Seize The Hot Iron While It’s Day

Hey Everyone,

Thank you for reading and following Wayward Sparkles. It’s always my pleasure to share stories with you, and I always look forward to hearing your stories or getting your two cents about life. The blogging community is an amazing place. There are so many wonderful and diverse people who write and express themselves so well from all over the globe. I’m grateful for each of you. You teach me new things, you surprise and entertain me, and you let me see the world through your eyes. You always give me hope, support and cheer in an often crass, hardscrabble world. Most importantly, you are kind. In other words, each of you is a blessing, and I feel very blessed to have gotten to know you through your blogs and friendship. May all good things come your way in 2024!


I was hoping to talk about nothing but good things today, but between our next door neighbor getting her brand new vehicle stolen out of her driveway on the 30th  at 3 PM (this used to be such a safe neighborhood!), our other neighbor’s family member suffering through Stage 4 breast cancer, a writer friend’s husband dying on the morning of the 31st, and David’s ex-wife’s funeral on Wednesday, it’s almost tone deaf to talk about having a great start to the new year.

My heart goes out to each of them, but it also reminds me of how short the time we have on this earth truly is. With that said, I’m damned and determined to make the 366 days of 2024 really count.

I was actually trying to find a new notebook (I always carry one) at the start of this year because it helps to write things down when they happen so I don’t forget details. And grocery lists. Those are important. Phone numbers, too. Recipes. Doodles. Ideas. All the bits that make up my life, really. As it so happens, I used up the last few pages of the notebook I’ve been carrying around with me over the last several months. So, the timing worked out that I needed a new notebook for the start of 2024. Anyway, I found this in my closet and thought, YES, this is perfect! My sis-in-law and brother got this for me a few years back, but I hadn’t used it — UNTIL NOW! Also, this is going to be the theme of this year.

Seize the day — with attitude!



About the book

I’m happy to report that I’m getting generally positive feedback from a friend who is currently beta reading my manuscript. She’s the first person who I’m not related to who is reading it. Also, she enjoys reading a wide variety of books, and so I was tickled pink when she offered to read it.

By the way, there is still time if any of you want to beta read for me. It’s January; and if you’re so inclined, you could snuggle up to my manuscript and read while drinking a hot beverage or two of your choice. Whether you choose to read by a nice fire and/or have a dog or cat of your choosing curl up with you as you read — well, that’s up to you — but it sounds like an amazing way to spend a cold winter’s weekend to me. If that sounds like something you’d enjoy, please let me know. You don’t even have to know the ins and outs of writing. As a potential beta reader, I’m looking for someone who enjoys reading and can let me know if what they are reading makes sense; if it flows well; if it’s enjoyable or not; and if this is something that works for you as a reader. Of course if you come across glaring flaws in the content or redundancy, it would be nice to know that too. Again, it is mostly humor-based.

Anyway, I feel ultra blessed because my friend who is currently beta reading for me is someone who just retired. One day we decided to get coffee, got to talking and that’s when she expressed an interest in reading for me. We’ve known each other for a long time, but we haven’t really gotten to know each other that well because of our busy lives. Since she’s never read any of my work before (not even my blog), I wasn’t even sure if she would enjoy the genre in which I write (personal essay and humor.) She did say that she enjoyed humor, but she’s also someone who reads both fiction and dry non-fiction, so then I worried my manuscript wasn’t going to be of the same caliber of what she usually reads. We decided she should start out slow with the first couple of chapters just to see if it was her “cup of tea.” I told her not to worry if it didn’t interest her. What I write isn’t for everyone. But then she texted me and asked for the rest of the book. The last I heard (I never want to press), she said she was finding it “wildly entertaining,” and SHE SAID SHE KNOWS PEOPLE LIKE I’VE DESCRIBED IN THE BOOK!!!! Then she said a few other nice things as well. *blushing but ecstatic!*

Walking on Sunshine

Needless to say, I’ve been walking on air for the last several days. She still has a long way to go, and she has a lot of questions, which she is going to write down. And, of course, she might also find things she doesn’t enjoy in it, for which I’m prepared. But that’s what beta reading is all about — giving an honest opinion. Because how can I make it the best book I can if I don’t know what needs to be fixed? All of that to say, as long as someone’s not a slash and burn artist (and I can usually tell when someone’s being honest with me or whether they’re just being “not nice”), I take critique well. Anyway, my friend’s promised to be very honest and to let me know what works for her and what doesn’t.

Even so, I’m not resting on my laurels.

I’m starting a new book while continuing to go mad trying to figure out how to write a really great synopsis and amazing query letters. (Someone put me out of my misery now!) My goal this year (fingers crossed) is to write two other books after my really great synopsis and query letters — one with more personal essays in it, and the second will be a work of fiction. But that’s what writers do. We write. And we keep writing.

Speaking of writing and writers, my daughter Lauren has turned out to be an amazing writer of poetry. I know damned little about the art of poetry, but I know what makes me feel. And Lauren’s poetry (her turn of phrase, her imagery, her tone and mood) — I mean, WOW, y’all! I alternate between surprise, laughter and bawling my eyes out. And no, I’m not having crazy mood swings — it’s my daughter’s writing.

