Friday, December 16, 2011

Finally Friday Five . . . or so

It’s been a crazy since I last posted!

1. I had a birthday and got another year older—hate it when that happens.

2. It snowed here on Monday night, and the school decided to give the kiddos a snow day on Tuesday (which was good because it continued to snow throughout the day)! Yay!! We only got a few inches and it melted away quickly, but it was fun while it lasted.

3. We got some of the Christmas decorating done. I know I said it would take two days, but I forgot that I had to spend most of the day on Saturday getting things ready for Sunday’s trip to my parents’ house. We try to come together three times a year and the December meeting includes a Christmas Program. Normally we have the kids dress up and put on the Christmas pageant, but we weren’t going to have enough kids coming this year who would be willing to do it (curse that whole getting older and more mature thing). Since it was my year to be in charge of the program, I had to put something together. I ended up doing a Power Point presentation complete with videos, scripture readings, and music. It was kind of a pain, but turned out well. Anyway, the decorating didn’t get done. We do have the tree up, the lighted deer figures and lighted candy canes are hooked up to the light show box and put out on the lawn to blast the Christmas music and flash the lights and annoy the heck out of my neighbors (that’s what the Season is all about right?). I hope to get the other lights up and hooked into the box today and tomorrow (cause it might take me two days—not cause I have THAT many lights, but it’s cold outside and I don’t want to be out there too long).

4. I finished my final for my last college class last night! YAY!!! It was U.S. History 101 and I feel I did well on it—so hopefully I did!

5. We got our Elf on the Shelf and have been having so much fun with him! The kids named him Winter Tinsel. If you’re not familiar with this tradition, click on the link above and check it out! Here’s a picture of one of Winter Tinsel’s hiding places:


And this is how we found him this morning:


Too much fun!

6. Dawn Metcalf is having a contest in which you can win some fabulous reading material. Click the link to check out her Don’t Miss This If You Missed It Contest Giveaway.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

Write on.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Seizure The Day

K had a seizure on Monday (she hadn’t had one since sometime around Labor Day). She’s been home from school since then because of headaches. She was going to go back to school today, but at the doctor’s office yesterday, she had a temperature—so home again.

This post by Rachelle Gardner got me thinking about my priorities and how I “triage” not only my writing life, but my life in general. For me, my family/kids have always come first (though housework isn’t considered family—hee hee hee). I drop everything to take care of them.

This has never been an issue for me, but I can’t help wondering if there will be a day when it is. What happens if I have a deadline I need to make? Will I be able to drop it and let my family come first? I’d like to think I’d find a way to do both, but—especially in K’s case—I’m not sure it will be possible. It’s not that she needs my undivided attention after she has a seizure (she usually sleeps for several hours), but I can’t concentrate and feel the need to check on her every five minutes or so to make sure she’s not seizing again or having any problems.

Monday I tried to force myself to write, but I just couldn’t. I was able to write on Tuesday so I guess that made up for the lack of writing on Monday. Had K not stayed home on Tuesday, I wouldn’t have been able to do any writing because I volunteer at the kids’ school library all day Tuesday and on Thursday mornings. That would have put my only full writing day this week on Friday (the kids have half days today and tomorrow for teacher in-service). Were I on a deadline with a novel, this could pose a problem.

The thing is, in my “triage” I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to prioritize my writing above my kids/family. They will always come first. That doesn’t mean I’ll blow off a deadline to go on a field trip with the kids or something like that (depends on how important it is to the child in question), but the really important things—where they need me will always come first. If that makes me a bad writer, I’m okay with that. I believe in God and an afterlife where families can be together forever. My writing isn’t going to get me a place in the eternities, but the relationship with my family will.  I’d rather be a bad writer if it makes me a better mother.

Do you ever have days when no matter how much you want to write and have the means and time to write, you just can’t bring yourself to do it? If so, do you fight it and get some writing done anyway or do you just let it go? How do you triage your writing life/real life?

Write Triage on!

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Brrr . . . December!

It’s raining (trying to snow) and cold here today. I wanted to curl up in my bed and stay there, but the school thinks my kids need to attend, even on days like this. *sigh*

We bundled up and went off to school. I spent the first part of the morning helping out in the kids’ library (I’m now helping all day Tuesday and on Thursday mornings), and stopped at McDonald’s to get myself a large peppermint hot chocolate (I don’t drink coffee) on the way home. It’s still too hot to drink (you should have heard my taste buds scream when I tried to drink it), and I’m thinking of putting it in the freezer to cool down . . . but that means I’d have to get up from the laptop and move. #toolazytomove

After I finish blogging and checking my email, I’ll dive into working on the new picture book (the third one). Yay! I stopped working on this one to write up a Christmas one that was nagging at me (it obviously doesn’t have the Christmas spirit to be nagging like that).

Speaking (or writing) of Christmas, the kids have been bugging me to get out the decorations. I promised we would today, but since it’s raining, I’m hoping to postpone it. They’ll probably insist we do the tree even though we can’t put up the outside decorations (kids are smart like that), but I’d rather not mess with it today.

Between college assignments and writing new picture books for my agent (my agent!! SQUEE—uh-hem, sorry, I’m still excited about that), NaNo was a bust for me this year. I didn’t even get half way—barely a drop in the 50,000 word bucket—but I’m not too horribly upset about it. Maybe I can do it next year—we’ll see.

Brr—I stepped in a puddle when I was running into the house to get out of the rain (being the wicked witch of the west and all, I didn’t want to melt) so I had to take off my shoes and socks and now my feet are cold. I’ve got to get some more socks on. I think it’s time to bust out the fuzzy socks!! That means it’s REALLY winter—even though the calendar says it isn’t. Come on, who are you going to trust; the fuzzy socks or the calendar??!!

Cold weather like this always makes me want to get back into crocheting. I really don’t have the time for it, so I’ll have to resist the temptation. This chilly weather also makes me want soup, or chili, or stew (and the hot chocolate, of course). What do you like to do (keep it clean, people)/eat when it’s cold outside?


