Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Signing Off For Christmas

My blog writing has been sporadic lately.  Lots going on with Christmas on the way!  Let's see, in the past two weeks I've:
  1. Finished up working with my bookkeeping clients for the year,
  2. Bought and wrapped a bazillion presents,
  3. Got rear-ended by an over-eager high school kid (no damage done to the vehicle, but I've been a little sore),
  4. Got new windows for the house...engergy star...tax break applicable.
Actually, as I'm writing this, the banging is going on all around me as the contractors remove the windows we now have....kinda hard to concentrate.

Before I sign off, I wanted to share a little Christmas miracle.  Actually, it's a pretty big miracle for the people involved.  You see, there are two kids at my church who have been in foster care for years...good kids (I'll call them Ann and James) caught in the system because their parents are both incarcerated.  Apparently, they are elligible for adoption because the parental rights have been severed.  The problem is that the kids are teenagers, and who wants to adopt teenagers, right?

On Thanksgiving Eve, our church had a dinner.  One of the special parts of the dinner is that the floor is opened for anyone to get up and tell what they are thankful for in the past year.  This year Ann and James got up to tell their story...a heart-wrenching story of loss and gratitude...loss of their family, gratitude for the people who had made a difference in their young lives.

Two people were in the audience (let's call them John and Sue), a married couple who had never wanted kids.  John and Sue were so moved by story told by the teenagers that they could not sleep that night.  Thanksgiving morning came, and Sue got up early to fix the coffee and make breakfast, trying to hold back the tears.  She turned around, and there stood John, tears streaming down his face.  Looking at each other, they both knew...they wanted to adopt those kids and give them a permanent home.

A meeting was set up, and John and Sue came face to face with Ann and James.  The connection was immediate and strong.  Adoption proceedings began.

Normally, adoptions can take months, but because of the church family connection, John and Sue were able to qualify as adoptive parents under "kinship" laws.  Another church member was able to help expedite the process, and John and Sue found themselves signing the papers to finalize the adoption...just in time for Christmas.

I know that many of us get cynical over the years....we've been disappointed...we find it hard to believe.  But if you ask me if miracles happen, I would say that they do

I believe...do you?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Don't Go! P-L-E-A-S-E

My laptop is trying to die...I think.  The wireless has been acting up, and recently, I found that my DVD drive had bit the dust.  Ugh!

I wish I could say that I always back up my writing each time I sit down to work...but I don't.  In fact, before I learned the laptop was experiencing difficulties, my back-up habits were, at best, extremely sporadic.  I recently went online to a fellow writer's site and it appears that she recently experienced what we all secretly fear...a crash.  So several days ago, I sorted my files into those that were vital and those that are expendable, and I 've been making almost making a habit of backing up those important files.

The problem isn't with the writing files, which are fairly easy to copy over onto a thumbnail.  The problem is with my accounting files (which I do in my other-non-writing-life), Quickbooks backups, etc.  Those babies take forever to copy and download...at least on my system.  Believe me, the last thing I need is to lose a client's files!

But I'm rambling (again).  My real issue is a laptop that may be on its way out.  It's only a couple of years old.  How long are these things supposed to last, anyway?  Surely one should be able to stretch three or (gasp) four years out of a piece of equipment.  That's the real problem though isn't it?  Nothing seems to be made to last anymore.

Well, at least I know what to ask Santa for.  And while I'm at it, maybe an external hard drive, too...for backing up the system.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I've had this idea for a story rolling around in my head for the past few months and finally sat down today to start blocking out the plot, character sketches, etc.  I love the process of developing my characters, getting to know them...their histories, likes/dislikes, personalities...

The hard part is writing everything the way I see it in my mind.  Will the scenes play out the way I've pictured them?  Will the descriptions be as vivid, as sharp?  I guess my fear is that what I envision in wild, crazy technicolor will come across as boring black and white.  My characters deserve depth...will I give it to them?

I used to think I was the only one who felt this way until I recently read a wonderful book The Writer's Book of Hope by Ralph Keyes.  What was so encouraging about this book?  I learned that I am not alone!  I'm not the only writer who fears that what she put on the page isn't going to live up to what she sees in her head.  Whew!

And sometimes (like now, trying to finish this blog post) I don't always like what I write and that's okay, because I can always hit delete and start again...which is probably what I should do with this post!

Oh, by the way, I just found a contest to link to if you want to win a free edit from C. A. Marshall.  Go for it!  (I told you this post was random!)

Monday, December 6, 2010


I just spent Thanksgiving weekend with my wonderful family:  hubby, daughter, sister and nieces, and Mom.  We had the usual fare, turkey and dressing, ham, sweet potato casserole, an assortment of pies...yum!  There was just one important ingredient missing...Daddy.  This was our first Thanksgiving without my dad, who died earlier this year after a long bout with cancer.

My dad and mom, me(brunette) and sis

It was my turn to host the dinner, which involved lots of cleaning.  As a writer-home-business-owner, organization is not my strongest characteristic, and my desk was...well... trashed.  It was while I was clearing this particular piece of furniture that I ran across a picture of my dad with my daughter, taken at a school field trip.  My dad loved to fish, so my daughter had asked him to go when her first grade class went to a fish farm...sigh.

Dad with my daughter, Sarah

So now, Christmas is coming and part of me feels...empty.  My dad always loved the holidays, and Christmas was his favorite.  He loved shopping (I know, weird for a guy), and he, my sister and I always went together to pick out something for Mom.  (If we didn't go with him, he'd buy some useless something he just knew she needed from some catalogue.)  I'll miss that.  Who am I kidding, everything about this Christmas is going to be different.