Hot Hot Summer

Is it really the 5th of August?

I’ve been trying to stay cool, but in my single level home without AC it’s not an easy thing to do. This summer has been the hottest I can remember, and I’ve seen a LOT of summers.

My rain gauge recorded 1.52 mm (yes, mm) of rain in July, and so far this month there hasn’t been anything more than a light shower that barely got the deck wet. I’m worried for the farmers; their livelihood depends so much on the weather.

I’m fortunate to live out in the country because I am able to water my garden with well water. I’m glad I took the time to build more raised beds this year, as it makes watering, weeding, and harvesting easier. Plus, just the veggies are getting watered; not all the weeds too. (Although, the weeds do seem to thrive no matter what the water situation is.)

My last few posts have been about grief and missing Ross, which is where I’m at. However, as much as I miss him I do know it’s not what I should focus on. There are still some hard days, and there are some good ones too. Life goes on no matter what shit-show we’re dealt, and it’s up to us to make the best of each day.

I have spent some time working on new planners and have recently listed two new ones in my Etsy Shop. One is digital (for use with Goodnotes or Noteworthy), and the other is basically the same thing but set up to be a printable. The printable version has an extra category and contains only one of each sheet. Not only does that make it more economical, it also gives you the option to only print the pages you need (and as many of them as you wish for your own use).

The latest planner I designed.

Most people have a Bucket List, which is all the things they want to do before they die. After I hiked to the summit of a mountain in Jasper last fall, I decided there should be a Fuck-It List as well. And by that I mean doing something on the Bucket List, but not wanting to do it again. My latest planners contain that list. 🙂

I am currently revamping the Writer’s Planner I have listed in my shop. It’s going to be easier to use, is clearer than the first one, and will be available as a printable only. I may consider designing a digital one down the road, but for now I feel the printable is better geared to where writers like me are at.

I’m finally getting to a place where the things I enjoyed doing before Ross passed away are bringing me joy again. I love to write, design printables, and design crocheted items. Today marks the 15th month since he passed away, and there’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about him or miss him. As I have said before; I’m not moving on, I’m moving forward.

Now if you’re wondering how I created the planners, I have to give credit where credit is due. I enrolled in a course by The Secret OWL Society and have worked my way through the lessons. If you are interested in checking it out for yourself and creating your own for personal use or as a business, check out the Digital Planner Template. (Please note: I am an affiliate for this product and will receive commission from your purchase, but at no extra cost to you.)

I am enjoying the planner creation process and have learned about myself in the midst of it all. I love the versatility it gives me to move forward during this season of my life.

Have a wonderful day!

My Trip to Imaginairium

I hope everyone has had a good couple of weeks. I thought it was just a week ago that I last posted, and realized I haven’t written anything since the ninth. Shame on me!

I enjoyed my time at Imaginairium, and for those of you who follow my author Instagram, you will have seen my posts. For those of you who don’t, feel free to do so. I don’t post there daily, but I prefer quality over quantity.

We are getting a taste of winter today, complete with blowing snow. It doesn’t make me happy, because so many crops are still out in the field. It’s going to be a tough year for the farmers if they can’t get the harvesting done because of the weather. 

Now, let me backtrack a little and tell you a bit about my trip to Calgary for Wordfest’s Imaginairium. My drive down was mostly uneventful, aside from getting a rock in my windshield which has led to a crack at least twelve inches long, so far. (My glass guy says it’s not fixable, so I will wait and see what happens through the winter. If the crack obstructs my line of vision, I’ll be getting a new windshield sooner than I had anticipated.)

When I got to Calgary I was quite impressed with the fact I didn’t have to rely on my GPS to get to my home-away-from-home. I surprised myself on that one. It has been over a year since I was in Calgary, so I was afraid I wouldn’t remember where my turnoff was.

My first day of Imaginairium was a little stressful, and it started with the public transit driver not being very helpful. Thankfully I had my phone and I utilized my GPS to navigate where I needed to be once I got off the bus. I walked several blocks to the new Central Public Library downtown, and was quite overwhelmed by the sheer size of it. I’m sure our little library would have fit in the main entryway.

My first event was at Memorial Library, which is several blocks away. Even with all of the walking, I still managed to get into the event before my first scheduled one. I was quite pleased about that, because I was ready for a break. Having a pass for the entire week was beneficial.

A neat thing the organizers did this year was to have attendees collect beads from each event. Apparently it was the first year to try it, and I think it was well-received. I enjoyed being able to add a bead to my bracelet at the beginning of each event I attended. Each was different, and there was one special author bead in each bag. I didn’t get any of the special ones, but for those who did it would have been quite exciting.

For me the most memorable event was the one by author Michael Christie when he talked about his latest book Greenwood. It spans over four generations, and talks about trees, family roots and climate change. I have yet to read it, but have my very own autographed copy for when I am able to sit down with it. I briefly spoke with Michael while he was signing it for me, and he is a down-to-earth gentleman. I wish him all the best with his books.

In addition to me attending several of the events, I also took some time to go to Cross Iron Mills. I started at one end where I bought myself some new walking shoes, and ended at the other end where I spent well over an hour in the Indigo bookstore. I ended up leaving there with five books; one of them being the Writer’s Guide to Character Traits Second Edition. It will come in handy when I’m writing my stories.

I highly recommend attending an event such as Wordfest’s Imaginairium to writers and readers alike. For me it was a step outside of my comfort zone, but I am happy with my decision. Perhaps one day I will be in front of the room telling the audience about my books.

Photo Credit: Diane Ziomek
I took this after the event. Note the beads on the bracelet (his is the first from the left); I did add a few from additional events.

With all that being said, I’m gearing up for National Novel Writing Month, which begins November 1st. I have a basic plot figured out, but my characters will need to help me out with my story. It’s going to be a busy month with working, writing and getting ready for our local Christmas Extravaganza Craft Market.

Have a great week!

Diane

Growing as a Person Never Ends

Working part-time and freelancing has its advantages. Today I am helping out with the harvest.

It is my job today to watch the grain drier. We’ve had a wet summer and fall, so putting wet wheat into the bins is not a good idea. The grain drier does just that; dries the grain so it can be safely stored until it is trucked to the grain elevators.

I’m fortunate I am able to take my work with me. We only live a quarter-mile away from my father-in-law’s, but I prefer to stay at his house so I can keep a better eye on the equipment. I do a walk-around every fifteen minutes, just to make sure all is running smoothly.

Living in a farming community is exactly where I like to be. Having grown up on a farm, I still enjoy the quiet and wide open spaces. I’ve done my share of living in cities and towns, and am so fortunate to be able to have a rural home again.

Before my dad passed away five years ago, I spent a good portion of the fall hauling bales, swathing and combining. I miss him every day, but even more so this time of year. It was when him and I spent the most time together.

Setting the farm talk aside for awhile I’d like to talk a bit about growing as people. It doesn’t matter how old we are, there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow. Sometimes life itself teaches us the biggest lessons.

One of the biggest things I have learned is that as a writer, I have to go out and get what I want. Sitting around waiting for someone to notice me and my work is not time well spent. Being an introvert doesn’t make putting myself out there easy, but it is something I must do if I want to succeed as an author.

And to get a better feel for what it takes to make it in the writing world, I have purchased an event pass for Wordfest’s Imaginairium in Calgary Alberta. The event runs from October 14 – 23, and will host a number of speakers each day. I will be attending from the 17th to the 20th, as I am unable to go for longer than that. As a relatively new member of the Writer’s Guild of Alberta, I am excited to learn of the writer events available. (I’m going to allow myself one day to drive there, and another to drive home. And I’ll be back in plenty of time to cast my ballot at the polls on the 21st.) My goal for attending the Imaginairium is to connect with other writers and speakers, with the intention of building some friendships beyond the event.

To attend such a large event on my own is both scary and exciting for me. This is where growing as a person comes into play. Without stepping outside of my comfort zone I may never realize my full potential as a writer, or as a contributing member of the literary world.

No matter how old we are, there’s always room to learn and grow. Farmers can learn to utilize technology to be more efficient, and writers can learn to go after what they want in their careers. And no matter who you are, there’s always a learning and growing opportunity just around the corner.

To wrap up this post (I know, it has been a long one) I would like to briefly step back to the beginning of it. If you live in a farming community, enjoy it and never take it for granted. If you’re an urban dweller, I encourage you to pay a visit to a nearby farm. I’m sure you’ll gain some new insight on what farmers do and how they contribute to your food supply. And if you’re also a writer, your experience can be used as story fodder.

Have a great week,

Diane

Photo credit: Diane Ziomek Copyright 2019. My part in helping with the harvest.

Last Minute Decision Pays Off

I have to admit, I’m a little frugal when it comes to spending my money on something I feel I don’t really need. Or for something I feel is an indulgence.

We occasionally host workshops at the library for different things, and I generally don’t attend for one reason or another. Most often that reasoning is only logical to me I’m sure. Well, on Friday we were hosting a Sea Glass Art Workshop, and after seeing all the pretty things for it I commented to my manager I regretted not signing up. As luck would have it, there had been a last minute cancellation.

I decided on the spot to take advantage of it, and said I would fill that space available. I honestly didn’t give the frugal side of me a chance to list 101 reasons why I shouldn’t take it (it was $160.00) and am happy with my decision.

It was a last minute decision that paid off, because not only did I have a fun evening, I also came home with a piece of art which I created. The design was inspired by a photo found on Pinterest, and was so simple to make. We had a wonderful, knowledgeable instructor who owns her own studio (Shattered and in Pane) in Victoria, BC, Canada. It was a real treat to know she loaded up her supplies and drove them from Victoria to Mannville, AB., just so we could create our own works of art.

I see myself taking what I learned and buying some supplies to make more pieces. I think it’s something my sisters and I could do together, as well as my daughter and I. Not only will we be creating art, we’ll also be creating memories. And at this point in life, I am realizing that’s what’s most important. Creating the memories, having the laughs and drinking that special bottle of wine.

I spent the evening with some amazing women, and even though we were all given the same materials to work with, none of the finished projects were the same. I’m pretty sure mine was the only turtle though.

The photo (also posted on Instagram) is of my creation after a few hours of curing time. It won’t be ready for the wall for another day, just to be on the safe side. Oh, and the turtle’s name is Fred.

The point to all of this is, don’t be afraid to try something new. You never know how something will be until you give it a try. (And if money is an object, perhaps you could start a little side hustle to fund the little extras you deserve.)

On another note, I’ll be adding a few pages to my site over the next couple of weeks so feel free to check back often to see what I’m up to. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and have a great week.

Diane