Wednesday, January 2, 2019

IWSG: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 ~ Don't Ask!







It's the first Wednesday of the month,
the day that members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.






To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG founder Alex Cavanaugh are:
Patricia Lynne,  Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajavardi and me  Fundy Blue! 

I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every month the IWSG that members can answer with advice, insight,
a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.

Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.

Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is:

What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?
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Happy IWSG Day, Everyone!
I hope that you have had an enjoyable holiday season
and are looking forward to the new year.

Terry and I are traveling, and today we are in Laughlin, Nevada.
I'm holed up our hotel room at the Aquarius ready to make my IWSG rounds.
I told Terry many weeks ago that I was co-hosting the IWSG on January 2nd,
and I didn't care where we were or what we would be doing.
This was my day, regardless!


The Black Mountains 
Near Union Pass
between Golden Valley and Bullhead City, Arizona, USA
(at 70 MPH)
December 31, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


I cringed when I saw this month's question, especially the least favorite part.
I'm feeling guilty about the writing I didn't get done in December,
so the last thing I want anyone to ask about my writing is
So how's your writing going, Louise?

I never, ever should have emphatically stated last IWSG Day No Excuses!
I started off on a writing roll during the first few days of December,
and then I rolled right off a cliff.
Apparently I did have an excuse for not writing,
because write I did not.

My brother and his wife flew into Phoenix for a week
with Terry and me in Surprise, Arizona.
They have spent much of the last two decades in the Middle East
in Kuwait City, Kuwait and Doha, Qatar,
and I've rarely had a chance to spend time with them.

Thank goodness my husband Terry and my sister-in-law Sue
are good sports and patient,
because Roy and I never shut up,
unless we were battling fiercely at cards.
I adore my brother when we're not locked in competition or debate;
actually I adore him then too.


Roy, Terry, and Susan 
Waterfall Trail, White Tank Regional Park
 west-central Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
December 8, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



What a week the four of us had:  swimming, hiking, playing cards,
eating, gambling, sharing memories, debating politics, playing pickleball,
even catching the movie "A Star is Born" one rainy afternoon.
I was heartbroken when we dropped them off
at Sky Harbor International Airport for their flight back to Calgary.


Even Keeping the Score Is Intense!
Playing Spades
Surprise, Arizona, USA
December 5, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





An Epic Hand with Six Straights!
Playing Thirteen (a Game Roy and Sue learned in Mongolia)
Surprise, Arizona, USA
December 8, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


I had so much fun, I didn't want to stop.
After Roy and Sue left, I kept on playing;
and I shirked any sense of adult responsibility.
This girl just wanted to have carefree fun.
So she did.


Hiking Among Giants 
Waterfall Trail, White Tank Regional Park
 west-central Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
December 8, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


Right up until December 30th when Terry and I had to pack up,
clean our rental house, and drive to Laughlin
through a snowstorm in the Sonoran and Mojave deserts.

So now it's back to reality.
And my usual least favorite writing question,
one Terry asks me often when I'm writing:
Are you having fun;
are sure this is what you want to do?

Yes, honey, I am.  
Just ignore my bald spots from my ripping my hair out.
This is my idea of a good time.

As for my favorite writing question ...
It's any question that causes me to think about and improve the quality of my writing.
I always appreciate honest, insightful, and constructive questions
about whatever I'm writing.


Susan and I
Smith's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
August 7, 2015
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Are you excited to learn the winners of 2018 IWSG Anthology Contest?
I certainly am.
As I write this post, I still don't know who the winners are,
but congratulations to each and every one of them!

I've read and enjoyed all the IWSG anthologies published so far, 
and I anticipate delving into the 2018 one with pleasure.

I look forward to visiting around and reading your posts.
I'm always in awe of the talent of IWSG writers.
You inspire me always.
Happy New Year,
and happy writing in 2019!


My Favorite Brother
(My Only Brother!)
Beautiful Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
August 2, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




116 comments:

  1. Greetings Louise. A happy New Year to you. I'm glad you've shared the festivities with your loving family. With editing my poems, I've not touched my novels for a few months, and to get back into them I re-read them - and one is 350 pages so far! I'd love to get some poems published, as when I get asked what I do for a living, I say I'm a poet, then the question arises have I any published! Not as yet, but I've penned over fourteen hundred poems! Glad you enjoyed this season. Blessings to you. Love love, Andrew.

