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He who is firm and resolute in will moulds the world to himself.”


The Great Logo Reveal

The voting slowed down, so I moved up the reveal date to today. We had votes from all over the world: The United States, South Africa, Pakistan, Germany, Canada, Australia, India, Israel, and the United Kingdom. Thank you so much for your input.


Thank you to both Donna of Retirement Reflections and Sadje of Keep It Alive for their wonderful logos. Thank you all for voting.

Featured Bloggers

I am super grateful for all of you who visit and post each week. You bring me joy, I learn about the world far and near, and feel close to you and what you are doing in your lives.

For More Thoughts on Resolutions and Word of the Year Ideas Visit These Blogs

Your post link goes here.

The Start of Wednesday Quotes

This is OUR first post of Wednesday Quotes. Thank you for being partners with me in WQ. A challenge is nothing without your wonderful contributions to the theme to enlarge our thinking.

Warning: this post is longish, so feel free to skim. I’m honored if you do read and leave me comments, though!

To open this challenge, I invite you to reflect on your year once more. Instead of thinking about what went wrong, think about what went right last year and build on strength as you consider resolutions and inspiring words for this year.

“Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.”

-Cavett Robert
Holding resolve
Long after the moment of excitement

©Marsha Ingrao 2023
Tetractys’ At least 5 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 syllables (total of 20);

Moving on to 2023

“You ought to write down your goals. It serves as a guidepost and gives strength for purposeful action.”

-Lailah Gifty Akita

Not much needs to be said about resolutions. We’ve all set them. They might be bigger than goals or objectives, but they are still specific points of accomplishment.

Choosing a guiding Word of the Year is more of a flavor, tone, or theme that colors everything you do during the year. There are several people who host WOTY Links. One is Donna, of Retirement Reflections, our 2023 logo creator, Sue from Living Well After 50 is one of the four co-hosts along with Deb’s World and Jo from And Anyways…

My Word of the Year last year was CURATE. I am mesmerized and can lose days when I’m curating my pictures, which is what I did while writing this post. This year, I want to build on that with my new word – COMPELLING.

Forgive me for talking about Terri of Second Wind Leisure so much, but it is rare that you spend 10 days almost full-time with a blogging friend who lives more than a thousand miles away. We talked a lot about blogging.

Like I did with Carol of The Eternal Traveller and Leanne Cole Photography when I went to Australia to meet them, Terri and I took pictures – lots and lots of pictures. Once I asked Terri why she didn’t take a picture of this that or the other thing. Her answer gave me this year’s word.

“Because the picture wasn’t compelling.”

Terri Webster Schrandt
What happened to this poor house? Did someone run into it?

“…to her,” I might have added mentally. But it really got me thinking. It’s like starting to rate your pictures in Lightroom or Bridge. Not many of mine have 5 stars on them. Why is that? Maybe they are not compelling, or maybe I didn’t see the potential in them.

You won’t find a picture of this house in her cousin’s neighborhood in Terri’s collection. LOL

I walked over to take pictures of it one evening. A couple driving by stopped and asked me what was going on. I was nervous that they were the owners. No, they found the house compelling, too, and just wanted to know what happened.

What Is Compelling?

gripping, mesmerizing, absorbing, transfixing, hypnotic, captivating, and enthralling.

“I love discovering compelling new ideas and doing what I can to help spread the word about them.”

-Adam Grant

What is compelling about a photograph? Sarah from Travel with Me takes many pictures of faces in far-off, exotic places. I find her pictures compelling. Most of them are older or very young and involved in something that absorbs them. I will make many visits to Sarah’s blog this year to help me understand “compelling.”

In people, what I find compelling: are expressions, unusual or bright clothing, posture, and inspiring or odd activities. I didn’t think I had any pictures in that category, but I found several in unexpected places.

Out of Place in a Cowboy Town

I found this picture nestled in a group of about 300 parade photos, most of which did not excite me. But the band director stood out like a Man in Black walking around in an alien bar.