Write on.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I’m Thankful, And I Have An Agent!!

Oh, it feels so good to type that. On this day of giving thanks, I want to take a moment to thank all of you who have been so influential in my writing journey. I can’t thank you enough for the critiques and love and support you’ve all given me over the years. I wouldn’t have been able to get this far without you!

Nor would I have come this far without my family who’ve been so loving and supporting of my writing moods and neglected housework. I’m so blessed to have such a wonderful husband and children and extended family. Love you guys!!!

On to the announcement.

For those who haven’t heard, I’ve signed with Jennifer DeChiara of The Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency. As most of you know, I write for children and have been focusing on young adult and middle grade novels. Back in 2008, I entered the 2nd Annual Cheerios New Author Contest with the one and only picture book manuscript I’d written (though I’ve written a few more since). The story was posted on the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories website in 2009 and stayed up there until 2010 when the new winners were announced. After the story was taken off the site, the rights were returned to me. Hubby started bugging me to try to query with it, but I was too focused on my YA at the time and ignored him.

I finally started querying with it (though I was also querying with my YA) in September, but only “on the side.” I received some interest from an agent, but since I didn’t have any other picture book manuscripts she was interested in, she ended up passing. It only took a few weeks before another agent got back to me. This time, she didn’t ask for more manuscripts—she made an offer. I emailed the other agents and let them know I had an offer, and received another offer!

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed that it was my PB that had landed the offers, but the disappointment didn’t last long. In the end, one of the reasons I signed with Jennifer is because she offered to represent my entire career, not just the picture book. She also gave me great feedback and suggested a couple of tweaks that have helped the manuscript. She also suggested I write more picture books along the same lines as the one she fell in love with. I’d never considered this, but I’m loving every minute of it. I’ve already written one (doing some revising) and started another!

I’m so excited to be able to work with Jennifer! She’s so awesome, she’s agreed to do an interview to post on the blog. Keep an eye out for that in the near future.

May you all have a joyous and wonderful Thanksgiving Day!!

Write on.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Full of AWESOME!!

This is the most amazing, awesome, creepy, eerie, spooky, beautiful, wonderful and all those other words I can’t even think of to describe this outstanding (there’s another one) trailer!

You have GOT to watch this!!

And if you haven’t read the book, run (don’t walk) to your nearest bookstore, buy a copy and get reading. I’m telling you, the novel is everything this book trailer promises.

Write on (or watch on and read on)!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Giving Up Is Hard To Do

Yeah, I know, the song says, "breaking up is hard to do," but I think giving up is even harder. At least for me. I've heard that there comes a time when a manuscript has to be put aside and we have to move on. While I don't disagree with this, I think putting it aside and giving up on it are two different things. I've set manuscripts aside, but I've never given up on them--well, except for the romance I wrote back in high school. *grin* While I had no problem letting go of THAT one, there are others I just can't walk away from. I believe in them. Sure, they've been through revisions and rewrites and restructurings and revisions and rewrites and restructurings and . . . well you get the picture.

I'm in the process of rewriting my first MG--again! I love the story and characters too much to let them sit in a file and never come out to play. Granted, the rewrite isn't the only thing I'm working on, I also have a YA idea I'm writing and another MG I'm writing, and several rhyming picture books I'm trying to convert to prose (just to see if I can). And this morning I got an awesome idea for a new YA (which I added to my LONG list of ideas for YAs).

Now, this isn't usually the way I work, I promise. One idea takes off and I work on it exclusively, but that's been frustrating in the past. At times I hated a story and felt forced into working on it when my heart wasn't in it (and it shows in the scenes I wrote during that time). Or, I haven't done any writing that day because I was stuck on a scene and couldn't move forward. I've found it much easier to leave the project(s) alone for a day or so and work on something else until I'm ready to move back in. This helps me avoid writer's block because I always have something else to go to when I'm stuck, and by the time I'm ready to go back to the project I left, my brain has worked through the block and I can  move forward. Everyone has their own writing method(s), and right now, this works for me.

This whole idea of moving on to something new and leaving old work behind as a learning experience may work for other people--and, in my case, it worked for that high school days novel--but for certain projects, I don't think there's anything wrong with coming back to them once you've learned more about writing and can improve them.
That being said, I'm not a proponent of working to revive a dead manuscript at the exclusion of all other writing endeavors either. No one should spend all their time redoing the same novel over and over and over. We do have to write other things because it's only through the new that we learn the mistakes we made in the old. If we wallow in the old, we miss the experience of the new.

I'm sure there are exceptions to this (there always are), but most of us aren't the exception. I'm not saying there's nothing new to be learned from continuing to work on the same manuscript for years at a time (that's how I started out), but I do think more new knowledge comes from exploring other characters and their voices.
Anyway, this little post is just my way of saying we shouldn't always give up on our manuscripts. Set them aside, write something new, but don't be afraid to come back to that set aside story. If we believe in something that much, chances are, we believe in it for a reason. Keep coming back to that story until there's nothing left to believe in.

May you all have a great weekend. =)

Write on!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A New Week

When I woke up, it was raining. When we left the house to take the ten minute drive to school, it was raining. A couple of minutes into the drive, it started pouring down snow! Big fluffy white flakes of the stuff! Thankfully I wasn’t the only one caught off guard by the weather. The line to drop off the kids at school was HUGE!! The kind people in charge of the school decided not to take attendance until 8:00 so the kids weren’t counted as being tardy. Whew! The snow has slowed down and we probably won’t get much, but here’s a picture of some on the tree out front (I took it from the porch because I didn’t want to go too far outside).


Yeah, it sure is pretty, but along with the pretty comes the cold. Brrrr!!!

