Posts Tagged ‘Time’

Last year, about this time, I posted on the evolution of my blog. It had turned five years old and had taken a few radical turns over those years. My ponderings were on those twists.

This year–as my blog turns an incomprehensible six years old–I find those original thoughts to still hold true, with a year’s worth of experience to add to. However, first, a review of last year’s post:


Jan 1, 2016: In a few months my blog will turn five. I can hardly believe it. Just like I can hardly believe it’s already 2016. As I was taking the calendars down last night, I considered the fact it didn’t seem that long ago I put them up. And now I’ve turned their pages twelve times. I’m sure a few of you can relate.

And that got me to thinking about this blog. It hardly seems possible I started it, albeit very reluctantly, back in May of 2011. I had very little knowledge of what a blog really was, let alone the purpose of creating one. Yet I had been told if I wanted to be a serious writer, I needed one. So voila, Summersrye was created. Had I known then what I know now, I’d have skipped the nickname thing and just used my proper name. But I like Rye, and not knowing any better, it seemed acceptable. Honestly, I don’t recall how I ended up at WordPress. It might have just been the first blog site that popped up when I plugged in a Google search.

keyboard and notebook

I went through recently to see what kind of posts I’ve written and the transformation this blog has undergone. The results sort of surprised me. My first post was May 11, 2011, called “Starting out”. That was pretty much it for 2011. In 2012 there were a whole 17 posts. The content changed directions twice. First I was going to take a non-fiction manuscript and blog it piece by piece. Feedback was nil. I even sent out a post asking “Am I doing this right?” of which I got one response back. Okay, at least someone out there in cyber world was aware I was blogging.

directions sign

Then I got the contract for my first book, “Whispers in her Heart”, the book that would forever change my life. I was going to be a published author. Time to get really serious about this blogging thing. Right? My posts changed from the random and non-fiction snippets to lots of “Whispers” stuff.Whispers cover from amazon

2013 I posted about 48 times, (give or take one) I was learning book promotion and it showed. I started putting in progress on edits and cover creation as well as teasers for “Whispers”, and a few pictures of my first book signings. I included poetry and shared life happenings. I opened up just a little, trying to remember if anyone was reading this, they were a real person on the other end of the computer screen. I shared photos of my pets, who are part of my life. I shared personal reflections and works in progress.

chasing ideas

2014 I continued sharing anecdotes and photos of my pets. I was now reading other people’s books and trying my hand at posting my reviews. I was following other blogs and re posting things I found interesting. Now I had a few books out and was regularly sharing status and updates on “Whispers”, “Shimmers of Stardust”, and “When Clouds Gather”. I posted more times than ever before.

Recipe for writing success

2015 was much the same. Book reviews. Pet anecdotes. Personal situations. Personal reflections. I was getting pretty personal this year. My family of books was growing. Now we added “Chasing the Painted Skies” and “Sizzle in the Snow” Anthology plus more works in progress and two more slated for 2016. I had people contact me asking if I would please read and review their books. I added the new feature somewhere along the way of hosting authors, interviewing them and talking about their books. In exchange, I was usually hosted on their blogs. Giveaways were another new feature in 2015.

All in all, not bad for a kid who few thought would ever make a writer. I recall hiding in my closet, pounding away on an old manual typewriter I bought at a garage sale. I baby sat so I had money for paper, notepads, and pens. Finally my mother gave me an electric typewriter for either my birthday or Christmas when I was around twelve. To have access to the electric outlet, I had to move out of the closet and into first my bedroom and then a corner of the long harvest table situated in the living room. I guess she wanted to see her daughter once in a while.

old typewriter

So while looking back, I also want to look forward. What do I want this blog to accomplish in our brand new 2016? Well, I want it to be a communication point. First, I want to be able to share news with readers about new books, giveaways and anything else share-worthy. I want to continue having others from other houses on my blog, sharing news about their exciting new releases. Bonus if they offer giveaways too. I want to grow the book reviews. In fact, I just finished a sassy little story last night and will be posting a review this weekend. And I have that author scheduled to be hosted on the blog in a few weeks.

Writing is a gift

Of course I want to share stories and pictures of my zany pets. They are the world to me, as many pet owners will testify. I’d be tickled if readers shared their wonderful pet pictures. I will also continue to share personal reflections and observations. Sometimes life gets rough or crazy and it’s nice to talk about it on a blog. It may not fix it, but it makes handling it a little easier. I follow a few blogs of people who do that very well. I’ll probably go back to posting some of the poetry from time to time and maybe some short flash fiction or sample chapters. That has been in the back of my mind for a while too.

Happily ever after

The end result, I want 2016 to be a year of growth and connection both for this blog and my writing career.







Well, now it’s time to turn the calendars to 2017. I have added a pet sitting service to my life this year, which does had the unfortunate side effect of eating into my writing life. The bonus is I have met some interesting people and wonderful dogs and cats this year. I have settled comfortably into the house I bought in late 2014, but still have two rooms to paint (still!) and a few odd chores here and there I tackle when I need a break from writing.

