Friday, September 30, 2011

Synchronicity at its best


An Amazon box just arrived for me with the next three months of book club picks, including We Need to Talk About Kevin for our next meeting, just a week-and-a-half away.

Coincidentally, the boys are at baseball and the baby is taking an unusually late nap.  Is this a quiet house in which to read?

Hello, reading chair. It's been a while.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I did it! I finished a story.

OH MY GOODNESS! You know how over there in the right sidebar of my blog there is a little mini bio that, among other things, proclaims me as "writer?"




And you know how sometimes we want things to be true, but when we look at our daily lives, there is little there that actually fits those things?  



I say I'm a writer because I like to write.  I used to write stories when I was growing up.  I studied English in college.  I come up with ideas for stories, or pieces of stories, all the time.  



But if I look at myself honestly, I haven't done a whole lot of writing- actually getting things on paper (or computer).  Even when I do, it's usually a short incomplete piece.  The beginnings of a scene that could be part of something beautiful... if I ever finished it, which I don't.



And now there's a sweet little baby who keeps me busy all day every day.  What a marvelous excuse not to write!



Except that I want to write.  I've had this dream for a long, long time now.  I just keep pushing it off as something I'll get to when I have time.



Then a few weeks ago I went to a writer's group at my local library.  It's on the calendar of events every month and always think, "I should go to that," but never do.  This month was different.  This month I went.  



I left that meeting feeling inspired and with homework.  Gasp!  I plan on going to the next meeting and, by golly, I will not go without having done my homework.



Then in a semi-related message from the universe, I saw this short story contest on NPR.  It intrigued me.  I had ideas.  I had... only a week before the deadline.  



When I found myself saying, "I'm going to write this story even if I don't finish it on time," I knew I was on to something.



Remembering lots of authors' advice to get something, anything, even if it's crap, down on the page, I wrote a story from beginning to end on Monday.  A full story.



And I didn't like it.



By Thursday I had a new idea, so I wrote another story from beginning to end.  I liked it.  I slept on it.  I thought about it.  I reread it.  I still liked it.  I tweaked it, had my husband play editor, and tweaked it some more.



Last night I sent it to NPR.  I finished a story and I sent it to someone.  It may never be heard or seen on NPR.  That doesn't matter.  What matters is, I'm earning my stripes.



I AM A WRITER.  Hear me roar.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wishcasting: Immerse

Wishcasting badgeIt's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe. This week Jamie asks, "What do you wish to immerse yourself in?"

I wish to immerse myself in two things: writing and life.

My writing has slowed significantly since my baby was born 7 months ago. Now I am working to bring writing back in to my life. What's more, I'm trying fiction again. I even found a short story contest that intrigued me and despite it's due date being Sunday (as in this coming Sunday), I decided to write anyway. I wrote a rough draft Monday that I admit I'm not as happy with as I had hoped. The cool thing is I'm happy anyway because I did it. I wrote a story beginning to end. That is huge for me since I tend to write snips and scenes without ever creating a full story.

As for my second wish, I wish to immerse myself in life, to find grace in the every day, and to connect with my local community. I wish to immerse myself in this life as opposed to merely observing it. I can envision so many benefits to doing so... better health, more happiness, more support, and likely better writing because I'll have more experiences to draw on.

Interesting. Writing all this now feels freeing.

What do you wish to immerse yourself in?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thankful: Little Things

Little hands and feet

I can't believe it's Friday already.  This week has gone by fast.

Every Friday I like to take a little time to look back on the things that made me happy.  This week I am thankful for...

Little feet and little hands.

The writer's group I tried for the first time.

Open windows, airing the house out.

My mommies group.

Freelance work.

Trying new things.

Happy Friday!  What are you thankful for?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wishcasting: Guidance

Wishcasting badgeIt's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe. This week Jamie asks, "What guidance do you wish for?"

I wish for guidance in my writing.

Guidance might come in the form of ideas from my muse, inspiration from other writers, or a gentle nudge from the universe reminding me to write anyway (even if there is only a few minutes, even if I don't know what I'm about to write). It might be in the form of encouragement or accountability.

I've avoided writing long enough for various reasons and excuses. Valid or not, I'm ready to stop talking and start doing.

This week I brushed off a short scene I wrote last summer and took it to a writer's group. It was my very first writer's group experience. I didn't know what to expect or what to bring, but I went anyway. I left with lots of encouragement from the two other people there. Since then I made some notes for how my scene might grow in to a full novel along with questions I would need to answer. 

It's a start.

What guidance do you wish for?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thankful: Joy, Blogs, and F Words

Tree-lined walkway

As the week draws to a close, I am taking time once again to be thankful.

Today I am thankful for the smell of zucchini bread baking in my kitchen, made from a zucchini I grew myself.  (I will be even more thankful if this first attempt at zucchini bread is successful!)

I am thankful for the utter joy I see in my baby's face and the reminder to lighten up and be happy.

I am thankful for Jamie's Wishcasting Wednesday question about what path we wish to follow.  It allowed me to clarify my own intentions and focus on Love.

I am thankful for having found some pockets of time to write.

I am thankful Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy Experience, the beautiful piano music it plays in the background, her photographs that pull me in to her world so vividly, and her words that remind me gentleness and grace are possible.

I am thankful for the milder weather.

I am thankful for F words.  Food, faith, friends, and family.  That other F word or variations of it occasionally come in handy, too.

I am thankful that I am finding my way.

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wishcasting: Paths

Wishcasting badgeIt's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe. Today Jamie asks, "What path do you wish to follow?"

I wish to follow the path of love.  What does that mean?  For me it means to infuse love in my actions and words.  It means choosing words that will encourage and inspire, especially when speaking with my husband and children.  It means using a calm and loving tone.  (No bickering or nagging.)

It means doing what needs to be done (with love!) when it comes to serving my family, my home, and myself.  I've been changing my mindset about doing chores, looking at them as service rather than as annoying interruptions.  Doing the dishes and laundry are not fun (and I won't pretend they are), but when I focus on the result being a good thing for my home and family, not to mention my own sanity, then I can get through them with a better attitude.

By following a path of love, I think I can improve my mental well-being while also making a happier environment for all of us.

What path do you wish to follow?