Thursday, March 13, 2014

Making the World a Better Place

What can I do today to make my world a better place?

I can begin to declutter my mind, my environment, my life.
I often just want God to bless my mess, and I don't think that's going to happen.  Spring is the perfect time
to start to rid myself of the things that are just taking up space with no purpose.  I'm sure you have those piles in corners of your mind and guest bedrooms, too.   I want to begin giving away things that are no longer useful.  I began this process a couple of years ago by cleaning out my attic of old games and books that I really wasn't saving for future grandchildren.  (That was just my excuse for not taking to them to the local shelter.)  There's a sort of relief that comes from parting with things that don't have purpose in your space.  If it's taking up space, then it should be of some importance, otherwise, what's the point.

I think this spring I'll make a point of making my mind less cluttered, too.  I'm going to be more introspective about what I spend my energies and thought on and see if I can become more productive in my thoughts and actions.  Clutter can cause you to feel uncomfortable in your own space.  I think it's time for a good spring cleaning.

Care to join me?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

SCBWI MD/DE/WV Spring Conference March 29, 2014

It has been way too long since I last made effort to write on this blog. What's my excuse?  None that is valid.   I made an attempt to start writing this blog when I was still working full-time as a teacher.  Since retiring in May of last year, I traveled to Denmark and Sweden to visit my daughter, and I  recently returned from a wonderful week-long Western Caribbean cruise. 
What keeping me from continuing the pursuit of writing?  I think about writing, but I just don’t DO IT!  I keep my thoughts tucked inside the closet of my mind where others can’t critique them. 
Yet, there’s no joy in that. We are placed here to have interaction and relationship with people, no matter how difficult and complicated those interactions can be.  I am here to be salt and light, or I lose my savor (Matthew 5:13 & 14 KJV).
Honestly, I  think it’s fear that silenced my voice.  I’m quick to encourage others by saying,
          “Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from success.”
However, I'm guilty of that myself. 

So why  the SCBWI MD/DE/WV title for this post?
I decided to attend a conference on writing, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Conference for Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia at the end of this month!
During my career as a teacher, I researched the importance of children’s literature and early literacy.  I love to read children’s stories to young children.  But do I really have what it takes to write for children?
I’m not sure I even know what that requires.  I have read books on writing children’s lit (for dummies) and have joined a group for authors and aspiring “wanna-be’s” to investigate the process.  I don’t want to let fear hinder me from taking on a new challenge. I have even started a draft of a manuscript for a children's picture book.  This conference may just give clarity to the next steps in the process of writing for children.

There, it's out in the open.  It feels good just to put it out there.  I’m going to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

What’s holding you back from your desires?  Why not give it a try? Let your talent out of the closet.  I challenge you to press on.