December 31, 2010

The Year of No



Okay, on first glance "The Year of No" may seem negative, but it's not.  At least not for me.  I've been slowly learning to say no in order to free up time for my family, writing and art.

"Want to serve on committee raise money for Fred's coffee shop?"
"No."

"Can you babysit my six kids for the day?"
"No."

"We need you to work the concession stand for little league every Saturday."
"Um, no."

It probably sounds selfish.  I don't care.  It's about finding time to get to know my husband and kids in a way being busy doesn't allow.  We're gonna play board games, take walks, and talk without worrying about hurrying to such-and-such.

Then while they're sleeping or at school, I'm going to feed my soul with writing and art.

Sound like bliss?  YES.

Maybe I should call this The Year of Yes.

What's on the horizon of your 2011?

December 18, 2010

Wanna Bookstore Gift Card?

Valerie Geary is giving away a $25 and $15 bookstore gift cards. Think of all the gifts or BOOKS you could get!! It's easy to enter. Head on over to her blog to find out how.  And good luck!  **fingers crossed**  Since there are two, you can win one and I can too!

December 17, 2010

The Danger of Writing...

About a week ago, I went to have my fingerprints taken for a new part-time job (it's the law). It sounded intriguing. The lady at the education center began dipping my fingers in ink and rolling them on little paper squares.

I watched mesmerized.  After about twenty failed papers, she exasperatedly told me I needed to go to the Sheriff's office so they could use the big scanner thingy and get a print.

Big scanner thingy?  I drove to the police station excited to see the machine. (Obviously, I don't get out much!)  The administrator worked fifteen minutes trying to get the scanner to read my fingers.  She brought in boss lady.

"Why is it so hard to scan my prints?" I asked.

"You've worn them off," boss lady replied with bored irritation.

Worn them off?  Thoughts of becoming a spy filled my head.  "How did I wear them off?"

She barely refrained from rolling her eyes.  "Lots of typing, washing your hands too much...that sort of thing."

Weirdly it made me feel special.  I mean, I'VE TYPED MY FINGERPRINTS OFF!!!

Is it just me, or is it thrilling that writers and nurses may be the least traceable people in the world? Bwahahaha!

December 3, 2010

When You Give a Child a Book...

They're gonna want to read it!

Jackee at Winded Words is having heart-warming giveaway.  For every book you give to a child at Christmas, she will be create and send these to children in need:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_-gNjHruMe-I/TPUlI0AriqI/AAAAAAAABxI/Kio6q6kTPJk/s1600/school-bag.jpg

AND she's got a wonderful assortment of books she's giving to her winners!! So, if you have any plans to give books for Christmas or just now realized you want to, hop over to her blog.  Let's get as many of these kits sent as possible!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

November 29, 2010

Deadline November

Thirty picture book ideas?  Done!  :) :) :D  No one said they had to be brilliant, right?

How did your writing go this November?  Did you finish NaNoWriMo or PiBoIdMo or write more than a comma?

November 25, 2010

November 24, 2010

Thank You!

To my blogging buddies,

During this season of thanks, I am ESPECIALLY thankful for you.  You have encouraged and supported me through this journey of writing.  I have enjoyed and learned from your posts, art, photos and critiques.  I've loved watching your journey as well!  I am proud to be among you.

I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2010

And The Winner Is...



Thank you to everyone who entered my plotting prize giveaway!  The winner is:


Shannon @ Book Dreaming


Have a wonderful Tuesday!

 

November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Bro!



Ironically, my brother's birthday is the day after mine (and my sisters).  He came 6 years later and was ALMOST born on our birthday.  Lucky for him, he had his very own.



I always thought he was the cutest little brother EVER!  Just look at that smile.  He's forever frozen in my mind as this white-haired little boy.

Little Bro, your amazing and hilarious storytelling abilities make me snort with laughter!  Life would be dull without you!  Thanks for making my life more fun!  Love you.

November 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Sis!

