Are You Kidding Me?!

Are You Kidding Me?!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I've a New Blog

Dear John,

You've been such a good blog. But I think it's time for me to move on. I've found someone else. This was a difficult decision and I sincerely hope we can still be friends. We have been through so much together. I will keep you in my online scrapbook forever.

I'll always link you,

P.S. If you'd like to keep in touch, I'll be here: My New Blog

Monday, October 13, 2014

Writing When You REALLY Don't Want To

The show must go on. Do people still say that? When you have a blog you write for every week and post to every single (insert day here), the show must go on. It doesn't matter what's going on in your life with your house or your spouse or your kids or your health. And so the show goes on. It might not be the best play you've seen. In fact, you might have a good laugh over drinks after the curtain goes down, but at least you sat in the theatre and watched the darn thing.

I've ruined my entire (long) weekend by hurting my back (again), and I'm painfully typing out a "show-must-go-on" post. It's silly. Yes, it really is. And I'm in pain so I'm not sure if any of this is making sense. What I'm pretty sure of is that it won't be terribly interesting. But they can't all be gems. 

As an aside, I find it fascinating that even though I did nothing to bring on another herniated disc, the word choice above is this: "I've ruined my...weekend by hurting my back..." Huh. Why am I turning the anger inward? Why do I blame myself for this? This is something else I love about writing. When you freewrite, as I am doing here, I discover my word choice reveals eensy weensy things hiding in dark corners hoping not to be noticed. Just something to chew on.  

Anyway. It's Monday. My show must go on. 

*takes bow* 


Monday, October 6, 2014

Women Awakening

I am honored to be included among the talented writers who shared their stories for the newly released I Am Subject: Women Awakening book. This anthology includes stories from 36 women. Each essay is different, each is beautiful. The variety of voices and experiences works well when brought together with the thread of claiming or reclaiming. It is a book about women coming to a realization about themselves and taking control of their lives. Separated into four parts: Family History, Body and Mind, Internal and External Roles, and Life Altering Moments, these many stories are combined into one beautiful collection.

Women Awakening
is a compilation of thought-provoking, powerful, and genuine stories.

Women Awakening (I Am Subject Stories) is available for purchase here and here. Edited by Diane DeBella and Anora McGaha, founder of Women Writers, Women's Books.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Letting Go of Social Media

Let go of social media?! Yes, I know. We can't do that. We're not allowed. As writers, we must be on all the social sites to build our platform and brand ourselves and whatnot. But I'm letting go. Does that mean I'll have less success? Maybe. Maybe not. Probably. I'll miss out on opportunities if nothing else.

I read this post by Lisa Reiter and it resonated with me. She talks about being busy and organizing her writing. Pfft. Who needs that? With two young kids, a husband, a house, a job, appointments, meetings, blah, blah, blah, I have all the time in the world to sit down (uninterrupted) and write.

As the saying goes, "If you do one thing, it'll be your best. If you do two things, they'll each have a bit of your intent to do your best but they won't be your best. If you do ten things, they'll suck." Okay, that's not at all how the saying goes and I'm not sure there's a saying even remotely like that but you get my point. Hopefully.

If I do those ten things with a bag full of the fifty things I'm not doing sitting on top of my head, the ten things are going to really suck and I'll wind up hurting my neck. Something's got to give. And, if I look back and realize I haven't sent anything in yet for my column this month or worked on my book or submitted anything to...anywhere, then social media has to go.

Okay, I'm not getting rid of social media entirely, I'm just attempting to stuff it into a box and shove it in the corner. Social media is a rope. (I'm going somewhere with this. I swear.) Instead of throwing the rope to the ground and leaving it unattended or allowing it to lasso me, I have to take control of it. "Letting go" of this rope means untangling myself from it so it doesn't choke the life out of me but making sure it doesn't get soaked and moldy in the rain. Hence, the box in the corner.

The rope of social media shouldn't be a noose, it should be a lifeline.
A connection to my audience, potential editors, agents, and other writers.

The Rope of Social Media
(AKA a ball of string I found around the house)

Lisa says in her post that she has set aside a day (one day!) a week that she calls her "Blog Admin Day". In the post, she uses words like "addictive" and "compelled". I feel like that sometimes. Technically, she's talking about blogging but I'm applying it to all social media. I don't know if I can set aside one day to write my blog, read other blogs, comment, read litmags, research submission guidelines, catch up on my Twitter account... Seems a tall order. But I'll try. Because I need the rest of the week to do that thing I love to do with words like putting them together and making cool sentences (and fragments). I need time to write. Also, I'm on call 24 hrs. a day as a mom so there's that.

I'm going to attempt to organize my own Social Media Admin Day. Let's be honest: Days. I think I need two. For now.

How do you manage your social media? How do you get any reading/commenting in during the week? How you do have time to write?

