Tag Archives: New Year

The Road Ahead

It is the first day of a New Year. I feel good and with that feeling are thoughts of starting things afresh while remaining real in my good intentions. Resolutions. Promises. Whatever labels you might attach, they are part of the road ahead… This immediately brings to mind the saying and I had to look it up in order to get it right… to me “the road ahead is paved…” made just as much sense and, for the purpose of my post, was spot on. In fact, the “hell” part didn’t even come to mind, but it was an interesting read and the underlying meaning was apparent after doing so.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” One meaning of the phrase is that individuals may have the intention to undertake good actions but nevertheless fail to take action. Procrastination, laziness, or other obstacles may be the cause of the failure. In any case, the saying is an admonishment that good intentions are meaningless unless followed by action. A different interpretation of the saying is wrongdoing is often masked by good intentions, or possibly that good intentions, even when enacted, may have unforeseen bad consequences (hence the “hell” aspect). (source: Wikipedia)

With all the projects going on I have neglected time for my own creativity. Lately, I have embraced the freedom the office gives me as I am able to leave the physicality of my company work in the office – I say physicality because my mind never turns off completely to the concept of publishing. I live for it. But, living it and then leaving it “at the office” has given me the time to do things at home that need to be done. It has also allowed me the opportunity to engage in creative actions that feed my soul – one of late is coloring my own sketches AND adult coloring books given to me by my sister. Throughout this trying year, my focus was on projects signed by Dream Write Publishing, and that is what made 2015 an amazing year – we published 15 new works!

In order to boost and infuse my own creative spirit, I shuffled ideas around in my head and challenged myself to come up with some plan that might keep me on track – for the day, the month, the year… There are those of you who know how well that goes for me! It’s all good – the putting to paper what needs attention – the infamous to-do list with its promise of organization and achievement – but I am embracing who I am and what I enjoy to make this year one that will bring happiness. If I want to color until 2:00 am… then I will. If I want to disappear into the mountains to track wild horses, I am going to do that, too. Slowly, one thing at a time, I am going to transform myself and my surroundings over the course of this year to embody happiness and health. I will support the people I love who mean the most to me and will love myself for who I am, not obsess about what I am not. It is in our own hands what we do with the time and talents we have.

I offer no resolution to fail. There is no “good intention” to go bad. There is no holding back because I intend to take the road that likes ahead. I left hatred and negativity on the midnight hour to fade into the nothingness of no longer important. The tank is full of passion and promise and that is all the fuel I need to work toward an amazing year of successes.

road ahead

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Day 9 late, but here :)

January 30-day Photography / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

Day 9 – Someone You Love 

Day 10 - photo challenge - Someone You Love

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The Year of the Horse

aragorn on brego

No matter where your journey takes you, be true to your own spirit (Photo: LOTR)

On this first day of the new year, there is much to celebrate, much to be thankful for, and a tremendous journey ahead of which to partake. The celebration (if not overdosed in the literal sense on the eve of such a momentous occasion) should be in our hearts as we welcome this new beginning. Sure, there will be things we cannot control and events that will not be of our choosing, but as Garth Brooks sings, “…I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.” Simple… pay no mind, just dance, and together we can navigate the hardships, hold close the friendships, and master the sails of our life as we steer through waters, stormy or calm.

Big ocean - little boat. (Photo Gary Iverson)

Big ocean – little boat. (Photo: Gary Iverson)

As you look back, give thanks for all that you have and all that you hold near – not material things – but the things you cannot measure in the physical sense, the people who are dear to you and play a part in your life’s journey as we play, or have played, a part in theirs – a reason, a season, a lifetime. Some lifetimes, we know, are all too short and the loss may burden us as we move forward. There is comfort in the fact that those who leave are never truly gone as we bring them with us – always – as part of our journey, they become a part of our history.

The journey lies beyond the horizon (Photo: Linda J. Pedley)

We must be thankful for our skills, our passions, our abilities. Appreciate the present – the gift is this new day. Treasure it and go on. Never forget where you came from – covet that in your heart and in your memories. The future is yours to take – make your own way, take your own road, be your own person, find happiness along the way… it is your journey, your story, your legacy.

