Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Posted on May 10, 2013 - by Dawn Ford
I have always been fascinated with archeology. From the days I dug through the pasturelands dreaming of Indians, and probably to my death, the thought of finding something from another time, another place, enthralls me. I remember studying Iowa history as a middle grader. Somewhere along the way I read that Indians buried items with their dead, somewhat like the Egyptians except on a much smaller scale. These burial mounds would look like hills, but when excavated would turn up priceless historical artifacts. Ever since then I have dreamed about finding something of historical importance in the hills I live among.
Like the Austrian man back in 2007 who was digging up a garden in his back yard and unearthed 650 year-old jewelry. He found brooches, ornate buckles, more than 200 rings, among many other items. Click here for an article describing the find.
Or how about the English amateur treasure hunter Michael Greenhorn who found an “Escrick ring”? While using his metal detector in 2009, he came across the sapphire adorned ring while scouring a field near the village of Escrick, south of York, England. The ring dates back 10 or 11 centuries and could have royal ties. He sold the to the Yorkshire Museum for $50,000. How’s that for luck? Click here for that story.
Being a fisherman is a hard, smelly job. However, these Russian fishermen got more than they bargained for when they brought in their catch of the day. The glittering object they “caught” was an ancient bracelet and necklace. ”The catch turned out to be a necklace with a decoration of a lying animal, similar to a cat and a spiral bracelet in the same style. The unconnected ends are topped by gryphon heads,” Astrakhan authorities reported. Possibly from a destroyed burial site from the fourth to fifth century AD, the jewelry were handed over to Astrakhan State Museum of History and Architecture. Click here for this fishy find.
A couple of years ago Lorna and I along with our Iowa/Nebraska writer’s group visited DeSoto Bend Wildlife Refuge where the remainsof the steamboat Bertrand are kept. We learned many interesting facts about Iowa history on that tour, our guide was very knowledgeable, but one thing he said really stuck with me. The Missouri River once used to take a much different path as it does today. Thanks to the Army Corp of Engineers, the river now runs smooth and fairly safe now, unlike before the Corps were founded. Many ships carrying heavy loads got stuck in the Missouri as they travelled from St. Louis up to North Dakota or even Montana. Looking at the grand items from the Bertrand makes me wonder what is buried along the way, either in the belly of the Missouri as it lies now, or in the lands before it was shifted and moved (like the Bertrand was!).
Wouldn’t it be so grand to go out to plant your flowers and find a priceless piece of history, or take your son fishing and instead of a fish, you get a long lost gold necklace? I even found some arrow heads when I was a child, I haven’t seen any for many years now. I wonder if there are many left to be found or if the rest remain hidden just far enough below our level of living to stay hidden for future treasure seekers to find.
HOW YOU CAN WIN A COPY OF “WEDDING ON THE ROCKS.”
Rose is generously offering not one but TWO copies of Wedding on the Rocks AND TWO copies of her previous release Rose of Sharon to readers who comment during the next two weeks and let us know about their most unusual job or a beauty secret and/or mishap. That’s four chances to win a book every time you post here at Inkspirational Messages in the next two weeks.
Contest closes Friday, May 17 at midnight (central time). It is open to readers in the U.S. and Canada only.
Posted on March 29, 2013 - by Dawn Ford
This is for those of you who share my twisted sense of humor. Click HERE.
Have an Eggstra Special Easter Everyone!
Posted on January 8, 2013 - by Stacy Monson
I’ll admit it up front – I’m a small groups proponent in a big way. I think it’s one of the best ways to get to know people (and yourself) at church, at work, in the neighborhood, etc. And I salute every volunteer small group leader because of the time, energy and even money they give toward making the group the best it can be.
The world can be so big and impersonal, making us feel small and insignificant. That’s where small groups come in – they are a place to belong, to learn and grow, share yourself and care for others. A place where we matter, and “where everybody knows your name.” (now I’ve got you humming the song, right?)
At my former church, I held a position with a lofty title – Director of Connecting Ministries. But it’s what I did – connect people. I trained small group leaders, helped build small communities in our big church, developed a variety of ways for people to connect. And God made the pieces fall together – we had small groups that met just for dinner and conversation. Others met to study the Bible. There were prayer groups and knitting groups. Mens and Womens groups. Groups that gave teens a place to belong and be accepted.
