Category Archives: Writing!

The First Time

I suppose there is a first time for just about everything. Well, yesterday was the first time I submitted a story to a publisher to be included in a book. These books (Chicken Soup for the Soul) get lots of submission, so while I’m hopeful my story will be chose, I’m in no way counting on it. But I have to tell you it felt like a very big step for me to have the confidence (with the expert copy editing from two wonderful friends) to actually hit that “Submit” button. While I don’t think I should share the actual story that I submitted, I can share with you my original blog post that inspired my story. It happened while we were volunteering at Teen Challenge Boys Ranch in May of 2008 –
Continue reading The First Time

Trying to process….

and I need an extension.
One would think, having just completed a WRITERS conference, that one would be able to put a couple of words together to describe the event. You know, like bloggers are supposed to do!

Well, yesterday the 2017 Montrose Christian Writers Conference wrapped up.  I am still in major processing mode about all the information that I learned (actually it’s more like information overload ), the friends that I made (such delight!) and the encouragement I received (oh, my!).   Continue reading Trying to process….

Actually doing the homework!

I guess you can tell that I’ve been trying to do some of my Blogging 101 homework. If you’ve stopped by before you can see that I’ve not only changed my header picture, but I’ve also changed the whole template. It’s similar (I really like being able to easily change that header picture), but different. I’ve been learning about things called widgets and plug-ins and figuring out how to tweak the layout of things. Aside from main template change I’ve also –

  • Updated my “About Us” Page.  Not a big change, just tried to freshen it up a bit. 🙂
  • Added a Flickr widget in the sidebar that scrolls through my last 20 uploaded pictures. If you click on the “big” picture it will take you to all of my pictures over on Flickr, so that’s pretty cool.  And the widget itself is a pretty cool gizmo.  I can also have it just show pictures with a certain “tag” – like the cabin in the spring!
  • Added a page for my Instagram photos too! I don’t know how useful that will be, but it was fun to figure out how to make it work.
  • Re-installed the contact form on the “Contact Us” page. So if you’d like to contact us via email instead of leaving a contact that option is back.
  • Finally got the RV picked up after our unpacking and monthly mail delivery.  OK, so that’s not actually Blogging 101 homework, but it sure is Home Work! And it sure needed to be done!

If you have a moment I’d love to hear how you like the changes. Or how you don’t.  Is something missing that used to be on the page?  I was pretty happy with the previous blog-look and was in no hurry to change, but sometimes it’s fun to shake it up a bit! And I think this old dog even learned a new trick or two in the process!

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Blogging 101

Bet you’re pretty surprised that my first post of 2015 isn’t full of uber-cute grand babies and stories of precious moments spent with family.  Well, I’m pretty surprised too! Here’s the thing – a couple of weeks ago a blogging friend (i.e. someone I wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t been blogging) mentioned that he was taking an online blogging course to help improve his blogging skills. Since I’ve been feeling a bit conflicted about my blogging lately, I thought it might be a good idea to take advantage of the opportunity myself. You know, getting some fresh ideas, improving my writing skills, being better organized, defining my purpose in writing a blog – stuff like that.  Plus, it was free.  Always a good thing.  The course starts today, and I’ll be getting an assignment every day for the next 4 weeks or so. (Yikes!) Since I hate to get behind before I even get started, I figured it would be best to be a good student and get my homework done.

Today’s assignment – write and publish a “who I am, and why I’m here” post.

Oy Vey.

First the facts – I’m a sixty-something early retiree who is living in a 39 ft motor home with her husband of 43 years.  I hesitate to even call ourselves retirees, since what we did was really just quit our jobs and run away from home.  The kids were (mostly) launched, the house was too big, and it seemed like a perfect time to take a little sabbatical to celebrate staying married through kid-raising, old house renovating and small business operating.   So we sold the house, shut down the business and  set off for a one (or maybe two if we were very careful with our finances)year adventure before we settled back down, purchased a small house and found jobs at Home Depot and the local fabric shop.  That was in August of 2004. What began as an adventure has become our life. Our friends have stopped asking when we’ll be back, and our grandkids only know us as the grandparents that come with their own house.

I started this blog in June of 2004 as a way for our friends and family to keep track of us and to help us all stay connected.  It’s been part travelogue, part RV life adventures, part ministry reports (we are currently working with an RVing ministry called SOWERS that does volunteer service work at different Christian camps/group homes/shelters/schools/churches around the country) and part cute grandkids.  Oh, and an occasional quilting show and tell.  1079 entries later it still, I believe, has that potpourri flavor.  I often feel as though I am writing a letter to a dear friend, whether we’ve met or not. I love that part of it.  But these days, since our life, even though it may look a bit different from yours (living in an RV and all) gets pretty regular, I’m trying to figure out just where this blog is headed. And that’s one reason I’m taking this Blogging 101 course. If you’ve been stopping by my little corner of the internet for awhile, I’d love to hear from you about what part of this potpourri you like best.  Or least.  And if you’re just stopping by for the first time, I’d love to hear from you also!

So, I think that takes care of my assignment for tonight! If you’d like a bit more insight about who we are and why we do what we do, check out About Us or Our Story.

(I wonder if I get extra credit for writing most of this while we were driving down I65 through Kentucky?)

 

Writers Revisited

IMG_3397_edited-1I wasn’t going to go. While I can’t say that I’ve written any less – I still manage to keep this blog (mostly) up-to-date, I continue to edit and write for the monthly SOWER e-Newsletter, and I’ve done an article or two for the Sowergram (the SOWER bi-monthly publication) – I certainly can’t say I’ve written any more. Certainly there have been no clever articles or travelogues sent into magazines and for sure, no opening paragraph of the Rvthereyet Story have been written (let alone a first chapter!). So there was that little inside voice telling me that I didn’t really deserve to go since I had squandered the blessing of last year’s conference. But there was another voice telling me I should go. Sweet Gary once again encouraged me to take advantage of this remarkable event that happens right in our own backyard. And so I went. And was once again blessed.
Oh, I was still overwhelmed. Still in awe of the ‘talent in the room’. Still insecure about my ability to write, let alone write something that someone would consider publishing. But over-reaching the “stills” was the absolute blessing by the insights and encouragement from both the faculty and fellow conferees. I left this year feeling less afraid of the task before me, knowing that if God truly wants me to write about this adventure (or is it a pilgrimage?), then He will give me the strength, courage, community (yes, that’s YOU) and TIME to make it happen. Knowing that friends will be praying for me in this endeavor is a priceless gift from our gracious Father.
Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. Colossians 1:9-12 (The Message)
Montrose Christian Writers Conference has come to a close. Now to figure out how to wrap my brain around the information (and encouragement) I received. Oh, and figure out what to do with all the piles! #smallspaceliving#mcwc
Thank you for coming along on this journey. I’ll need your help in the days ahead as I set my goals, plan my strategies, and try to keep my head above water. Oh, and write! All comments (and prayers) are welcome, and feel free to ask how the book is coming every now and again. But first I need to get my house back in order after a great week at camp! Anyone want to stop by and help with that?