Finding Happiness in A Surprise Butterfly Encounter — Daily Quote 

happiness-is-a-butterfly-which-when-pursued-is-always-just-beyond-your-grasp-but-which-if-you-will-sit-down-quietly-may-alight-upon-you.nathaniel-hawthorne

It is astonishing how much everything can change in a matter of one week. Last weekend I started work on my fall cleanup projects in the garden. Purple flowers covered the chrysanthemums I had planted in my front border. Those stunning blossoms attracted not only my attention but also the interest of at least a dozen bees and a single gorgeous Monarch butterfly.

Afraid to move, and scarcely daring to breathe, I stood transfixed. I didn’t want to scare him away, but he didn’t seem to notice me. Oblivious, he stayed focus on his task of gathering the precious bits of sweetness from the yellow flower center. Monarchs migrate to Mexico each autumn, traveling thousands of miles to escape killing frost, so he would need every ounce of energy he could glean from the nectar.

The forecast predicted freezing temperatures and snow mid-week, and my mums are proof of the ravages inflicted by wintry nights. Frost has a way of sapping the brilliant fall colors I cherish, and this weekend my thoughts return to my incredible butterfly encounter. Did my chrysanthemums provide the weary traveler with adequate sustenance to sustain him? Did he fly far enough, fast enough? I will imagine the next monarch I see is the grandchild of my friend, and I am making plans to plant more flowers in anticipation of their arrival.

Has a surprise encounter made you happy?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – October 31

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 305 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday?

My year-end countdown has begun, and what a wild ride 2020 has been. The adage says what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I’m not dead, yet therefore I must be tougher right? The question becomes — How much can I accomplish before we ring in the new year?

It all starts with a well-conceived strategy, and mine includes a master list of 100 activities to help me reach my annual writing goal. It may sound impossible, but many items are almost insignificant and require fewer than 15 minutes to finish. They are micro-actions, minor jobs that, while they are crucial, they are the ones I repeatedly push to tomorrow.

My new resolution is to stop multitasking and instead concentrate on finishing one task before starting another. I have dedicated a cute notebook to collect random thoughts that often distract me from my current job. I aim to eliminate some low-priority habits and devote my time to higher valued assignments. Each evening, I will organize tomorrow’s calendar and schedule my most important activity in the top slot of my To-Do list. I pledge to complete that job before doing anything else. It means moving my daily writing session from afternoons to first thing in the morning. Well, second after my coffee, of course. November and NaNoWriMo begin on Sunday, and I need to incorporate the challenge into my routine.

Will you participate in NaNo? Do you have a plan? What can you achieve in the next few weeks?

Let us know in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

A Diary, A Journal, or A Custom Notebook that Fits Only You — Daily Quote

i-kept-a-diary-right-after-i-was-born.-day-1_-tired-from-the-move.-day-2_-everyone-thinks-im-an-idiot.-steven-wright

Teachers and friends have counseled me, at various times, to keep a diary. Others have extolled the virtues of a journal. We use the two words interchangeably, but they serve different functions. Dictionary.com defines a diary as “a daily record, usually private, especially of the writer’s own experiences, observations, feelings, and attitudes.” It describes a journal as “a newspaper or magazine that deals with a particular subject or professional activity, i.e. a medical journal.”

I know people who maintain a record of their daily lives, and they tell me they often study their passages. I tried the exercise, and I admit I never knew what to write. The real test was when, several months later, I reviewed the entries. The blithering idiot responsible for the drivel appalled and embarrassed me. I swore no one would read the garbage, and I burned everything.

Since then, I have decided journals are much more to my liking. I log notes, plan for projects, and add inspirational references and pertinent research. I don’t require perfection. Sometimes I scratch out entire sentences or remove pages to either destroy or to paste into another book. Thoughts toward the bottom of the page will crawl up the edges. Arrows and doodles cut across the text to connect ideas or highlight contradictions. Pictures, maps, and stickers add color, impart meaning, and create a tether to help me remember the moments I record.

Do you keep a diary or a journal?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – October 30

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 304 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday?

My year-end countdown has begun, and what a wild ride 2020 has been. The adage says what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I’m not dead, yet therefore I must be tougher right? The question becomes — How much can I accomplish before we ring in the new year?

