Thursday, November 29, 2012

November's End

It seems when a month ends, I am forced to look back at what I have and have not accomplished.

This is probably because bills are due, salaries are paid, and the entire month HAS to be checked in order to be balanced.

It's the same for writing. And I know plenty of people who did NaNoWriMo this month. What is NaNo? It's this crazy and atrocious "task" of writing 50,000 words in thirty days.

It is grueling. It is annoying. And it is amazing to see those 50,000 words staring back at you by November 30th. Hat off to you folks! You're almost done.

I didn't accomplish NaNo, but that's alright. I went a different route and did thirty days of poems.

It's the first time for me doing this one. I don't do a whole lot, but I sure do like it. Poetry is fun because you can write it so many different styles, from prose to rhyme, haiku to ekphrastic.

I like to keep them short. Really short. Which is the complete opposite of NaNo.

Onto a different subject ...

I stepped out back to see the mess of leaves. We just had a storm, and are intended to have several more in the next three days.
But the orange tree sure is beautiful.
And the dog sure is happy.

Happy writing!- HJS

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

So Very Thankful

So, here we are, it's that most wonderful time of the year. No, the OTHER most wonderful time: Thanksgiving. And everyone and their mom is writing what they are thankful for on Facebook.

Don't misread me. I'm not un-thankful, but I don't think I need to tell EVERYONE my thoughts. Which is oxymoronic considering I keep a blog and that part of my job as a writer IS to tell everyone my thoughts. But, in my defense, those are FICTIONAL thoughts. So there.

No, see, I don't need the month of November to thank God for everything. I should be doing this everyday, and believe me, when my kids get out the door to school, with their lunches, without breakfast on their sweet, noisy, faces, I am MOST thankful.

I've been trying to be more thankful in all things, in all situations, in every day that I've lived and will live this year. So, it's great others are telling me what they're thankful for, but come Dec 1st, are these same folks not thankful anymore? It sort of reeks hypocrisy. And I have dear friends who I know are thankful all the time, but is this writing merely a form of validation? That they're good people? More importantly, am I a bad person for not doing this?

I don't get it.

But I should stop. I'm not sounding very nice.

Here, how about this. My book is free the 22st and 23nd of NOW, this month, because seriously I am thankful for all the people out there buying it. You guys kept me high in the hills of the Amazon Rankings mountain for a month!

Eat turkey with your family, kiss your brother, hug your dog, and thank God we have so many freedoms, especially the freedom to love one another even if we're not that lovable. Kind of like me right now, not so lovable after that ranting over the thankful Facebook posts.

Isn't this the cutest? This little turkey ornament is
hanging from my chandelier.

I had no intentions of writing the post this way. I had other things to say. But, those will wait. I'm off to get a stack of "I'm sorry" note cards to send as an apology to my friends who are writing what they're thankful for on Facebook.

Seriously though, have a wonderful, thankful and blessed Thanksgiving Day.


Writing contest:

WRITER'S DIGEST: Write a short story of 750 words or fewer based on this prompt: A man who lives alone sees a set of footprints leading away from his house the morning after a heavy snowfall.
Pretty cool. A great exercise, you could win bragging rights. Go here to enter.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

There's a whole lot to be thoughtful about right now. Particularly now that we're post-election. No more ad campaigns, no more lies ... well, fewer lies anyway... maybe.

But, I'm not going into that. No sirree. I'm going to talk about less formidable, less headache-inducing things. Fantastic things --and one not-so-fantastic thing-- that happened this week.

I'm doing this so I won't cry.

Look at this! ↓

Fantastic: My book, my little, tiny story has been in the top 100 kindle classics for kid literature for three weeks now. THREE WEEKS. Why? I'm not exactly sure. But a few sales a day sure can make a writer happy. THIS is fantastic. If you haven't read my middle grade book, you should.  I kind of like it. The Puzzle Master. ◄▬ Click on that and get the Kindle version for only $.99.

Not fantastic: See this coupon? Imagine me cutting coupons out of the Sunday paper. Imagine me trying to save money. Imagine seeing this coupon, reading what you're actually saving (ten cents per box of tissue) and realizing it's not even worth the paper it is printed on. What's worse?  I could walk my grocery store and find thirty cents on the floor in thirty seconds. This piece of paper is NOT a coupon. This is absurd. This literally insults me. So NOT fantastic.

Fantastic: Fortune cookies are pretty cool. Not for the taste necessarily, but for the little piece of paper that is going to change your world.  I found two of these little gems in a vintage coat. Proof that we are all the same and proof that we all wish for the good fortunes that come from these pieces of paper even back when JFK was president. While these fortunes have no real bearing on us, at any time or for any reason, they make us think twice. Whoever owned the coat I was looking at held onto the fortunes hoping it would bring him luck. One of the fortunes says, "you will always have good luck in your personal affairs." Very generic, but always a comfort to read. That's fantastic.

Not fantastic:Well, this week hasn't been a fantastic one for me, even though I will remain positive about it all. In that light, I'm not going to end on an un-fantastic note. I will stick with the fortune cookie scraps from decades ago as fantastic. And I will have good luck in my personal affairs, darn it ... even if the government feels it has to lend a hand in that too.

Keep writing. I am, even if it's about coupons, Amazon rankings, and fortune cookies.

I will not cry, I will not cry, I will not cry ...