A Long-short Week

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What a week it has been… though Monday was a holiday leaving only Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning as work days, it has felt like a very long week.

My bug, whatever it was, went away.  My fevers finally broke then stopped altogether.  My swollen gland finally stopped putting pressure on my throat and ears.  Unfortunately I ended up with migraines every day but Wednesday, my day off.  Until bedtime!

And my last guest blog post was posted yesterday!  This one is near and dear to my heart as most of you know so I hope you find it informative.  I hope everyone found the entire series informative and if you haven’t reached the age for screening yet, I hope you share it with your parents, aunts, uncles and anyone else who has reached the age.  The last post can be found here http://hashtagged.com.pk/2018/05/24/cervical-cancer-pap-papanicolou-test/

I also managed to get my short story contest entry dropped into the mailbox so it should be well on its way by now.  My to-do list is currently shrinking so I might be able to get back to my non-fiction book!  I’d love to get it done because I need to know how long it is before I can start pitching it anywhere!

The weather here has taken a turn for the better and despite the threat of thunderstorms (hence all the migraines) I’m grateful that the temperature is going up, especially after how cold the winter was and how cold it was for me because I was stuck indoors for so long after my surgery.  It has also brought the lilacs into full bloom and, though they don’t last long, I went and cut some.  My entire house is filled with the wonderful smell!

I am also debating on whether I want to take on the challenge, my challenge to myself, of writing a blog post a day for a month.  I’m not sure I could do it in June because of work and the new software migration but maybe for July…

Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted!  My next challenge is to try to finish the piece I have been working on for the Guideposts contest.  I just don’t know if I’m up to that right now!  I have a story written but I’m not sure about it.  I’m not sure about it being the right story for this.  Maybe I’m looking at it too critically but I’m just not sure.

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Weddings, Beaches, Recovery & Contests

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I am halfway through the last day of a long weekend.  Today is Victoria Day and it has been quite the weekend!

As most of you know, I was sick the majority of last week with a bug that I have no diagnosis for.  It showed up as a fever and swollen glands so large they made my throat hurt.  Over the course of time I’ve had some sinus stuffiness but nothing more has appeared.  For that I’m somewhat grateful but I assume it will always be a mystery!

I wish I could say I was fully recovered but I’m still taking cold medication a few times a day.

It woke me at 6:30 on Saturday morning and I got up to find and take more pills.  After that I tossed and turned for 20 minutes before I decided to turn on the wedding!  I was glad I did.  Despite setting it to record it was something else to watch it live!  I remembered back to 1981 when Charles and Diana got married and all I remember is her dress.  Of course I’ve seen footage since then.  My grandmother made a point of buying me lots of wedding memorabilia from their wedding.  My other grandparents, several years later, actually brought their colour TV to the cottage because they wanted to see Andrew and Sarah on a larger screen and in colour vs the tiny 13″ black and white TV that was provided in the rentals.

Fast forward to 2011 and I believe I only caught Will & Kate’s wedding in repeats because I didn’t have the ability to record it.  This go round I did and I was taking advantage!  I wanted to see the wedding in all it’s glory!  I never actually thought I would see it live as it was happening five time zones away!  Seeing as it will probably be the last for a while, I’m glad I did.

Sunday I went off to the beach.  Despite it being almost 20 degrees at home and the high at the beach being half that, it wasn’t too bad.  I was glad I had my jacket, it kept me warm enough.  I got into town and my favourite little store and I got down to the beach.  There currently is no beach!  The water of Lake Huron is so high that there is a very narrow pathway on which to walk.  It felt great standing on what little sand there was and absorbing some sunshine!  I can’t wait until it gets much warmer!

Today I have done a little of this and a little of that.  There are things I want to do but I woke with a headache which is preventing me from doing a few things.  I want to go to the park and take a walk with my camera but the sunlight is painful.  Same as sitting outside in the sun… I hate headaches!

But one of the things I did get done today was prepared my short story for mailing into a contest.  For me that was definitely a highlight.  I have, once again, felt so overwhelmed and stressed from work that I have been having to force myself to focus on my writing.  Of course all of that has increased my headaches which makes it really difficult to focus on doing anything, including writing.  So knowing that I managed to work on editing that story over the last few weeks boosts my spirits!