Happy Birthday sweet sis! I'm one lucky person to have had you in my life from the beginning. Thank you for making life so fun! You've been right beside me through the good, the bad, and the hilarious. Love you! ♥

November 17, 2010

Plotting Prize Giveaway

Since everyone is in high gear writing 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo or coming up with 30 picture book ideas for PiBoIdMo, I thought it'd be fun to have a "Keep Plotting" Contest.


 The winner will receive this little shadow box featuring a girl deep into plotting.


Sorry I couldn't get a good shot of it inside the shadow box.
Too many shadows.  *ahem*  


You have until midnight on Monday, November 22 to enter.

What To Do:
  1. Be a follower of my blog (or become one) and leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you about the prize.
For Additional Entries into the drawing hat, you may:
  1. Mention this contest on twitter, or Facebook (+2 each)
  2. Put it in the side bar of your blog (+2)
  3. Devote an entire blog post to it. (+3)
The winner will be announced on Tuesday morning.  Good luck and keep writing!

Let the Nail-Biting Begin!

I did something Monday I've only done once before, I sent off a picture book manuscript.  I immediately felt nauseous after I heard the "plunk" of it landing inside the mail slot.  It's been my baby for a year.  Thanks to Shannon, Kristin and Myrna's awesome advice, I revised and fine-tuned it before sticking the stamp on.

But still.

You wonder.

Is it ridiculous that I checked my mailbox Tuesday afternoon?
Yes it is.

I'm diverting myself working on Christmas gifts and cleaning the house.  Not sure why this mailing is making me so jittery.  I've had plenty of rejections before.  And even made art of it here.  But this feels different.  The stakes are higher.

The last time I sent a picture book manuscript out, I sent it to ONE editor and never sent it out again.  But that's the way I began with magazine articles too.  It took me a whole year before I began sending stories out on a fairly consistent basis and the rejections didn't hurt so bad after awhile.  Then I started getting hand written notes and even acceptances.

Now it feels like I'm starting all over.  Maybe I just have to keep sending out, like the short stories and since this is the beginning again it feels raw.

I'll let you know what happens, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I won't hear anything until four months from now IF I hear anything at all.

No I'm not worried.

**Chatter, chatter**

My nails are stubs.  Nothing new.

November 10, 2010

Is This Funny?



Belated Halloween pics of my cuties

Alice-in-Wonderland turned vampire.


I'm working on a picture book that I've been "editing" for a year now.  Every time I think I've got it right, I put it away.  When I pull it back out months later, it needs work.  I feel like I'm really close now.  My critique group is not covering it in red anymore.  **Happy Sigh**

But there's still something bothering me.  The nagging question of "Is this funny?"  It's supposed to be.  I find it humorous...but my family tells me I'm easily entertained.  Which leads me to ponder if this is amusing to me but not REALLY amusing.

How do you add humor to your writing?  When do you KNOW it's funny?

P.S.  If anyone would like a Picture Book critique buddy, I'm game!

October 27, 2010

What's Your Question?

 ?

Every novel, picture book, easy reader, or short story has a question waiting to be answered.

Will she survive to the end?
Will he win her heart?
Will she realize her beauty within?
Will he overcome the villian?
Will she buy that doggy in the window?

I've been editing lately and reminding myself to keep focused on the main question. While there may be many questions throughout the story, there must be one overriding big one to keep the reader reading.  And the more creative the answer is, the more satisfying the read.

So, what's your question (if you feel free to share)?

October 19, 2010

In These Pages...




...is an easy reader story with my name on it!  *big cheesy grin*  It's the November issue.  Just got my copies in the mail yesterday.

October 18, 2010

Closet of my Soul

"I knew I was supposed to be a writer; I had made that declaration in the closet of my soul." -- Padgett Powell

Some writers dream of writing stories from childhood (usually the ones with their noses in books).  And other writers catch the writing bug later in life.

When did you discover what you wanted to be when you grew up?  Years ago?  Months ago?  Yesterday?

For all you book lovers, check out Shannon O'Donnell's blog.  She's having an AWESOME giveaway.  You pick the books!

October 14, 2010

When on Fire...



