Procrastination blog

Standard

The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and my son is home! To say I am happy is an understatement. I’m over the moon, and already driving my son crazy!

We haven’t done any co-authoring talk yet because he has to get his homework done first. And when he’s not doing assignments, he’s sending out job applications. He’s a dedicated young man, and I am one proud momma bear!

I have done tons of rewriting and as of this morning, I have completed the chapter where I noticed that my sub characters had hijacked my plot.

Accountability word count check: chapter 21–26, 932 words.

You would think I would be rocking with excitement, but I have officially kicked into procrastination gear by writing this week’s blog post! I usually do housework when I want to procrastinate, but I don’t want to interrupt my son’s focus on his assignment.

Shhhh — Don’t tell my husband but I’ve started to the spring-cleaning! I figure if I do it slow enough he won’t notice right? The temptation to do spring-cleaning has gripped me this year, and I am working my way through drawers, cupboards, and my eye keeps twitching when I look at the garage.

Do you do Spring-cleaning?

Do you do a personal spring-cleaning by self-reflecting?

A few weeks ago I mentioned doing self-reflection during Lent and spring. This past week I realized two things.

1) My husband got me two new books, and I noticed my TBR pile was getting rather high. (But we won’t talk about that)

2) I noticed that 9 of the 16 books were for personal growth or self-reflection.

How is your TBR? What books are you reading?

Advertisements

Blessings, Snow, and Family

Standard

Well, Old Man Winter reared his head and pulled a fast one on us! So much for our early spring that I posted about last week. The problem with it snowing over here is that most communities/cities/towns don’t have snow removal equipment! So we are officially on our 2nd snow day.

How do you spend your snow days? I write or read by the fireplace!

Last week I said you might not hear from me if I didn’t make it out of my husband’s office and that I was going to talk about self-reflection and growing. Well, I made it out of his office, but I’m not going to talk about self-reflection and growing because I have some exciting news to share.

On Sunday our first snowstorm hit, and we were out of town for church. My husband was guest preaching at a friend’s church. We met his lovely wife and two beautiful daughters. I was excited to meet the girls because they’ve read my first two devotional books and the eldest daughter was reading Timothy’s adventures.

Linnea, who is 6, was wonderful enough to colour me two pictures to bring home. One picture was of puppies from Timothy’s Adventures, and one was the Lamb of God. We were sitting beside a stained glass window of the Lamb of God and every time we said the phrase during the service she would pop up and point at the window!

It was a blessing and honour for us to show our support to this friend on his last Sunday at his parish. As of Monday, he is on his way to prepare for being a chaplain in the Royal Canadian Air Force! May his family be blessed abundantly for his courage, love, and dedication to God and his country.

I’m also excited because my sister, brother-in-law and my mother are coming out to visit! My sister and brother-in-law will be here the first week in March, and my beautiful mom will be here for the month! And on Saturday I get to pick my handsome son up; he’ll be home for spring break! I love talking about writing with him. We’ve toyed with the idea of co-authoring a devotional book. We will see what the future holds.

Quick update on my new book: I’m pushing myself to get as much writing done as possible in the next few weeks due to my family visiting in March.

After having two side characters hijack my plot, I’ve spent several months replotting and doing in-depth character profiles, with the help of my wonderful mentor Kate. I’m excited to say that as of this moment, my new word count is 12927. I am excited to hear what my handsome son thinks of the new storyline

Spring has sprung!

Standard

Spring has sprung! Or at least it has for us.

I don’t know if the groundhogs saw their shadows or not, but when my husband and I got back from our walk on Monday, we saw buds bursting, colorful crocuses, and flowering heather.

I love spring and fall. There is something magical about those two seasons for me.

For me, spring is about the washing away of the dirty snow, the new birth bursting through the frozen earth, and of course the babies!

And who can forget Lent and Easter. Some people find it weird that I love Lent. What’s not to love? It’s the period of preparation, of fasting, and reflection, but more on this closer to Lent.