It all starts with a well-conceived strategy, and mine includes a master list of 100 activities to help me reach my annual writing goal. It may sound impossible, but many items are almost insignificant and require fewer than 15 minutes to finish. They are micro-actions, minor jobs that, while they are crucial, they are the ones I repeatedly push to tomorrow.

My new resolution is to stop multitasking and instead concentrate on finishing one task before starting another. I have dedicated a cute notebook to collect random thoughts that often distract me from my current job. I aim to eliminate some low-priority habits and devote my time to higher valued assignments. Each evening, I will organize tomorrow’s calendar and schedule my most important activity in the top slot of my To-Do list. I pledge to complete that job before doing anything else. It means moving my daily writing session from afternoons to first thing in the morning. Well, second after my coffee, of course. November and NaNoWriMo begin on Sunday, and I need to incorporate the challenge into my routine.

Will you participate in NaNo? Do you have a plan? What can you achieve in the next few weeks?

Let us know in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Quick Wins Power Your Determination to Achieve Greater Success — Daily Quote

ive-found-that-small-wins-small-projects-small-differences-often-make-huge-differences.-rosabeth-moss-kanter

Life challenges us with never-ending obligations. The day job creates added stress. Our employment provides the paycheck for our basic needs; rent, food, and a modicum of security. Family responsibilities weigh heavy on our shoulders as we strive to be good parents, loving siblings, and caring children. If we are foolish enough to presume to manage a side hustle, the demands escalate. The pressure mounts with an overwhelming task list.

Sometimes the answer to bolstering our determination and producing the longed-for triumph is to concentrate on a single, modest element. Even a tiny accomplishment that we can move to the completed column is a win. It boosts our morale. With one detail resolved, we are free to finish the next item. The wins accumulate like pearls in a necklace. It can make all the difference.

What small win can you make happen today?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – October 29

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 303 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday?

My year-end countdown has begun, and what a wild ride 2020 has been. The adage says what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I’m not dead, yet therefore I must be tougher right? The question becomes — How much can I accomplish before we ring in the new year?

It all starts with a well-conceived strategy, and mine includes a master list of 100 activities to help me reach my annual writing goal. It may sound impossible, but many items are almost insignificant and require fewer than 15 minutes to finish. They are micro-actions, minor jobs that, while they are crucial, they are the ones I repeatedly push to tomorrow.

My new resolution is to stop multitasking and instead concentrate on finishing one task before starting another. I have dedicated a cute notebook to collect random thoughts that often distract me from my current job. I aim to eliminate some low-priority habits and devote my time to higher valued assignments. Each evening, I will organize tomorrow’s calendar and schedule my most important activity in the top slot of my To-Do list. I pledge to complete that job before doing anything else. It means moving my daily writing session from afternoons to first thing in the morning. Well, second after my coffee, of course. November and NaNoWriMo begin on Sunday, and I need to incorporate the challenge into my routine.

Will you participate in NaNo? Do you have a plan? What can you achieve in the next few weeks?

Let us know in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Achieving the Impossible with Your List as Your Guide — Daily Quote

mostly-i-make-lists-for-projects.-this-can-be-daunting.-breaking-something-big-into-its-constituent-parts-will-help-you-organize-your-thoughts-but-it-can-also-force-you-to-confront-the

I am late to the party. I’m unsure if I am 100% committed. A mere three days remain to get my head into the game, narrow my focus, and devise a plan. It happens this time every year. The writing world gears up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNo), and together, we embark on individual quests to compose 50,000 words during the 30 days of November.

Writers around the globe dedicate October to preparing for the event. They outline, identify plot points, write character studies and premise statements, organize notes, clean their workspace, and establish a daily routine. Some writers rearrange everyday life to give them the best chance for success. I applaud their dedication to the goal. But while I consider myself an organizer and a planner with the commitment and the drive to win, I have not mastered the art of NaNo prep.

