Friday, November 13, 2015

It's Been Two Weeks

Signed papers two weeks ago today and started moving some things in. The big move came the next day. I had four awesome guys from church who showed up and worked up a sweat. Big thanks to Karl Orlandt, Mark Hunt, Scott & his son. The movers ended up being an hour and a half late due to an early morning move. Be flexible.

The move went smoothly and we were done and the truck turned back in by 2:30pm. Then there were the boxes, which seemed to have multiplied before my eyes. The guest bedroom has the fewest boxes and will soon be a real room. The living room is the next room with the fewest boxes. While my bedroom doesn't have a lot of boxes it does have the most furniture in odd places.  The kitchen has a path on two sides of boxes. I'm getting them down, but not there yet. Cannot use the stove yet.

Washer and dryer are in and they work. No more laundry mat, YEAH. Yesterday the plumber was in to replace the heating element in my hot water heater. Cold showers are not my thing, at least not in November.

Painter came yesterday and gave an estimate. I am taking it because I will be months getting a painter if I don't. I want this done so I can get stuff unpacked and in place. I'm ready to be settled.

Many thanks to my friends at Sunrise Bistro for their free WiFi. Otherwise this post would wait until next week to be written. I don't have internet before Monday. My data plan is close to being maxed. I have over 200 messages in my inbox. I just picked the important ones today. (Painter's estimate and one from lawyer who handled the closing, you must have a lawyer to close on any house in SC.) I will be heading there as soon as I finish this.

The sprained ankle is on the mend most days I can go without the brace. Sometimes I wake up with it sore and the brace goes on. Most of the swelling has gone down. Who falls off a two inch cement slab and sprains an ankle? You guessed it. Next time I'll turn on the light. It was raining and I misjudged the step in the dark.

All in all things are coming together.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

T-2 Days and Counting

Okay I will never be ready. I had planned to spend the entire day packing. That's a joke. I got to spend the entire day running around for the bank and the attorneys. I did get to do the walk through of the house. Both outlets have been fixed and so has the shower, which will get a new head. The painter was there to do touch up work. I feel kinda bad as I will be painting the grey walls as soon as possible.

So this is what to day looks like:

I needed some space cleared in the living room. These are books I've written. And there are more somewhere. But I have gained a little space.

Me, looking at what I have to crawl over to get to the empty boxes I will be half the night filling. See the horror in my eyes.  But as soon as I post this, I'll be back at it. Might or might not have a post tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

T-3 Days and Counting

Okay, it's Wednesday. I am officially overwhelmed. The final draft of closing papers came today via email with what I need to bring for closing costs. No real shock there. The shock came when I was told I had to surrender all of my credit cards. I knew they had to paid but nothing was said about surrendering them. Although I almost think this might be a good idea.

On my list of things to do??? Pack. I'm beyond where I can even think. So, I'm just packing. Whatever was on the list will get done. I just know as I look around I am overwhelmed. Most of my things were packed. Where on earth did all these boxes come from?

I have checked all the papers I need for the closing, they are in a file and I know where the file is. I have checked the items I need to put where I can find them. Those will be the items I take with me on Friday afternoon. I have the items I need for cleaning they will stay here on Saturday.

Garbage goes out tomorrow, I will take it out again on Sunday after I have cleaned the apartment. Monday morning I do the walk through, pay the last rent, and drop off the keys. While I am not an apartment dweller by nature, these are not bad. Some of the people I've met here are super. It's not a community, it's just people who live here and work. While it is not transient, people stay for a long time. And 8 of the units are owned by the people who live in them, so there is some permanence.

Remember not to look for me for a while after Friday as I will be without internet until I figure out what I can get. I still worry it will be Comcast. Although not until they fix it so I'm not paying for TV since I never ordered TV in the first place.

Back to my boxes.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

T-4 Days and Counting

Tuesday accomplishments:

  • Movers are hired and will be here at 9am on Sat. They will take down and set up beds. 
  • Cannot get AT & T Uverse at the new house even though they have a hook up in my front yard. This was a major part of my afternoon.
  • Have spoken to my person at the bank and his assistant
  • Have spoken to the paralegal at the attorney's office
  • Needles for insulin have been ordered
On my left to do list:

  • Call Direct TV as it looks like they will be the best game in town
  • Make the bread
  • Find dinner
  • Continue packing
The continue packing will be on the list for the rest of the week. Added to the list somewhere in there probably for next week is to call my friend, Jane LaRoche to get information on her friend who does interior painting.

I will be mad if I am forced to take Comcast with me for internet. They are awful.

I am also working on Christmas gifts so there is that to keep me busy when I cannot look at a box one more minute. For times when I need sanity. I'm hoping the rain from Hurricane P will blow out by the week end. Yes, we are getting some. Moving in the rain is not my idea of fun.

Things are progressing.

Monday, October 26, 2015

T-5 Days and Counting

Monday: Checked off my to do list are
  • Power is in my name starting Friday
  • Water is in my name starting Friday
  • Meds were picked up and address was changed.
  • Address was changed at bank and checks were ordered
  • Next Steps was accomplished.
  • All bills are paid and mailed
  • Moving crew is hired.
  • Address change has been picked up from post office
  • Broken package, thrown against the door on Friday was left with PO complaint dept.
  • Baby layette, winning gift from party have been mailed.
Still left to do::

  • Order needles for insulin from doctor
  • Call AT & T about Uverse for internet
  • Call Direct TV
  • Cancel Comcast on Friday & return all equipment
  • Continue packing
  • Find dinner
  • Write humorous bio for author spotlight
  • Write 300-1500 word story due Nov. 5th for Christmas anthology (Before Friday on both writing pieces as I won't have internet for a while after Friday).
  • Make last loaf of bread and do dishes.
Yeah it looks like a shorter list, but really it's not. I'm taking the garbage out on my way to find dinner. I'm not cooking this week. If I can't eat it on a paper plate with my fingers, it's not being served. Everything is being packed. Except one coffee mug so I can have my daily dose of tea. That means one pan gets left out, too. But since it will only have water in it, I'm not concerned.

Breathe, just breathe.

Friday, October 23, 2015

T-7 Days and Counting

At this point I am doing nothing but packing. I'm not grocery shopping, I'm not buying anything but garbage bags and a Swiffer mop. Mine did not survive the trip down here. 

