The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – April 30

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I woke to rain spattering on my window and wished I had the luxury of pulling the covers over my head and going back to sleep. But the planting crew with my new trees confirmed an 8 am start time, so I reluctantly threw back my covers, forced my feet to connect with the floor, and stumbled to the shower. Coffee, always the first order of my day, was finished when the trucks pulled in front of the house.

Five hours later, the weather cleared, transplanted trees and bushes settled into their new, forever homes, and my muse whispered in my ear. She planted seeds in my mind and prodded my characters to resume their tales. My muse is a cruel mistress, and she demands my obedience. But I have been working without her guidance for too long, and I will gratefully do her bidding. She says she has been watching me, and today we start the actual work.

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 517 words.

Did you write yesterday?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – April 29

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Spring has sprung. May 1 is the last date this area expects a hard frost, and my yard work is in full swing. Yesterday began the carefully choreographed parade of contractors that starts with the call to mark the buried utility lines in the yard. Next on the agenda is the sprinkler system turn on, winter damage assessment, and flagging the sprinkler heads.

Thursday’s schedule involves planting two new trees. The Black Tupelo in the front yard replaces the canker-infested Blue Spruce we removed in February. I selected a Bald Cypress and a handful of Red Twig Dogwood shrubs to create an attractive accent against the white fence in the backyard. They will help control the standing water that pools along the fence line during wet weather.

The big event is Friday and Saturday. Weeping pine sap from the Blue Spruce killed the front lawn and left the soil too acidic for a successful reseeding. The crew will remove the dead grass, backfill with new soil, level the area, and lay new sod. They will also redefine the existing garden beds, and establish new layouts around the fresh plantings, then top-dress with mulch.

I’m also power washing the house and fence, adding new perennials to freshen the curb appeal, and in a few weeks, when the weather is warmer, setting out tomatoes, basil, peppers, and perhaps a few other vegetables in my garden plot. Even with the added activity, I haven’t forgotten my focus.

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 389 words.

Did you write yesterday?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – April 28

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Tuesday ended up being a day filled with challenges and unexpected opportunities requiring on-your-feet-thinking and spur-of-the-moment decisions. It was a day when you gather as much information as time allows, work the details on the back of the envelope, pivot, make a bold decision, and hope for the best.

Normally, those days leave me exhausted, but the scenarios I tamed left me excited and invigorated. It was a great day to get some words written.

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 520 words.

Did you write yesterday?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – April 27

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Monday hit me like water from a fire hose. Every project seemed to reach three-alarm levels, and I scrambled to stay ahead of the blaze. Fires out, crisis averted, and I was left soaking wet and exhausted. Boy, so glad I decided Monday morning was a good day to increase the mileage on my daily walk. That is how it works when you attempt to stuff ten pounds of potatoes in a five-pound sack. Push on one side, and something squeezes out of the opposite corner.

Never fear. Superman saved the day and set everything back on the correct course. This Superman may need a few hours in the Fortress of Solitude to restore the enormous energy drain Monday extracted. I hope the week gets easier.

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 413 words.

Did you write yesterday?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – April 26

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Sunday provided a rare opportunity to decompress. It felt like an episode from a dystopian show where everyone disappears, and you find yourself alone. Eerie, surreal, and utterly wonderful. I had the house to myself, devoid of nerve-jarring noises, and with no distractions and zero interruptions, I found time and space to write. Tragically, after an hour, someone broke the spell, and we were back to business as usual. But for sixty blissful moments, the muse whispered in my ear, my fingers flew across the keyboard, and words appeared on my screen. I live for pockets of time when everything works.

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 525 words.

Did you write yesterday?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

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?

_________________________________________

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?

_________________________________________

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?

_________________________________________

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?

_________________________________________

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?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer