Pippa Takes a Walk

 I’ve recently begun to take walks in the morning (when I say recently I mean yesterday). The idea of daily walks has been the focus of my thoughts for a while. Walking is both a need and a want. It’s time I took care of this area of my life.

Earlier in the fall, I took a class on Deep Revision from Katey Schultz and one of the things she talked about was the need for movement. Even when doing things other than writing, getting up and getting physical is important to keep the creative juices flowing.

Walking is good for so many things and I’ve been avoiding it. I have found a yoga class that I really like, but it only meets once per week. I need more than that to relieve stress, to keep my energy up among other reasons. This winter has given us the gift of being mild and I want to take advantage of this.

So, I took some steps:

I found my watch. Exercise is the only time I wear one and I often have to search for it.

I laid out my clothing, including shoes and iPod, to be ready to go.

My alarm always goes off during what feels like the middle of the night. Most of the time I simply ignore it. The snooze button is my frenemy.

I was as ready as I could be when the morning came.

Shoes on, jacket zipped, and flashlight in hand I head out forgetting one thing.

Pippa likes to go outside.

 As long as it isn’t raining or too cold, she wants to be out in the fresh air. The morning air was damp and cool but no rain. She was raring to go.

I stood at the door and she positioned herself in a straight shot for the door. As soon as I opened it, she was outside. I thought she would run off to see what she could see.

Nope.

I started my watch and began my 30-minute walk. She followed me.

She has a collar with a bell which she hates and tries to take off whenever she can. On this particular morning, I was glad she was wearing it. Because she followed me – the entire way.

I took my music but never turned it on. My only music was the tractors, the creek that remained unfrozen and the tinkle of Pippa’s collar. It was quite enjoyable as I walked in the dark.

She stayed with me the entire way. Sometimes she would stop and sniff, do a bit of exploring but soon she would be right near me as I walked. She did slow down as we got closer to home.

 Pippa followed me all the way inside. She needed a snuggle and a nap. It was a long walk for her and she’s not very big. She earned a long sleep.

I wonder if she is part dog.

The walk was amazing for me and stirred the words within. Amazing how that works.

The Longest Night

Today marks the shortest day of the year.

And, the Longest Night. This is one night of the year where the darkness seems to overtake the light.

But not for long. From this day forward, at least for a while, the light is coming back.

This is turning out to be a time of reflection for me. I’ve been thinking about the past year and am looking forward to next year, but that is another post.

For this post, I want to share some of this year’s holiday moments. Things are calm now but have been crazy busy. I hope the pictures help to slow things down a bit.

Apparently, it’s been a season of selfies. At least, I had some company.

I received a gift and just in case you can’t read the hat; it says ‘ba humbug.’ My holiday spirit is showing.

He likes getting his picture taken.

Caleb was amazed at the horse and wanted his picture taken.

Abel’s new ride.

More selfies with company; he likes to make faces.

More faces.

They are all in the same room and wanted a picture.

Finally, I realized I could turn the light on and get a decent picture of my tree. I guess I’m never too old to learn something new.

Presents are all opened, and everyone’s gone home. Though the party is over, there are still things scheduled, like Star Wars (no spoilers please) and Rick Springfield. Both should be fun.

What’s Next???

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Where do I go from here?

This is the question I’ve been pondering for the past couple of days?

I’ve just finished my NaNoWriMo 2015 project. While that one is resting, I’m thinking ‘What’s next’?

I could work on Anger Road, my 2014 NaNo project. This was my first novel and is currently in need of revision. Desperately!!! I still like this story and would like to finish it.

Brenna’s story, based on a flash fiction piece I wrote a couple of years ago and can be read here, is in need of planning. Is this my next project?

While I was working on my most recent piece, the ideas came for a sequel to the story. Although this is in the very early stages of planning, this is something I could get into.

Or, I could jump right into revisions for my current, as yet unnamed, novel.

Oh, and then there is a “short” story I wrote during October. I laugh at the word short. My normal “short” is anything under 1000 words and this one sets at about 15,000. It is in the rough draft stage and needs editing.

I’m not sure if you were counting, but that is five projects. What am I thinking?

All I want to do is this:

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I think I am on a mental vacation after being so focused on my novel. It probably isn’t helping that the holidays are here and my family will be arriving soon. There is so much to be done that I’m feeling scattered and am not sure what to focus on.

How do writers, or anyone, choose their next project?

I’m sure that everyone has their own process in choosing their next project. Part of my process is to open a journal and begin by making notes. I have a notebook for each of my larger projects when I am ready. Today is not that day, I think.

What I am not stopping is my daily word count. When I am not working on a novel, that goal is 500 words. This is doable even while things are so busy.

Of course, I still have blog posts to write and flash fiction to write, edit and send out to markets.

Yeah, I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

I think I will begin by printing off both my novel and the short story I wrote in October. That way I will not have any excuses as I move on to my next project.

Which I will decide on after the holidays. I may even set some goals in January instead of waiting until my birthday, as is my normal habit.

I’m excited to find out “What’s Next.”