Recently I read a blog post on writing. I try to read things that are uplifting and encouraging, but after reading this one, I crashed into a deep, dark hole of writing woes.
The article said that if you don’t have anything to offer your readers, why write?
So, I asked myself, “Why do I write?”
It goes all the way back to second grade. I dreamed of writing all my life. Now that I am published, my purpose for writing is to keep telling stories.
But why do I write a blog?
Does anyone care about what I have to say?
After much evaluation, I have come to the conclusion that I write because I want to connect with people. I want my readers to know I am a real, imperfect person with all kinds of problems, pursuing her life’s dream of being an author.
The point is, people need each other. If I reach one person with my musings, that is why I write.
I also have stories roaming around in my head that demand I put them to the page. If I don’t get them out, the characters will drive me crazy!
Also, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt God has called me to write for Him.
Long before our move to Tennessee was even a thought, my favorite sister in the whole wide world (my only sister and sibling) bought eighth row, floor seat tickets to a MercyMe concert.
We’d been to one together in 2019 and declared it the best concert ever so I knew I wouldn’t want to miss it. As our move became imminent, I assured my sister I would return. A full day’s travel, early morning hours with little sleep and two airports later, I returned to California.
There is something special about the group MercyMe. I have been blessed by their music for years. The words always seem to heal my broken heart and minister to my soul with exactly what I need.
Every song on their latest album, inhale (exhale) spoke to my heart and kept me going through the long journey of ups and downs, barely breathing at times, in the process of moving to Tennessee and settling in.
MercyMe does a song called Happy Dance that encourages the audience to dance and be silly, then they shower us with confetti.
I took full advantage of the opportunity and found myself enjoying every moment of my own happy dance. Silliness relieves a great deal of stress.
Needless to say, the lyrics of that night’s concert keep me going as I inhale and exhale while missing friends, family and the network of self-care I had established after 27 years in Santa Rosa.
I am trying really hard and leaning on my faith, and thanks to the words of one of MercyMe’s tunes, I will prevail.
Moving is not fun. I’ve had to let go of things I love…
… The colored walls in my house are now painted a neutral white.
… The huge succulent plants that won’t survive in Tennessee have been sold or given away to neighbors and friends.
But most of all, I had to let go of the TARDIS lending library. The realtor insisted it go before we showed the house. I emptied it of five boxes of books ranging in age from baby to more experienced readers.
As the TARDIS fell, we considered taking it apart (GASP! – something Doctor Who would never allow) and packing it in the moving truck.
As we stood considering what to do with it, and as I was about to push the publish button on Facebook Marketplace for free pick up, a neighbor stopped.
“What are you doing with the TARDIS?” she asked.
Turns out she’s a huge Doctor Who fan and loves the color blue. So, the TARDIS came back to life and was transported three houses down the street to live another day. (Actually, it was a little elbow grease and our pickup truck, but where’s the fun in that?)
It has landed in the perfect spot on the corner for all to see. One day, it might return to being a lending library once again. Until then, it is the perfect lawn ornament for a Doctor Who lover and her dark blue-trimmed house.
Memories of New Year’s Eve celebrations from childhood do not bring pictures of noisy airhorns, blasting fireworks or couples kissing as the clock strikes twelve.
In fact, my family celebrated by going to church for what was called a “Watchnight” service. It involved a potluck dinner, worship and sermon, dessert and games. I never understood why it was called a “watchnight.” How does one watch a night anyway?
When it got close to midnight, everyone would get on their knees and pray the new year in.
Since then, I have celebrated New Year’s Eve in many fun ways. After graduating high school, I moved to Southern California where I enjoyed going to Knott’s Berry Farm, listening to Christian bands until midnight, and then watching the numbers of the new year light up on its tallest tower.
One time I spent all night on the streets of Pasadena in a sleeping bag so I could get a great spot on the curb to see the Rose Parade in person (something I had only seen on TV growing up).
I used to stay up until the clock ticked 12:01 and listen to the fireworks go off in our neighborhood as I made resolutions (which I usually broke in a few days).
Now I can barely keep my eyes open till ten. Resolutions are made year-round instead of on one night. When the fireworks go off, I hold my dog tight and comfort him instead.
A new year can mark new beginnings, and this year will bring many changes. But as new adventures begin, I hope I will take a lesson from my childhood memories of New Year’s Eve and begin it on my knees in prayer.
How about you?
Do you have any fun or unusual New Year’s Eve traditions? Please share in the comments!
There are only a few days until Christmas and I feel nostalgic. I’m especially so this year as I think back to my childhood memories. I loved it when Daddy would bring home a real Christmas tree and our tiny 900-foot square house on Tindolph Avenue would smell of pine needles in every room.
We’d decorate the tree with old-fashioned large lights and glass Christmas ornaments. The tree took up at least one quarter of the living room, but that didn’t matter to a kid. Things are always bigger when you’re young.
My Christmas pageant dress
Mom would sew me a new dress for the church Christmas pageant. One year it was orange, brown and red flowers, not your typical Christmas garb.
On Christmas Eve after Daddy read the Christmas story from the Bible, my sister and I would act out the story to entertain our parents. The dog was a sheep and I played Mary (that’s me on the floor). Our stuffies became the three wise men and my doll was the baby Jesus.
We always took turns opening our presents; that way the excitement lasted longer. I always seemed to get a Barbie-related toy and no one could go wrong giving me a panda bear.
I know my Daddy loved Christmas because after all the presents were opened, he would leave the room and come back with a present for my sister and I that he “forgot” to put under the tree.
One year we got a unique gift called the Flatsie doll. When I pull them out today, I remember the joy it brought my Daddy to see his girls thrilled by a surprise gift. We posed for pictures with our gifts surrounding us and Mom made sure we wrote thank you cards to everyone.
