5-Day Positivity/Gratitude Challenge

Reminded by Faceboook of the 5-day Positivity Challenge I took in 2014, I’m starting one of my own. Couldn’t be a better time, don’t you think? Too much Trumping going on. Time to radiate positive energy. So, for the next five days, I will list three things about my life that are positive, or for which I’m grateful on my Facebook wall and then tag three Facebook friends, who will do the same, and so on. If you find it hard to participate in the daily task, that’s okay. Just keep trying. Forget about coming up with anything profound, just focus on finding one thing, no matter how small. You DO NOT have to blog, just post on Facebook. 

Day 1:
1. I am so wildly, madly grateful for my sweet loving Jake. He has buoyed me through some mighty trying times. And at 12 1/2 years old, he’s still willing to climb the dratted hill  every day with me. Even in the broiling sun. I love you Jake!!!

Jake Closeup

2. I’m loving “A Moon Shaped Pool,” Radiohead’s latest albumn.  Yow!

3. Finally, I’m blogging again, albeit, a short stint. Still, it’s a most positive event.  I’ve been querying Small Presses for Monkey’s Wedding, and trying to find a path into the memoir (or maybe it’ll be a novel) that’s been tapping me on the shoulder.

Until tomorrow!




Last day of my June blogathon. I was going to head into another one, but instead I’m going to focus on getting my young adult novel, Monkey’s Wedding, edited and published. Again. I’m embarrassed to report. One of the things I’ve vowed to do to make this happen is to seriously limit my forays onto the web: that tempting daily headline on my home page–CNN Top Stories–The Daily Beast, all those emails with social media tips, writing contests, words of inspiration, writing prompts, Narrative Online Magazine. Facebook is a whole other rabbit hole of distraction.

Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist  at the University of California, San Francisco contends that our brains are adapting to handle the many inputs of digital stimulation. Not my brain. I thought perhaps I had Attention Deficit Disorder–something I’d wondered about before because of my hyperactive mind. Maybe some drugs could fix the problem? But then I researched the symptoms and checked with a psychologist friend of mine. Nope. I’m just not the amazing multi-tasker I used to be nor as focused. So, even though I have gained a certain immediacy through blogging, a boldness if you will, and confidence, I’m heading for my friend’s mountain cabin for some serious focus-time.

But I shall be blogging as often as I can, because I’ve grown to love it.



Reflection on The A-Z Challenge

For two years in a row now I’ve completed the challenge. I had a blast. This year at least. Not so much last year. Halfway through the alphabet I was on holiday in England where I reconnected with old pals from Zambia, madly scribbling entries in between trips down Cumbrian country lanes, hugging sheep (love the little beasties), poob-crawling (that’s how they say “pub” and it was just two of them), visiting me dad’s old primary school in Ayr, Scotland–read about it here–laughing my head off, and trying desperately to remember the names of the people we knew.

This year I realized just how much I’ve learned through blogging. My writing experience, nigh these twenty years, has been the long form: books, three of them. (Yes. It took me twenty years, hey, I had a full time job and kids to raise.) I’ve written a few essays, but I’ve never had to wing it every day, or at least a couple of times a week.  It’s been tough. The A-Z Challenge was a godsend. It gave me a target. Through doing the challenge I gained confidence and honed my writing chops. I also made connections.

Cheers to the A-Z Challenge creators! Thank you.

Letting It Fly

My mom always took down our Christmas decorations, you know those crepe paper accordion thingys we made, on the twelfth day of Christmas, which would be on January 5th or 6th.  A Tradition.  See, we had traditions.

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also called Christmastide and Twelvetide are the festive days beginning Christmas Day and ending on The Twelfth Night.  Shakespeare’s play of the same name, along with all kinds of religious and pagan customs associated, but I won’t get into that.  Point is, here it is, January 6th, time to take down my Birdie on The Gate and divest The Head of her lovely Christmas lights.  Kinda sad.

This Christmas felt like a whole different kind of celebration to me, not sure why.  It was like I turned a corner or something.  I find I’m trusting myself more, letting go of more things, expectations, my imperfections, my inability to fix the world and to save every last abused animal and child.  Maybe what this means is that I’m embarking upon my Last Stroll Down Life’s Highway, Heading For the Last Round-up, Aiming Foot at the Bucket.  Or maybe in a roundabout way it has to do with my adventure into blogging.  Digging deep into my life and then letting my words fly unedited into cyberspace has been very freeing.  And exciting.