cosmic chaos

cultivating calm & creativity in my corner of the world

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Weekend Project

It was supposed to be a weekend project.  It was supposed to have been finished about two months ago.

My son brought me a few pallets that I wanted to decorate for yard art.  It should have been a quick turn around.

But life happens.  Family and friends need you. You are tired and veg out for a while.

And that is ok.  One day family and friends will no longer be there to spend time with.  Some days, you have to take care of yourself so you can keep going.

Remember that just because you didn’t complete — or even start — a project when you thought you would, doesn’t mean it is too late.  Take a deep breath and reset your timeline.  Then begin.  Maybe it is a baby step like marking off time on your calendar. Maybe it is getting your supplies.  Maybe it is jumping in and getting it done.

I started my pallet craft on Memorial Day.  I finished today.  It is no longer a blank pallet waiting to become something else someday.  Success!

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Welcome 2017!

If my Facebook Newsfeed is any indication, 2016 was a difficult year for many people.  I am no exception.  2016 brought a number of personal and professional challenges that left me feeling drained and depleted.  As you can image, it also took a toll on my creativity.  My writing has screeched to a near standstill with only a handful of poems being completed. Last night I said a very happy  goodbye to 2016.

As I move into this new year, I am resolving to leave the negativity of last year behind.  Life isn’t always easy or fair.  Challenges arise without warning or adequate preparation.  Tragedy can blindside.  When these things happen, it is easy to give in to despair and sorrow.

It is ok to acknowledge the sadness and anger we feel; after all, those are legitimate emotions.  But if we submerge ourselves in only the bad feelings, we risk missing out on the good things that happen everyday.  So I will approach my days with gratitude in 2017, looking for the everyday miracles that make this an amazing world.

 

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Happy New Year!

Thursday’s Thoughts featuring author Anna Muir #paranormal #urbanfantasy

Introducing fellow author Anna Muir who was featured on The Opinionated Woman’s Musings.

The Opinionated Woman's Musings

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Welcome to TOW bi-monthly feature Thursday’s Thoughts. On the second and fourth Thursday in the month, I share the thoughts of a featured author in the form of answers to questions posed to them.

One of October’s featured authors is Anna Muir.

How long have you been writing?

When I was a toddler I would give my mom a pencil and a pad of paper, and she would write down the story I told her. Thanks Mom!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I really love the idea of a nom de plume. The idea of letting my work stand on it’s own, without people attaching their ideas about who I am to it, is absurdly thrilling. I kind of feel like I’m getting away with something.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

Pachacuti built Machu Picchu, and I’d love…

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Thursday’s Thoughts featuring author @CharlotteEhney #paranormal #urbanfantasy

Thanks to The Opinionated Woman’s Musings for the feature!

The Opinionated Woman's Musings

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Welcome to TOW bi-monthly feature Thursday’s Thoughts. On the second and fourth Thursday in the month, I share the thoughts of a featured author in the form of answers to questions posed to them.

One of September’s featured authors is Charlotte Ehney.

How long have you been writing?

I have always been an avid reader so I decided to try my hand at writing a mystery novel when I was 12 years old. I didn’t get very far but I had the writing bug and never stopped.

What comes first when you decide to write a story: the characters or the plot?

My stories usually start with a “what if”. I may see a news article or hear about something that sticks in my mind. I will start asking the “what if” questions and a story line starts to form. Then I figure out who is involved in my story.

What…

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Family Vows Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Family Vows by Charlotte Koon Ehney

Family Vows

by Charlotte Koon Ehney

Giveaway ends May 18, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Guest Charlotte Ehney talks about Hissy Fit #chicklit

The Opinionated Woman's Musings

This guest post is by  fiction author Charlotte Ehney.

Book Review:  Hissy Fit: A Novel by Mary Kay Andrews

Keeley Murdock is about to have it all.  She is one day away from marrying the handsome and rich A.J. Jernigan. Everyone who is anyone is at her rehearsal party at the country club.  But a fateful trip down the hallway on her way to the rest room makes Keeley suspicious about what is happening on the other side of a closed door.  Keeley opens the door to discover A.J. and her maid of honor Paige in a most compromising position.  What’s a girl to do?  Throw a huge hissy fit!  And that’s just what Keeley does.  Needless to say, the wedding is off.

Keeley tries to pick up the pieces after her dream life falls apart at her fiancé’s infidelity by losing herself in her interior design business.  Trouble is, work…

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The Day After

December 26th.

The pressure is off.  Our families have gathered and feasted.  The presents have been given and unwrapped.

Today is quiet.  An opportunity to sit and breathe.

I leave my Christmas tree up a couple of weeks after Christmas.  I find it’s this time that I can relax in the glow of the Christmas lights and feel at peace.  It’s a time to reflect and to plan for the new year.  It’s a time to just be.

