10.28.2014

Good morning, mountains!

This is my favorite time of year to drive to work. Just after sunrise the mountains glow pink or red and the snow on the divide becomes almost fluorescent in its excitement to greet the sun. In a time when the world slows and nature goes dormant, it is as though the mountains are promising that there is still life within them.
Good morning, mountains. I am happy to see you, too.

10.01.2014

IWSG - October

It is another IWSG day, and I have only posted once since last month. So here it is: I have an extremely hard time posting on my blog about anything when I have a lot of 'real life' stuff happening. I know people say that having regular posts, dependability, fresh content, is important to build audience as a writer.. 'Blogging is important!' they say. 'Make sure to interact with your readers, and your blogging buddies!' they say. Even if it is just to say hi to remind them you exist. Otherwise we are sure to lose our audiences and never sell a book and omg fall into that hole with all the other failed authors, never to see the light of glorious ritzy authorial success.

But I, like many of my friends with writing tendencies, am an introvert. And when I have stuff happening (life drama, too much work, travel..) I dont want to post on my blog. Not that I dont love my blogging buddies, but this site is outward facing. It is intended for other people. And when I have so much going on, I go into self - preservation mode and can't bring myself to share what little energy I have with other people,  even if I really like them (truly - just ask my husband and local friends).

There are days that I am terrified this means I will never be successful and known as an author, and there are days that I just want to say forget it and quit the whole thing. I guess until I can make writing my whole life,  it has to be just a part of life like anything else, and that means it gets prioritized out sometimes. It is nice to have things like IWSG to force me out of my shell once in a while, if only to show that I am still alive and kickin' over here.

So there you go. Alive, yes. Functioning, mostly. Writing? Not so much. See you all soon, hopefully! (next IWSG? ha)

9.08.2014

Remembering Tina Downey

I've already said a lot about the loss of Tina, so am not going to post many more words today.








These sunflowers grow all over the place in Colorado. They've been in full bloom for the last several weeks. Tina loved to hike and camp in the mountains, so I made sure to get those too.


Did you post sunflowers today? You can add yourself to the Linky List here:

9.03.2014

IWSG - September

It is IWSG day, and I totally forgot. Sorry, guys! I have an excuse - we're in Spain.

Here is my 'dog ate my homework' picture:
At the Arc de Triomph in Barcelona
We leave for the mountains tomorrow, where my schedule will pretty much be: eat breakfast, hike, siesta, write, eat dinner. For six days. Wonderful :)

9.01.2014

Tina's Sunflowers

In memory of Tina Downey, the A to Z Team is hosting a sunflower tribute on September 8, 2014 – Remembering Tina Downey.

 Prior to that date, purchase or plant a sunflower in her honor. (If you have to resort to plastic, that’s cool.) Take a photo of your sunflower and post it in her memory on Monday, September 8.

 Tina loved her sunflowers, and we want to splash the blogging world with sunflowers that day and honor a truly amazing woman who was friend and family to so many. You can sign up now or add your link when you post your sunflower. Please help us spread the word!

Let’s brighten the Internet with sunflowers the way Tina brightened the lives of so many.

We will also be helping her family pay for her sons' college with donations to the Downey Education Fund. If you are able to help, just click that link and you can make a donation to them through Paypal. 

I am on vacation for the next couple weeks so posts will be sporadic (and might be limited to my sunflower post next Monday) but I do hope you all will help us remember Tina on the 8th!

8.25.2014

In loving memory

Words are generally something that come easily to me. But since yesterday afternoon I have been rather short on them. I've been choked up, and so very sad.

My dear friend and fellow A-Z co-host Tina passed on from this world on Saturday.

Tina was one of those rare people who could ask blunt questions that might be too forward coming from anyone else. She had uncanny timing, almost like a sixth sense, for when people needed her, or needed to talk. She was funny, genuine, and most of all loving. Our friendship really started when she sent me an email with some of those blunt questions, at just the right time, before the Challenge in 2013. I needed support, and it turned out that she was just the right person to provide it. From there and through the craziness of the Challenge, our friendship grew. We discovered that we lived only about 30 minutes apart, and vowed to meet at some point. I am so sad now that we only succeeded at hanging out once, but so grateful that we managed that.

Tina has been sick for a while, but has maintained the most incredible positivity through it all. She even managed to continue wrangling the co-hosts while not feeling well. She often spoke of the transformational work she did, writing articles about folks who had come through hardship, working with her church, and of course maintaining her blog for all of us to read. She was an incredible woman and I'm sure that her loss will be felt in her community just as it will be in our blogging world.

We often joked about me smuggling her some red wine at the hospital. I imagine her sitting up in heaven (which of course is fields of sunflowers) looking down at us all, with a glass of wine in her hand and endlessly quotable movies for her viewing pleasure. She's probably talking god's ear off. She's closer now, so he won't have much of a choice but to listen :)

My dear Tina -
Life is Good, and yours was a good life, my friend.
All my love,
~AJ

We will be posting soon at A-Z about what the blogging community can do to help remember Tina.