Tag Archives: Family Tradition

Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career

Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career. Both are created from scratch out of whatever might be hanging around your house or your office or your imagination. In our family, the handmade ornament tradition began with our daughter in law, back when our granddaughter was too young to handle anything more dangerous than scissors and glitter. Her mom took over where a hot glue gun was required. The gold and purple stocking at the top of the tree in the photo is an example of one such project. Our grandson joined the glue gun gang a few years later. I dearly love every one of their homemade ornaments.

Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career. In anybody’s career tradition, if we want to reach our goals, most of us start out handmade, doing it on our own, beginning with the Business Plan. My long experience has taught me Step One of that plan must be this. Work Your Butt Off. Again, you start with whatever you already have, hiding in the corners of your work space, tucked away at the bottom of your skill-set bag. For example, if you have a mailing list or the makings of a mailing list, start there. Google how you can use a mailing list to grow your career. Meanwhile, give your best effort and brain time to your true focus, your writing project, or whatever your project may be. Then, like I said, work you butt off, all the way down to the bone.

Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career. I’m kind of a nut about Christmas. Maybe because my birthday is December 26th and something in me imagines the Christ child, sharing a tiny bit of his thunder with me. Friends and family are aware of my yuletide obsession, plus the tendency to over-decorate that goes with it, and have gifted me with many tree ornaments. In fact, each ornament on our tree came from someone we love. But the homemade ones are all from our grandchildren, who eventually graduated from scissors and glue to dough and paint and the era of the home-baked tree began.

Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career. Back to the Career Creation Tradition. Business Plan Step Two is as demanding as Step One. Do Everything Right. Please, don’t panic because, the truth is, nobody can do everything right. Here’s a more realistic guideline combo of Steps One and Two. Work Your Butt Off Trying to Do Everything Right. You’ll fall short sometimes. We all fall short sometimes. For example, in terms of doing something crucial very wrong, there was my first lunch with a book editor. Thank heaven she was a compassionate soul, or I’d have made an even bigger fool of myself than I actually did. BUT, I never let myself play the fool with an editor again. BECAUSE, when you fall short of doing everything right, you learn.

Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career. We were living in the Pacific Northwest when the era of the home-baked tree began, and every year new ornaments arrived. Carefully crafted and even more carefully wrapped, they nestled under the tree they would soon adorn, waiting for Grandma and Grandpa to un-swaddle them with a full hearts and glistening eyes. The Santa face and the flower on a blue background and the brightly colored sun, all in the branches of the photo tree, and many more. They accumulated, and the boughs hung heavier and more precious to us with each passing year. They are precious to us still, and always will be.

Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career. Which brings us to Step Three of the Business Plan. Which, in turn, takes me back to my beginning as a literary agent, my previous profession before becoming a full-time writer, and the origin of the bright-light epiphany idea for this final step, or maybe I should say, this final leap. I’d had a good run as an in-house book editor, but I have the heart of a writer and had been uncomfortable serving the interests of a publisher. Becoming an agent was an obvious next move, but how would I do that? I needed a Business Plan. I bought how-to books. I did a lot of research, but what I found were basically templates that didn’t tell me much about what I might want to accomplish in my career. Nothing was telling me that. until a single sentence popped into my head. “Let’s see how far I can go.” I wrote it down, hung it on the wall, and those six words turned out to be the bright-light epiphany that made everything afterward an adventure. I share them with you. Just See How Far You Can Go.

So this, my darlings, is the two-fold tale of Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career, and it ends with five more words, these from the immortal Charles Dickens. “God bless us every one.”  Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

– R|R –

A Time of Fear & LovingAlice’s new novel, homemade and handmade by her, is A Time of Fear & Loving – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 5. Available HERE. You can find all of Alice’s books HERE

What readers are saying about A Time of Fear & Loving. “Alice Orr is the queen of ramped-up stakes and page-turning suspense.”
“Warning. Don’t read before bed. You won’t want to sleep.”
“The tension in this novel was through the roof.”
“A budding romance that sizzles in the background until it ignites with passion.”
“I never want an Alice Orr book to end.”
“The best one yet, Alice!”

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TAGS – Holiday Season, Storytelling, Career Help, Career Discipline, Career Attitude.

 

Giving Thankfuls – Gratitude Season Is Still Here

Giving Thankfuls began when our grandchildren were with us every weekend at our yellow house on Vashon Island. We would hold hands before eating and go around the dining table, which was dinged and battered from years of active kid use. The chairs had been rocked back and forth with vigor so many times that Grandpa Jonathan finally implanted bolts to hold them somewhat intact. At that well-used table, each of us in turn would name what we were thankful for that day. The grandkids always started with thanks for being with us. Jonathan and I always started with thanks for being with them, filled with joy and chair-rocking energy as they were. We’d end with a rousing “Amen,” which our grandson once told us was like hitting “Send” on a computer keyboard. In that happy way, Giving Thankfuls became our mealtime tradition.