I was not born in the year of the horse, but I am inspired by it. In fact, my year is not compatible with those born in the year of the horse. Regardless, I feel the spirit of the horse within as I embrace freedom, my own way, and the call of the wild, for the most part. My daughter would argue I have lost my sense of adventure and fear the things I cannot prevent. It is true I have grown cautious – in the physical sense… however, not in my mind, imagination, or dreams. They are bold. They are, at times, brazen. They are even brave when we consider all things. As I look forward to this new year, while trying to keep a focus on the present and a handle on the past, I know I follow my heart when I write. Look for more words in 2014 – I am, therefore, I write.

2014 happy new year banner

 

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The Passing and the Promise

Here is a New Year’s personification that addresses what we are so inclined to do – look back with regret instead of ahead with committed action. I wrote this short conversation for 2010 and it will never go out of style. Enjoy!

She met him at the door her smile sweet with eyes so bright they could light up the night like fireworks. Her name was Eve and she sealed many deals with just a kiss. Her offer held promise of a future yet he was uncertain this time. He was bringing with him “baggage” that he knew would soon be forgotten. It was going to take reflection and a lot of effort, again. He knew this to be true for he stood upon this threshold before. She was offering a life that would not be free from tears and pain – he knew there might be sorrow and heartache – he also knew there could be health and wealth and he might prosper. Going back, however, was not an option.

The midnight hour tolled and with it a promise of hope anew. Amidst the blushing cheer the passing was not without fear for they moved from the knowing into the unknown.

“But what about the past 12 months – was it all for nothing?”

“No – your journey is your own and the way to go is up to you. You have the same time as everyone else and what you choose to do with it… well, again, that’s up to you.  All you need to do is take it step by step – 12 months will take you forward.”

“I didn’t get a chance…”

Eve held up a hand to silence the protest.

“What’s done is done, my love. But fret not, for what was not may still be.”

“I meant to…”

Again, Eve motioned for silence and she smiled in an effort to lessen his concern.

“I know, everyone means to. It’s easy to reflect back and say you should have this or that. You must remember to always make an effort while in the moment. And if it was important enough to you, you would have.”

This did not completely comfort him for in his heart he knew he always meant well. It’s just that things have a way of getting away from you, or getting out of hand, or you become so overwhelmed that … doing nothing is the most you can achieve.

“Look ahead. You still have a chance to do the things you want to or need to, and the things you so desire.”

“Okay.  I promise…”

Eve shook her head.

“No. Do not make carefree promises that are gone as sure as the melting snow on a warm spring day. Take a serious look at what you want to do and make an effort to do it because you really want to. Choose to do it because it is your passion and not just because you think it is the fashion to do so.”

He knew she was right. He had heard it all before for he had argued it over and over with each passing year. The resolution is an empty promise wasted upon deaf ears if you do not follow through with a determined commitment for your own sake.

01/05/10©Linda Pedley

new years eve kiss

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Starting the New Year Out “Write”

As I watch the sun go down in the southwestern Alberta sky, a beautiful first day of January slowly succumbs to dusk. The sky is still clear here and is an unseasonal -2 degrees which allows me to open my window a crack to let in the fresh holiday air. I am multitasking as I play a game and monitor the posts coming through my Facebook page, reposting those interesting tidbits that build a newsworthy feed (and “liking” every horse picture, too). Creativity hits so fast, words are just a blur

