Monday, December 31, 2012

Writing Goals

2012 was a tough writing year. After being advised to scramble my work-in-progress, I ended up with such a mess that I stopped writing for several months. This was, admittedly, a cowardly approach, and since then, I’ve pulled up my socks.

Looking ahead to 2013, I could set several minor goals, like polishing the first 20 pages of my work-in-progress and writing a synopsis for a January 27 conference deadline, or bringing submissions to critique group more often, but I’m going to stick to the big ticket items.

Ann’s Writing Goals for 2013
  1. Finish the first draft of the fantasy novel.
  2. Continue to seek gainful employment.
  3. Get back on the horse.
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012


ice and water patterns along the Red Cedar River

Friday, December 28, 2012

Overheard #234

"Santa has a fuel-efficient ride."

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Santa's Helper

My mother spent many years confined to a wheelchair, living alone in a house that 17 stairs leading to the front door. For most of this time, she was helped by a wonderful woman named Maud. One Christmas, Maud was concerned that her granddaughters who lived with her would find their presents before Christmas morning, so Maud asked my mom if she could hide the presents at her house. What a gift that was! My mom got to see the toys, witness the wrapping, be a co-conspirator in the Santa scheming and imagine two little girls’ joy at opening their presents on Christmas morning.

What are your favorite Christmas memories?

Sunday, December 23, 2012


These were taken by the Red Cedar River.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Overheard #223

"I don't really test them on whether they're clever. I test them on whether they've studied."

Saturday, December 15, 2012


"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world." -- Mister Rogers 

Whether the need is enormous or tiny, the majority of us want to help. 

Decades ago, shortly after my mother had a stroke, my family traveled to California to visit her. Mom was confined to a wheelchair and lived in a house with many stairs, so as an antidote to cabin fever, she asked me to take her to the grocery store. I remember crossing the parking lot while holding Jeremy in his infant car seat under one arm and pushing the wheelchair with my other hand.  Sam (age 3) helped steer the wheelchair. People actually ran across the parking lot to offer assistance. 

In times like these of horror and sadness, I have to believe that most people want to be a positive force. 

Here is a link to Kris Remenar's post about When the Moon Came Down on Milk Street by Jean Gralley. This book was inspired by Fred Rogers' quote.