Despite the hectic morning, and despite the knowledge that I have to do more revisions on my Moby Dick paper for American Literature class tonight, so far this week is starting off with a bang . . . or some really good emails and a phone conversation anyway. I’ll share details when I can. Winking smile

So, I’m off to revise and hopefully also do some new writing to catch up with the NaNo count (or at least give it a shot).

Hope everyone has a great day!


Write on!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sighing on Saturday

I’m so glad this week is over (well, after today)! Things have been extremely stressful and I think I have at least five new gray hairs (time to make a trip to the hair color aisle).

On Monday, I had a rough draft of my Moby Dick paper due. I’ve been trying for weeks to focus my thoughts and decide what analysis I was going to do. On Monday, I sat at the computer with no firm decision and started writing. I ended up going with the prolific use of the color white in the novel. I typed up the seven pages required (and a little over) and turned it in that night. Whew! But I couldn’t rest yet. On Wednesday night I had another massive project due. Granted, I’ve been researching and organizing thoughts for this one, but hadn’t actually started working on it (other than getting the pictures I needed). The project was a three page essay (it ended up being 3 1/2) and PowerPoint biography presentation on Nathaniel Hawthorne.

It was fascinating to learn more about him, and I especially loved learning how he was friends with Herman Melville, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Henry David Thoreau. Writers were friends and supported each other even back then. Hawthorne was an inspiration to Melville and, had it not been for him, we probably wouldn’t have Moby Dick on the shelves today. Also, Edgar Allan Poe did a review of Hawthorne’s Twice-Told Tales, as did Longfellow. Cool! I’ll refrain from giving you the complete biography (though it’s hard to resist *grin*). Anyway, I typed up the biography and put the presentation together Wednesday morning and was finished in time for class (yeah, what is it with waiting until the last minute with me . . . though technically, I didn’t as I was researching and highlighting info and organizing thoughts WAY before then).

AND, I got it done in spite of the issues of the afternoon! K accidentally hit JR in the eye with a baseball bat. *sigh* A few weeks ago, a neighbor kid hit JR in the mouth with a baseball bat and we stressed to JR that if someone had a bat in their hands, he was to stay far away from them. Apparently the lesson didn’t sink in. He didn’t lose any teeth or chip any, but the inside of his lip was cut by his teeth, not enough to require medical intervention or anything. Needless to say, we were baffled as to why he wouldn’t have heeded the advice to stay away from people holding bats. He was hit on his eyebrow, and everything was fine, though he had a headache and his eye got swollen. He’s black and blue now.

Did he learn his lesson? NO, he did NOT!! Yesterday he comes running in with blood running down his face. Another neighbor kid had hit him in the head with a baseball bat!! WHY JR? WHY??? He had a trip to Urgent Care where they used that wonderful glue to close the cut on top of his head. I walked down to the kid’s house and let him know we weren’t mad at him and that it wasn’t his fault JR walked into his swing. Poor kid was a bit upset. After JR got back from getting glued back together, the kid came bearing a gift of homemade muffins to apologize. He’s a sweet kid and I hope this doesn’t throw him off playing baseball because he’s REALLY good at it. =)

However, we have banned our children from playing baseball for a while (but I let the neighbor kid and my girls know that they can still play baseball  together when JR isn’t around . . . shhh).

So, this weekend, I’ll be revising my rough draft of my Moby Dick paper (it’s due on Monday . . . hmm . . . maybe I’ll wait until then to do it . . . hee hee hee), and trying to catch up on my word count for NaNoWriMo. I’m WAY behind on that.

We were supposed to get snow last night, but it didn’t happen (though we had a brilliant rain storm). It’s cold and cloudy out there today though so we’ll see what happens. I’m kind of hoping for the snow which is weird since I usually don’t like it at all. I think I just want to see the pretty whiteness . . . OOOHHH whiteness!! Maybe it’s because of that stupid Moby Dick paper and all the focus on white that I’ve been doing. Winking smile


Have a great weekend!!


Write on.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Wish I Blogged More

Yeah, things have been crazy since I went back to school. Homework, homework, and more homework. And that’s on top of my already busy family life.

I’m supposed to be working on an assignment for American Literature class right now. It’s an outline that’s due tonight (thank goodness it’s the outline and not the paper). I spent the last three days trying to finish reading Moby Dick so I could do the outline. I began reading it several weeks ago just after I downloaded it onto my Kindle.

Normally it doesn’t take me nearly that long to finish a book, but have you read Moby Dick? My first mistake was reading an unabridged version. Yeah, if you’ve done it, you know my pain.

I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it, but it’s not one of those books you can read while the TV is going and the kids are being noisy (and if you could I don’t want to hear about it). This tome takes some serious concentration (again, if you breezed through it, don’t tell me . . . let me pretend it’s hard for everyone to get through cause it will make me feel better . . . you want me to feel better, RIGHT?)!

In addition to the chapters on cetology, whaling practices, and other wanderings, the language of the story itself is . . . um . . . old. Yeah. We’ll go with that. If someone tried to publish a novel like this today, it wouldn’t happen . . . or it would, if it were self published.

That’s not to say it never should have been published, it’s just that there’s a HUGE difference between books being published in America during it’s fledgling years and ones being published now. HUGE difference.

Okay, see what I did there? I’m so used to reading Melville that I just went off on a tangent myself! I’m so going to have to read a modern novel before I go back to writing my own. *sigh*

Really, I just popped in here to let you know about a contest the most awesome Shannon Messinger is having. You can win a wish!! No, really, you can!! Go check it out by clicking on the beautifully Photo Shopped Shannon:

 Shannon Genie

Now, I’ll get back to writing my outline after which I’ll get started on the Hawthorn biography and PowerPoint presentation I have to have done by either Wednesday or next Monday (whenever we finish up Poe). Yeah, I thought going back to school part time was going to be easy.


