A Time for All Seasons

Gayle_Cheyenne bookstoreby Gayle M. Irwin

I’m coming off an extremely busy month writing-wise, and none were for myself (unless you count financially ). Ironically, all the articles were due the same day: February 22. I completed seven short stories which I submitted to Prairie Rose Publications for consideration in their upcoming pet anthology, “Pawprints on my Heart.” I wrote three articles for Our Town Casper (I usually write 3 or 4 each month for this regular “gig”), and I wrote three articles for a publication for which I was sought called Advancement – it’s a newsletter/magazine for the Cheyenne (Wyoming) Medical Center Foundation. This was a new venture for me, brought my way from the same publishing company of WREN (Wyoming Rural Electric News) and Crossroads, both of which I’ve written for during the past three to four years. Persistence and reliability can pay off!

In between all these endeavors, I still had my “day job,” working part-time at a medical clinic (and going through implementing a new electronic medical records program) and speaking in schools (I had six different school visits this month). I also interviewed and wrote more Vietnam veterans stories for the Casper Star Tribune/Casper Journal. Additionally, as you all likely know, my Cody dog crossed the rainbow bridge in latter January, so I was (still am, I guess) grieving. And, I took an extended weekend to visit my parents in Montana, at which I finally finished the first draft of my children’s dog rescue book, titled Jasmine’s Journey: The Story of a Rescue Dog.

Jasmine Journey_Bookcover DraftI’ve had a busy season personally just as the winter season seems to be winding down in our neck of the woods. This weekend we are to see temperatures rise to nearly 60 degrees. Buds are appearing on the apple tree out back, sprigs of green grass are breaking through the hardened earth-clay, and the tundra of snow and ice that hadn’t faded since December has now vanished (except the snow on the nearby mountain ranges, but that’s okay – the snow needs to stay in the higher elevations for a few more months). As nature awakens from its sleepy dormancy, I’m in need of some physical, and mental, dormancy.

I am tired, and I need to rest. So, this weekend I’ll be at my friends’ ranch north of Casper that I talked about in an earlier post. Yes, I’ll likely do some writing as I did in January, especially in Jasmine’s Journey and another children’s story I’m working on called Bobcat Goes to School (I’m hoping this will be published in the children’s section of our local paper in the fall, just as two of my other children’s stories were featured last fall and winter). But, one of the big goals of going to the ranch this time is not a writing retreat, it’s a resting retreat (and time to visit with my dear friends!). My hubby is supposed to join me, although he has a work-related project on Saturday afternoon, so we’ll drive to our friends’ ranch separately. Our dog Mary will be there as well – our friends enjoy dogs even though they don’t have one of their own (they have several cats, mostly barn/rodent-catching cats), but one that’s indoor-outdoor – we’ll see how the cat and Mary do when they meet! I know what she’ll do when she sees the llamas — WOOF, WOOF!

Llamas in morn_Kaycee

I’m looking forward to the rest retreat, to being out in nature around the ranch (maybe the sandhill cranes will make an early-season appearance!), and to sharing time with people I love and respect. Preparing for the new season, both in nature (spring) and in my life (more new opportunities are forthcoming – I’ll reveal those in my next post). So, as this post goes live, I’ll be resting/retreating at a lovely ranch along the Powder River of central Wyoming. I hope all of you are enjoying a delightful weekend, and that this season, and those to come, in your life will be filled with all good things!

Take a deep breath, my friends – there is a time for all seasons, busy ones, challenging ones, joyful and restful ones. What season are you in now and what season are you expecting in the near future?

Gayle & Mary outside

Gayle M. Irwin is writer, author and speaker. She is the author of several inspiring dog books for children and adults, including Sage’s Big Adventure, Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned with My Blind Dog, Cody’s Cabin: Life in a Pine Forest, and two dog devotion books: Devotions for Dog Lovers: Paws-ing for Time with God and Devotions for Dog Lovers 2: Sage Advice. She is also a contributing writer to five editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul. She’s also authored a guidebook for owners of blind dogs, available on Kindle. She has a passion for pets and volunteers for and donates a percentage of her writing revenues to several animal welfare organizations. Her speaking engagements include presentations for children and adults about the lessons people can learn from pets. Visit her website at www.gaylemirwin.com.