DANGER ALERT — As cool as he looks, the man in black has a couple of outfit flaws that could cause him major harm or embarrassment. I think it adds to the charm of this picture. Can you spot them?

The band director at the Woodlake parade dressed to kill.

Getting Mom Ready for the Parade

“I’d better practice roping you. Hold still, Mom.”

I find vivid pictures and vivid writing compelling. So I vow this year to use fewer helping verbs in my writing. I adore bright colors to photograph – partly because they make more compelling puzzles.

I find surprise both in writing and photographs compelling: a huge insect, an expression on a bird, a reflection, the president of Woodlake Kiwanis with a chainsaw, a big reveal in the last chapter of a mystery, or in a short story. Most of my Story Chat authors are masters at the surprise ending. I am not – but I will be working on that this year!

I am not hosting Story Chat this year, but I will keep the page with all the links to stories in case you want some inspiration, too.

No one seems bothered by this madman. What are they looking at anyway?

I love humor so sometimes a picture I take might not seem compelling to someone else, but I think it’s funny – at least at the time I take it or when I get it home and look at it on my computer.

“Buddy, I know you’re new at this, but listen to me and you won’t go wrong.”

“A woman’s life can really be a succession of lives, each revolving around some emotionally compelling situation or challenge, and each marked off by some intense experience.”

-Wallis Simpson

It takes a lot for me to find a photo emotionally compelling. Our experiences fostering kitties were the exception. Vince found this baby abandoned next to our driveway in California by its kitty mom, and she softened his hard heart against kittens.

emotionally compelling photo

I cleaned her up and called the vet, who was too busy to see her. I drove her to our pet sitter’s house knowing that Kay probably had some antibiotics, but Snickerdoodle needed to be hydrated. She was dying. I rushed her to the vet’s without an appointment, and they gave her an IV and some antibiotics. We bottle-fed her every few hours for several weeks.

Snickerdoodle was not perfectly clean being an outdoor kitty, and she looks blind in one eye.

A few weeks later, she was compelling for a different reason. She was so cute, playful, and loving. We found her a home with a young teen who had recently lost her mom. Snickerdoodle had a new name before the car left our driveway.


The result of choosing the word compelling, as far as my Word of the Year goes is to write at least one story, article, blog post, book, or poem in 2023 that is compelling in some way. For that matter, I would like all of my WQ posts to be compelling.

I want my photos to be vivid, with an element of surprise and humor or emotion. In the case of landscape, I think a sense of awe is compelling. This picture has it all, in my humble opinion – even if it was staged.

random hiker in Sedona

To broaden the goal, I’d like my life to be a compelling influence on others around me. More than being a work in progress, I want to accomplish something emotionally compelling this year.

Update on Nutter Butter

After a very bad day, we took our sweet four-year-old Nutters to the vet yesterday evening. The vet said he’d lost half his body weight since they started seeing him and that she thought without any tests, that he probably had cancer since we had tried treating everything else. It is super sad for us, but he is not in pain anymore.

Now it’s your turn.

Are you setting resolutions, participating in Word of the Year, or both? Donna, Sue, Deb, and Jo hosted link parties each month for us to share our progress. Natalie the Explorer offers an opportunity each week to share your progress and what you’re up to in her Weekend Coffee Share and Photographing Public Art challenges. Ritu, But I Smile Anyway, also offers a weekly opportunity to chat about your life and read about hers.

Ju-Lyn in Touring My Backyard and Brian AKA Bushboy also offer a similar challenge called Change of Season which is perfect for sharing how you’re doing.

And, of course, each month one of the WQ options will be a progress report at the end of each month. Feel free to double, quadruple dip, and link your one post to all of the challenges. If you want a list of challenges, Cee Neuner keeps us updated on who we might join. She has several of her own that I enjoy doing.

