Do I Hear a Ding a Ling?

salvation army kettle


Exiting my vehicle onto the craft superstore parking lot, I beheld a sight which gave my inner writer a thrill. The right and left door guardians of the red kettle couldn’t be more diverse. Left door ringer was singing Jingle Bells at the top of oh his lungs. No, not the song, just Jingle Bells, over and over with different cadence, inflection, notes and volume on each repetition and fierce bell ringing to accompany his solo. I kept my distance and headed to the right door which was manned by a tall, bear of a man, standing completely silent with barely a flicker of his bell to indicate he wasn’t a blow-up version of a lawn ornament. Continue reading


Oh, That Infamous Green Dress

Once in a blue moon (note to self: what the heck does “blue moon” mean?? I better look that up first chance I get) I find a piece of clothing so perfect that I wear it forever.

Right now, hanging in my closet, is a red cardigan sweater I got from my husband for Christmas 27 years ago. It is so comfortable, and cozy and nice to wear that it will be cherished until the last thread unravels and it is no longer a recognizable shape. You probably have something like that in your closet, too. Continue reading

Tomorrow, Part Two

It’s Tuesday…way past my bedtime and here I sit hunched over my laptop trying to meet my Paddlecreek deadline. It wasn’t supposed to go this way. I had a clever take on procrastination about 3 a.m. this morning and just knew I’d remember it when I woke up. Of course, I didn’t. And then I got a call from a friend asking if I wanted to go to lunch. Of course, I did. So, good intentions aside, I jumped into my car, thoroughly enjoyed my fish and chips and tried to put writing out of my mind. It was later than I anticipated when I got home, because  we decided to stop at Target to see if they had red straws—don’t ask.

I’d have written this when I got home, but had to made a quick supper and  get ready for my grandson’s band concert. He’s graduating from 8th grade and this was his last concert with the band he’s been with since 4th grade.  Remind me to tell you about my brilliant and talented grandchildren sometime. I probably could have gotten this written after supper, but my nails looked terrible, so…..

The internet is such a comfort, and there are really great ideas floating around out there in cyberspace about how to overcome procrastination. I plan to share some of them tomorrow after a meeting I’m committed to go to. But for now, I am really tired, so think I’d better get some rest. Good night!!


Is It Tomorrow Already? Part One

owl and books

In our writing group, although we all love to write, each of us excels at something different. Susan is the master of witty rejoinders—laugh out loud quips and detail.Plus she writes a whale of a cookbook. Pat hones her many talents writing for youth, inspiring us with her blog and drawing us into her thoughts with clever word play (did I mention she also has a passion for children’s ministry?). Michelle is the calm voice of reason…assuring us that we can be wild and crazy because “it’s only fiction.” Plus she blows us away with her tenacity as she blogs her novel.

What then, you may wonder, is left for Beverly to do? I have a unique place in Paddlecreek Writers as I am the resident procrastinator. It is a skill I can, with modesty, proclaim I have perfected. I want to spend some time with you discussing my specialty, but The Book Thief is coming on TV tonight and I have to watch. We’ll talk more tomorrow. 🙂

No-Prompt Writing Prompt Part IV

And now a few words from Michelle…

If she had used the silent hour glass no doubt their guests could still smell the aroma of the eggs cooking. But gosh darn it—they smelled delicious and it was her birthday. Why shouldn’t she get to celebrate it with one of her favorite dishes? And who could resist fresh baked bread? She was a baker for Pete’s sake! Was it her fault others in town didn’t save up and scrimp for the hard times coming? Why should she be fired for having forethought and being organized? Continue reading

Writing Reveals Something

I love the movie Sabrina. Not the old one, the remake with Harrison Ford and Greg Kineear and Julia Ormond. Seriously, I love it. When it first came out on video (yes video) I cannot tell you how many times I watched it. Perhaps it spoke to me about the power we have to change our future.  Continue reading