The children are older now, and we’re all back on the east coast, where the family originated. Granddaughter is in college, blessedly nearby, and takes Giving Thankfuls for granted when breaking bread with us. Grandson is a high schooler in Massachusetts and no longer rocks his chair at dinnertime, but is still into Giving Thankfuls. Jonathan and I are a twosome most of the time, but haven’t stopped holding hands and Giving Thankfuls. Including non-reverent entries, mostly from me, like “I’m thankful for Jonathan not forgetting to do such-and-such.” We’ve been married forty-five years, and he is a husband after all.

Every holiday season, I have lots of reasons for Giving Thankfuls. Up front among them are memories, like those I’ve shared here about family, and about blazing, battling and being in love through those forty-five years I mentioned. We are a stormy couple for sure. None of you who know me well will doubt the probability of that. I do not go gentle into anything, sometimes to my credit, sometimes not. I am, nonetheless, at this stage of my life, Giving Thankfuls for having grown to appreciate myself, however imperfect a character I may be.

Speaking of characters, every morning finds me Giving Thankfuls for the gift of storytelling, which probably comes from Grandma, where most of the good in me was born. She told stories aloud. I write mine down. The abiding spirit is definitely connected. Being a storyteller has put me in the amazing company of other storytellers. I love that company for its generosity, its wonderful wit, its endless ingenuity. I’ve found role models and helpmates there, friends too, both professional and personal. I cannot imagine another community I would rather inhabit.

Except maybe our church community at the hundred-fifty-year-old parish five blocks from where we live. Jonathan and I, and granddaughter too, were there yesterday peeling potatoes, preparing stuffing and setting tables for today’s Thanksgiving feast. We love the diversity of our congregation. Many nationalities, many different first languages, all worshiping as one. Our diversity will be well-represented at today’s meal, along with that of our neighborhood at large, all of whom are invited to join us. There’s bound to be an abundance of Giving Thankfuls too.

We also have dear friends across the country for whom we are continually Giving Thankfuls. Consider yourself among them. So, dear friends, what would you mention when you are Giving Thankfuls? Please share those mentions with us in the Comments to this post. And, most important, have a totally joyful Thanksgiving.

P.S. The guy in the photo is Jonathan, and I have no idea why he’s peeking into the turkey’s you-know-what. Should I worry about that?  Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.

– R|R –

Alice’s new novel, for which she’s Giving Thankfuls, is A Time of Fear & Loving – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 5. Available HERE. You can find all of Alice’s books HERE.

What readers are saying about A Time of Fear & Loving. “Alice Orr is the queen of ramped-up stakes and page-turning suspense.” “Warning. Don’t read before bed. You won’t want to sleep.” “The tension in this novel was through the roof.” “A budding romance that sizzles in the background until it ignites with passion.” “I never want an Alice Orr book to end.” “The best one yet, Alice!”

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http://twitter.com/AliceOrrBooks/
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Tags: Grandma, Helpmates, Colleagues, Storytelling.

Homemade Ornaments

Christmas 2013 -- Tree without lights onThe tradition began with my daughter in law back when our granddaughter was too young to handle anything more dangerous than scissors and glitter. Her mom took over where a hot glue gun was required. The gold and purple stocking at the top of the tree in the photo is an example of one such project.

I don’t honestly know if the stocking was made by our granddaughter or our grandson who joined the glue gun posse a few years later. What I do know is that I dearly love every one of those homemade ornaments.

I’m kind of a nut about Christmas. Maybe because my own birthday is December 26th and somewhere in my soul I imagine the Christ child is sharing a tiny bit of his thunder with me.

Friends and family are aware of this yuletide obsession of mine and the tendency to over-decorate that goes with it. Tree ornaments have been a favorite gift choice for years. The Bloomingdales taxi was also my daughter in law’s inspired bit of glitz in reference to another of my holiday obsessions.

In fact each of the ornaments on that tree is a gift from someone I love. But the homemade ones are all from our grandchildren. Eventually they graduated from scissors and hot glue to dough and paint and the era of the home-baked tree began.

We were living in the Pacific Northwest by then and every year new home-baked ornaments arrived. Carefully crafted and even more carefully wrapped they nestled under the tree they would soon adorn – waiting for Grandma to unswaddle them with a full heart and glistening eyes.

The Santa face and the red flower on a blue background and the brightly colored sun – all in the branches of the photo tree – plus many more. They accumulated as the boughs hung heavier and more precious to me with each passing year. Until it was time to move back home from the northwest to the northeast.

A great deal of packing was involved but none more crucial to me than the packing of the homemade ornaments. Yards of bubble wrap and heavy duty tape were employed. I didn’t care how many boxes it took. And I insisted they were not to travel in the moving van with the rest of our belongings.

My red Jeep Wrangler was being shipped east too. Under my vigilant supervision the cartons of homemade ornaments were stacked inside. Still I was anxious about their fate. Jonathan promised to call me the moment he saw the Jeep at the east coast pickup point.

“The ornament boxes are fine,” he said before I could even ask the question. “Thank you,” I answered. My heart was more articulate as it whispered, “God bless us every one.”

Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Vacancy at the Inn – Alice Orr’s Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Christmas Novella – A holiday bargain for 99 cents at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017RZFGWC. Enjoy!