Thankful Thursday ~ Post 41 ~ The end of a year

This entry is part 41 of the series Thankful Thursday

BLOGGING CHALLENGE FOR 2018

  1. About this time last year, I committed myself to completing blog posts covering 2018 thanks before the end of the year. I’m glad I did this.
  2. It has taught me to keep me an eye open for things to be grateful for.
  3. It’s been a tough year in many ways, but I soon found there was always something to say thanks for.
  4. The year has included a number of health emergencies, yet as a family we live to tell the tale!
  5. My blood pressures threw at least three readings well into stroke territory, yet I didn’t have a stroke!
  6. I saw the inside of casualty (ER) departments more than I ever want to see again, yet I am well!
  1. I tested out the new emergency medical service provided by the Echo Foundation who provide many of the retirement facilities in Port Elizabeth with a call out for paramedics and a rush per ambulance, siren and all, and I survived not only the ambulance ride, but the subsequent treatment to get the blood pressure down fast without putting my system into shock.

TRAVELS DURING THE YEAR

  1. We travelled this year. Oh how we travelled! Yet with no accident or mishap.
  2. Rob accepted a monthly position conducting a communion service at the beautiful seaside resort at Jeffrey’s Bay, nearly an hour’s drive away.
  3. This was a big help to us financially as well as giving him the opportunity to do what he loves most: bringing the Word of God alive through his fabulous sermons.
  4. Half way through the year, our friend, Jen, offered us the regular use of her holiday home in Aston Bay, just 10 minutes from Jeffrey’s Bay.
  5. That not only removed the need for a horribly early start the Sunday Rob was preaching there,
  6. it also gave us the opportunity to having a regular weekend away.
  7. Except for one month when it coincided with the Primetimers week, we went out most Thursdays and had a relaxing long weekend.
  8. Even the month when it did coincide with Primetimers, it was still great to be able to travel out to Aston in the Saturday afternoon, only returning on the Sunday afternoon.
  9. We also did a trip to East London to visit my brother and sister-in-law’s new B  & B. What a lovely weekend that was.
  10. We went half way through the Easter Weekend which gave us a chance to meet our very cute little great-niece, Julieanne who was visiting with her parents from Johannesburg.
  11. During the year we did several short trips to Hoekwil to our elder son and his wife and lovely young boys.
  12.  Except for the one trip, we also got to see our granddaughter, Sacha, as she now lives in George, a few miles away from Steve’s home.
  13. The exception was when Sacha went down with shocking flu just as we’d recovered. We didn’t dare risk catching her flu, especially as the Naomi launch was just round the corner.

NAOMI AND OTHER WRITING

  1. It was with excitement that I was finally able to convert one of my eBooks, Naomi, into print locally.
  2. We held a launch for the book here at our retirement village in the hall.
  3. It was attended by approximately 100 people, and I sold more than 100 books within the week.
  4. We have been blessed to see lots of our daughter and son-in-law who live in far-off Montenegro.
  5. Although they left us before the New Year 2017 it was only a few days before, and we still got to speak to them before they went back overseas.
  6. Then they came out midyear for a month,
  7. And we were able to hold the launch of Naomi at that time.
  8. So they were able to join us for that special occasion.
  9. Debbie did a stunning presentation of Naomi, whom I interviewed. Such fun.
  10. When we got together at Aston prior to the launch, first my son and daughter-in-law from Hoekwil came to join us.
  11. They just popped in for tea prior to moving on to PE where they were booked into a hotel
  12. so they could be involved in the launch.
  13. To our delight, when their car pulled up out hopped our grand-daughter, Sacha, who was originally not going to be able to make it.
  14. Then my brother and sister-in-law who had cancelled due to car trouble arrived.
  15. What a blessing to belong to such a caring family.
  16. This has encouraged me, and I have Eve nearly ready to publish,
  17. followed by Miriam, which I’m publishing as one book. (It’s two eBooks.)
  18. Some of my family have urged me to put into print a book of family stories. Not a biographical book, but snippets and stories that will bring a smile or a memory to mind.
  19. I have a book by Beth Moore that does this, and that prompted me to see how it could be done.

