Shelley Widhalm

Posts Tagged ‘Shelley and Zoey’

Merry Christmas with Cute Puppy Photos

In Cute Dachshunds, Cute Dogs, Holiday Traditions, Holidays on December 24, 2017 at 6:00 pm

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Zoey chews her new Nylabone after opening her presents during a previous Christmas celebration.

Merry Christmas Eve and Merry Christmas! Today and tomorrow are days to celebrate and not think about writing, blogging or editing—unless you’re a journaler or impulse poem writer.

This week, I thought I’d share some photos of my family holiday traditions that, of course, include cute puppy photos of Zoey the Very Cute Dachshund. She just turned 9 on Dec. 20, so she loves treats, toys and attention, all T-type words!

My family and I used to open up stocking gifts on Christmas Eve and presents under the tree on Christmas Day. Now, we mainly trade gift cards and an occasional present. We get together at my mom’s assisted living place, eat the noon meal, talk and then open presents. Zoey gets her own presents, too, usually rawhide, treats, a new toy and a re-wrapped teddy bear. She opens her presents all on her own!

Have a Merry Christmas and happy holidays and happy however you cherish your traditions. Happy New 2018!

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Zoey opens her own presents during a previous Christmas celebration.

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Zoey seeks more presents for Christmas, because more is better!

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Zoey is tired from all of the Christmas fun!

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The Writing Puppy Challenge (or getting yourself to write during the holidays

In Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Discipline, Writing Goals on December 10, 2017 at 6:00 pm

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Zoey the Cute Dachshund opens her presents every Christmas and wants more!

Every year, I write a Christmas letter, and every year, I wrap Christmas presents or put them in gift bags with fancy ribbon.

For the first task, I go it alone, but for the second, I have a little helper.

My helper is my miniature dachshund Zoey, who will be nine years on Dec. 20—I got her when she was nine weeks. She grabs at the wrapping paper and shreds it with her teeth, so after a couple of years of this, I came up with a plan—distraction. I gave her vet-approved rawhide that she could chew, while I wrapped presents, including hers of more rawhide, treats, toys and re-gifted teddy bears (she has too many!)

Distraction, especially if it becomes a daily occurrence, doesn’t help with retaining a writing routine. During the holidays, there are the holiday parties and dinners, family get-togethers, shopping, writing Christmas letters and other time-filling activities. Without balance, discipline and a plan, these activities can become a distraction from the main goal—keeping the writing momentum going.

Writing Routines

Here are a few ways to be disciplined in writing no matter the time of year:

  • Buy a planner or use a phone app for 2018 and schedule specific writing days.
  • Write daily, or at least a couple of times a week, selecting a specific time or place to write; i.e. keep office hours.
  • Clock in the hours you write, both for accountability and to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished and add up the hours every week or month and compare them over time.
  • Write for five or 10 minutes in between other activities, using a notebook that you always have with you. Those minutes will add up.
  • Write a writing action plan with goals for the year and check in every few weeks to mark your progress.
  • Take a writer’s retreat, even if it’s in your hometown, setting aside a weekend to focus on writing (maybe as a reward for surviving the holidays or just before everything gets busy).

The Writing Reward

Writing can be a reward once you get started as you mark progress toward your goals and reach those accomplishments, while also being able to engage in holiday fun. I like to see how many hours I spent on writing my novels, writing poetry and revising my work over the course of a year. I can tell when I’ve gotten distracted, and this year, I put in fewer hours, spending a great deal of time building my business.

But this holiday, I’m getting back on track and returning to my original goal of writing at least two times a week and fitting in writing whenever I can. That, to me, is a great present, just as is Zoey in her cute Christmas shirt with a bow in her ears!