Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Writing schedule

So I've made the commitment to begin my book on June 1st, my birthday. I've worked out my schedule for the month and all things were working in my favor to make that happen. Of course, now, someone else has put a wrench in my tightly laid out plan. My landlord needs to do some work on the three apartments in my building. He had scheduled my work to be completed by May 31st. Now he pushed it back a day, meaning that he will be working on my apartment my first scheduled writing day! I'm not happy, but understand that sadly the best laid plans are all subject to things that are out of my control. So I may push my first writing day up two days so that I don't feel pressured and stressed to have to complete it on my first scheduled day. Like others in this world, I get mad when things I can't control interfere with things I want to do, but I must remember that even with writing, I must remain flexible and stay focused on the ultimate goal which is to get my book done!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Roses from my Garden

Look what the rain brought...yes, I need to work on my photography skills. I'm a writer...still, I thought they were beautiful!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


It started raining here in the grand valley last night and continues this morning. I took Ozzie out and felt the rain beating lightly on my head and watched it water the roses and was reminded that life each day begins again and choices I make in those new days define my ability to cleanse myself of the old and sometimes painful mistakes I've made. I have a new chance each day to define myself in terms of what is good and right and kind to another human being, or I can choose to be selfish, self-centered and full of contempt for the minor things my fellow man does. The Earth is a forgiving place. Man does many things to try to destroy it, yet it recovers, keeps spinning on its axis and redefines itself. Each day it chooses what is good and what is right, as simple as watering the roses in front of my house.

A reminder as I venture into my new project

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones,there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down. - Mary Pickford

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Financial Security

I work for a division of Kroger in Western Colorado. It is how I pay the bills while I work on my writing career. We are one of the biggest employers in Grand Junction. I have been putting 10% of my paycheck into my 401(k) since I've been eligible to participate. Since the downturn in the economy and the volleying of the word recession from many analysts, I've been losing money. I checked the Yahoo! finance page this morning and looked at the blogs attached to the performance sheet. Kroger employees are just not invested in the company. They don't care what they need to do to make the company a better place that makes shoppers want to come back. It is all about them. They care about their paycheck. I understand that thinking. I live on an paper thin budget while trying to plan for the future. My thinking is that if these folks aren't invested in helping Kroger grow, it won't matter. We won't have customers returning and we won't have paychecks, that's the bottom line. Many of us are working stiffs in this country and don't have what someone like Dave Dillon, CEO of Kroger has, but we also haven't done what he's done. He had a option to pay big dividends to shareholders at the end of 2007, yet he turned around and reinvested in the company growth. Sadly, many folks that work for the company, including my division don't care. They are working because they grudgingly have to, they live pay check to pay check and one beer to the next. I work paycheck to paycheck and skip the beer to put money away for the future that I have a shot at creating. However, I can't do it alone. I have a plethora of frustrations at the store level and my biggest and most frustrating pet peeve is the lack of customer service. I live in a town where we have a lot of boomers with discretionary income that don't have to shop at Wal-Mart, but I guarantee that they do shop where they get treated well.

My ex had a posting on his Blog of a Mesa State Grad getting his diploma while talking on his cell phone. The ex said this country is in sorry shape and intimated that it is heading down hill fast. I initially thought he was being his usual pessimistic self, however, he is absolutely right! This country is in bigger trouble than we can even begin to wrap our simple minds around. People absolutely miss the cause and effect of their actions. They can be small actions or large actions, but all actions have a consequence. I hope that the Kroger employees get with the program on that or there will be no choices but to shop at Wal-Mart! We have the option of treating every customer with dignity and respect, we have the option of helping customers get what they want so they will come back. Or we have the option of treating them like they're a pain in the ass and never seeing them again. The consequence, no paycheck. I, personally, am not interested in ending up like some of the women that I read about on this morning who are working, but living in their cars because savings wasn't done.

