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Happy December to You All

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

I like a challenge. It gives me purpose, something to look forward to. So, I set out on a journey a few years ago to learn how to express myself through writing and signed up for the Creative Writing Certificate Program at UCLA's extension program — which I just completed in October. I was glad I took that leap. I took classes in poetry, personal essays, creative nonfiction, and children's book writing. Poetry and essays came quickly to me. Writing a children's book was challenging. You would think that would be easy, right? Nope. There's a limited word count, which makes each word matter that much more. Then, there's the balance of text and illustrations. When my class ended, I put the work I had done aside. After a few months, I picked the children's book up again and finished it. I hired an editor and an illustrator because I did not want to give up creative control. I love the way I feel when I look at her illustrations. The characters' faces are so expressive, and they make me smile. I'll have more on that in the months to come.

So, what's my next challenge? I'm not sure yet.

Things that make me feel good

Anything cashmere

Flannel pajamas

The smell of Lavender

Furry boots

Things to do for Yourself

Take a walk in nature

Buy yourself a journal

Practice Gratitude

Listen to your favorite music

Personal Update:

(maybe TMI :) )

I had a total hip replacement in April. I felt like myself after about three months, and now it's smooth sailing.

I had cataracts removed from both eyes in September and have new fancy lenses—no more need for glasses.

I traveled to Barcelona and Madrid in October. Both cities were terrific—friendly and kind people: great food, wine, and vermouth, which they call Vermut.

Author Stuff

In September, I took part in the Albany Book Festival at The University of Albany and met many incredible people. I love experiencing author events because it's super motivating for me.

I told you about my children's book. Brooke Sperry from Sperry Studios is working on the illustrations. After that, it's on to searching for agents or self-publishing.

Michelle from Buffalo Creek Designs redesigned my author/ artist website. Check it out when you can :) It now includes my creative passion for jewelry.

Left to right

Antoni Gaudi architecture, Barcelona.

San Miquel Beach, Barcelona.

I am ready to enter a flamenco show and dinner.

Next time, I will share my new challenge and give you a sneak peek into my children's picture book.

I end with the message of encouragement to challenge yourself. Could you set a goal (no matter how small) to accomplish something you have yet to do?

Until then, be well, believe in yourself, live passionately and purposefully, and don't worry about things you have no control over.


Remember, things always work out the way they're supposed to.

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Love your wise suggestions and advice, Susan. Thanks for sharing.

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