SageBigAdventureFront-small   Sage Finds Friends_front cover   Cody Cabin_New Book CoverImage   Dog Devotion Book_Cover_Final   Dog Devotions 2 Book Cover Sage Advice Cover   Blind Dog Ebook Cover_updatedMay2014


14 thoughts on “A Time for All Seasons

  1. Gayle, life does have its ebbs and flows. I am so happy for you and your writing projects. I know the retreat will be a blessing. I’m gearing up for hte March Women Doctors program in Victor, and to that end lots of wonderful time in the research archives. Enjoy, rest up and best on your submissions. Doris


    1. Ebbing and flowing is a great way to describe my writing (and my life!) right now, Doris — I can’t seem to make much progress on the books I want to write, but now that March is a few hours away, and I don’t have as many “other writings” to do for another few months, hopefully my books will “spring” to life! I enjoyed my rest at the ranch, and look forward to a few more days there again in March as I have a library program in the community now scheduled and a birthday to celebrate! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by to comment.


  2. You definitely need a rest, Gayle- it’s been a hectic month! Good wishes with all of your exploits. There is a road in Scotland that goes high up into the Trossach Hills that’s called ‘The Rest and Be Thankful’ – so named in former times because hikers (walkers), or cyclists, were so glad to reach the summit after an arduous climb. I think that’s what you’ve had this past month. Your adrenalin needs recharging! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, the rest and visiting were GREAT … so was the weather, until this morning when a snowstorm blew in! 🙂 I love the name of the road you mentioned — I think I’d go by car! LOL I feel I have climbed a mountain and now I’m on the other side, but I look forward to the next peak in my writing, which hopefully will be two more children’s books. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Nancy!


  3. I’m in an early spring right now… done with the outline of my Civil War novel and now beginning the actual writing. Working on chapter 2 right now. I’m glad you wrote later in your post that you are taking a break. I was about to mention that you shouldn’t overdo it.


    1. I’m looking forward to the “spring” in my book-writing, Mike, which should begin next weekend. I have a few months of just my usual 4 to 6 articles (the Our Town Casper and the Vietnam veterans stories) so I hope to find more time for the manuscripts in March and April. I have library visits scheduled in March and May thus far, but it’s the same program I did for a library last fall, so it just needs a few “tweaks.” I enjoyed my “rest time at the ranch” and look forward to what unfolds this spring. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!


  4. Wow, congrats on the productivity. 7 short stories is awesome, along with everything else. Llamas are known to chase dogs, but hopefully things will go well. I got back from Arizona where it was in the upper eighties. No winter out here. I feel I write best with overcast, fall like weather, but not much of that happening now.


    1. Thanks for the kudos, Travis — I have to admit, I didn’t start those short stories from scratch; all but one were articles I’d submitted years ago to Chicken Soup for the Soul that didn’t get accepted, so I edited, massaged, and re-purposed — but that did take time. I didn’t let the dog get close to the llamas, although she wanted to go “play!” 🙂 I enjoyed the resting and visiting and the opportunity to use my new camera and take lots of photos, which I’ll share soon. I hope your conference in AZ went well. I came home in a snowstorm, so I’d have taken the warmth of AZ instead! 🙂


  5. I’m an active person, but you wear me out. LOL One day I feel like I need a break from writing, and the next day I start thinking of what should be included in my next novel. I’m not sure which will win out. I guess I’ll know when I get back on the truck this coming week. I’ve been home since the middle of November. Cher’ley


  6. I wear myself out, Cher’ley! 🙂 I’m thankful the next two months won’t be quite so hectic, and I’m also thankful for my friends’ hospitality. I hope your “home on the road” goes well this week, and I appreciate your encouragement and your comments. It’s spring — well, sorta: I drove home in a snowstorm this morning! (but the temps are to climb back to the 50s and 60s later this week and into the weekend: HOORAY!!) 🙂


  7. Wow Gayle! I don’t know that I could keep up with your pace. So good that you know to take breaks and give yourself a rest. Sounds like the ranch was the perfect spot. Good luck with your many projects – you go girl!


    1. Thanks for the comments, Linda — yes, the ranch was once again a blessing, this time for the rest and relaxation and visiting we did. I look forward to working on my manuscripts once again as spring break is around the corner and the school visits will cease for a bit and I can rest as well as focus on the new books. We all need rest, that’s for sure!


  8. Glad you’re getting much needed rest and I guess by the time you read this, you’re back from the retreat by now. Hope it was everything you hoped and you feel rejuvenated and revived.


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