Back to new birth, babies, and spring!

My family all live back in Ontario. As of today, they are still covered in snow and in a deep freeze warning. I have to be honest though, I was mean and texted my sisters pictures of our crocuses, buds, and flowering heather.

I always find that during season changes I tend to do more self-reflection and growing. (More on this in my next blog!) I also get the itch to clean the house, the closets, the gardens, the car, and my husband’s office!

If I’m not back by next week come looking in my husband’s office!

Creativity and stories retreat

Standard

This past weekend I had the privilege and honour of leading a “Discovering God through creativity and stories” intergenerational (9 and up) retreat at my husband’s church. It was wonderful to see how music, creativity, and stories can bring people together.

 

I started the retreat by giving the adults permission to play. This was important because adults have this sense that they aren’t allowed to play anymore. Yet, Peter Berger in Rumours of Angels states, “When play is at its best, something of the presence of God breaks into our lives and redemptive powers are experienced.” I also shared with them a quote from C. S. Lewis. In Surprised by Joy Lewis says, “…play at its best can lift us out of time and space and place us in a rapturous state in which we taste something of the eternal.”

 

Our story was a Godly Play rendition of the mustard seed. It was delightful to see how enthralled they were when they were invited into the new experience. There is something beautiful about being a part of a story, experiencing the story in an intimate way. When we experience a story from our heart, it becomes a part of our very being in a beautiful way.

 

We had the pleasure of uplifting music from my son’s university chapel choir, a contemporary piece, a breathtaking Syrian orthodoxy chant of Psalm 135, and a meditative Gregorian chant. Interspersed through these lovely pieces of music we looked at and coloured icons, stain glassed pictures, and we played with the idea of how God views us. We ended our retreat with two graffiti walls where we explored what worship means to us and Christ’s question to all of us: Who do you say that I am.

 

It was inspiring to watch everyone relax to the point where many of them didn’t want to stop colouring! It’s common knowledge that music and art affect our moods, emotions, and creativity, but they are also a means of prayer and connecting with the Divine. Perhaps you are familiar with the famous quote from St. Augustine: he who sings prays twice.

 

On Saturday we discovered that creativity, music, and stories are good for our souls. Creativity, music, and stories will refresh your spirit if you are open to allowing them.

 

Our God is a creative God, look in the mirror. You are a beautiful creation!

 

And it’s with this creative energy I move into my writing this week; with an open heart and mind to exploring the world I have built. I look forward to seeing where my characters take me this week!

Pictures by Trina

Organized chaos

Standard

Organized chaos seems to be my mood of preferred functioning these days. I still haven’t recovered from the shock of losing both our furbabies. However, I am getting things sorted out.

I usually do not operate in an organized chaotic manner. I am a rather detailed list oriented person. I can, when required fly by the seat of my pants or toss a schedule out the wind and be spontaneous. Being off work since July with C-PTSD has shifted this side of me, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about the organized chaotic lifestyle, to be honest.

This morning, I woke up and decided it was time to get my life back. So the first thing I did was make a list of what I needed to get done. For those of you who love lists, you will understand the sense of calm, order, and control that making a list can achieve. And the immediate mood boost I had!

By 10 am I was able to tick off nine items that needed doing! I haven’t had time to sit down and actually work on my new fantasy novel yet (5:30 pm), but at least I now have 16 important things ticked off my list. I have a sense of achievement that has helped alleviate some of my anxiety.

This week is crazy, but I’m organized now and feel like I can manage. We have a meeting down island I have to prepare for, and I have a day retreat I am running on Saturday that I am still trying to prepare for. This is my first solo work event since being off in July. I’m not going to lie I am anxious, but I have an excellent team helping me.

There are tons of exciting things coming up, and I can’t wait to share them!

