The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – April 25

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This is my weekend to catch up on everything I didn’t do last weekend. I jampacked yesterday with errands, an endless backlog of household chores, and an intense desire to destroy my list. I imagined the joy of grabbing a cup of coffee, my current read, and settling into my comfy chair for the duration. It’s my fault. I know what happens when I start a new book—I don’t want to put it down until I reach the last page.

Since I know my preference, the sensible choice would be a compromise that involves forcing myself to select a short story collection or a sweet novella. Nope, that would be too easy. I want a sweeping epic fantasy, with multiple books in the series where each installment clocks in at 700-800 pages. I have difficulty believing people who claim they can read a chapter a night before bed. What? If I want to sleep, the last drowsiness aide on my list is reading. Embarking on a new story is a sure-fire prescription for a sleepless night, a yawned-filled day, and a heated argument about when to begin reading the next book.

No matter the challenges and the obstacles blocking my way, I maintain the item at the top of my list as a non-negotiable. Yesterday I wrote 282 words.

Did you write yesterday?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Risk Unpredictable Elements and You Might End Up Smelling Like A Rose – Daily Quote

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Mother Nature forges ahead with her own agenda. She doesn’t wait for everything to be perfect before she begins. To herald the season’s metamorphosis, she sends spring flowers. Late snowstorms dump two feet of the white fluffy stuff way past the day the calendar says it should snow. Thunderstorms, torrential downpours, flash flooding, and tornados don’t keep her from coaxing crocus, tulips, lily of the valley, and blood-red peony stalks above ground.

They brave inclement weather and hostile conditions. They may hope for gentle breezes, sunny skies, and tender rain, but life gives them no guarantees. If they have any hope of growing, blooming, and reaching their full potential, they must take risks. Faced with uncertainty, they begin anyway.

Are you dreaming of a beginning?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – April 24

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No one was happier than I was when Friday came early. I’m always a bit surprised and beyond delighted when the weekend arrives to shut down and crazy and unpredictable work week. We employ every ounce of wisdom when we schedule over-committed weekends as a thematic dovetail to a series of insane workdays. Or maybe I am just blessed.  It seems there is no rest for the wicked. One of these days, I need to figure out the secret of the people who always claim to be bored. I might have a few spare hours for that research on the twelfth of never.

Someone famous once said there is plenty of time for sleeping when you are dead. I suspect that is only wishful thinking.

No matter the challenges and the obstacles blocking my way, I maintain the item at the top of my list as a non-negotiable. Yesterday I wrote 431 words.

Did you write yesterday?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Drown Your Lemons, Forget Work, and Enjoy Your Friday Night Weekend Kick-off Party – Daily Quote

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Despite our best planning, brilliant juggling, inspired delegation skills, and a commitment to finish projects, shit happens. Life delivers unexpected challenges, not enough hours in the day, and a boss who feigns understanding but only cares about results. Hectic is an understatement. Coworkers pack your inbox with emergencies, thoughtlessly making them your problem (because you are the expert at finding solutions). When you think it can’t get any worse, a truckload of lemons arrives on your doorstep. This overworked, fresh-out-of-ideas introvert is not amused.

TGIF. I need a lovely meal, preferably one I don’t have to cook, but I dread looking at the same tired takeout menus and waiting for an hour or more for the privilege of microwaving cold food. The best covid inspired delivery service is from my local liquor store. I am glad they have seen the folly of half inebriated people making the perilous journey for necessary supplies. Besides, my anxiety over the bumper crop of lemons diminishes in direct proportion to my alcohol consumption. Hey? Where is my friend with the alcohol? There is nothing better than a quiet drink savored after surviving a hellish week before succumbing to absolute exhaustion.

I am excited for the impending weekend, the promised opportunity of sleeping late, avoiding work-related obligations for two entire days, and the room I need to relax and recover. When I can breathe, I plan to organize and schedule next week. My goal is to get back on track. Is anyone need a few lemons?