SLEEPER COUCH

  1. As mentioned, the kids have given Rob a beautiful couch  / sleeper couch (double bed) for his birthday.
  2. This necessitated a clear out to make space.
  3. In the process, I emptied a filing cabinet full of writings.
  4. These go back to as early as the late 1990s, and it was fascinating reading some of the stories and articles I had done for various competitions, publications, and assignments.
  5. So I’m keen to try and compile them into a book this year.
  6. A few months ago, I “met up with” another authoress on Facebook and we agreed to partner each other for critiques.
  7. This went really well until we both hit a series of crises, both health wise and time wise. But I praise the Lord for the knowledge that in the New Year we will both be off to a whole new start.
  8. We have hit it off really well, and I know my writing is improved because of her input.p
  9. She has expressed similar sentiments which is great.

ANOTHER AMAZING GIFT

  1. As I write this, my daughter is playing the piano in the background.
  2. I think back to the years of practicing and lessons and give thanks for my musical family.
  3. I also give thanks that this year, the Lord answered our prayers by giving me a beautiful piano,
  4. as in a genuine gift! What a pleasure.
  5. It included a lovely piano stool big enough for two,
  6. so duets are in my plans for the new year!
  7. The end of this year has been chaotic as Carol (the director of Happy Echoes) has been ill, but the great thing is there are two of us who have been helping her.
  8. So where I am her assistant, Bev is now backing me up,
  9. which meant we could step in and run things for her. God is good!
  10. I look forward to a new year filled with music
  11. and having time to enjoy my new piano.
  12. As part of the clearing out process, I sold my electric keyboard,
  13. my piano accordian,
  14. and my guitar.
  15. We sold our round dining-room table and chairs
  16. as well as two bookcases
  17. and most of my writing books. (The one I wasn’t using.)
  18. With the money gained through the sales we have been able to buy a few things we needed which has been good.
 Disclaimer: Apart from a quick read-through as I worked, this post is basically unedited for time constraints as you’ll understand! If you spot something wrong, I ask you to do two things. 1. Forgive me, and 2. Point it out in a comment below. I’ll correct it asap. Thanks so much! (And of course, you will remember it is written in British English! 

Thankful Thursday ~ Summary

This entry is part 40 of the series Thankful Thursday

IMPORTANT NOTICE

This series is in the process of being removed, except for the current post which will be linked to at the end of this post. Thank you to all those who have enjoyed, commented, and encouraged me along the way. It’s been an exciting challenge, and it seems a good time to wrap things up.

As some of you will understand, this is a huge undertaking and time at the moment is in very short supply. So for now, the posts will be in draft format until they are added to the summary and removed. Thank you for your patience. I can just assure you that all the numbers are correct, and the posts are saved on my website for future reference.

Summary of Thank yous 2018

Post 37:Wonderful Gift: to 1680

Post 38: A Wonderful Venue: to 1770

Post 39: Christmas Day: to 1850  

Post 40:  Family Gathers: to 1908

Post 41: The End of a Year: to 1974

Post 42: The End of a Year and a Challenge! to 2018

 

 

New Year, New Challenges, and New Tools

A need is revealed!

A few months ago, I released a new eBook on Amazon: Miriam, Gifted Leader. I referred to it as Part 2 of the story of Miriam, a mistake I intend rectifying in the next week or two. I realized my mistake too late. Who would want to buy Book 2 if they hadn’t already read Book 1? The book is a stand-alone, but how would potential readers know that?

So I scheduled a five-day period on Amazon where Book 1 would be offered free. That would solve my problem. Well, it might have. But I forgot!

Four hours before the five days were up, I frantically called on my street team to get the news out! Book 1 was free–for a few more hours . . . which were soon gone. I didn’t sell ONE book during the 5 free days. Really?

Come the new year, I had to become more organised. I needed help!

Because I love learning new things, I was thrilled (and surprised) to discover two new tools I would need to put into almost immediate use.

Off with the old and on with the new

At one minute to midnight on December 31, 2017, my husband and I were in prayer when we heard counting wafting to us on the sea breezes: 10, 9, 8, 7 . . . The new year was about to arrive.

