November in Review

novemberJournaling is a practice. As with anything else, you only get as much from it as you put into it. Committing to journaling every day can be daunting, but when you see the difference it makes in your life and how more self-aware you are, it becomes an integral part of your day.

I track my calendar, my dreams, daily journal entries, creative writing, research, and notes in my journal. It’s basically my whole life on paper. I looked back at the month of November to check in. See how the month went, what journal techniques are working, what isn’t working. It sets up the following month and what I want to focus on or let go.

November was chaos.

fractal-chaosnovembermonth

I know this is a math image of fractal chaos, but it visually described last month. The beauty, the colors, the chaos, the out of control actions that all make up who I am and what I do.

First thing I noticed was that I was all over the place. Physically, mentally, project-wise. This is nothing new, but there was a great deal of stress making sure I was getting everything done. I had signed up to do the NaNoWriMo challenge where you write 50,000 words in a month. I started off great, but died out before Thanksgiving. I did write 16,000 words, which probably would not have happened otherwise, so for that I am grateful.

I was selected to be part of the Nuts, Bolts, & Business Artist Entrepreneurial program through the Troy Arts Center from a grant that I wrote. This is a seven month venture and will require a great deal of my time, and it began in November. I had homework and a presentation to prepare, but I am very excited about growing my business.

Basically, I wore many different hats including book sales, writing my application for BOCES arts in ed, which was accepted, and I can’t wait to get more involved with teaching writing in the schools. Stephen was home, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with him, Thanksgiving, yoga. And if that wasn’t enough, I had my bedroom painted and redecorated!

Good stuff in November, but also high stress, which ramped up my poor eating habits. The one change I did implement in November was a weekly Stay at Home day. Because I am always out and running around, I needed to be more grounded. When I plan my week, I schedule a day to work at home and not go anywhere during the day or night. I absolutely love it. It forces me to get paperwork and business done and reduces my stress.

So what did I learn from November? I am most effective when I remain true to myself, my purpose, and I sit and do the work. Also by daily writing what I am grateful for, my attitude changed, and I focused on what nourished me.

For December I will:

Continue the weekly Stay at Home Day

Track my exercise, eating, and water intake for better personal health, which includes kicking gluten out of my life once again.

Daily December Gifts to Gratitude letter writing (see previous blog)

Focus on promoting Shimmer’s Eggs and writing Saving Atlantis (Book Two!)

Enjoying my family during this festive time of year.

If I hadn’t written everything in my journal I wouldn’t have remembered all the wonderful activities I did in November or how hard I worked or how stressed out I really was. It takes a toll on my health. Now I am more aware of what I need to do going forward.

Can you commit to 5 minutes of writing daily in your journal? Then review it weekly or monthly to see what is working and where you want to go next. It’s a path to healing and living a full and wonderful life!

Super Cool Writer’s Group–Gratitude Day 18

Yes I know what you are saying, asking, pondering. Is she saying that this writer’s group is super cool or is the name really SCWG–Super Cool Writer’s Group? It would be both, hence the name. And no, I didn’t make it up. Our youngest member, MacKenzie, named it when she was 18!

supercoolgangwithbook

But these aren’t all of them! We are an eclectic group from varying lifestyles, interests, and ages. Our common interest is creating the best writing possible. This group came together a couple years ago when I started teaching fiction writing classes at The Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library.

Many of us connected and wanted to motivate one another to write and finish our stories and novels. We now meet twice a month and, in addition to supporting one another in our writing, we have become friends.

I have never been with a more open minded and creative group of people, and it’s not because they love my classes or buy my books! We truly enjoy being around each other, and I think improve one another’s writing. I am incredibly grateful for this group of man and women who believe in that the written word can entertain, heal, inspire, make a difference in our lives.

Thank you all in the picture and those who couldn’t make it tonight for supporting over these last couple years in getting Shimmer’s Eggs ready for publication!

What you Manifest

 

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Photo by Alysia Thomas

I told the adults in my journal writing workshop last week that one of my favorite books is The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I actually listened to the book and loved the dog, Enzo’s voice. I always say that books can purely entertain, but when they are most needed, they can transform.

I found this book the year after I lost Nick. The main character, Denny, suffers loss and is drowning in his grief. I had adopted my dog, Zoey, who found and saved me, so I could relate to Enzo trying to save Denny.

But what transformed me was Enzo’s mantra: “That which you manifest is before you.”

If I wanted to live a full life in the midst of my grief, I had to create it. I had to do the work. “It’s not easy being green,” my dad used to say. And it sure ain’t easy being sad, lost, heartbroken, devastated, and uncertain about life. This path I have been placed on has been treacherous, rocky, happy, crazy, and life-changing, but I have followed it.

This year I am manifesting my passion–writing and bring the art of writing to anyone who wants to manifest it. I was worried about having enough experiences to write about in my daily prompts and bringing all sorts of journaling workshops into the community. I didn’t need to worry, because I have come from a place of joy, wonder, and selflessness. I want to manifest hope, and I do that through writing and teaching.

My other creation for 2017 is publishing my middle grade novel called The Puzzle Quests: Shimmer’s Eggs in October. During 2016, I tweaked it, but it wasn’t until I committed to publishing it through my company that it became real. By focusing on that goal, that dream, the people I needed to help me accomplish this have crossed my path. I see my vision. I see good people who need hope to get them through the hard times, so they can bloom and manifest their dreams.

What do you want to manifest? What is your focus this year, the next six months, a month from now, or tomorrow?

Write the details, see it as a manifestation, not a wish. Create an action plan and stick to it. It’s all before you if you do the work.