Flash Fiction: Park Bench

I skipped the last two prompts from Carrot Ranch, one didn’t interest me enough and one felt more controversial than I wanted to to participate in. (With the current political climate I have been avoiding all news, so much of it isn’t true or it isn’t news! I felt like writing about a protest would be opening a can of worms. Wait, did I just protest against writing about protests? Jeez.) It hasn’t helped that I have been sick for more than a week too.

But this week’s prompt was different, a GIF showing a park bench throughout a 24 hour period. It was interesting. I just wish I could have stopped the animation to study scenes more closely. I went with upbeat, something I feel the world needs more of at the moment.

0600 Empty Park Bench

What a lovely morning! The sun feels good after that chilly night.  I am enjoying this fragment of quiet tranquility, possibly the last one of the day. I am really glad no one threw up on me during the night.  I wonder if anyone will need consoling today?   Will I witness moments of great joy?  I hope some kids come and play near me; I love the sound of their laughter.  It would be nice if someone ate lunch here, the smell of chicken soup would be wonderful. I guess I’ll know soon enough what visitors today will bring.

2020 Possibilities

This year I am going to work hard on reconciling my planning, list making, scheduling self with my living in the here and now self. I actually think this is quite doable, I just need to strengthen some mental muscles.

So, typical planning me starts jotting down what I would like to accomplish in 2020. Then I think I should come up with twelve items and schedule one for each month. But here and now me said, whoa. What if I don’t want to work on something a whole month or I need more time or I want to start and stop and resume a project later?

New combined me stepped in with the compromise. I narrowed my list down to six items I really want to do. No assigned schedule, a few of my projects will be worked on all year. One of my items has a deadline so I’ll adhere to that. But I will let here and now me decide when to do the rest.

Here are my six goals for 2020:

  • Catch up on organizing my photos. I started 2019 already so I really don’t have that much to do.
  • I am going to make a scrapbook for my son this year. One page for each month and use the extra pages for birthday and vacations.
  • Put together my own book of meditations/words of wisdom. I recently got a copy of Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations” and was surprised to learn it was something he wrote simply for himself. I am always collecting quotes or thinking odd little things I want to remember and have them scattered in different places. I’ll put them in one book and practice my hand lettering at the same time!
  • I am going to do the A to Z blogging challenge in April. I have my topic/theme and I am already drafting blog posts.
  • Take Carla Sondheim’s collage class. It is supposed to take a full year but I probably won’t start until maybe the beginning of summer. We’ll just see how it goes.
  • I love the idea of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November each year but November doesn’t work for me. I just have too much going on then. So I am going to make my own short term novel writing time frame. Probably a bit more than a month but my goal will be to have a first draft of the novel that I have been trying to write for the last few years done. No matter how badly it turns out!

For daily items I will continue with my yoga, meditating twice a day and keeping writing my joy/gratitude lists.

Gotta run, this day is full of possibilities to embrace. 🙂

My Word for 2020

It took me quite awhile to figure out my word for this year.

Embrace Now?

Here and Now?

Live Now?

Use the word today instead of now?

I don’t remembering having these issues in past years. Seems my word found me easily. Maybe I tried too hard this year. I know how I want to live this year. I want to spend more time in the moment. I want to find a way to embrace my time here in the desert. I don’t have to love it here but I can certainly find a way to live happily these next few years. To use my time wisely and thoughtfully.

Julia Child once said, “You don’t need to have the life you want to enjoy the life you have.”

This sums up my thoughts perfectly for this year. All I needed to do was break it down into one or two words.

I finally decided to go with:

Embrace Today

My favorite Christmas present this year!

Sometimes it feels perfect, sometimes not quite right. I figure I can always change it later in the year if I want to. The words really aren’t that important as long as I live the intent.

Flash Fiction: Hutch

Another interesting prompt from Carrot Ranch that I put my own spin on.

“The Inhuman Hutch”

The four foot square box made of metal had a thick wavy pane of glass on one side.  The POWs called it the hutch.  The Major broiled inside for twenty-seven days and shivered through twenty-seven nights.

 The enemy was sure a man of his rank knew plenty about troop movements or upcoming military operations.  But he didn’t know anything, though he often wished he did so he could misdirect the enemy. 

He was just a payroll officer caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.  A mere mortal given the opportunity to demonstrate his inordinate strength of mind.

2019: Creative Courage

My word for 2019 was Creative Courage and I have to say I think I did pretty well. I stepped out of my comfort zone numerous times and in various areas. Some of the things I did include:

  1. Taking a photography class and sharing photos and making Photo Friday posts.
  2. Participated in Anne Butera’s Handmade Joy Exchange.
  3. Contributed regularly to Carrot Ranch’s flash fiction prompts.
  4. Entered three of Carrot Ranch’s flash fiction contests.
  5. Created a sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project which will go on tour and be available for viewing on-line.
  6. Shared art work on-line via Facebook with “Magical Mindfulness” and “Sketchbook Revival”.

And now it is time to think about new goals and challenges. I am having a tough time figuring out my word for 2020. Once I figure it out I’ll let you know!

Photo Friday: Boxing Day

Boxing Day is the 26th of December but not really a holiday here in the U.S. More of a Canada and England thing but I like to celebrate it anyway. We eat something British-y and have Christmas Crackers and pretend it really is a holiday.

This year we had a very yummy shepherd’s pie which I put together in the morning so I could take a nice hike in the late afternoon. Yes, more Sabino Canyon photos but I explored some places I hadn’t been to in awhile and looked for interesting angles.

Quite the triangle!
Water in the creek is always nice.
Why do I love stair shots?
We don’t get our fall color until December or January. It is pretty no matter what month it happens in.
A little atmospheric black and white.
And me practicing blurring the water. Sadly everything else blurred a bit too, must use tripod next time.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

WELCOME 2020!