2012: The Year of Firsts

It’s been an eventful year. High and low points abound but this time around, I’m thinking firsts. Several of my firsts happened while in New York City this spring including:

  • Taxi ride (No, I’d never been in a taxi cab!)
  • Train trip (Full size, not a Thomas the Tank Engine ride along.) 100_1034
  • Subway experience
  • Broadway show
  • Eating sashimi
  • Times Square and all other things New York City

My literary related experiences were memorable as well. Several of the events were the cumulative efforts of the previous year(s), but here they are:

  • Acting as a World Book Night giver (I handed out twenty copies of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson to the Baker High School softball team on senior night.)100_0927
  • Being acknowledged in a novel as having helped with the writing process by the author (Want by Stephanie Lawton, my friend and Write Club confidant.)
  • Submitting a novel, CORRODED, to publishing companies (No news from any of the four, yet.)
  • Writing conference (Multi-day, not just a single workshop.)
  • Guest blog post on another website (Nerdy Book Club, for the win!)
  • Purchasing e-books (My first was Shayla Witherwood: A Half-Faerie Tale by Tamra Torero.)

Then there’s the most recent happening—the big finale happened this morning. Drum roll, please.

  • I joined a choir.

I can hear the snickering from here, folks! I come from a musical family but have always sung off key, or so I thought. Turns out I just couldn’t hit the normal notes. Tenor (back row, with the men—and two other ladies) is what I sang for the Christmas Cantanta during our chapel service. I wasn’t perfect, but I got most of the notes, but maybe not in the right spots… Well, I tried.

Vacation Reflections

Back in May, I posted about a trip I took the month before. I had every intention of writing more posts about the events and experiences but got caught up in other things. So, a few months later, here’s one of the highlights.

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in the upper west side of Manhattan and is the largest cathedral in the world. It was amazing, inside and out. My sister, who’s been in Notre Dame, was thoroughly impressed with the brightness and beauty. I loved the Poet’s Corner (hello, Hawthorne!) and the way so many religious and historic icons were worked in to the décor.

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Adding to the experience was the youth choirs singing in the main area. The side chapels were just as awe inspiring as the central one. I was disappointed that the chapel housing the memorial for Madeleine L’Engle (one of my favorite authors) was closed for repairs and the library in which she was the writer in residence for many years was closed for a meeting as well, but we had one of her fabulous granddaughters as our personal tour guide. Thank, again, Léna Roy!

 

Five Second Rule

I’ve been in the midst of a transitional period for the past few weeks. Once again, it’s necessary to play the part of a juggler as my responsibilities shift, the weight of new expectations ruining the balance of my old schedule.

I tossed the objects into the air one at a time. Family first, of course. I wouldn’t feel the need to find the harmony of a well balanced life if it wasn’t for my family. I like to think I’d be a happy hermit among bookshelves, somewhere that the air is crisp and the scenery predominately green. Alas, family demands me to live in a hectic here and now.
Then came homeschooling, which is a different aspect of family—or rather the core of having children in the home. The more I teach, and the more I learn, the more I love it. The added bonus: it’s a good excuse to acquire even more books.
Of course, there was also Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations that needed attention. I even managed to finish a scarf for myself, so I can move on to the next project to be gifted. And I didn’t give up reading. Here’s a sampling of the past month:

(I was lucky enough to meet Laurie on November 18th—for the second time—while she was on tour to support this new release. She’s wonderful!)
Next came the earth ball of the juggling world: serving as Primary President (Jr. Sunday School) for my church’s local congregation. This is something I’ve done for many years, but have enjoyed a lovely 23 months hiatus while serving as the building’s librarian. In the library there isn’t much take home work to do—the bulk of my calling was fulfilled during church hours on the Sabbath. But now I’m working more than twelve hours a week, both the time at church—caring for the needs of over fifty children and a dozen fellow workers—plus the planning, pondering, and praying that goes along with it. The benefits are wonderful, though. Volunteer work is fulfilling on many levels and church duties are no exception, especially when children are involved! Once the new leadership (that’s counting myself) settles into a routine, and the plans for switching classes in 2011 are arranged, the time involved will reduce by about half.
But for over a week I’ve neglected to pick-up an important ball.
It’s down and rolling away.
But I just stopped it with my foot and am ready to pop it back into the air like a hacky sack. The ball is writing and my WIP, Corroded, is smudged from neglect. Time to stretch the five second rule to a ten day rule and juggle for my own sanity.