Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The New Year And Goals by Bonnie Le Hamilton

As 2017 came to a close, I wrote down several goals for the new year, and I went so far as to write in my calendar the things I was going accomplish each of the first seven days of 2018, so I could start the new year with a bang, and dive right into achieving all my various goals.

Now, before I continue, I must point out that as I wrote those goals, my left knee was bothering me a little bit. I didn’t think much of it, because I have arthritis in that knee, and it is cold out, it is winter after all. So, the minor pain was no big deal, and I could live with it.

I even mentioned that little twinge to my doctor when I had my regular checkup at the end of December, but by the first day of 2018 it was way more than a twinge and my knee was the size of small melon. I’d also spiked a fever on the 31st. Okay I wasn’t feeling well, and by the 3rd I went back to my doctor’s office.

That was not a fun day since my doctor wanted to “rule out” a blood clot, he sent me to the hospital to get an ultrasound on my knee, while at the same time he ordered antibiotics for me.

Thankfully, the ultrasound came back that there were no blood clots, and the antibiotics have done their job. But in the meantime, I had to stay off my knee as much possible.

It should have been prime writing, or editing time, except, I didn’t want to think. I didn’t want to work. I didn’t feel well. So, while nothing got done around here, not one item on my extensive to do list, I sat around and read. Some of it books (I did read HP 1 – 5, and even started 6), but most of what I did was read a great many of my unfinished manuscripts. And I mean read, as in no editing and no adding to, just reading.

Not the auspicious start I had hoped for, and now I’m behind, but I have the rest of the year to work on my goals. 

Happy writing everyone.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Rainy Days and Mondays by Konnie Enos

Clouds, Colorful, Colourful, Countryside
If any of you know anything about the church my sister and I attend, you would know that my two teen aged sons (currently in high school) go to a class before school each day. This means we get up early because school starts around 7 a.m. so this class has to start at 6, well before the sun is up most of the school year.
Because of where this class is located in comparison to their school it means I am driving into the rising sun to get them to school on time. Even wearing really good sunglasses it can be very difficult to see the multiple four way stops I have to pass on that route each morning. Some of the route has trees to block the sun and in other spots I have a tendency to pray there will be a nice large truck available so I can see without squinting.
Monday morning as the boys came out of their early class I noticed that although I could see around me clearly, there wasn’t any noticeable rays of sunlight. I looked up. Everything appeared somewhat blue with gray tinges, and in some places it was darker. The darker places were clearly clouds.
As I headed for their school I said, “Either the sun hasn’t come up yet or it’s completely over cast.”
At no time Monday did we see the sun. By Monday afternoon it was raining, a little. It was still raining come Tuesday morning.
As usual, it was dark when they went inside and I waited, as I normally do, outside in our car. Since it is generally light out when they come out I was surprised when they returned to the car.
I looked at the time, a quarter to seven.
I glanced up. It was still so dark out the street lights were still on. All of them.
I took them to school in the dark and rain. Three hours later I took their sister to her appointment in the rain and still not much lighter. I took friends to the store, still coming down. By the time the boys got home from school, still coming down. I drove them to pick up their new eye glasses.
By now the streets are really soggy and in some places just a bit flooded. As we approached where the eye doctor’s office was we had to drive through quite a puddle. All the cars going through the intersection were leaving a noticeable wake behind.
My youngest made some comments about having to swim if it kept up.
We returned from this errand about 4 p.m. At this point we had not seen the sun since Sunday evening at dusk. I was inside for no more than five minutes when I learned I had to go pick up my other daughter. I went out to the car and you’ll never believe me! I had to put my sunglasses on! The clouds had started to clear and the setting sun was right in my eye for at least part of my trip.
Though I was blessed with seeing a rainbow. That was nice.
Then I was listening to the news. Guess what?
Tuesday, January 9. 2018 set a record. Wettest January day on record for Las Vegas.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Writing goals by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Here it is day three of the new year and I haven’t done anything toward any of my goals for this year.

It’s not like I don’t want to, or I just haven’t put the effort forth (okay maybe I haven’t put effort forth) its just that I haven’t been feeling well. I’m still not feeling well, been spiking a fever and everything.

