50 Happy Things: Bloggers Unite in Flood of Gratitude

This post comes courtesy of Dawn Quyle Langau from TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND. She had this great idea for bloggers to unite in gratitude. At this time of year, we may start thinking about the year ahead and our New Year’s resolutions. Why not think about the year we have had instead and reflect on the things that made us smile and what we are grateful for. I think we need to do more of this on everyday basis! Thank you, Dawn, for putting this together. If you would like to add your post, instructions follow my list.

The objective is to write out a list of 50 things in 10 minutes time. Setting the timer.

Here we go…

50 Things I am Grateful for This Year (2015)

I am grateful for:

  1. My two beautiful boys; their tender hearts and their wicked sense of humor and the boundless love I feel for them.
  2. My husband who still loves me and believes in me and accepts my flawed self.
  3. My family, sisters, brothers and the times we spent together. It’s always special time.
  4. My family watching my son play water polo this year and cheering him on.
  5. My little one’s precious eyelashes (I want them) and his gentle, creative spirit and watching him dance. Wow, he can dance!
  6. Clean water; where I live it’s pretty good.
  7. The generosity of my mother-in-law; she’s a lifesaver.
  8. Having a glass of wine while I cook and dance in the kitchen.
  9. Having a glass of wine with a friend.
  10. Long walks in nature.
    Hidden Valley Falls - Mar 2015 062
  11. My sister’s generosity and knowledge and helping get through an IEP process; things could have turned out much differently had she not been there. Thank you!
  12. My guardian angels in true life: Ixchel and Dipali.
  13. My blogging community. I don’t know about you, but it feels pretty real to me. I wish we could all go out for dinner together.
  14. Discovering yin yoga, giving me a peace and awareness about myself; letting me spend time on me.
  15. Getting back into a ballet class and feeling right at home.
  16. My dance teacher Sunny and her genuine smile and all her joking around.
  17. Working out and feeling good about my physical self.
  18. Conversations with my mom on the phone; she has such wisdom.
  19. My furry, feline friends: Shasta, Orangey and Lucky. I’m happy to serve them. They have no idea how much joy they give me.
  20. Feeling stronger about my writing and the creative outlet I have here.
  21. My Friday Fictioneers community. They are so talented and I feel lucky to know them.
  22. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for leading the Fictioneers every week. I admire her dedication.
  23. Health. My family is healthy and my son is taller than me now. He will eat me out of house and home.
  24. Feeling inspired by other writers. I have so many great things to read!
  25. Family time; watching movies and playing board games.
  26. When my husband cooks a meal.
  27. The sun, stars and moonbeams.
  28. Friends that don’t give up on me.
  29. Going out for sushi with my friend Ann.
  30. Making progress on my book.
  31. Snuggling under a blanket and getting lost in a book.
  32. Swimming in the ocean.
    Junior_Olympics_2015 911
  33. Downloading and listening to music right away because I can.
  34. Fuzzy socks in furry slippers.
  35. Listening to the rain and not having to go anywhere.
  36. Waking up with the sunrise and feeling productive.
  37. Staying up and watching a late-night movie.
  38. Maple lattes from Peet’s.
  39. A soothing massage.
  40. Napping.
  41. A letter from a friend.
  42. Warm chocolate chip cookies with a cup of cocoa or anything chocolate.
  43. Sleeping in.
  44. Fresh roasted coffee in the morning.
  45. Laughter and for all the people that make me laugh.
  46. Listening to my son play his baritone and how excited he is talking about music, especially listening to him hum the music.
  47. Snuggling with my youngest. I know our days for this are numbered.
  48. Staying in pajamas all day.
  49. Getting away to Napa and living in such a beautiful spot close to so many great places.
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  50. All my friends who are here right now. Thank you!
If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list. The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s ok. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! 

To join the bloggers who have come together for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours) 2) Click here3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post. 4) Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List.

I hope you’ll join in the fun. Thanks again for being here now and throughout the year. I have made some incredible connections here I never thought possible.

For more posts of Gratitude, visit the Linkup here.


My Writing Process – #mywritingprocess Blog Tour

Of course, the Universe.

I am honored and humbled to join in on the Writing Process Blog Tour (#mywritingprocess). When Michelle over at The Green Study invited me, I couldn’t refuse. I am always delighted to read her posts. Her writing is both eloquent and intelligent, and I feel I gain a morsel of truth every time I visit her blog. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to pay her a visit. As I learned from her post from the blog tour, The Dilettante Writer, understanding the world around her is at the heart of her writing process, which makes perfect sense to me.

Now on to the questions I am to answer on the blog tour. Here we go:

 1)  What am I working on?

