Five for the First, Last Friday – 01/27/2023

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

It’s the last Friday of the first month and I’ve come back to you now at the turning of the calendar.

Don’t worry if you don’t get that. It’s an obscure reference to THE MOVIES and that’s all you need to know to move on.

I’m not writing here much lately. You may have noticed.

This was not in the original plan. I don’t do resolutions, but I do make project lists. You may recall that my plan for January 1st was to sit with my project book and map out all the things I knew I wasn’t going to get to for the year whilst watching the Tournament of Roses Parade.

I had a plan for the blog.

I had the best of intentions. But I napped through most of the parade. I did eventually get my project notebook updated. I stare at those wonderful plans almost daily, I’m just not very good at getting started.

Apparently it’s not just me. Austin Kleon wrote in Instagram the other day:

I feel like this year can’t get started, somehow. And January is almost over…

I feel the same way. It’s not that I’ve not been busy, I’ve just not launched into all of those wonderful projects liked I’d planned.

So, excuse me if you will, today’s Five for Friday are mostly all about me. It’s like this was my own blog.


I wrote earlier this month that my Three words for 2023 are Pray, Prepare, Play.

PRAY: The last time I posted I mentioned that my church was beginning 21 Days of Prayer. Tomorrow is the last day of that and the last official prayer gathering for this round. It’s been an incredible time of gathering at 7:00 each weekday morning with a few hundred fellow believers.

I believe in prayer. I believe prayer changes things. I believe prayer changes me.

The challenge then is to continue the pattern after the gatherings are over.

As for the other two words, I’m working them. You could say I’m preparing to do some playing later in the year. I’m not ready to talk about those plans just yet. Stay tuned.


In the earliest days of the prayer time, I realized, or perhaps was reminded of what I already knew, that I try to do too many things.

Yes, there is writing. Yes, I’m working on some new books and some new projects. But I’ve allowed myself the freedom to not think I need to post here every day.

It’s like Sean Dietrich said to a young writer yesterday who was struggling with what to write.

I think the problem is, you’re putting too much pressure on yourself. Pressure will constipate you, my friend. Pressure is the government cheese of the literary world.

All that to say that I’m not pressuring myself to write here every day. I’ll be here when I’m here.


Among the things I’ve been doing when not working on my project list is preparing for the Kirk Children’s Book Festival to be held Saturday, February 4 at Gayton Kirk Presbyterian Church in Richmond.

I’ll be there signing and reading my books.

If you’re in the RVA area, stop by…or is it STOP! BUY!


The Academy Award nominees were announced this week (Variety). This isn’t about me other than to note that once again I was passed over by the Academy. This year due largely to also being passed over by the casting directors.

This year I’ve only seen one film with any nominations at all. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery was nominated for best adapted screen play.

In years past, I’ve scrambled to catch the Best Picture nominees. That’s more difficult now that they’ve gone from five to ten nominees. I may see some before the ceremony. I can promise you I won’t see all of them.

Not only that, but I’m behind in my once established goal to see all of the Best Picture winners.

One day. Maybe.

Or not.


Last year, I jumped on the bandwagon and participated in The 100 Days Project. It’s a challenge to create something every day for 100 days.

I did it with some original drawings. While it became a challenge to get something drawn and posted every day, it did become the inspiration for the animal drawings in the CAT and PIG series.

I plan to do the project again and it begins on February 22nd.

The tricky part for me is that’s also Ash Wednesday and I’ve been considering a separate (but equal?) posting for the season of Lent.

Too ambitious to run two major art projects at the same time? Perhaps. I have a little less than a month to decide.

While I’m deciding, you can take a look at


As of this date, I’m caught up with my Goodreads goal. I just finished a re-read of On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King.

For a writer, it’s a good read every few years. And, as a friend said, it may be one of his scariest books.

But here’s what I’m also reading currently. No. Seriously.

It’s almost February. By this time next month we’ll know the prediction of that pesky rodent.

As always, I’ve got my finger on the recipe for Groundhog Stew.

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