One Good Thing

WTWAMy new motto is; “Do One Good Thing” for myself every day. Because, let’s face it, if I don’t take care of me, and make myself feel special, it’s likely not going to happen. That’s not a dig on my sweet husband (who is my biggest advocate and cheerleader, or my friends and family), but it speaks to the truth that I must feel worthy, by treating myself special, before anyone else can. Anyway.

This past week, I did one good thing for myself all week long! I attended my first writer’s academy (not a conference—big difference). West Texas Writer’s Academy in Canyon, Texas. #WTWA

Everything from the campus, to the faculty, to the food and the other writers, met or far exceeded my expectations. I’d  heard ‘this was the best thing I’ve ever done for my writing’ from more than one person beforehand, and I came away with the exact same sentiment.

Wow! Every day my brain was filled to capacity with information that, when put into practice, will make me a better writer. It was the most positive, supportive environment I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing, and the friendships I made will be with me a lifetime—that’s what happens when you find your tribe. I’m already looking forward to attending again and again, and putting into practice the long-term goals the week helped me define.

Do yourself a couple of favors; do one good thing for yourself today, and every day. Then, go find your tribe.

You’ll thank me, and you’ll be better equipped to go out and do one good thing for someone else…which is the reason I believe we’re here.

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Why I’ve Been Neglecting my Blog

You may have noticed I haven’t been posting on my blog much in recent weeks. This is because I’ve been devoting all of my free time to writing a Young Adult (YA) novel – a contemporary coming of age story of family, friendship, and toxic love.

Here’s an excerpt. More later!

Couple

There was a quiet knock on Jovi’s bedroom door.

“I gotta go,” she whispered.

“No! You have to-”

Jovi disconnected with Opal, set down her phone, and minimized Twitter on her computer screen. “Come in,” she said as she turned in her swivel desk chair.

Vivian opened the door and stood at the threshold.

“Hi mom!” Jovi nervously glanced around her messy room. Clothes covered every surface, and she had not made the bed. She was just about to say something when Vivian stepped toward the dress hanging on the closet door.

“I love what you did with the skirt here,” Vivian said, running her fingers across the cloth. “Wait, is this fabric from one of your old Easter dresses?”

Jovi pulled her legs into the chair and sat cross-legged. “Yeah, and the lace at the top I got from one of your pageant dresses. You said I could use what I wanted from the trunks in the attic. I hope you don’t mind,” Jovi rambled. It had been so long since her mother was in her room, she found herself fidgety – worried she would say something to scare her away. She cleared her throat and calmed her voice. “I’m sorry it’s such a mess in here. I was going to straighten up but I need to finish my essay first. And I need to get outside to- ”

“You’ve got quite a flair, Jovi Joy. Quite a flair,” Vivian interrupted, still admiring the dress. “Aunt Dovie has taught you well. I think you may be a better seamstress than she is now.”

“Oh well, I don’t know about that. It’s just fun. And I figure, why buy clothes when I can make something I really like, and that fits me,” Jovi said. She picked up an ink pen and clicked it up and down. “When I do buy something, I just end up ripping it apart anyway, you know? And making something else out of it.”

Vivian didn’t reply. She walked over to the window and parted the white muslin fabric draped over a tension rod. Unlike the view of the orchard from Vivian’s room on the back of the house, this window looked straight down Caddo Creek Road.

Jovi recognized the sudden gulf between them. It was as if her mother had walked through an invisible barrier into another world. A world where sadness, worry and fear swooped in heavy and hard threatening to never let go. With all the enthusiasm she could muster, she picked up the conversation. “Thank you again for giving me free reign of your old clothes.”

Silence.

“I’ve been wearing some of them as-is. Vintage is the new black!”

No reply.

“I can’t wait until it gets cold enough to wear your old suede jacket with the fringe. Opal is going to flip when she sees it!” Jovi could hear the sadness seeping into her own voice.

“If that jacket could talk…” Vivian said quietly as she let the makeshift curtain fall.

Relieved, Jovi got up from her desk and crossed the room. She wrapped her arms around an impossibly tiny waist and rested her cheek against the upper back of her mother’s cotton shirt. Vivian’s arms hung loose at her sides. Jovi tried hard to reconcile the person she held with the vibrant woman her mother had once been. High-school cheerleader. Beauty queen. Budding photographer.

“You and I will learn to surf next summer,” Vivian said.

Jovi didn’t know how to respond to the impossibly optimistic promises that often flew from her mother’s lips. They sprang from nowhere. Bright ideas. Daydreams, that when spoken aloud crashed into reality and shattered like broken glass. Last week Vivian had proposed they go skydiving.

“That’ll be fun Momma,” Jovi said as a single tear fell from her cheek.

The back door slammed. “Junebug,” her father yelled.

Jovi’s body went stiff.

“Go,” Vivian said as she turned to face her daughter.

“I love you Momma,” Jovi said, looking into her mother’s beautiful green eyes. Then she flew from the room and down the stairs.

Happy Anniversary To Me!

This week marks my one-year anniversary with WordPress. As with most things these days, time has flown by and I can hardly believe I’ve been blogging for a year already!

During the past few months, I’ve also been writing my next book and therefore don’t post here as often as I had hoped.

So…..I think it might be time for a little change, a little shake up, which my mom would tell you never hurt anyone.

Instead of limiting my written posts strictly to overheard conversations, I will begin sprinkling in other ideas, musings and stories as they come to me. This will hopefully lead to an increase in the number of posts I make and widen my audience.

Everyone I’ve met and talked with through this blog has been so nice and supportive, and I’d really like more of that 🙂

I’ll have to give some thought to whether or not I’ll change the name of my blog, but for now I’ll leave it alone.

See you soon.