Did you choose “One Word” for 2014?

Watching the Today Show on January 1, I was fascinated to find an author, Jon Gordon, touting an alternative to the New Year’s resolutions that I, along with many others, annually make and rarely keep.

Although you can buy his book at Amazon (I haven’t yet, but might later), he explained his ‘one word’ premise – I’ve inserted a link to a free copy of a worksheet (not the book) that will help you choose your one word and get on with your new year.  He also encourages us to make our own “One Word” poster.

I chose CREATE as my one word for 2014

Bring something into existence, produce, generate, make, fabricate, fashion, build, construct, establish, initiate, launch, develop…

I like this new approach to a new year more than making a lengthy resolutions.  Rather than resurrecting that old list of Must Dos and Must Don’ts, that hasn’t changed much in many years, I chose one word, an active verb, that encourages me to Create the life I want in 2014.  The possibilities are endless.

Although Gordon encourages us to make our poster from his website’s free downloadable templates, I made my own using using PowerPoint and a sunrise photo I took a few years back that I am particularly fond of.my one word poster create

It will be in the center of the 2014 Vision Board I’m working on this week.

The Tarot Revisited.

My old Tarot deck perished in the fire a few years back along with so many of my things.

Some things were easily replaced, some not. A Tarot deck is so personal, so integrated with a person’s very chi, it is not as easily replaced as a couch, coffee pot or chair.

I’ve been looking, but nothing clicked. Today at Golden Temple, I decided to take the leap, and if a mistake, I’ll try another time til they feel right.

Tonight I’ll just shuffle and leave them on the altar amidst candles and my ladies. Tomorrow I’ll try a spread or two.


Do you love leftovers? I do.

Leftovers part 1. 
My brother, Rick’s, cheesy scalloped potato ham bake was one rich dish among all the other rich dishes, so I only had a few mouthfuls.  Easy to do because I know he and mom will insist I take some home for later.  We set an abundant table and there is always plenty to go home with each of us.

I love potatoes and took several generous scoops in a mason jar to add to my other leftover containers. Frititta 1

This morning I put a generous portion in my smallest well-oiled iron skillet, cutting the potatoes into smaller portions, I added diced bell peppers, spinach and let it all begin to brown on the stovetop.  Then I beat an egg with a dash of Worcestershire and some Sriracha (red pepper sauce), poured it over the potatoes, and put it into a 350 oven to finish (about 15 minutes).  Yum.

Leftovers part 2
Sometimes, as above, I want leftovers to be different than the original, but not when it comes to turkey and dressing.  The Friday after thanksgiving I love to duplicate the original.  I pull out a slightly larger iron skillet, butter it and carefully arrange the turkey and dressing with liberal dollops of gravy over them, followed by a portion the 3-cheese broccoli mushroom bake and some sweet potatoes prepared with onions and other spices – no sugar thank you. 

I’ll put this to reheat in the oven around 6 to be ready by 7 and enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner encore.

Replete, I’ll pour another glass of wine and settle down on the couch to read, write in my journal, listen to music or throw on an old movie – programming is barren on the wasteland tonight.

I’m grateful for things small and large. You?

Thanksgiving Day 2013. 

 I’m grateful for things small and large.  I’m especially grateful for those we often take for granted.  In our mad dash to get from here to there and back again, we oft forget the things we have that had we not, our lives would be so different.  

I can walk and talk and hear and see and feel and breathe and think and love and more.  When I look around and see those who are missing even one of these things in their lives, I am doubly grateful for my largess.

I say a quiet thank you for these not-so-simple things we take for granted on an almost daily basis, as I cannot imagine how different my life would be without any one of them.

thanksgiving 11-28-13

Grateful for it all.

An then of course: 
I’m grateful for  family, friends, good health, sunrise, hats, sunset, eyesight, fall’s trees and kicking leaves, good food, Cabernet, dark chocolate, cold dos Equis, music, warm fire, candles, rainy days, martinis, sunny days, art, books, corny movies, poetry, my cat Jazmine, working from home, parades, Obsession perfume, red lipstick, leggings, l’oreal, red nail polish, friend green tomatoes, shoes high and low, pizza, etc., etc., etc…

How about you?

