Author's Life · Writer's Journal

When I Don’t Want to Write

It’s been one of those weeks where I didn’t write anything on my manuscript. Yes, I have a self-imposed deadline in mind and I doubt I will reach it. Some days I truly forgot about the work in progress. Others, I told myself, I would write the next day, which didn’t happen.

Instead of writing, I spent time working on a jigsaw puzzle that’s a doozy. I also did more coloring this week. Coloring relaxes me. I so enjoy bringing a picture to life with color. It’s my favorite hobby. There are times when I don’t want to color, too. I’m a person who has too much free time on their hands and gets bored easily with the same things.

So why not write? If I spend only an hour a day, I’ll make fantastic progress on my manuscript. It only takes missing one day and then I don’t mind missing the next and the next. If a writer doesn’t commit to at least one hour a day, everything goes off track. That’s the problem for writers like me. Writers who have lived the best part of their lives already. Widows or widowers who live alone, or perhaps with a cat, like me. Those who don’t have to work any longer and need to fill the hours.

I’m longing from this long winter to be over and spring to come. I long to sit on my front porch and welcome in the new day listening to the birds singing. I long to sit outdoors and write. Or, so I tell myself.

Finnegan's Diary

I’m a Boy Who Knows What He Wants and How to Get It!

Good morning! It’s me, Finnegan, coming to you live from home base. Ha, ha! I’m not really in my tunnel, though I love to play and hide in my tunnels. They are my favorite things besides my mommy and maybe my orange ball.

I like to bat my orange ball under the television stand. Then I can reach through the back and bat it back out again. It’s so much fun! It’s like my ball is playing hide and seek with me, but I can always find it.

This week I was kind of bad. Mommy wasn’t giving me enough attention, and I’m a boy who need a lot of attention when I’m not napping. I can be vindictive. When I jump on the kitchen counter, mommy tells me no in a firm voice and then puts me on the floor. Well, the other day I just got fed up with that and jumped to the counter and knocked the remote to the floor! Oh, she gave me attention then! I ran into my tunnel to hide. I think she knew where I was though.

Mommy feed me at the same time she makes her meals, but most times I finish eating first. A few days ago, she was all involved in watching something on television so she was turned away from the plate where she had a cheese sandwich. I thought she was finished, so I decided to sneak up and check it out. I don’t know how she knew when I clamped down on a corner of the sandwich….oh, the bliss of bread on my taste buds….but she turned and said no! Well, I wasn’t about to let go. I wanted that piece of bread. She took it away, though. She even cut off the part where my teeth had been, but did she give it to me? No! She threw it in the trash. Sigh. What a waste.

But mommy does play with me. She plays chase, which I really like. She shuffles her feet like she’s coming after me and I take off running. Oh, what fun that is. I get lots of exercise that way and so does she, because she said I wear her out. Hmmm.

She also plays with me with the feather thing. I like that a lot, too.

Mommy did fix my window bed real good. I sleep in it now and keep her company when she’s working. But when I finish my nap, she better be ready to give me some attention or I’ll knock things off the desk. The other day I pushed a whole magazine holder with her coloring book supplies to the floor. I give her my “take that” look. But she gets mad and I hurry to my tunnel but on the way I send her water mug flying, too. She doesn’t like it when water gets all over her stuff.

Maybe one of these days she’ll break down and get another cat for me to play with, but I’m not sure if I’ll like that or not. I am a pretty spoiled boy.

I’m kind of ready for a nap now, so I’m going to let mommy have the computer and I’m going to my cat tree so I can look out the window there for a while and then fall asleep. See you next Wednesday!


When Anger Flares and Patience is Forgotten

“…But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him,” (Luke 15:20b NKJV)

I have always had a temper. Through following Jesus, I’ve learned to be more patient and to not let the anger escape when it serves no purpose. Yet, I’m human. I make mistakes I’m not proud of. A few days ago, my companion cat, Finnegan, was in need of my attention. I was busy and wanted him to be patient.

Cats do not understand patience. While Finnegan understands certain words, mostly because of my inflections, he does not understand human language. He wanted me to stop what I was doing and play with him. I ignored him.