How do you recuperate after a busy week?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – April 23

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By the end of the day, I am exhausted, and often my fondest wish is to fall into bed and sleep. However, my scheduled writing sessions begin at 9 pm and end when I cannot string words together to form coherent sentences. It’s not ideal, but I try to make the best use of the time available to me. Friends think I am exaggerating when I say I have woken with the imprint of my keyboard on my face. I assure you the tales are true. It happened again last night, and it’s a royal pain to delete pages filled with repeated letters.

I’m not sure how the days have slid into Friday already. According to my workload, it should only be Tuesday. Slowly, surely, and with dogged determination, I will right the ship, adjust my sails, and carry on.

No matter the challenges and the obstacles blocking my way, I maintain the item at the top of my list as a non-negotiable. Yesterday I wrote 454 words.

Did you write yesterday?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – April 22

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I’ve been waiting for months to be eligible for the Covid vaccine. I don’t remember the last time I was too young and too healthy for anything, but that was my situation. I watched older friends and relatives as they each got their shots, and I breathed a sigh of relief when they only experienced minor issues. Younger friends and family with conditions I was unaware of also received their doses and breezed through the process. I am thrilled the virus now poses less of a risk to them. And I waited.

Delaying my shot coincided with assuaging my anxiety. I have a long history of pronounced reactions to injections. My mother laughs when she tells the story of me fainting as a child with each required immunization. Those needle jabs always left bruises and welts at the injection site, and it was not uncommon for me to feel ill for a day or two afterward. The doctors all said I would outgrow it. Yeah, that didn’t happen. The reactions followed me into adulthood, and I feel like an idiot when I warn my nurses. I love the nurse who takes me seriously and takes necessary precautions. I have paid a hefty price in concussions, a gashed head, and in one case of carpet burns on my forehead when they scoff at my warnings.

Finally, my state said I could get my vaccine. With mixed emotions, I scheduled my appointment and arranged for my backup person to go with me. As the moment approached, I steeled myself for the encounter and began repeating my mantra. “I will remain conscious. I will remain conscious.”

The nurse was wonderful. She asked detailed questions about what to expect and assured me that we could stay as long as I needed. An hour after she administered the shot, I was still dizzy, but leaning on my friend, we made it to the car. I don’t remember the drive home. Then the fun began. My entire left arm, from my shoulder to my fingertips, went numb. The lightest touch of my shirt sleeve created unbearable agony, my head hurt, I felt nauseous, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I took a dose of a pain reliever, and I slept.

They warn you that you might experience side effects for several days. Four. Four days elapsed before I began to feel human again and just in time to return to my 9 to 5, where my desk disappeared under the backlog of work. Monday evening, I shut my computer and went to bed. On Tuesday, I stayed awake long enough to eat my dinner. And my writing? I haven’t written a word until now.

Did you write yesterday?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Don’t Give Up, Patience and Time Sometimes Rewards You with Glorious Green – Daily Quote

Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love! Sitting Bull

I love starting vegetables for my summer garden from those cute seed packets. Every spring, I purchase envelopes with pretty pictures, consult the Farmer’s Almanac for the last expected hard frost, calculate germination times, and coordinated planting dates with my schedule. This year, I am reworking my landscaping, so, I opted to limit my spring plantings to tomatoes and basil. I have major changes planned in the yard, and I needed to concede to a lack of time and space for a more ambitious undertaking.

The Farmer’s Almanac called for sowing both tomato and basil seeds for indoor germination anytime between March 24th and April 7th in my zone. True to my nature, I pushed the window and delayed setting up my table until the last possible day. Tomatoes typically germinate in 5 to 10 days and basil in 5 to 7 days. But I’m not patient. As soon as I plopped the little darlings into their peat pots, I was looking for signs of life.

