No, this is not the scene from my office window, but I wish it were. This is Three Cliffs at Gower Beach in Wales. I hope I got that right. It is a picture on the calendar that friends John and Gay sent from Wales where they live. It is a gorgeous picture, and I can almost hear the winter wind soughing in those beach grasses when my mind wanders, quite often, to the scene hanging over my desk.
January moves along and I have felt busy, but I have nothing new written. That is frustrating! This is the month when I outline bunches to be worked on during the year. I have a stack of tidbits in a folder but that is all. What have I been doing for Pete’s Sake?!?!
Well, trying to stay warm for one thing and living with the Shingle Man (disease, not roof) for another. Then there have been computer problems which meant talking on the phone (three hours solid in one call) to foreign lands, people all across America, and waiting for a service provider workman to show up at the door. Eight to 8:00 p.m. meant 12 hours, no 13 ½ hours, of waiting and then I called at 9:30 p. m. to say he never showed. (He actually arrived 44 hours later.) It seems that constantly there is some issue to tend to around here.
I am tired of seeing snowmen and pine cones about the house; I long for some silk daffodilse or even a pot of fresh tulips, but it is still only mid-January…a LOT of winter days left to go. I try to look another way and concentrate on looking for writing markets, reading a book or a writing article. I have made big pots of chili, vegetable or potato soups; I have made scones, biscuits, and popcorn. I continue to get at those morning exercises and have added a small Tai Chi class one morning a week.
Last night was the first Writers’ Guild meeting of the new year. It was so cold only about half the members showed up and some of them were late. Some were home with frozen pipes. Discussion was lively about the changing markets, e-publishing, self-publishing, Kindles, and conferences. No one had anything to critique; no one had much news. The consensus on the Missouri Writers’ Guild was the speakers were good, the distance far, and the expense a little too heavy for most writers here right now. There was a report on the Call to Write Conference sponsored by Christian Writers Fellowship in Pittsburg, Kansas. The fees are only $60-$80 for two days, lunch included. For many, there is no motel room needed making it less expensive to attend and still informative and supportive for writers.