Can you think straight when your temperature is up? I can’t. I’m lucky if I can think at all.

Anyway, I do have some writing goals for this year. And I need to try to get on them, whether I’m feeling well or not. The problem with writing making goals when you’re feeling well is that you forget how illness can put a wrench in the works. 

Anyway, so far I'm not doing so well on my goals. How about you?

Happy writing everyone.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Christmas Memory by Konnie Enos

The sun peeking over the horizon added light to the room but not to my thoughts as I realized it was now Christmas Eve. I’d been up for at least 24 hours and the task wasn’t done yet. I was exhausted and more than frustrated with family members whose idea of helping was taking our three school aged girls off our hands while we got the work done. They however had no problem with leaving our two boys with us to deal with while we tried to work. They were both toddlers in diapers.
So while I struggled to help, or keep the boys out from underfoot, my husband strived to get the work done and it wasn’t getting done fast enough. We should have been on the road already. All things considered as the sun dawned bright and clear that Christmas Eve I was short tempered and decidedly not in the Christmas spirit.
After spending the morning attempting to keep the boys out of my husband’s way and finally taking a short break for lunch my husband said he was going to get his friend, who had a truck, to help him haul the garbage to the dump. Then he could finish cleaning the place out. When he was finished we could finally leave, possibly by dinner time, a full 24 hours after we’d originally planned.
As he walked out he said, “Put the boys down and take a nap.”
“Good idea.” It was naptime. I set to work trying to get them to settle down on a couple of blanket on the hardwood floor in the living room while I stretched out on the lone remaining piece of furniture, an old recliner. I was still fighting the boys when my husband and his friend returned.
Our friend pointed to the recliner. “What about that? Is it going to?”
My husband said, “Yes.”
I said, “No way. This is in the last load. You are not taking the only place I have left to rest while I need sleep.”
My husband actually pulled me out of the chair. “We’re only taking one load. It’s going now.”
I fought him. “I can’t sleep on the floor.”
Our friend said, “You’re going to my place.”
In minutes they had me and our boys at his house. His wife tucked our toddlers down with their own kids, a toddler and infant, and had me lie down on their couch while telling their other kids to keep quiet so people could sleep.
 Over the next several hours I woke up several times. My husband and our friend brought our girls back from their aunt’s place, and that old recliner. A neighbor came around with gifts for the poor families in the neighborhood and learning our family was there as well left the gifts meant for us too.
Around dinner time my husband and our friend returned saying the cleaning was finally finished but our friends would not hear of us leaving on Christmas Eve.
This couple fed and found places for seven extra people to sleep warm and comfortably on Christmas Eve, made Christmas stockings for everyone and retagged gifts a couple of gifts, I assume intended for them, so my husband and I could have something under the tree. They also insisted we join them for their Christmas feast before they would send us on our way. The only thing I could do was share the treats I had gathered for our Christmas stockings.
My Christmas went from horrible to one of the most beautiful Christmas memories I have because one family gave freely of what little they had.
Isn’t that what Christmas is all about.

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Christmas Memory by Bonnie Le Hamilton

This last week there was a post on Facebook about tricking kids into thinking they were getting nothing for Christmas, and one of my little brothers (the middle one) brought up something we once did to the oldest of our brothers.

First you have to understand that Bryon was a snooper. If you hid any gifts in the house, he found them well in advance of the big day, without fail. Our mother tended to hide our gifts at the house of some friend or other. But our stepmother (the mother of the two youngest brothers) came up with another plan one year.

First, you have to know she was really good at wrapping presents. Not just neat, but very well taped. There was no way you could undo just one little corner and sneak a peek. In fact, there was no way to get a peek without having to completely re-wrap the thing. Then she came up with devious plan to make him think all he was getting was a lump of coal for Christmas.

That year, along with using so much tape, she didn’t put his name on any of the tags. I can’t remember how it was that she knew which was which (I think it was the wrapping paper) but he thought he wasn’t getting anything, without us saying so, because of course, he did find where the gifts were hidden, he had searched all those tags for his name to no avail.

