From Winter to Spring

Gayle_Cheyenne bookstoreThis post by Gayle M. Irwin

One week ago my community became buried in 14+ inches of heavy, wet snow. Businesses closed, including the community college and the non-profit organization for which I work. Two days later, I was 275 miles north in Montana and enjoyed a weekend of 65 – 75 degree temperatures (and no snow!). And when I returned to Casper, so did spring. This week temperatures will be in the 60s and near 70 degrees. Amazing the difference a few days, sometimes even a few hundred miles, makes.

spring flowers_front yardI love spring! Flowers grow and bloom, trees bud and produce fruit, and grass becomes green and lush (and the lawn mower comes out of the garage). The wicker furniture and glass bistro set await lunches and evening gatherings on the deck and in the yard, and my two cats spend more time relaxing in the sunshine that warms the back brick patio. I look forward to enjoying increasing outdoor time, soaking in the fragrances of tulips, bleeding hearts, and lilacs and listening to the ever-increasing numbers of songbirds warble from our blossoming apple tree and honeysuckle bush.

All seasons have their beauty (although the older I get, the less I like winter) and purpose. Just as nature’s seasons bring new opportunities (to ski, to plant, to hike, to harvest, for example), so too do the seasons of our writing. A few weeks ago I was to speak and have a booksigning at a small-town library. Publicity was done, including a nice write-up in the local newspaper. However, only three people showed up, and one of them was the librarian and another was my friend who provided a place for me to stay overnight. Needless to say, I was completely disappointed; I left the library questioning why I was doing this writing and speaking stuff. A few days later, I received a delightful note from someone who bought one of my books the week previous, and today, I opened an email from another reader/book buyer and dog adopter who said, “I can read your work time & time again.  I have spoken to you several times at events, but you can be assured, I will be more “pushy” next time—you are amazing and I would love to talk at more length.” Needless to say, I smiled as brightly as the sun in the sky – which, that day (Monday) was dazzling.

Spring brings new growth, in life, in nature, in writing. Several new opportunities came my way earlier this year, and I recently learned at least one of the stories I submitted to Prairie Rose Publishing for the anthology Pawprints on My Heart has been accepted; also, my story about America’s national parks will be published in the upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of America. Sprouts, buds, and growth are all part of spring … I find similar progress in my writing. I may still experience bleakness in my writing and speaking endeavors just as winter brings starkness. Some of my booksigning events have produced little fruit. Yet, for those whom I do reach, I am grateful. I need to remember when I question my purpose and my work that spring and its incredible beauty does come … even after 14+ inches of snow.

March 2016 snow_neighborhood

Gayle M. Irwin writes inspirational dog books for children and adults and has had short stories published in five Chicken Soup for the Soul books; her story about America’s national parks will be part of the upcoming Spirit of America book from Chicken Soup. She enjoys sharing what people can learn from pets and nature.  She volunteers for various animal rescue organizations, to which she donates part of her book sale revenues. Learn more about Gayle and her writings at this website: www.gaylemirwin.com.

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

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24 Responses to From Winter to Spring

  1. Joe Stephens says:

    We had days near 80 in March and it’s 40 right now. Will get into the low 20s tonight. I think it doesn’t know what season it is yet.

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  2. Doris says:

    Seasons come and go as do the inspirations for our work. The beauty, like the seasons, bring memories we don’t always know we leave. In my ‘advanced’ years (Smile) the one thing I’ve learned, we are where we need to be and meet the people we are to know. Some remain in our lives for a long time, others leave early, but always there is the memory.

    A beautiful post and I’m so excited for the opportunities that continue to come your way. You are doing what you should do, and your writing proves it. Doris

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    • wyoauthor says:

      Thank you, Doris — I’m honored by the various opportunities that have come my way recently! And, thank you also for telling me about Prairie Rose Publishing; who knows — I may even attempt that pet rescue romance one day! 🙂 Happy spring and happy writing!

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    • Doris, you always know how to make me smile when you comment on my posts; THANK YOU! I’m ready for the season of spring, both in nature and in my writing! 🙂

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  3. Yes, sometimes, events do produce little fruit. It does feel good though when you know you reach those who are highly intrigued by us Authors.
    Gayle I am looking forward to our collaboration. I must admit though, I am a little nervous in doing my best to not have you feeling disappointed.
    Thanks for sharing this blog post. Good job!

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    • wyoauthor says:

      Darrah, you’re a wonderful writer and a great promoter! No matter what happens, or does not happen, we can always say we gave it our best and have fun together doing these May events. I’m looking forward to sharing the time with you and seeing what “fruit” we can plant during our collaborations! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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    • Darrah, no need to be nervous; we can’t make readers/supporters show up and no matter what happens, we’ll have fun doing our events together — I’m looking forward to sharing the day with you! Thanks for all the great work you’ve done to bring it all about!!