I first took part in 2016. It was an impulsive decision made a few days before the kickoff. Somehow, in my novice state of oblivion, I hit the target. The draft languishes in the computer equivalent of my bottom desk drawer, waiting for a rewrite. I skipped 2017, and in 2018 I wrote a series of short stories that resulted in my second win. In 2019 I went bust when I ran into a brick wall at 12,000 words.

Now I sit, contemplating a track record of even-year wins, and I wonder if I can claim victory again.

Are you participating in NaNo? Are you prepared?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – October 28

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 302 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday?

My year-end countdown has begun, and what a wild ride 2020 has been. The adage says what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I’m not dead, yet therefore I must be tougher right? The question becomes — How much can I accomplish before we ring in the new year?

It all starts with a well-conceived strategy, and mine includes a master list of 100 activities to help me reach my annual writing goal. It may sound impossible, but many items are almost insignificant and require fewer than 15 minutes to finish. They are micro-actions, minor jobs that, while they are crucial, they are the ones I repeatedly push to tomorrow.

My new resolution is to stop multitasking and instead concentrate on finishing one task before starting another. I have dedicated a cute notebook to collect random thoughts that often distract me from my current job. I aim to eliminate some low-priority habits and devote my time to higher valued assignments. Each evening, I will organize tomorrow’s calendar and schedule my most important activity in the top slot of my To-Do list. I pledge to complete that job before doing anything else. It means moving my daily writing session from afternoons to first thing in the morning. Well, second after my coffee, of course. November and NaNoWriMo begin on Sunday, and I need to incorporate the challenge into my routine.

Will you participate in NaNo? Do you have a plan? What can you achieve in the next few weeks?

Let us know in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Discovering Magic and Enchantment In the Early Dawn Darkness– Daily Quote 

the-first-fall-of-snow-is-not-only-an-event-it-is-a-magical-event.-you-go-to-bed-in-one-kind-of-a-world-and-wake-up-in-another-quite-different-and-if-this-is-not-enchantment-then-where-i

Yesterday, a surprise arrived early in my day. I expected to wake to gray, dreary skies and heavy clouds wringing precipitation from their voluminous folds as gusting winds pushed them eastward. But I was not prepared for my morning greeting. Honestly, I was not awake. Not really. Not in the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed fashion lucky people manage.

I listened to splatting noises hitting the windows, noticed moisture on the darkened street outside, where the streetlight revealed the descending rain. Only it did not look right. Perhaps my vision was still blurry, so I rubbed my eyes as I moved closer to the streaked glass. Slow recognition lifted the veil from my groggy mind. It was not raining. There were heavy sloppy snowflakes that melted on impact with any warm surface. Snow? How could that be? The season is far too young for snow. It’s not even Halloween. Then I remembered last year and a record-breaking accumulation of 3.4 inches of white cotton candy on October 31st. Trick or treat.

Snow. The word tickled in my heart, my lips smiled, and I swear I heard someone giggle. Flake by flake, they fell, whispering secrets hushed by the silent sky. The first snowfall transformed a regular Monday, creating something magical and enchanting. All I know is that it heralds the beginning of a spectacular week.

How was your Monday?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – October 27

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 301 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday?

My year-end countdown has begun, and what a wild ride 2020 has been. The adage says what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I’m not dead, yet therefore I must be tougher right? The question becomes — How much can I accomplish before we ring in the new year?

It all starts with a well-conceived strategy, and mine includes a master list of 100 activities to help me reach my annual writing goal. It may sound impossible, but many items are almost insignificant and require fewer than 15 minutes to finish. They are micro-actions, minor jobs that, while they are crucial, they are the ones I repeatedly push to tomorrow.

My new resolution is to stop multitasking and instead concentrate on finishing one task before starting another. I have dedicated a cute notebook to collect random thoughts that often distract me from my current job. I aim to eliminate some low-priority habits and devote my time to higher valued assignments. Each evening, I will organize tomorrow’s calendar and schedule my most important activity in the top slot of my To-Do list. I pledge to complete that job before doing anything else. It means moving my daily writing session from afternoons to first thing in the morning. Well, second after my coffee, of course. November and NaNoWriMo begin on Sunday, and I need to incorporate the challenge into my routine.

Will you participate in NaNo? Do you have a plan? What can you achieve in the next few weeks?

Let us know in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer