Friday, 30 December 2011

Happy New Year

As 2012 hurtles ever closer, I can't help looking back on 2011.  It's been a watershed year for our family.  Our oldest granddaughter went off to University this fall with high marks and renewable scholarships and we couldn't help but be proud.  Our son, who lived in New York city for the past fourteen years (research/taught at Columbia University) was seduced back to Canada this September (oddly enough by an American enviromental company).  He's in another province but we see him more frequently now although he's in New York over the holidays as that is where his significant other lives.

Our daughter has ventured into her own fashion design business and we are hoping she gets it up and off the ground as she is very talented.  Our second youngest granddaughter is travelling to Guatemala in February in class trip.  We are excited for her and a bit apprehensive as well.

And myself, I took the plunge this year and wrote a book.  I had written short stories for the kids over the years (great fans) but was caught up in career, family life and the like.  It was only on retirement that I turned my focus to writing.

Coming to this profession in the last half of my life is a blessing for I'm past the qualms that go with it is good or not?  I trust readers to tell me that although I have yet to be reviewed and am trying to be patient. 

So dear friends, that's been my life over the past year.  I hope all the best for you in the New Year, may the goddess of good fortune sprinkle on you. 

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Cracklin' Rosie

I haven't been able to post for awhile and am happy to be able to do so this morning as I couldn't wait to share the good news with all of you.

Our daughter bought a surprise gift for her youngest daughter, Caroline, who this past summer was crushed when their twelve year old Golden Retriever, Jack, died of cancer.  She asked for a blue picture frame for Christmas.  'It has to be blue, Mom, because it's for Jack's picture and he was a boy'. 

I wish I convey to you in words the expression on Caroline's face when she opened a box and out peeked the beautiful, black button eyes, of a female Havernese who Caroline promptly named 'Rosie'.  Havernese dogs were originally bred in Havana, Cuba as circus dogs.  They are small, agile dogs with a personality as large as an elephant. 

Rosie jumps, runs, throws her toys in the air, hides under the chair where no one can reach her when she's naughty, curls up in your lap and falls alseep faster than you can wink, and loves to kiss!  The breed doesn't 'yip' a lot like some other small dogs but it's hard to gauge as Rosie was the runt of the litter but you should see her now.  One of my fellow blogger friends says they resemble the Bichon Frish.

Rosie has given great joy to all of us this Christmas and I just had to share it with you. 

I hope your holidays were happy and healthy.  What gave you the most joy this Christmas.  Drop by and let us know.  Cheers, Hank.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Writing Sprint

I'm going to do a mini writing marathon today - due to start in twenty minutes.  I haven't posted on the blog for a bit so thought I'd warm up with this post.  I'm getting close to finishing my book, however, the closer I get, the further away the finish seems.  Little things start to niggle.  Is my time line accurate, are the character's names consistent, will the plot stand up under the reader's scrutiny?

My subconscious starts throwing up hints that all may not be well with the manuscript and it usually throws these hints up in the middle of the night.  I lay there thinking about the few changes I should make, fall back to sleep, and forget them in the morning.  I know its fruitless to keep a notepad on the nightstand for jotting the ideas.  I tried that and what made sense in the middle of the night lost its glow in the cold light of day.

So today I've decided to write to the finish, not edit, not fret (yeah, okay maybe that's a bit unrealistic) and push on to the end.  I'm hopeful of finishing but what do I know, it's my first time out of the gate!  Anyone know the secret to getting your muse to share your writing chair?

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Lights Please!

It's no joke when people say on January 1st, only 364 days left before Christmas.  We need to pay attention for snowy (for some of us) December, Christmas elves, wrapping papers and presents will arrive before we know what hit us. 

For me, this month of the year requires more than one daily dose of vitamins, protein drinks, blood pressure pills and eggnog.  There's the shopping blitz, usually reserved for the last week before Christmas followed by the wrapping frenzy accompanied by the hunt for Christmas music to play while slapping bows on gifts.  It's the week of picking up the Christmas tree, letting it stand outside for a day which seems to attract murderous dark clouds filled rain.  And always, the next day is dry and sunny but we can't leave it outside, too much to do, it has to go up today.

So I drag it through the mud room, kitchen, down the hallway to the family room leaving behind me a trail of needles that makes our ancient vacuum shudder.  Sweating to get the tree stand to grip the trunk while our son who is supposed to be holding the tree steady, starts rocking to the sound coming out of his ear plugs. 

And then the worst - the lights.  The tangled, twisted heap of lights that takes an hour to unravel before the plugging in begins.  A trip to a jam packed drug store for replacement bulbs follows.  Finally, not being allowed to participate, I plop in the recliner and watch as the family takes over and begins to decorate in earnest and then it happens, a tingle of pleasure tickles my spine.  Christmas is almost here.  Life is good.  Until next year this time. 

I didn't mention the outdoor lighting as I like to keep my blogs clean, free of profanity.  So readers, how about you?  How do you get into the Christmas spirit?