2017 A Year of Imagining 2017

In the middle of last December, I was creating cat designs to print on coffee mugs. Futzing around for quotations, I stumbled over one by Maxwell Maltz. I kept coming back to it.

“A human being always acts and feels and performs in accordance with what he imagines to be true about himself and his environment…For imagination sets the goal ‘picture’ which our automatic mechanism works on. We act, or fail to act, not because of ‘will,’ as is so commonly believed, but because of imagination.”

Maxwell Maltz, New Psychocybernetics

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The Christmas Letter I Didn’t Send

Merry Christmas! Peace and Goodwill to All

The annual “Christmas Letter” morphed into an op ed piece, that I didn’t want to inflict on my family and friends. So  I will publish it here. This blog is under the radar: it won’t be read unless total strangers fall over it on their way to something better.

             I will say It’s nice to say Merry Christmas-again. . .. I confess that I don’t spend much time with “the news” in any form. Most of my attention focuses on books, what’s new in technology, and the latest gossip from the horse world.

Retreat into Bleak

The ban on “Christmas” sort of drifted over my head. The “Happy Holiday” signs in all the stores made little impression because I don’t show up at malls between November 17 and January 6th. I woke up to this bruhaha the second week in November at the library-of all places.

I was shut away in a back room with four others banging out our NaNoWriMo novel. One of the librarians shared the room. She was covering books with brown-bag paper, and decorating them with large gold star “stickers.”  She told us that she planned using these to create a large “book tree” for part of the library’s holiday decorations. I made some comment about using brightly colored paper. Much to my surprise, the librarian, in all seriousness, informed me that colored paper would make the decorations too exclusively Christian in tone. My internal response was a blend of surprise, irritation, and laughter.  I held my tongue and refrained from pointing out that stars were a major symbol of a Christian holiday.

This one size fits all business results in cloths that not only don’t fit, they lack both color and life.  The removal of tailoring from clothes and color from fabric results is among the first little devils raising its head in a totalitarian society. Especially those proclaiming “its for the good of the people.”

Returning to Color and Fit

Instead of creating decorations in beige, why not decorate inclusively:  the red and green of Christmas, the blue and silver of Hanukkah, the. green and black and white and red of Moslem festivals. Of you have to add the riot of colors used to celebrate the Hindu Diwali!

            I love the holiday season, with all the lights, the special coffee concoctions at Starbucks, the wrapping paper, the potlucks, the feelings of community, and generosity.  All of us need a break from the crazy hubbub of the first fifty-one and a half weeks. We need festivity. We need a space for mystery and wonder.

Were I king, I would mandate a holiday celebration lasting from December 24th until January 6th! To paraphrase William Blake, “you don’t know what enough is, until you’ve had too much. After twelve days of holiday, it will be sheer joy to return to work.

Wishing all of you lots of colorful clothes tailor made clothes, and a really good time wearing them.

 

Writer Returning from NaNoWriMo

Successful Failure at NaNoWriMo

Did I actually submit a 50,000 word novel on November 30, 2016? Nope! Nevertheless, I feel successful.  Without a plot, without a winkle of an idea, I waded in and typed, typed, typed. A plot emerged, albeit a bad one. Characters emerged, albeit cardboard. Once finished, this novel will be dreadful. I will never see the light of day. Then again, maybe it will as an anonymously published kindle book. 🙂

Gain One from NaNoWriMo

It is much easier for me to write with momentum. The habit of stopping to mull over the right way to phrase a sentence has disappeared.  From time to time, I rewrite a sentence from certain knowledge of a better way to phrase the thought. But I don’tt spent time mulling and pondering.

Gain Two from NaNoWriMo

Wow! my writing has really improved.  More verbs, many more active verbs. The count of inactive verbs decreased by sixty percent. As a side comment, I always enjoyed reading Dick Francis mysteries because he wrote them with so much forward momentum. That probably came from his years and years of riding horses over hurdles. Forward momentum is the key to that game.

Gain Three from NaNoWriMo

Surprise! I now look forward to writing. Once I procrastinated when it was necessary to write.  Now I enjoy writing. I look forward to writing. My day feels empty if I haven’t written anything.

Gain Four from NaNoWriMo

Now I consider myself a writer. Am I a good writer? No. Certainly I will improve as a writer. But being a mediocre writer no longer stops me from considering myself as a writer. The gift of grace that comes from crossing into decade seven is that celebrate other writers, without needing to compare myself.

Visit this organization’s web site at the link below.

National Novel Writing Month organization

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out on a Limb with a Saw

My writing habit is coming along.I write daily, leaving my pen prints here and there; hither and yon. Much to their surprise, a number of folks in the blogging universe found comments from me.

A week ago, I made a grand and crazy gesture that placed me on a limb with a saw. I committed to NaNoWriMo. That is the National November Write a Novel Month. It means I have to write a fifty thousand word novel by midnight, November 30.

This is going to be a volume effort. No plot, no editing, just a continuous flow of words with minimal coherence.

I’m jazzed!

Smoke of Indecision

To day’s post is inspired by another person’s blog. Adding a comment, I said many of my days had gone up the chimney in the smoke of indecision.

I am five days into decade seven and I can’t waste time and energy on worry about making the right decision. I encountered an “Abraham”  quote that said ” make a decision, then make it the right decision.” As a corollary, it was also said, make more decisions.

An eye opener!  I’ve found its not the decision but the focus, the attention, and the energy directed to the decision that gives it life.  I have noticed myself drifting in indecision with small things like should I brush my teeth now or after breakfast. Should I have eggs for breakfast. 

While I am making eggs for breakfast, part of my mind is still thinking about pancakes. Can you believe it? I have a mental foot in two doors. No wonder I get tired.

Now I keep a quarter in my pocket. Head i do it; tails I don’t. If I cringe at the outcome, then I do the opposite.

Now here’s a trait that really sets my teeth on edge these days. People who question decisions that have nothing to do with them. I am beginning to think that for some its just a game to see if I can be unhinged.  Grrrh!

Doxycycline Monohydrate: Is this a step on a slippery slope?

As of Monday, I am the proud owner of a twenty tablet bottle of doxycycline monohydrate. It’s finally come to this-antibiotics. For decades it has been a source of pride that I have had no truck with antibiotics since 1958 when the doctor stuck me in the gluteus with penicillin as a defense against something bad happening with a kidney.

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Patterns

Patterns-I Forgot Why

I discovered a saved draft sans content but titled “Patterns.”  If that was a nascent idea brewing, it vanished. Might be fun to pick up this thread and see where it leads now.  What comes to mind is argyle socks, followed by paisley shawls, striped shirts, and chequered anything (sorry I like the British spelling.)

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The Panda Planner and I

Graphic
Closed Panda Planner

Panda Planner

My new planner, the “Panda Planner” arrived from Amazon yesterday. For six years, I have been sans planner.  Before retirement (B.R.), I my annual ritual was purchasing a massive year planner from “that store” specializing in planners and planner accessories.  After handing over a hefty chunk of change, I left the store with a substantial plastic bag and renewed determination to organize my life once and for all.

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