Something I started doing last year, as I am reading posts if yours fits the theme, and it includes a quote, I may be asking permission to link it to inspire other bloggers thinking about the theme. So don’t be surprised if your blog post gets featured on WQ. 🙂

Upcoming and Ongoing on Always Write

  • WQ Page
  • WQ #2 January 11: PIQUES INTEREST
Happy Quoting!

67 replies »

  1. So much to love in this post Marsha! The logo is fabulous, well done Donna and your WOTY is compelling – how good is that? Love all your pics and your stories, you have such a zest for life :).Love it!


  2. I love your word. And I love that your truly summarized your year and what is to come by sharing motivation of others. You are always a source of inspiration Marsha. Poor sweet Nutter Butter.

    And I agree…alwasy think about what is right…you can’t go wrong with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Marsha – I am so sorry to hear about Nutter Butter. Sending warm hugs your way.
    I know that your 2023 will be filled with compelling writing and photography. I look forward to following along! Finally, thank you for featuring my logo design.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Compelling. Now that’s a fabulous choice but then you do have the knack for picking words that stand out. For instance, the names you came up for the cats, they roll off so smoothly and I cannot help but chant them like a mantra. Sorry to read about Nutter Butter but he lives on through your photos and tales.
    Here’s to compelling blog posts and memorable experiences in 2023, Marsha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, so much Sheetal. I have him on my screen saver now in a power point. My husband and I both love walking by the big screen saying, “Awww, he was such a good kitty.” Have a great year. 🙂


  5. Lots to think about with this post Marsha. they word compelling. Mine is going to be motivate, in that I must try and motivate myself more! I was going to be more motivated to blog, but that hasn’t happened yet with a houseful of people still and the weather so hot.. anyway it’s early days yet! Thanks for listing some challenges as well

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I read every word, lengthy turns out to be awesome in your case. I find your take on things compelling.
    I like the dudes with the pancakes and I think the phrase underneath was probably actually the real conversation going on, at least in somebody’s head if not out loud… Staged or not staged, the hiker dude was funny and the kitten made me say “aw” out loud, in my room, by myself. And the last kitten Story made me cry!I like the word ‘compelling’, and will continue to read everything you write.
    It’s amazing how much joining this WordPress site in general, has positively affected my life. I have been in a very dark place for a while and I am finally seeing the light and realizing that people need people, and that words matter, and that I don’t have to be anyone or anything that I’m not… but I can be anything or anyone that I strive to be, and it’s all up to me. I get to pick my world and fill it with what I want. Thank you, very much.:-) PS sorry about the run-on sentences and poor punctuation, I’m using voice to text and I don’t have my glasses on, I set them down after I read your blog and when I went to reply, I couldn’t find them. So weird cuz I didn’t even move, I guess they walked away on their own or maybe that’s what my dog’s chewing on in the other room… okay better go check.:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a lovely comment. I’m so glad you found my post compelling. My last kitty story made me cry, too. He was just as precious as he looks in that picture. I’m excitged that you started blogging. It sounds like you enjoy art. I’ll check out your blog either when I finish answering comments or tomorrow, as it is 11:30 here. BTW, my husband and I both have a terrible time with keys and glasses walking away. 🙂 Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry to read about Nutter but good that you took that step. I love the mom costume in our series of photos. It reminds me of the only costumes I ever made for our girls for Halloween, being craft/handy challenged. I took two pillowcases, cut holes for head and arms, took a Sharpie and made dalmatian splotches, then did the same for white sock ears which I pinned to their hoods. (It got cold at the end of October in Ohio!) The costumes got rave reviews which made me laugh a bit but those two little girls looked so cute. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Carol. I’m sure he’s having more fun where he is now. Well, you can tell me how I’m doing on being compelling. 🙂


  8. My sympathy to you regarding sweet Nutter – it’s the hardest thing in the world. On a brighter note though, compelling is an excellent word. I’m not normally a big one for quotes but recently they’ve found their way to me, and this one popped up not once, but 3 times over the last few days so I suspect it’s calling me: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing (about).” Benjamin Franklin

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was compelled to leave a comment.

