Tag Archives: 2016



I am caught between being mentally ready to move on with the next part of my life and still having so much to finish before I can do so.  Frankly, I am bored.  I miss my writing classes.  I am ready to teach.  While I haven’t thought about it much since I’ve gone back to school, it is becoming clearer every day that I need to move on.  It isn’t nearly as noticeable in my education classes, which are composed of a wide variety of people who are largely non-traditional students.  In fact, if I would guess, I would say that most students in those classes are in their mid to late 20s.  They are just mature enough to make things interesting.  They at least have some life experience.  There are some who are traditional students, but it is by no means the majority of students in my education classes.

My one and only Spanish class this semester is a different story all together.  I am the old lady of the class.  Last night, before class, I just sat back for a few minutes and listened to my classmates talk.  I saw an earlier version of my self reflected in their mannerisms, their speech, and their topics of discussion.  I couldn’t help but wonder what I was doing there among them, and yet, I also found myself grateful that I am no longer the naïve young college student who hasn’t experienced much of life.

Sadly, this year has not gotten off to a great start.  My best intentions at the beginning of the year simply are not enough in the face of personal struggles.  I struggle to get caught up with my course work, and while I am not truly behind, my heart is not fully in it.  I would love for my heart to be in anything at the moment.  That is the issue at the moment:  I am well on my way to creating the life I want for myself, but I am not at the point where I can make the big changes yet.  I just have to hang in there and finish what I’ve started before I can move on.

I play around with the idea of moving to a city, usually Austin, Texas, and starting over yet again.  It is a fantasy, of course.  I could not do that to my parents, my siblings, their families, or my grandmother.  There is the business to think about, as well as finishing my education.  At the same time, it would be much easier to actually have a social life.  There just aren’t many single people my age without kids where I live now.  How am I supposed to ever have a social life?  I have friends.  Mostly friends with families, including young children.  It just makes it that much more difficult to actually do things together.  I know how to meet people – IF there are people to meet.  There is no set way to deal with my life the way it is now.  There is no set script.  I can’t point to one thing and say “Oh, OK.  This is what I need to do.”  I am not going anywhere, but I wonder if I’ll ever find someone to share my life with here.


Starting Over (Again)


There are times when it seems as though everything surrounding you is trying to drive home a point.  Over this past week, I’ve given a lot of thought about what is holding me back from achieving everything I want for my life.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that I’m letting my past get in the way of being truly happy.  No matter how many wonderful things happen in my life, there are certain areas of my life I don’t even want to think about, much less address.  Why?  It is one thing to understand this intellectually, it is quite another to act, to truly put the past behind you.

In the middle of thinking about all of this, a few friends of mine, weeks apart, have picked up on the fact that it is time for me to do something about a certain situation in my life.  They may have different advice and broach the subject differently, but the message is the same.  Unfortunately, it is time.  I am just all too human and afraid my efforts will all come to nothing once again.  Where do I even start?

Maybe it is beyond time to just not worry about any of it anymore.  I think I will just try to have more fun and not take things quite so seriously.  As with anything else, it is much easier said than done.  So much is set to change in my life in 2016, why not everything else?  One of these days I am bound to get it right.

starting today

Happy New Year’s Eve!

NY 2016

Even though I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, I can’t help but look back and look ahead on New Year’s Eve.  In general, 2015 was a much better year than 2014.  I didn’t lose anyone close to me.  No major breakups.  There were even a few highlights, including taking a much needed vacation with my Mom, spending more time with my family (Mom in particular), and meeting so many great people in my teacher education program.  In 2015, I formally began my teacher education classes and completed my writing certificate.  I also completed my requirements for my honors program certificate.  2015 brought many endings as well as new beginnings.

I am convinced that 2016 will be even better.  My brother Garrett and I will finally purchase the family business from our parents.  In May, my brother and his girlfriend are expecting their second child, a boy, who will be named after my grandfathers.  This fall I will be student teaching.  In December, I will finally earn my teaching certificate.  No matter what else happens in 2016, and I am sure it will have its ups and downs, at least there are some wonderful things in the works.  Happy New Year!  I wish everyone the best for 2016.

NY 2016 2



I am not one for New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I rather concentrate on creating good, sustainable habits. Those take time and patience. If I state that I will do this or I will do that, it is simply asking for failure. In 2016, I will simply concentrate on the word home. Even though I’ve lived in the same house since the end of 2012, I have yet to make it my home. It is my grandparents’ home and the house my Dad grew up in. I’ve lived there alone since the beginning of 2013, and yet, it is still very much my grandparents’ house. It is time to make it my own. I started the process last spring, but became so busy that I haven’t done much of anything since.

As a busy college student, I’ve concentrated on my classes above anything else. The last thing I wanted to do was look at all of the projects awaiting me at home. Instead, I packed up my backpack and headed to the university library where I could concentrate on my work, ignoring all that needs to be done at home. Well, this is my last semester as an undergraduate student – minus student teaching. It is time to start concentrating on the next phase of my life. It is time I created a space for myself.

During my years in Bay City, I didn’t do much to create a home for Brian and myself. I always kept thinking that we’d get married and buy a house. As the years went by and that happy scenario seemed less and less likely, I became depressed and no longer cared much. Why waste time and energy on a rental house anyway? When I finally moved in 2012, it felt wonderful to actually go through all of my possessions. I gave away items I no longer needed or used. Bags and bags of clothes that no longer fit were donated. I felt free. This is exactly what I need right now. When I complete my teaching certificate next December, I want to do so with a completely clean slate. I want to be able to fully move on to the next stage of my life.