Excuse by Numbers, A Writers Instant Guide

Excuse by Number

A Writers Instant Guide


  1. My computer is dead.
  2. My tablet Bluetooth battery is dead.
  3. My pacemaker is malfunctioning.
  4. I have no internet connection here.
  5. I am too tired.
  6. I am too bored.
  7. I am hungry.
  8. I am thirsty.
  9. I want my mommy.
  10. It is too loud.
  11. It is too quiet.
  12. My hands hurt.
  13. My brain hurts.
  14. My plot stinks.
  15. My characters stink.
  16. I have too many versions of chapter(s)___.(Pick a number between 1 and 30)
  17. All my characters shot each other and the last one committed suicide.
  18. I changed my characters names three times and can’t remember the new names.
  19. My main character went crazy trying to follow my directions and refuses to take her medication to get back to work.
  20. I forgot to take my anti-crazy medication.
  21. I ran out of coffee.
  22. I ran out of Xanax.
  23. I ran out of anti-depressants.
  24. I ran out of anti-psychotic medication.
  25. I ran out of cocaine.
  26. I snorted too much cocaine.
  27. I am tired of sitting.
  28. I am tired of thinking.
  29. I hate my characters.
  30. Scrivener is too hard.
  31. I hate Scrivener.
  32. I think I have a fever.
  33. I have a headache.
  34. I am having chest pains (see also #3).
  35. I am having an anxiety attack (see also #22).
  36. It is too nice outside.
  37. The weather is changing.
  38. The weather is the same.
  39. It is too cold.
  40. It is too hot.
  41. I am out of chocolate.
  42. I am lonely.
  43. It is too crowded in my head with all these characters talking and making scenes (see also #’s 20, 24 and possibly 26).
  44. The cat is sleeping on my keyboard.
  45. The cat is standing on my keyboard.
  46. The smoke alarm is going off.
  47. I haven’t changed the smoke alarm batteries in two years.
  48. That ?+#$@% ground hog saw his shadow again.
  49. I have to go to my other job to get money to buy printer ink.
  50. I have to go to my other job to get money to buy paper.
  51. My computer has an anti-writing virus.
  52. One of my characters stole my identity and fraudulently filed my income tax.
  53. The birds are singing too loud.
  54. The neighbor’s dogs are barking.
  55. Someone is mowing a lawn.
  56. Someone is using a weed-wacker.
  57. Someone is sawing.
  58. Someone is hammering.
  59. The dog is looking at me with sad eyes.
  60. I don’t feel like writing.
  61. My kids are driving me crazy (see also #’s 22, 23, 24 and possibly 25).
  62. Reading is just as good as writing.
  63. Cooking is just as good as writing.
  64. Walking the dog is just as good as writing (see #55).
  65. I need to water the plants.
  66. I ran out of wine.
  67. I ran out of beer.
  68. I ran out of whiskey.
  69. I ran out of tequila.
  70. I ran out of vodka.
  71. There is just too much news going on in the world (see 22, 23, 24 and 25).
  72. I missed the last episode of _______. Fill in the blank a) Castle b) Downton Abbey c) The Big Bang Theory d) Scandal e)Dancing With The Stars g) The Last Ship h) Cash Cab
  73. The car needs washing.
  74. The car needs waxing.
  75. There is laundry.
  76. I need a nap.
  77. The sun is up.
  78. The sun is down.
  79. I have no friends.
  80. I have too many friends.
  81. I need to clean the toilets.
  82. I need to clean out the refrigerator.
  83. I need to clean the oven.
  84. The pipes in the __is/are leaking. Fill in the blank 1. Bathroom 2. Kitchen. 3. Laundry Room 4. Wall 5. Water Closet 6. Ceiling 7. Floor 8. Vanity 9. Sink 10. Basement 11. Cellar 12. Potting Shed 13. Mud Room 14. Autopsy Suite 15. Morgue 16. Gas station bathroom 17. Water Tower 18. Haunted House 19. Sewage Treatment Plant
  85. I am sad.
  86. I am melancholy (see 22).
  87. I am depressed (see 22 and possibly 23).
  88. I am clinically depressed (see 23).
  89. I have (circle the appropriate answer) a. PMS b. PTSD c. STD d. Menopause e. male pattern baldness f. an SUV g. All of the above.
  90. My characters are on strike.
  91. The dog ate chapter (s)__.(fill in the blank, the choices are as follows: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
  92. I am sick of writing.
  93. I am sick of making *&%!# up.
  94. I am sick.
  95. I am sick of being sick.
  96. I am sick of being tired.
  97. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.
  98. I have a/an_____ appointment. (Fill in the blank with one of the following choices 1. Dentist 2.Doctor 3. Veterinarian 4. Orthodontist 5. Podiatrist 6. Prostate 7. Sleep Study 8. ENT 9. Psychiatrist 10. Mammogram 11. Colonoscopy 12. Counseling 13. Acupuncturist 14. Palm Reading 15. Anger Management Group 16. Cardiologist 17. Massage 18.CT Scan 19. MRI 20. Drug Test
  99. My Gluteus Maximus is asleep.
  100. I just wrote 99 excuses and that is STILL writing.
  101. I just don’t wanna!

The Dream of Christmas

wallpaper_8658The Dream of Christmas

Christmas is a dream woven between the layers of sleep and wakefulness where everything is warm, soft, and a bit blurred around the edges as an old-fashioned photograph. Outside snow falls in gentle sways of white, each unique, glistening snowflake landing in the soft silence and joining harmoniously creating a pristine blanket of white. The drab of winter is wearing a fluffy covering, a pure benediction from heaven.

Continue reading

Gratitude Attitude

Last week I read an article that stayed with me long after I turned off the computer. The author encouraged her readers to keep a gratitude journal—write down one thing a day for which you are grateful. It doesn’t mean long, complicated soul searching confessions. Just a simple acknowledgement of things for which you are grateful. And this means you need to find things to be grateful for even on your worst days.

The theory is that by looking for things for which to be thankful, we will actually see that our lives are filled to overflowing with people, events, possessions —large and small— that should make us realize how blessed we are. Continue reading

Con vs. Pro

Today is my birthday. I am in stealth mode for birthdays from now on. Getting older is only what children and teenagers want to do. For a writer I don’t project much into the future. My imagination doesn’t like conjuring what more gray hair and wrinkles will look like on me. I don’t want to contemplate how much further untethered parts of me are going to droop. In fact, I have a con for all the pros of aging:

Wisdom-What good is it if you can’t remember any of it?
Inner beauty-Too bad it doesn’t show up in the mirror.
Patience-She isn’t in the car.
Contentment: Pay attention, all these are cons.
Peaceful sleep: Who sleeps?
Grace: She hasn’t been seen in years.
Tranquility: Again, all cons.
Wisdom: Oh, forgot I already mentioned that.
Balance: Any heel higher than one inch is dangerous.
Faith: Aren’t her sisters Patience and Grace?
Hope: Who?
Maturity: I’ve been that for decades, it just got me more responsibility.
Responsible: Synonym for blame.