When this happens, Finnegan turns to ways he knows to get my attention. Usually this is knocking things off the desk or other high places. This day he chose to push the magazine holder at the side of my desk to the floor. What a clatter! The books inside fell out of the holder, but luckily the plastic holder did not break. But it fell in a space where I could not easily retrieve the items. I lost my temper. I yelled at Finnegan saying things I didn’t mean. Horrible things. I even said I didn’t know why I had decided to give him a home!

And then, instead of taking time to move a storage unit on wheels so I could get into the spot, I tried to bend over to pick them up. Of course, I lost my balance and wound up hanging percariously with no way of righting myself. I had to turn to prayer. I began asking Jesus to help me as I struggled to brace against the wall to get back to my feet. Jesus answered my prayer and I wasn’t hurt. All of this because of my anger in the moment. I did move the cart and retrieved the books and magazine holder.

Finnegan was hiding behind the big plant in the kitchen watching me. I felt awful. Why had I let my anger get so out of hand over something I could have prevented by giving a little attention to my cat?

The sermon at church yesterday was on The Prodigal Son. I began thinking of how God wants all of us to repent and turn around and come home. I had sinned. But like the prodigal son, God was waiting for me. I confessed, with tears, and asked for forgiveness. I know that God had been waiting with open arms for me. He already knew what I would do when I ignored my cat. And through this experience, He taught me once again the need to learn how to be patient and how damaging a temper can be.

Do you get angry and then feel guilty?

Author's Life · Writer's Journal

When I’m Not Writing, I’m Still Writing

I looked at my March goals in my planner today, surprised to see I’d written one about writing: add 20,000 words to the manuscript. Not an unachievable goal at all. But, when I looked at my writing history so far for the month, I have written 9,662. Not even halfway to the goal with only 8 days remaining counting this day.

Why have I so miserably neglected writing this month? I could make excuses about distractions of the mind. Which are true, but I also know when I write, those distractions disappear.

On the other hand, I believe not having any goals or deadlines except the ones I place on myself are easily pushed aside. A blessing mostly, as at my stage of life, I need the flexibility of days doing nothing but being still. It is in those moments I connect with God. If I fail to do this, Satan will undermine not only my writing but every aspect of my life. Not easily pushed aside.

In these remaining 8 days, I will write every day. Some days I’m more proliferate than others and I accept this as normal. Recently I told a dear friend, also a writer, the story is finished when the story is finished. Don’t focus on word count. I need to listen to my own advice!

Since writing to me is more than whatever manuscript I’m working on, I know I’m using my skills in good ways. Daily posting something filled with hope and inspiration on Facebook (a mission), writing three blogs a week, and capturing God moments in my personal journal.

I look at this as, “even when I’m not writing, I’m writing.” It’s all in how we use our gifts.

Finnegan's Diary

Entertaining Myself on a Rainy Day (Finnegan’s Diary)

It’s a rainy day again. I can tell because the sun is hiding. I’m waiting for the raindrops to hit the window, but they haven’t started yet. Where have all the birds gone?

I decided I’d go in the office and see what mommy was doing. I hid in my tunnel. She said, “I can see you!” I knew she couldn’t but then she showed me this picture. I must be bigger than I think I am.

Sometimes I get bored on these dreary days when the sun isn’t shining. Mommy took a picture of me two days ago when the sun was shining. I’d found a sunny spot on the bed and she said my fur was really shiny!

I like my scratching post with the feather thingies on it. Sometimes I even nap on it.

Mommy did fix my window bed in the office. She said she used super extreme hold strips to keep it securely on the windowsill and that the braces underneath that fit against the wall won’t fall again. I’ve tried it out a couple times taking naps in the sun in the afternoon, but it’s not my favorite spot right now. Maybe one day I’ll fully trust it again. Instead I spend a lot of time on the floor entertaining myself with that boring toy that has balls that go around and around. Don’t tell mommy, but I do like to push the balls back and forth. But when she catches me playing, I pretend I’m only resting!

And that’s all I have to put into my diary this week. Things have been pretty calm. I did hear the garage door last night and went to wait and see who was coming, but mommy said it was just the neighbor again. Guess it was. So, I’ll sign off on this diary entry and I’ll be back next Wednesday with more pictures and stories about my life.