Friday, May 6, 2016

Summer is coming . . .

. . . and I'm taking a blogging break until then. I'll pop in and out, though. You can't get rid of me that easily.

I'll be back for IWSG on June 1st. See you all then!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

IWSG: Putting Down the Backpack


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For awhile now, I've been feeling drained and exhausted, about my writing and about parts of my life. My husband equates it to carrying around a giant backpack. I packed it many years ago with things I thought I needed to succeed, to survive - including loyalty to my dreams, stubbornness, defensiveness, anger. And those things did keep me going for awhile, and I'm thoroughly glad I had them. 

But they've taken on a weight I can no longer carry, one I no longer want to carry, one I no longer need to carry.  

I'm making changes. I'm working on my weight - losing actual physical pounds - and re-thinking my writing, searching for the zest and the gusto again. 

I am putting down the backpack. I'm a little nervous, but I am moving forward - unencumbered, joyful, ready. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Motivational Monday


IF YOU ARE WRITING
WITHOUT ZEST,
WITHOUT GUSTO,
WITHOUT LOVE,
WITHOUT FUN,
YOU ARE ONLY HALF A WRITER.
(Ray Bradbury)

How about you? 

Are you only half a writer? Are you half the writer you could be? 

What would it look like, feel like to be that "whole" writer? What would it take? And are you ready, willing and able to do it? 

Let's give ourselves permission to be the amazing writers and artists and creative souls we are. Let's go for it!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Motivational Monday


AS A TEENAGER YOU ARE 
IN THE LAST STAGE 
OF YOUR LIFE
WHEN YOU WILL BE HAPPY
THAT THE PHONE IS FOR YOU.
(Fran Lebowitz)

I am not much of a phone person so it surprised me when, a few years back, a sense of nostalgia swept through me when my husband and I got rid of our home phone, keeping only our cell phones. 

I thought about the toy phone my sister and I played with. 

I remember giggling with my aunt as we'd pretend we could see each other through the phone. 

I can still feel the way the cord curled around my fingers as I tried to stretch it into my teenaged bedroom for some privacy. 

I recall coming in from college classes, seeing the flashing light on my answering machine, and feeling connected, wanted, part of a group of friends.

Today, I would rather send smoke signals or put a message in a bottle than use the phone. I will email or text. I'll write a letter. But when it comes to phone conversations, I am more awkward than ever. I'll do it, but it's not pretty.

At first, I worried - was I turning into a hermit? Was I losing the few social skills I had? But now I just go with it, embrace who I am, focus on ways to socialize that suit me and my personality. After all, times change. And so do people. 

Hmm, anyone know if Muggles are allowed to use Owl Post...? 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Motivational Monday


THERE ARE NO TRAFFIC JAMS
ALONG THE EXTRA MILE.
(Roger Staubach)

The other day, my husband ran into Barnes and Noble to pick up a book while I waited in the car. (If I went in, we'd be there until closing.) He was gone longer than usual, so when he returned to the car, I asked him about it. Turns out, he'd noticed a homeless man nearby, so my husband went to the store's cafe and bought a sandwich and a bottle of water for the man. 

(Now, this does not surprise me at all. This is just the kind of guy my husband is. I'd actually be more surprised if he didn't do this. I'd be checking him for a fever.) 

But here's what makes me smile even more. When my husband went to give the man the food, a woman and her young daughter were doing the same thing. They'd gotten him a salad from the cafe. The man was so appreciative, said he'd eat the salad then save the sandwich for later. 

None of this was caught on YouTube. No one Tweeted it. No one applauded. It was doing good purely for the sake of doing good.

It might seem like no one was paying attention, but I bet one person was. That young girl watched her mother and a stranger be kind, be generous. That will have wonderful, powerful repercussions someday. And we will all be the better for it.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Motivational Monday


JUST SPILLED COFFEE ON THE LAPTOP.
I DIDN'T FREAK OUT.
INSTEAD, I AM HOPEFUL THAT IT
WILL MAKE IT WRITE FASTER.
(Mindy McGinnis)

If only!

Wishing us all a week of few spills and lots of wonderful words!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

IWSG: What Big Teeth You Have


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I'm hunkering down with a novel idea that Just. Won't. Die.

Four years ago (yes, you read that right - four years!) I took a version of it to a conference on craft where I received tremendous feedback. I came home and re-worked it and revised it and . . . put it away. Every few months, I take it out, determined to make a go of it . . . only to put it away again. And again.

This Fall, I'm attending an advanced level of that same conference . . . with the same novel idea.

Just the thought makes me cringe with embarrassment. Where has the time gone? What have I done with it? Have I totally wasted that first amazing opportunity? Will I end up wasting this one? Should I work on something different and bring those pages?

But.

I'm not ready to let this novel go. I'm giving it these next few months and this conference to make sure it has teeth. (The story, I mean. The characters have enough teeth to . . . well, never mind.)

Wish me luck!

*****

I'm co-hosting April's IWSG, along with Megan Morgan, Christopher D. Votey, Viola Fury, Christine Rains, L. G. Keltner, Patricia Lynne, and Rachna Chhabria. Fingers crossed I do Alex and the rest of the team proud!