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    1. Happy New Year, Andrew! Thanks for your awesome comment. I'll be by very soon. I'm back, although I won't be home until Friday or Saturday. Take care!

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    1. I get it, Andrew! It's a saguaro, and saguaros are only found in the Sonoran Desert. They are a magnificent plant species.

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  3. Looks like you had a great December -- thanks for sharing your pics :-) I hope you have a successful 2019!

    Ronel visiting on IWSG day 2019 Goals, Resolutions and Questions

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    1. Thanks, Ronel! I had the best December, and I'm looking forward to 2019. All the best to you!

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  4. What fantastic pictures. I recall being in Nevada myself when I went to Vegas twice. On the way there we came across Death Valley, very hot and dry there.
    Loved the post and hope your travels go well.
    Happy New Year to you.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Happy New Year, Yvonne! Two or three more days and I'll be home. I love to travel, but home always looks wonderful. I'll be visiting shortly. Take care! I hope that you had a lovely Christmas.

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  5. haha that score keeping sure does look intense. Enjoying life is key, writing will get done when it gets done. A fact I'm sticking with this year. Blah to snow though, still hate that stuff.

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    1. Hey, Pat! Whew, things got sizzling hot a few times ~ that's because we all play to win. We finally had to make a rule that no one could say a word once the cards were dealt and until the hand was played. Wishing you all the best this year, my inspiring friend!

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  6. How nice you got to spend time with your brother and sis-in-law! The card playing looks like serious fun.

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    1. Hi, Ellen! Serious fun, for sure! I hope that you had a lovely holiday! Wishing you the best in the new year!

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  7. Great pictures. Looks like you're having many grand adventures! Thanks for co-hosting this month!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. Thanks, Mary. I was born with an adventurous travel gene, a curse and a delight! All the best to you and your writing in 2019!

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  8. No guilt for just enjoying time with your brother! Shirking adult responsibilities sounds fun.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. Hey, Alex! You know, I've shouldered adult responsibilities since I was four. That was when I found my very sick and delirious mother asking for porridge, and I went downstair and cooked her some. That scared her enough to rouse her and get help. I've been a loyal, duty-bound trooper ever since, and it felt awesome to shuck it all for a few weeks. Now I'm raring to go. I always enjoy co-hosting. Thanks for the opportunity! Have a good one, my friend!

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  9. Happy New Year, Louise! Glad you had such a good time in December. That's what holidays are for!

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    1. Hi, Debra! You've been on my mind. You were even in a dream I had last night, although I can't remember what the dream was. I hope that you and your Rare One had a great holiday season. Take care!

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  10. Oh family has to be first. But you know what? Writing is tuck away inside you ready to explode and that is a great thing. Here you are back and a co-host for the IWSG. Thanks for doing that, btw.

    Teresa

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    1. Thanks for reminding me that writing IS tucked away inside me, and it does feel like I'm ready to explode. I hope that you had a lovely Christmas season!

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  11. It's okay to not write! Sometimes we learn more from having fun with friends and family (that we can use in later stories) rather than just sitting down and trying to write. Looks like you had an amazing time!

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    1. Thanks for the wise words, Jennifer! Any time I'm with my brother, sisters, or in-laws is an amazing one ~ not to mention all the wonderful NexGeners. All the best to you!

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  12. I'm to same, Louise. Do I like it? Writing has been a compulsion since I knew what writing was. I love your travel pics and detailed adventures. Thank you for co-hosting. Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy New Year, Adrienne! Writing has always been a compulsion. If you're a writer, you get it; if not, not so much! Happy writing in 2019!

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  13. Happy New Year...love the pictures.

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    1. Hi, Rachna! I'm glad that you enjoyed the pictures. All the best to you and your writing in 2019!

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  14. A town named 'Surprise?' Google maps, here I come. There would have to be a compelling reason to write while on vacation, like a deadline. Otherwise, not working is what vacations are supposed to be all about. I'm glad you enjoyed yours! Cheers to 2019!

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    1. Thanks, CV. Apparently the town was named Surprise because one of the founders said she would be surprised it it ever amounted to anything. Now thanks to Del Webb retirement communities it has amounted to a fairly big place. Have a great 2019.

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  15. How nice that you adore your brother and you all had a wonderful visit! Relish it and remember it as you get back to work. :)

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    1. Thanks, Madeline. Time with family is the best! And I'm ready to get writing now! I hope that you've been having a great IWSG Day!

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  16. Nice pictures. I think taking time off for fun is essential. Brains need recharging and you never know what might happen to inspire a new story, plot line, or character while you are out having a good time.

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    1. Thanks for a timely reminder, Tamara. You're right ~ Our brains do need recharging time. Best 2019 wishes to you and happy writing!

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  17. It sounds like you had a wonderful December. Card games get intense with my family, too.

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    1. Don't you love intense card games? Playing cards are some of my best family memories. I hope that you had a great holiday, Diane!

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  18. Looks like a wonderful time was had by all. I don't like people asking me how my writing is going either. It's almost like they're asking me what kind of underwear I have on.

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    1. Hi, Bish! That's exactly how I feel about people asking how my writing is going! What a perfect description. Wishing you lots of writing success in the coming year!

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  19. Thanks for co-hosting this month.
    I personally think travel is a good excuse for not writing. What lovely images.
    Glad you're making time to visit blogs today. This is going to be a great year.

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    1. Hi, Toi! I saw your new blog at Lit Carnivale ~ I hope that's close to it's name. It's been a busy day. I share your hope in the new year. Wishing you lots of writing success!

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  20. Hey Sweet Spirit! Looks like, in December, you were busy writing a life!!! Thanks for your support for all insecure writers who slog ;-)

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, PJ! I always enjoy IWSG Day and interacting with its members. All the best to you!

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  21. Laughlin is not too far from where I live, but I've yet to ever go there. My wife and I have thought about going, but we always end up going to Las Vegas instead. It's probably better if we don't go places that tempt us to throw away money that could be better used for other things. I never win at gambling.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Hi, Arlee! Now you have me curious about where you live. Perhaps I'll find out when I visit your blog later. I enjoy going to Vegas, but I like the Laughlin-Bullhead area too. At least here I can easily take a break at a movie or take an outdoor walk, if I lose my little gambling stake. We hit the road again tomorrow morning. Then it will really be back to reality. All the best to you in 2019!

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  22. Your get-together with your brother's family in December sounds like fun. Happy New Year to you and yours and thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Thanks, Olga! I'm certainly enjoying co-hosting today! I hope that you had a lovely holiday season with your family and friends!

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  23. Thanks for sharing your lovely travel photos! Yeah, it's hard to write during family visits. But hey, you've collected lots of scenery and dialogue for upcoming stories, right? Wishing you all the best for your writing in 2019.

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    1. Thanks, Sadira! Thanks for your encouraging comment! I inadvertently missed it earlier in the day. I visited your blog, and I can certainly relate to all the techie things we have to learn as writers. I operate on a need to know basis because it can be overwhelming. I must be getting tired of looking at the computer screen tonight because I couldn't figure out how to post a comment on your IWSG post, so I'm replying here. I'm definitely leaping into the new year. I haven't seen an IWSG writer yet who likes the question "How many books have you sold?" Hope the new year brings you writing fulfillment and success. I think you must be brave to write steamy romances!

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  24. I love this post and the pictures! You're family looks like a wonderful group of fun people. A game of cards is always a good way to compete and have fun together. :)

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    1. Hi, Tyrean! My family has a lot of fun playing cards together, although sometimes we have to take a deep breath and remember it's only a card game, not life or death. I hope you have enjoyed IWSG Day. Happy writing to you in the new year!

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  25. Sounds like you had a wonderful time! All the best to you in 2019!

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    1. Thanks, Morgan! I hope that you had a lovely holiday season with your family and loved ones! May your writing go well in the new year!

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  26. Great way to end one year and start another. Happy New Year!

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Happy New Year, Anna! Last year was a good one, but I'm hoping that 2019 will be even better. Wishing you lots of writing success and happiness in 2019!

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  27. What a wonderful trip. It doesn't look too hot? I'm impressed you could tear yourself away from Nature to do your IWSG duties!

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    1. Hi, Jacqui! No it's not hot here. It's quite cold. We drove through snowstorms and sleeting ice on our trip from Phoenix. We hit the last snow, thick flurries only, when we went up and started down Union Pass outside Bullhead City. I couldn't believe it. I was just FaceTiming with my brother, and it's warmer in Calgary. It's experiencing a strong, warm chinook right now. I got outside lots in December including swimming many times, so I'm okay with being inside today. When I look out my window across the Colorado River to the Bullhead City skyline, I can feast my eyes on the weirdest, ancient mountain range that I never tire of seeing. All the best to you in 2019!

