ImageHow does this relate to writing? It does and it doesn’t. I got this thought in my head as I took a drive to a meeting. The Atlanta Writers Club’s guest speaker, Nicki Salcedo, a Georgia Romance Writer member, gave a presentation on “Budgeting Your Time.”

Back up a bit. I glanced at the clock – plenty of time – or so I thought. The cloudy skies gave way to a hint of rain. As I turned toward my route, all the peace and quiet came to a halt.

With the weather so warm, car windows had the down position. Construction noises over took the radio station,” 80’s, 90’s, and Now, playing a mixture of current songs and Christmas music. Horns blared, hands made different positions, and traffic crept. Sure, Atlanta is known for traffic problems, but this was crazy. Me and my little car inched ahead, little by little, from one traffic light to another.

Okay, think about a new story, and try to use all the commotion you hear as part of a new plot. Police were out on the corners waving their hands. Do I stop at the red light, or go with the green mittens waving me through? I went with the mittens, only to get stuck smack dab in the middle of an intersection, as the mittens went wild. Got the scene? You’re welcome to use this in any story.

To add to the distractions, Santa stood on street corners, a guy tights twirled a baton, while blowing a whistle very loud, bells, from Salvation Army, pealed through the air, and the homeless braved their way through traffic in hopes of a few cents. With the spring-like weather and the car windows, down a bit, the screams and cries of the children surpassed the horns.  “I wanna see Santa again. I gotta pee. I’m hungry. When can we go home? STOP. Santa’s on the corner.”

At the next red light, I notice the harried faces of parents, or just maybe mom or just dad. I hear no words spoken but the facial expressions give the full story. Frowns on the forehead, tight shoulders, fingers gripping the steering wheel, eyes forward, eyes sideward, and eyes glancing in the rear view mirror became the normal sight.

When did Christmas get so out-of-control?

I remember going to stores early and putting items on lay away. We had a small, like really, small tree, but a live one. My son and I strung Bubble Lights, if you can remember back that far, all through the tree. We used home-made decorations, his, not mine, and strung popcorn, with a needle and thread, until it covered the whole tree.

Guess, at this time year, memories roll backward and capture all of us. Roll back and recapture those memories. Roll forward and see what memories, as a writer, you can give to a different generation.

Thanks for letting me delve inward and hope you can gleam some insights to a new story.

Until another post, I want to wish all of my readers, friends, writers, and everyone I know, Merry Christmas, in whatever language or religion you believe. It is not how we believe, but what we believe.





Great ImageWe all need, no crave a little patience at times. Do you find your patience hiding from you? Of course, and it is never in the same place. You start on one thing and jump to another. Your toes tap without going anywhere. You need to get a grip on yourself, calm down, and take a deep breath. Why do we get in a position like this? Let’s take a stroll through different paths and see if one fits.

PRESSURE:  Do we realize how many times we put this heavy load upon our own self? We need to be in control of every situation, every second. We cannot relax and let someone else take over, if only for a day. That would be disaster in the making.

IMPATIENCE:  Sometimes, we jump in ahead of the game without listening to the rules. What if the rules have changed. We are now uneasy, fretful, even sweating a little. We try to turn this haste on our part to someone else. Why? Because someone depended upon our ability, and we screwed up.

DISCONTENT:  Do you find yourself dissatisfied, disappointed, unfulfilled, resentful, crabby, and the list goes on. Sit back, feet on the floor, and stare up at the ceiling. Focus. What comes into your mind? Work. Writing, Money, Worry. Loss, and this can be from a friend moving away, a death in the family, a child heading to college, or whatever else you find staring back at you from the ceiling. There, you have named this discontented creature and can find ways to move forward.

PERSEVERANCE:  No matter what the patience problems is, we all have the stamina to continue forward. We just have to dig a little deeper with a bulldog tenacity. We must hang tight and let go. Such an odd saying, but when you dissect these words, we all need a little keep trying and trying thrown at us. We all have the ability to be a little stubborn. This may be the time to dig in your heels and show someone else a little patience.

LENIENCY:  Yes, leniency to yourself and to others. Maybe, another word might fit you better, so try tolerance. All of us have the ability to shine in one way or another. We just do not shine in the same ways. The more you can understand about another person, or even a position, the better you become at understanding yourself. Where did your sense of humor go? The best gift we have is to be able to laugh at ourselves.

A little look backward, forward, and in the moment can relieve some of the impatience we encounter. Most of the time, it is not from someone or something, it is ourselves wanting out of the hole we created. Grab a pretend “key” and unlock the shackles you put on. WHEW!! Feel the patience return and be certain not to ask where it was hiding, you already know.

We have today. Make it a beautiful day and do not hurry. Be Patient.