Several times we had church-wide small groups around a common study. One year half of the congregation read and discussed the same book – either in small groups at church or in homes. There were small groups that God used to bring people into His light for the first time or to return to Him after an absence (Alpha made a huge difference in our congregation).
Pretty much every small group spent time volunteering together, a great way to cement those budding relationships. Some served meals at inner city churches. The quilting group auctioned off their quilts and gave the money to a church camp. The knitters prayed over and gave away the prayer shawls they created. Many groups adopted a family during Christmas and provided gifts for the children. They were part of Habitat for Humanity, Feed My Starving Children, local food shelves, community events. A few groups even went to Tanzania to work and learn (including me).
If you aren’t part of a small group, consider starting one. What better way to give of your time and yourself than to encourage others, grow together, and share the joys and concerns of life? Find a Bible study you’d like to work through and invite some neighbors to join you. Form a group of wanna-be writers and learn together. Look for needs in the community and create a group that will meet those needs.
The ideas are endless, the results life-changing. And God gets the glory through the bonding of His people. I can’t think of anything better. Hmm. Maybe I need to start another group…
Posted on January 4, 2013 - by Dawn Ford
Most of us give in little ways, ways in which we are able to give. Whether it is opening a door for an elderly person, or comforting a child who is crying. There are bigger ways in which we give, especially at Christmas time when this country is more aware of others’ needs. A good cyber friend of mine, Jill Williamson, has taken up the torch for a cause that will touch each of our hearts.
Sydney is an orphan girl from Eastern Europe. The Haydon family want to adopt her, but are unable to come up with all of the funds necessary to bring her here to the U.S. Jill has published a novella which all the proceeds go to helping this family bring their little girl home. Please click the links below to find out all of the information you need to help make this family’s dream come true.
Click on the Haydon family’s site HERE.
OR go to fund me HERE to donate.
Posted on December 22, 2012 - by Regina
You are the winner of the drawing for Janice Hanna’s Sleigh Belles! It’s finding its way to you even as we speak!
Merry Christmas from all the Inkspers, and thank EVERYONE who read and commented last week!
Posted on August 31, 2012 - by Dawn Ford
The first pets I remember having were two silver poodles. Pepper was a male toy poodle and Sherry was a female standard size poodle. I was four or five when my family decided to paint the house we lived in at the time. Being the youngest, I was not allowed to help. I’m sure that was a wise choice by my parents, except for the fact they left a brush and paint can unattended. Sherry was such a good dog, she sat there the whole time and let me paint her. Too bad dad had just sheared her curly hair off. They had a hard time getting the dried paint out of her fur. She never held it against me, though.
The next memorable pet we had was Missy kitty. She was the best mouser on the farm. Another summer day when I was twelve or thirteen a very pregnant Missy made herself comfortable in the bed of the trunk. She was in the middle of giving birth to a litter of babies when Dad arrived at work that morning. He left her there, hoping she would still be there after she delivered and he was done with work. She wasn’t. It was a few weeks before Missy showed up again, in the back of the truck once more, waiting for a ride back home. The rats in the Stockyards were as big as Missy. She must’ve decided home was a better place to live. Special note, she brought a couple of her kittens along for the ride home.
We also had a pony named Tinkerbell. She was a Shetland Pony with an attitude. Dad bought her from an elderly couple who couldn’t exercise her like she needed. Thoughts of wind whipping in my hair as I rode across the farmland on her back danced in my head. That is until the ride she bucked me off, knocked the wind out of me, and I saw my life flash before my eyes. I must mention she nipped at my brother, who was seated ahead of me on her back as well. She did not like to be ridden. We sold her to another elderly couple with no children, and a nice big pasture for her to live in.
Pretzel was the most memorable pet we had, though. He was an apricot toy poodle. A smart dog, he had crawled under the station wagon one night after we parked it and the engine was still warm. The trouble was it froze that night. We found him the next morning before going to school frozen to the ground. Fear not, he survived with a gimpy back leg. He was a good dog. Always went out in the pond to retrieve the bobbers my youngest brother snagged while fishing, gimpy leg and all.