Write on.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shhh . . . It’s A Secret

Actually, it’s a lot of secrets! Last week the post office was good to me and delivered my four copies of SPRINKLES AND SECRETS by Lisa Schroeder (my three youngest kids and I are reading it aloud in our “Book Club”) and also my two hard cover copies of CIRCLE OF SECRETS by Kimberley Griffiths Little. Over the weekend, I finished Circle of Secrets (LOVE it and there will be a review coming) and hope to start Sprinkles and Secrets today . . . I might have to read ahead of the kids though cause it’s slow going in the book club sometimes *grin*).

I wasn’t sure things could get any better until J told me there was a book fair at her school this week (middle school). Of course, I had to go this morning  . . . I mean, we’re talking books (and the librarian is a close friend of mine)!!

And what did I find there? Paperback copies of CIRCLE OF SECRETS that included charm bracelets! Yeah, I had to buy the only four copies the book fair had (for my two daughters and two of my nieces)!!

Here’s the beauty of them all laid out on my bed (yes, I have pink sheets and my hubby is okay with it *grin*):


And a closer picture to show the charm bracelet (probably should have removed the price sticker to show it better . . . oh well):


You probably noticed I have an extra copy of Circle of Secrets (hard cover) . . . I bought an extra because I’m hoping to have a contest on my blog in the near future in which I will be giving away the extra copy . . . as well as some other goodies. Stay tuned!

In writing news, I’m working on a new project and revising an old one (a MG).

Write on!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Inbox: A Tale of Horror

I’ve enjoyed attending WriteOnCon this week (it ends tonight). I’ve learned and grown and have been inspired. Tomorrow I will be busy catching up on housework that I’ve neglected for the last three days (the Con started on Tuesday). Because of this, I’ve decided to do a blog post today instead of my Friday five (or four) tomorrow.


My desktop icons blink to life. Amid the shortcuts for games and programs, one stands out. It’s the Firefox link. Its blue globe wrapped with the orange fox is more intimidating than one would think. Why is this icon so sinister? Because Firefox connects me to the internet and the internet connects me to my gmail.

I place a trembling finger on my laptop version of a mouse. The arrow inches across the screen, making its way to the Firefox shortcut. Once in position, I pause. Do I want to click? I only use my gmail account for submissions and the occasional entry in a contest. If I have mail, it’s most likely a reply from an agent.

The brave part of me wants to click. It’s so easy to do. One little movement with my thumb or a simple lift and tap of my finger will do it. But I’m afraid. What’s out there in the darkness of the internet? Will I find rejection? A request? What?

I have to know, and so I click.

And there it is.



I’m not sure which is worse, an empty email inbox or an inbox with a rejection or two (or more).


I’m once again in the submission stage in my search for an agent (after not submitting for over a year while I did a complete revision and started a few more projects). I’d forgotten how time consuming and gut wrenching the process is.

First, there’s the time consuming research. Making sure the agent is one who accepts the genre. Reading interviews, tweets, and anything else I can find (sometimes I’ve taken notes so I look through my notebook and update as needed). If I were to add it all up, I bet I’ve spent more time researching agents than I did researching info for my books! Alright, probably not, but it seems like it.

After the research, comes the query letter. It’s not something as simple as copy and paste (other than the novel info). The personalization comes into play. Putting the research to good use, I craft a beginning (or ending depending on agent’s preference) into the query so the agent knows I didn’t just pull their name out of a hat.

When all is finally ready, I have to let the query sit for at least 1/2 an hour. Then I come back to it and look it over to make sure it’s error free (though sometimes I still manage to miss things). Once I’m satisfied, I steer my arrow cursor to the send button.

Usually at this point, I pause because I’m overcome with doubt. When I work up the nerve, I hit send. It flies across the internet and lands in the agent’s inbox (or that of an intern). This is terrifying!!!

It’s out of my hands. I’ve done everything I can and put my query and/or pages out there for consideration.

Now I wait . . . and wait . . . and wait. There’s always a moment of panic when I click on my email and wait for the page to load.

Earlier, I said I wasn’t sure which was worse, an empty inbox or a rejection. After thinking about it while I wrote this post, I think the empty inbox is worse.

With the empty inbox, I don’t know. The hope is alive, it’s exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. I try so hard not to get my hopes up, but I can’t help thinking that maybe this time I’ll get a request for a partial or full. It could happen. Hope; a dangerous plant to cultivate.

At least with a rejection, I KNOW. The hope is dashed. I can go to (a great way to track submissions)and change the query icon from an envelope with lightning bolt (for equeries) to a red frowny face rejection icon. I can move on to the next agent on my to query list and start the process all over again.

The Inbox is a terrifying tale of horror that retells itself each and every day.

Since it’s doubtful that I’ll have time to log in tomorrow, I’ll be early and say I hope you all have a great weekend!


Write Submit on.

Friday, August 12, 2011

There Are Dandelions on the Other Side of the Fence Too

Jon Gibbs has some amazing links on his Interesting Posts About Writing this week. One of them is Confessions Of A Writer With A Book Deal by Natalie Whipple. Her post is a great reminder not to get into the “grass is always greener” mode of thinking.

Will it be nice when I land an agent and get a book deal? You bet it will. Will I celebrate? Absolutely. However, Natalie’s post reminded me that there is opposition in all things. Along with the wonderful things an agent/book deal will bring, there will be not so wonderful things. New pressures, new deadlines (self-imposed deadlines are nothing to the real beast from what I understand), and new worries.

The grass may be a bit greener on the other side of the fence when I first get there because it’s new and wonderful and beautiful to me. But after a while, I’ll start to notice that the green grass on the agented/published side has just as many dandelions (maybe more) as I had on the un-agented/unpublished side.

And dandelions love to multiply (no matter which side of the fence they grow on)! But they have their good uses too. In real life dandelions can be used for gall bladder, kidney, and urinary disorders; the juice from roots is used for diabetes; the greens are more nutrient rich than spinach . . . among other things. In our writing lives, dandelions are obstacles we have to overcome. These will make us (and our writing) stronger . . . IF WE LET THEM.