    That bloke need a tailor!!! Where did he get that one? looks like a place that sells hessian sacks! and the shoes….obviously a single male, no woman would let her man buy those clothes let along leave the house.
    I did think that he was compelled to loose weight but that doesn’t account for one of my pet hates, trouser legs bunched up or dragging on the ground unless he lost about four inches in height as well.

    I do find your candid “street” photos compelling as well Marsha.

    Goodbye Nutters (a bit premature last time sorry)

    Enjoy your blog-ups 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL, Brian. I enjoy your compelling comments. You spotted the faux pas. I think he was married actually, but I’m not sure. He definitely didn’t have the cowboy look. 🙂 Thanks for the compliment and for the condolences – even the premature one. It turned out that the premature comment was only a few hours premature. He’s in a better place now and out of pain.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Good thing you’re not doing story chat too Marsha as you are quite busy with WQ and lots of writers to join you.
    Great logos and pics.
    What did happen to that front door and thanks for photographing me doing the overhead press on the mountain. 🤣
    Happy story on SD and wait… was that the last day for NB?
    xo 💞

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the compliments – and thanks to Donna, too for the logo design. I don’t know what all the next steps will be for me in blogging. For now, this is just the right amount. The day after his last picture post was Nutter’s last day. I didn’t know it at the time, but he couldn’t have lasted much longer. It was a hard thing to do, but it was the right thing to do.

      Have a great day, and an eventful, prosperous, healthy, and happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t know if it would pay well, but you should get a job coming up with pet names 🙂 Nutter Butter and Snickerdoodle are such great names! I’m sorry you had to let Nutter go… it’s so hard but a kindness.

    I think “compelling” is in the eye of the beholder… and a great WOTY.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Janis. If only I could get paid for pet names, LOL. Most of them I can’t take too much credit for. Our DIL thought of Emoji – shortened to Moji because of her enormous eyes and great expressions. Thanks for the comment. I’m in love with the word compelling. 🙂


    • Amen to that! Thank you so much. I have things to look forward to, though, like January 12th. Donna and Janet are joining us as well. Lisa is not able to. Can’t wait.


  12. Sorry to hear about Snickerdoodle. I’m writing this with Henry lying on my forearms (as he is want to do) and I’m grateful that I can hear his little sighs while he is sleeping (he doesn’t purr). He is about the same age, not quite four yet, and is – thankfully – striving. My husband spoils him rotten, much more so than I which surprised me a lot. Anyway, both of us, Henry and I, are sending a big hug.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Welllll, where to begin? First of all, I teared up seeing the pics of the kitties–you saved both of their lives, Marsha. I saw firsthand the large numbers of feral cats near you in Woodlake and how you scooped many of them up and took them to the vet for neutering and medical assistance. The pic of Snickerdoodle is beyond compelling and glad she found a home quickly. I’m so sorry about Nutters…what a beautiful picture of him–you gave him a wonderful life because of your magnanimous heart. He met Aero briefly I believe, while they were still Earthbound, and I know they are cavorting in God’s Heaven together.

    High-fives to Donna for the wonderful WQ logo! Before the votes, I had already downloaded it because I liked it when I first saw it.

    So…compelling…really a great word and I’m glad my random comment sparked your 2023 WOTY. I suppose the journalist in me sees the compelling shots so often caught by professional Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalists. Like beauty, compelling is indeed in the eye of the beholder. BTW, LOVE the photo of the hiker holding up Sedona for us, like Atlas, LOL! I have also been inspired by the countless bloggers who share their own compelling images. Your 2023 is off to a great start, my friend, and I look forward to your WQ challenges each week! Have a great week and talk soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, for such an encouraging comment, Terri. It’s been a week – as you know what it is like to have to make the hard decisions. I love my new word. I think it will help me not only to find better pictures, but to pick out the compelling parts of the ones I already have. I’ve included your color challenges each month in my themes.

      Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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