Grateful for small things. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

This morning I am grateful for the trees that determinedly grow in spite of humanity’s pavements, roadways, pollution and harvesting. 

fall yellow leaves 6

Although my neighborhood is urban, there are so many trees, and this day I am doubly grateful for the change of seasons that lets me run childlike through all the golden leaves strewn along the sidewalk just kicking leaves.

yellow orange tree

Gratitude 11/26/13 What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all we have in our lives for which we are grateful.  I have so much, and I often reflect on my largess in my Blog.  

Thanks John Archibald for asking us what we’re grateful for yesterday on a FaceBook post.  His question gave me the idea for posting a gratitude theme on FaceBook and Twitter for the rest of the week.

leaves yellow dark path

Early Morning Walk

So although this Blogpost is fresh (I promised 1 new blogpost a day throughout November), I’ll be reposting some past Blogs of mine and others along with some and famous quotes, as my personal Homage to Thanksgiving.  I hope you do the same.

Today, I am grateful that I’m walking 5 miles again on a daily basis – yay.  It was a cold wet walk this morning, but I did it.  Hindsight is 20/20.  I wonder if I should have put up with the occasional swollen and achy knee, but no I had meniscus repair surgery and it’s been a long slow health; however,

I am Grateful that I had:

  • A health insurance policy that covered the entire surgery.
  • An excellent surgeon referred to me by a friend.
  • An employer that offered sick leave.
  • A friend to take me to Brookwood Hospital and drive me home.
  • A sturdy constitution that required no drug more potent than aspirin for pain.

I missed my morning ‘constitutional’.  There is nothing like walking at the break of day, before the cars’ traffic noise and pollution steal the freshness from the air.  I’m back and I am beyond grateful.

Mañana y’all.

Grateful NaNoWriMo is over for me & I’ve got a good first draft

Finished NaNoWriMo yesterday – Wordcount 51,414/ NaBloPoMo continues (25 for 25) 

I am grateful that NaNoWriMo is over for me for this year, and I have accomplished my objective.  I’ve got a first draft with an ending that leaves room for a sequel.  As I do with any written thing I’m working on, I’ll be printing it out double spaced with wide margins and putting it on my favorite blue Lucite clipboard.  I’ll let it lie until after Thanksgiving when I can take a red pen to it a little more objectively.  I’ll probably email it to the UPS store for printing as it’s less expensive than using up my own printer ink. desk edit 2

As mentioned yesterday, I’m shifting gears to other projects, although I’ll continue the blog a day thru November 30.

John Archibald mentioned he’s working on a gratitude post the Thanksgiving Day which got me to remembering various blog posts and published essays of my own on that very topic.

I might do the same, but as Thanksgiving falls on throwback Thursday, I planned on reposting an essay on gratitude I originally published in 2009 on the now defunct PavoMag.  I’ll see what time permits.

Mañana y’all.

Day 24 Another 3500+ words & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 24 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 50,300/ NaBloPoMo (24 for 24) 

Sunday is my fun day…, and although I don’t really have any more Dilbertville manic Mondays in my life, tomorrow begins Thanksgiving’s home stretch prep with all its incumbent chores, and check lists.

Also, during this NaNoWriMo marathon, I’ve neglected too many other writing and painting objectives on my ToDo list.  Those neglected items stand a better chance of garnering income than the fledgling first draft of a novel I’ve just raced through.  I’m entering my current word count to register my ‘finished/winner status’; printing out a triple spaced copy to let cool off before beginning my red pen editing/rewrite process the week after Thanksgiving; and moving on to the neglected items on my list.  I’ve already taken care of # 1 on my list:

  1. Query one of my Children’s’ picture books to half a dozen agents.  (done)perle with Brie Sabrina cropped
  2. Follow up with the editor at Victoria Magazine to check the scheduling of my essay for their 2014 calendar.  Finalize, photograph and post to Amazon 10 paintings that are in various stages of completion.
  3. Monetize my WordPress Blog.
  4. Contact 10 affiliate markets on my list.
  5. Finish building my website beyond the starter page I threw up a year ago.