That’s the key. If we let the dandelions take over the grass, we’ll lose control. We have to choose how we react to them. Let them win and ruin the grass, or take charge and pull them out, use weed killer, whatever.

My personal choice will always be to fight back and rid my grass of as many as I can. That’s not to say I won’t have bad days when the dandelions multiply by five (or more), but I know those days are my choice (though I can make all the excuses in the world). If the pesky yellow flowers grow and spread, it won’t be the fault of the market, or the publishing houses, or the agents who reject me. No. It will be because I made a choice to let things get to me. I allowed the dandelions to grow instead of digging them out (much more satisfying—though time consuming—than the weed killer IMO).

So even though the grass seems to be greener on the other side, there will always be dandelions. Even if we can’t see them on the surface, they lurk beneath just waiting to come into the light. And it’s good to know we’re not alone. Other authors (such as Natalie) have noticed and are sharing their dandelion experiences with us.

Have a great weekend!

Write on.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Five . . . yay I have Five this week!

1. We’re starting to get into a school routine. It’s hard after the freedom of summer (for all of us). We’re trying to get back into the habit of doing homework, chores, and dinner at the scheduled times. Some days are easier than others (right now, Monday and Thursday are tough because the older two have after school activities). Also, our youngest, JR, just turned eight so he’s starting cub scouts. He’s thrilled, but Thursday he brought home a model boat kit. I guess they have boat races or something (E wasn’t very involved in scouts . . . except for the Pinewood Derby car races) so boats are a new adventure. He says he’s supposed to build and paint it so that’s what he’ll be doing after school today. Anyway, a schedule is much easier to type up and print out than it is to follow. And I don’t go back to school until the 22nd (only taking two classes; American Literature and U.S. History) so I’m sure there’ll be a shakeup in the routine then. Winking smile

2. Writing is going well. I was able to finish the critique and have moved on to taking notes for the next project. I decided to try a different method and am actually plotting and planning before diving into writing. I’m also trying a new thing: Blockbuster Plots Pure and Simple by Martha Alderson, M.A. I only got my scene tracker kit in the mail yesterday and haven’t had much time to play around with it so I’m not sure how it will work (or not work) for me. I’ll be sure to come back and report when I’ve experienced it a bit more.

3. We’ve had some pretty good thunder storms rolling through the last few days. We need the rain, so I’m not complaining at all. I love when it clouds over and the thunder starts rumbling . . . but it’s the humidity I can do without. I haven’t weighed myself lately, but I’m sure I’ve lost at least five pounds from all the sweating I’ve been doing. I’m showering two times a day (at least)! Yeah, I could never live in the South. Smile

4. I ended up rewriting my first chapter of the old WIP yesterday. I know, I know I’m supposed to be working on the NEW WIP . . . and I am . . . except for yesterday. Winking smile I had an idea to enhance the first chapter and was only going to make a note for it, but that note ended up being a revision. Oh well. It’s a better chapter now. I decided I’m going to give in to the occasional urge to tinker with the old WIP . . . BUT only when I’ve been working on the new WIP and need a little break or get stuck, or whatever. Yeah, that’s my plan.

5. Have you ever gotten to the point that you hate your MS? I know we should love our work, and I usually do, but yesterday’s foray into the first chapter of the old WIP made me realize how sick I am of that novel!! Granted, I first wrote the blasted thing in November of 2007 (or maybe it was 2008) and it’s been my constant companion through revisions, revisions, revisions, a complete rewrite, and more revisions for the last almost four (or three) years. Change is good, even when it comes in the form of revisions, but changing to a whole new WIP is definitely called for right now.

So, have you ever hated a MS and dreaded working on it?

I’m off to get the kids from school now (there’s still 25 minutes before the bell rings, but it takes a while to get through the line if I don’t get there early).


Have a wonderful weekend!

Write on.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Four

1. Maybe by doing a Friday four (cause I’m not sure I can come up with five) I can find something to blog about every week. Winking smile

2. I got a return email from the teacher (see previous post if you’re confused). She was very kind, but said she hadn’t ever had a parent complain about The Hunger Games before. She read it to her classes last year and is disappointed she won’t be able to read HG with J’s class. She also said she’ll have to think about whether or not to read it with her other classes (6th grade is middle school here so they have it set up like a Jr. high). This surprised me (and gave me a teensy twinge of guilt). I honestly didn’t expect her to pull the book. I thought she’d give J something else to read. The writer in my feels horrible for having her pull the book from her curriculum, but the mother in me is relieved . . . and mother trumps writer every time! Smile I downloaded some of the books on the teacher’s reading list to my Kindle and ordered print versions of the rest of them.

3. The kids have been enjoying school, but in my excitement for them to go back, I forgot about all the $$$ I’d have to spend. The lists of school supplies needed just keep on coming! In addition to the school clothes and supplies, I’ve got a birthday party to pay for this weekend (J’s b-day is today, JR’s was the 14th, E’s was June 22, and K’s is Aug. 8 so we have one huge party for all of them) . . . yeah, our money tree shriveled up and is almost dead!!

4. I hope next week will allow me to get some writing done. I’m working on a crit for my ever patient crit partner, Joni, and hope to get it finished over the weekend (yes, in spite of the party and everything). Come Monday I hope to dive into my new WIP. We’ll see if it happens that way . . . and it probably won’t. My life is just as messed up as LJ right now . . . well, okay, more like LJ a few days ago (because at least now I can post on LJ and my life is still a crazy mess). Winking smile


Have a great weekend all!


Write on.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

You’re Going to Read What in Your Class???!!!

Maybe I’m an overprotective parent and should just crawl back under my rock and let this go, but the mama bear in me wants to fight tooth and nail to protect my daughter.

J will be twelve-years-old tomorrow and started sixth grade this year (they started school yesterday . . . YAY!). Last night, she brought home a letter from her Reading teacher that welcomed students and parents and included a list of some of the novels they will be reading as part of the curriculum this year. And the problem begins.