Lists and more lists

Inquiring minds on a mundane Monday

Leave a comment Standard

Inquiring minds have asked me why I call Timothy’s Adventures and Kaylee’s Adventures devotional books and not a collection of short stories. I also received one harsh message stating that I needed to learn how to write a book because Timothy’s Adventure was clearly not a novel.

 

They were, of course entirely correct! It is not a novel. And I do not market it as a novel or a short story.

 

Timothy’s Adventures and Kaylee’s Adventures are devotional books.

 

So today I thought I would do the mundane Monday task of taking a look at some definitions to answer these questions. And clear up any miscommunication or misunderstandings that may still be out there. Often miscommunication or misunderstandings happen because people are not using the same definitions to define a word. So here are the definitions that I used when prayerfully choosing how to describe my work.

 

A book as defined by a quick Google search:

1) A written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers.

2) A bound set of blank sheets for writing or keeping records in.

 

I would define a book as a collection of pages that may be either bound and printed or kept together in e-format. These pages may contain non-fiction, fiction, pictures, puzzles; abstract lines (as in accounting) as their content or the pages may be blank (as in journals).

 

A story as defined by a quick Google search:

1) An account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment.

2) An account of past events in someone’s life or in the evolution of something.

Google defined a short story as a story with a fully developed theme but significantly shorter and less elaborate than a novel.

Google defined a novel as a fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism.

Merriam Webster defined a novel as an invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events.

 

Which brings us to defining a devotional. Google defined a devotional as: of or used in religious worship. This definition is not very useful in the context of my devotional books.

Merriam Webster defined devotional as:

1) Of, relating to, or characterized by devotion

2) A short worship service

Once again this definition was not very useful. Given these definitions, I decided to ask myself how I would define a Christian devotional.

 

For me, Christian devotionals are for personal edification and to assist with spiritual formation. A devotional may be read on its own or alongside the Bible. They have some form of prayer and meditation to guide the reader’s thoughts and prayers.

 

My devotional books are a collection of short story devotionals. Each chapter may stand alone as a devotional taking advantage of the valuable parent/child discussion time. Or you may choose to read the devotionals as part of an ongoing sequence.

 

I shared in another blog post that my son was often disappointed that his devotionals always had different characters. He was sad that he never got to know the characters, which made it harder for him to relate to them. I found he always wanted to know more about the characters, his little mind was imagining the rest of the story.

 

For this reason, I’ve written my devotional books so that children may connect with the characters and their friends. This allows for a meaningful connection with real life and the scriptures.

author.to/BooksbyTanyaPacker

all 3 books

Obligatory review and New Year’s resolution

Leave a comment Standard

To be honest, I’m not sure where, to begin with, a 2018 review. I’m not fond of doing the full year in review, and I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.

I’m weird I know, but I believe I should resolve to do better each day in every area of my life. Each night I review how my day went so that I know where I need to try harder.

Looking back over the year there were many blessings. My grandmother, a woman of great faith who had been severely ill for a long time, passed away peacefully in February. She had a beautiful send-off and is now at peace.

My husband and I were blessed with buying a house and moving to a new community. This was a 2 fold blessing. Homes were selling with competing offers before we could get down to view them and moving meant we had to get new doctors. In September my new doctor diagnosed me with C-PTSD, and in November the internal medicine specialist diagnosed me with C-PTSD. It may sound weird to consider this a blessing but with a correct diagnosis comes an opportunity to heal. With diagnosis comes validation on how I’ve felt, and most importantly I am able to find my freedom from the trauma and chains.

My writing has been my biggest blessing through all this. May brought publishing excitement with Timothy’s Adventures hitting stores.

I’m working on getting more comfortable blogging and using social media. I often forget to update Goodreads, so here’s hoping I can remember this year! Reading is important to me both for work and pleasure.

My goals in 2019 are self-care and to continue loving writing no matter where I am. I love my new fantasy plot, the characters, and the world I’ve built.

Here’s to 2019 being full of peace, healing, love, and fun!