Now we have a beagle named Snickers. We thought we had our hands full until our oldest son moved his dog in with us. Roxy is a Appenzeller Mountain dog. Appenzeller’s are outside dogs. She tends to get a bit bored during the day, and is definitely a needy dog. Her whine for attention almost sounds like she’s talking to you. This week she saved me from a wolf spider which was crawling across the downstairs floor. I think maybe I’ll keep her around for awhile. And fit her with a super hero cape.
Posted on July 24, 2012 - by Stacy Monson
Dawn posted a lovely tribute on Saturday to a special circle of friends (her Inksper buddies). I am blessed to also have a circle of friends that goes back far longer than I care to admit!
When my daughter (child #1) was nine months old, about 25 moms at my church decided to form a group for support, encouragement, babysitting and some “me” time. Child #1 is now 25 and married, and a group of 7 still gathers monthly for dinner, laughter and conversation from the heart. Let me introduce you to my sisters in Christ (in alpha order): Gail, Nancy, Ruth, Sue, Theresa and Wendy.
Gail – a second grade teacher with a gentle disposition and a sweet smile. Over the years I’ve tried to copy her hair, her waistline and her gentleness. Let’s just say it hasn’t worked out – I’m bigger, louder and not nearly as sweet. But I continue trying to emulate her.
Nancy – an OB/GYN nurse with the best, most infectious laugh of the group. Nancy’s heart is big and generous, her hugs comforting, and her joie d’vivre contagious. She will jump into action at the whisper of a problem with food, money, hugs or a laugh. How can someone 5” shorter than me walk so much faster?
Ruth – a pre-school teacher with a gentle voice and quiet nature. If we’re not careful in our conversation, Ruth will never get a word in. But woe to those on the receiving end of what we teasingly call “the wrath of Ruth.” You just might get a frown and the gentlest of scoldings. I wish she had been my pre-school teacher.
Sue – an allergy/asthma RN and a rock in our group. Made of solid faith, she has a loving directness that makes me squirm. She’s quick to share a laugh, someone I go to for prayer and encouragement. And she’s also impossible to keep up with on a “walk” (and we’re the same 5’9”!). I guess I walk slow.
Theresa – the peanut of the group. To this day I don’t know what she does because it has to do with numbers and finances, both of which make me nauseous. She loves deeply, laughs hard and consistently throws out one-liners that make me laugh no matter what my circumstances. She’s an amazing cook and decorates circles around me.
Wendy – a third grade teacher with a driving passion for kids, family, friends and her granddaughter, Claire (the first in our group). She will drop everything to help someone, cries easily and laughs freely. She’s the whirlwind in our cluster of seven and can make me laugh with just a look across the table.
Our group has conquered raising children, our children’s weddings, losing parents, dieting (and not dieting), divorce, health scares and the ongoing maladies of life, and now spending one weekend in January together “up north” for our mid-life version of a slumber party. Nothing is too scary to face, too big to climb, too sad to deal with or too hard to conquer when surrounded by hearts of faith and love like these.
“My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!” 1 John 4:11-12 (The Message)
For me, these women are Jesus with skin on (along with hairspray, heels, accessories and Spanx). Their selflessness exemplifies God’s love for me and makes me realize I am truly blessed. Whether you have a gaggle of them or just a few solid ones, you know that girlfriends are a gift from God. I wish you the blessing of at least one (if not 6) BFFs.
Posted on January 20, 2012 - by Dawn Ford
It is my distinct honor to talk with one of my new favorite Christian Science Fiction writers, Jill Williamson and share her with my inksper friends.
Jill, tell me a little about yourself and how you came to be a writer.
I grew up in Alaska with no electricity. My biggest dream was to get to the lower 38 and experience “real life.” Thankfully I found God in college before I got into too much trouble. I was very talented at making my own clothes and my dream was to be a fashion designer, so I eventually went to New York City for a year to finish that degree. We moved to Los Angeles because my husband wanted to work in the movie industry. It didn’t take long for our hearts to change. Those industries just didn’t fit our personalities. Plus we wanted to start a family and both Hollywood and the fashion industry aren’t the most family-friendly industries.
So my husband went back to school to become a youth pastor. I stayed home with the kids. After reading some of the teen novels the girls in my youth group were reading, I decided to write a teen novel for Christian teens. I got hooked on writing my spy kids story. So hooked that I had to put the dreaded thing down and write something different. So I did. Then I wrote something else. Then something else.