While I’m not a fan of banning books or restricting others from reading whatever they want, I’m rather picky in what I allow my children to read. I tend to screen novels before I allow my children to read them . . . sometimes in my screening, I decide a novel isn’t appropriate for them to read (depending on their age and maturity level). Maybe I’m the only parent out there who does this, but it’s just how I am. I know my children. I know their fears, concerns, phobias, etc. and have a pretty good idea about what they can handle and what they can’t.

So, the list (which included only a few of the novels the class will read) included The Hunger Games. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this book! Katniss is a strong character and the world Collins created is both fascinating and frightening. However, I don’t feel it’s appropriate for my twelve-year-old who was freaked out after reading Paris Pan Takes The Dare (which I also LOVE and so did she even though it freaked her out a bit). My oldest son (now 18) read The Hunger Games, and I’d have no problem with J reading it if she were fourteen (or maybe even next year depending on how she mentally matures this year). But at her present mental maturity, I don’t think she’s ready for the violence and intensity of the novel.

There are so many middle grade novels out there to choose from, and I don’t understand why a sixth grade teacher would want to include a young adult novel in the curriculum for such a young age group. Wouldn’t middle grade novels be more appropriate?

Am I way off base? Am I too overprotective? I’ve composed and saved a draft of an email to the teacher outlining my concerns, but wanted to send out feelers to you all before I sent it. Have you read The Hunger Games? If so, do you think it’s appropriate for sixth graders?

Do any of you have kids around twelve-years-old? Would you (or have you) let them read The Hunger Games? If so, how did they handle it?

I briefly outlined the plot for J by telling her it’s a novel about a future world where the people are divided into districts and a boy and girl from each district are chosen, taken away from their families, and forced to kill each other  for TV entertainment until only one of them is left. Yeah . . . she doesn’t want to read it.

I looked up the other books included in the brief list on Amazon, but haven’t read any of them (though I plan to):

Schooled (MG), Esperanza Rising (MG), Maniac Magee (MG), Stargirl (another YA), and Tracker (MG).

Have any of you read them? If so, should I be concerned about any of them (the YA in particular)?

Write Read on.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rejoining The World . . . Since it’s still here.

The world didn’t end, but on Thursday afternoon, my round of rewriting/revising did. I finished my book, then went back and restructured the beginning. After that, I went through and corrected some errors.

I sent it off to an agent who has been waiting for over a year . . . and then I noticed a random word at the beginning that had been left over from some changes. Oops. Oh well. I’m human. Hopefully it won’t be held against me, but I can’t believe I didn’t notice it before I sent it off. Oh well. That’s the way it goes and I’m not going to let it eat me up inside.

I’m just happy this part is over.

I got some bookmark making supplies in the mail today so I’ll be working on some bookmarks for some very patient people who have been waiting (If you’re reading this . . . sorry it’s taking so long).

After the bookmarks are finished I’ll work on a query and synopsis. When I need a break from that, I’ll be starting on something new. Hooray!

I’ll also finish up the blog post about revision that I’ve been working on . . . hopefully by Wednesday.

And that’s where things stand with me . . .

Hope all has been going well for you!

Write on!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Much Ado About Monday

I had hoped to get around to posting something over the weekend, but it didn’t happen.

The Thursday field trip was lots of fun, even though I was sure I’d die once I reached the ruins. The hike is only 1/2 a mile, but it’s all uphill!! Yeah, our legs were sore for days!

My brother-in-law and his kids came to visit from Idaho. It was great to see them again (we see them about once a year). He came to our house on Saturday and then we all went up to the in-laws in Flagstaff. It was fun to spend time with them. We had hoped to make it to Walnut Canyon, but time got away from us. We’ll have to go another time (we promised J since she had to miss her fieldtrip there last year). I admit I was kind of glad since I wasn’t really looking forward to another hike. Winking smile

So, it’s Monday and I’m diving back into revisions. I’m at the end of chapter fifteen (only a page and a half to go). I’m hoping to finish through sixteen today. *crossing fingers*

Tomorrow is the last day to bid on my custom bookmarks in the Kidlit for Japan auction. There will be two winners. There are lots of other things available too. Even if you don’t want a custom bookmark from me, go on over and bid on something to help a great cause. Smile

And now I’m going to grab something to eat and get busy writing.

How is your Monday going?

Write on!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Much Ado About Monday

I spent the weekend working on the beginning of my revision. I now have what I hope is a strong opening. Here’s the first paragraph:


I'm not supposed to be here. The smell of fresh cut trees teases my senses like a fly caught in a spider's web. Like the spider, I can't ignore temptation. If I'm caught, I'll be scolded and sent home. Unless I'm caught after I steal, then I'll lose my hand.


It’s still a WIP, but getting something down makes me happy . . . sort of. It’s a blessing and a curse. The blessing is, of course, having it written. The curse is it’s in present tense and the rest of the novel is past tense. I tried changing the beginning to past, but it doesn’t work as well. I guess my character decided that along with her new name (I changed it before I finished my rewrite), she had a new voice.

So . . . now I get to change the rest of the novel to present tense. I’m okay with this since I’m doing a line by line revision anyway.

Chapter one is finished and part of chapter two. I plan to work more today, but right now I’m blogging, eating lunch and running through a few emails (I’m such the  multi-tasker).

One of my emails contained this fantastic news! This makes me crazy happy.

Still another shouted the great news that Write On Con 2011 has official dates! August 16-17th! If you go to the Write On Con site, you can learn how to win critiques (more prizes to come) for helping spread the word. Write On Con was amazing last year and I’m so excited to attend again this year!

Also, Authoress is having contests on Twitter today. You can read more about it on her blog, Miss Snark’s First Victim. There are some amazing critiques and books being offered as prizes.

There are probably many other contests and things going on in the blogosphere as well, but I’m out of time (lunch is gone) and have to get back to my revising.

Hope you all have a great day!

