Thursday, March 23

When Inspiration Hits

by Margie Senechal 

Sometimes we need a kick in the butt to get us off the bench and into the game. Even if it's the game of writing. Or maybe especially IF it's the game of writing.

Yesterday, I bought two new writing tools.

New pens. Bic Gelocity pens, to be exact. And oh, how pretty! New pens are probably my most favorite things. And I love the way these flow and the way my words flow with them.

And then at Barnes and Noble, I saw this notebook clutch. Oooo...pretty pages...

Initially I got it just to have in my purse for emergency purposes. You know, emergency paper necessities that arise. You never know when you need a sticky note, a page tab, or a piece of paper ideal for making a list.

So, while Jordy was volunteering at the Humane Society, I stopped at a Starbucks that didn't have a drive-thru. I intended to get my coffee and go back to wait for Jordy. But, instead I sat down and opened up the new paper clutch. 

I wanted to try out my new pens, so I took out the green one. I wrote a thought about my shiny new object. And then another.

Soon, I had five pages front and back, along with a few sticky notes on the side. I even started the second chapter on the backside of the pages.

I'm at a spot in Suitcases that I'm struggling with and every word feels like it's being pulled out of me. But, this was--well, bliss. And sometimes you just have to follow your bliss.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, March 22

Favorite West Wing Moments ~ @AuthorKristina Knight

I've been binge-watching The West Wing since...well, just before Christmas. I watched it during its original series run, of course, and I loved it, but it's grown on me over the past couple of years. I like the snappy dialogue, of course, and I love the characterization of President Jed Bartlett as a man who is trying to do his best...but falls short of it many times.

I like to think the men who have sat in the Oval Office, in the real world, are doing their best and falling short. Sometimes I have better luck with that thinking than others, and I'll stop that train of thought right there because this isn't a political rant kind of post. It's more of a love post, because every time I watch the series I find something new to love about it.

There are the romances, of course: the excruciatingly slow-burn of the Josh/Donna relationship (and the fact that actors Janel Maloney and Bradley Whitford are real-life friends makes it even better), the love affair between Zoe and Charlie ... Sam accidentally sleeping with a prostitute and their subsequent friendship (and the fact that he fell for her...just a little bit).

There are the battles, too. Like when Sam and Josh are called to testify against Leo..and the fight between Leo and the president, just before Leo's heart attack. And Toby...oh, he might have been the best at drawing on his righteous anger in defense of what he saw as right.

But the friendships, I think, are my favorite parts of the show. The last two seasons, I think, highlight the friendships the best.

For example, the friendship between Charlie and the President. Okay, it's more of a father/son relationship than a 'hey, let's go get a beer' friendship, but it holds some of my favorite moments - like when Charlie has to wake up the President after he's gotten only a couple hours of sleep:

And then there is the bantering of Josh and Sam, Sam and Toby, CJ and Josh - when CJ calls out Josh on dabbling in his online fandom, I still get a giggle.

And the unlikely friendship between Sam and Ainsley - I still kind of wish they'd have had a romance...

Okay, are you a West Wing watcher? Do you have a favorite scene or character?
~ Kristina

Tuesday, March 21

It's All About the Lists . . .

So, Liz started us off and now I'm chiming in with the list thing. (I even considered stealing her cool graphic, but I found one of my own, compliments of Google Images and, who has some awesome journals in his etsy store.) It's always fun and a great way to do a blog when you're really not feeling it. I'm not feeling it today, so here goes my list:
  1. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or SnapChat? And why?
  2. Your first kiss, when and where?
  3. Writers: What's the first thing you edit out of a book?
  4. If you took a bicycle trip, where would you go?
  5. What secret talent do you have?
Here are my answers:
  1. Right now, nothing--but when it's not Lent, Facebook--I just can't seem to say it in less than 140 characters, and I'm not up for learning Instagram or SnapChat.
  2. I was six and Bobby Franklin kissed me because I was crying when I smashed my finger in an aluminum lawn chair. I think he thought it would make me feel better. It might have, but I still had to have stitches and the nail on that finger has never looked right.
  3. Back story--info dump queen here. Yeesh!
  4. Provence. We did a bicycle trip to Versailles when we were in Paris. Man, was that fun!!
  5. I am a fantastic pie maker--seriously. My pies are amazing. 
 I've read 17 books so far in 2017, and I'm including ones I've edited because I do read them when I edit--three separate times if the truth be told. Right now I'm reading Lise McClendon's cozy mystery series, The Bennett Sisters. Great fun! Not only do the sisters have the same name as my maiden name, but the books happen in France. Tres bien!

