Monthly Archives: December 2013

This challenge comes to a close

Start-finish-linePhoto from Google Image search, credit goes to ????

I made it. December 31 is here. The challenge I set for myself on January 1 was to blog every day in 2013. I will call the challenge successful, but not perfect, as I did not post on four days (two in September and two in October). However, I’m ending the year with a total of 380 posts (15 more than required), 150 followers (145 more than expected), and nearly 7700 views. So even though the perfectionist in me isn’t quite convinced that the goal was met, I am still proud of my accomplishment.

I’ve learned a lot during this year:

  • I do have the discipline to sit down and write (nearly) every day, so if and when I get around to writing a book, I won’t be wondering if I have the tenacity to complete it.
  • Once I found out friends and family members were following my blog, I became even more neglectful than normal about writing and responding to emails. The blog became my correspondence, which was not fair.
  • I find writing fiction difficult if I am not “feeling” the prompt. I know for certain now that there is no point in sitting down to write a novel until I am connected to a storyline, a setting, and/or some characters. Without a connection, my story will be crap, and the process will be painful.
  • A supportive community is key to this blogger’s motivation, and I found several this year, both in writing and photography circles.
  • If I am going to pursue photography with any degree of seriousness, I need a refresher course on the manual settings on my camera.
  • The iPhone camera is convenient, and takes remarkable pictures for its size, but it is not a replacement for a “real” camera.
  • I love looking at people photos, both portraits and candids, but I am very uncomfortable taking them. Even with permission, I feel I am invading the subject’s privacy.
  • Looking through my photo archives, my favorite subjects are architecture, landscapes, and animals–I assume because there are no privacy issues. 🙂

It seems in life that every finish line crossed is actually the starting point of something else. That holds true for this blog. While I won’t be holding myself to the post-every-day regimen of the past year, I will stick to a regular routine (schedule to be determined) that will include photography challenges, responses to flash fiction prompts, and occasional commentaries on life in general. I’m also developing an idea for a personal challenge in 2014, and trying to decide on the best way to use my blog in the fulfillment of that goal. I’ll keep you posted as the plan comes together.

So, I’m taking a couple days off, but want to thank all of you who have come along for this ride in 2013. Your support, encouragement, and feedback have been invaluable in helping me make my blogging challenge a success. I look forward to continuing the journey with you in 2014!


Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Challenges, Observations, True Life


Best of the best 2013

As 2013 winds down, I’ve found myself reflecting on the past year. All in all, it was a great year, full of memories to treasure. It was a year of new adventures, big trips, challenging goals, and coming home. Not counting the long-awaited reunions with friends and family, which have been priceless, here are the top three reasons I will remember 2013:

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Posted by on December 30, 2013 in Monday Mix, True Life


Travel theme: Birds

100_5359When Ailsa revealed that this week’s photography theme was birds, I quickly got my ducks in a row and put together the following gallery.

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Posted by on December 29, 2013 in Challenges, Photography


Time to play

Done crocheting the blanket for my cousin’s new baby…photo 1

…now I can play with my Christmas present! 🙂loom-001

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Posted by on December 28, 2013 in Saturday snippets, True Life


Just a dream?

eiffel-tower-dmmPhoto copyright Douglas M. MacIlroy

Mama? MAMA!!!!!!!!

Jolted awake, Linda stumbled down the darkened hallway, miraculously reaching Benji’s bedside without breaking an ankle on the toys littering his floor.

What is it, baby? What’s wrong?

The robot. It’s watching me!

The Lego robot you built this afternoon? It’s just a toy, sweetie. It can’t watch you.

But its eyes…they lit up!

It was just a dream, love. Lay back down and I’ll tuck you in.

I’m scared, Mama.

Benji, you’re a big boy. Big boys aren’t scared of Legos. Go to sleep.

Linda didn’t notice the glowing orbs that tracked her exit from Benji’s room.


I know, I know. It’s a picture of the Eiffel Tower. You were probably expecting a tale of love and romance. But all I saw when Rochelle first posted this week’s photo was a creepy robot (sorry, Doug). So that’s the direction I took for my 100-word submission for Friday Fictioneers


Posted by on December 27, 2013 in Fiction



Shake-a shake-a boom boom


After the chaos I experienced among the pre-holiday shoppers in the big city Christmas Eve, I had absolutely no desire to repeat the experience with the post-holiday bargain hunters today. I opted to stay close to home and just do some run-of-the-mill errands. Exciting stuff like the post office, the dump, the gas station, and the Family Dollar (I couldn’t totally resist the post-Christmas sales…I restocked our supply of wrapping paper and bows at 50% off). It was an easy, low-key day.

Only trouble was, I still had a milkshake on my mind, the one I didn’t get on Tuesday. Unfortunately, out here in the sticks, we don’t have a Chick-fil-A. And, no offense to the Golden Arches Supper Club, a McDonald’s shake just wasn’t going to suffice.

Lucky for me, I have an amazing, kind, generous hubby, who after getting up at 3:15 a.m. for his daily commute, working all day, then sitting in all kinds of traffic on the ride home, still braved the Chick-fil-A drive-thru that had defeated me Christmas Eve. He walked in the door this evening with my chocolate milkshake.

I think he’s a keeper.


Posted by on December 26, 2013 in True Life


Merry Christmas to all!

Our favorite gargoyle!I hope Santa picked out something good for you! 😉

In all seriousness, I wish all the blessings of the season for you and your family. May you be surrounded by peace and love this Christmas.

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Posted by on December 25, 2013 in True Life