Write on.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Occasionally I think we all need a kick to get us up and moving. Today, mine came in the form of Dawn Metcalf’s post. Because of this, I’m all kinds of inspired to finish my rewrite. After being sick all weekend, I’m also trying to catch up on housework, but I WILL get some writing done today, and I WILL finish my rewrite by the end of this week.

You heard me!

No more excuses, no more allowing life to get in my way. I know I haven’t been as determined as I should have been. I've allowed life and struggles with K to get me down and used it as an excuse to put off my writing. Not that I didn’t need to spend time caring for my family, I did and do, but I could have done more with my writing between caring for the family.

From now on, I WILL.

I won’t let my piles of laundry, dishes, and floors needing mopped keep me from writing. I will write while the washer and dryer are running. I will write while the dishwasher is running. I will mop one floor and leave the other for tomorrow. I’m getting back on track, and I won’t allow myself to make excuses not to write.

This is what I want. This is what I need. I WILL do it.

As Dawn so eloquently put it, “Go! Write! FTW!”

In the face of life’s challenges, what inspires you and keeps you writing?

Write on!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Subconscious Author

Authors talk about the Internal Editor all the time, but they don’t often talk about their Subconscious Author. This post by Lisa Schroeder got me thinking . . . does every writer have a Subconscious Author? I would think we all do, but I’m not sure.

I guess it would help to define what I mean by Subconscious Author (SA). This is the force that makes you add a plot point, or detail without knowing why. In Lisa’s post, she mentioned making a conscious choice to include a certain element into her story. She wasn’t sure how it would work, but knew she wanted it in there. I’ve done that too, and then figured out a way to make it work, but I consider this to be my Conscious Author (CA). The SA makes you put things into your story without any clue why or how it will work out or if it will work out (though it usually does). If someone were to ask you why the element/plot point/detail was there, you couldn’t give an answer other than, “I think it’s cool” or “I want it there” or “It just is” or some other lame reason.

For example, in my current WIP, I assigned eye colors to my characters. I didn’t know why, but they had to be certain colors . . . not just the main characters, but the minor ones too. While my CA didn’t worry about it, my SA mulled it over, worked it out, and determined the reason. During the rewrite, I discovered this reason. Sometimes I think my SA does more work on my novel than my CA does.

There are other examples as well . . . little plot elements that didn’t make sense, but had to be there . . . but if I share them, it will give things away. I’m always so excited when I discover why the element/detail had to be there and how it all comes together to make the book stronger, or add a twist. I wonder if this is how other authors work . . . especially when planning a series. Maybe a little detail the author threw into the first book because the SA author said to ended up being important and came to play a larger role in a sequel . . . even though the author didn’t plan it that way.

I’m a plot driven author, and I get a plot idea before I get my character idea. But I know there are character driven authors out there too, and I wonder if their SA works differently than my own.

What about you? Do you have a SA inserting little things into your WIP for your CA to discover later?


Write on (no matter how you do it . . . just do it).

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just Another Day

The kids are off to school where they’ll hand out the Valentines they’ve been bugging me about for a week. I was going to bake a treat for them to take (all the classes are having “parties”), but I spent the weekend sewing a dress for K, and I ran out of time.

She wore the dress to church yesterday and is wearing it to school today so she’s happy. This makes the backache and sleepless Saturday night worth it! This coming weekend, I get to make a dress for J. Thank goodness for my Pfaff coverlock machine! It’s sew much faster. Winking smile 

Honestly, the worst parts about sewing (IMO) are folding the pattern to the proper size, pinning it to the fabric, and cutting it out. Otherwise, it’s a breeze . . . I don’t even mind doing buttonholes or zippers!

Last night, I made a charm bracelet, necklace, and bookmark for E to give his girlfriend for Valentine’s Day.  It’s so weird he has a girlfriend. This time last year, he showed no interest in dating. *sigh* I miss those days. Smile

Hubby and I decided not to get Valentine’s gifts this year, and I’m happy not to have the pressure of trying to find something. We have each other and, with all the recent stress, that’s enough. Open-mouthed smile

I spent my Monday morning preparing a casserole for dinner tonight (it’s ready to bake and is waiting patiently in the fridge), doing dishes, and washing laundry. Now I’m hungry and am going to find something for lunch. After lunch, I hope to get some writing done.

Write on.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Without A Place

Last Friday I posted about making sure we use analogies appropriate for our characters. Today I’m discussing an often forgotten character. You’re probably thinking I’m crazy. You haven’t forgotten any of your characters. You’ve devoted hours (or days or weeks or months) developing them. You know who they are, what they want, how they’ll grow throughout the story, etc. Each character’s received the attention and development time they deserve.

You may be right. Perhaps I’m the only one out here with a forgotten character, but you might want to read on to be sure.

After months of revising and rewriting, I realized why my novel isn’t quite working for me. I’m missing a character.

The setting.

Yes, it’s a character, or it should be.

I’m not saying I don’t have some setting details scattered throughout my MS, I’ve several of them. The problem is, I haven’t spent time developing my setting like I have my characters and plot. I know where the story takes place, the time period, the world, the situation, but I haven’t conveyed it properly into the MS. A few details here and there aren’t enough.

But I already know where, when, what . . . there’s nothing left. Is there?

Yeah, there is.


No, really, “why” is it.

Before we get into a “Who’s on first” situation, let me explain. Your characters have a purpose, a why, and your setting needs one too. Ask yourself this:

Why is the setting I’ve chosen the perfect place to tell the story? Why will it work better than any other setting?

Don’t give me any of that “because I said so” or “it just is” nonsense either. Really take a minute to think about it. I’ll wait.

Back? Good. Hopefully you’ve gotten a firm idea of why your setting is THE setting for your story.

Now I want to experiment. Think about your favorite books (I know I’m making you think too much, but bear with me). You’ll likely think of the main character first, next, maybe the plot, but I bet you also think of the setting.