So many things can go wrong at this stage. Perhaps the seeds are too old, the soil too wet or too dry, or maybe the temperature dips below optimum levels. I checked my babies almost every hour. Black dirt stared back at me. Turning the tray from side to side, I searched for a hint of green before my logical side kicked in to remind me of the 5-day minimum. I marked my calendar, crossed out each day, and waited. I hate waiting, so I tried to occupy my mind and forced myself to stop watching the clock. Days 5, 6, and 7 passed with no encouraging sightings, and I feared I had overlooked some critical variable.

Yesterday, I looked at them once more before I admitted defeat, chucked the failures, and started over. With a heavy sigh, I lifted the cover, expecting to find sad brown mud. Instead, I discovered tiny flecks of green sprinkled across the dark, moist surface. I think I squealed and giggled, and I might have clapped my hands. Flipping on the grow light, I spoke to my new plants. They say they thrive when they know they are loved.

What are you planting in your garden?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – April 15

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It is appropriate that on hump day, I felt as if I reached the summit of an insignificant incline in otherwise flat terrain. On a typical week, I’m sure I wouldn’t have noticed it. Like a runner approaching the end of a grueling marathon, even a minor grade change can threaten to stop you in your tracks. This moment is the ultimate test. Their training, or lack thereof, will make them or break them. Did they learn to dig deep, find the last remnants of energy, determination, and raw nerve to finish the task they started?

I am spent. Yet I feel a certain satisfaction, and I rejoice when I realize I am on the downhill side of coasting toward the weekend. Plenty lies ahead for me to accomplish.  I foresee more challenges to meet and no shortages of uphill struggles to overcome. To the victor of even tiny wins goes the reward of a peaceful and sound night’s sleep.

No matter the challenges and the obstacles blocking my way, I maintain the item at the top of my list as a non-negotiable. Yesterday I wrote 424 words.

Did you write yesterday?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Determine Your Dream Destination, Set Your GPS, and Plan the Trip of Your Life – Daily Quote 

If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. Yogi Berra

People who use their car’s GPS for a trip to the grocery store amuse me. The directions couldn’t be easier or more direct—turn right as you exit the subdivision, turn left at the fourth stoplight, and make a right into the parking lot. When I question the logic behind their choice, the typical response is, “Oh, I just what to see where I am going.” I suppose it makes sense.

Yet when I ask them about their plans for the week, next month, or a year from now, I invariably receive a deer-in-the-headlights stare. Answers for the next week illicit expected activities like work, errands, and upcoming appointments. Extend the period thirty days, and you get shoulder shrugs or belatedly remembered mentions of an impending birthday, graduation, or wedding. I assure if you continue the line of questioning and inquire about next year, they will call you a weirdo.

Maybe I am odd. While others associate higher risks in short-term activities, I place my egg in the long-term planning basket. I find looking forward lets me be proactive rather than reactive. I don’t have a crystal ball, but it doesn’t take a fortune teller to predict you will never become a doctor if you are not studying biology, chemistry, or enrolled in Pre-Med classes. Imagining what life might look like in five or ten years gives me direction. Today’s dreams form the foundation of my goals.

Planning where I want to go forces me to assess my current position, establish a realistic roadmap, and set tactics for moving towards my future reality. I can anticipate pitfalls, roadblocks, and hurdles before they happen and devise strategies to avoid or minimize their impact on my progress. I know it works because once upon a time I dreamed of living the life I have now.

Where will your GPS take you?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – April 14

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Monday took everything out of me. My concentration deserted me, and I bounced from project to project, accomplishing nothing significant. These days drive the annoying, disappointing, and frustrating feelings to the breaking point. Every bone in my body screams to move forward, but my brain won’t comply. The sensible thing to do is rest. Unfortunately, that protocol malfunctions, so I took a nice long walk instead. It was enough to sync mind and body, so they reached a consensus and let me sleep.

No matter the challenges and the obstacles blocking my way, I maintain the item at the top of my list as a non-negotiable. Yesterday I wrote 139 words.

Did you write yesterday?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer