Archive | December 2016

Goals are for Suckers

What a grand Christmas season. I was able to spend time with family and friends, share a drink and conversation, eat good food and have some fun. Our annual Christmas Eve family party was well attended and everyone seemed to have a grand time. I enjoy this tradition a great deal. Many of the people I care most about assembling all in one place (my house) makes for an wonderful evening.

As soon as our party ended, almost to the moment, the snow began to fall. By morning, several inches covered the ground.


Many people enjoy a White Christmas. For me, it is a mixed bag. I love the beauty of freshly fallen snow, and the silence that accompanies it is ideal for contemplation.

If only we had no where to go, no place to be, but driving is unavoidable for us on Christmas Day. The roads were treacherous and icy, and the temperature remained below freezing. Other on the streets, caught up in the euphoria of the season were not always attentive. Several times, we were almost run off the road by careless drivers.

We were lucky, avoided accidents, and arrived at our destinations unharmed. Gifts were exchanged. Love was shared. The end.

As for the coming year, my sincere hope is that it is somehow much better than 2016 (it has to be, right?). I’m going to do my part by actually setting goals for myself.I am not a pessimistic person, but New Year’s resolutions rub me wrong. They seem trite and coerced more than anything. Still, I need to find more focus this year, discover ways to progress and grow.

Most of my goals will remain private, but I feel like sharing one.


I am sad to admit that I barely finished 15 books this past year. That is horrible. I must double that amount. I even have this lovely stack waiting for me.


What about you? How was the holiday?  Goals?



(Mostly)Wordless Wednesday

Where I was. Where I wish I was. Where I will be again.

Back From the City

December in NYC is a strange and wonderful experience. An already crowded city becomes more so, as tourists and locals alike wander about, shopping, gazing at the amazing decorations, eating spectacular food, enjoying the festive time of year.

I fully expect everywhere I go in the city to be crowded, all the time, no matter the month, but I did not anticipate the extra crush of insanity December would bring. On Saturday we wandered down the heart of 5th Avenue, along with tens of thousands of other human beings. At times, we could not move for the mass of people, everyone waiting for the light to change, the person in front of them to move. The holiday lights were mesmerizing and the display windows equally stunning.


It was uncomfortable at times, but most people were happy and friendly.

Rockefeller Center also impressed and the tree was beautiful.


On this trip we were joined by some great friends from Salt Lake City. We had a great time showing them our favorite places, like the American Museum of Natural History and Central Park. img_8048


We spent an interesting day out at Liberty and Ellis Islands. The temperature hovered around 30 degrees with winds approaching 35 mph blowing us all about. On the ferry ride over, the gusts took my breath away. Liberty Island is always a bit disappointing. The statue itself is impressive to look at, but the view from the water is equally good and does not require leaving the boat.


Ellis Island, on the other hand, never disappoints.


I am always awed by this room and the emotions it brings out. Imagining the thousands of hopeful immigrants who passed through this space inspires me. Members of my own ancestry were among those who entered the United States through this location. I wonder if I would have been as brave as they were. img_8031

We stayed in Midtown again (in the smallest hotel room/broom closet), making getting about very easy. We enjoy taking the subway, but prefer walking as it offers us a chance to see more. Even with the cold and crowds, I loved wandering the streets of Manhattan, especially in the evening, absorbing the lights and sounds.


Seeing the city near the holidays was an unforgettable experience, but I think next time we go, I’d prefer and October visit. Anyone else want to come along?

December IWSG Madness

Hey team!

It is the first Wednesday of the month, which means it is time once again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group to gather together, share our writing successes, failures, insecurities, and goals. If you aren’t already a member and you call yourself a writer, you really need to do better. Check us out here if you know what’s good for you-


Special thanks to Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh for his fearless leadership. Also, my good blogging buddy J.H. Moncrieff is among the co-hosts this month. She’s way groovy.

I am actually writing this on Tuesday afternoon. As you are reading this (the Wednesday folk at least), I am somewhere wandering the streets of Manhattan. Lucky me, right? This means I won’t be commenting on other blogs or replying to this one until next week. That makes me a bit sad as I really do enjoy the Wednesday interaction. Hopefully, you will all be as willing to talk to me when I get back.

For the third month in a row, I am answering the suggestion question.

In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

My five year plan from five years ago didn’t quite pan out, which makes me a bit hesitant, anxious even, about the next five. My three novels languish on my hard drive. The fourth refused to let me write it. Something about ideas falling apart after 5,000 words or something. It is my first NaNo failure and while I’m not completely discouraged (I’m still working, writing), it is an unexpected and frustrating setback.

That said, I feel like my writing future has potential.

I am still waiting to hear from Black Lawrence Press regarding their chapbook competition and am very hopeful about my chances. I feel I submitted a very good bit of poetry and hope to use any success from that as a springboard.

Short stories are brewing in my head and some older ideas (that were flash pieces or two page efforts) are telling me they’d like to be longer. When that happens (soon, early 2017), these tales will find contests and submission locations to test their legs.

The query efforts will begin again in earnest this Spring, with maybe a resubmit to an agent who gave me a little nibble two years ago. All of this seems like a plan, right?

So, five years from now, I hope the above plan has me writing, submitting, publishing something, still hopeful, determined and happy.