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  4. Neva Bodin says:

    Congratulations friend! You get a shot in the arm (provided by Someone) just when you need it. You definitely have what it takes to persevere and touch lives with your writing, so write on! I count on you to inspire me! I am so excited for you.

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    • wyoauthor says:

      Neva, you are so sweet! I think part of our job as writers is to encourage each other and you do just that. Thank you for your kind words and I’m looking forward to our writers group meeting next week!

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    • Oh, Neva, sometimes my perseverance wanes greatly, but I’m so thankful for you, our writers group, and this wonderful group of bloggers who inspire, encourage, and challenge me. And, I look forward to our upcoming coffee time! 🙂

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  5. Lovely post, Gayle. We seem to be having real problems finding Spring in our area of Wisconsin. It has snowed for the last three days and we expect it to last through next week. However, I enjoy listening to the birds who have come home and my husband makes sure they are well fed. Our poor little tulips and daffodils are about four inches above ground and they raise their heads to the sun, only to be pelted with more snow and cold weather. It sounds like you are in a good place with your writing. Congratulations! Sometimes we get discouraged, but when you stop and look around, you find you are blessed. Good luck for a great writing and selling summer!

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    • wyoauthor says:

      Thank you, Linda, for your kind words. I’ll try to send you some sun and warmth from Wyoming after this weekend — after 14 or so inches of snow last Wednesday, today we are to have 60+ and nearly 70 on Saturday! I’ll be happy to share — as long as you don’t send the snow back this way! 🙂

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    • Isn’t the weather just wacky, Linda?! Writing can be that way, too, at least mine can. Though sometimes it’s hard to NOT get discouraged, I’m thankful for the great, encouraging friends I have — like you! Thanks for stopping by to comment and for your kind words.

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  6. I love that no matter what the low turnout for an event may be, there is always something to counter balance that, like an unexpected “thank you for writing this.” Just shows we all need to keep persevering because you never know who you affect out there in a positive way. Way to go, Gayle!

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    • I certainly needed that shot in the arm that came, Sarah, and I also appreciate inspiration and encouragement from my fellow bloggers — including you! 🙂 Thank you so much for taking time to comment and leave your kind words.

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  7. Mike Staton says:

    The wild swings of weather in the spring can create havoc on the body… colds and stuff, and when you’re older, aches in the joints and muscles. Here in Vegas I really look forward tot he spring when you get to actually see wildflowers bloom, even on the urban trail near my house. Makes my evening walks more enjoyable. It has rained two straight days here, and in the two years I’ve lived here that doesn’t happen all that often. It’s even calling for rain Sunday and Monday. All those schools you go to and talk about pets and your books, you’re creating readers, especially for YA and children’s books.

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    • The plants in Casper truly appreciated the 14+ inches of snow water-wise — the blooms and greening grass are becoming more vivid from the moisture. And since I was able to stay inside all day, the snow didn’t affect me much (except having to go out and shovel it!). There’s purpose to each season, in nature and in life, and though the challenges can be great, so, too can the rewards. Thanks for your kind and encouraging words, Mike!

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  8. S J Brown says:

    Gayle, We all have those day when we question what we do. Just weeks before my first photo sale I was ready to give up. Then magically I sold my first image to a calendar publisher. Calendar sales are GOLD. It’s a one time buy and they pay well. So I guess we all need to just push through the negative times and know that the positive times are just around the corner.

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    • Congratulations to you, Sue! Now that I have a better camera, I’ll have to look into calendar publishing — never thought of that. I keep wishing the story ideas will simply LEAVE ME ALONE! …. but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Just the other day I had another idea for another book…. WOE IS ME!! Maybe my husband can have me committed — I could plead guilty to “hearing voices in my head!” LOL

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      • S J Brown says:

        You are not alone. As I work on my second WIP that is promised for later this year I have several other files that I keep going back to. By the way if hubby has you committed you can choose the color of your straight jacket, mine will be green.

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  9. Nancy Jardine says:

    Gayle- the peaks and troughs of spring are mirrored by those in our writing. When I first started to do author talks I, too, had one where the audience was only about 6 people, including the librarian, but we have to take them in our stride. Mother nature is a bit confused in my area since we haven’t had a proper winter, just tiny flurries of snow, but the blossoms are now out as well as the daffodils. Sun would be lovely, though, as the grey skies are a bit SAD. On the other hand, I really appreciate a blue sky when it appears however fleeting- like when my writing or author ‘jobs’ are going well.

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    • Thanks for tagging onto my analogy, Nancy! As I write this, a spring snow storm is hitting the Rockies, and though Casper won’t receive the brunt of the blow, it’s been cloudy today and tomorrow we’ll likely have snow — down the street, a front yard is FILLED with colorful tulips, hyacinths, and other spring flowers: a strange, stark contrast, just like the ebbs and flows of our writing. My blind dog taught me perseverance, so, at least for her sake and those lives her legacy and I can still touch, I will persevere! 🙂 Thanks for your lovely comments, Nancy!

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