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  28. As a IWSG newbie I'm glad to see that "Insecure Writers" are allowed to have a real, very secure-looking life. Looks like a great way to greet the New Year.

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    1. Thanks, Gil! It was fun visiting your blog today. Kudos to you for jumping in and visiting fellow members. I definitely finished up the old year and tied a bow on it in fine style. Home will be popping over the horizon in two or three days, and I am excited about getting back to regular life. Have a good one and thanks for visiting!

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  29. Sounds like you had a sensational season, and the happiest excuse I've ever heard for not reaching writing goals. This uplifting post alone tells me you're already back in full swing.
    Have a wonderful month!

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    1. Thanks, Diedre! It makes me happy to hear that you found my post uplifting. I had a great break, but now I'm relishing being back at it. You have a wonderful January too!

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  30. Love your photos and enjoyed learning about your family and the fun time together. We made the trip to AZ and NM end of June in 2016 or so, the hottest heat wave ever. You've chosen a good time of year. It was 112 when we flew into Vegas.
    JQ Rose

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    1. Groan ~ I've been in Vegas in 112Âș weather too. That's definitely too hot for me. I prefer the cooler months. One December we went on a hike in Red Rocks Conservation Area back into Ice Box Canyon. We were actually hiking on the frozen top of a stream and we came across ice climbers going up a frozen waterfall. Definitely not your typical Vegas memory. Wherever you are right now, I hope that you are enjoying your perfect temperature. Take care!

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  31. I think taking a trip in the big outdoors is a wonderful way of writing. I should do it more often! How else do we expand our minds and let the ideas in - and out again, transformed into words?
    Have a great time (it looks like you are!)
    Happy new year!

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    1. Happy New Year back at you, Jemima! Getting outside in nature always clears my mind and fills me up. Thanks for visiting. I'll return your visit later today!

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  32. What a fabulous way to end the year! I have a family member who never misses a chance to ask, "have you finished your book yet?" No worries, we all roll off that cliff from time to time. Thanks for co-hosting today.

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    1. Thanks for your understanding, Lee! I have a family of very accomplished siblings, including my "baby" sister who's published two books. Fortunately we all have strong personalities and cheer each other on. I always have a blast co-hosting. Thanks for visiting today! Take care!

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  33. The United States is so beautiful, isn't it? I'm loving your post and the photos. We spent New Year's Eve playing board games and card games at my daughter's house and had a blast. We didn't keep score. It's better that way--even if my husband did win. My son-in-law won another game. We ladies were out of luck that night.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG bloghop! I'll be sure we're connected on social media and to follow your blog. All the best to you in 2019.
    http://victoriamarielees.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Victoria Marie! The US is truly beautiful and varied. I never tire of exploring it. I don't think my family has ever played a game and not kept score. My brother actually records the scores of each game in his journal. That's what he's writing in in the photo. I laugh every time I think of it ~ our family battles preserved for posterity. He has decades of data. It sounds like your family enjoys friendly competition like mine. Sometimes the cards just aren't with you; but then another time you have crowing rights. Wishing you fun family times in the future!

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  34. My brother lives in Arizona. It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. I'm pretty heat-intolerant. I have endocrine problems that make me hot all the time. I once had a phlebotomist say that must be nice as she searched for one of my crappy veins to get a blood sample from. I said that it really wasn't. It sometimes makes me feel queasy and light-headed.
    Thanks for visiting me at Horror Harridans Writing Sisterhood

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    1. Hi, Cara! I'm not sure I'd want to live in Arizona, even though I've enjoyed my visits here. I'm just not great in the heat. I'm sorry that you have heat-inducing endocrine issues. I'd rather be cool and able to curl up under a blanket. You can only take so much off. Take care!

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  35. Time with your brother definitely is at the top of the list, and it looks like you had a wonderful time. The pictures are lovely. Part of writing is living. So, I'd say you were busy ;) And I had to laugh at your lines: Just ignore my bald spots from my ripping my hair out. This is my idea of a good time.
    No one ever said writer's are completely normal. Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Your comment made me laugh, Tonja. I'm convinced most non-writers think writers are not completely normal! Wishing you all the best in 2019!

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  36. I usually end up getting the worst hands in card games. I'm okay with Blackjack and Poker though never played it "for real".

    Sounds like quite an adventure in the "Old Year"

    what will 2019 bring us?