Monday, May 19, 2008

My Horoscope Today

My horoscope today said that if I am ready that I should make room for a new love. I take it as a romantic relationship. I am not ready for that. I had endured too much and lost so much as a result of loving someone, sacrificing myself and losing them anyway. The truth is that it could mean to make room for the love of a new pet, a new project, or a new hobby. I have decided to take it to mean making room for a new project. I have talked about taking the challenge to write a book in a month. I think that will be my new love, my new passion. Since I've decided to take the challenge I've been doing the preliminary work and research and enjoying it very much. It has been so much more rewarding than any relationship I ever had with a man. My friends tell me that I have to find the right man. Not now. It will have to wait, maybe the rest of my life. I've hurt too much at the lies men have told me. Now I will create with Good Orderly Direction and the creative universe.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Challenge

Okay, I'm putting my challenge out there. I have begun working with "Book In A Month" and "No Plot? No Problem!" Beginning June 1st (yes, it's out a couple of a weeks), I'm taking up the challenge. Why wait until June. Simply because there are thirty days in June and it is a good time to start. Also, it is my birthday June 1st and it seems like a good birthday present for me. I've had a story in mind for years now but have never accomplished its completion. I have nothing standing in my way now, I live in a perfect environment and work in the perfect job to allow me to write away. In reading both books it gives me hope that I can do this. Chris Baty who wrote "No Plot? No Problem!" wrote a book in thirty days because he didn't know he couldn't. Victoria Lynn Schmidt who wrote "Book In A Month" believes a deadline is solid motivation to get it done. She also chunks it down into a workable format for people like me who know what they want to write but have faced serious resistance to getting it done. I decided because of my current environment, which I have been waiting for and resisting my whole life, is here and it is either time to put up or shut up. This is an all or nothing endeavor. I want to have a sense of accomplishment to have completed something in my life, whether is gets published or not is secondary. I just want it done.

Family History

My family history has always been interesting to me, especially the Lowe side of the family. My Dad adopted me when I was sixteen and I have been proud of the Lowe name. Yesterday we had a historic home tour here in Grand Junction and the Lowe house was one on the tour. Since I was raised in Boulder, and my Dad has not been too close to his family, I never knew much about the Grand Junction connection, though I went to college here and have always had family from both Mom and Dad's side of the family here.

It seems the Lowe's were pretty prominent in Grand Junction. John and Iva Lowe bought a home at 1004 Ouray in 1911. Mr. Lowe was a prominent businessman and partner in McConnell and Lowe, a leading shoe store in the city. John Lowe died July 6, 1921 taken by the flu epidemic. He was well known enough that his obituary appeared on the front page of the Daily Sentinel. Iva, his widow married James W. Milne in 1927. The Milne family owned and operated Milne Transfer and Storage Co., which became Litton Transfer Co. Grandpa Milne died in 1964 and Grandma Milne died in 1973.

I never met her. She would be my great grandmother. Mom and Dad met in 1966 when Mom was eight months pregnant with me and they were both married to other people. Eventually their first marriages ended and they became a couple. They married when I was nine and I took the Lowe name. When I turned sixteen I had to take back my birth name or legally change my name for my driver's license. I chose to change my name forever to Lowe through adoption. I gave up the name for seven years while I was married and quickly took it back when my marriage ended. If I should marry again, which I've come close once and hopefully will marry again, I will keep my name. I was born a Conway, but have decidedly been a Lowe most of my life and I like the name.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Adherence to a code of values.

In working with the character I am writing about it dawned on me today that it was a very short time ago that I lost my integrity. I have gained it back, and it has been hard won, but I didn't realize until developing this character how far gone I was, even as late as a couple of weeks ago. Without going into too much detail, as I am trying to move forward in my life, I was a liar, a cheat, a victim, an absolutely ugly human being. I held others to moral standards that I refused to live up to myself. I thought I was right and the rest of the world was wrong, or out to get me, or didn't care about me. The opposite was true, I was dead wrong, the world or universe was trying to help me, and there were many who cared about me. I destroyed completely what had the potential to be a very good relationship with a man who loved me and who I loved very much. I changed forever the interactions I have with my family and friends, and had to start my life completely over with very little caring support because I destroyed the support handed to me. I wore everyone out in my rantings, dissatisfaction and vitriolic behavior.

