New Year, New Start

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I had a few struggles in my writing life during the last part of 2018. One of those struggles was this blog, so this is my first blog post in a quite a while. But I love the new year because the slate is wiped clean and you get a fresh start!

I spent some time today, the first day of the new year, decluttering and tidying my writing space. I made some changes by getting rid of some things and adding new things.  I adore pretty things and love this set of trays that I found a couple of months ago at HomeGoods. I’m really glad I didn’t pass them up when I saw them! Now I have cute, colorful pens, rubber bands, and binder clips nearby. I find that I need these things often and before I’d have to get up from my desk to fetch them. No more! Now they are handy thanks to my new trays.

I also relocated my stash of notebooks and journals but kept ones that I’m actively using on my desk. Those took up a lot of space and made my work area feel more cluttered than was necessary. I put out a new scented candle, which I love to burn while I’m writing.

The biggest problem area was the desk drawer. That’s my go-to place to dump random crap, and I have to be better about that. Today, I cleaned out the drawer by first throwing away a bunch of unneeded stuff. Then I put in some plastic organizational trays, the kind that is meant for kitchen flatware drawers. It really helps keep the smaller items from getting strewn about and makes it much easier to find what I’m looking for. I didn’t take a photo of the inside of my desk drawer, as I thought that might be taking it a bit far! But please believe me when I say that the drawer is no longer an eyesore.

Now that my space is clean and organized, I feel ready to tackle my writing and editing tasks. Having my writing space neat and tidy makes it much easier for me to concentrate on my writing and editing tasks.

Now all I have to do is keep it this way…

Never Stop Learning

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Another writerly bucket list item is being crossed off! Right now, I’m taking an online writing course with Gotham Writer’s Workshop. They have many courses to choose from, and I chose Character Development. I think that characters are the most important part of a story. Yes, plot is also essential, but if readers don’t care about your characters, they won’t care about the plot, no matter how great it is.

I’m in the second week of the three-week course, and I have learned some great tips. I look forward to using them in future works! I’m also enjoying the homework assignments, though they are challenging.

This month I’ve been trying to get back my writing mojo, and this course is a part of that effort. I figured that learning something new would excite me and get the creative juices flowing! So far, so good!

The Box

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My mother’s house was completely empty, ready for another family to move in and start a new life.

As the only child, I had to make sure nothing was left behind. Opening every door and cabinet was tedious, and my thoughts were elsewhere. 

My mother had just died after all.

I saved her bedroom for last. It still seemed like I was invading her personal space and I did enough of that as a kid. I flipped on the closet light, peeked in, and started to leave when something on the top shelf caught my eye. I wondered why I hadn’t noticed it before.

I stood on my tiptoes, reached, and pulled back a nondescript box. Whatever was inside rattled. I sat down and lifted the lid without hesitation. Inside were a bunch of old photographs of my mother and a newborn baby. 

The baby in the photos wasn’t me.