And so much more…

Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:
The Ghost

The sun could not chase away the chill Jade felt.  She shivered again.  The prospect of mind probe with that man was not a happy one.  James was on his phone already calling in the particulars to his captain, asking for permission for a probe and trace implant in case of escape.  It would take at least 24 hours for permission to probe, but the trace implant was an automatic.  He would try to expedite it if he could.  He could only hold Kane for 48 hours without some hard evidence he told her.  “Ghosts can’t testify and she doesn’t seem to know anything about how this happened.

Jade was walking back to the house, Sabrina draped across her shoulder face forward as she stroked her white fluff of hair just under her chin.  “Not bad old girl, not bad at all.” her thoughts went out.

Hmmmmm, Brie purred, what happened to ‘old woman’?

“Don’t know, old girl, she seems to have left us.”

The kitchen staff watched gape-mouthed from the kitchen doorway.  As Jade approached she sent calming thoughts and then stopping at their door, she smiled at them until she received tentative smiles back.  “It’s OK she reassured them.  This is my good old girl, Brie.  She won’t hurt anyone unless they plan on harming me.  Mr. Kane is under suspicion of wrong doing.  Please go about your business and don’t leave the premises in case we need to ask more questions.  Thank you.”  She walked past them to the hall and up the stairs to the room where that which was once Mrs. Kane paced.

Jade sat in the chair by the fire and waited, stroked Brie and prepared.  Mrs. Kane walked over and sat in the chair opposite her.  “Did he do it?  Did he kill me?  And how can I be dead?  I’m sitting here, you can see me, hear me, and I don’t understand.”

“Life has many levels.  Our bodies are just one of many dwelling places for that life.  You are life, some people call it soul and right now, you still have the form of your most recent body.  You never experienced your death, so you still project this form.  Perhaps when we solve your situation, you will let go and grow and assimilate all your lives and choose to be born again.  Perhaps you’ll travel the stars awhile and visit the planets, and sing awhile with the universe.  There are many options before you now – in many ways broader than the life of your once corporeal body.”

“I want to believe that.  Would you help me?  Right now all I know is, I’m dead and nothing more, and I’m scared”

“Of course, I’ll help you.  For now though, I need a little more help from you.”

Jade prepared as she faced the ghost of Mrs. Kane.

Mañana y’all.

Day 23 Again only 2500 words & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 23 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 46,777/ NaBloPoMo (23 for 23) 


Rainy day view from my aerie

So far, so good.  The Blog a day is pretty much a rambling journal entry with excerpts from my WIP (work in progress aka my NaNo Novel).  Piece of cake for someone used to journaling daily.  I just have to remember not to err on the side of TMI.  I can also schedule it to drop around 7pm when most of my followers might actually see and read it.  Still have way more followers on my WordPress blog (265) which I post identically to my Blogspot blog (25).  No clue, why. First of the year, I’ll probably upgrade WordPress.

Keeping up my momentum on the novel’s wordcount is not as easy, but I’m still ahead of schedule.  I keep reminding myself to just write, just write, just write.  I fell 1000 short of the 3500 words I wanted to do yesterday (Friday) and again today, but I have lots to do that does not involve writing and if I get back to 3500 on Sunday, I’ll  cross the 50,000 word finish line even if I have not really finished the novel.

I have, as I think I mentioned earlier, written the last chapter however thin it appears right now.  I saw it and had to get it down then and there and then go back to driving my plot and characters toward that endgame.

I should have run errands yesterday while the weather was mere wet, today is damned cold, and I’d rather stay in with my little heater whirring away, but gotta stock up for Thanksgiving, etc.

Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:

James was listening, grim-mouthed, and the ghostly apparition just sat and wept.  A noise at the door alerted them all that they had another listener.  James was up in a flash, out the door and down the stairs in hot pursuit of Kane.

Jade, close behind him, sent out her mind touch to follow Kane and reach out to him and find something that would make him traceable in case he escaped.  Brie leaped to the window and the white lioness leaped to the ground and brought the big man down.

A deafening roar shook the trees and birds scattered before the ancient threat.  The maid and cook ran from the kitchen to the back to see what was going on and were aghast.  Mr. Kane lay face up in utter terror and upon his chest was the small white cat they had fed earlier. 

James came up and Sabrina leapt aside to watch.  Kane stared, first in confusion then anger overtook him.  “Illusion, damned, illusion” and his eyes met the cats and there was a barrier to further examination.  Then he raised his eyes as James cuffed him, and he saw Jade and his icy stare hardened more.  “Witch!  You don’t know who you’re dealing with.  You just don’t know.”

Jade’s schooled stone face belied the chill of icy cats’ paws down her back.  This was just a dance of fencers, a feint and parry and the battle as yet not joined.  She knew it in her bones.

Mañana y’all.

Day 22 Just 2500 words today & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 22 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 44,277/ NaBloPoMo (22 for 22) 

Writing on Novel was a little slow this morning in part due to the bottomless champagne glass at the McMinn Clinic last night, but meeting a friend for a dos Equis at Jim ‘n’ Nicks and perhaps the glass of Cabernet I poured when I got home have something to do with it.

Anywho, I got up poured a cup of coffee, put a Stauffer’s Spinach soufflé on the counter to thaw, grabbed the tiny tablet-sized TV from its kitchen corner and climbed back into my warm bed.  Sipping coffee, I alternately watched the Today Show and along with Jazmine watched the crazy squirrels bouncing on unsteady tree branches just outside the windows.

I can only stay in bed so long, but although brief it was a nice idyll and out of my normal routine.  I turned the oven on to 375, preheated my smallest iron skillet which I’d smeared with bacon drippings.  There’s nothing like the aroma of bacon.  You can use butter or any oil you choose, but I happen to love bacon fat for certain things like cornbread or cooking breakfast.  Everytime I cook bacon, I transfer the drippings to a small mason jar in the fridge.spinach souffle jpg

The soufflé was thawed enough to cut up and fit in the skillet.  I don’t and won’t own a microwave.  I don’t and won’t cook in those plastic containers that frozen box food comes in.  I’ve turned down the only coffee in sight if it was served in Styrofoam, never used Teflon or other coated cookware.  I’ve always been this way which made many of my friends laugh at what they thought were my peculiar obsessions back in the day.  Now with all the stories circulating about dangers of microwave cooking and plastic containers and all the other toxins we consume daily, many of them have jumped on my bandwagon.

Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:
Virtual Search (cont’d)

 Hurley turned to Janet and smiled, “Some hunky guide – Don’t suppose we can have a Stephanie next time?  Let’s eat, I’m starved.”

Janet laughed, stuck the flashdrive into her Levi’s watch pocket, texted the cab service, and they left arm in arm to find a pizza and discuss their findings.  They rode in silence down the lift to the tram-stair to the ground and the waiting servocab.  “I better call Jade” remarked Janet as the car seat formed around her like a glove and secured her gently in place.  She spoke to the phone in her lap “phone Jade face to face”  the panel in front of her lit and a disembodied voice said “Accessing”.

Jade’s face appeared.  “Hello Janet, what did you find?”

“Lot’s, whatever you do, don’t let Kane out of your sight.  Jade, there’s lots but here’s the nut:  One, all victims are women; two, all had husbands, estranged or divorced or just out of town at the time.  And Jade three.  Three, all the men came out of nowhere just nowhere and they’re all gone with no trace – nor forward except your Mr. Kane.  If he gets away, you’ll never find him.  We’re going to follow a few loose ends, but that’s the nut.”

Mañana y’all.

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