Lauren told me that she sat down and the words started pouring out of her and time stood still as she wrote.

Uh, oh! Now she’s done it! She’s been bitten by her muse and there’s no turning back! *huge grin*

In the meantime, I woke up yesterday morning to sweet baby (Millie) giving me a massage or kneading biscuits. Whatevs. While it might not have been a deep tissue massage, it still felt really nice. And starting the new year out with a massage is a pretty great way to start!

Blessings to each of us as we journey together through another year of writing, sharing our lives and enjoying music!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

January 2 would have been Mom’s 78th birthday. I can’t believe she’s been gone seven years now! Anyway, I hope these songs (they used to be her favorites) will reach her all the way in Heaven! Love you, Mom!



Sparkle y’all and remember to Carpe Fucking Diem!


18 thoughts on “Seize The Hot Iron While It’s Day”

  1. I know it’s a nit, but I just realized as I was reading your post that this is a leap year, woohoo! 🥳 thank you for that!

    • EW,
      I found that out at my last doctor’s appointment. Apparently, I have another appointment on that day! Happy New Year! Mona

  2. First, thank you for stopping by and reading my blog. It is so rare to get someone new who takes the time to read and comment. How cool that you have written books! I used to think I would try to do that. I used to write better than I do now, but these days I am happy to just put a few thoughts down here with all my typos and bad grammar. Haha, I used to be such a stickler for good grammar and spelling. I have so many notebooks with thoughts written down, things I wanted to remember, or write about. Recently I started reading through some of them and realized I never wrote more than what was in the notes. Life kicked my butt for awhile, but maybe, just maybe this will be a better year. Oh love your kitty. I have a calico cat also. They are such beautiful cats!

  3. Lia,
    Reading your blog post was all my pleasure! But I’m also glad you stopped by! Welcome to Wayward Sparkles! I hope you don’t let grammar and typos hold you back when you write! I think you have a very cool perspective and your voice should be heard! BTW, I know I corrected the typos in this post, but WordPress has it in for me and didn’t save my changes. Again. Or maybe I forgot to hit save. Again. I never know anymore. Don’t get me started! Anyway, I hope you use your notebooks as a starting point for some “based upon” stories or personal essays. I’ve decided that accuracy regarding every detail is overrated when taking memory (being what it is and isn’t) into account. It’s more about the gist unless you’re reporting on something historical! Even then, all accounts of any story is biased to some degree, aren’t they? And it is exactly because Life kicks our butts that we end up having something important to say. I think you probably have some very important things to write about that will resonate with so many. Okay, I’ll stop now. But I’m with you — maybe this will be a better year! Fingers crossed! Hugs, Mona

  4. Hi M. James. I’m with you in making 2024 a better year- one way or another. Congratulations on the beta reader. You’re getting closer to putting the pages between covers! I’m jealous.
    We will have to have coffee we’ve been talking about.

    • Hey Sheila,
      Thanks and Happy New Year to you! I hope you call soon! We definitely should grab coffee! Hugs, Mona

  5. So many thoughts are going through my head, starting with happy new year! But I also want to say something about your daughter’s poetry. Even without having read any of it I already think it’s good because it made you feel something. I majored in English, with an emphasis on poetry, and after four years of school plus more years of writing and studying poetry on my own the one thing I feel certain about is that if a poem makes you feel something it’s good. There’s a lot of high-falutin’ “scholarly” poetry that’s admirable in its technique but I’ll take a poem written from the heart any day. And for all I know your daughter’s poetry has all the technique too.
    Well, I’ve gone on too long already but I’m excited about your writing projects and haven’t forgotten that I want to be a beta reader for you too. Life has just gotten in the way. I think you have some idea what that’s like. Anyway look for my email soon!

    • Hey Chris,
      Happy New Year to you, too! Thank you for your insights on poetry. I told my daughter and after she got over the fact that I bragged about her on my post and I swore up and down that I didn’t publish any of her poems — I assured her I would never do that without her permission — she said to thank you for your encouragement! So, thank you, Chris! And I appreciate your still wanting to beta read for me. I definitely know about Life getting in the way. Boy do I know about that! Have a great rest of your week, and I’ll look for your email. Mona 😊

  6. I hadn’t realized that we are in a leap year. Cool beans.
    So sorry about the losses you are feeling; ebb and flow. Yes, we need to appreciate every single day: Carpe Fucking Diem!
    I also know nothing about poetry, but way to go Lauren.
    Millie is so sweet…making Mommy biscuits!

    • Thanks, Suz! Happy New Year!
      They weren’t so much my losses, but it was unusual to hear about the losses of so many others in my life right at the start of the year.
      Yep, we all get an extra day this year. Also, I’ll let Lauren you said so, and, lastly, I wish Millie felt like giving me another massage. Apparently, though, she’s one and done! 🙃 M

  7. You’re starting out the new year from a good place. I’m happy to know how well your book writing is going and that you’re moving forward into the coming year with your spirits high.


Leave a Comment