Winter writing, walking, and winging it!

winter field

December has arrived with cloudy skies and temperatures dropping into the teens by tonight. One would expect such frigid temperatures this time of year in Upstate NY, but considering that yesterday it was 50 degrees with occasional sun, I’m thinking it wise to expect the unexpected this month.

Along that thought, I’ve already decided something unexpected this month and that is to post a new blog entry every day in December. I was slacking a bit in November with the holidays and having to write my college research paper, but now that the paper is done and I know exactly what I’m getting for gifts for my girls, I can focus on writing for pleasure again! I don’t want my pursuit of a writing career and writing-based college degree to kill my love of writing so it’s best that I continue to express myself with the usual rambling Julie here.

Writing rambling or writing serious work are both easier when it’s cold outside. What isn’t easy when it’s cold outside is working up the motivation to walk Jazzmin. Nonetheless, she and I both benefit from our walks so I vow to walk every day in December! If there are days when it’s -20 with a wind chill we might not make it out, but I’ll do my best to make up for it with more than one walk a day if necessary! Jazzmin could walk forever so I’m certainly not worried about tiring her out and considering how much I love Chex Mix and sweets during this time of year, I could use the beneficial tiring out. πŸ˜‰

Another thing that tires me out is overthinking. I don’t know if overthinking is just part of being a writer or if it’s just an unrelated malady I have, but it’s an exhausting quirk. I’m constantly thinking of the “what ifs” and “shoulda coulda wouldas” of life and all it does is make me overly anxious and waste my energy. Therefore, for my third W of winter (or at least for December) I’ve decided to wing it. As in go where the wind blows me and not worry so dang much about things I can’t control.

I know two very potent remedies for my overthinking and they’re beading and writing in fantasy books. When I use my overly active mind in my handmade creations, I’m amazed with my own capabilities. Focusing my highly excitable imagination into my writing has helped me come up with plots lines and character developments that astound me. I believe that if I just let go of my worries and allow hope, inspiration, and faith flow freely, I’ll finally be able to break through my writer’s block and create stories the world will love to read. πŸ™‚

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Holiday Wishes Granted in New England – Part 1

My festive outfit for the holiday events.

My festive outfit for the holiday events.

Last year around this time I wrote a blog about how I wished I still had holiday parties to go to like I did in the past. Well this year that wish came true, only not quite as I expected. I didn’t get to go to holiday parties like I attended in the past, the holiday parties I went to this year were world’s better than anything I’ve been to in the past! I’m sure a big reason why was that they took place in New England.

On Thursday, December 12th, I made a quick stop in at Jon P. Mooers Gallery in Amesbury as the book signing was beginning just to see the gallery all decked out for the Frosty the Snowman author and his artwork. The author was already signing books and there were trays of creatively arranged food for those who came in. I always love going in there after being outside in the cold because not only is the temperature inside warm, the atmosphere is welcoming. I snapped a few pictures, listened to the author talk about his book with those getting signed copies and then left the studio.

The window display at the gallery.

The window display at the gallery.

The creative food display.

The creative food display.

The author Wade Zahares signing books.

The author Wade Zahares signing books.

Display of the books.

Display of the books.

I walked back by the Powwow Falls because I just don’t feel like a visit to Amesbury is complete without that. It was lovely seeing downtown all lit up and the tall tree reaching toward the sky. The moon was shining brightly in the night sky and I took some pictures with my phone camera because I’d left my good camera in the car. Just taking my gloves off long enough to take those pictures left my fingers frozen but it was worth it! I made it quickly back to my car in the cold wind and was glad I’d worn thick tights and tall boots with my festive skirt.

Amesbury's tree downtown with the moon in the sky above

Amesbury’s tree downtown with the moon in the sky above

Once in my car with the heat going, I typed in the address for the event in Peabody, MA that Jackie Moldau from Jackie’s Tees & Custom Apparel had invited me to. It seemed easy enough to get to so off I went! It was an uneventful drive and the Men’s Spa at The Mansion was easily accessible on a little side road in Peabody. The parking lot was already pretty full so I created my own little spot for my car and headed inside.

My parking spot.

My parking spot.

The moment I opened the large front door I was met with the sounds of loud conversations and lively holiday music. I couldn’t help but smile. Two nice women greeted me by the door and gave me discount coupons and asked if I had a business card. I don’t have business cards yet but I’ll be remedying that quickly for future such networking events. Can’t get my name out there if I don’t have cards to advertise my services! I wrote my name on a blank card for the door prize drawings later and then headed further in to explore the party. I was hungry so I immediately dished up a plate of pasta, crackers and cheese and bread and butter. I found a big cushioned window seat in the large barber shop room and settled on it for a little picnic. The food was hot and delicious and the wine from Mill River Winery helped warm me up!

The buffet of food

The buffet of food

My first plate of food

My first plate of food

The barber chair across from the window seat

The barber chair across from the window seat

I didn’t really know anyone there (I only knew Jackie through Facebook) but they all seemed to know each other. Even so, I felt so privileged to be there and part of a social event instead of home with my dog. My initial hunger sated, I sought out Jackie in the massage room where she’d laid out the free t-shirts she provided. She greeted me and had me enter my email address on her tablet explaining that she was trying to build her business. Being a self-employed freelance writer, I totally understand! She saw my email address and the name Corbin sounded familiar to her so I explained the Facebook connection. She was surprised that I’d come all the way from New York and that I did it often. She was very friendly, introduced me to a few people and showed me all around before returning to her other friends at the event. I happily made up and ate another plate of food accompanied by a second glass of wine as I sat on the window seat again.

My window seat picnic

My window seat picnic

There’s much more to say about that night at the party but it will have to wait until part 2!