I take my time today as I ponder the direction of my first blog of the New Year. My mind is a blur with the possibilities. I could also work on one of the numerous projects I have on the go – personal and publishing. My own resolutions are clear: to do what’s “write”, simply stated. Over the past couple of years, my focus has been diverted from my own work to that of my clients and colleagues; this is not a bad thing, for it is what I am destined to do. It is how you keep learning, promote the craft, and progress on your own writing journey. It is also the mandate of my publishing company as we head into the second half of my third part-time year in business. Things are going well but it is not without its own self-inflicted wounds. I have several works of my own awaiting attention and there always exists the underlying desire to do more and submit more for outside consideration. My commitment to my blog is an ongoing passion because this is where I connect with all of you out there, my fellow writers. Here, it is more than just the ramblings I commit to my journal, things I don’t share out in public, things I provide a disclaimer for in case anyone reads those words post-mortem – “please be kind and don’t judge until you walk a mile in my shoes.” Certainly, these fertile emotional fields are the breeding ground for words to be shared with some revision. It has borne many an article, many a verse, many a line. My blog is my public journal that endeavors to share my writing life and how life affects it. My easy-going day is a treat but it is now dark as I still contemplate. My window is closed but the year of opportunity lies open ahead.

We are all given the same amount of time in a day - the difference is what we choose to do with it...

We are all given the same amount of time in a day – the difference is what we choose to do with it…

It is not that I don’t have anything to write; in fact, just the opposite – I have so many words I would like to express and so many directions my sharing could venture. My first blog of the year often holds promise for what lies ahead with encouragement to keep on writing while reflecting on the things that matter most – memories. Looking back over 2012, it brings those bittersweet extremes life is known to throw at you just because you live it, into high focus. It is a conundrum best described in the immortal lyrics of country singer, Garth Brooks “Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain but I’d of had to miss the dance.”

Life hands us the experiences of loss and gain, hope and failure, happiness and sadness. It can appear to be in larger helpings for some, almost never to others, or an ongoing thing with this and that so much so we beg “enough already.” I can speak for no one but myself when I recount the past year and the effects events have had on my writing and my life, in general. I received great accolades and suffered great loss. I accomplished goals yet dealt with frustration. I felt the elation of happiness, yet spiralled to the emotional depths of despair. There is no going back for a do over so it is something I need to embrace when I recall 2012 – what can I do better? What can I treat with greater compassion? What can I change and what has changed forever?

Through this social media family and my own, I have connections with great minds who prophesize their own 2013 future in as many ways as there are numbers. I like the suggestion that we take little bites off the months as we chew through this year. It makes swallowing what life has in store for us so much easier. Little goals, little steps, little by little we move forward. Keep the big dream in mind but focus on each and every day. To look too far ahead you miss the chance to experience everything along the way. I have lofty goals, oh yes – I recently proposed to a friend that we plan the trip to Italy we have talked of so fondly for some time now. And 2014 it will happen, with a short stay in Stratford Upon Avon to visit my hero.

The BardThis post is not without its underlying desire to encourage a bright writing year ahead. It is necessary to keep your writing goals posted close to your heart, for only another writer knows how vital they are to your journey. We write because we must. We write because it is an inborn, innate, inherited passion that will not go away even if you ignore it. Oh, you can waylay your desires if you are easily distracted but your muse will not allow you to miss out on your true calling in this life. Seek the support of those who share this passion; be true to your own creativity and be strong enough to stand against those who would disarm you of your pen. In time, your own mettle will prevail, your ink will flow, and those around you will see you for who you are meant to be – a writer.

In this proclamation I take with me my most cherished memories. I hold them close to my heart so I can remember what it is that is most important. I have the support of so many friends and family, colleagues and clients. I claim this right through the words channelled by my muse, through my admiration of others who share my love, and my mother, who watches over me now from beyond. Despite my pain, there is hope as I dream big and move forward. Deep down I know it will still never be the same but in my heart I know I am doing what I am supposed to do with my life.

New 2013 writer wish

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Writer’s Declaration

How to Resolve to Make this New Year the “Write” One 

As December slides past us, we assume a New Year with the raising of a glass and the shower of fireworks, and in our mind we answer the opening of that door with thoughts about making amends, starting over, starting fresh, and therein we lay claim to a whole list of things we pledge to do differently. Many revelers look to the New Year with the habitual hope of resolution – proclamations to implement improvements that will make us feel better about ourselves – emotionally, physically, spiritually, or mentally. In doing this, however, it is sometimes an attempt to make us feel better about what we didn’t do over the last twelve months. We promise to do more than we did the year before; we profess to do better than we did; we plan to improve our lot in life by becoming diligent at something we might have let fall. We take stock, make lists, reflect, review, and in doing so, resolve to change. We heap this huge burden upon ourselves and sometimes attempt to make right those things that took our own lifetime to wrong. The very definition of resolve takes us to places our resolution probably has no intent to go – including, and especially disconcerting, the making of firm, defined, and possibly life altering decisions.

