Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Mixed Bag of a Week

 Crossing the Chippewa River, above, and a cool picture of Dino, the Wonder Dog, below.
Here I am still dragging my butt on getting back to a writing schedule. Yet another snag blew in last week.

We were supposed to bury Mom on Friday, but my sister’s mother-in-law passed away Monday night, so her funeral was Friday. I really feel sorry for my sister and her family. Losing two grandmas in a couple of months. Uf-da.

So we moved my mom’s burial back to tomorrow. I was planning on working the day job all day and just taking a long lunch break to join the family at the cemetery. Thursday morning, I found out my boss was taking Monday off, so I said, well, cool, then I won’t be here either. Once in a while things work out.

I am still working on lots of stuff for the nonprofit, though. I updated our donor list and have been reviewing the changes my daughter and son have been making to our business plan and our volunteer handbook. I’m so proud of both my kids, but sometimes I don’t know if it’s so good that they inherited my tenacious spirit.

The other good thing, Hubby, the dog and I took a much-needed ride yesterday. Found a new campground, and I came home and made reservations for it in August. I cannot wait to go camping this summer. Hopefully, I will drag my sister away some weekend for some sister-time too.

Lots to look forward to and lots of work to get goin’ on. No promises on the writing front, but I’ll get back in the saddle eventually.
 Wishing everyone else a productive week. 
I thought I should include a picture of the granmas. My mom is on the right. This picture was taken in 2012, at the wedding of their great-granddaughter. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Starting from Scratch

Well, my goodness, it has been a long time since I posted here. I returned from Kenya on April 12 and hoped to hit the ground running, getting right back into the swing of things. I don’t know why I thought that would happen.

Anyway, moving on. Since it has been a while, I thought that I would start from scratch with this blog and answer a few questions first.

What is this blog about? I write another blog, The Dino Chronicles, which tells about the journey of my life. On the other hand, this blog is intended to share my writing journey. I include other goals, like getting in shape and working on our nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers, but overall, this is where I chart the course of my writing career.

What do you write? I write a little bit of everything – poetry, memoir, fiction. I’ve published three books – two devotionals and one memoir. All three books are for the Christian market, but I think that anyone would enjoy reading the memoir as it tells the story of my first trip to Kenya. I’d like to do a second edition with a new epilogue explaining how that trip changed my life, but I think what I should do is publish a whole new memoir of my subsequent trips. Maybe someday. Right now, my first novel, which takes place in Kenya, is in the process of being published. As soon as it is available, you will get sick of me pushing it on you. So just get a copy right away, write a review of it on Amazon, tell six friends about it, buy each of them their own copy, and once the book has sold 20,000 copies, I will leave everyone alone.

What’s the name of this upcoming novel? Oh, sorry. “Where the Sky Meets the Sand.” I had hoped it would be out be now, but life got in the way, for both myself and my publisher. You’ll be the first to know when it comes out.  

So what are your current writing goals? Nothing for right now, except getting that novel out. I am working on my second novel, have it about half written. It takes place in Wisconsin in the mid-1970s, so I’ve done a lot of research on that era and the ethnic groups who are involved. Only other writers understand this, but the main character is so engrained in my brain, that I don’t think I can put off for much longer telling his entire story. He is a very tortured soul and I want to make everything right in his life, or at least in his world. No title for it yet. I have to wait until I’ve finished a thing before a title comes to me.

You mentioned a nonprofit. What’s that all about? In 2013, during my second trip to Africa and my daughter’s third trip, she and I started forming our own nonprofit organization, Tumaini Volunteers, Inc. Even though we have been at it for four years, we are still tweaking our purpose. The plan is geared towards providing self-sufficiency, but there are a lot of questions as to how we are going to continue to do that, if we are going to branch out to other geographical areas, and just lots of other what’s and how’s. We are always looking for help, so follow us on Facebook for more information and message us if you want to get involved. We are also starting to plan our next trip and love taking new people along to show them the country we have fallen in love with.

I think that’s enough for now. Maybe by next week I will have my head on straight and can outline some concrete goals. For now, I am still just taking it a day at a time.

One last thing of note, this coming Friday we plan on burying Mom. I’ll also be closing out her bank account. Maybe I’ll have more closure then and be able to move on. Unfortunately, the boxes of her stuff in the other room are another story, but enough of that. 

I need to get something done today. 
(Looks beautiful, but this place is called Hell's Gate for a reason. I had to hike, crawl, slide and climb to get to this overlook. Kind of like life, I guess.)