What I would like to do with this blog in the coming months is much what I’ve done the last two years–share book reviews, host authors and their works, and continue the ‘Been Thinking About’ posts. Naturally I want to keep sharing misadventures of my pets, though my rescue collie, Ty, has his own blog I struggle to keep up with here on WordPress. Since I have two more books coming out in 2017, I want to share the steps from edits to covers to final release. I have a special giveaway planned for the first one, a Food & Love anthology coming up around May (ish).

Since I have two works in progress, and one more I hope to start soon, I want to share sample chapters. The opening chapters to one is already on my website at http://www.ryanjosummers.com. And I would like to encourage everyone to leave a comment with what they would like to see included in this blog, or more or less of any feature.

Lastly, I wish everyone a happy and healthy and wonderful new 2017.

Read Full Post »

I had moved from the north to the south in 2004. For some reason, I was thinking of this move today.The van on loan from my home church resembled Noah’s Ark. Literally. Wally my plecto (big 16 inch ugly fish) and Bruce (14 inch shark) traveled in watery totes with battery-powered air supply. Their large aquarium  was nestled safely among my few belongings.

I had three cats–Sebastian, Kirbie Leigh and Pepper-who were all too advanced in age to be left behind. Sebastian and Kirbie had been with me long before my failed marriage had started. They were to be with me to the bitter end. I had a rescue rabbit–Jade–riding in his big bunny cage, munching hay. Taz, my blue and gold Macaw rode shotgun on the back of my passenger seat. Sharing hip space between the front seats were my last two remaining collies, Kip and Riley James. On the dashboard, looking like a stuffed bubble head toy was my Papillion, Scrapper. The only one missing was my horse. He was being cared for by someone and I would return for him in a few weeks.

I had managed to fit a few suitcases and boxes in for my stuff, but most the van space was indeed devoted to the pets and their stuff. It was much like traveling with a baby or toddler, nine times over. For about 850 miles. I am glad to say they all handled it very well. I do recall Taz got a little bored around southern Ohio so he and Pepper swapped places for a few a short while. And the last few miles to our new home the collies started growling and snapping at one another but they were tired and hungry and cramped so I understood.

So we all survived the journey, we settled in and blossomed where we were now planted in our new home, new region, new everything. And it occurred to me today that ten years have gone by since that time. Wally and Bruce– the fish I could not bear to part with–both died within a few years of fishy infections. I lost Sebastian and Kirbie Leigh within the first year, a scant thirteen days apart. Kip and Riley James were both passed on by 2010. Scrapper was let go just this year at the age of 17. Jade the bunny died within a couple years. Even my horse had to go on.

Of the original Noah’s Ark, only Taz and Pepper remain. Taz is 21 and Pepper is 18. The clock has started on Pepper’s countdown. Taz is expected to hopefully outlive me and everyone reading this post.  Maybe in 50 to 80 years, someone will read my journals and these blog entries and marvel at his travels.

So today I was taking a break, and I happened to realize who was chilling with me–Whymzie, Kryshnah and Muldoone. Just so happened it was these three. These are the three kitties I adopted shortly after moving to the south. Two were kittens and one was around a year old. And now all are ‘young’ seniors themselves. That was a scary revelation today. And finally there is the newest members of my group–Aspen who is about a year and her baby, Avery Faith, who is roughly 5 months old.

I see a cycle and I see time marching on. I do have new sharks, Zechariah and Malachi. They are still young, neither one not quite reaching a foot long yet. No dogs and no bunnies and no horses any more. The desire is certainly there, the time is not right. So I heed to the practicality of time over heart.

Time is such an odd and abstract creature. Unshakable, unchangeable, uncontrollable. It only marches onward, but our memories can take us backward. Today I think of my personal little Ark, full of pets who I wanted to have with me to begin a new life together. Isn’t it odd how choices and time often travel together?

Read Full Post »

I may never see tomorrow, there’s no written guarantee and things that happened yesterday belong to history.

I cannot predict the future, I cannot change the past. I have just the present moment, I must treat it as my last.

I must use the moment wisely, for it soon will pass away and be lost to me forever as part of yesterday.

I must exercise compassion, help the fallen to their feet. Be a friend to the friendless, make an empty life complete.

The unkind things I do today may never be undone and friendships that I fail to win may nevermore be won.

I may not have another chance on bended knee to pray, and I thank God with humble heart for giving me the day.

* No, not my writing, not sure who the author is. Just something I keep taped to my filing cabinet and had the nudge to share today.

