Monday, January 14, 2013

2012 in the Midwest

....I read through the entire Bible--again.

....I read 60+ books about God/the Bible/Christian spirituality and faith.

....I read over 50+ fiction books.

....I played a lot of golf at Walnut Creek Golf Course in Grant County, Indiana and a few places out of state, too, like Kentucky.
A golf course view in Kentucky
....I took care of family, people, animals and my husband the best I could and saw 100+ degrees on the thermometer outside.
Yeah, it was over 100 degrees in Indiana in 2012!
A family banner for my blog made for me by my friend, Mary Lynn

....and it stormed, downing trees, and lightning struck our house, wiping out many of our electrical things.
Pieces of bricks from our struck chimney, which also struck our electrical system

One downed tree of several from a storm
Bricks from the top hit and damaged the chimney on the way down
....I traveled on a motorcycle with my husband, and sometimes our friends, all around the state of Indiana.

Matthews, Indiana Covered Bridge
The sculpture in Bluffton, Indiana

....I saw great places in Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri.

St. Louis Arch
Natural Bridge, Kentucky
The sky lift for Natural Bridge, but we took the hard way to the top

Cloud Gate in Millennium Park in Chicago

....I rooted for my St. Louis Blues hockey team.

My family at a St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks hockey game

....I spent time with my boys, husband and really good friends.

My son's senior thesis art show right before his graduation. It included these portraits of his brothers and dad. One other son in this photo graduated this summer from college, too.

....I saw 2012 in with a GREAT family at my house, and saw 2013 in with the same people.

....I prayed endlessly.

....I wrote some stuff.

....I put up tons of ancestors on my tree.

Dawson family photo from early 1900s taken in Tipton County, Indiana

....I scanned hundreds of old photos into my computer files (and still have more.)

Pierson family photo from 1953 in Michigan at their father's funeral (My mom is the blonde, third from right)

....I played some music with the band in a park in Marion, Indiana.

....I worked on ACFW Book Club.

....I saw and experienced all kinds of weather at my house, and observed much of nature.

All of these photos were taken by my house in Indiana
It was a wild year filled with storms, defeats, triumphs, graduations, illness, fun, heat, cold, faith, prayers, repairs and laughter. 

And now in FAITH I'm heading into the adventures in Indiana for 2013. Looking forward to it--how about you?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

When I Was Just a Kid: Jean Ann Williams

Today on my blog, When I Was Just a Kid, I break my hiatus there with a poignant and inspiring interview with writer Jean Ann Williams. She was one of nine children and had to take on some big responsibilities early in life.Some of that is in her writing now. Go over and leave a comment for Jean Ann.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

What's Your Path for 2013?

A new year has us all thinking about goals and how we'd like to spend the coming year. When you get to my age, you've already spent a lot of time. I've done some amazing things! I admit, I haven't always been purposeful about what kinds of things I do, but I've been happy with much of it. (Not all, but much.) I'm a seat-of-my-pants kind of gal. How do you make sense of everything to move on?

My photograph (taken this summer) from underneath of Cloud Gate. It was sculpted by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor and is in Millennium Park, Chicago. 
This past year I was semi-purposeful about my reading. I read through the Bible (again) with a certain eye on how it came to be and with my faith path in mind. I coordinate the ACFW Book Club, so I tried to keep up with the books (2 a month) in that forum. (You can email me with questions. If you're an ACFW member with published books, your book could be eligible for the polls.) 

I read over 50 books having to do with my spiritual path/faith. I read a set of books (fiction) that were poignant/hilarious that I wish I could've written (but I'd have to have a completely different life. Not in my realm of knowledge. LOL.)

My photograph of a chapel steeple in St. Louis from The Arch area.(Also taken this year.)

This year I've seen some very beautiful sights, but experienced a lot of physical pain, too. I've explored my ancestors and their stories. I've blogged very little. 

I've also put my own writing sort-of-aside as I just didn't know what I really wanted to write, but I continued to help some people get published. I took some writing classes just for me this year and was able to see what I could do in writing (she was the best/most encouraging-to-me writing teacher I've ever had.) I still couldn't move past all those children's' stories this year that I have in some file from the time when Diann Hunt and I were in Doc Hensley's classes.  In the new year, however, I've overcome the genre block and because of that teacher, I am moving on and not writing any more children's stories.

This is what been used on me this year by well-meaning people. Lectures tend to suck the life out of me--how about you?? (Photo taken in the Old Capitol in St. Louis, this year.)

With that teacher's help, I saw that I could write anything I wanted, and she showed me that I could be confident about it. I got some really encouraging words from an agent with a kick in the pants, too, so maybe this year will be different for me. I will move on to stories that are wanted and not hang on to the past stories I've written that I wanted, but because of those novels I read this year that had humor and passion in them, I saw that I could make what I wanted combine with what readers want

My photograph from my car window near Effingham, Illinois from a trip to St. Louis this year.

Questions, Questions What kinds of things have you been doing? Are you working on a bucket list? Did you find a purpose and goal for this year? Are you entering contests? Do you have a certain type of book you're writing? What highway path are you on for the year? And will you take an exit from that path if opportunity presents itself for a side path? Who has encouraged you the most this year? (And hasn't "lectured/preached" at you?)

My photograph of the sky lift at Natural Bridge, Kentucky. I took the hard, narrow path up to Natural Bridge, but even so, I wish some with me had taken this sky lift so we could've seen the view together at the top. Instead, all they got was my lousy photos and my descriptions.There is something profound in that...