Hygge and Happiness

The word hygge caught my eye this afternoon. Pronounced “hue-guh” or “hoo-ga” depending on the source, this Danish word is about coziness, well-being, and living happily.

Quiet breath.

If I had a word for the year, hygge would be it.

Gratefulness, comfort in simple things, a happy life.


Photo copyright 2019 by Payton Harlie, all rights reserved.

Pens At Play

It’s a good day. Playing with dotted pages, learning how to create banners. Not nearly perfect, but it’s a start. As is my current writing WIP. A short story for submission to an anthology. Progress is happening!

Photo copyright 2019 by Payton Harlie, all rights reserved.

New (mid) Year

In July 2017, after the RWA conference, I purchased a simple two year monthly planner so I could plan my books. <Insert laughter here>

Two years later I begin a new planner–still no books published. Acknowledging the two previous years did not turn out as hoped was hard. A few accomplishments. Several disappointments. Tough lessons learned.

This July I purchased a weekly dated planner that includes a dotted page for bullet type journaling. Because I can break down the tasks into smaller chunks. Because it will help me stay on track and finish the book. And because, well … because it looked cool and I have all these colored pens on standby.

Photo copyright 2019 by Payton Harlie, all rights reserved.

Because the Night

Opened the draft for Book 2, tentatively titled Because the Night, for the first time since the end of November. This is the NaNoWriMo story and I’m both excited and apprehensive about what I will find. A bit encouraged by the first few pages, but I remember major difficulties and story changes occurred as I worked through the month. Working on rewriting one page at a time for now.

Reading a friends WIP. It’s nice to see how much progress we’ve made this past year. Hoping we reach publishing milestones soon!


Photo by Aaron Burden via Unsplash

Drove All Night

Book 1 is now named Drove All Night and is back on the front burner after going to the hands of my critique buddies a little over a week ago.

Their feedback was kind, encouraging, enlightening, and so appreciated.  The goal for next week is to get their suggestions written and in place.



Photo by Liv Bruce on Unsplash

Don’t rush things that take time to grow

Three weeks into 2018 and I’m already in over my head. Foolishly, make that ambitiously,  signed up for three writing related classes and a painting workshop at the same time that my adult child came to visit for a week.

All Very Good Things!

In the meantime, the book is only getting minimal attention.

The “hurry” has been nipping at my heels, telling me I have too much to do and I am “so far behind” that I should give up.

And maybe that is right, I do need to give up … the hurry.

The book will get written. There is no need to rush. The book is one of those things that needs time to grow.


Photo by Min An from Pexels

Show me the story!

“Tell us your story by showing us what matters most.”


Kimberly VanderHorst


On a quest to find resources that will help my brain Show instead of Tell. Showing is a major writing struggle for me.

At the moment, my characters are floating heads in an empty room. So what do they see? What are they doing? Do I need to write about the peppers he’s frying? Do I need to write how they are red, yellow, green and turn soft after cooking?

VanderHorst’s article gave me the filter I needed to be able to judge: Is it important?

Do those peppers have meaning? Did his mother use those same peppers before she was deployed, never to return?  Silly example aside, asking what is important to the story is a huge AHA! moment for me.

It also helped me understand that those everyday, mundane things might have other uses. I could describe how particular she was about her laundry detergent, the ocean fresh smell that sends her back in time to her honeymoon at the beach, the dryer sheets that she’s fond of because the clothes come out static free. And then have her toss in blood soaked shirts into the washer without concern. Because, of course, how many times did she really need to tell him she hated peppers?


Photo by Nigel Tadyanehondo on Unsplash

Accepting the stories I have

“I’m just going to write the stories God has given me to write”  http://writerunboxed.com/2017/01/31/the-devil-went-down-to-georgia/

Steven James

That resonated with me even though I would probably say “the universe.”

After close to a year of reading articles about how to write romance, I am concerned that my current WIP (work in progress) falls a bit outside of the “rules.”

But the stories I’m writing are the stories in my head and that’s all I have work with. It will have to be enough because those other stories are someone else’s to imagine and write.

If you haven’t found  http://writerunboxed.com, grab your favorite drink, sit back, and prepare to spend some time at the screen.



Photo: Tran pexels-photo-669988