And I’m off again!

I cannot believe it has been over a year since I posted in this blog!  My apologies!

So much has happened in the last year, but in summary, once I returned from my trip to Europe, my daughter announced she’d found the man of her dreams — after a whirlwind “courtship” period, and some crazy, last-minute planning for the wedding, the in-love couple tied the knot in front of friends and family in the fall.

I didn’t have much time to recover, as the annual NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) began on 1 November.  This month-long writing frenzy netted me an almost-complete first-draft spin-off  for my already-in-progress novel.

November’s Thanksgiving and December’s Christmas, January’s New Year’s Eve — they all flew by without me taking much notice.  Where was time flying, anyway?  This getting old(er) is a challenge, but such a wonderful experience.  I love the adage that, like wine, women only improve with age!  Oh, yes!

So, in this new year, I get an email from a friend about a tour in Ireland.  Again, you say?  Well, if I had my way, I would either have a second residence there or have the funds to afford copious travel back and forth.  Ireland is the most beautiful country.  As is Scotland.  And England…and Germany…where do I stop?  I love to travel and meet people from different cultures, take in the extraordinary beauty of their homeland — the different gardens, buildings that are so ancient that stories dance in my head when I am around them — it is all so wonderful.

Of course, I’ll go!  A tour.  Something I said I’d never do…like being in a cattle car, shuffling from one “oooh, lookie” spot to another.  This one promises to be different.   There will only be ten of us.  Our musical guide (Marc Gunn, a musician) and his wife, plus eight others.  The tour will be focused on the musical side of the people.  We will tour Galway and westward by day and sing and laugh and drink pints by night.  So, this blog will get some good posts coming up soon.

I’ve spent little time on my manuscript — I still need to finish that first draft!  There has been no time (my fault) and this makes me sad….

Instead, I have procrastinated — found other pleasures and pursuits to follow.  I’ve been spending time behind my lens, working in the yard, going to classes to improve my artistic skills…

But mostly, my focus has been getting ready for this delightful trip and getting ready to be a mama to about 12 young chickens.  I’ve raised chickens before, but failing health required finding new homes for them.  I was called the Egg Lady at church.  There was always someone that needed some eggs.  Which was a good thing, because I had quite a few very productive hens, laying daily.

Now that my health has improved (finally), I have decided to start up again…but not until I get back from my trip.   I must say, I have some terrific neighbors, because, they help me out when I’m gallivanting off to other continents.  They love on my dog and cat while I’m gone.  Without them, my traveling days would be naught.  And I would be very sad, indeed.

So, as I said, heading to Ireland in June & blogging the trip (I still need to figure out how to post photos–my brain can be so lame sometimes!).  Working on my manuscript.  Starting a new project called 365: a photo journal on 1June — which you will be able to find on my Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/creationsbydjamesonsmith/ (hope this is a link — if not, copy and paste to your address bar).  I may post a few of the photos on this blog. And beginning to put together new pr material for my local schools to promote my storytelling.

I am thinking 2012 is going to be one very busy year!

Until next time,

Slainte!