What Are You Thankful For?

“Thank you is the best prayer that anyone can say…” – Alice Walker

It’s the only one I ever say.  Just before I turn the bedside lamp off at midnight every night, I write at least mom shopping drink food
5 things in my gratitude journal that I am grateful for.

Last Tuesday evening’s list lead with two items that are often repeated in my journal as well as out loud on any given day.

  1. Thank you for the strong healthy body and mind that are mine.
  2. Thank you for my mother’s continued excellent health.

I am thankful that at 65, I am healthy and strong as is my 81 year-old mother.  Once a week on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, I pick her up around 9 or 10 a.m., and we’re off.

My gift to her and, truth be told, to me is a day of doing whatever she wants to do, going wherever she wants to go.  I know for sure, that we will:

  1. Shop. The stores and malls may vary, but she is a consummate ‘Mallee’ who loves to go ‘saleing’.
  2. Eat & Drink.  We’ll stop for lunch and a beer or two at whatever restaurant striktaco tamale foodes her fancy.
    1. China Buffet for a Tsing Tao beer and  all you can eat, and boy can she eat.  At 5’2” and size 8 you’d never know.
    2. Jim ‘n’ Nicks for Taco Tuesdays’ fried catfish tacos and Modelo or Acapulco for Fajitas and Dos Equis.
  3. Shop some more – Birmingham has a plethora of large and small malls and then there are the vintage stores and Salvation Army stores, etc.
  4. Party. We invariable stop for a happy hour which includes bar food or appetizer and something good and wet.
    1. Bonefish grill is a favorite for Whiskey n Soda tall and an order or two of Bang-Bang Shrimp.
    2. Dodiyo’s for Wine or a Stella Artois and pizzette and hummus.
    3. Brio’s for a Peroni, bread and olive oil and shrimp cocktail.
  5. Shop.  We always stop at Publix grocery store up the block from her house for miscellaneous grocery items on the way home.  She buys a six pack and I a bottle of wine to take home.

We’ll unload our treasures from the car, turn on a rerun of some show we both like and sit and sip and chat a bit before I go home.

What are you Thankful for?

Yes, You Can Publish from Your Journal

For me, my journal is the running memoir of my life, my confidant, Wailing Wall, canvas for creative thoughts, and so much more.  Most of the essays, remembrances and poems that I’ve published sprang almost full blown from the pages of my daily journal.cover 7 -2journal

I belong to a few writers’ groups; have many writer friends and acquaintances; and whenever I say, “Oh that piece.  It’s from my journal.”  I’ve been answering the questions for years and recently a friend encouraged to put it in a e-book.  Publishing has changed and anyone (for good or ill) can publish to Amazon’s Kindle platform for free.

Writing How to Journal and How to Publish from your Journal was the easy part.  I’ve been journaling more and more with an eye toward publishing.

Formatting the book to upload to Amazon was the stumbling block for me.  Fortunately, I found an easy and inexpensive software with great tutorials and I was off, and I found a great tutorial by a published author on how to create great book covers using PowerPoint.

Here it is:
Amazon is running a 7-day promo on it starting at 99¢ for the next 15 hours and rising in $1 increments back to the original sale price of $9.99.  I’m hoping at 99¢, some more folks will check it out and give me some feedback.

How to Get Published from Your Journal

Well, I’ve hit the home stretch on my first eBook: How to Journal and How to publish from your journal.

Aside from my corporate writing, I’ve been publishing my personal writing since cover 7 -2journalaround 1990 in newspapers and magazines: Book reviews, Essays, Personal Remembrances, Poetry.

Last year at a writers group I joined for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org), I was asked how I got published.

I explained that most of what I’ve published comes straight from the pages of my Journal.  I proceeded to explain how I journal everything and one day noticed that one of those journal entries had the makings of a personal essay/memoir.

I transcribed it into Word, edited it, polished it, rewrote it and submitted it to the Birmingham Arts Journal.  It was accepted and published.  Yay, found a goldmine of publishable ideas.  I went back to my journals to look for more buried treasure, and I started journaling with an eye to what I was putting on the page.

After explaining this, I thought maybe others would like to know how to make then mine their journal for publishable material.

So here it is again, November looms and I find myself again at this year’s NaNoWriMo group.  The same question came up about how to get published.  This time I could not only tell them how, but that my eBook on the subject would be coming out on Amazon October 11, 2013.