For the record, I've owned a fire extinguisher almost nineteen years. It's hung in the garage near the kitchen door unused.

Until this week.

First my eldest daughter set an almost-perfect-funnel cake on fire.  And while I ran back and forth squealing (I'm stellar in emergencies), she raced for the fire extinguisher. She sprayed the fire (and most of the kitchen) eliminating it.  We were all relieved.  (Minus the cleaning of powdery goo off every possible surface)

Then last night, I put taco shells in the toaster oven.  Apparently the rack was too high and the shells touched the top.

In a calm manner, my son said, "Mom, the tacos are burning."

He has a dry sense of humor, so I laughed.

"I'm serious," he said, pointing to the oven.

I turned to see flames on the inside.  I unplugged it, but the fire raged on.  My daughter ran for the extinguisher.

Fire extinguishers only work once.  Did you know that?  We opened the oven door (this time with perfect fire extinguisher aim) and--nothing.  Not one poof of powdery substance.  The flame lapped up and out of the oven.

My daughter once again, came to the rescue.  She doused the toaster oven with a bucket load of water.  And me.  And everyone else.  But once again, she saved the kitchen from going up in flames.  We decided she might have a future in firefighting.

The odd thing is, three weeks ago I randomly bought a new toaster oven. Maybe it was a premonition.

Wish I'd bought an extinguisher too.

October 8, 2010

What Messes Are Good For



I'm messy.

I try to be organized, and spit-spot but I'm not.

For many years I've chided myself about this.  Read self-help books.  Watched my amazing organized friends with awe and wondered if I would ever be like them.

But lately, I'm beginning to see some good in my messes.

1.  No one touches my piles (probably because they're afraid of what's under them).  Therefore my special manuscripts and super-secret doodlings are safe. (I'm NOT venturing to show you my writing desk--Yikes!)

2.  Surprisingly, lots of friends hang out at our house.  Despite the mess, they keep coming back.  Which makes me feel loved for exactly who I am.  They don't need my clean house--just me. (And maybe they like being messy too?)

3.  If it gets bad enough, my family will take me seriously when I say they need to pitch in.

4.  Cool stuff grows out of messes. I don't know how it happens but in the midst of puddles of paint, glue and goo, pretty things hatch.  And I like pretty things.

Of course, I will continue my pursuit of the organized/clean life. But in the mean time, I have messes.

Which are you?  A messy or a cleany?  If messy, tell me what beautiful things you've seen grow out of your messses.  If cleany, some tips PLEASE!

October 6, 2010

How Much Did You Write?



I participated in Patti Nielson's blogfest where we kept track of our writing times each day for a week.  I'll be honest--I wanted to have huge numbers. I hoped to find out that I write four hours a day (cuz let's be real, sometimes one hour feels like that!) but nope, I continued to clock out at one mere hour per day.

I am writing.  It may not be as much as I COULD or possibly SHOULD be, but I'm tinkering away at something and getting somewhere with it.  And I suppose after thirty days of thirty hours or after three hundred and sixty-five days of three hundred hours (not sixty-five because I'll be enjoying some of those driving-with-the-windows-down sort of days), I COULD have a sizable book finished.  Or several.

I know, it's no NaNo, but it's something.  Thanks Patti.

September 28, 2010

Coffee Break


Coffee Break

I've been looking for a non-busy coffee shop to write in during the morning hours (since I can't seem to get it done at home--the dishes call to me).  I finally found one that is busy in the evening but DEAD in the morning.  Can you imagine?

It's got comfy chairs.  Beautiful artwork.  Lots of tables to choose from.  Plus the coffee is wonderful!!  BIG plus.  I'm so excited.  Squeeee!!!

Where is your favorite place to write?

September 25, 2010

Celebrating!




Today my second born, my baby girl, turns thirteen.  She is shifting from a child into a beautiful woman.

To my sweet girl: You are beautiful and golden from the inside out.  You make me laugh even on the toughest days.  You're tender-hearted enough to refrain from making fun of me when I cry in lame movies.  Little children flock to you like the pied piper.  I admire your wisdom and grace.  And what would I do without my snugglybean?