Management and I are good on me cleaning on Sunday and doing a walk through and turning in keys on Monday with my final payment. Since my deposit is being returned, we will put it toward a month's rent and I will not have to pay as much to break the lease. This is a good thing.

Monday's to do list looks something like this:
  • Next Steps volunteering from 8:30am to noon
  • Contact Berkeley Electric about transferring service
  • Contact St. John's Water about setting up an account and starting service
  • Change address at the post office
  • Purchase garbage bags and Swiffer
  • Pack as much of kitchen as possible. 
  • Contact AT&T about internet.
Tuesday & Wednesday look like more packing. Thursday is final walk through of the house. I need to check a couple of things.

Friday is closing. In the afternoon I am moving some small things into the house. Mostly clothes and items I need to know where they are. Stripping my bed and doing laundry if possible. If not I'll haul all the laundry to the house and sit it on a shelf in the laundry closet. 

Saturday is moving. We have the truck for 6 hours. I know we can get this done.

Sunday is sweep, mop,vacuum the apartment, clean kithchen and bathroom. Make sure it looks like new. 

Monday, Nov. 2nd 10am walk through and pay final rent. 
Tues. Some silly Dr. appt. Hopefully go scout out a new washer and dryer.
Wed. Dentist appt. Hopefully a washer and dryer can be delivered. Laundry time.
Thurs. Settle in

So my work is cut out. Don't look for me on Facebook. If you need me, call or text. If you're volunteering to help with the move, let me know. I'm still looking for a head count.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

T-8 Days and Counting

Okay are we starting to get a little frantic, yet? The answer would be not really. I walked through the house today and got photos with the new floor in the bedrooms and hallway. Doors are not in yet. I found a couple things I was unhappy about, but I'll fix them. They are minor.

This is the best photo of the floors. This is the smallest bedroom and will be my office/sewing/craft room. I have come to the conclusion it is senseless to unpack then repack when I am ready to paint. I'll be painting all the bedrooms and the living room before I unpack everything. I'm not packing again unless I get the hairbrained idea to move again. So, the room you are looking at will be a light green with a dark green feature wall. From the window to the corner and the corner half way across the wall will be book shelves. My desk will sit on an angle in front of the book shelves and will have room for my two drawer file cabinet. Book shelves will be open so the green walls will show through, um hopefully. Depends on if I get rid of some books or not. And the blinds will be replaced with roller shades and lace curtains.

The apartment has a path through the living room, I am trying to make a path in the spare room to get to empty boxes. The whole thing is a project.

On the upside I was able to reserve a 17 foot UHaul for relatively little money. We have six hours to get us moved out and the truck returned. I have two dollies a big one and a small one. It should keep us busy.  If I have enough people to help me we should be able to knock it out in less than six hours. Took three of us 5 hours to unload when we got here and put up the two beds. I don't think we'll have an issue. We aren't going as far this time.


Friday, October 16, 2015

T-15 Days and Counting

Been a busy place here, but the large dolly arrived this evening.

Many thanks to my friend Beth for delivering and Linda for loanin. As you can see there are some boxes there. Just wait, I have more.

The small file box I used on Mondays for Next Steps. It carries information to help me help others. Oh wait, there's still more.

This is a second tower I have in the living room. There is a third, but due to the fact there are Christmas presents in that stack I am not able to take it at this time. Just know packing is in full swing. Baking pans get packed tomorrow.  Once I bake a loaf of bread in my crockpot, both it and the mixer are being washed and packed. Getting to the empty boxes is proving to be the hardest thing I have to do. But, I'll get there. 


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

T-25 Days and Counting

The sun was shining today. I could get used to it again. I was out and about. The house weathered the storm just fine. It was pretty neat to see the front yard markers.

The seller (also the other realtor) sent me samples today to choose the flooring for my three bedrooms. I picked one of the four choices. I can hardly wait to see it down. Soon.

I want to measure the bedroom windows for shades and curtains. I also need to measure the dining room and kitchen windows for the same. I am not a fan of blinds.  Living room curtains I already have and they will look nice.

Next will be the security system. Things are moving right along. The bank checking with my apartment manager to see what kind of tenant I am and whether I pay my rent on time. No issues there.

So at this point, I've been approved. The home inspection has been done and the seller agreed to fix the things that were wrong. The land survey is done. The floors are being put down. I have the home owners insurance and  new car insurance. I've been repacking. I have more to do. To destress I've been reading or crocheting. So, I'm getting things done, mailed out, or put in a box for Christmas.

Tomorrow I'm taking out the trash and repacking some more. I'm finishing a birthday gift today. Then I have a couple more items to get done. I'm labeling boxes so I know where they go. They will be easier to sort if I can put them in the right rooms to begin with.

To say I'm getting excited is an understatement. I'm getting excited. I'm ready to be settled. The upheaval is making me nuts. And in my mind I'm picking color schemes as I know I need color.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

T-28 Days and Counting

Okay, I've had enough. Mother Nature can stop with the temper tantrum. This rain is for the ducks and even they don't want it. I was out and about a bit today between breaks in the rain. Take a look.

This one was about noon. if you look closely you will see water at the base of the tree. The railing is along the walkway where my upstairs neighbor lives. I was standing on my porch. The rest were taken about 4:30pm when I ventured out to get my mail.

The top photo is the lake in front of my car. The water had not reached the parking lot at that point. The middle one is looking toward the driveway and swimming pool form the management building. And the last one is west of me. I was standing near where the sidewalk separates from my building and the next. The lake in the distance is normally a dog run and there is a nice bench there for folks to sit on. Occasionally we get a couple of geese and some folks feed them bread crumbs.

As of midnight we had an alert there would be flash flooding in the area between midnight and 6am. Northwestern SC, and areas of NC are supposed to get tornadoes. People who have built on the side of the mountain were told Friday to abandon their homes and find safety. They fear mud slides with the amount of rain we've had and continue to get.

For those who didn't get the earlier memo, this is the latest in fashion footwear in South Carolina for the next few weeks.


Friday, October 2, 2015

T-29 Days and Counting

Well, maybe I should have considered a boat instead of a house.

