Monday, November 11, 2013

Word Count Challenge Time

Chugging right along...
4,000 words!

That's been my goal today on this, my day off from my day job. I know that's probably loose change to those authors who write full-time for a living, but for me, who writes 2,000 words (on a good day) and 1,000 (on a bad day), it's double the usual amount.

Considering I broke up the time with bowling, because the hubby and I needed to post-bowl with one of our teammates today, I'm happy to say that I'm only 1,500 words shy of that goal right now. I even filled my meditative fountain, which I haven't used in months. Naturally, what writer can compose without caffeine? (Rhetorical question for all you caffeine-abstainers!) So I had an extra cup of coffee AND broke my soda rule with a Diet Pepsi.

My little office fountain
With a couple of hours to go before dinner, I hope to make that goal and finish out this segment of ONE SWEET DAY. This book has an unusual format, with the story stretching out over nearly 40 years in the lives of the main characters. Did I mention that none of them are acquainted with each other? Characters spread out across the U.S. map, too, with some living in New Jersey...some in North Carolina...some in California...and some in Montana.

Intrigued? I hope so! For now, for me, it's back to work.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pictorial: A Walk in Autumn

"An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day." - Henry David Thoreau

The best days, I've found, are those where you can make time for prayer...and a walk.

Temporarily, I've put running on hold. In short, I may have been doing too much too soon, and it would take a couple of days to recover from the cramps in my leg muscles. Maybe that wouldn't scare off a die-hard runner (and I really admire those people!). But I told my husband that if I was headed for injury that could impact my ability to walk and hike, then I was choosing walking and hiking over running.

This year, it seems I've spent less time on the treadmill at the gym and more time on trails, sidewalks, and park walking paths. Yesterday, for the first time, I brought my camera with me, documenting moments captured by my heart. No MP3 player to block out the sounds of the wind and the leaves falling from the trees and the birds. No weights on my ankles or wrists--I never use those, anyway--because my spirit wasn't weighted down, either, and this was more than exercise. No pedometer to keep track of my steps, either.

Just my camera, my beginning-to-get-worn walking shoes, a warm hoodie to shield me from the autumn nip in the air, and the presence of the Lord.

Walking is wonderful at any time of the year, but autumn lends itself even more so. The temperature is perfect; the air has a certain scent. A bed of golden, burnt orange, red, brown and still-green leaves adds a pleasant crunch beneath your walking shoes.

Put all those things together, and it's hard to keep focused on your problems. You find yourself silently saying a prayer of thanks, grateful for the ability to walk, which we all take for granted. For health, for the work of His hands, for the serenity that is brought to you with each step.

Walking has been shown to strengthen the heart, but you don't think about it when you're taking in the sights around you. Yesterday, on a walk that lasted an hour because I went around the lake twice, aspects of my work-in-progress came to me. Writers are notorious for being "creative walkers," and I'm sure we're not the only ones. Many a character will accompany you on the path or trail, as Taylor Aldridge, one of the main characters from ONE SWEET DAY, did with me yesterday.

A picture of the bridge leading from one section of the park to the parking lot, where my car awaited me. Note the leaves that fell so delicately on the planks of wood.

That was more than just plain, old exercise. Apparently, art is not confined to the walls of a musty museum. You can savor it anytime, outdoors, on a serene afternoon created by the Master Artist.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New Grandson & Updates

Kicking off November with a personal note: Meet Brody Keenan, our new grandson and little brother to Aubrey & Matthew! He came into the world weighing just a few ounces shy of 9 POUNDS. Amazing, considering his mama, Yesica, is very petite. It doesn't happen very often, I'm sure, but this little guy greeted us RIGHT on his due date. Looking VERY forward to spoiling him!

Another "baby" headed towards its due date is ONE SWEET DAY. Progress, as you can see by the work-in-progress counter to the right, is slow but steady. In these coming days before its release, I have some things to share about this book, which has a distinction that makes it unlike any other book I've ever written. I'll also be explaining what sort of books I'll be working on from here forward, because writing-wise, I've turned a corner, taking me to where I believe my work was meant to be in the first place.

In the meantime, forgive me for my delay in updating this blog more regularly! These last couple of months in the Keenan household traditionally are pretty hectic, with the major holidays coming up, a visit from our son Joey (who lives in New Jersey) and then young Mr. Brody Keenan's arrival. In the midst of all this, I'd like to thank readers for taking the time to post reviews on my books. I read every one and I appreciate you taking the time from YOUR busy schedule to write a review or post a rating!

Until my next post, hope you are feeling happy & blessed! Happy reading!