I hope you'll remember this day among your treasured ones.

September 16, 2010

The Next Page

You know that part in writing when you have a plan mapped out but you're not sure HOW you're going to get there?  When you're partway in the story and writing is kind of like watching the next scene in a movie because you don't know what's going to happen?

That's where I'm at right now.  And it's fun.  Something I haven't felt in a while.  My actual writing feels pretty lame but the story is fun.  I'll have to go back and tinker with wordage later but I'm trying not to overthink it too much and keep myself focused on the story.

This is where I usually start to fade.  Halfway into the manuscript, I freeze.  I know, of course, that the middle is hard.  I've read plenty of blogs/books on that subject; but for me it's more about feeling like my words aren't pretty enough, or the story is not original enough.  I don't want to think that way this time.  I just want to enjoy the process of writing it.  And due to my new resolution, I'm making myself push through.

I seem to always assume others struggle where I do; but that's probably NOT an accurate assessment. ;)  So I'm curious, what's the hardest part of writing a story for you?

September 14, 2010

It Takes Courage





This is one of my latest works.  (Sorry the pictures are blurry and sideways.  My camera's not downloading right now so I took this with my phone.)

On it is a quote from e.e. cummings that I love:   
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

What's taken courage in your journey to becoming who you really are?

September 3, 2010

A Writing Promise

I found myself confused that I was enjoying art more than writing. I shared this with my sister.

"Why do you enjoy art more?" she asked.

"Because I don't feel so much pressure," I said.  "I just play and have fun."

"Then just make art." She shrugged.

Pfffffft!  I was instantly offended.  "No! I'm a writer not an artist."

She cocked her head. "Why?"

Her whys were getting redundant.

"Because I promised myself I would write!"  And suddenly I was back in Mrs. Stevenson's classroom making a vow to be the author of a book--a well-known and completely loved book.

(**Tires screeching to a halt**)

A well-known and COMPLETELY LOVED BOOK?

It was immediately clear why I found it so hard to finish my manuscript.  I was trying to please everyone with ONE BOOK!

I quickly released myself of that childhood vow and made a new promise:
I will be a writer.  Known or not, loved or not, I will write. 
(And paint too!)

June 29, 2010

Wing Tip #10: Unused Creative Power



"One of the most wicked destructive forces, psychologically speaking, is unused creative power....If someone has a creative gift and out of laziness, or for some other reason, doesn't use it, the psychic energy turns to sheer poison.  That's why we often diagnose neuroses and psychotic diseases as not-lived higher possibilities."  - Marie-Louise Von Frantz


Do you agree or disagree?



P.S.  My husband is off this week so we'll be kicking back and enjoying the sun with our kiddios.

June 24, 2010

June Confession

Okay...

*shuffles papers to avoid eye contact*

I'm gonna give myself an extension on my novel.

* hangs head*

I'm moving the deadline to the end of July.

I could tell you everything that's happened this month--but I won't.  No excuses!  In hindsight I probably should NOT have signed up for Bunowrimo when I had so much planned.

But on the upside, I DID get writing done.  Even more than what's listed on the sidebar.  I just haven't transferred it from notebook to screen yet.

Knowing you might be watching to see whether I finish or not, holds me accountable.  So thanks for that.

*drums fingers on desk*

Anyone else want to make a confession?

*eagerly looks around the room hoping to see a raised hand*

June 23, 2010

Wing Tip #9 - Sailing Single-Handed Around the World

Jackee at Winded Words sent me a book called Walking on Alligators by Susan Shaughnessy and it's been a wealth of encouragement. (Thank you, Jackee!)  This quote gripped me this morning:


"Success is a finished book, a stack of pages each of which is filled with words.  If you reach that point, you have won a victory over yourself no less impressive than sailing single-handed around the world." - Tom Clancy


Isn't that beautiful? Sniff.


What is success to you?


Getting off to write now...