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Wishing you peace, joy and a new year full of the things you love!

A Little Inspiration

Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer.  The long holiday weekend gave me a chance to catch up on some items I’ve been putting off.

First I tackled some regular housework.  With two teenage athletes in the family, there is always an abundance of laundry to wash.   A few months ago, my dear friend Amy Alley posted a recipe for homemade laundry detergent on her blog Pan Pan Studios.  I decided to try my hand at making laundry detergent.  I have to admit, there is something satisfying about using your own homemade items.  You can find Amy’s recipe here.

Last summer I released my first novel, Blood Adversaries, as a Kindle Edition e-book.  It is thrilling to see my book listed on Amazon.com.  However when my author friends would bring print copies of their works to events or book signings, I felt a pang of regret that I didn’t have a print version of my book that I could hold in my hands.  So I decided to pursue some avenues to bring my works to print.  I’ve been working on CreateSpace to self publish Blood Adversaries.  In July, I received the printed proof for my book.  I was sooo excited.

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Then something unexpected happened.  I was at a point where I was feeling overwhelmed by things happening in my life.  So my proof just sat.  I would edit a few pages and then put it down for a few days.  I pushed myself to finish the edits over the Labor Day weekend.  The edited version is uploaded.  I’ll proof one more time and then my dream of having my novel in print will be a reality!

I also wanted to work on some crafts.  A while back, my husband had asked me to decorate a birdhouse for him.  I finally got around to it.

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Finally, I worked on some decorations for fall.  I had seen pictures of Halloween luminaries on Facebook that were adorable.  Since I had a surplus of glass jars, I decided to try my hand at it.  I found the directions on the website Crafts by Amanda.  It was pretty easy.  Here’s my first batch.

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After being in a creative slump for a few weeks, it appears an extra day off is just what I needed for  a little inspiration!

Art and Worship

For the last three months, my church has partnered with another local church to have a Second Sunday worship service at the community Arts Center.  The brief service, approximately 45 minutes, is held in the gallery and features an artist and poet to enhance the service.  Each Second Sunday service has its own theme.  This month I was asked to contribute a poem on the theme of law.

I love the Arts Center.  I drop by when I get off work early or when I have extra time at lunch to stroll through the current exhibits.  I have attended many writing events at the Arts Center.  I enjoy being surrounded by the artwork.  There is a sense of inspiration and peace from being surrounded by the work of other artists.  The Arts Center is a natural fit for creativity, but I have discovered it is just as conducive to worship.

Some studies have been conducted about the positive effect of religion on the overall wellbeing of people.  Combining two areas of my personal comfort – art and worship – made the experience a joyous one.

Try combining two things that you love to spur your creativity and bring you peace.

Here is my poem:

Reflecting on Justice

This law —

passed down through your fathers

and your fathers’ fathers —

do you know it

or just recite what you’ve been told

hoping you’re doing good enough

to avoid judgment

unlike some convicted souls

whose only crime was being human?

 

Lady Justice —

strict upholder of the law

blindfolded so not to see who appears

before her scales —

does she still hear the moans

of mortals and confer

with her sister Mercy

before announcing sentence?

 

Do you wonder

how it shall flow

from you

to your daughters and sons

on to their prodigy

throughout the land

this law?

Seize the Day

Today is a rare day in South Carolina – a snow day!

It started yesterday around 4:00pm while I was still at work.  Small flakes of white whirled almost invisible in the day.  The evidence was the layer of white that coated the vehicles in the parking lot.  By the time we walked out, the snow was steadily falling.  I relished the crisp air and clean smell that accompanies the snow.  I lifted my face to let the snow kiss my cheeks and nose.   We see so little snow in South Carolina that the smallest amount brings a frenzy of electric anticipation.

For the next few hours the flakes continued to come down.  But there was a lot of melting on the paved roads.  With low overnight temperatures, freezing was inevitable which led to mass closings today due to icy road conditions.

Here was another rare treat — an unexpected day at home to do what I wanted.  I’ve been editing a manuscript that I had put to the side may months ago.  I have a deadline in place to finish the manuscript for a submission.  Interestingly enough, I’ve found that deadlines spur my creativity.

Another creativity boost happened today.  I got to take a leisurely stroll through the snow blanketed woods.  I love a walk in the woods anytime, but especially when they are coated in snow.  Instantly, I go back to my childhood and look at my surroundings with wonder.  As I do so, story ideas run through my head and I feel energized.

Days like today are gifts, a break from the normal routine that reminds me of those things I truly enjoy and why I write.

So here’s to you – hoping you find your creative gems!

Snow Barn

Our barn — not yesterday’s snow but a favorite memory.

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