Sunday, September 6, 2015

TSS: September 6, 2015

While Labor Day weekend typically signals the end of summer, my family thinks of it as the beginning of fall. My annual proclamation is always, Christmas will be here before you know it.

When the kids were younger they would just roll their eyes and humor me. But as they have grown and started families of their own, they now realize how quickly these next four months pass.

On that happy note... here is my weekly summary.

I am still keeping to my original schedule for the Harry Potter read-along.

I finished The Sorcerer's Stone last weekend and immediately started The Chamber of Secrets. I am now about 30% through the second book and enjoying them immensely!

Yesterday Belle posted on Facebook that she plans to participate in the RIP X reading challenge. I have such fond memories of this event when I was a more avid book blogger, and I thought it might be nice to participate again... someday.

Then I realized Harry Potter would qualify as mystery or dark fantasy, right? With that rationalization I am thrilled to participate after a several year hiatus. I registered for Peril the Second level, which means I plan to complete two books between now and October 31st.

Ideally, I would love to add a few more mysteries to the list... but I don't want to set myself up for failure. So for now I will plan to read the Chamber of Secrets and the Prisoner of Azkaban. If I manage to sneak a cozy mystery, I'll let you know.

It appears my lack of confidence is worse than I realized.

Last week I posted my doubts as to which direction I should take my writing. Unbeknownst to me, I apparently suffer from "but" disease... constantly discounting my efforts by using this self-deprecating term. And my writing coach called me out.

So this week I am trying to focus on "and" ... recognizing weaknesses AND strengths in my writing interests.

I love to journal and continue to do that on a daily basis. I am excited to start teaching my Journaling towards Wholeness course in October.

And I love teaching the Storytelling Workshop. I look forward to inspiring these young writers and encouraging them to follow their dreams.

I feel comfortable writing non-fiction and plan to use my research of Impressionist Art to create interactive iBooks. This will be a fun project that might lead to future multi-media ideas.

And while I lack the confidence to write middle grade fiction, I do enjoy the academic pursuit. I will continue to flesh out the characters and the conflict.

I am still on the writing journey and still learning how to focus on the process rather than the finished product.

Finding Delight:
While I deemed DELIGHT as my word of the year, I often go for weeks without giving it a second thought. I've already decided it will by my 2016 word of the year as well.

But this week I made a conscientious effort to add more delight to my life.

I discovered that delight and fear are closely connected. If I give in to fear, I lack delight. And if I desire delight, I must overcome fear.

I wanted to visit a sunflower field and play with my camera. A simple concept for most, but for me... fraught with fear.

First I must drive to the field. Drive on a toll road (hate the toll booths) to an unfamiliar location (along a gravel road in the middle of nowhere) that is not easily accessed by Google Maps. But I filled the tank with gas, made sure my cell phone was charged, and headed out.

Next, I had to overcome "impostor syndrome" I know I am not a professional photographer, but I fear others looking at me with camera in hand and thinking who does she think she is? I imagine their critical comments as I try to find the right angle and the appropriate f-stop.

But on Friday afternoon, I threw caution to the wind and ventured out.

Yes, it was in the middle of the day when the light is most harsh (not ideal photo conditions), but I reasoned the crowds would be few (I was correct) and sunflowers thrive on bright sunshine.

I got lost only once, and discovered it was not the end of the world. I actually used my Google maps app and got back on track in no time.

As I rounded the bend toward the field, the view was absolutely spectacular: deep golden yellows and vibrant greens as far as the eye could see.

The sky was a bit hazy, but the blue was evident. There was even an occasional wisp of white clouds that added dimension to the landscape.

 I probably spent about 45 minutes wandering the field, marveling at God's artistry while at the same time trying to capture the emotion and beauty in still photographs. It was a success in every conceivable way.

I hope that you too are enjoying these final days of summer because... Christmas will be here before you know it.

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