I've finished one baby blanket, made Liz a fabulous colorful scarf, and am starting a new baby blanket tonight. Knitting rocks, even when you're doing it wrong. ;-)

I miss you all on social media--just 27 more days to go! Have a great Tuesday, everybody!

Monday, March 20

Making a list...

When all else fails--and it's definitely failing me today--I go for a list. We've done heroines, heroes, books, movies, TV shows. I think maybe I should have made a list of the lists... So I'm making one up. Feel free to borrow it if you like, but better yet, give us your answers.

  1. What book did everyone else seem to love but you just couldn't connect with?
  2. What do you like most about yourself?
  3. What do you like least about yourself?
  4. Looking back at 18 (and if you don't have to look back, I don't wanna know), what, if anything, would you do differently?
  5. Beach or mountains?

My answers:

  1. The Outlander series. Isn't that crazy? I think it's because they're so long and I tend to read short, but I've never been able to get into them
  2. That I'm a good friend--at least I hope I am.
  3. That I'm not very good at letting things go.
  4. I'd save some money, travel more, go to college. Not really, because who I was when I was 18 had a lot to do with who I am now and I don't want to change that. Besides that, I met the boyfriend when I was 18.
  5. Yes.
Okay, you're up. Looking back, I don't think my list is very interesting, so it's up to you to make it so! 

I'm on Book 16 in my 50-book challenge. I'm reading Karen Witemeyer's A Worthy Pursuit and enjoying it a lot.

I turned in my due-April 1-proposal early! Breaking my arm patting my own back. Keep fingers crossed with me that it's a go. I love Libby's story and I loved the trip back to Lake Miniagua. 

Got news? Share it. And have a great week!


Saturday, March 18

The Important People

A graveyard in Grignon, France. I took the picture on a trip to France in 2014.
I’m getting to the point in my life where losses are inevitable. Last week one of my cousins passed away. It was sudden and totally unexpected and came as a shock to all of us.

On this side of my family, my mother’s side, there were fourteen of us grandchildren. We all grew up on farms relatively close to each other. I knew all my cousins well, but because of the age differences between the older group, to which my cousin Don belonged, and the younger group where I fit in, we were often at different stages of life. I remember going to my older cousins’ weddings as a kid. As people grow up, have families of their own and move to different places, you lose touch.

When we moved to Manitoba in 1998, we started hanging out with Don and his family, since they’d moved here a few years previously. It was nice to have family close by. Though we were twelve years apart in age, that kind of gap was no longer an issue, and I really enjoyed his company and that of his wife’s. We got together as often as we could, the last time in November when my brother and sister-in-law came for a visit.

My brother and several of my cousins made the journey here for the funeral last Saturday. I hadn’t seen some of them since my mother’s funeral, more than two and half years ago. It’s not fun to only see your relatives at funerals.

I recently read that studies have concluded what makes people happiest with their lives is their connection to each other. It’s the ties you have to family and friends that makes life enjoyable. Not exactly a news flash, but now science proves it.

Montjuic in Barcelona. Legend says this mountain was a Jewish burial site in medieval times.

Another grave in Grignon, France
My husband and I are committed to making sure Don’s widow Mary knows she has us in her corner. We made plans with another cousin to join him and his family when they’re nearby camping this summer. And there’s talk of a family reunion next summer. I hope it comes to pass. The next time we get together, I want it to be for a joyous occasion.

I guess my point is, don’t let your life get so busy you forget the really important things. And the important people.