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    1. Hi, Adam! I hope that 2019 will bring each of us good times! I love playing Blackjack and Poker for real, but I adhere to a strict budget and only indulge myself infrequently. My family often plays for macaroni pieces ~ LOL. I hope that you and Daisy and extended family had a great Christmas. I'm sure all the nieces and nephews lifted your spirits. All the best to you and Daisy in 2019!

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  37. What a wonderful post, Louise! You ended your year in style - with loved ones and while exploring. Yep, that's my kind of favorite times. Then, there's the writing of course. Not unlike Terry, my husband has asked me the question about "having fun" and "is this what you want to be doing as well" many times, as I complain about the work and longingly stare outside at sun-drenched yet unreachable scenes. :-)

    Your December looks and sounds like my whole summer and part of the fall, so for me, December was the month to set my teeth into my memoir project again. I'm glad to report that I am actually making some decent progress! But, I'd rather be in the Arizona desert exploring. The sooner I'm done with this writing project, the sooner I can explore and hike again, and be outdoors.

    Happy 2019 and thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Hi, Liesbet! I'm glad that you are making some decent progress with your memoir. It always feels good to have a chunk of time to get deep into your writing. The Arizona desert is beautiful. This fall brought a lot of rain to the area, and the desert around Surprise was lush. Poppies were blooming, as was the brittle bush and some of the cacti. Everything is blooming months ahead of time. It must be an opportunistic, survival thing on the part of desert plants. Here's hoping you get to explore and hike again very soon. Nature always fills my soul and spurs my creativity. Take care!

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  38. What wonderful pictures. I had fun seeing you have fun and hearing about it. What a wonderful time. Reminds of my family when they were all still here. I did not know it snowed in the desert. LOL. I have been to Reno and it made my allergies horrible, lol. That was unexpected, but had a good time. Happy IWSG.

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    1. Hi, Juneta! Oh yes, it snows in the desert, even though it is an infrequent event. I tried to capture some snow photos with my iPhone, but for some reason they are not loading up to the cloud, and I couldn't make them transfer to me via email. I spent too much time trying to solve the technical problems and finally had to give up. Of course my poor iCloud is staggering under the weight of 100,000+ photos. I've been to Reno too, and it is an interesting place, very unlike what I imagined. Lots of beautiful, inspiring country in the area. What a bummer to have allergies! Glad that you had a good time nevertheless! All the best to you in the new year!

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  39. Aww what a lovely time you had with your brother and his wife. Family can be so important and you must take time to be with them when they're near, especially if they live far away. I loved being with the family I could be with this Christmas. Thanks for co-hosting! Happy new year!

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    1. Happy New Year, Lisa, and thanks for your kind comment. Family times are the best, and I treasure every one. I'm glad that you had a good time with the family you were able to spend time with this year. Thank you for co-hosting today as well!

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  40. Happy New Year My Friend! I am so happy you had such a great December! I love all the pictures! And, I love your answers!!! Big Hugs!

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    1. Happy New Year, Stacy! Now you know where I've been and why I've been absent. I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season too. I'll be by soon. We have only two or three more days on the road, and then we'll be home! Big hugs back at you, my feathered friend!

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  41. Seems like it's pretty unanimous. No writer likes the question: "how long before your book comes out?" Although I suppose if it's a rabid fan asking about your next book, I wouldn't mind so much. Have a great 2019 and thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month.

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    1. Hi, Ken! It's been fun to visit around and read all the responses today. Most of us don't like the question "how long before your book comes out or some variation of it. Argh! All the best to you in 2019!

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  42. Good reasons (not excuses) to set your writing aside. Family first. So glad you had time to visit with your brother & SIL. Writing (like laundry) will always be there. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Thanks, Diane! Family truly should come first! All the best to you in @019! Thanks for visiting!

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  43. As this uplifting post attests, your writing is doing just fine. Happy new year, Louise!

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    1. Happy New Year, Geo! It's always good to see you! Thanks for your encouraging comment!

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  44. Happy New Year!
    Thank you for the beautiful pictures of Arizona. I love that state. My husband and I had the opportunity to spend eight days travelings through Arizona in 2008. It was wonderful.
    Wishing you a very prosperous 2019 and thank you very much for co-hosting.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Thanks, Pat! Arizona is gorgeous. My husband and I have traveled there the several times in the past three years. I never tire of it. We've hit the road and are back inside the Colorado border. I'll have my own bed tomorrow night. I'm like a horse sensing the barn! Wishing you all the best in 2019! Take care!