As writers we write because we must but that does not identify quantity or even quality, for that matter. It only indicates that there is an inherent need to do so and in some way, or at some time, that need will be fulfilled by the very action of writing. Some writers are destined for more words than others but, in the end, our passion lies within the composition of words. If, as writers, we could base our new year’s outlook focused only on our passion, we could be certain of success in one way or another. Maintaining this focus from one year to the next, assures we are able to stay on the path that is right for our journey.

Determine your “Write” Declaration:

Although we are on the same journey, we are not taking the same path. It is necessary to set a course of action based on decisions that are important to you. No one knows this but you and possibly a few, close writing friends or family. Support is necessary in order for your decisions about writing to see fruition. You must make them and you must promise to yourself to keep them. Again, only you can do this and this declaration will only be important when you take this step seriously.   

Adjust your “Write” Resolution: 

As with fine tuning any vision, you have to adjust your outlook and fit it to you. It must take into consideration the time you have to commit and the direction your journey is taking. Perhaps, it is just important to put words to page even though you never plan to let anyone else read them. Perhaps, thoughts of making your words public have never even come to mind. Perhaps, you are ready to let your words go out into the big world. You have to take these feelings into consideration before you even determine your goals for the year. They are entrenched within your journey as a writer. To continue to be filled with disillusionment because you have not yet published your book by continually saying “this will be the year” sets you up for disappointment. Have you written your book yet? Have you realized the process of rewriting and editing? Have you done your fact checking and research? Have you shared your story? Determined your market? Envisioned the actual process and all its nuances of becoming a published author? If you answered no to any of these questions, don’t put “publishing my book” on your list – at least for this year. It is a dream. It is a goal. It is not a resolution.

Accept your Limitations:

Remain steadfast to the goals you set for yourself and remember that everyone is at a different point along their journey. Your writing life revolves around and through your regular life and you cannot separate them although you can contain them each unto themselves. Find a space. Find time. Find solace to connect with your passion. Stay positive and do not despair over what you’ve missed. Do not compare your writing life. Do not compare your writing. Instead – learn, share and create. Read others’ work – you will never be them, nor will they be you. Share what you know – you will learn twice fold in return.  And create – always.

Revel in your Accomplishments:

Wrote a book, a story, a prompt, a poem? Great works begin the same – with an idea and a line. It does not matter what you write as long as you write something. If you are destined for more, it will happen when it is supposed to.    

Blog every day? Blog once a week? Journal every morning? Write a prompt every Saturday? Continuity in any fashion is what’s required to provide practice, become attached, and improve. By working with words, your craft become built-in solid technique; you develop your style and voice.  

Shared discussion with a writing friend? Attended a Writer’s Circle? Signed up for a workshop or conference? Connection with others who have a passion for words not only shares that passion but it allows opportunity to share ideas, create inspiration, and promote creativity.

Tried something new or remained rooted in your genre and your tried and true interests? Exploration is great but so is delving into that which you know well. There are many possible diversions along your writing journey yet it is not necessary to go off in every direction to prove your commitment.

Simply put, a writer’s declaration states:

In identifying my writing journey and planning my goals for this year, I accept that there are different pathways guided by this passion and there is no wrong way to write. This year, I resolve to connect with words because I am a writer and it is a part of me and the very essence of my soul.

Happy New Year to all my writing friends!

