The Perfect Christmas Cookie for Your Santa’s Every Taste Bud – Daily Quote

my-family-as-you-can-probably-guess-was-more-into-christmas-cookies-and-not-so-much-the-fruitcake.-christina-tosi

My family loves cookies, and I love baking. I may have missed my calling. In an alternate timeline, I run a popular bakery and confection shop with daily lines that stretch out the door and around the block. Top on my holiday list are Springerle, Pfeffernüsse, Linzer Tarts, and Lebkuchen made with homemade candied citrus peel. There are the perennial favorites, and overall crowd-pleasers like chewy Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, soft Ginger cookies, traditional spicy Gingerbread Men, and the versatile Sugar cookie decorated with Royal Icing.

Chocolate Crinkle cookies get dressed up and transform into Red Velvet Crinkles. Hazelnut Biscotti dipped in dark chocolate are a must with Christmas brunch coffee. On the adults-only table are special laced treats. Do you want a Chocolate Rum Ball or a Bourbon-Spiked Eggnog cookie? Or perhaps you prefer a Kahlua Creme Brule cookie?

Grandma’s Icebox cookies are a household tradition, along with Grandpa’s famous Date bars. The little ones enjoy Candy cane cookies sprinkled with peppermint or the gooey raspberry and almond Shortbread Thumbprints. Uncle Arthur picks the Buckeye Balls, while Aunt Sue lays claim to every Coconut Macaroon she can find. Dad will deny he has a favorite, but the Chocolate-covered cherry cookies seem to disappear when he is near.

As much I adore creating and tasting each batch as they emerge from the oven, my friends and family miss the sweet simplicity of Lemon Butter cookies.

What cookie does your Santa crave?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – December 4

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 339 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.

What can you achieve before the year’s end?

Let us know in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Joy of the Right Tool, In Its Assigned Place, Makes Your Work Fly — Daily Quote

i-like-to-work-fast.-i-despise-not-having-the-right-tool-or-worse-knowing-i-have-it-but-not-being-able-to-find-it.-its-a-pointless-delay-that-wrecks-my-pace-and-mood.-adam-savage.

I thrive in organized and systematic environments. I consider efficiency, speed, and precision, the primary indicators of the ultimate success and satisfaction of every endeavor I undertake. Having the proper tool for the job is paramount. As a planner, my first step before launching a project is a well-conceived plan. I gather my supplies before I set to work. When everything is ready, the conductor steps to his podium raises his baton, and the music swells.

That is how I orchestrate my life under normal circumstances, but all bets are off with a house remodel that complicates my everyday routine. They pack my possessions into neatly labeled boxes and stacked row upon row, from the floor to the ceiling. I am displaced, living where nothing is in its familiar, assigned space. Kitchen gadgets, once taken for granted, are not accessible. Basic tasks that once required only muscle memory to accomplish now demand attention, though, and extra time. While I expected obstacles, I was unprepared for the difficulties associated with the simple stuff.

I take comfort in knowing the day approaches when I can sift through the cartons, return my tools to their homes, and resume practiced dances with my intimate friends.

How do you cope with unexpected challenges?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – December 3

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 338 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.

What can you achieve before the year’s end?

Let us know in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Endure, Overcome, and Create Your Dream Life Despite Daily Challenges — Daily Quote

the-most-authentic-thing-about-us-is-our-capacity-to-create-to-overcome-to-endure-to-transform-to-love-and-to-be-greater-than-our-suffering.-ben-okri.

It happens. Wednesday morning brushing your teeth, you realize you don’t recognize the face reflected in the mirror. Questions pour through the opened floodgate. Who are you? How did I get here? What have I become? How is this my life? Some people perceive deep feelings of emptiness and a sense of surreal dissociation. Others experience debilitating depression, which threatens to consume the remains of a shattered soul. What do I do now? How do I fix this?

There are no simple answers. One size doesn’t fit everyone. I know we possess the unlimited capacity and remarkable creativity to identify the root issues and devise brilliant solutions. For me, conflict often arises from real-world necessities that feed our dreaded “should” lists. The word “should” has been responsible for condemning me to countless thoughts and actions which didn’t align with my core beliefs. It requires courage to examine the pile, choosing whether to keep or discard the attached command.

It is a time-consuming, soul-searching process, and deciding which principles matter doesn’t happen overnight. Karen Moning says, “The most confused we ever get is when we try to convince our heads of something that we know in our hearts is a lie.” We must press past fear, stop avoiding the tough questions, and answer them from our hearts. No matter how scared we are, moving forward means heeding our intuition, trusting we will recognize our truth.

How do you find your authentic self?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – December 2

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 337 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.

What can you achieve before the year’s end?

Let us know in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

NaNoWriMo 2020 — Word Count Wrap-Up

nano-2020-writer-

I am declaring myself a NaNo winner, even though I didn’t technically meet the criteria of “Official” Winner Status. My total reached a whopping 11,555 hard-won words. That makes my daily average a mere 385 words and represents 23% of the published goal. If we were grading on the curve, any self-respecting teacher would award me a failing grade.

Thank goodness I am not relying on school standards. You may wonder why I believe I deserve to claim the same accolades as someone who met the requirements. Excellent question, and it boils down to obstacles faced and overcome. This month saw my sweetheart undergoing major surgery and spending an entire week in the hospital before being discharged. Hospital rules prevented me from seeing him during his stay, which only increased my anxiety. Now he is convalescing here at home, safe from infections and making steady progress. We are scheduling twice-weekly physical therapy and home nursing services, along with weekly doctor appointments.

For good measure, I am trying to wrap up a house remodel. Coordinating workers around our other constraints while maintaining the quarantine zone has complicated things. Oh, and did I mention a day job? Friends told me I was crazy to try NaNo. But I am nothing if not a glutton for punishment. Besides, I needed a distraction, a piece of time reserved for me when I could forget the world’s pressures.

Did you write for NaNo? What challenges did you face?

Did you win, based on your criteria?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Acknowledge Your Mistakes, Let Go, and Begin Again — Daily Quote

nothing-in-the-universe-can-stop-you-from-letting-go-and-starting-over.-guy-finley

I have a ritual I invoke at the start of each month. I assess my progress, review my accomplishments, and congratulate myself on what worked. That’s the simple part. Next, I determine where I fell short and devise ways to fix underperforming areas. Then I sweep it away.

Turning the calendar means a clean slate and an opportunity to start again. But a do-over isn’t a free pass, and I hold myself accountable by rescheduling unfinished tasks. Learning from my failures, I let them guide me, and they have taught me valuable lessons. My mistakes point out miscalculations, errors, and places for improvement.

Dissecting my shortcomings allows me to make course corrections, adjust my workflow, and I get another chance to be better. The one thing I keep in mind as I establish my new schedule is my past performance is not an indicator of future outcomes. Instead, I do my best to set myself up to outperform last month’s wins.

How do you approach a new month?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – December 1

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 336 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.

Are you participating 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