This is pretty much all I have seen since Wednesday afternoon. We get little breaks when there is nothing but mist, but for the most part, we are getting torrential rain. It is my understanding we will get three months rain over the weekend. Flooding is going to be a serious issue. I am staying put.

I suspect if I were  to venture out tomorrow or Sunday, I'd see many signs like this on roads which are impassable. They are telling people if you don't need to go out, don't. I am listening. I'm not going to put myself in harms way. If I need something from the grocery store, I can walk. It is only 1/4 mile each  way and 1/4 mile back into the apartment complex each way. So, a mile round trip. No big deal. The thing which would prevent me from walking is this rain is so heavy I'd be soaked to the skin within a minute or two. Not my idea of fun.

Just packing and crocheting.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

T-30 days and Counting

I'm really glad my new house is on a hill. They issued flood warnings early this afternoon. And the Governor has now declared a state of emergency due to flooding. I am not particularly worried. I have food. I have no where I have to go before Monday, although I'd like to get to church on Sunday.

I have plenty to keep me busy for a few days. Rest assured there is still packing to do. I have some items I need to get to the post office and get shipped. But, if need be they will wait. Mail I can put in the outgoing box here at the apartment complex.

Power washing got done before the rain set in. They neglected to tell me it would shoot mud and yuck under my door. Not impressed with it at all. Something which could have been prevented if there were storm doors.

I have an offer of shelter if Hurricane Joaquin should change direction and head this way. I am praying it will not as one access off the island will be closed by morning if it isn't already. I am hunkered down for the duration. Might have to reopen the DVD's and watch a few again. Or might see what I can stream on the computer.

And why am I writing this at 1 am? I seem to be having an issue with my days and nights. It generally corrects itself on its own, so I'm not going to over think it. For now I just go with the flow.
Soon my mind will shut down on its own and I will sleep deeply. In the meantime, I am making a list of what to pack tomorrow.

I'm baking bread tomorrow so, the mixer stays out as does the crockpot. But I have some spices and other items I won't be using before the move which can be packed. I have items in the bathroom which can be packed as I have to empty the cabinet in there so it can be moved when we move. It will not be completely emptied until the day before the move as some things I do need a place to store them. Office supplies can find their way back into boxes. I'll keep out only what I actually need. Craft supplies can be packed. See, I have plenty to do.

So, let it rain. I will survive.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

T-4 Weeks and Counting

I can hardly believe the house will be mine in a month. I'll be moving again for the second time this year. I have been packing up the things I will not use in the next month so they are done. Can I just tell you how I hate looking at boxes? I'm going to break down everyone I don't need when I unpack and recycle them. I am sick of boxes.

The appraisal by my bank has been done. The land survey is being done Oct. 5th. The repairs from the home inspection were pretty minor and those are being addressed by the seller. She also had a termite inspection done. I have learned the house is well insulated, something I cannot say about the apartment.

I'm going to rent a 16 ft. truck for the day. I have a friend loaning me a dolly and I have a small one. So, we can load two at once. It will take two trips with the truck to get everything. I suspect all the boxes will go in the first truck load and all the furniture will get broken down and loaded in the second load.

Lamps will go in my car, clothing will go in my car, and wall art will go in my car. So will all the plants. Once we have returned the truck, I can come back to the apartment sweep and mop floors, scrub toilets and sinks, and vacuum all the carpeted floors before I pack the broom, mop, and vacuum.

Since I am moving out on a Saturday, I won't be turning keys in until the following Monday, along with my final lease breaking payment. The property manager and I will take a last walk through so he can inspect for damage and I will get my damage deposit returned shortly thereafter.

Then comes the business of unpacking and setting up my home. I'm excited. I'm ready for this. Apartment living is as bad as I remember it being. And I haven't lived in an apartement since I was an undergrad in college.

In my mind I am already thinking of color schemes for each of the rooms. I am not a person who can live with neutrals. I need to be surrounded by color. Calming colors are best, blues, lavendars, greens, the colors of water. Although I like the colors of sunrise and sunset. It will be interesting to see what I finally choose.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Home Inspection Today--We Passed!!!

Move in in about six weeks. I can hardly wait. I will no longer have boxes and boxes. The house, it's a cute little ranch.

Why there it is. I will have to put a storm door on, but that is minor. Many houses don't have storm doors here. I don't understand, today there was a wonderful breeze.  I also had a neighbor stop in to say hello and pose for a photo.

I also had a mystery red leafed tree next to the porch. Today I read the tag. It's a Plum Krauter Vesuvius. I will have plums!!!! I love plums.

I'm so ready for this. I can hardly wait. I want this six weeks to go by quickly, but when I look around and see all I have to do, I want it to go slowly.  Looking forward to having a home again.


Friday, September 18, 2015

24 Hours of Amazement

Thursday I spent most of my day sleeping. I had a sore throat and sore ears. I drank hot water, honey, and whiskey when I was awake. I managed to eat a little, but I wasn't hungry. I slept, watched couple videos and headed to bed early.

I knew I had to be up and showered to meet my realtor at a home we were going to tour. Lucky us it wasn't going to be on the market until Monday.

There is a story behind this house. It was for sale at the same time I was bidding on the house next door. I wasn't all that crazy about the house, but it had a salt water pool. The pool was the big motivation for even placing a bid. I'd seen realtor photos of the house next door and it was dark and dreary. The carpeting was atrocious at best. I didn't even want to look at it. It too, went under contract.

Late in the afternoon Thurs. I got a call from my realtor. She told me the loan had fallen through and it was again up for sale, but had been totally renovated. She sent me the link. It wouldn't open on my phone, so she sent it to my email. I checked and asked when we could see it. I'm not sold, but even I can see it's worth looking at now.  So, we set it up for 9am Friday (today).

I finally dragged myself out of bed at 8am. Took my blood pressure and blood sugar and hopped in the shower. I got out, dressed, took meds, and headed out the door. I'm thinking I'm going to be late. Traffic on River Road in the morning is awful at best. However since I was going the opposite way, some kind driver let me through. I pulled onto Island Estates Drive and saw my realtor come around the corner a car between us. Yeah, not late.

I stepped in the house and my first thought was it's bigger than the one next door. At least the living room was. It also had a coat closet. I'm impressed. The light grey walls with the smooth ceilings and white trim are lovely. The dining room and kitchen have white ceramic tiles. The living room has a wood laminate floor. I love wood floors. The cupboards in the kitchen are brand new and oh so many of them. So are all the appliances. The counter top is granite. I've always wanted a granite counter top.  Then I discover the simple dining room light fixture. I just love it. My realtor knows where it came from and tells me it's a $300 fixture. The furnace/ac unit are new, the hot water heater is new, the roof is new. The bathrooms have been completely redone. There are one and a half baths. There are no floors in the bedrooms yet. (This house was not going on the market until Monday). They are planning to put in carpet. I asked my realtor to find out if they would put in the wood laminate instead. They agreed. It is being done this weekend and they will be hanging the rest of the interior doors as well as putting on all the hardware.

By this time I am ready to make an offer. The other realtor says if the laminate floors go in there is no room for price negociation. I agreed. It is more important to me with my allergies to have hardwood floors, even laminate. We gave her an offer and I put my money down. She came back asking for a change to protect us both and a large deposit. I agreed and wrote a new check. She signed it and it is at my bankers.

The original closing date was one of the changes. We had set it for Nov. 16th. It is now set for October 30th. I'm happy about that. I have been pre approved for this anyway.  My down payment is in order. So, we are good to go. I'll be joining the home inspector on Tuesday afternoon. I don't expect him to find anything wrong. I'm hoping to get some photos.

Now, I have a headache, to go with my sore throat and plugged ears. I fully plan to go to sleep, don't anyone wake me before Sunday. And then wake me in time to go to church.

Never expected to buy a home today. My daughter asked if I was running a fever or if I was delirious. She new I had no great expectations for the house when I went to see it. In fact, I truly went thinking I was going to be wasting my realtor's time. Imagine my shock. I'm calling it a day.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

BHC Hit the Decatur Book Festival Running

Set up began at 8:30 Saturday morning. We ended up needing two extra tables. The first arrangement lasted about an  hour and we were setting up books again. The show opened at 10am. We were non-stop people until 6pm. I don't have any idea who else was at the show unless they were across from us. There was an elderly gentleman and his wife, he wrote about his pets. There was a group of three across from us who never left their chairs and they had someone running for drinks and food. My take from the poster I could see is someone had written about being in an abusive relationship. Next to us was BAS-BLUE who sell books and things for readers of books. They had an interesting little catalog. We passed out about 500 packets of trading cards for the authors who were there, Blue Harvest Creative (BHC) and the commemorative one for the book festival. We took stuff down at 6pm and returned it to our Headquarters. There was a chance of rain and no one wanted books destroyed.

The gang headed for dinner. I headed for my hotel. I had not felt good all day. I arrived back at the hotel by 8:30 and was fast asleep by 9pm. Big improvement over the night before.

Day two started about 9:30 with us putting together more trading card packets. We used all the trading cards we had. Set up started at 10:30 as we weren't supposed to open until noon. We could have opened at 11 there were that many people. Again we were busy all day. Autographs were put into our books as we sold them. Trading cards were handed out. Emerging authors were spoken to, trades people who sell books were talked to by 5pm people had started packing up and moving out. We remained until 6pm. We had people until 6pm.

At 3pm on Sunday we gave away a bag of books donated by the authors. Those there had signed their copies. We also gave away a 16GB Kindle Fire which we loaded with 10 of our ebook, the winner's choice.

As a group we sold 101 books. As an author I sold four books. I am pleased with the amount of books there I wasn't sure I'd sell any. I networked with more people than I can count. It was amazing.

We finished up eating dinner at the Iberian Pig. I highly recommend it if you are in the area.  I had the most amazing mac n cheese. It had chorizo sausage in it. It was the best I've ever had. I also sampled bacon  wrapped dates and eggplant chips. Also awesome. The flourless cake was heavenly. And the white sangria was just perfect. All in all a wonderful time.

The authors who went are a fun group. The red headed roadie is a keeper and our leaders at BHC are the best. I'm already looking forward to next year. Hope we see you there.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Write Yourself Alive (I wasn't Dead) 30 Days of Writing

August 23, 2015
Day 23
Dig Deeper: How would you define your Creative Mission? Think long term, (no comma and is the conjunction) and examine your overall message as a writer—or, (no comma or is the conjunction) if not there yet, think of the message you’d like to communicate through your larger body of work.
I don’t know if I have a creative mission. I do know I want people to understand life is not black and white, it is filled with shades of grey and bright colors. Bad things happen to good people it’s how they react to them which provides character.
Writing Prompt: Write a short Writing Manifesto for yourself with 5-10 top goals, you have as a writer combined with reasons you write. They can be as specific or general, abstract or poetic—but they must resonate with what Writing Does for You and what you want to accomplish through it. Think of it as a Creative Contract you make with yourself. Sign it and hang it in your office as a motivational reminder of your Creative Mission.
When I think Manifesto, the Uni-bomber comes to mind. His was pages of illogical rantings against the government. I don’t see writing in the same light.
I write to let the voices in my head be heard. My characters live in my imagination and scream at me to let them loose. They are my dreams and adventures, I have places to go and people to meet. I do much of it in my writing.
I believe the writing has to be believable. Based on things which happen to real people every day, in every place. Some make the news and some don’t.
As to my goals, I wish to have a wider audience. I broader fan base so, I have a monthly income from my writing.
Improving what I write honing my craft so each story I tell is better than the last one.
To impact one person and prevent them from doing something foolish or detrimental to themselves. If one person’s life is changed by what I write, I will have accomplished more than money can buy.
It would be nice to see my name on a best sellers list or a library list of top sellers. Since I learned money can buy you a spot on the NYT list, I am no longer interested in it.
To be recognized by others in my field as a writer of substance would be awesome. “Oh, you write mysteries.” Like it is some kind of drivel.
I have one award, I’d like to see if I can get another. I work no varying the length of my sentences and still being succinct. I don’t write words just to fill some magical number. I did when I started, now I’m looking for substance, clarity, and continuity.

Will I sign this as some kind of contract? If I can figure out exactly how to write it as one, I might. Will I hang it on my office wall? Not likely. For starters I currently have no office. Secondly, my office will be in my home if I ever find one, and I have a plan in my head for how the office will look. This will not be part of it.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Write Yourself Alive 30 Days of Writing

Just eye rolling
August 22, 2015
Day 22
Dig Deeper: Do you do any creative planning? Do you block specific times for writing in your daily or weekly calendar or do you wait for inspiration?
I don’t block time in yet. Nor do I wait for inspiration. I write when I can find time. Some days I write more than others it depends on what I’m working on and how into the writing groove I get.
Writing Prompt: Write a Sci-fi themed chronological short story describing your first visit to another planet. Do it in a log/diary format, that (which…wish people would learn to use the correct word even my computer knew it was wrong.) occurs over the course of 24 hours. 
Done here. I don’t do sci-fi. I don’t like sci-fi. Don’t read it, not interested in it. Not going to even attempt it as it would sound contrived. Next….

Write Yourself Alive 30 Days of Writing

Again I have fallen behind.
Day 19 was poetry....not into poetry.
Day 20--just could not identify with...I don't write erotica.
August 21, 2015
Day 21
Dig Deeper: Think of one dream that never turned out to be fact. Why do you think it hasn’t materialized yet? Did any part of the creative process + action needed for this dream fall within your power? Can’t think of a dream I haven’t accomplished. I mean I’m not on a best seller list yet, but I’m heading toward it.
Writing Prompt: Describe an experience that (which) caused you disappointment-through story, poem, or autobiographical reflection. Include your expectations and show how they failed to materialize. Convey the ache of disappointment by painting pictures with words. What does disappointment taste, feel, sound, look, smell like? Reflect on how you deal with disappointment.
Just recently, this past week in fact, I looked at a house to purchase. While there were some things I would change, most were cosmetic. I loved the idea of a backyard pool and the thought of swimming everyday was one I could get used to. While the lot was small it was completely secluded with a six foot privacy fence. So, an offer was made.
The following morning the call came from my real estate agent. They were not going to counter offer because they had three offers on the house. They were asking for last best offer. I made mine. Papers were signed on Wednesday morning and an answer would be given on Wednesday afternoon.
I felt anxious eating only because food is required to remain healthy. I found myself pacing my small apartment. I had family and friends waiting to hear whether or not I was going to be a home owner. The text came saying there was some kind of argument going on with the owners and their real estate agent. We would wait another day.
I tossed and turned sleeping. My mind went over all the reasons I liked the house and all the reasons I didn’t. I found myself trying to picture my office in the house, lined with books and the paint schemes I’d use in each room. I was looking forward to hours by the pool and swimming. I could almost feel the water on my skin.
By mid-afternoon, I had places I had to be and no word yet. I texted my realtor and set out to run errands. The text came through while I was driving. My offer was not accepted.
There was a bitter taste in my mouth. I wondered how much more the other people had been willing to pay. My spirits sagged. As I pulled into the parking lot, my realtor called. The other people had offered the same amount. The difference was they were willing to take the house ‘as is’ and I wanted a home inspection. For me, it was a red flag. What is wrong they don’t want a home inspection? What would I have gotten myself into?

The more I thought about it, the more relieved I was. It was not exactly what I was looking for even if it did have a pool. And I still wonder what is lurking in the house which would have red flagged a home inspection? I know the right house is out there. This was not it. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Write Yourself Alive 30 Days of Writing

August 18, 2015
Day 18
Dig Deeper: What makes you feel at your weakest in your writing or creative process? What has the power to bring you down—unless you use the power to transform it? I don’t have a clue what you’re looking for? This question is too vague.
Writing Prompt: Write a magazine article styled (wrong verb) piece in which you adopt the opposing viewpoint from the one you truly hold, about a current newsworthy issue. Seriously???

I don’t do current event discussions. The lead to dissent and generally dissolve into arguments, hard feelings, and aggression. Back to the drawing board. 

Write Yourself Alive 30 Days of Writiing

August 17, 2015
Day 17
Dig Deeper: Have you ever been perceived as “too sensitive,” or as “having too many issues?” Have you perceived others as such? Recall and explain.
Don’t know if I am perceived as being too sensitive, but have often been told I am too naïve. I am very trusting and usually trust the wrong people. It’s a flaw. While I try to correct it, I’m not sure I know how.
As ato my perception of others, I won’t write about friends or family unless I have their permission. So, how I perceive them is not something I will write about.
Writing prompt: Write a recipe for yourself. Write ingredients, the instructions, the results which (that is unacceptable usage here) will follow. Tell us how you are made, how you turn out, and what others can expect when they try. What makes you up? Time to think critically about all the components which(again wrong use of that) helped create you.

No idea how I would begin to do this. The results you get are a unique, eccentric, woman. She is spontaneous, flirty, affectionate, and loyal. She listens when you speak.  Is compassionate and caring. She loves deeply but remains an enigma to all who know her. 

Write Yourself Alive 30 Days of Writing

I'm playing catch up.
Day 15---I got nothin'. My poetry days are pretty much behind me.

