graduation.

All We Ever Wanted: A Review

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin My rating: 5 of 5 stars All We Ever Wanted is worthy of the buzz it's receiving this summer. I h...