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Never Ending Stories

As it drags into the final hours of the day, the final day of my holiday time off, I can’t help but reflect on last year and all that was “write” even though thoughts of “all that is still left unwritten” ring in my head like the bells of Auld Lang Syne. With the wine drained and the mistletoe packed away, one can now focus on the writing journey ahead (or the next bottle of wine…)

For this writer, 2010 was a year that produced some very high highs and some very low lows. Not everything pertained to writing and it is sometimes very difficult to separate the writing life from life in general – they both have such an effect on one another. Despite all, I would have to say for things “write” it turned out as best it could in some areas and most wonderfully in others.

Committed to Blogs: January 2010 propelled me out of the blogging gate with a promise to post as many as I could during that first month to my word press blog – I posted 24 and it proved to be my best month with a total of 137 blogs posted by the end of the year (an average of 11/month). This number only considers those posted here but I also blog many stories and writing prompts on the internal section of our writer’s group member blog. It also does not include original material that I might have posted to my own web site http://wildhorsecreativearts.ca or that I posted on a new blog I started on March 30 at Blogspot called Diet: Just Do It. I changed the title midpoint through the year from Diet: Just Do It or Die because of the negativity the title expressed. I was trying really hard to be positive in using my words to relate the progress of my “challenge” and therefore I was also trying to produce encouragement – to myself. I managed an additional 49 posts to this blog, including a review on a health guide published by Vibrant Nation. During 2010, I was also asked to be a guest blogger on Vibrant Nation, a 50+ international site for women – there I can re-post any work I publish here and also post original work, if I so choose.The re-posting is a wonderful way to spread my words and create an awareness or connection. During the summer I incorporated a publishing company and that meant another blog to post to – this time on the business of taking others words and dreams to a published end.

Included in Books: The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County (WFSC) compiled a book of writing prompts and challenges intermingled with original artwork and writing samples         submitted by 17 members of the WFSC. As one of these members, I had several pieces of writing published as well as several illustrations including the cover art. Writing Prompt Journey – The Road to Your Creativity expresses what any writer wants to portray – passion, imagination, creativity, and a love for the written word. In the book Christmas Chaos, released in the fall, one of my short stories was accepted as a submission to be published as one of twenty-five original short stories to do with “Christmas gone awry.”

Expressed on the Web: I was asked to write three stories (two published on line in 2010) for an artist’s web site – the pieces were posted on the summer solstice and the autumn equinox. I contributed content for approximately 10 web sites in this past year and ‘keeping up with the Jones’ on the social media sites, faces, pages and tweet decks made for a huge on-line presence, whether or not they know it’s all me – I’ll never know. I read a funny tweet tonight that made me stop and think “writing is 3% talent and 97% avoiding the temptations of the Internet…” Sometimes you just can’t get around it, though 🙂

Prompted on Saturdays: Creativity is abound on our writer’s web site – just read the blog posts in response to the prompts posted every Saturday. The book mentioned above used posts from the web site to establish the content and submissions for the current book. I find that prompts do everything from creating panic to creating potential. I have used prompts to create a continuing story, as have others, and it is even more challenging to ensure you don’t just use anything and everything – forcing it to fit does not always produce a desired effect, even if it “completes” the task. It is amazing to see the differences in each post even though they are inspired by the same words, phrase or idea.

Living the Writing Life: As I said before, all else in life goes on around you, and you can be propelled by it, controlled by it, or driven by it – it is all inspiration, if you allow it to be. Stay focused on your goals. If you make writing an important part of your life it will propel, control and drive you because passion does that. The time ahead comes to us as we move forward and what we do to get there is our choice – we can do lots or we can do nothing – it does not matter for it waits for no one. It is the writer who puts down pen instead of words who falters.

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Ushering in the New Year

Timing is everything – as I write this post it just slips past the midnight hour into the last day of 2010. Nostalgia creeping in? I think not, as I do not dwell upon the past nor let things distress me or contain me. There is a whole new world ahead of us and with the ringing of the bells in 24 hours time, we have a whole new year ahead of us, too. It is with energy and assumption that most of us approach the passing of that marker for in the thought that newness brings is the feeling of spirit and rejuvenation, of chance and choice, of hope and happenstance.