We rose to our feet, picked up our drinks (cola-tonic and ginger ale!) and made our way onto the stoep at the front of our cottage. Only three streets up from the beach and a few streets along from the Port Elizabeth pier, we had ideal seats for the firework display about to commence.

Midnight

As the count reached 1 . . . a loud cheer emanated from the beach as millions of rand worth of fireworks shot into the air.

2018 had begun in S.Africa. Australia, New Zealand, India, China and many other countries were already well into the year–but we were ahead of the UK and the Americas.

I experienced the same thrill I feel every year. A new 365 days. 52 weeks. 12 months.

What would they hold?

What wonderful things will happen in the world? In our family? In our home? What sad things or tough decisions will we face?

It’s too much to expect an entire 365 days of joy, although my “theme word” for the year is “thankfulness.” I am determined to look for 6-7 reasons to give thanks every day this year. 39 per week. Some days, that will be easy, and I may think of more than six reasons. I’ll jot them down and get in advance. Some days will be a lot more difficult so for that reason, I’ve called it a challenge!

Thankful Thursday

In December, I started preparing for my thankfulness project under the title, “Thankful Thursday.” I wrote two posts on my blog and posted another two guest posts in preparation for the new year. My goal? Two thousand and eighteen (yes, that’s right–2018) items of thanks during the year.

I decided to invite others to come on board. What a pleasant surprise as I watched the response. I would need a way to keep track of the other blogs as well as encouraging them to follow one another. Sue Loncaric, whom I know from a Facebook page for bloggers, wrote an excellent blog post for me on the topic, Linkies, a new word in my vocabulary.

InLinkz

I soon realised I needed cyber help with my venture. Enter InLinkz.

Click on the frog to learn more! I have created my first blog button to use with the Thankful Thursday project, and I’ve learned (I think!) how to use it.

My first post in the Thankful Thursday went live on Thursday 4th January, complete with the first 21 thankful points. I had some issues with the html code on the link-up which may be why I only have three folk linked at this stage. The final chance to link-up to the first post is Tuesday 9th. Then the 2nd post will be published on 11th.

If you have a post on thankfulness (or gratitude), I invite you to leave a link to your post, and visit at least two of the other links.

The template for my second post, due January 11, is drafted, and I have post-its around the house so I can jot down thank you points as they come to mind.

I will keep you posted on how this works. Meantime, check out some of my “thankful” related posts (shown below) or better still, consider joining up with the challenge.

Why am I doing this?

For a number of reasons.

  • It will discipline me with regular blog posts.
  • It will improve my blog traffic.
  • I hope it will encourage others in the same way.
  • And if for no other reason, it can only benefit me as I search my day for things I am grateful for.

Can you see how this might help you too?

But I said I discovered two new tools.

Introducing:

Trello

Two days before New Year, a writing friend, Val Waldeck, introduced me to a tool I had heard of vaguely but knew nothing about. Trello. This is a project management system which is evidently used for businesses across the world. As Val shared her desktop with me over Skype, I became more and more excited. Although I didn’t learn “new words” as with the inLinkz tool, I learned new meanings for old words; boards, lists, cards, labels, etc.

If I can only get used to checking this regularly, there will be no more forgotten promotional projects.

I spent New Year’s Day and the 2nd January setting up new boards that will help me keep track of the many writing projects I juggle. The first board I created was to keep track of my blog posts, and especially the Thankful Thursday challenge about to commence.

Each board consists of a number of lists. For my Thankful Thursday I create a new card for each week’s post. The card gradually makes its way from the list called idea to the one titled in process and then on to written, awaiting graphics. Next it moves to scheduled, where it will await publication. I will then move the card on to published and  promotion and finally Done.

My critique group will be thrilled to know I also have a list for them. So far, I’ve kept up well. (Okay, so at the point of writing, that’s less than a week into the new year but still . . . !)

Only time will tell how well I keep myself on track with this, but I have plenty of time to prove it! 365 . . . no wait! I only have 358 days left of 2018. Time is already starting to speed up! I hope this year I will be way better organised, thanks to these two new writing tools.

Have you heard of, or better still, used either of these tools? I’d love it if you leave a comment below.

If you have a thankful or gratitude post, please consider linking to the link_up “Thankful Thursday“.