The “Joy Challenge”


I made it to the end of National Blog Post Month! I posted every single day in November — and I only did two picture posts, so there! I participated last year, but missed a couple of days, which I thought was something to celebrate (and it was), but actually completing the exercise this year felt even better! Really, it did.

Not one to learn her lesson the first time rest on her laurels, with the encouragement and promise of camaraderie from one Elin Stebbins Waldal over at Beyond the Backyard Blues, I’m going to attempt to complete a post a day in December, also. I’ll tell you why in a minute, but first I want to encourage you to pop over and read Elin’s work. Grab a cup of coffee first, though, because it’s a good bet that you’ll be there awhile. Elin is a fantastic writer.

Like the inability to eat one potato chip, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to stop at reading just one of Elin’s finely wrought pieces of prose. If you are the type of person who can eat one potato chip (or one Tootsie Roll!), please feel free to share with me how you are able to do such a thing. If your answer is “will power”, though, don’t bother. I have little to none of that. Still, I’ll bet you won’t read just one of her posts. And why should you? Unlike junk food, reading good writing is a calorie-less and guilt-free endeavor. (Unless, like me, you read with a bag of Tootsie Rolls beside you.)

Elin and I are stylistically and thematically as different as two writers can be. Yet, I can’t help but learn something, usually about myself, when I read her work. She has the ability, through her words, to draw us in, but, more importantly to connect her readers not only to her, but to themselves. That is a rare and special gift and one that I would like to share with all of you. Merry Christmas and you’re welcome.

Why have I chosen, given the madness that was November, to take up the challenge to write every day in December, as well? Anyone who knows me, knows that “because she’s insane” would not be the worst answer in the world to this question, but, in this case, it is not the correct answer. Not this time, anyway.

The real reason has to do with writing prompts based on a theme. Writing extemporaneously has been, since I began my illustrious career as a blogger, my method. It’s worked out fairly well for me, but even I find that I’m bored with my subject matter. I’d like to write less about work. My family would like me to write less about them. I won’t guarantee that some of the prompts won’t send me in those same directions, but I’m hoping to stretch my thinking and my writing muscles a bit more than I normally do.

Because the theme for the month is “joy”, I’m fairly certain that I won’t be telling many work-related stories. There is little that I find joyful down at “The Annoying Bar & Grill”. For the most part, you’ve gotten to know my family — the long-suffering husband, “Fang”, the always delightful teenage daughter, “Fangette”, and the rodent-loving overweight feline who resides with us, “The Great Fanganini” — as I’ve described them, which has largely been when they have been at their worst. I thought it might be nice to, where appropriate, portray them in a better light. They do, indeed, bring me joy.

That they bring me joy is something that I want you to know. I want them to know it, too. And, it wouldn’t hurt for me to say it.

Don’t think that it hasn’t occurred to me that, as an added bonus and if all goes well, I may be able to bind up these posts and give them as Christmas gifts. That will be a real money-saver. Saving money always brings me joy.

Let this post serve as fair warning then, folks. I’ll be around a lot in December. To bring you joy. (I know. I know. It’s going to be a real challenge!)

19 thoughts on “The “Joy Challenge”

  1. janieemaus says:

    I have to give it to you. I don’t think I could blog every day. Yet, I write everyday. So, then, maybe I could. Happy Holidays!


  2. I admire your dedication to blogging and your plan to focus on joy by posting everyday.


  3. CaptCruncher says:

    I, selfishly, am so glad that you (and Elin) are tackling December and joy! Yes your writing styles are different but you both have me hanging on every word to see where you go next! Here’s to another month of reading incredible writers every single day!!! YEAH!


  4. Cathy says:

    You are the most joyful kvetch I know. How is THAT possible? I learned so much about you and Elin last month that I look forward to reading more of the Bobsy Twins Do December. Joy? That is what I guarantee I will get from you, dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • javaj240 says:

      Oh, I like “The Bobbsey Twins Do December”. I would suggest to Elin that we bill ourselves thusly, but I worry that we might end up on porn sites. Perhaps just a tad too “Debbie Does Dallas” – ish? IDK.

      The Joyful Kvetchers sound like an inter-religious bell choir. I like it 🙂


  5. Like Karen said, I get much joy from reading your kvetching! But I guess I’ll have to put up with your joy for the month. 🙂 And by the way, you and Elin are two of my very favorite writers. You are both exceptionally talented and I love reading your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. elinwaldal says:

    You seriously just made me cry, Jackie. Thank you so much for all your sweet thoughts about my musings over at BYB…
    I am so glad we are rolling our sleeves up together to take on NaBloPoMo in December, it’s way more fun with company, yes? I have loved getting to know your family via your blog and candidly find the work kvetching often hilarious, even if it does make me want to fly out there and pass out a few lessons to your customers! Having said that I look forward to your joyful posts, after all what’s not to love about joy? Thank you again my friend. xoxo


    • javaj240 says:

      You are very welcome. It truly has been my pleasure to get to know you through your writing. When I find a good thing, I don’t always share it. I’m selfish that way. In your case, though, how could I not share you with at least my little corner of the world?

      It’s my first “joyful” act of the season. Who knows? It may be the only one. Joy will be challenging for me. LOL!


  7. But what if I get joy in reading you kvetch about customers? : ) I am sure you’ll find some way to preserve your voice with an infusion of joy. Have a glorious December posting daily.


    • javaj240 says:

      Oh, no doubt that I won’t be able to stay away from the crazy customer stories for long. And the kvetching? I can’t imagine it will disappear completely. Oy Vey! (Don’t you just love Yiddish?)


  8. tamwarner says:

    30 days writing during the Holidays? You are either nuts or dedicated! I’ll be checking in!


  9. I’m looking forward to a joyous month on your blog! Wow, 30 days of it. You go, girl!


  10. Carolann says:

    Oh I’ve got her posts lined up for reading later today. Can’t wait to dig in. I once tried the blogging every day for a month thing…just wasn’t for me. I have to be inspired by something to post about it. I always admire those who have the dedication to stick to posting daily. I just can’t get there…yet. lol. I look forward to reading your posts…as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    • javaj240 says:

      Posting every day is not for everyone. I really struggled with it last year and, as a result, did not complete it. November wasn’t really that hard this year. I actually enjoyed it. Who knew? But, I really do want to break out of the box and I think the whole “joy” thing will be a challenge for me, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love that you and Elin are doing December together. You both bring me so much joy!


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