Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Oh, To Be One of Those Dedicated Artists

Yesterday and today I finally did something I have been wanting to do every day for so long. I  got motivated, set my alarm for 5:00am, and got up and worked on my writing. (I am currently trying to publish picture books for children.)
This might not seem like a big deal, but it has always been so hard to give up that extra 1 ½ hours of sleep! My four-year-old keeps me going all the time, and many times I have set the alarm early only to have him wake up early, too (oh, the frustration!), or more often, to notice the darkness and the chilly air outside the blankets and turn the alarm off.
But I want to be a writer. And the only way to be a writer is to put butt in chair, as someone once said. I’ve always admired stories of dedicated artists who get up before daylight to work on their craft. I wanted to be one of them, but for some reason I just couldn’t do it.
Until yesterday. The night before, I wrote in my diary, and at the end of my entry I held my pen above the paper and tried to decide if I was truly going to write what I thought I might write. “I am getting up early to write tomorrow!” It’s funny how hard that was for me to write, but I knew that if I wrote it, I had to do it. It wasn’t a list of goals or something on my to-do list that might or might not get done. It was a statement as fact. So I had to do it.
And I didn’t keel over in exhaustion later in the day. Instead, I started the day with a feeling of accomplishment and a connection to my creative self. I drank my hot tea and held George on my lap, and I wrote while the world woke up around me.
I am going to do this every morning. I am.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Tearful Goodbye to Starbucks

George at Starbucks a few years ago, where he'd sit on my lap as I wrote.

My dear Starbucks,

It is with deep emotion that I have to write this letter to you… but I have to let you know that I must say goodbye. I have enjoyed visiting you, but it has been with too much guilt attached. You just cost too much. And you have too much sugar and calories. I have tried to say goodbye many times but I almost seemed addicted to your presence in my life.
First, I must thank you for all you have given me. Years ago, I used to take my dog George to the dog park and then we’d visit you, get a goodie, and sit with my laptop outside your door. I wrote my first book that way. So thank you for providing me a nice neighborhood place to go and get some work done.
And your neighborhood-feel is the second reason it is hard to say goodbye. I love that your people know my name. I love that I have made “Starbucks-friends” of the people who also visit you. I love your products and marketing that promote the environment and education and the arts. Your environment makes me feel good.
But now I have priorities that are forcing me to make this decision. My money needs to go elsewhere. I need to eat something healthier for breakfast. I’ll have to get my neighborhood-feel elsewhere.
But don’t fret…we will still see each other occasionally. My son and I will come by now and then as a special treat, or I might visit with my computer now and then. But these times will be much fewer, almost rare. Over time, your people might even forget my name. But that’s okay.
Goodbye, Starbucks. You’ve been a good friend. See you when we meet again.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

30 Day Winter Photo Challenge Day Thirty - "I'm Thankful"

"I'm Thankful" by Debi

"I'm Thankful" by Shannon

It makes sense that Debi and I would both look up at the sky for today's Thankful theme.

I'm thankful for this tree outside my office window, where I can see birds, and where occasionally a quail will run across my windowsill.

And I'm thankful for doing this little 30-day challenge with Debi from our opposite sides of the country. Maybe we'll have to do a Spring Photo challenge. :-)

30 Day Winter Photo Challenge Day Twenty-Nine - "Home Cooked"

"Home Cooked" by Shannon
"Home Cooked" by Debi
Boy, I could have taken a hundred photos for this theme. There's just nothing like home cooking, whether you're planning it, making it, or eating it. My photo focuses on the planning...there are so many great recipes here, and so many memories!

Debi shows us her beef brisket, Julia Child-style. Yum!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

30 Day Winter Photo Challenge Day Twenty-Six - "Cottage"

"Cottage" by Debi

"Cottage" by Shannon

I love the word cottage. It brings up so many comfy-cozy images. The soft Christmas lighting in Debi's photo is definitely cottage-worthy. Since there are no houses in Vegas that could be called cottages, I opted for a photo of our house...our cottage.

30 Day Winter Photo Challenge Day Twenty-Five - "Frosty"

"Frosty" by Shannon
"Frosty" by Debi

It was hard for either of us to find something frosty today, unless we took a photo of Frosty the Snowman. We both opted not to go that route.

30 Day Winter Photo Challenge Day Twenty-Four - "Pretty Tree"

"Pretty Tree" by Shannon

These pretty trees are Advent Calendars to give as gifts this year. I don't have a pattern for them...I just cut it all out and sew it together and hope it looks okay. My preferred way of making anything. :-)