It’s dangerous to leave glass objects on my desk when I’m working. Writing gets messy; I push notebooks and reference manuals around, sending knickknacks flying. (A plastic wind-up crab is severely cracked, and my Wallace and Gromit figures may never want to look at me again.) However, I make one exception for the glass starfish pieces I’ve begun to collect. I take extra care not to knock them over. Typically, I’m not one to collect objects or figurines of any kind, but lately I’ve been drawn to starfish. I look for them whenever I get a chance to walk along a pier or the shoreline of cities near the Puget Sound. Of course, I capture a photo, but the urge to hold something solid and colorful is strong, so I settle for sparkling glass representations.
Starfish, with their ability to regenerate their own limbs–and bring such joy in color and shape, are uniquely inspiring to me. Starfish remind me to create something new—and to count my blessings. This year in particular, I’m grateful for the following:
–Recently, I’ve enjoyed translating brochures and letters into Spanish for the Safe Crossings Foundation, an organization that supports Providence Hospital of Seattle’s Safe Crossings Program. When children lose loved ones, such as parents and siblings, they need resources to help them heal. Currently, those resources are in English, but I’ve been translating them into Spanish and have learned a lot about the grieving process in general.
–A promotion at my part-time gig as a writing tutor for an educational publishing company has led to new opportunities. I’m now training writing tutors and helping them effectively serve students.
–In 2018, I published nine short stories in various literary magazines/journals, so my goal was to meet that number of short story publications in 2019. I succeeded—and may have exceeded that goal. (Some stories have been accepted a few weeks ago and may be published in the coming months.) My most recent publications are on the following web link: https://fixinleaksnleeksdiy.blog/other-things-i-do/
–My DIY humor blog, Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks (https://fixinleaksnleeksdiy.blog/) is in its third year. Laughing while writing is therapeutic. I’ve managed to post once a week and gain a following of over 1,300 readers. I’m absolutely amazed by the support of the blogging/writing community.
–I’ve finished the outline and plot for a new novel. Two completed novels need to be revised, but I can’t wait to get started on the newest one. My goal is to complete half of it by December break.
Running and Reading Projects:
–It has been three years since I’ve moved to the Greater Seattle area and I can’t believe I haven’t really met or interacted with the wonderful neighbors in my neighborhood, so I started a book club. Several of us women in the neighborhood get together once a month over lots of wine, books, and laughter. So far, we have read: All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doer), The Last Tudor (Philippa Gregory), and The Red Tent (Anita Diamant). Currently we are reading, Song of Solomon (Toni Morrison).
–For years, running has been my favorite sport/hobby, though I don’t like to do marathons. A 5K is fine with me. I rarely do 5K races, but I’ve just found out about “virtual 5K” races and challenges—and now I’m hooked. These races are run anywhere/any time within a certain number of months or weeks. The miles are logged online, and medals come in the mail. Currently, I’m doing the Run Motivators’ “Run Like a Woman 100 Mile Challenge.” With this challenge, I have between July 1 and September 30th to run, walk, bike, swim, canoe/kayak, etc. 100 miles. So far, I estimate that I’ve done 240 miles, 115 of them running. My medal will come in the mail and I get to interact with all kinds of runners all over the country who are doing the same thing. Very inspiring!
What about you? What are your achievements—writing or otherwise? What goals have you set for the year? Feel free to share in the comments section below.