For many, the leap into the New Year takes with it promises to do better and to make change, for with this leap comes resolve with intent to make the next 12 months, better than the last. Most will not make it past the first month with their tattered promises in tow, but that does not make the contract struck upon the midnight hour any less important. There is valor in the attempts. I will not make my resolutions here, for I still have 24 hours of 2010 to achieve, to complete, to do, to see, to be, to have, or to discard, as I see fit. Many things can happen within the last hours, so as I spend my time down to the last-minute, I resolve to enjoy what is left in a “write” way and will not usher in a rushed New Year.

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The New Year and Love

It is said that the backbone of all wealth and success is in essence a belief in oneself and a love for others, for where love lives wealth and success follow. This is not to say that you need to be a millionaire to be wealthy or the CEO of a fortune 500 company to be successful. It simply means that if you have love you already have success and if you have love you are wealthy beyond measure. No award or amount of cash can replace the value that love has. If you love something everything about it is worth it.

As writers we have a passion for the written word and that passion is love – as someone recently commented to me – there are many forms of love and each has its value in our lives, making it whole and playing a part in making contentment and happiness. This intangible asset cannot be traded for all the gold in the world – it is in us to give and it is not love until we do so. Love is like the radiating refractions off of the color prism as light hits it – it reflects and glows and rebounds in all the colors of the rainbow spreading joy and warmth and truth in its wake. When it is shared with others it is an investment for it grows and becomes a foundation that is deep rooted in our hearts, in our minds and in our soul.

A beautiful forwarded email came to me last week that spoke of love, wealth and success. The pictures put to some of these presentations are remarkable and awe inspiring. The idea behind the email was: three bearded men came to the door and if you could only invite one in who would it be. The subjects in the email discussed the reasons for each and there were good arguments for why it should be wealth or success but it was decided that love would be invited in. Upon the invitation, all three entered the home with the explanation that – to invite love means that all else follows.

I receive poems everyday from “Poem Hunter” and have on occasion printed them, shared them and at the very least, have read them most days. Many poets are favorites including Robert Frost, Sara Teasdale, Robert Service and of course, William Shakespeare but once in awhile something will cross my email path that is either rare or unknown. I thought it very beautiful and on this very topic and since I intended to watch “Troy” over the holidays it is most fitting.

“Is this the face that launched a thousand ships?”

On what is best

Some celebrate the beauty
of knights, or infantry,
or billowing flotillas
at battle on the sea.
Warfare has its glory,
but I place far above
these military splendors
the one thing that you love.

For proof of this contention
examine history:
we all remember Helen,
who left her family,
her child, and royal husband,
to take a stranger’s hand:
her beauty had no equal,
but bowed to love’s command.

As love then is the power
that none can disobey,
so too my thoughts must follow
my darling far away:
the sparkle of her laughter
would give me greater joy
than all the bronze-clad heroes

– translated from the Greek by Jon Corelis

Sappho

I think that even though this is most beautiful it proclaims that  love conquers despite fears, woes and worries. It is often used as the reason for leaving behind those who no longer fit your life plan as is evident in the numerous breakups, divorces and affairs. It does not eliminate grief and as we see in this world today, it will not even stop wars for as many as there are that proclaim a love in a higher form, they too use that form to validate their reasons for it.

I love to watch the movies – it is one of my passions – and I use this media for examples, often posting pictures from favorite films and of favorite celebrities. I realize their wealth and success does not mean they have love for there are many relationships lost within that artificial pedestal world. There are many, though, who have love as well and it is not just in the movies they make or in the company they keep. Many have causes and passions that make them real just as we are.

For my part, I will revel in the love of family, friends and in my creative passions. Love takes many forms and I will not lose another year to grieving over being alone for I already have wealth and success in the loves I keep.

So I leave you with these words as I intend to write on love for the month of January and on to my other passion, movies – off to partake in the great love affair of Helen and Paris… there I can dream of battles fought for love of woman, country and the gods… and … besides, we all know no one can take your dreams from you…

No one can take our dreams from us...

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