June 21, 2010

A Bit of Whimsy



Still trying to get my WIP  finished by the end of this month, so I won't be posting much this week; but I thought I'd show you what was working on in my breaks.

Stepping away to paint sometimes helps me get back to writing with renewed vigor.

What "side" things keep you inspired? (Besides coffee of course!)

June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!



My Dad is a major prankster. (Sure he looks innocent and precious here, but don't let it fool you)  Once my sister and I were talking in the bedroom (when didn't we talk?) when we heard a little thumping against the window.  Assuming it was a moth stuck between the shade and the glass, I opened the shade to find my Dad's face there.  We screamed loud enough to wake the neighborhood and he laughed till he couldn't breathe.  Yeah, that's my Dad.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!  I love you.

June 17, 2010

The Climbing



You know that part of the story where everything is increasing and growing and climbing?  When you can't wait to get to the computer and capture your thoughts on screen (or if you're reading...can't wait to get back to the book)?  Well, that's where I've been with my novel.  Notice the use of the word BEEN.

Now I'm at the place where it stops.  I'm teetering at the top sitting there afraid to climb down.  Not sure my original synopsis is creative enough, spellbinding enough, NEW enough...you get the picture.  And while it would seem that going downhill would be easy; this is the part where I always get stuck.  Argggg!!

I'm trying to push past all the critics in my head and write the blasted story.  But it's slow.  Slow.  Slow.

This is about the time when, looking down from the top, I'd ask the mountain guide for repelling options.

How do you glide down that other side of the mountain?  Any novel climbers out there?

June 10, 2010

Help!

HELP!

I'm working on my WIP and wondering about my character's names.  Are the names Nicholas and Beatrice too similar for the same story? (It's a period piece)

June 3, 2010

A 90 Year Old Jewel

My Grandmother's turning 90.  People say I'm like her with my loping walk and full cheeks. She loves working word searches, watching Andy Griffith re-runs, and wearing sparkly jewels.  So for her gift, I crafted a jewelry case out of a cigar box.  Here is the front of it:



I liked the clasp that was already on the box:


Here's the heart on the bottom (to show how much I love her):


The inside:

 

I fixed the crooked paint line at the top after seeing this picture but I ran out of time to snap another photo of it.

And her:

When I was young, her hair was dark like this and she had naturally red lips (which unhappily I did NOT inherit)

Happy 90th Birthday Memaw!

June 1, 2010

Crazy's in the Air

I did something crazy.


No not those.  But aren't they adorable?  They're my daughter's.  I would secretly LOVE to wear them if I wasn't fearful of ending up on What Not To Wear.

No my craziness involves this:




I signed up to write a book (50,000 words) in June.  It's called BuNoWriMo and it's kind of an alternative to NaNoWriMo (which happens in the month of November).  This is the first year for BuNoWriMo and there is a Facebook page if any of you would like to be as insane as I am to jump aboard.

If you join, please let me know.  We could keep each other accountable.  And look the word count on the sidebar.  It MOVED!!!!!  (Yes, I'll be working on one of my WIPs but it wasn't too far in progress so I still think it counts.)

I can tell with the sun shining and chicklets free from school wanting to play that this is going to be a challenge.  My goal is to write at night or early morning so I won't be robbing the family of summer playtime.

Who's with me?  hee-hee, no pressure  And who's got some advice for swimming safely across these writing shores?

May 24, 2010

Blasted "P" Word



It makes me sad when I hear people say, "I wish I could write, paint, or ____________  (fill in the blank) but I can't."

It's that blasted P word.  We tell ourselves it must be perfect or not attempt it.  But no one learns to sing or build or dance in one sitting.  They practice.  They fail.  They try again. 

There used to be a ditty on Sesame Street that went, "Practice and tomorrow I'll be better than today".  At the age of five, my eldest daughter taught herself to skate chanting that mantra.  I still hear her little sing-song voice when I'm tempted to give up.

The photo above is a painting I made for my Mother.  It's not my best work.  There are so many things I would like to redo but I gave it to her for Mother's Day anyway--as is.  I'm learning to let go of my expectations.  The painting is not perfect but it's from my heart to hers and it touched her deeply. 