Currently, I am on a mission to complete the things I’ve started. I have a short story, a medium-sized short story, and a longer short story (possible novella!) that I will finish, just because I’ve come so far already. The short story, Ghost Walk, I presented on my blog and then rewrote, and it is still hanging off a cliff. My second untitled story I am still writing and will probably rewrite before I’m finished. It’s a fun, urban fantasy piece. Lastly, my possible novella, Knock Knock, is a horror story.

2)  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

In any genre, the writer’s voice is the most prominent factor in differentiating one writer from the next. It is sometimes tricky to pinpoint why you like a particular voice of a writer. It may be nuanced, subtle, and small and calculated things, but it is something that pulls you in and stirs you up inside, making everything in the story so real that it becomes an extension of what is possible in your mind, your imagination, and how you experience life around you. The world the writer creates is something you relish, don’t want to leave, and hopefully cherish when you are through. If it is unforgettable, the words will linger in your subconscious, and give new meaning to the world around you. It would be a little dream to write like that.

3)  Why do I write what I do?

I don’t question what I write so much. I feel the stories are already somewhere inside of me and it’s up to me to dig them up. My mother has always encouraged me to write a book, and inspired my love of reading. She took a book with her no matter where she went, reading in line at the grocery store, at the doctor’s office, or at church (just kidding).

As far as my writing goes, I gravitate towards stories that merge reality and fantasy, or that perhaps question reality. I like to see reality flipped upside down. It’s all about perspective. I also enjoy putting characters in interesting circumstances and then examine their relationships to one another.

4)  How does my writing process work?

First, let me say, there is the process that I have and the process that I wish I could have. Generally, I like to write in the morning when my head is a little foggy because there is less pressure this way. The house is quiet and I am less distracted. Half the struggle is simply showing up. If all I have to give on a day is fifteen minutes, I’ll take it and hope for a creative burst. I would prefer greater chunks of time to settle into a writing routine and into my story.

I don’t believe in outlines, because I think they shortchange my creativity. Part of why I enjoy writing is the Aha moment when I discover something about my story or my character. It’s an incredible feeling and I wouldn’t want to give that up. I find it helpful to have a sort of road map with possible plot points, and if anything, an ending. Having an ending prevents me from getting lost or diverted into another story. If I am lucky, my characters will point the direction of where they would like to go. I like when that happens. I also keep a notebook handy, so if I am not forming complete sentences, I will jot down phrases and words.

Also, I consider the thinking I do when I’m not writing as a kind of pre-writing. This wondering and wandering into a kind of zen state sometimes happens when I’m cleaning, doing dishes, and scrubbing my shower. Really, no joke. I can work a lot of problems out this way. I write my first draft to get the bones of my story and all my ideas. The second draft is for shaping, filling in, and rewriting, lots of rewriting, and so on, until I’m satisfied. I’m not afraid to cut. What I’ve come to understand is that writing is about perseverance and patience, believing in yourself and in your story. I think I’ve probably gone on long enough!

Now, I will pass the baton to three bloggers who will talk about their writing process in a post on their blogs next week. I am so thrilled and honored to introduce these bloggers who have generously agreed to participate in this blog tour. I enjoy these writers immensely and they all have such a unique voice and are incredibly talented. Here they are:

Sandee Harris writes from Manhattan. She was born in Harlem Hospital, wrote her first story when she was nine, and studied writing at Columbia University. Her collection of work includes a novel, several short stories, and a screenplay. The screenplay is one of three of her homages to the death metal genre. Her book “Mean-Spirited Tales” is available on Amazon.com. Her short story “Night Terrors” is her first published piece featured in the Mensa literary magazine, Calliope. Her story “Shredding” is published in BlazeVox, to be released on May 15th. Sandee Harris works in an art gallery, and at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

David Stewart grew up in Canada but is currently living and teaching English in Korea. He loves foreign languages, hiking, and reading. He first starting writing with his sisters on long car trips across Canada and the United States. His writing tends towards the quirky or bizarre, but he also enjoys writing in the fantasy and weird genres. He has written nine novels and has had several short stories published. You can read his stories at his fiction blog at The Green-Walled Tower.

Trent Lewin is a Canadian writer from Waterloo, Ontario. This past March, Trent’s story, “Saad Steps Out,” was shortlisted in the top five for the CBC* Short Story Prize, and it happened to be his first submission to a contest. His love of stories has fueled his passion for writing in which he puts his characters in improbable situations; his stories are sometimes surreal and always imaginative. He also enjoys wine, scotch, and baseball. Besides showcasing fiction on his blog, he also graces his readers with a few energizing rants. Currently, he is putting the final edits on his novel.

Look for their posts about their writing process next week. A big thanks to them for participating! Thank you for joining me here.

*Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
photo credit: paloetic via photopin cc