So, why concentrate on home? Every family needs a home, right? It stands to reason that if I want to create the family I’ve longed for my entire life, we need a place to call our own. But, it involves so much more than just a house. It needs to function for me and the family I want to create. It is the first step in a long process. A family of my own is the first thing I can ever remember wanting out of life. After all of the heartache, many setbacks (just about anything you can imagine), and waiting, there is nothing standing in the way anymore. I am enough. I just figured it out way later than I would have liked. I am just glad that it is not too late.


Oprah Video – You ARE Enough

AC Hoekwater – My One Little Word for 2016

Creating A Daily Writing Routine

I am finally at a point with my writing where I need to establish a daily writing routine and invest in some software to keep everything organized and running smoothly.  Over the last few years, I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Scrivener that I am finally going to take the plunge.  I plan to use it to organize most of my writing intended for future publication.  I have several pieces already that could easily stand alone or become an integral part of much larger projects.  Unfortunately, much of my work is scattered all over my computer.  It is time to organize it all.  It is my hope that Scrivener will help me do just that.

In my quest to make writing a part of my daily routine, I am also testing Freedom.to, which is a program that will block social media or any internet access for a designated period of time.  It is designed to help writers concentrate on writing itself.  We’ll see just how helpful it will be.  While my first instinct is to say it is silly there is a need for an application that will temporarily disable internet access, I also recognize just how distracting social media – Facebook in particular – can be.  There is a time and place to use social media as a writer.  I’m hoping that Freedom.to can help me firmly establish those boundaries.

The final piece of software I plan to use in my attempt to organize my writing and create a routine is RedNotebook.  It is a simple journal interface that includes several templates for various types of journals.  I originally downloaded the program thinking I would use it as an electronic personal journal.  It can be used as so much more.  I can see how useful it may be in tracking my writing efforts and simply entering ideas.  The possibilities are endless.  I admit:  When I first viewed the program, I was a bit disappointed.  It is fairly plain.  However, it has so many features and is customizable.  You can truly create what you would like in an electronic journal.

What my routine will ultimately look like may take some time.  The best part is that thanks to several creative writing courses I’ve completed over the last few semesters, I have hundreds of writing ideas waiting for me.  If I finally run out, I have even more writing prompts.  No more excuses!

I also thought I would include a couple of lists of highly rated writing software and resources.

Literature and Latte – Links for Writers

This is an extensive list of resources for writers.  It is divided into several different categories, including by operating system.  Check out Literature and Latte for Scrivener as well.

Best Free Software for Writing – 10 Programs to Unleash Your Creativity (Techradar.com)

This list includes 10 free programs for writers.  Check here before you decide to pay for writing software.  Often the free alternative is just as good as the expensive option (and sometimes even better).

The 10 Best Creative Writing Programs for 2016

If you are looking for paid creative writing software beyond Scrivener, this list is your best bet.  It provides the consumer with details comparing and contrasting different aspects of a creative writing software package.  Know before you buy.

Happy writing in 2016!

hemingway quote


What’s Next?

no one

Even though I didn’t get as much time as I would like to write this fall, I did grow as a writer and I did learn.  The creative writing course I took this fall left me with a notebook full of writing material.  The entire process brought back so many memories – bad and good.  It also made me take a fresh look at old memories, particularly memories related to some of the best times of my life, my life in Austin.  My quest now is to get into the writing habit, which is one of the main reasons why I decided to blog again.

There were so many days, particularly in September and October, when all I wanted to do is spend the day writing, exploring all of the writing prompts I completed in class.  The more I wrote, the more ideas came flooding in.  The problem became getting them all down on paper in time, before they vanished.  Throughout the semester, we spent five weeks on poetry, five weeks on fiction, and three weeks on creative non-fiction.  Our final project involved compiling a portfolio of pieces from each genre.  As I decided to complete an honors project as well, I took a short story I struggled with for quite some time and decided to write the backstory, what really happened.  The rest of the story, along with a little tweaking of the fiction, came together to create something unique.  I am also happy with some of the poetry I created.  Until this past semester, I never really felt as though I understood poetry.  At least now I get the basics.

The big question now is:  Where do I want to go next?  The next obvious step is to create a daily writing routine.  It may be difficult, but there is no mystery there.  I know what needs to be done.  The real question is what do I want to write:  Fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction, screenplay, or something else?  I am torn between working on pieces of a long-term project I have had in the back of my mind for years and working on shorter pieces to send out for potential publication.  Do I focus on my blog or do I polish several pieces that have potential for great short stories?  I also took a screenwriting class this past semester.  As a result, I have the first twenty pages of a script I love.  Do I take the time to finish it?  If I finish it, what then?  Then there are all the memories I associate with particular songs.  Thanks to my experience writing for an online magazine called JamsBio several years ago, I still want to write a series of short pieces discussing some of my favorite songs and the memories I associate with them.  Where does that fit in?  Should it be a series here on my blog or should it stand alone, whether in its own blog or another format?  There are so many questions at the moment.  I need to take some time over the next couple of weeks to come up with a plan.

I am grateful.  There are so many worse issues than too many options.  I call the shots.  I make the decisions.  It is both a blessing and a curse.  It is simply a question of how I choose to spend my time and talents.  We will see what 2016 brings.