On top of that, on Christmas morning all he found in his stocking was a small box designed to look like a red brick chimney and inside that box was a real lump of coal. I remember the look on his face when he pulled that box out of his stocking and looked around at all our stocking filled to bursting with treats then he looked at his box again and apologized for snooping.

Even then our stepmother refused to give him his gifts, and he actual stocking stuffers, until he’d promised to stop snooping.

Here’s hopping Santa is good to all of you! Merry Christmas everyone. 😊

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Of Harassment and Such Things by Konnie Enos

With all the accusations of sexual harassment and assault flying around nowadays there are of course plenty of memes on the subject to be found on Facebook. Not long ago while I was scrolling through one such meme caught my attention. The title was “How to not be accused of sexual harassment”. Then it showed a pie chart.
I thought of several ways you should protect yourselves from such things. What does this show? Exactly one color, only one suggestion. And what was that one suggestion? “Don’t sexually harass.”
Well, that’s the first step. But, sorry, no cigar, that’s not going to guarantee anything.
Not doing it at all should be helpful in not getting convicted of doing it, but it’s not much help against being accused. Yes, I’ve heard that nobody is going to lie about such things, but guess what? The evidence is there to say otherwise. People have lied about rape, assault and harassment only to have their stories fall about when the evidence was looked at. Or they later recanted their story.
I once had someone I know tell me that my brother-in-law had at the very least been very bold and forward in a sexually suggestive way with her. (And yes, she was/is married.) This person wanted me to admit he’d behaved similarly towards me.
My brother-in-law was so shy around me he barely ever said two words to me and I don’t think he ever touched me, not even for a hug, which I made clear then let it drop. But a few years later my own husband was accused of inappropriate behavior with some of his female clients while he was working as a home health aide, not once, but twice.
The first time his boss thought it was actually one if his clients and even took all his female clients off his list, only to have each one of them ask to have him back. The second time she told him he had someone out to get him and to watch is back.
We moved.
A few years later we figured out who’d been making those false accusations. The same person who had tried to get me to accuse my very innocent brother-in-law.
You see all it takes to be accused of sexual assault or harassment isn’t doing such things but rather coming into the crosshairs of someone who has no problem with bearing false witness. So while your first defense against being accused should be not doing them in the first place, it can’t be your only defense. If it is, you’ve got your head in the sand. And that’s the last place you want your head to be.
No, I think your second defense should be never being in situation alone with someone who could then later say, “When they got me alone they did…” Then you get in a I said/they said situation and you’ve got no witnesses to your defense.
In our church we have this saying (I think other churches have it too) “avoid the appearance of evil”. So don’t put yourself in situations where someone’s false statements might find enough footing to be taken as fact.
Food for thought.
P.S. Happy 18th Birthday to my oldest son (tomorrow).

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Goals by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Okay, National Novel Writer’s month is now over. Time to get on with life, and catch up on the things that went by the wayside while I was frantically writing all those words, and I did a lot better than I thought I could!

I’m proud of myself for that but now is the time to think up some goals for the coming year, and maybe even set some deadlines to get them done. And it wouldn’t hurt if I could figure out how to do them without letting the chores go for a month. 😊

I have a niece, who is also a writer and she’s set the goal to publish six of her books this coming year. A goal I find rather ambitious even though most of those are already written and it isn’t like she has to find a publisher willing to take a risk on her, she self-publishes, but I doubt I could manage that kind of output in a year and unlike her, I don’t work!

Then again, I’m a slow typist. I’ve mentioned this before. I can’t win a word war – wait, I actually won one this year. Shocked me – shocked everyone. I usually don’t unless it’s against Konnie, and I suspect she had a lot of interruptions on her end while we were writing. She usually does.

Anyway, setting writing goals is a good idea and I’ve been thinking about some goals I could set, not just in writing but in life in general. Now I just have to set what the goal will be and how I would achieve it. Though I already know my writing goal is to get my manuscript Forbidden Connection ready to shop out to publishers and I’ve already started on that one, its with the editor right now.

Next, I have to work on the synopsis and the query and research the best agents and publishers for it.
Okay, I have a lot to do this coming year.

How about you? What kind of goals are you planning for this coming year?

Happy writing everyone! 😊