August 16, 2015
Day 16
Dig Deeper: Recall a recent experience that (should be which I detest incorrect grammar) has made you feel vulnerable. Why? What was your default reaction to this vulnerability? Recently my health has not been what it should be, soaring blood sugars and drastically dropping blood pressures have frightened me and left me feeling helpless. I have been forced to learn what to do for these things when they happen, however as someone who lives alone, I need someone who can notice when I am missing. I devised a sign with my landlord and my neighbor. One side says “I’m Okay” and has a smiley face. The flip side says “Still Okay” with another smiley. I turn the sign every morning. This lets them know I have made it through the night and am ready for the day. I’ve also consulted my medical team…yes, I have a team. We are now controlling both the blood pressure and the blood sugars. I am relieved. But, feeling like you might not wake up one day is frightening.
Writing prompt: Open up and pour: While sitting in a noisy place, open up your mind and simply write, stream of consciousness and without editing or judgement, for a full 10 minutes.
Currently overwhelmed and antsy at the same time. Am launching a new part-time business. Today was the kick-off and a thunderstorm came through and took out my internet. Ugh. I was in the middle of a give away. I had just unpacked the box with my ladies and we were talking about this new venture. I had to frantically call my daughter and ask her to tell the two ladies who won, and also explain my loss of internet. At least I was planning to do this over three days. She asked them join me tomorrow same time.
On top of this, I am supposed to at this very moment be on a telephone interview for my book Sanctuary. I lost the internet and the phone number I was supposed to call.  I put a call into my publicist, however she is away from her desk so, I’m not going to get the number from her. Missed opportunity to talk about writing. I really hate when it happens. This is an awesome person to interview with.
Awaiting the arrival of books so I can be ready for the Decatur Book Festival Labor Day weekend. Am looking forward to meeting my design team in person and some of the other authors they represent. A few sales over the weekend would be a bonus. This is just not going to be my day.
Need to set up the  file box for Style Dots, so my paperwork is organized and I know what I’m doing. Also need to put boxes somewhere and just pick up in general.
Waiting to hear if I got the house I offered for. The deal is there are two of us offering for the same house and they asked for last best offer today. I was hoping not to have to go that high. Now it is a matter of wait and see. I hate waiting. Makes me crazy as I am not patient at all. Never have been, want it now. One would think having carried a baby to full term I’d have learned patience. Um, no. Yet, all my friends tell me I have more patience than anyone they know…odd, I don’t see it that way. Maybe my perception is off. Just know this is not how I want to spend my days. Waiting for the phone to ring.  Been there, done that as a kid, hoping the right guy would call. Just hate waiting.
Now I’ve filled up fifteen minutes of rambling, I’m done.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Write Yourself Alive 30 Days of Writing

Day 13---I got nothin'. Cannot write this without incriminating others, so won't write it. Rather long today, I apologize.

Day 14
Dig Deeper: How or when did life (or people) take your crayons away? I’ve always hidden my crayons. I’ve never let anyone take them away.

Writing Prompt: Describe a day or a morning in your ideal life as a writer or overall creator. If you could live the Writer’s Life you imagine, what would it look like? Go into detail as if it was a page in a novel. Don’t try to make it perfect, dreamy, or unrealistic, keep it down to earth, just like any alternative reality, with its ups and downs-however, one in which your current ideal vision for yourself as a Writer has materialized.

She awoke slowly and stretched, then glanced at her sleeping lover. These were the times she liked best. Slipping out of bed so as not to wake him, she quickly dressed, grabbed her iPod, phone, and set the coffee to start in thirty-minutes, then she was off to the beach.
The waves crashed softly on the shore as it was low tide. A few terns and sea gulls were at the water’s edge picking away at their breakfast. The music filled her head as she took deep breaths and began her walk. She swayed to the beat of the music as her mind whirled with the next scene in the novel she was writing. She listened to her characters as much as she wrote them. Never wanting things to be out of sync with them.
The sun had risen a couple hours ago and its warmth made up for the chill of the ocean breeze. She was halfway through her walk when her phone vibrated. Reaching for it she smiled.
Of course, it was her publicist, Margie, calling. “Hello, Margie.”
“I didn’t wake you did I?”
“No, I was just about to head back to the house from my beach walk.”
“We have an interview lined up for you on Friday, with KWLP radio….”
I tuned out the rest as I headed back to the house. “Text me with the details,” I told her.
Reaching the last ten yards I saw, Alan standing on the porch a coffee in one hand and waving his phone in the other. I jogged toward him wondering what crisis was at hand now.
He’d finished his call and put down his phone as I came up the steps. Wrapping me in a huge hug he said, “I love you.”
“I love you, too. What’s going on?”
“Need to hit the showers and head to the city, they want me on a consult immediately,” he replied not letting me go.
I leaned into him, “Will you be gone long?”
“Just over night.”
Sighing I gave him a kiss before extricating me from his hold. “I’ll start breakfast.”
He let me go and headed for a shower and to pack. Life as normal for us.
After breakfast I walked him to his car and held him a little longer as we said, “Good-bye.”
As he drove out of sight I felt the emptiness his leaving seemed to create. Then I turned and headed for my office. I wanted to capture my morning thoughts on paper before anything else got in the way.
In the office I booted up my computer and pulled up my work in progress. Then I began the scene I’d been working in my mind on the beach. Part way through, my phone rang. Although I was tempted to let it go, I answered.
“You were expecting someone else to answer my phone?” I quipped.
“Be serious,” Jess snipped.
“Okay, what’s up?”
With a big sigh she began, “Erik left us.”
It was my turn to be shocked, “What do you mean Erik left you?”
“Erik told me last night he wanted a trial separation. We talked for hours, but he packed his bags this morning and left.” She was crying now.
“Do you need me to come over?” I asked.
“Would you, please?”
“I’m on my way.”
“And, Mom, don’t tell Dad.”
“No problem, he’s had to go in for a briefing for a couple days.”
Hanging up the phone, I looked at my work-in-progress. Well, I sighed, this will keep for another day. I saved what I had written and shut the computer down. Then I grabbed my purse and headed to see what issues my daughter was really having with her husband.

The life of a writer, (this one anyway) is idyllic until real life steps in.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Write Yourself Alive 30 Days of Writing

August 12, 2015
Day 12
 Dig Deeper: What are some of your most recent encounters with your shadow, your dark side, the monsters in your closet or your “demons?” How do you deal with the negative, darker aspects of your personality? I only have issues with the darker side of my personality when I am depressed. Since it’s been a while since I was depressed, I have no answer.
Writing Prompt: (Made me laugh) Create an alter ego. If you were to lead a double life, what would an alternative YOU look and act like? Think in terms of what you aren’t able to express easily or live out loud as the current YOU. What qualities and traits (positive and negative) would you give this alternative YOU? Describe this interesting character.
I have an alter ego. I’ve had her for over twenty-five years.  Meet Lady Rebecka, Duchess of Lilac. Her castle is on a hill surrounded by lilacs. She lives in a world of yesterday which makes her somewhat naïve and easily hurt. She’s a traveler. She takes lengthy trips then returns to her keep to rejuvenate herself. She is an out of the box thinker and risk taker. Which oft times allows her to make dangerous mistakes. Her life is one of international intrigue, most of which she keeps to herself. (It is my belief, she is secretly penning a memoir, but she won’t open the door for me to see. I also believe she has had many romances, again she keeps those to herself). She delights in afternoon tea. Prefers to have a maid for cleaning. Loves to cook and entertain. The Duchess is a challenge.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Write Yourself Alive 30 Days of Writing

Well, life got in the way and I missed yesterday's writing completely. I'll put it aside for the end of the program. I struggled with today until I read something someone posted about why they don't write historical fiction.

Day 11
Dig deeper: What is one leap into the dark, one commitment with the unknown-however small-you feel you need to take in order to grow wings? Not sure I know the answer to this. Took a huge leap into the little known in April and moved from my home state to a new state to begin a new chapter of my life. So, not looking for any leaps right now, just trying to settle in.
Writing Prompt: Today, try a new genre, style of writing or topic that you’re uncomfortable with. Anything goes (as far as style or subject)-as long as it stretches your comfort zone. Feel the growth pain. You don’t have to stay there long, but at least give the uncomfortable unknown a try.
This is difficult, I’ve written, poetry, self-help, mystery, thriller, romance, flash fiction, children’s, short story, novella, novel, fairy tales, not sure what’s left. I don’t write Science fiction, I don’t understand the genre. I’m not other world in that aliens and zombies don’t appeal to me. Going to have to think about this and get back to you.
Reading something by someone else gave me an idea on how to start.
Walking through the drafty castle, Elspeth held her candle high. Her bare feet made no sound on the cold floors. She had to get away. It was necessary to warn her father’s returning army of the ambush which awaited them.
She had tucked her hair up under a dark hat borrowed from a page and dressed as a page to the king. Her father, King John Drummond had set out to fight a clan to the south. A messenger had arrived this morning with word the King and his army would return victorious on the morrow.
While her father had been gone, his step-brother, Maxwell, had come out from behind his books to take over the castle. It seems, Maxwell had been waiting for the right time to assert himself. With his rag-tag friends they had faced little opposition and the men of the King’s guard had been imprisoned in the dungeon.
Elspeth was on her way to the dungeon to slip out the underground passage she’d found. Once outside she’s take a hidden boat and cross the moat. From there she hoped the villagers would help her to find the King. It wasn’t much of a plan, but it was the best she had.

There were voices ahead…

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Write Yourself Alive 30 Days of Writing

August 9, 2015
Day 9
Dig Deeper: What is one issue you are passionate about and would like to help others with? How has this same issue impacted your own life? I want to see people reach their full potential. To get the help they need to be productive and move out of poverty. It impacts my life because I have known what it’s like to live pay check to pay check. I had a supportive family who was able and did help me. Not everyone has a support system. In return I work with a program which gives people a hand up.
Writing prompt: Write short blurbs or brief plot synopsis of three novels, non-fiction, or poetry books you have not written.
The Gypsy is a novel of a young gypsy girl Juliette Rush who is able to read the thoughts of others as well as predict things to come. She knows she must guard her secret, yet is disappointed in not being able to predict her own future.

Small Town Shock with be the fifth book in the Macy McVannel series. Macy and Tom find themselves confronted with an incident at the high school which will divide the town. Will they be able to do their jobs and keep the town from open confrontation?

Adventures with Twitter will be a collection of tales involving a young fairy named Twitter, Twit for short. It will delve into the mystical life of fairies.

Yes, those are ideas for real books I fully intend to write. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Write Yourself Alive 30 Days of Writing

Day 8
Dig Deeper: What treasures have you lost in the fires of life? What would you like to recover? How far are you willing to go? In the fires of life I’ve lost a couple dolls I wish I still had. Seems silly, but not at the time. One thing I’d like to recover which was lost in a flood was an autograph book I had in elementary school. Some wise words were written in there by people I admired. As far as recovering the items, I don’t at this point in my life care to try and do any recovery. I think my memories and the emotion of those times are enough.
Writing prompt: Write a poetic love list of at least 21 details about your human experience that make you fall in love with life and savor it. Try to write at least one sentence for each one and show why you love them vs just listing the items.
1.   The intense eyes as they are focused on a video game, the shyness which overtakes him in a crowd and the funny sense of humor which is my grandson, Jason.
2.   The sparkling blue eyes and energy in motion which make up my enchanting granddaughter, Megan.
3.   The witty sarcasm which underlies her insecurities and makes her the life of any gathering is my daughter, Jamie.
4.   The constant in my life who keeps me balanced and puts up with my idiosyncrasies as well as my mercurial mood swings. The one person who holds my heart, Mike.
5.   Strange as this may seem, the days and weeks I spent at my parents’ cottage in Vanderbilt, Michigan surrounded by wildlife, wind, and trees were some of the most peaceful times in my life. No cell phone, no internet, and not much TV. Just me and the sound of my fingers tapping the keyboard as I worked my way through a novel.
6.   Walking through the woods with no destination in mind. Listening to the sounds of nature and letting them fill my soul. Re-energizing my brain and body.
7.   Driving in rural South Carolina where the live oak trees canopy the roads and the Spanish moss hangs down. The enveloping peace which belongs only there.
8.   Pouring myself into the pages of a good book. Shutting out the world around me to live in the world of the book. Becoming the shadow character or identifying with the main character and living it all.
9.   Long walks on a sandy beach, holding hands, and listening to the waves as they crash upon the shores. Feeling how insignificant I really am in the big scheme of things. Yet, being a part of a magical world.
10.          Looking into the woods beyond my apartment and envisioning the elves, fairies, and gnomes at play. Watching the chameleons run across the railing changing colors and basking in the sun. Reveling in the wonders just outside my door.

Today I’m stopping with ten. I can come up with more, but ten seems more reasonable. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Write Yourself Alive (not likely) 30 Days of Writing

August 7, 2015
Day 7
Dig Deeper: What is something you want or catch yourself dreaming about but deem “impossible”? Allow yourself to desire it with your whole heart for at least a few minutes. Repeat exercise daily.
Funny there is nothing I want I can’t buy or do. While yes, I dream. I know it’s a matter of finding the finances to fund the dream and I can do it.
Writing Prompt: Write two poems. (Here we go again) One using all soft sounds (???? Might want to explain this) and gentle tones that you can hear. (Really???) The other using hard sound and dissonance to portray the opposite. Note which one makes you feel more intensely and why.
Skipping today. I don’t write poetry on demand and this I can’t even relate to.

This is beyond frustrating.
No clue who is dreaming this up, but really?  