We withhold beautiful connections from the world in the name of perfectionism.

What's something you've always wanted to do but never thought you could?

May 18, 2010

Dishwater Writing



"The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes."  ~Agatha Christie

I've been doing lots of this kind of writing lately.  The "I'm-doing-a-boring-chore-and-thinking-through-the-next-scene" kind of writing.  But I've also been doing quite a bit of the "sit-at-the-computer-and-please-just-put-SOMETHING-down" kind of writing too.  I've been working on a story that I'm in love with.  Although...it's still in the early stages; I haven't made it to the editing/hating phase yet.


But to keep my sanity and help organize my home, I had to slow down my computer time and put in elbow grease into the bathrooms and laundry.  Somehow this quote has really helped me.  I don't begrudge the tasks now; they've become my friends.  A place to develop dialog, or add to a scene, or even consider how my character's house looks.


When I'm neck-deep in life I struggle to keep up with writing (including blogging).  Even though I know that living life helps my writing; I struggle with compartmentalizing my writing life and my real life.  I would like them to sit happily side by side but I haven't figured out the beautiful balance of that yet.


How do you couple real life with your writing life?


March 21, 2010

Polaroid Manuscript



"Writing a first draft is very much like watching a Polaroid develop.  You can't--and, in fact you're not supposed to--know exactly what the picture is going to look like until it has finished developing." --Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

With my manuscript, I feel as if I'm driving down a winding road completely lost (I'm directionally-impaired so this happens often).  Or as if I'm whacking my way through the jungle.  In the beginning I thought I was headed to a river on other side; but now I'm not sure.  I might even find a gorgeous waterfall along the way and stop there.  Being a planner, this is odd for me; but not knowing where I'll end up is feeling manically free.

Do you know where you're headed with your manuscript?

March 13, 2010

Sunday Scribblings 206: The Book That Changed Everything



With this week's theme, I decided not to write a fictional piece but instead share from a book that helped change everything for me.  Here is an excerpt from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis:

"Are you not thirsty?" said the Lion.

"I'm dying of thirst," said Jill.

"Then drink," said the Lion.

"May I--could I--would you mind going away while I do?" said Jill.

The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl.  And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.

The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.

"Will you promise not to--do anything to me, if I do come?" asked Jill.

"I make no promise," said the Lion.

Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
"Do you eat girls?" she said.

"I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms," said the Lion.  It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry.  It just said it.

"I daren't come and drink," said Jill.

"Then you will die of thirst," said the Lion.

"Oh dear!" said Jill, coming another step nearer.  "I supposed I must go and look for another stream then."

"There is no other stream," said the Lion.

It never occurred to Jill to disbelieve the Lion--no one who had seen his stern face could do that--and her mind suddenly made itself up.  It was the worst thing she had ever had to do, but she went forward to the stream, knelt down, and began scooping up water in her hand.  It was the coldest, most refreshing water she had ever tasted.  You didn't need to drink much of it, for it quenched your thirst at once.  Before she tasted it she had been intending to make a dash away from the Lion the moment she had finished.  Now, she realized that this would be on the whole the most dangerous thing of all.  She got up and stood there with her lips still wet from drinking.

Sleepover and Flowers

 
 A sleepover happened here.

 
 The snack chair (much depleted at this point).

Last night my twelve-year-old daughter had three friends over.  They giggled in the van, in the movie store, on the trampoline, on the floor playing games, at the table painting their nails, on the couch watching Ponyo and in their beds until they fell asleep at 12:30ish.  SERIOUSLY.  I don't think they stopped once.  

My fifteen-year-old daughter gave me an exasperated look about half-way through.  I told her it wasn't too different with her friends.

She said, "I know.  I'm feeling sorry for you and Dad right now."

Thank goodness the youngest is a boy. ;)

Myrna Foster gave me this award.  I love it because I'm so ready for spring I could burst and these flowers give me hope that it might near.



