Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday

A while back I started doing these posts called "Thankful Thursdays" and, as with all my other writing, I stopped. I have no idea why.

I've decided to start them again.

I firmly believe that we should take time once in a while to realize what we have to be thankful for. It's not something we have to do each day, but once a week is good I think. I believe that taking the time to see what we have in our lives that's good is one step to being happy. Focus on the positive rather than the negative.

I've said for a long time that I believe that happiness is a choice. And I totally do. Doing something like this reinforces that.

So without further adieu....

Ten things I am thankful for this week:

1. Time with my friend Tracy. Tracy has stage four terminal colon cancer. I am eternally grateful for each day that I have to spend with her, talk to her on the phone, joke around on Facebook. Whatever. She and I share many of the same philosophies of life. We believe that life is short - you may as well have fun and enjoy it. We believe that drama sucks and isn't worth it. And we believe that you take responsibilities for your own shit, but that whatever that shit is? It isn't the end of the world. Own it and move on. I know the day will come, probably in the not so distant future, that I won't have her to call and share my day with. And my life will be bleaker for it.
2. Time with my husband. I've been with my husband since I was 16 and he was 17. He is my best friend and truly the other half of my soul. He loves me despite (or perhaps because of) all my quirky flaws. He keeps me grounded while still letting me live in my own little world. He takes care of all the things that stress me out, like car insurance and finances. He is nearly my polar opposite. He is the caution to my daredevil; the neat freak to my slob; the reality to my fantasy; the morning to my night; and the serious to my goofy (though he does have his moments). He forces me to accept reality occasionally and I force him to have a good time, enjoy life and not take everything so seriously. We've had our issues - separated and nearly divorced before, and I'm thankful for every day that we have together.

3. Fall/Autumn. I love this time of year. I love seeing the leaves change. I think all the colors are just beautiful. I love it when a tree is half changed and you have the contrast of the colorful leaves against the normal green. I love the cool, crisp air. I love football Friday nights (and college Saturday - Go Bucks!). I love taking a walk and stepping on all the crunchy leaves. I love Halloween, decorating, carving pumpkins, passing out candy, haunted houses, hot apple cider, caramel apples, wearing sweatshirts, getting my comfy winter boots out, flannel sheets and breaking out the down comforter to snuggle under.

4. My house. We just bought our house last year. It's the first really nice house that we've owned (the first one was a hundred and fifty year old money pit house that we finally let the bank have back because the foundation was crumbling under us). I have my own den, with a door that I can shut when I want to work. We have a stairway that I love and can decorate. A portal window that I adore. A finished basement that we have set up as a workout room. A kitchen with an island. A jacuzzi tub in our bathroom. And a walk in closet. If we could pick the house up and set it down in a different neighborhood it would truly be our dream house.

5. My dog. I have a standard poodle named Lucy. She is a smart, ditzy blonde that is my shadow and I adore her. She makes me laugh, is always happy to see me, sleeps at my feet and follows me everywhere I go. Oh, and she loves getting new outfits and dressing up.

6. Laughter. Nothing beats a good laugh. The kind where you laugh so hard that you cry and makes your belly ache.

7. Music. My life would be incomplete without music. It can inspire me, make me want to get up and move, make me want to cry and fill me with joy. It can lift me up, change my mood or commiserate with me when I need a friend to be sad with. It can say "I know exactly how you feel, I've been there too" or it can say "Do good. Go make the world a better place" or it can say "Just have a good time and feel good!", or any number of other things. Music speaks to me.

8. Colors. I love colorful things and all colors. I love the way they can brighten things up. The way they contrast and compliment each other. The way they can change a mood and make me happy.

9. Sunsets. I love colorful sunsets. So pretty.

10. Pinterest. It's my new addiction. So much fun and such a great way to keep ideas in one space. If you want an invite, let me know. Here is my page:

So, that's my week, in a nutshell.  What made you happy this week? What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Write On Wednesday

I've decided to start doing an activity on Wednesdays that I'm going to call "Write On Wednesday", where I write something from a prompt. I'm hoping that it'll get me a) writing on the blog again, and b) into a regular practice of writing something for fun. When I can, I'm also going to try to use a character from one of my WIP's for the prompt. That should help me get to know the characters better, and see how they react in different situations. I'm not editing any of the work from any of the prompts and I'm limiting myself to a thousand words or less. This is just supposed to be a fairly quick writing exercise. Let me know what you think!

Catelyn is the MC from the romantic suspense that I've been working on (forever). She has gone away to college and is majoring in art. 

The prompt: "It was the first snowfall of the year."


Catelyn stood looking out the window of her room at the sorority house, watching the snowflakes fall. It was the first snowfall of the year, and an event that she always looked forward to. The snow always seemed to somehow make the world seem quiet and it gave her a peaceful feeling. She loved the concept of snowflakes and how each one was unique. It inspired her and made her feel creative. If enough snow fell tonight, she planned on going out tomorrow with her camera to capture some images she could paint, or at the very least, use for inspiration.

She had just sat back down at her desk when one of her sorority sisters poke her head in the door. “Cate, the Kappa guys are having a party tonight to celebrate the first snow. Come on, get ready!”

Catelyn glanced over at Libby and smiled. “No, thanks Lib. I have some stuff I want to work on tonight. You guys have fun though.”

Libby rolled her eyes at her. “You never want to go out, Cate. You know, college is about more than work. Come out and have some fun with us.”

Catelyn barely heard her, already focused on her sketch pad. When Libby's words finally sank in, she barely restrained herself from rolling her own eyes the way Libby had. It's about more than partying too, but she didn't say it aloud. Instead she looked over at Libby and just shrugged.

Libby sighed. “Look, Cate, you should know that some of the girls are talking about removing you from the sorority. You never make an effort to participate in anything that we do and they just feel like it would be better for the sorority if your slot was filled with someone that actually cared about being here.”

Seriously? Participate in anything they do? Cate put her pencil down and stood up. Turning around to face Libby, she leaned against her desk. “Really? Is that what they said?”

Libby fidgeted with her blouse. “Yeah, it's how pretty much everyone feels, Cate. They plan to take a vote at the next meeting.”

Cate laughed, which seemed to shock Libby, judging by the expression on her face. Cate was sure that everyone expected her to be devastated but she was a little relieved. “Participate in anything they do, Libby? Really? What do they do besides party?” Cate laughed again. “You know, I joined this sorority because I thought it would put me around other creative people who were interested in the same types of things that I am. Even without factoring in art, you'd think they could at least attempt some sort of activities that didn't involve drinking.”

That seemed to make Libby angry. She fully walked into the room and tossed her purse on Cate's bed. When she turned around to face her, she put her hands on her hips and glared at Cate. “You are such a self-righteous little bitch, Cate. You want to judge us for having a good time while all you want to do is study and draw and paint and whatever else it is that you do. You think you have to be little miss perfect southern belle. Why don't you just go home? Obviously college life is not for you.”

Catelyn's eyebrows rose at the last statement and the amusement she felt threatened to make her start giggling. She snorted instead. “You are unbelievable, Libby. All of you are. You are such hypocrites. If all you wanted to do was party, why go to college? You're paying a lot of money just to party. And yet you criticize me for actually doing my work. You're funny. Don't worry. I'll leave voluntarily. I'd rather be in the dorm anyway. No need to vote me out.” Cate walked over to the door and held it open. “Now get out of my room, please. I have work to do.”