In your Darkness Series you created a whole different reality. Is it harder to create your own world or is it harder to have to keep within the confines of a reality where you could get the details wrong at some point in the story?
It depends on the genre. But usually for me, it’s much harder to write within the confines of reality because of all those necessary details. The science part, especially. If I’m writing science fiction, or dealing with an element of science in a contemporary fantasy story, it’s really hard for me to research all that. I’d much rather draw a map and create my own world and its own rules. *grin*
What inspired you for your current novel, “Replication: The Jason Experiment”, to write about clones?
I was riding in a car through upstate New York with my sister. We were going to pick apples. We passed endless amounts of ranches, orchards, and farms. It got me thinking. What if there was a farm where they grew people? Clones. It could be called Jason Farms. And that’s where the idea for the story came from. I wanted to explore how the world might treat cloned humans. Would they have the same rights as the rest of us? And what would their existence say about a creator God?
Did you consider cloning to be a hot-button topic and one that may not be accepted by your religious audience?
Not at all. I just thought it was a fun story idea. And many of my critique partners—and my husband too—said it was their favorite of the books I’d written to date. And it was the easiest sale I’d ever had. But as the book neared its release date, I heard from some of my Blood of Kings fans who were a bit worried about this cloning story. The phrases “creeps me out” and “I don’t think I’ll like a story about clones” were mentioned more than once. And then I got a couple almost-offended reviews from magazines, and it suddenly occurred to me that some people might see this as a political story, which I never intended it to be.
You write Christian Science Fiction. How do you set out to put a message in your story that touches readers but that doesn’t preach to them in a way to turn them off to the message?
I never set out to put any message in my books. I just write the stories as they come and try to be true to the characters’ journeys. In the Blood of Kings trilogy, Achan needed to have an encounter with the One God, so I showed that the best way I could. And in Replication, Abby was a strong Christian—the kind of kid who actually tries to live out what she believes. So, I felt that the faith issues that arose between Martyr and Abby were naturally the things that would have come up in real life, the way they might in youth group one Wednesday night.
I can understand why non-Christians don’t understand that and that some might think I put those scenes in on purpose to meet some secret agenda, but I didn’t. It’s always been one of my pet peeves when a character gets saved in a book one because it never seems very realistic to me. In my own life, I was around Christians for eight years before I made the decision to follow Christ. But Martyr was different. So, I guess the answer to this question is that I try to be true to who my characters are, the story they are living through, and where they story needs to go to reach an ending.
We writer’s seem to get inspired by the strangest details. What was one of the strangest things that you experienced which brought forth an idea for a novel?
I distinctly remember where I got the idea for every story I’ve written, and most of those ideas were inspired by pretty ordinary things. I suppose that seeing the partially burned tree when I was on a walk with my son was a pretty small detail that inspired an entire trilogy. Luke and I had stopped our walk to look at a house that had burned down. And there was a tree in the yard that was partially charred and mostly still alive and leafy green. I remember running home (pushing the stroller ahead of me) and Photoshopping that tree. Once I had the image of a half-dead/half-living tree, I started brainstorming a story to go with it, which became the Blood of Kings trilogy.
What do you have next on your drawing board that you can share with us today?
I’m very blessed to be working on a few things. Marcher Lord Press bought my teen spy kids series (the first book I wrote!). The Mission League is a series of four books that follow one young man’s experiences with a spy organization that fights evil. The first book, The New Recruit, is scheduled to release in the fall of 2012. I’m so excited!
And I am writing a new series for Zonderkidz that is scheduled to release in 2013 with the first book tentatively titled Captives. Here is the gist of that story: In a dystopian future, most the population is infected with a plague. The only exceptions are those who live outside the city walls. A mutation in the plague sends city enforcers looking for uninfected nationals in an effort to purge the disease from future generations. When enforcers raid Levi’s village, they take his fiancé into the city and hold her captive in the Highland Harem. Levi launches a one-man war against the city in an attempt to free his loved ones from his village before it’s too late.
How do you view the future of the Christian Speculative Genre?
I see a bright future for the genre. There are a lot of houses looking for Christian speculative fiction. So I think that there is a huge market out there and publishers are willing to give it a try. I also see many writers getting caught up in ebooks and self-publishing. And while I’m not opposed to self-publishing on a case-by-case basis, most writers are not born marketers or businessmen. Being a self-published author is really tough, and many who go this route may get discouraged.
