Berlin Festival of Lights: Craig Robinson, Berlin Photographer

Here we are nearing the end of January, and my NaNoBloMo challenge will be at an end.  Unless I sign up for next month, too.

Hmm…maybe not.  I do this kind of thing only occasionally, partly because I have so many blogs.

Today I am thinking of family. Not unusual for me, especially when some of my family members are SO FAR AWAY!  I’m especially thinking of my eldest son, who lives in Berlin.  His web moniker:  Berlin Photographer. One of the ways I feel closer to him (other than Facebook, Skype, e-mails) is to post some of his photos.

I love the one in my header today…and at the top of this post.  The Berlin Festival of Lights is an awesome visual treat, don’t you think?

Recently, I read a book that was set in Germany, albeit Munich.  1920s Munich, with the malevolent presence of Hitler on the rise shadowing everything for the characters in this story.

Straight Into Darkness, by Faye Kellerman, is an awesome read.  (Click the title for my review).

Currently, I’m reading some more books from my TBR stacks: one of them is featured today in my Teaser Tuesdays post.

Okay, now that I’m winding down on this topic, I know that a part of me is procrastinating…avoiding working on my WIP for the ROW 80 Challenge.  Tomorrow will be another check-in, and I’ll have to report that, in the past few days, I’ve missed writing on 1/19 and 1/24!  Not good!

So why is this happening?  I know that I need to tie up loose ends and bring this story to a conclusion.  Even though the characters seem to be leading me, they aren’t heading toward a conclusion.  Maybe they want to hang around for awhile!  LOL

I need to get them under control!  What do you do when you want to end a story and your characters are fighting it?


Today I’ve been clicking around the blogosphere, which is where I discovered another challenge for 2011.  It will totally mesh with some of the books already on my stacks.  I love being able to “kill two birds with one stone.”  Satisfying my personal TBR challenge while participating in another.

The Ireland Reading Challenge is hosted over at Books and Movies.

This year, I’m collecting all of these challenges under one “umbrella” at my CURL UP AND READ BLOG. This is also where I document my journey through my TBR stacks, with pages of Books Read and Books Purchased, since I’m trying to exert some kind of control…LOL.

Today I’ve also changed up my blog header here, as well as my background.

Background by Mary Engelbreit’s art work, and header from my own photo collection that spotlights my holiday decorations.

Yesterday I finished reading Mary Ann in Autumn, by Armistead Maupin, and you can click on the title for my review.

Teaser Tuesdays is also an event for today, so check it out.

Hope you’ll pop on over here and see what’s happening.  What inspires you during the holidays?



What do you think about Tuesdays? Well, they’re not Monday, so those of you still engaged in the rat race can take heart that you’ve got one day under your belt, and Hump Day is just around the corner.

For those of us (lucky) souls who enjoy a freelance lifestyle (okay, before you get angry, realize that I put in my time in that rat race!), we get to meditate, reflect, and blog a lot.  Plus, thanks to NaNoWriMo, I’m writing a novel in a month.

Granted, it may not be a polished manuscript, or even a complete novel; with 50,000 words, which is the goal, we’re talking maybe 150 pages (manuscript), which does translate into a few more when it’s made into an actual book.

But it’s exciting to start a new project and follow my mojo all the way through to the 50,000 word total.  Today I entered my word count at 19,733, and we’re only on Day Nine.

I’m allowing for the possibility of a slump later; stockpiling those words for that eventuality.  If it doesn’t happen, I’ll finish early.  Before Thanksgiving, maybe.

Anyone else out there joining in the fun? I’m loving the whole pep talk thing the hosts are giving us, along with the cheering from the writing buddies.

Here’s my own logo, which I really only share in my blogs and on Facebook; I have another image on my NaNoWriMo site.  Something that is more fitting for a novel entitled  Interior Designs.

If you are a participant, I wish for you at least a month’s worth of creative mojo…and may all of your energy flow into a great little novel (or novella).


A Special Phone Call....


Yesterday was my birthday.  Usually those days are nice, but not all that remarkable.  But yesterday was definitely the exception.

It started Monday night with a phone call. A get-together of old friends with far too many months and years since the last time.

The history between us is unique; we had become a kind of family created from circumstances.

So we had lunch, lots of talk, and then more talk.  Here are some of the photos….

Raenna and Velma

Michelle and Family


It was a wonderful time for catching up and sharing bits and pieces of our lives since we saw each other last.

It’s like finding a gift-wrapped treasure when unexpected moments like this come along.

What moments have you enjoyed recently?  How special did you feel afterwards?


A New Look

In the spirit of the now defunct Snow Impressions (which has merged with this Connections site), I am here to share some “creative impressions.”

Yesterday I posted over on my Creations by Laurel-Rain site, about that restless energy I get sometimes.  Over there, I characterized that feeling as “boredom,” but after some thought, I’m thinking…restless energy.

After rearranging some of my “stuff,” and even going out to buy something to create a vignette that was more to my liking, I snapped some more photos.

New Arrangement

Another View

Now when I put my feet up on the coffee table and stare at the fireplace—which I never use, so it’s more decorative than anything else—my restless spirit is calm.

For now.

What do you do when you’re restless/bored/antsy/or whatever?  Hope you’ll stop by and share.