My Word for 2018

20171230_155008Two years ago I began a course called One Little Word, by Ali Edwards. To give you a brief description of the class, you pick a word that you feel is speaking to you. Maybe it’s a word you need to work with, like Clean, Less, or Focus. Or maybe it’s a word you want more in your life, like Hope, Flourish, or Courage. You could order a journal and supplies from the shop, or you could use anything as a journal. Each month Ali posts a video about the prompt where she encourages you to do something with the word. Practice something or create intentions. The idea is this word you’ve chosen is with you throughout the year.  Read more

2018 Goals

20171230_153236Today is the last day of 2017. Can you believe it? I’m thankful, but I still can’t believe it. In my head, I’m stuck somewhere around dandelion season and every time I walk outside the freezing temperatures remind me it’s winter.

I’m happy we’re saying goodbye to 2017 tonight. Nothing fancy for us. A cheese and salami plate. Some champagne. A sparkler or two.

And eating my goals.  Read more

Imagine What An Alligator Would Do and Other Ways I Motivate Myself

In our home, silly gets a good place. Somewhere between the hot water boiler and the computer. We’ve come to rely on it, fall back on it, pull it out when we’re stressed and a number of other clichés I could fit in here. We’re silly people, what can I say? So a typical dinner conversation might be:

Son: What is ice made of?

Husband: Pants. Really cold pants.

And we’re all okay with that. I guess at some point a member of our family who knows science pipes in and provides the correct answer, which is handy for kids learning the basics and succeeding in school. I’m aware of what ice is made of, but I usually stay away from the science questions because I do want them to succeed in the school area. Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Seaweed Parties and Giants

On Thursdays I normally share random thoughts I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts. It’s been a cold week here in Stockholm and part of me wants to do nothing but curl up in bed with a good book while the cat sits on my head. Tomorrow night it’s supposed to go down to -19. Trust me, I’ve asked myself all week why I willingly gave up California and Georgia sunshine for this. But as much as I want to burrow under the covers, I can’t until I’ve posted my Thursday Thoughts post =).

So, besides the cold, what am I thinking about? Read more

Thursday Thoughts -Teeth and Trains

Thursday Thoughts are back! On Thursdays I normally share random thoughts I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts. Over the holidays, however, I took off for two weeks and spent that time focused on my family. The kids start school again tomorrow which means I guess it’s back to work for me, too. And I like my job. Most of the time ;). Read more

Butt to Chair

cowboy computerMy writing group promotes the butt-to-chair philosophy, which is basically this — sit your butt in a chair and write. A simple thing really, yet it’s difficult to pull off if you’re stuck in the swamps of life, or if you prefer a happier image, the amusement park of life, where we rush from one activity to the next.

Job —> School —> Kids —> Pets —> Friends —> Family —> Church —> Housework —> Insert hectic activity of your choice.

Is there time left to write? Personally, I think we all go through phases and some periods are better for writing than others. It drives me bonkers when people say things like, ‘If you really wanted to write, you’d carve out the time and if you can’t find the time, it means you don’t want it badly enough.’ Obviously these people are at a good place in their life. They’re not taking care of sick family members or stretched so thin they think they’ll snap any day. And I’m happy for them. But when they advocate waking up at 5am, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt they aren’t taking care of small children because that’s what time we crawl into bed. Right. Before I go off on a side rant . . . I think we can all agree that when we do find those golden moments of time, however and whenever we find them, it all starts with sticking our butt in a chair.  Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Wicker, Zombie Babies and a Scary Fish

Thursday Thoughts –

Every Thursday I’m going to post a few short paragraphs, or photos, about random ideas to share with you some of the things that inspire me. It has the added benefit of keeping me focused, because let’s face it sometimes writers are interested in everything but writing (see how I didn’t mention the ‘p’ word there?). A blogger I admire, Aethereal Engineer, does this with art and music every week (Aethereal Engineer Blog) and I’ve enjoyed stopping over to see what inspires him when I can. I don’t listen to music much, so I’ve adapted the idea to fit my style. I’m hoping that I can use some of these elements in my work in the weeks that follow the post, much like writing prompts. Feel free to do the same if you find something that inspires you =). Read more

Autumn Colors

20151022_115222Autumn! This used to be my favorite time of the year. The world exploding in color, the crisp air, the smell of southern pines in the wind. Harvest festivals and masquerade parties. Apple pie. The smell of chimney smoke when people light up their fireplaces. Piles of leaves to dive into. Not to mention my birthday, which falls in late September. Why wouldn’t you love this season?

Then I moved to Sweden where it rains almost every single day until the snow shows up. I no longer wanted to walk through the leaves anymore because I came out all muddy and wet. An umbrella was required when you left home and, yes, it’s cold, but most years Sweden skips over ‘crisp’ and goes straight to ‘bundle up it’s freezing outside.’

This year, it’s different. I guess the rain came early, or it’s waiting to surprise us–either way, I’m thankful. It’s gorgeous outside! To celebrate, I thought I’d share a few photos.  Read more

A Good Day

20151023_102909-001What a week! We’ve had doctor’s visits, school meetings, planning new meetings to meet our children’s needs, a lot of early mornings and late nights for my husband as his company continues with a crazy renovation project, coordinating schedules and rushing around, a few epic meltdowns, an intense battle between a dragon and a ninja (the costumes arrived yesterday), my son’s acrobatics at the breakfast table (which led to a split eyebrow, a ton of blood, and a bucketful of tears this morning) and for me, very little writing. Everyone is stretched thin. I don’t know how my husband is walking. He must have cloned himself. Emotionally and physically we’re all exhausted and some of us are a little beaten up (not from anger management issues, I promise. You have to know my son. The boy will climb anything, jump off of it, or try to explode it). Read more

Budget Bucket List

bucket listFor the past year, I’ve seen photos and stories about people and their bucket lists. They’ve been around longer than a year, but I’ve really noticed an increase in them this past year. Maybe because they’re making the rounds on social media. I’ve even seen some create bucket lists for their pets. Women post selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower, sometimes with a small dog licking the camera. I guess I understand our fascination with them. We want to squeeze everything we can out of life. See all there is to see. It’s a big world, after all, and even if we achieved everything on our lists, we’d still only experience maybe a 10th of what life has to offer. 

What I don’t understand is how so many people can have such high-priced items on their list, or defy death in various ways. Perhaps I’m a pessimist, but I don’t think racking up a bunch of frequent flier miles will give me a deeper sense of meaning to life. Not to say that I don’t enjoy traveling. Visiting another culture creates opportunities to enrich us, but traveling to places so you can mark them off a checklist as if to say, ‘I did it! I’ve been there!’, doesn’t. And I have to believe there are millions of folks out there who can’t afford to hop on a plane and visit 37 countries. Or swim with dolphins. Or go skydiving. I know we all have different ideas of what’s meaningful. For some folks, it might be standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, while others might want to connect with nature. And though I’d love to visit Greece or Italy, traveling in and out of airports doesn’t resonate with me. Read more