The good news is that integrity lost is not necessarily lost forever. As I said, I have gained it back and protect it carefully and lovingly. I am honest as I dare to be, omitting rather than confessing that which will hurt me; I don't cheat for what I think will benefit me because I know the truth is that I lose my self-respect; most of all I am not a victim. I can no longer blame others for my failings. They are mine alone, and I don't have to live in them. I can move on and create new and useful lessons that will ultimately bring me the success I want. I want that success to be as a good and decent human being and I coming to the conclusion that while not perfect, I can only do the best I can every day and at the end of the day know that I did what I did to live in the integrity that helps me sleep at night.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Abbie in her own world

I put a picture of my Abbie cat in a previous post entitled "Abbie in Wonderland". Truly, Abbie is really in her own little world. I'm sitting at my desk like a good writer with my hands on my keyboard and windows open to the beautiful spring weather and my cat is crawling from window to window easily distracting me since I seem to be procrastinating on my writing topic today. Here is the interesting thing about Abbie, she shouldn't be crawling from window to window because she somehow missed the dignified, sleek, gracefulness of the cat gene. She has been known to trip over her own feet, fall out of windows through the screen because of losing her balance, falling off the bed rolling over for a belly rub, etc. So watching her is somewhat of a white knuckle event. I have to be prepared for any possible happenstance that may follow her through her day. The great thing about her attitude is that little phases her. She crashes into a wall, shakes her head and moves on to the next event, falls out of the window, calls to me to rescue her and moves on without so much as a thank you. That Abbie cat is really in her own little world, but it looks like an okay place to be. Now to stop procrastinating. Abbie has survived for six years in her world, I'm sure she will continue to survive.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I just spent the last hour cleaning out my email. I unsubscribed to about 50 spam mails. I spent too much time in the past year responding to work at home sites. Because I did that, I was put on every list from here to Japan. I have decided that I'll keep my day job. I have benefits, a 401(k) and work odd enough hours to have time for my first priority, writing. The idea of working at home came when I was living in another state. Bad idea to move to the other state. Really bad idea. Then I thought working at home would give me time for writing. They are ALL scams. I never made any money, I have gotten nothing but more junk mail to weed through every day. I thought I was smarter than that. But then again, I thought I was smarter than to move to another state for the idea of love. Valuable lessons learned on both accounts.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Don't tell me I have a dumb dog

My thirteen-year-old black lab (I call him my fruppy) has it made and he knows it. He is pretty crippled with arthritis these days and our walks that used to be miles are now limited to about a half block. I miss those long hikes we used to do, but know that life is hard on our four-legged friends and they age much faster than we undeserving humans. He takes Rimadyl daily, which is a godsend, to deal with his inflammation, and we walk short distances a few times a day. Here's where my dog is smarter than your average canine. He knows if he walks up the block and back he is rewarded with a massage. Jackpot! When we get back to the yard, I ask him if he wants a massage to which he replies by laying down in the grass, head resting on my knee and lets me work away. He's like jello when I'm done and has a great nap after. My dog knows...he does his work, he gets rewarded. What a good dog!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ribe Tuchus

I was flipping through my Observation Deck looking for a writing prompt. Inspiration comes in spurts these days. I saw the above, and thought, "What?!" So I googled it. Found immediately...Google has everything! Translated from Yiddish it means "rub your bottom on the chair." I met a writer at the Black Canyon Writer's Conference a while back and his saying was a loose acronym...BICHOK, or "Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard". I liked that one enough I typed it, made it into a large pretty typeface, printed it, cut it out and put in a frame on my desk. Facts are facts. If we writers want to write, but don't have butts in chairs and our hands on our keyboard, not much writing will happen. I don't write much substance on the computer. My best writing, best expression, comes from writing long hand. I know there are other writers who do that too. The computer is for the editing process. I re-type my scripts on the computer and in the process edit. I know, however, that nothing gets done if I don't have my butt in the chair and my fingers around my favorite pen and paper in front of me. When I do, no matter what I write, I'm writing, feeling better, and leaving the desk with a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

In the Company of Writers

There are not a lot of published authors in my town. Therefore, I have surrounded myself with the company of writers by their books that inspire, provoke and motivate me to continue.

This quote motivates me: To be a good writer, you not only have to write a great deal, but you have to care. Anne Lamott

I haven't been writing a lot lately, and I can feel it. Writing practice has become as critical to me as breathing. I enjoy the process of writing, I enjoy seeing my writing improve as I practice; it is a form of meditation for me and provides a sense of well-being at the end of each session. That is how I know I care. The challenge has been that life gets in the way. As things free up, I hope that I make the time to get back on a static schedule. I'm tired of holding my breath.

Addendum: I finished this post and was thinking about a quote from "Bird by Bird", written by Anne Lamott. It is my favorite quote from a writer friend of hers: "It's not like you don't have a choice, because you do - you can either type or kill yourself."