I believe that leaves only one more item to write that has a deadline.  I might just have to run with what I’ve already written.  It also means I need to track down a few more projects!  I also need to get back to editing my non-fiction book!

Still lots to do!

Part 3

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Hey everyone!

Well, I’m officially sick… with something.  Don’t ask me what, yet.  I have been running fevers and the gland under my jaw feels about the size of a golf ball.  Nothing else major going on yet other than the fatigue and body aches which, as you know, are sometimes difficult for me to decipher where they originate from!  I am hoping this passes quickly so send some healing vibes my way!

Anyway, just wanting to post the link for Part 3 of my Guest Blog series on the Preventative Care programs.  This time the topic is Colorectal cancer.

Go check it out here http://hashtagged.com.pk/2018/05/15/colorectal-cancer-fecal-occult-blood/

 

Upsetting & Pointless

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What a crazy, useless weekend that feels like such a waste!

Saturday I spent the day doing laundry, sewing up holes in horse blankets and cleaning up after a couple of young adults who, it seems, showered my kitchen with bacon grease!

Sunday I woke with a headache that I did manage for a short time before it felt like it exploded!  I had done some shopping and it then it hit so hard and so bad I couldn’t keep my eyes open and it took hours for my migraine medication to work and I ended up taking some codeine as well.

I so wanted to spend some time with my short story because the deadline is May 31 and I I just couldn’t get to it.

Tomorrow is the start of another work week and tomorrow morning I have to find my office!

Yeah, that’s right.  The construction was happening this weekend which means that the walls will be up!  In some ways it’s exciting and in other ways it will be so odd… for twelve years I’ve sat on the beaten path and now i will finally have walls and a door!

So, par for the course, my edits, my story, will have to wait, again.

I haven’t had time to even get to my Life Coaching material and I miss it.

It’s just been one of those weekends.  I can only assume that there’s a low pressure system moving in hence all the migraines lately… the weather can stabilize ANYTIME now.

I even picked up the latest copy of Writer’s Digest and never got to read much of it.  I feel like the weekend was such a waste.  And I can’t say tomorrow will be another day.

But I can say that next weekend is a long weekend… maybe, fingers crossed, that it will be THE weekend to spend time with my writing!

Guest Blog…

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I’m keeping it short again… my guest blog post went up yesterday and I wanted to be sure to share it!  I post all these awesome things to my Facebook Author page as well in case you want to follow me there too!

Here’s the link for the new blog post…

http://hashtagged.com.pk/2018/05/08/breast-cancer-screening-mammograms/

And now…

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a brief message from your sponsor!

I had to post today.  It won’t be a long post but I had mentioned about my guest blogs going live on Tuesdays and the preamble, the introduction to the series on preventative care programs, was posted yesterday and each of them will be posted for the next three Tuesdays.

You can go check it out here… http://hashtagged.com.pk/2018/05/01/cancer-preventative-care-programs-preamble/

Since it’s a series I would imagine that the link will work to get you there each week but I will post the links here too.

Happy writing everyone!

I’ll try to bring you up-to-date on things in a later post.

The Letter (short story)

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We hadn’t seen the sun in almost two weeks.   April showers had certainly brought May flowers and I had decided my lunch today would be at the nearby park.  I sat on a park bench in the gardens enjoying the sun.  The warmth felt heavenly on my skin.

As I drew in a deep breath and the scent of flowers a man about my age sat down on the other end of the bench, set the case he carried on his lap and popped the latches.  I was expecting to see an old laptop and my eyes grew wide when he removed the top to reveal an old fashioned typewriter.  The kind that still used ribbon, had those disjointed round buttons and went ding every time you reached the end of a line.  I wondered where a person bought supplies for something that old.

He didn’t smile or say a word; he ignored me and simply started typing.

His fingers flew across the keyboard and I couldn’t help but wonder what he was writing.  As I continued to look around me at the freshness of spring blooming I managed to peek over and see what words were coming out on the paper.

To my dearest, most lovely Breena,

I was startled because that was my name and it wasn’t a very common name.  I strained to see more.  I was beyond curious now.  I wondered who Breena was.

