Children’s author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity – what DIDN’T get done or achieved in the previous year. Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution.
This is my success share for 2017.
No more clouds get in my way. I see each one as a creative avenue to reach further. As my thoughts reel over the 2017 year, I am humbled by the depth of God’s love. In light of navigating many challenges, my heart is perpetually open to Jesus’ presence and realizing the Divine process in each of us. It’s a preparatory path we can’t foresee the outcome, or the full impact.
So, where lie successes in my fledgling writing? In no particular order; I continue to participate (second+ year) in a writers group, committed to daily writing. Consistently writing for over two years, dang, I get choked up just thinking about it.
Through this commitment, I continue to evolve. There are moments when the heaviness and joy eek out. Writing gives me an avenue to respond. Most pieces that result bring healing, celebration, and growth.
I have maintained, but not mastered, the blog. My flailing attempt to gain ground with my art and writing is more clearly God working in me, to gain the right skills, at the right time, with the right message, for the right people. Right? I’m okay with that. I’ve learned we can’t progress without connections. God’s got that covered.
Another bridge was meeting reps from a national publisher during an interview (two more tally marks to success). The meeting resulted in a heartwarming portfolio review, a creative-assist job offer (in the works), and an on-the-spot manuscript synopsis, when she ask about my writing. She followed that with a genuine interest regarding what my plans might be for publication. She kept my portfolio for a time (another tally).
This particular manuscript has come through some storms and is seeing a clearing on the horizon. Several picture book ideas have surfaced and solidified.
I am dancing in the rain.
also, came up with a couple Shape Writings that I will further develop and post soon
“Yes, you can.”
a contented smile
when all seems
There was a sparkle that caught her eye. She squatted down. Her bare knees cupped at the sides of her cheeks, her dusty socks dangled at her ankles. She parted the grass and prodded about with chubby fingers that bobbed for the sparkly that had caught her eye. A tiny, bright, quick flash and she knew she was close. The sun had glinted off it again.
“What is this?” she said as she squinted out the sun.
Both her hands dove with little feelers crawling through the prickly, cool grass. Her eyebrows furrowed as her curiosity grew. A beautiful little spoon.
“What are you doing out here? Tiffy spoke again, to no one really. “You sure are pretty!” she said excitedly as she flicked a little caked dirt off the spoon’s stem revealing a tiny cluster of spiraling rosebuds. She thought, it must surely be her kitten’s spoon, it was perfectly her size.
“What if Darla had a tea party?” Tiffy said grinning as she caught her breath with silliness. She popped up to a bounding stance and a silly giggle wiggled out. She glanced both ways as if to guard some secret thoughts. Her tiny grin played eagerly across her rosy cheeks. Her eyes twinkled with excitement. She leaped with two big skips, then spun to a halt.
“If that was there, maybe there’s something else!” She teetered down to her knees and gently combed back and forth in the grass and weeds. “Nothing,” she shrugged and bounced back up. A cool, fall breeze blew leaves like confetti motivating her party plans. Tiffy lofted to her feet and was off.
“There’s a party to plan! Darla, here kitty, kitty, kitty!” Tiffy hollered out as she came up on the backyard, from the field behind the house.
Her cheeks were round as little plums and nearly as rosy, because the autumn breeze had turned chilly. Tiffy’s mind was all about party ideas. Her doll table was Darla’s napping spot, her tea set was in a shoe box under her bed. And kittens, the lady across the street had one – Mindy, she’s a honey-gold and white patch cat. Grandma’s cat, Snoops, could come, even though he’s a boy cat. He’s a black cat with a broad, white, knobby, button nose. Her skipping pace quickened across the yard. The little spoon rhythmically flashed in the sunlight, matching Tiffy’s every other skip.
Hmmm… An precocious little five-year old girl, Tiffany, makes a discovery that leads to so much more. Her ambitions are big, but her plans give her some troubles. How can she figure out a way to make this work, if nothing seems to work the way she wants. She is not going to let little troubles stand in the way of a terrific tea party, or will she?
As my ninth consecutive consecration has recently passed, a particular question directs my thoughts.
Who am I?
The thought of our existence is a bit mind-boggling if you dwell on it much at all. Who are we really meant to be? We are creative souls. We soar the highest, are moved most intensely when we are in touch with the realities, creativities of life, of living, and connecting.
The crystal clear depth of a cool, running brook mimicking the stone faces beneath. The shimmer atop the water, like tiny dancing angels, that beckon us to play. Their presence also assures us, that life is not to be clung to too tightly or drag us down.
“Weigh it,” they say, “in Light of the JOY of living.”
Should we be burdened by work, by life, by the heaviness that suffers our souls? Or, in light of our suffering, and the suffering of others, should we shine a little brighter, smile a little more, find a sense of humor to lighten our weary way? Certainly.
We are not made to carry unceasing suffering. We are not made to ignore another’s hurts. That, in itself, burdens our very nature. There are those, so hurting they can’t see beyond the need to hurt others. What a travesty.
To those who feel that lighter tug, act. Don’t let another moment pass (see you smiled). It can be that simple, help someone, give to a cause, meet a need, mentor a soul, befriend the brokenhearted.
Careful it’s contagious and only gets better from here.
Artwork: acrylic on cardstock, by author/artist