And one other thing I’ve noticed: critics can be hard on Christian spec fiction. It’s not politically correct to write books with Christian themes, and some reviewers get downright angry when they encounter them. As a result, I’ve seen a few authors tempted to write their next spec fiction books with allegories that can cross over into the general market. It’s difficult to continually create books you know some people will despise. So in that regard, the Christian speculative fiction may continually be a challenge to the author’s heart. Christian authors need to arm themselves with a Galatians 1:10 mentality. “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Jill’s newest release, Replication, is an amazing speculative story about a secret cloning laboratory and the one clone, Martyr, who simply wants to see the sky before he fulfills his life’s purpose before he expires and the girl helps save him. Jill’s refreshing tale of an innocent mind opening up to the knowledge of God and what real purpose and sacrifice looks like will touch your hearts. I highly recommend it for teens and adults alike.
Thank you, Jill for a wonderful interview and a great read!
Posted on August 12, 2011 - by Kav
I spent my childhood summers in the city. Both my parents worked so my sister and I were ‘latch-key’ kids. Long, lazy days of zero parental supervision. Oh, sweet bliss!
And even better – I had a wonderland of excitement waiting for me just ten blocks from my home. I made the trek every other day; my arms plied high with books. Where was I heading?
The public library, of course.
The musty smell of old books was as welcoming as any tangy sea breeze. And the cool clamminess of the children’s section located in the basement was as refreshing as dabbling your feet in a cool brook. And talk about summer friendships! Hundreds of them awaited me on those packed shelves.
I usually checked out twelve books a visit. Six books for each arm. It took a bit of juggling to get through doorways but once I was on the street I could manage just fine. And if my arms got tired, I’d just drop to the ground wherever I was and start reading until I felt rested again. Of course that meant the trip home took a lot longer but since there was no one waiting on me that didn’t matter.
If I’d only read those books I might have to end this blog post here, because really, what more can be said about spending your whole summer reading? B-o-r-i-n-g, right? Not if you were a kid with a runaway imagination who lived what she read. It’s a miracle I survived my childhood.
When I read Five Children and It by E. Nesbit, I immediately went on my own quest to find a psammead (sand fairy) who grants wishes. Of course, I didn’t achieve quite the same results. First, I needed sand – not an easy commodity to find in the city. I finally settled on the baseball diamond in the Junior High schoolyard. And since there were five children in the book but only one of me I improvised with a few dolls and a teddy bear. Then I needed a picnic. I crammed some Cheese Whiz crackers and my china doll’s tea set into a pillow case and then added a spade because everyone knows that psammeads bury themselves under sand in order to avoid pesky wish-demanding children.
Alas, it wasn’t long before I discovered that the sand in the baseball diamond was packed so hard it might as well have been cement. I could barely scratch the surface let alone dig deep enough to unearth a sand-fairy. Determined not to let this disappointment scar the remainder of my day I got a scathingly brilliant idea.
I would hold my picnic on top of the backstop!
It was a bit of a climb, made more difficult since I had a booty-filled pillowcase clutched in one hand but I made it! And what a thrill it was to look down at everything from my perch above. I set out the dolls and teddy bear, passed around china plates laden with crackers and had the most thrilling tea party of my life. I felt adventurous and daring and equal to any literary heroine …until it came to climbing down when I found myself inexplicably frozen with fear.
Unfortunately, the sheer terror of my situation precluded my enjoyment of the subsequent police rescue. My parents were just getting home from work when the cruiser pulled up. Imagine their horror and shock! I’d been stranded on the backstop for hours in the blazing sun. Dehydrated and sunburned, face streaked with tears, I didn’t resemble the child they’d left that morning.
That wasn’t my last brush with the law either. Later that same summer, I had to be rescued off a cliff by a park ranger. My family spent every Saturday of the summer at Boyd Conservation Area — 991 acres of trails, picnic areas and river swimming. There was even a man-made beach with lots of luxurious sand. But my psammead digging days were over. I had moved into the mystery section of the library and had just discovered Phyllis A. Whiney and was reading The Mystery of the Haunted Pool.
Our park routine was always the same: my parents would lay out a blanket, plunk down the cooler and set up for a day of sunbathing. My sister and I and any friends we brought with us were allowed to simply roam free. And roam we did. I’m sure we covered every square foot of that park by the end of the summer.
