Divine Surprises, Excellence, Finishing, Life Choice, New Year, Writing Goals

A Word for 2017

change

I’m a little late, but once again, I’m joining my fellow bloggers in choosing One Word to guide me through the year. My word  in 2016, FINISH, was chosen to motivate me to complete my first novel, which I’d been working on sporadically for several years.

That Word, plus the opportunity to meet with agents and editors at a national conference in August IF the book was finished spurred me on.

FINISH, I did.

However, there’s a big difference between completing a first draft and having a polished, marketable manuscript. Having worked as an editor, I knew that. But I got in a rush. However, it was brought home to me anew when I didn’t get picked up by an agent nor hear back from that editor. Consequently, choosing One Word to guide me this year was easy.

My word for 2017 is REVISE.

According to the dictionary revise means to reconsider and alter (something) in the light of further evidence.

revise

Even though revising that novel is at the top of my To-Do List, I’m applying my word on a larger scale as well. Here are a few things I’ll be reviewing and possibly changing in 2017.

MY SCHEDULE

Looking back at my 2016 calendar nearly wore me out. I knew I’d been gone a lot, but listing the trips, conferences, and retreats was an eye opener. In 2016, I

  • Made six trips to our condo at Navarre Beach
  • Attended four conferences (two were multi-day events)
  • Attended two overnight writers’ retreats
  • Hid out at The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow twice to work on the book
  • Spent several overnights with out-of-town friends
  • Entertained family for major holidays
  • Traveled for a granddaughter’s college graduation and to help a grandson move to the big city

In between, I managed to socialize with friends, host the writers’ group that met at my house once a month, and attend another monthly  writers’ meeting in Searcy–that usually involved going up the day before and spending the night before with a friend. Then there were two devotionals I contribute to, and you know how Facebook can eat into a day.

See what I mean?

EXHAUSTING!

I don’t know about you, but I am NEVER at my best when I’m tired. Consequently, I’ve decided to keep closer tabs on how I spend my time this year and to make adjustments to get rid of activities and relationships that steal my joy while adding those that increase it.

SOME THINGS WON’T CHANGE

  • We love the beach, and now that we have our own place, we’ll continue to go there at least four times a year. (Yes, I feel blessed.)
  • We don’t want to miss being with family on holidays and showing up at our grandchildren’s important events or to help them.
  • I’m a social person so getting together with friends is important to my wellbeing. I’m looking forward to occasional coffee or lunch dates.
  • Writing can be a lonely endeavor, so I’ll continue to meet regularly with other writers.
  • There’ll be lots of lap time with Max, Timmy & Lola–Nothing like a purring cat to relax you.

lola-loves-dad

SOME THINGS I’LL NEED TO DO

As a person who struggles with people-pleasing, I’ll take a deep breath and

  • Give myself permission to say NO.
  • Limit the number of meetings I attend and volunteer less.
  • Adopt a more formal schedule to revise the book, which will mean ignoring the phone and email during those hours.
  • Research publishers and agents. Then submit the manuscript and other things I write. (There are lots out there, you know.)

INSPIRATION

Some people also choose one Bible verse or a quote to inspire them during the year. In the past, I haven’t done that, but there’s a phrase from Psalm 46:10 that has been rolling around in my soul for over a month.

Be still and know that I am God.

As I pondered those words recently, I glanced down at the charm on a bracelet Maria had given me for Christmas. I’m not sure why, but the engraving hadn’t registered with me until that moment. Look at what it said.

be-still

What better way to start each day of the year?

What about you? Did you make any resolutions or choose a word or quote to mark the beginning of 2017?

I’d love to hear about it.

And I’ll keep you posted on how things go with the book.

 

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

©Reflections from Dorothy 2017
Christian, Family, Life Lessons, Marriage

WHO ARE YOU GONNA CALL?

elevator-panel

We were going out to lunch, so we got on the elevator on the fifth floor, and I pushed G.

The door closed and the lights flickered. Was that an uncharacteristic bump?

“Did you feel that?” I asked.

Evidently, he didn’t.

We began the slow descent. When we stopped, we waited for the door to open.

We’re used to a pause so we waited a little longer.

Nothing.

I pushed  elevator-door

Nothing.

I looked at the floor indicator. It read  elevator-1

I pushed elevator-g  again.

Nothing.

“I’ll call Bob,” he said. “and ask him to go back out and push the button. Maybe we’ll go back  up to five.” (Bob’s a neighbor we had been talking to just before we got on the elevator.)

Except he didn’t have Bob’s phone number.

“If we push HELP, the guys from the fire station across the street will answer,” I said. (I know that because I accidentally pushed it with one of the bags I was loaded down with one day.

elevator-help

“No, I’ll call Phil,” he said. “I just saw them downstairs. Maybe he’s still here or has Bob’s number.”

Except Phil was already on the road headed home, and he didn’t have Bob’s number.

“I can push HELP,” I said.

He just  looked at me.

“Do you have Deborah’s number?” I asked. (She’s our maintenance person.)

“I do. Good idea.”

He called Deborah, and said she would reset the elevator’s program.

It wasn’t long until we began a slow descent. When we stopped, the door slid open and we got off. I moved quicker than usual.

“I want to put her number in my phone,” I said.

Just as I finished, Deborah came down the stairs and said, “The power went off for just a moment. Sometimes it affects the elevator, but I reset it.”

We thanked her and went on our way to lunch.

Now I have two options.

If I can’t reach Deborah, I can push the HELP button. Those firefighters across the street are real nice. I talked to them one day.

Who do you call when you need help?

elevator-help2

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.

Psalm 91:14-16