You have been the light of my life for so long.  You are beautiful, smart, funny and resilient.  I love how much you love your work as a photographer and I adore how you are with your daughter and nieces.  Such patience, such love with each of them and they obviously love you back.

I was shocked by this because I was a photographer and I had a daughter and multiple nieces.  I loved to see them,  even if for short visits.  They loved to sit on my lap and always made sure to hug me goodbye.  I hated not seeing them more but my work kept me busy.

I looked away and turned my face to the sky closing my eyes.  I absorbed the heat of the sun as I listened to the clacking of the keys beside me.  I wondered how there could be a Breena that had so much in common with me.

I checked the time on my cell phone.  I had about ten minutes before I’d have to leave to head back to work but I was desperate to see what else he was writing.

I stole another glance at the paper that was, by now, hanging three quarters of the way out the top of the typewriter.

You bring such hope to the world with your heart and your photos and you have a deep faith that rarely wavers.  When it does, you barely disconnect before you reconnect immediately and that only strengthens your faith.  You are a light to everyone who meets you and you bring joy to those who need it.

My eyes started to fill with tears.  The remaining words swam in front of my eyes.  Suddenly it was becoming very personal to me.  I sighed and pulled out a tissue to dab at my eyes.  This man was incredibly sweet and I wondered who the lucky Breena was.

“Are you okay Breena?” the man asked.

“Um, excuse me?  You know my name?”

He nodded.  He pulled the paper out of the typewriter and handed it to me.

My hand shook as I took it from him and I scanned the part that I had already read until I reached the part that I hadn’t been able to read through my tears.

You have much in your future.  You are wise, kind and have a big heart.  You will go far in life and you will find someone who loves you deeply for who you are and all that you have to offer. 

 You will love your grandchildren like they are your own and people will appreciate your photography, your eye and the passion you put into your work and those you love.

 Continue to be the passionate person that you are.  Share that with the world.  Keep trying.  Keep dancing and keep singing.  Open your heart more and trust.  It’s your one fault, you don’t trust enough… you think everyone has an ulterior motive.  Move away from those people and close yourself down from them until you can move away from them.  Move towards someone who will dance with you.

 Be happy my dearest.  You deserve it and you wear it well. 

 Your spirit is strong.

 I love you.
Michael

 I looked at the man sitting next to me.  “Michael?”

He nodded.  “Yes.  Hi Breena, I’m Michael.”  He extended his hand.

“But…”  I placed my hand in his to shake it.  Instead he stood and pulled me towards him.  I hesitated.

“I was sent to you,” he told me.  “Someone who loves you very much has sent me to you.  He seemed to think that we’d be great together.”

I just kept looking at him.  He didn’t look familiar but he felt familiar.  It was as though I’d known him forever and I wasn’t afraid.

As though he read my mind he smiled.  “I think we have met in your dreams.”

I nodded.  I still wasn’t sure so I just kept nodding as I tried to search my subconscious to find some memory of him; of his face.  I tilted my head.

Michael leaned down and kissed me.  It was the gentlest kiss I’d ever received.  His lips were soft and he didn’t push.  He waited until I started to kiss him back before he deepened it and I felt his tongue press gently against my lips until they parted.  Finally I pulled away.  “I have to get back to work.”

He shook his head.  “No, you don’t.  Not for today.”

I again tilted my head.  “Who are you?”

“Breena, I am your guardian angel and your soulmate rolled into one.  I was sent to you to complete you because it’s time.  It’s time for you to not be alone anymore.  It’s time for you to stretch your wings and take flight.  It’s time for you to reopen your heart to someone who will love you and who will appreciate you and respect you.”

I had tears in my eyes and he reached up and brushed them away with his thumbs.

“Can you trust me?” he asked.

I nodded tentatively.  I wanted to.  I really wanted to trust him.

Michael pulled me into his arms and from out of nowhere music started to play and we danced there in the park, the sunshine our spotlight and the gentle breeze caressing the flowers that surrounded us.

It was just the beginning.  This stranger on a bench would bring changes.  Changes I was suddenly excited about.

I rested my head on his shoulder and everything felt right.  I felt loved.