Which was how I stumbled upon the Haunted Cave. I knew it was haunted because I could hear the most unearthly moans coming out of it.
Of course I had to explore. Trouble was the ‘cave’ was way up the side of a cliff. So up I climbed and, you guessed it, got stuck. Petrified, I clung to the side of the cliff like a squirrel monkey until some hikers noticed me and alerted the park rangers. Imagine my parents’ reaction when I showed up by their picnic blanket with my ranger escort! Actually better not to!
Then there was the orphan craze I went through. I LOVED books about orphans. Such a romantic, exciting life! Think Anne of Green Gables and Pippi Longstocking. And then I got my hands on a copy of Nobody’s Girl by Hector Malot. It was written in the late 1800’s in France and reads like a soap opera.
When Perrine’s mother dies she discovers that she has an estranged grandfather. I was captivated by the 300+ pages that told Perrine’s harrowing search for someone to belong to. Sniffle. I identified with the heroine so much that I took her persona upon myself. I stopped eating breakfast and lunch so that I would know what hunger felt like. I teased and tangled my hair, ripped my clothes and rolled around in the dirt to give myself the look of a lost waif. Then I walked down the bustling streets of Toronto looking desperately at every kind elderly face wondering it belonged to my very own long, lost grandpappa. I won’t mention the time that I was escorted out of a department store by a security detail – the very one my own father worked at!
By, by now you’re convinced I’m mad as a hatter and ought to be locked up. In fact, you’re probably wondering if I have a juvenile record. All I can say is that I may have grown up but I still live every book I read…and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
How about you — any books from your childhood you just had to become a part of?
Posted on February 7, 2011 - by Kim
My name is Kim and I am an overthinker. Like an alcoholic who can’t stop with just one little sip of his or her favorite drink and ends up plastered to the floor unable to gain enough equilibrium to even stand up, I can’t stop thinking. Ideas pop into and out of my head like the moles in the Whack-A-Mole game with such speed I barely even recognize them sometimes. But as a writer, this should be a great thing, right?
WRONG! Thinking too much can be downright paralyzing. Sure, the ideas come. The projects get started. Scenes play like the latest blockbuster on the big screen. But then I start to write. And the scene in my head just doesn’t look the same on the paper as it did in my mind. So I start trying to fix it. Force the words to conform to the emotions and body language of the characters. Manipulate the pen like it was a camera on a boom that can follow everything from the background to the secondary characters running around on the fringes of the stage to the main characters so close to a kiss my own lips are tingling. When the ink doesn’t comply, then the frustration sets in and I shut down. I simply don’t write.
And as with many things in life, the habits that form the easiest are the ones you can abandon the quickest. Not writing leads to more not writing which leads to…well, you get the point. Suddenly, all my overthinking has put me in the rut of not writing. Talk about a creativity killer.
So, how do I get myself out of the overthinking quagmire and more forward to completed ready for editing projects?
Well, while it’s far from a traditional twelve-step program, this is what usually works for me:
Step One: Settle into my comfy recliner with lapdesk on lap, paper on lapdesk, thesaurus at the ready and pencil in hand.
Step Two: Place iPod earbuds in ears.
Step Three: Select my favorite playlist – Songs To Write By and press play
Step Four: Get lost in the music. This usually slows down my thought processes enough to give the words a chance to gain strength. Grow loud enough to shut out everything else but the movement of my hand in unison with the pencil against the paper.
Step Six: Write some more.
Step Seven: Write even more.
Step Eight: Turn the paper over and write some more.
Step Nine: Let a little more lead out of the end of my mechanical pencil.
Step Ten: Brush away the eraser dust that’s collected on the lapdesk
Step Eleven: Write some more
Step Twelve: Massage the writer’s cramp out of my fingers while I admire the completed chapter and start thinking about editing.
Repeat the process until writing is again the familiar habit and not the occasional indulgence.
By this point in time, the overthinking gene is off in the corner somewhere whimpering and licking its wounds waiting for the next time a distraction comes along so it can pounce and push me back in the rut of not writing. Hopefully, one of these days, it will be forever banished. But until then, I’ll stick to my personal twelve-step program and stay away from thinking as much as possible!