I'm going to pass it along to these sweet ladies:

Cross Your T's
A Woman's Write
Art by Jema
Walking Butterfly
Play Off the Page

As always, don't feel obligated if you don't "do" awards.  Just know I was thinking of you. :)

March 11, 2010

Three Twins




I feel lucky in life; I have two best girlfriends.  One who's known me since birth.  Literally.  And the other who calls herself "the third twin".  (Yes I know it should be triplet but she prefers her title)  With them I can be myself.  A brat at times.  Hyper at others.  Silly, thoughtful, optimistic, and morose--it doesn't matter.  They stick around. Even when I make them mad.  They love me and I love them.

Who are your closest friends?

*Art inspired by Kelly Rae Roberts.

February 26, 2010

Interview with a Creative Liar




I had the pleasure of being interviewed by SarahAnn at Musings about writing stories for Children's magazines.  If you've been curious about that market--check it out here.  Thanks SarahAnn!

And apparently I'm a creative liar. :)  Thanks Bethany and Roxy for this award.  You guys are pretty great liars *ahem* I mean, writers yourself.


I have to post six lies and one truth about myself. Can you uncover the truth? Here goes:

(Answers have been added)

1.  I've seen a real live pegasus. Nope.
2.  My first job was walking the tight-rope in the circus. As cool as that sounds...no.
3.  I love repelling.  Did it once.  Not a fan of heights.
4.  I made the Olympic gymnastics team at the age of twelve but broke my leg and couldn't go. No, but I know someone who did.
5.  I sang backup in a Legends concert. Believe it or not, I did.
6.  I don't know how to drive a stick-shift.  Learned at the age of 33.
7.  I'm a distant cousin to J.K. Rowling. I wish!

Guess away people.  (I'll post answers on the weekend.)

Okay, now to award some AWESOME liars writers who help me enjoy life with their words:

Where Ladybugs Roar
Robin's Nest
Where Sky Meets Ground
Leiff Musings
Talespinning

February 25, 2010

Geometric Girl



I'm one of those people who draws furniture on graph paper before I move it.  I write a million schedules of my day--to be followed tomorrow. I like to know what's happening, where we're going, and who's on the phone.

I like control.

But I'm having to let go.

Now from the above statements, you might assume I'm an organized person.  I'm not!  I like "order" in weird places.  Like the coat closet.  It's neat while the living room coffee table has dishes covering it.  *Looks over shoulder to see if dishes are still there.  Happily, they are gone.*

Lately my control is cracking.  Which is a good thing because I don't want to be a controlling person. But it's hard to change.  So, since I'm having to let go in real life, I decided to draw a girl who is completely predictable--geometric. Even her eyes are square.  I love her.  She's me on paper. Even Steven.

*Awkward silence.*

So, *Ahem* now that I've bared my soul I'm curious; do you like to control?  Or do you tend to be controlled?

February 22, 2010

The Unlived Life



Do not fear death, fear the unlived life. --Natalie Babbitt

If you have not seen Darius Goes West, you are missing one of the most moving and uplifting stories of the year.  It's a must-see documentary about a young boy dying with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy who's taken across the United States by his friends while he still has mobility.  His story will inspire your socks off. (And you can see it free right now on their website.)

Why is it easy to forget to live life?  I don't have a fatal disease to stop me. Yet I pass by details every day without noticing the beauty of them.  I forget to run through fields barefoot or twirl a child in my arms.  I forget to live big.

What beauty will you notice today, big or small?

February 15, 2010

Unplug Week



Once again it's time to unplug and give ultra-focus to my work in progress.

From B.J. Anderson's blog, a quick explanation of what unplug week is:
If you get tired of networking and need a break, join me for Unplug Week. It starts the third Monday of each month and it's a chance to just write. Go ahead and check your emails once or twice a day or anything else that will stack up while you're gone, but after that, turn off your computer and go write. Unplugging means no blogging, facebooking, myspacing, twittering, or anything else that keeps you from writing. Good luck and happy writing! 

If you're participating, I wish you happy writing!  If not, happy blogging!  I'll look forward to catching up with you when I return. :)