Celebrating… in Heaven
This year with my Daddy celebrating in Heaven, I think I’ll continue his tradition and bring out a gift after all are opened for my adult children. I hope they are as surprised as I was and cherish the memory.
I said hello to Andrew Edward Hoss May 7, 1995. He was 10 pounds, 4 ounces at birth and slept through the night. I had to wake him up for his feedings and the doctor told me to just let him sleep.
During one visit to the doctor when Andrew was only three months old, the nurse tried to feed him a pretzel. I couldn’t figure out why she would feed a baby without teeth a pretzel, until later. Andrew scored high on the Apgar scoring system and was always bigger than other babies his age.
As a young mom, I never thought about the day when my firstborn would flee the nest. I tried to savor every moment because everyone would say to me, “Enjoy it now, as time goes by so quickly.”
Did I blink?
Twenty-six years have passed. It’s hard to imagine Andrew ever being a baby. October 2021 was a big month for him. First, he got engaged to Meghan Bloom (YEAH!!! Squee!!! Great choice!).
On October 29, after packing for weeks, Andrew and Meghan left early in the morning, moving to a new life in Casper, Wyoming.
I knew my son would leave the proverbial nest, and he had been on his own, but to fly this far away was never a thought in my mind.
Time truly flies by quickly. I’m so glad I took hundreds of photos to look back on to remember my little fledgling as those days can blur together.
I’m happy for them and excited too because this momma bird is going to fly to Casper, Wyoming the minute I become a grandma… one day. But I’ll visit before that happens, of course.
I felt like a little girl on Christmas morning opening the biggest present, and finding exactly what she wanted!
When Sharon Watson, Kenwood School’s librarian, invited me to come do an author visit assembly, I was over-the-top thrilled. I taught at Kenwood for ten years and filled various creative roles. To me, it was the happiest place on earth to teach but I gave it up to pursue my writing dreams.
Facing the assembled children, I told the story of my journey since second grade. I didn’t bore them with lengthy tales of my history but encouraged them to keep hoping and dreaming and work hard at whatever their dream is, in order to make it come true.
Just for fun, I gave volunteers the opportunity to shoot rubber bands through holes on a game board, reminding them that shooting a rubber band is how Eddie got in trouble and they should only use rubber bands for their intended purpose or end up in the principal’s office.
The students had many great questions and I had to opportunity to speak to the fifth-grade class as they are doing a NANOWRIMO project.
It’s always a pleasure to watch the faces of the children as I sign books. But, just like a day ending at Disneyland, I didn’t want to leave the happiest place on earth. Alas, I must return to the hardest part of being an author – writing.
If you’ve visited the “About Christy” page of my website or read my blog post, “The Birth of a Book,” you know I give my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Olson, credit for inspiring me to become a writer.
A year ago, I inquired about her to a reporter at my hometown’s newspaper, the Thief River Falls Times. That wonderful reporter knew who I was talking about and connected me with Mrs. Olson.
Mrs. Olson and I talked on the phone a couple of times, but the excitement grew as I told her of our trip to Minnesota.
I told her I would love to speak to students where my dad taught school and she went to work.
Soon, I was in contact with not only the principal of Challenger Elementary, but also a communications teacher at Franklin Junior High, where I went to school. He arranged a book signing at Diamonds and Designs, where Mrs. Olson volunteers.
I enjoyed every minute of my book tour, but the best moment I had was having dinner with Mrs. Susan Olson. I didn’t know what to call her, respectfully, since the entire town knows her as “Susie.” I settled on calling her Miss Susie.
We talked like old friends and had so much in common, down to our taste in clothing! I’m forever grateful to Miss Susie!
If you happen to love science fiction, I’m sure you have heard of the British series, Dr. Who. It’s been around for more than fifty years.
A few years ago, my children introduced me to the Doc, and I LOVED IT! We binge watched before binge watching was a trend. I absolutely fell in love with the character, especially #10, David Tennant.
In my opinion, he had the character down to a science – pun intended.
Dr. Who inspired my husband to build something I have always wanted in my front yard. A little lending library.
Well, our library isn’t so little. It’s a life-size TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space). The Tardis is how Dr. Who travels through time, and it resembles an old police call box.
When we first built our Tardis, someone reported it to our police department and they had to come check it out. There’s nothing illegal about it. It’s filled from top to bottom with books to take.
The lower shelves hold baby books to first readers and middle-grade novels.
The upper shelves are filled with books for more avid readers.
My theory in choosing the Tardis is, “Books are bigger on the inside.” (If you haven’t seen the show, you won’t know what that means, but it is highly relevant to the series plotline that has spanned more than five decades.)
The word is getting around and somedays we get “Whoovians” taking pictures with the famous box.
No matter WHO it inspires, its one and only purpose is to inspire people of all ages to read.
By the time you read this post, I will have done what some people say is “another year around the sun.”
Yes, I celebrated another year. I’m older but feel like I’m still sixteen years old, trapped in a fifty-something body. At least that is what my mind says. My body tells another story.
Don’t you hate the question, “How old are you?”
As kids, we don’t mind that question, but as a seasoned woman, I prefer to keep my answers light. Thus, the reason for this post. If you want to know how old this author is… here’s an old commercial from my younger years to give you a clue:
Ketchup is my favorite condiment.
I use it for anything fried and meat that may be a little too tough or dry to swallow.
I have embraced the fact that I was not raised with many etiquette mannerisms and learned mostly by observing. Observation has helped me become who I am today. I pride myself in not being stuffy. That is why this is now my favorite commercial for American sauce.
To celebrate my getting older, I’m giving away a present! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
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