Read Full Post »

Today I bought a new digital clock/alarm/radio. A $15 investment. My old one had been dying a slow death, accented for weeks by an irritating and loud ‘Bleep!’ every few seconds. I had noticed the frequency and sound were both increasing. Still, I procrastinated. Finally, last night, I hit the radio button, intending to drift off to sleep whilst listening to a song or two. Instead, I was rewarded with silence, broken only by that deafening ‘Bleep!’. This morning I tried again, hoping to hear a few classic favorites before I succumbed to the need to actually get out of bed for the day. Again, only silence with the ‘Bleep’ sound.

I admitted a drive to Walmart was in my immediate future. Since I was there, might as well get that new watch band I had also been putting off replacing. A $14 investment. So now, new clock installed and set and new watchband on my wrist, it all got me to thinking.

The clock had been with me since the last decade. When I was still married and living several states away. A part of my previous life. The watchband was damaged this summer while hospitalized. Why was I so reluctant to replace things that did not hold particularly fond memories for me? Odd question I thought.

Maybe it’s not so much the fact the memories are not altogether pleasant, but that the unforeseen future is just that–more unknown. It’s new. And, ironically, both items involve time. Clock. Watch. Tick and Tock. Yin and Yang.

So I don’t have any ready answers to the question but I do have a new awareness. Time passes. The old is replaced with new. Whether it be life circumstances or life events, all things occur or change. Time will march on, steadily onward. We measure it with hours and minutes, days, months and years, life periods. In these two cases, one was marked by a time when I was married. Before that changed. The other was marked by a surgery and complications that I am still recovering from months later. It is the inanimate objects that mark the time for me.

So I think I shall embrace this new clock/radio to remind me my married life is in the past. It has been for years now. Time to move past it. Likewise, I shall use the new watchband to remind myself the time spent in the hospital is done. I have only a full recovery to look forward to.

Read Full Post »

Today is an anniversary of sorts. It was ten years ago that I received the email that would forever change my life. Initially shocking and unbelievable, in time it changed my thoughts, my heart, my marital status, my geography and so much more. I had not thought about anything specific being tied t today’s date until I read my morning devotional.

It was Psalm 37, specifically verses 23-40 pertaining to God’s will. What an abstract thing that can be. But several thoughts occurred to me as I read the and pondered the words.

First, because of the events of September 16, 2003 and the months to follow, I can now say I know I am blessed to know God’s will. (most of the time) I can hear His words when I take the time to listen and ask. And I can reap the blessings that come with obeying His wishes for me. What an honor to be a child of the High and Holy King! I did not have that honor ten years ago.

Verse 24 appealed to me: “though he (I) fall, he (I) shall not be cast down, for the Lord upholds (me) with His hand (emphasis/modify mine) I am grateful for that mercy because I still continue to fall

Verses 34-39 spoke of waiting on the Lord, how the wicked who prosper now with pass away in time and the righteous will inherit the land, to be preserved forever, will know God’s mercy and be exalted. And I believe this will happen. I have no doubts. What struck me is how long this sometimes takes. So very long. In my case, ten years and still waiting on some of that to happen. Actually, longer than ten years.

But what is time to God? What is a span of ten years? Or longer? Nothing. A mere breath. A vapor of mist. Here for but a moment and gone.

But the lessons I have learned in those years are priceless. And necessary to achieve the blessings of verses 34-39.

If all our unfair trials and tribulations came and went within a period of hours or days, weeks even, we would never learn to wait on the Lord, listen for His word, have the faith to step out in obedience to His will. That all takes lots of time spent in the fiery furnace.

So while I don’t like the fact there are things in this world that take a long time to achieve, when I look back and see so much progress and positive growth mixed in with those stumbling steps where I sometimes fall, I have to pause and be grateful. I also have to admit to a few moments of plain old arms-crossed, balking disobedience as well, until the lesson is learned fully.

So on this anniversary, I am happy. I have the continual opportunity to change my ways,  grow, learn and one day inherit a Holy Kingdom. What a special gift.

Read Full Post »

We Need Time

While not exactly poetic in structure, the following is a series of thoughts and observations compiled one day. I hope you enjoy them and perhaps see yourself in a few of the lines.


Step out and fall
Stand tall.

Get it all right. Get it all wrong
Move out, move up and move along.

Change our preferences
Change our priorities.

Try and fail, try again and succeed
Know when to fight and when to concede

Make mistakes, learn from them
Hang on and let go
Discover moments to savor
Develop memories to treasure

Walk in the dark, find the light
Both grow dim and shine bright

Experiment, create, dream big
Experience, grow, hope and wish
Taste disappointment and glean from it

Weep, cry, laugh, choose
Smile, love and lose

Learn humility, stand proud
Show others and see for ourselves

Be a victim of circumstances
Change those circumstances

Mature, grow and feel
Discover, hurt and heal

Find the heart hidden within
Decide when to follow that heart

Hear that still small voice inside
Learn to trust that voice

Time to change our:

Goals, clothes and choices
Desires, directions and dreams
Tastes, attitudes and opinions
Styles, plans and habits

To reach a point where we care less what the world thinks and says
And more about what we need for ourselves.

Read Full Post »