2014: The Year of Getting Serious Again

Happy-2014-free-wallpaper

First, to Everyone who reads this, Happy Holidays! I wish that all of your wishes come true during the next year and that you live life to its maximum capacity. Always.

This past year has been rewarding and challenging. I graduated with my associates degree, lost one job and got another with the same employer (lost student assistant job at St. Petersburg College when I graduated and got hired back on a few months later as an OPS writing tutor), started new university to go for the bachelors degree, moved into a new apartment  in the downtown area, and gave up my car (it was a piece of shit anyway) for the benefit of walking for exercise.

I was busy writing many essays for my junior year at the University of South Florida, so my creative writing efforts suffered a little. But those essays helped me improve my writing, and I hope all future academic witting will do the same.

For my resolutions in 2014, I don’t have many. I’m keeping it simple and doable.

  1. Continue to improve my health by walking. School and grocery is within walking distance from me now, as well as many other activities and entertainments that the downtown St. Pete area has to offer.
  2. Write new stories. Turn on my creative juices and get them flowing whenever possible. Write for fun, but also write for publications. Poems, too. I want to write some more poetry in 2014.
  3. Submit stories and poetry to major publications and journals. I’ve already started on this one. I’ve submitted my previously unpublished award-winning short story Parker’s Pygmalion to Glimmer Train literary magazine and three unpublished poems to Northwestern U’s Tri-Quarterly journal. I’ve started some fantasy and sci-fi stories that are pretty good so far, I just need to finish them and get them out into some slush piles. I will also continue to try and get some previously published stories reprinted.
  4. Keep my magazine going. My side-project as publisher and editor of the spec-fic ezine The Were-Traveler has taken a toll on my sanity this year. Finding time to read and respond to stories while reading 2-3 books a week for lit classes has been very challenging, but I have no desire to stop doing it now. In fact, I’m even more determined to make it work. I may ask for help along the way, but I’m definitely keeping it going. I nominated 3 stories to Critter’s P&E Readers Poll and wish I could have showered other writers with that kind of love and recognition. I’m still trying to find all those yearly award venues out there, where I can give my authors the cred they deserve. If any of my readers have recommendations, please let me know.
  5. Keep my sanity at school, work, writing, editing, publishing. This is a given. I must maintain a sensible balance to this crazy happening that is my life. Need to breathe a little in between and enjoy other things, too. Relax, take deep breaths, meditate.

That’s it. I’ll probably add goals as I go along through the first part of the year, but this is enough to start with.

I hope all of your goals for the coming year lead to success and happiness.

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Happy Holidays: Virtual Card 2012

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Inside:

May your heart and soul overflow with love and peace. 

May your life overflow with creation, love, dreams…for true treasures are found in these.

And may your creations, loves, and dreams bring you

everlasting joy. 

This is my holiday wish for you. 

For this season and all your seasons to come. 

Happy Holidays, my friends!

Writing Prompt #29: Christmas Hodgepodge

Thought I’d throw up a few Christmas-y/Winter-y type images for everyone, to get you in the spirit o’ the season. As always, if you find some inspiration here and post your creative genius on your blog, please come back and leave me a linky…I’d love to read what you come up with! Enjoy…and Happy Holidays!

Ornament

Red Bow

Snowy Scene

Angel

Ooh, shiny stuff!

 

 

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Margie sighed and looked at her watch yet again.

The paperwork work was almost logged in, then she could leave for the Christmas break. She’d be spending the holiday alone again, just as she’d spent every Christmas for the past three years since the divorce. She’d thought she’d moved just to be in a different state than Brad, trouble was she was also in a different state than her parents and money was too tight to travel this year.

She looked at the last weekly visitation report and the name caught her eye. Buddy. Someone had come to see Buddy on Monday but they’d not been back. Poor Buddy. He’d been here so long. Always friends, never family. She wished someone would care enough to commit. If something didn’t happen for him soon…she pushed that thought away. It wasn’t her problem.

She logged in the last of the reports, the successful match-ups (it was always good to end the day on a positive note), then logged off her computer and stood up.

She went to grab her coat and looked at the door that would take her down that narrow hallway: the faces and eyes so solemn, sad, and longing. She couldn’t put herself through that. She put on her coat and exited out the back door and walked the distance around the building to her car.

She was halfway home to her rented house in the suburbs (she’d worked her behind off to be able to afford it and she was delighted with it, especially the big back yard) when she looked at the gas gauge and realized she needed to fuel up. She stopped at the next station she came to and climbed out to pump gas.

A sudden loud noise disturbed her and she jumped, looking over at the SUV gassing up next to her. The head and shoulders of a Boxer leaned forward out of a half-open backseat window, tongue lolling out of it’s mouth.

“There, Buddy-boy, good boy,” called his owner, strolling over to pat him on the head.

Margie finished pumping and got back in her car. Her hands were shaking and tears were running down her cheeks.

She put the car in drive and left the station, heading back in the direction she’d come.

She arrived at St. Francis’s still trembling, her fingers barely able to work the keys. She flung open the door of the shelter and ran inside. She ran all the way to the kennels. She ran down the kennel hallway to the sound of thirty or more barking dogs, and stopped at the cage of the only dog who wasn’t barking.

The Boxer-mix sat with his nose pressed up against the cage, looking at her as if to say “About time!’

Margie knelt and unlocked the door and the dog calmly walked out, tail wagging.

“Merry Christmas to both of us! You’re coming home with me,” Margie said.

Buddy placed his forepaws on Margie’s knees and licked the salty tears from her cheeks.

He was going home at last!

Please remember our littlest and loneliest friends. Animal shelters are always in need of the support of kind donors. And if you can, please consider adding a special “Buddy'” (canine or feline, bird or bunny) to your family. Happy Holidays!