Thursday, September 23, 2010

Give Me A Break

You may have noticed I’ve been offline for a while now (at least I’m deluding myself into believing you’ve noticed) . Part of it was because I was forced into it through internet trouble, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the internet free days . . . well mostly. Like any addict, I found myself suffering from withdrawals, but going cold turkey opened my eyes to the enticing ways of that frivolous waste of time called the internet. To be fair, the internet has many wonderful advantages that when placed in the right hands can do wonders for a writer.

My hands are NOT the write right hands. My hands find it far too easy to click on link after link and take me further into the world wide web instead of working on my WIP.

In all honesty, I didn’t think I spent that much time online. I figured the hour or so I spent visiting blogs, responding to emails, tweeting, etc. was but a small portion of my writing day . . . but being without access brought home the sad truth.

If I got to a rough spot in my writing it was so easy to click on my email, or follow a link from a tweet, or reply to another blog. These “little” trips online throughout the day wasted more writing time than I’d ever imagined.

Though I still have many distractions to take me away from writing (kids, housework, pets, food), they are more “necessary” evils. The internet isn’t “necessary.” Years ago, writers didn’t have access to the world at their fingertips and they still managed to write. Am I better than they because I have the internet? Nay! . . . in fact, I may be more worser of a writer (intentional murdering of English grammar because I’ve been awake since 4:00 a.m. and am feeling silly).

And so . . . I’m going to make it official. I’m taking a break from the internet while I concentrate on finishing my rewrite. This doesn’t mean I’ll be vanishing completely like I have for the last few weeks. I’ll still drop in from time to time to update my blog, shoot off a quick tweet, read a blog, etc., but I won’t be replying to blogs, clicking on links, and otherwise “surfing” the waves of available distractions.

So, though I may not reply to your blogs, I’m still reading now and then to keep up with what’s going on. Who knows, I may even occasionally reply—

“NO! Stop it! She won’t be replying either!”

Woah! Sorry about that little interruption from my inner editor (she’s overprotective of my time and extremely jealous of the internet . . . I think she was the one who somehow caused the internet troubles in the first place, though she’ll never admit it) . . . what was I saying . . . oh yeah, I have to limit myself more.

I hope none of you wonderful people will be offended by my decision. I do still care about what’s going on in your lives, but I have to be selfish and concentrate on what NEEDS to be going on in mine.

As Shakespeare put it, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” In this case, it’s sweet because I know I’ll accomplish more writing, and sorrowful because I’ll miss the interaction with all of you.

See  you when I emerge from my writing cave . . . all bleary eyed and staggering from lack of internet contact. ;-)

Write on!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Exercising Creativity

You know how they say if you don’t use your muscles, they’ll deteriorate? I think it’s the same with creativity. If you don’t do something to exercise your creative mind, your creativity deteriorates. We certainly don’t want that to happen!

In exercise, it’s good to keep things fresh by doing different exercises to keep the muscles stimulated. The same old exercises won’t work the muscles as well, or at least won’t exercise more than the same muscles over and over (at least I think that’s how I remember being told it works . . . I don’t exercise enough to really know what I’m talking about . . . but go with me on this one).

I think this is also true for creativity. Sure, I write, but I also need other creative outlets to keep from becoming stagnant and to focus on different creative muscles. In addition to my writing, reading books, making beaded bookmarks, drawing, singing, sewing, painting, etc., I recently found a new creative outlet!

Some of you will remember I took a ceramics class during the Spring semester and fell in love with it. So, I decided this is a form of creative exercise I should continue. I signed up for it again this semester. First of all, let me say, if you’ve never played with mud, you’re missing out. I played with mud all the time growing up, and as I’m in ceramics class, I’m taken right back to my childhood . . . though I’m a bit more creative now and the mud is in the more solid form of clay.

I missed getting to play with the clay yesterday because of the holiday so I was all kinds of excited to get to go back to class today. Especially when I arrived and found my first finished project of the semester waiting for me.


Grape Vase front


Grape Vase back 


Grape Vase side 

I set out to make a vase (though several people in my class thought it was a wine bottle chiller . . . I suppose it could be, but I don’t drink wine so it’s a vase), and I’m pleased with the results. I’m not sure what possessed me to make the top like I did . . . it just happened . . . but it gives it a little something extra, and I’m happy.

Doing something like this (or any of the other creative exercises I do) keeps my creative mind energetic and fresh and ready to . . . well, be creative! I glazed two other pieces today and put the rest in the kiln for the first firing. I’m excited to go back next week and do some more! I have so many ideas for new projects and can’t wait to see how they turn out.

In the creative writing front, after playing with mud, my mind is full of creativity, and I’m ready for a day of writing tomorrow! I got another two hundred words done over the long weekend (brother-in-law came from Idaho so we spent most of the time visiting with him), and am planning on doing more writing tonight (after homework and dinner and bedtime for the kids).

But tomorrow will be a full day of writing!! At least that’s my plan. Now I just have to hope that life doesn’t interfere with my plans.

What do you do to exercise your creative muscles when you aren’t writing?

Create on!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What are these?! With pictures.

In my back yard a little while ago, the kids found these large and frightening things:

  P9041277 P9041274P9041278

Is this one above some kind of wasp (all three pictures are of the same bug) and the one below a bee (again all pictures are of the same bee thing)? Hubby thinks they’re both bees and that the one below is a black bumble bee (I’d never heard of one before and looked it up . . . it’s possible, I suppose, but the wings look to big for a bumble bee IMO).


P9041296P9041284P9041294 P9041293

  Here they are together:



Strange . . . I’ve never seen them around here before but they freaked us out pretty good. They are BIG (you can see a bit of the chain link fence behind them for reference)! I didn’t want to get too close and don’t have a great zoom lens so sorry if the pictures aren’t the greatest.

Can anyone identify them?

Help on!

Really, September? Really?

I don’t know why September felt the need to arrive so soon. August had barely begun, and then September came in and kicked it aside (September is kind of pushy like that). I’m miffed that it arrived ahead of schedule and brought my impending deadline that much closer. Curse you September!! Couldn’t you have waited another week?


I’m a bit stressed because I worry that, once again, the date I set for being finished with my rewrite will come and go, and I still won’t be finished. I hate missing my goals, and I don’t think the goals have been unrealistic. Unfortunately, whenever I set a goal for a certain date, things conspire against me to ensure I’ll never reach the goal.

Just a few minor things happened this time . . . like my son having an accident and my daughter having a seizure . . . but I should have been able to push through them and write, right?

Yesterday was a great writing day, but still not quite great enough to get my word count where I’d like it to be right now (at 40,000).

My self-imposed deadline is a week from today and I still need another 48,899 words. Yeah, chances are slim, but I’m going to try!

I probably ought to change my goal to be HALFWAY finished by the 11th so I can feel accomplished instead of bummed (because reaching the halfway point would be much more realistic at this point).

But changing my goal would be cheating so I won’t do it. I’ll work as hard and as fast and as much as I can and see where I stand next Saturday.

Okay, now an update on K. She had more blood work done on Wednesday. I got a phone call yesterday saying that everything came back normal. Our doctor referred us to a pediatric neurologist so she has an appointment with him on Oct 5th. She hasn’t had any further seizures, which is a good thing. =)

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Write on.