Write Yourself Alive (or not) 30 Days of Writing

Day 6- This should have been posted yesterday, however real life got in the way

Dig Deeper: Dissect change. What scares you or makes you uncomfortable about it? What helps you deal with it?  I am not afraid of change. In fact, I generally embrace it. I do get frustrated when the change makes no sense but is required. Something which happens often in the field of education. I have learned to bend like the trees in the wind and go with the flow of the river.
Writing Prompt: Write a short autobiographical story (1st or 3rd person) in which you reflect change. There must be an obvious before and after in the character/s.
This is the Way I Remember It
It was a warm and sunny August morning, the smell of bacon and eggs mingled with the smell of campfires. Kids in the campground used bread wrappers to wax the slide in the playground. My Aunt Rosie showed up with my younger brother, Dean, who wanted to go down the slide. I followed him up the ten foot slide. When he got to the top, he looked down and was frightened. Rosie told me to give him a push and she’d catch him at the bottom.
            So, I gave him a big shove. Dean stiffened as he flew down the slippery slide. Rosie could not get to the bottom fast enough. Dean screamed on impact. My mom heard him at our campsite, grabbed my baby sister and came running. Dad finished shutting everything up and followed with the car.
            We loaded into the car. Dean was lying across my parents lap. His head was on Mom and his legs were on Dad.  I was frightened. I wasn’t sure what had happened only my brother had been hurt. At the hospital they splinted my brother’s legs together. We had the choice to take him to Traverse City or Hurley Hospital in Flint. We lived in Flint so it was decided to go home. We had rented the campsite for two weeks. My dad stopped in at the ranger’s station to tell them what had happened and he’d be back on the week-end to get everything.
            It was the longest ride home ever. Dean cried every time the car hit a bump. Once Dad got Dean into the emergency room, he took the rest of us home. Rosie took the blame for everything, but I knew it was all my fault Dean’s leg was broken.
            I got physically sick with the guilt of hurting my brother. Mom and Dad were confused as I didn’t have a fever and seemed fine during the day, but would be up all night heaving my guts out. It took three days for them to finally get me to tell them it was all my fault Dean was hurt. I was the one who pushed him. Once I told them and we talked about how it really was no one’s fault it was an accident I started feeling better. It took some time for me to realize and come to terms with the fact things could have been done differently which would have prevented the accident to begin with, however while there was no lasting damage from the broken leg, it will always be something I remember.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Write Yourself Alive 30 Days of Writing

I feel as though I have returned to my high school and undergraduate days of college. Meaningless prompts I am supposed to make into brilliance. I'm done trying to do things like that. I don't write on demand and I won't invent something I can't relate to just to satisfy some unknown you perceive.
Day 5
Dig Deeper: What do you do to fill up when you’re feeling empty? What type of soul-fillers do you use?
I’m not sure I know. I’m finding fullness in my faith. But for what exactly I use, I don’t know to put it into words.
Writing Prompt:  Write an entire poem without using any punctuation. Write it again properly punctuated. Compare the emotional impact of the two. Apply this as you decide how to use punctuation going forward.
Um….seeing blank paper. I have never written poetry without some kind of emotional attachment to it. To say write a poem leaves me hanging. I am a writer who does not write on demand and this is exactly the kind of prompt which turned me off in high school and college classes. There’s nothing. Pick something out of the air???? Can’t do it.

Passing on today…no time to wrack my brain to write senseless, meaningless words.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Write Yourself Alive 30 Days of Writing

Day 4:
Dig Deeper: What activities unrelated to writing bring you back to the present and make you feel fully alive? What could you get lost in? List 5
1.   Walking on the beach.
2.   Walking in the woods.
3.   Holding hands
4.   A gentle rain
5.   I could get lost in his eyes.
Writing Prompt: Imagine the world is ending in 24 hours. Write the way it will end and how you would fill in the hours.
          While I don’t believe we will be given hours to prepare for the end of the world I might see it this way:   The news just broadcast an invasion of our borders. We’ve been expecting it for months. I have trouble getting through to my family on my cell phone as everyone is trying to make a call at this point. I know my family is hundreds of miles away and we have made arrangements to meet in a safe (or at least we believe it to be safe) place. I load the car with essentials; food, clothing, water, first aid supplies, my computer, flashlights, my camera and anything else I think to grab. I quickly load my car and take the storm evacuation route out of Charleston. My car had been gassed the night before in anticipation of what was to come.
          We had come across an abandoned log cabin in the mountains a few years back. As a family we decided to purchase it as a safe haven in case of war. Each year we went there and set about making it safe. An underground shelter had been on the property, probably a left over bomb shelter from the 1950s. We built bunk beds and placed other beds in it. We purchased a freezer and the guys went hunting to fill it with turkey and venison. A pantry was filled with canned goods. Flour, nuts, and spices were stored there as well. We’d equipped it with a generator and stockpiled enough gas to keep it going for a long time. We were ready, all we had to do was get there.
          Along the way I periodically tried to get through to my family on my cell phone. It kept going to voice mail or told me the circuits were busy. I was surprised about half way through the trip to get a text message telling me my children and grandchildren were about halfway. I remember breathing a sigh of relief.
          It surprised me to see cars and trucks heading toward the ocean. I suppose people thought they would be safer on the water. While I love the water, I did not see it as a safe place should the world come to an end. But, who knows, I’ve been wrong before.
          I arrived at the cabin to see in my rear view mirror my family caravan coming up the drive behind me. I held back tears of joy. We were safe, we were together. It was all that mattered now. Quickly we unloaded the vehicles. Everyone was assigned a task. Once they were emptied, the men set to work syphoning the gas from them. It would be needed if we had to stay underground for longer than anticipated. It could also be put back in the cars should we need to go anyplace.

          Dinner was a simple meal. Sandwiches, chips, and a beverage. The kids were scared and tired. I read some bedtime stories and we put them to bed. In the other section we were subdued wondering what would happen next. We went upstairs to see if anyone could get a cell signal. When we did we used one phone to find any news we could. The news was grim. The capital had fallen to our enemies. Our military was trying to defend major cities. Armed militias roamed the countryside. We bowed our head in prayer. After prayer we went to bed. 


My laptop has been at full capacity for the past two weeks. It's nice to be consistently writing again. It's been hit or miss for...