Forward Momentum…

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Well as much as I feel like I’m sitting still if I step back I see myself being propelled forward, small bits at a time.  I completed a short story in a week and submitted it to a contest last Friday.  They didn’t want it, since I didn’t win, so I’m going to share it here on my blog.  It’s called The Letter and I’ll put it in a second post because it’s about 1200 words.

Either way, winning or losing, I’m excited.

I also finished writing my three guest blogs and now it’s time to get back to some of my own work again… editing, re-writes, fresh writing, etc.

One thing I keep thinking of lately is how much my life has changed in the last 17 months.  How upside down it has all been and everything I have endured.  It has been insane and I listen to some of my patients and realize that, for the most part, very few of them could have come close to handling everything I have!

I like to think my loved ones’ support plays a huge role as does my writing.  I may have ended up with writer’s block for a good part of that time but I was journalling.

Journalling is more important than many of us realize and whether we one day open our journals again and read them or use them for a storyline or try to grasp the emotion to give to a character it’s important.  It’s like, or can be like, free counselling!

I also like to think that as I move into Section Three of the Life Coaching program that aside from enjoying it immensely it is also teaching me things about myself, my reactions and how I deal with it and I have the perfect opportunity to compare myself with many others who couldn’t deal with it.  I can’t wait to get deeper into the program and start practicing but everything takes time and time is limited.

Other than wishing the weather was warmer I’ll end here and go post that story for you.  I hope you like it.  Remember it only took me a week… I only had a week.

Enjoy!

It’s SOOO Exciting…

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I woke up on my own Thursday morning before the alarm which was a good thing because I hadn’t turned it back on (I don’t work Wednesdays and turn it off to sleep in)!  I had a few minutes before I had to get up so I went into my email and I saw a name that was familiar but wasn’t placing it.  At first I thought it was spam.

Then the recall hit!  It was an email about a piece I had submitted to an anthology on March 25.  The piece has been accepted! 🙂

I spent the day on Cloud Nine!

Oddly enough, my boss was in an incredibly good mood as well.

So much keeps changing, yet other things stay the same.

I keep thinking; I keep wondering.  Then Friday morning something else happened and on my walk from the car into the building that morning I heard a message… yes, I know, you can call it what you will and I know what I call it.

Despite my frustrations at work this message told me to stay put.  I am finally leaving work at work most of the time, I am writing which is making me happy and boosting my spirits.  I am taking the Life Coaching program which is also providing a positive for me and my writing is getting accepted!  At this point in time, continuing what I’m doing gives me Wednesdays and weekends and gives me time to get things done.

I feel like I’m on the right path right now.  It will allow me to use my new office space and it might even allow me to work with a new co-worker… actually, it will allow that… I think it’s inevitable at this point!

So go pour a glass of wine and we’ll make a toast!

What a weekend…

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It was a long weekend and from the perspective of writing it’s just what I needed!

I got an incredible amount of editing done, though not entered, and even though I didn’t get through as many Life Coaching modules as I wanted to I did get caught up on all the “paperwork” for that course so I can get to know where I stand as far as balance in my life as well as my personality typed.  Now I’m ready to jump back into the videos again!

But now I’m sitting at my desk, at work (yes, I’m writing this at work) wishing beyond wishes that I could be back at home surrounded my my writing projects, entering all the edits I made on paper and getting my guest blog posts written.  Ho hum… later.

I have also been experiencing a fair amount of fatigue and surgical-site tenderness again.  All part of the healing process I’m sure but frustrating as I feel like I take five steps forward, four steps back.

I am realizing so much from evaluating my life and I’m finding I’m generally happier even though I’m still in this job.  I’m leaving it at work easier than I was before and I think the return to writing has helped change that.

I’m also finding that my desire to write, to make life changes and to focus on what I enjoy is getting stronger and it’s getting more difficult to try to stamp it down and tell it to go away because it’s one of those gut feelings and you know it’s probably more right and more accurate than what my brain is trying to tell me!

So, everyone, get in front of your computers, or grab a piece of paper and write.  Today is Day 2 of NaNoWriMo Camp and you get to set your own word limit so there’s still time to sign up and start writing that novel you’ve always wanted to write!  You can even set your writing goal at 20,000 words if you want instead of 50,000.

Go for it!

Listen to your gut!