Book in a Week

Reading about the RWA Kiss of Death Chapter‘s online Book in a Week (BIAW) gave me a tingle.   The timing looked perfect. It would start on Post-Thanksgiving Monday, a work holiday for me.  I haven’t written much this year.  Could be a much needed jump start.

Registering was easy enough.  So was reading the KOD online article archive.  Patricia Rosemoor graciously hosted Sunday’s pre-workshop.  Motivating!

On Monday morning, I rose early.  Of course, before I could start writing I had some chores to finish from the weekend but they wouldn’t take long.

When I finally sat down at my computer, I stared at a blank screen.  No surprise.  Despite Sunday’s strongly worded advice, I still had no inkling what storyline I wanted to pursue.  As a historical writer, I wasn’t even sure about the time period.  I took a deep breath, grabbed my coat, and flew out to visit some thrift stores.

Sometime around 1:30 pm, hunger called.  I pulled into a diner parking lot then picked up my purse and one of the books I’d just bought as an aid to motivation.  Inside, as I waited for my salad, November’s sun poured through the window. I flipped open the pages of the suspense and started reading.  Along with my delicious salad, I was soon wolfing down the story.  It had been ages since words tasted so good!

A long time later, I walked back out to my car.  An idea began to emerge. (Cue Alleluia music!)

Yesterday I wrote just over 2,300 words.  I’m posting this in my blog because I need to share, to shout it aloud.  I’m writing the post on my lunch hour so I’ll have tonight free to devote to my story.  Feels good to say that again.

Wish me well. 

Giving Thanks

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

A few days ago I left my office and found the sky awash in glorious shades of pinks, oranges, blues and purples — an unusually spectacular November sunset.  Desperate to capture the vision before it faded, I raced home.  Only a five minute drive yet endless.  In the house, I grabbed my Canon and rushed onto our deck.  In the short time since I’d walked out from work, the sky had already changed.  Still, I was able to snatch an image or two.

I love the sky, especially during the changing minutes of sunrise and sunset.  The  particularly beautiful images are a gift of nature.  I’m grateful that such brilliance still graces our world.

When I see such sights I think of early Impressionists — Manet, Renoir, Monet and others.  These brilliant men worked with their passion.  They brought nature’s light onto the painted canvas and created a whole new style of painting.

 

I believe that we’ve all been given a gift in life, some natural talent that carries with it a strong passion.  Some find that passion in art or in the written word.  Others find it in music or the study of science, in medicine or cooking, in animals, children, technology…the list is endless.

Pursuing our own passion lets us more fully develop our inborn talent, however humble or grand.  In that way we give back that which we have been given.

It is the ultimate gesture of gratitude. 

Paris Day 6 – Last Day

If I don’t write about our last day, perhaps a part of us will remain forever in Paris, and so I’ve delayed this entry.  But time travels on, doesn’t it?

On Monday morning, October 18th, we rode the metro from Les Halles station to St. Michel-Notre Dame.  From there we walked the short distance to the Palace of Justice where Sainte-Chappelle is located.  Because of its location within the walled yard of a government building, security seemed extra tight.   The scanning was akin to airport security with belts, all metal, and cell phones needing to be removed before walking through the scanner.   Day bags were also scanned, just as at the airport.  Once through security, we walked back outside and toward the exquisite chapel.

Sainte-Chappelle (or “Holy Chapel”) was started by King Louis IX in the early part of the 13th century to house holy relics of Christ.  It was completed in 1248.  It served as both a royal chapel, and a place where the holy relics were kept and exhibited once a year.  Though it has been damaged by fire and flood, by the French Revolution and the ravages of modern pollution, it is a wondrous monument to faith and to the beauty mankind can create.   In the upper chapel especially, the mood was hushed with awe and reverence as we all gazed at the glorious windows.

From Sainte Chappelle, we strolled outside, through the courtyard, and toward the Seine.  We walked across the bridge to the Left Bank, then down the steps.  We’d decided to take a cruise.

After our cruise, we parted for a few hours.   My husband strolled over to the Musée de l’Armee and a visit to Napoleon’s tomb, while I roamed through the narrow streets and small shops of the city’s Left Bank.

In the late afternoon, we met back in our comfortable apartment on Rue St. Honoré, and dined at home on quiche and ham.  A quiet evening, our last night in Paris.