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Write Path is Here!

A few months ago, I wrote a letter to my younger self. So did many other bloggers. Remember that? "How I Found the Write Path"? Well, the book is here. A compilation of letters from over 60 fabulous writers collected and formatted into an eBook by the lovely Carrie Butler and PK Hrezo 

It's out and it's available for purchase. And by that I mean you can spend your time going to any one of these sites and downloading all these fantastic letters full of advice for FREE.

The letters range from thoughtful to humorous (and everything in between) but all speak to the writer's younger, less experienced, self. The anthology gives advice while entertaining readers with the many different voices and takes on the prompt. A brilliant idea from PK and Carrie. A huge thank you to both of these amazing authors for taking the time to compile these letters. How I Found the Write Path is a must-read for all types of writers at all stages in their writing careers.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Writing, Venting, & Not Crying Over Spilled Milk

I love words. I eat them up. I've often compared reading to eating. Ooh! Speaking of breakfast, I have a story for you. Without further ado, of which there has not been much but I am now making more of, I will tell you the story.

My son spilled his juice at breakfast.

There. Don't you pity me? Poor mum! Her kid spilled his juice.

When you put words together to form sentences (and, is often the case on this blog, fragments) it is quite interesting. And sometimes, as in the above example, not. I was chatting with a friend and mentioned that my son spilled his juice. It wasn't a very interesting story. It wasn't a story at all, actually. This made me realize for the first time in my life how important words are. No, it didn't. I know that. But it did make me think about how I don't often get the whole story out when I'm talking. This is just another reason I love writing. And why you are about to be subjected to my morning. Here's what happened at breakfast.

I didn't get enough sleep last night. I just wanted some coffee. Really, that's all I wanted out of my morning. Just as I sat down, my son knocked his cup of juice over. A cup filled with dark, red Strawberry-Banana juice. And when I say "filled", I mean he hadn't taken a sip. And when I say "dark", I'm talking blood red. It was everywhere. There were puddles on the table, his chair, and the floor. His shirt, pants, and socks were soaked. There were splatters on the walls, my husband's computer, and my other son's chair (across the table). We're still finding spots. This kid is ten years old. We have been telling him for, oh, I don't know, five years, three times a day, not to put his cup near the edge of the table or next to his elbow. Why? So he doesn't spill the damn thing and turn the room into a crime scene. Let's round that number down and call it an even 5,400 times we've told him this. And here I am talking about another spill. Needless to say, I didn't get my coffee until after I had sopped up lakes of juice and scrubbed spots off the walls. 

See what words do? If you don't pity me now, I'm not sure what to say. Except that maybe you are too busy laughing at me. Or that you think I should get over this instead of blogging about it. I know I should get over this instead of blogging about it. I'm venting, dammit! Let me vent. Why is it that these little things dig their way into my nervous system and make me feel like I've just had an electric shock? Don't cry over spilled milk echoes in my head as I fume about this "accident". Yet, I want to scream that, although he didn't do it on purpose, he also doesn't listen and has these types of accidents often. And, suddenly, it becomes something more than spilled juice.

I recently wrote a post about why I write and included that I need to vent and writing is a superb way to do it. This is one of those times. If you've made it this far, huzzah! Now you can stop reading about my kid and his juice and say to yourself, "Self, this post was boring and ridiculous. I could have written it better. Hey, maybe I will. Why just this morning..."

What happened that you want to vent about? Instead of reaching for the phone, write it down. Try it. You might like it.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tiny Bubbles, Timing, and Asperger's

We went to a small café. My husband and I, with our two kids, walked in, ordered, and stepped out onto the front porch of the place to find a table. There were none.

Just as we were about to head back inside, an older man stood up, smiled, grabbed his coffee cup, and said, "It's getting hot out here. I'm going to finish this," he held up his coffee, "inside." He gestured to his table. We said no. He should finish his coffee. We were fine inside. And we thanked him. But he insisted it was just "good timing". 

My family enjoyed the gorgeous day in late August when it should have, indeed, been too hot but it wasn't. It was about 75 degrees, sunny, and breezy. Perfect. Partway through our meal, the man who gave up his table for us walked out of the café. I thanked him again. He said he saw a family of four walk in and he was taking up a whole table and wanted to move for us. He was only one person, after all, and his wife was in the hospital. Normally, since she was in a wheelchair, they would have taken up a lot more room. We chatted with this man about his life and where he lived and how often he visited the cafe (a lot) and when his wife was due home from the hospital (in a few days). 

Eventually, he said, "I'll let you all finish your lunch."

My husband and I said that it was nice talking with him and wished him and his wife well. 

My seven-year-old thanked him and smiled and waved. 

My ten-year-old Aspie said, "This cream soda is really fizzy."