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  45. Thanks for co-hosting! I think your least favorite question will be the most popular least favorite. I've seen it three times now, and I had a variation of it haha. Love the pictures!

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    1. Hi, Deb! As I was reading IWSG posts I discovered that a number of members felt the same as me, or a close variation of it. Ahh, there's comfort in numbers! All the best to you and your writing in 2019!

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  46. Looks like some awesome travels. I cried a lot at A Star is Born--great acting. Thank you for co-hosting!

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    1. Hi, Jennifer! One of my movie going friends, a guy no less, told me to take a lot of kleenex to A Star is Born ~ He was right. And I agree, the acting was great. Have a good one!

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  47. Thanks so much for stopping by my new blog and thanks for co-hosting. Toi Thomas told me you had some cool pictures to check out. I wish you all the best in 2019.

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    1. Thanks, Carnie! I enjoy co-hosting the IWSG a lot, because I get to read member posts and it's fascinating and fun. Enjoy the weekend! I'll be very glad to hop in my own bed tomorrow night after being gone since late November.

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  48. I'm so glad that you had fun with playing. That made me laugh about you and your brother being competitive! Haha, us too!!!

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    1. It's always a delight to see your name pop up, Kezzie! I don't get by your blog nearly as much as I should, but I often think of you. We're still on the road, after driving the last two days. Home late tomorrow ~ I can't wait! I hope that you and your husband had a lovely Christmas season.

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  49. I loved reading about your time with your brother. It sounds like a lot of fun. Here's to more time together in 2019! Thanks for the great job of co-hosting this month.

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    1. Thanks, Lee! I always enjoy co-hosting. It's taken me a while to reply to all my comments and visit members' posts, but I've done the best I can having been on the road for the past two days. But home is in sight ~ should arrive home late tomorrow. All the best to you!

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    2. I'm impressed you got so much done, including some wonderful travel. Happy homecoming.

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  50. I didn't get much writing done in Dec either, didn't even try while I had family visiting. I think it's good to take a break though and looks like you had a wonderful time. Now it is back to reality indeed! Thanks for co-hosting and Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks, Melanie! Reality is staring me in the face, but it's looking very good right now. Happy New Year back at you! Take care!

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  51. These are such fantastic pictures. Have a great 2019!

    www.ficklemillennial.blogspot.com

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  52. Those are great pictures and look like lots of fun.

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    1. Thanks, Patricia Lynne! Thanks for stopping by!

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  53. There's nothing better than being with family. Thanks for sharing with us.

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    1. Hi, Beverly! Thanks for visiting. And you're spot on ~ There is nothing better than being with family. Have a good one!

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  54. With all the fun you had it will give you lots to write about!

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    1. Hi, Tammy! I do have a lot of ideas stemming from the traveling and fun I had. All the best to you! Thanks for visiting.

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  55. It looks like you had loads of fun with the family, Louise. The card games look quite intense; a mix of some serious business and camaraderie, which allows for the building of wonderful memories too! Such special moments!
    Happy New Year and thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month.
    Writer In Transit

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Michelle. I had lots of fun co-hosting, even as I passed through three hotels and three days on the road during the time I wrote, posted, and visited. Sometimes I think life would be easier if I stayed in one place, but I do love to travel. Wishing you all the best in 2019!

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  56. Wow! You've had such fun. I love getting a peek at your travels! Thanks for co-hosting this month. :)

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    1. Thanks, Christine! I do love to travel. I've been retired for a while now, and I can't get beyond traveling, photography, and writing. I imagined I'd being doing many more things, but it turns out that these passions crowd out everything else. I guess that 's not a bad problem to have! LOL Have a great rest of the week!

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  57. Everyone looks so happy!

    :)

    I don't get asked writing questions...well, I guess it is because I mostly write in secret. Like an agent. Yeah. That's it.

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  58. Hello dear Louise,
    Many thanks for your comments and your unconditional friendship although I am not much on the blogosphere anymore since I travel so much!
    If you want to see a Goliath heron or any animal of the wildlife in Africa, is there a chance I could take you to the Okavango delta in Botswana one day?
    I am taking a group of 6 people in April and opening another 12 days trip in November....????
    Got to run again.... but keep well and warm hugs from France :)

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the time and energy you put into making them very much.