Upcoming Events

WELL, IT’S BEEN AWHILE SINCE I’VE let you know any specifics about my schedule, including my fundraising fun and upcoming book signings/readings, so here goes:

Yes, I know—these are not business related, but very dear to my heart:
Sat, 27 September from 8:30-12:30
Walking for Alzheimer’s at Aptos Seascape Resort.
Sat, 11 October from 8:30-12:30 Walking for Alzheimer’s at Monterey’s Custom House Plaza.

I know…two walks? Am I daft? No. The Santa Cruz walk is the one I started with—Monterey didn’t have one. When Monterey finally did start up their walk, I felt since my dad had Alzheimer’s Disease and I felt fully invested in the cause, I chose to do both. Sometimes it is a bit much, but I will always support one or the other in some form.

Alzheimer’s Disease hits straight across all the demographics and does not discriminate—it hits the rich and famous, poor, average joe, intellectuals. You or a family member could be its next victim. There’s a higher risk if someone in your family has had it. Right now, there are some good drugs that will slow down the progress of the disease, but the end result is the same: loss of memory—not just memories of friends and families, but the basic functions to be a productive person, and then, eventually death. Wouldn’t you want research to be trying to find a cure? You can help raise awareness and help fund research for this cruel disease by supporting Alzheimers Association, either through the walks or direct donations to the organization.

If you are interested in supporting me in either event, click on one of these links—donations received up to a month after the events will count toward my total (Santa Cruz or Monterey). If you choose to make a general donation to Alzheimer’s Association or simply want to find out more about the disease, that’s fine with me.

My Secrets Beyond Scymaria series book signings and sales:
Sat, 25 October from 2-4 Book signing at Open Ground Studios 1230 Fremont Blvd, Seaside CA. Come and meet me, ask questions about the series and have your purchased copies signed.
Sat-Sun 14-15 November (times TBA) Holiday Crafts. Several authors (including yours truly) will be available to answer questions and sign purchased books at Watsonville Elks Lodge, 121 Martinelli St, Watsonville CA
Sat-Sun 22-23 November (times TBA) AHA Holiday Crafts event at Aromas Grange, Corner of Rose and Bardue, Aromas CA. Again, several authors (including yours truly) will be present to sign books and answer questions.

Check back for more details (times) as they become available.

I’m working on getting some events for out of town, but not sure when they will happen…still in the works.

 

 

I’m Struggling Here

THIS IS HILARIOUS. I WONDERED WHEN I’D RUN out of ideas to post each week. I think this is the week—it’s already Wednesday and I’m stuck. It’s not even October yet. And November is going to be horrible…(read: busy with NaNoWriMo). I’ve started three different posts and I’ve deleted each one. Arg. I’m actually hoping, as I ramble on here that something will come to mind.

Struggling. Okay. Now it’s Thursday and my deadline looms (at least I haven’t deleted this one yet).

My life is so full, yet I am struggling. There are so many things I could draw from to write about, yet I find it hard to get things ‘on paper’ at the moment. Yes, there’s plenty to write about, but I don’t want to bore you—too often, and I seem to be a wee bit restless—not wanting to sit still long enough to get things written. My mind is going is so many directions right now.

I am excited about all that’s going on in my life. And loving the chaoticness (is that even a word?) of it. Both my writerly and painterly side will be busy in the coming days and months (forget about the basic daily things that should be done…) with my third book’s final two-rounds of editing then publishing, book four begging to be completed, a book signing (October 25th at Open Ground Studios—I should be working harder to line more up of these), NaNoWriMo looming in the near future (Nov 1-30) and a number of fun workshops at Open Ground Studios just waiting for my participation (squeee!).

Okay…I think I’m on a roll, don’t you?

Open Ground Studios is so amazing, and as it passed it’s first birthday this summer, it continued to grow and change—for the better. Membership packages have been revamped, as have the costs of classes and workshops, all making joining and ‘playing’ a more enjoyable experience. Working in this environment, whether (for me) simply to write or to finally let my painterly side free, is wonderful. Peaceful. Friendly. Can’t say enough about this place. Really. Check it out for what’s coming up (see link above).

I, for one, will be attending the Medieval Book Binding workshop with Nicolas Yeager (November 8th)—I’m really excited! I love the first book that I made in the workshop…so much so that I’m having a hard time ‘breaking-in’ the interior—it’s so beautiful, I don’t want to spoil it! I know—the wrong frame of mine. USE IT!

Then, there’s the exposure unit (for photopolymer printing) that has been patiently waiting…waiting to be calibrated so it can be used. I am thrilled that someone (Bob Rocco) is finally coming in—very soon—to do just that. Then he will have a class for those of us interested in using it. I can hardly wait. I’m on the list, waiting for a time (date is known—October 14th—well, it is changeable, depending on availability for those interested)—I’ll make the day work, no matter which one is chosen.

Okay…I’ve said enough. Please enjoy your—and the gloriously beautiful weekend that is nearly upon us. May your days ahead be blessed and joyful.

 

 

Issues…

YEAH, I’M HAVING ISSUES. SO WHAT…?

Don’t we all? But that’s a bad attitude if I’ve ever heard one.

We all have problems that hang over our heads, producing little dark clouds (well, some may be larger than others), pouring rain down now and then. It’s how you handle them that counts. Do you hunker down, grumbling as it drenches you? Do you pull out your raincoat or handy-dandy umbrella to protect you from most of the fallout? Or, perhaps, fling off the rain coat or toss the umbrella aside and dance in the rain, relishing your “storm”, wondering where it will take you…adding to your myriad of experiences, coloring your life in ways that would not otherwise have been possible?

I have my good days, going along in life, taking it all in. Like most people, I enjoy life to the fullest during these time.

But then, there are the days where everything seems to go wrong no matter what I do to stave off disaster. I realize it is out of my hands and I need to just let it happen, pulling anything that could be positive from the rubble. I pull find a smile, shake my head and laugh. All of that usually helps me. It’s either that or grumble. I’d rather not go there.

Or tears are waiting in the shadows, ready to burst forth for no obvious reason. I would love to blame it on the ‘change of life’, but I’m passed that. Instead, I look to see what season I’m in—I mean, what month. What life experience ‘anniversary’ may be coming up. If there’s nothing, then I shrug my shoulders and blame my wacky thyroid (it is hormonal, just a different beast). And continue on with life, dealing with the tears as they come, considering them a gift. Helping me look at things around me in a more sympathetic way.

But, right now, I just passed an “anniversary”. Each year, little things have  triggered my emotions as the date of my husband’s death draws closer and closer. I handled his death all those years ago fairly well, thanks to the support of friends and the ever-presence of my larger-than-life shoulder to lean on—God. All I need to do is to remember he is still there for me. No matter what. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I find myself concentrating too much on the emotion, getting wrapped up in myself and it’s like a weight, pulling me down. Then I remember. That life-preserver, always at the ready if only I would look for it and reach out to it.

Always lean on Him. Keep Him close.

Also, what I need to remember, instead of concentrating on that death date is to focus on the celebration date—my husband’s birth date, which is so close to it. Take the focus from death to life.

When I remember, and finally bring my focus onto Him, life is better.

Always.

May your troubles be few and may you always be a shoulder to lean on…

Stuff…

I AM ALWAYS FINDING MYSELF scurrying around, trying to accomplish way too many things and, at the end of the day, I am disappointed at how little I seemed to have accomplished. I am a list maker — it’s the only way I can remember things. And it’s all about the quantity of items on that list. Forget about the complexity of things, how long it takes to do them, or any unplanned things that popped into the midst of my scheduled plans. I never seem to count those things, so by discounting them, I’ve demeaned the actual productivity of my day.

I don’t stress about it as much as I did in the past. The marking off of all items at the end of the day is definitely a thing of the past…yeah, it’s taking me longer to accomplish things, too (insert loud sigh here). Now, even if I don’t consider the complexity or things not even on the list, I try to be satisfied that something has been accomplished. I keep telling myself I want to simplify my life, yet I do the exact opposite: fill my time and life with so much ‘stuff’, both physical and emotional, creating a complicated, action-packed, and sometimes stressful life.

Stuff. We all have it (well, a very large portion of the population, at least). Do we need it? Probably not as much as we fiercely cling to. I am a ‘collector of things’…that’s a nice way of saying I don’t throw things out — well, not much anyway. I’m not a hoarder (thankfully), but this collection certainly creates a pretty big clutter.  Those that have seen my house would agree. I have a friend that has offered to help purge my house. I’ve said no, not yet…not now, maybe later. Why? Because she’s ruthless. I mean, really ruthless…I once confided in another friend that she’d probably pick up an item and ask if I wanted it — and if I hesitated for even a nano-second, it’d be in the trash…giving me no time to evaluate the value (whether monetary or as a personal treasure) and I’m not ready to let go of things that fast.

So, my stuff continues taking up space. Thankfully I have room (way too much). But it would be nice to bid a permanent farewell to some of it. Who am I kidding? Most of it. Occasionally, I go into fits of purging and make a minuscule dent. I have a few rooms de-cluttered and it’s nice. There are still three rooms and (shudder) the garage to tackle. Oh. Did I mention the storage space? Things get tidier, then in the process of cleaning up, I create another clutter…it’s a Catch 22…definitely.

Shedding stuff is very difficult. It’s time consuming. Heart-wrenching. Painful, at times. And I get mired in memories, losing track of time, making little progress.

So, we’re back to my scurrying around, eh? Finding a chunk of time — on a regular basis to concentrate on this perpetual (it really is a year-round thing) ‘Spring Cleaning’ is hard. And as a card-carrying Procrastinator, it’s quite a challenge. Am I up to it? Am I up to the challenge with so many other things that seem far more important, vying for my attention — like writing/editing my books, writing this blog, socializing…traveling (insert huge grin)? I would love to be able to take back ownership of my home. To be in charge instead of being a slave to trying to keep things manageable…oh, my. Ha! I’d rather be gardening…or writing. Or just about anything else, rather than house cleaning, sorting through all my stuff.

Is there a magic genie that could just do it for me? Please?

Sigh.

I can dream, can’t I? May you find your life unfettered by clutter, yet filled to overflowing with blessings of joy.