Harry Potter and the (anything)  by J.K. Rowling: I think of Harry. Voldemort. Hogwarts! Wizarding world. (setting, people!) What kind of a story would the HP series have been without the setting/world?

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan: I think of Mary. The village surrounded by fences. The eerie forest full of zombies waiting outside the fences. Setting plays a HUGE role in these books.

The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffiths Little: I think of Livvie, her family. The Gator (Baby). The Louisiana Bayou. I’ve never been to Louisiana, but I felt like I was there while reading this book.

Shiver series by Maggie Stiefvater: I think of Grace, Sam, Cole, Isabel. Werewolves. Snow. Lots of snow. Cold. So much hinges on the setting (especially the climate) in Maggie’s Shiver series.

Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary, Dystopian, Steampunk, etc. no matter the genre, setting plays an important role in ALL of my favorites. I couldn’t think of one single book I LOVED that didn’t have a strong setting. Can you?

Just as your characters interact with other characters in the novel, they need to interact and react with/to the setting. We experience the world around us on a daily basis. If we’ve spent hours fixing our hair and step outside into a windy day, we’re upset. If we planned an outing and it’s raining like mad, we have to adjust. If we’re melting from heat, we’d sell our mothers on the street for a fan (you know you would). We need this same interaction/reaction between our characters and their setting.

Let’s say your character needs to climb a up a mountain (or down a cliff) and rescue his/her best friend. If it’s a clear day and your character is afraid of heights, that’s tension with some setting details. It’s okay, but if you changed that clear day into one with pouring rain or snow, the tension is heightened (pun intended). Now you have a setting as a character forcing your main character to interact/react.

Let me explain it in another way:

Think about portraits . . . like the school photos you got when you were a kid. You sat on a little stool with a colored (or maybe gray) backdrop behind you. It was staged, lifeless. Now think about a picture (no, they’re not the same thing). Pictures are taken on impulse. They aren’t staged. They’re natural. Trees are in the background, snow is falling, people are laughing, throwing things, smiling, but not in a staged kind of way. They have life. They are interacting/reacting to/with the world around them.

Have you ever heard anyone say writers paint a portrait with words? NO! They say writers paint a picture with words. We don’t want our setting to be a backdrop for a portrait, we want it to be a part of a picture; a strong setting full of life that lives and breathes with our characters. It enhances them, challenges them, changes them.

If our setting isn’t a character, our story is without a place, and it probably won’t earn a place in readers’ hearts either.


Write on.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Believe Spring Will Come!

Even though I should have been working on my rewrite/revision, inspiration struck elsewhere.

I blame it on this blog post by Janni Lee Simner.

The contest inspired me to write a poem (which I won’t post here, but did post there). After I finished the poem (and wasn’t happy with it since I’m not the best poet), this line kept running through my head, “Within each snowflake lives the promise of spring.”

I decided to get out my pencils and drawing pad to illustrate that line.


Within each snowflake lives the promise of spring.

Now that my creative juices are flowing, it’s time to find something for youngest son to eat for lunch. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some word on my rewrite/revision done after we eat. =)

What are you doing to tap into your creativity today?

Create on!

Friday, February 4, 2011

“Ogres Are Like Onions”

I love the exchange between Shrek and Donkey where Shrek tries to explain ogres. It’s a great example of characterization, and also showing vs. telling.

Shrek could have told Donkey, “Ogres have layers,” but by using an analogy (onions), he illustrates (pun intended) it for Donkey. The exchange between them after Shrek’s declaration of “Ogres are like onions” further builds characterization for both of them.

Even though Donkey tries to sway Shrek to go with a more “pleasing” analogy (cake or parfait), Shrek sticks with his onion because it’s something he knows.

Like Shrek, our characters need to stick with what they know. Drawing an analogy with something unfamiliar to our characters damages their credibility and betrays our readers’ trust.

While we’re on the topic of onions/layers, we need to be sure to peel back the layers of our characters and get to the core of who they are. If we don’t know the core, the layers won’t matter.

Forms, interviews, personality quizzes, etc. are all good ways to get to know our characters. I use several different methods, but my favorite is the Psychological Type Profiles. I can access links to quizzes, etc. from this site.

Your own character building techniques will help you find the core and build layers around it . . . kind of like an onion growing. Starting small and expanding until full potential is reached.

In my current WIP, the MC would be likely to use analogies involving wood/whittling because it’s what she knows.

How well do you know your characters? What kinds of analogies would they use?


Write on.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Springing Into It

Punxutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning and has predicted an early Spring. It seems Mother Nature wishes to argue the point, however, because temperatures are in the teens in my area right now (the freezing wind doesn’t help either).

With the horrible weather, it seems like a great day to stay inside and get some writing done. And I should be able to do it too!

Last night was the first night K has slept in her own bed since her seizure last Tuesday. Not that I got much more sleep because I kept getting up to go check on her, but the sleep I did get was probably more restful without her little feet kicking and her hands pushing me. She started her 2ml dose of Keppra yesterday so she’s really tired and cranky (side effects).

Being the horrible mother that I am (at least she thinks so), I sent her back to school today (though her blustering was fit to rival that of Mother Nature’s). We’ll see if she makes it through the day or if the teacher calls and sends her home.

I got the dogs fed and back inside (it’s too cold to be out), made myself a cup of hot chocolate, and am going spring into my writing as soon as I finish this post. I didn’t realize how much I valued my “alone time” until I wasn’t able to have it (for almost two weeks).

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and the time I spent with them, but I missed having the house to myself with nothing but the clicking of the keys on my laptop . . . well, that and the occasional concert of dogs barking and Loki, the macaw, talking.

Music for my writing soul.

Spring on!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Win an ARC of Blood Magic!

If you haven’t yet heard the news, Tessa is having a contest for an ARC of Blood Magic. I couldn’t pass up a chance to enter. All I had to do was pick my favorite story from the Merry Sisters of Fate . . . no problem . . . yeah . . . that was my first mistake.


I’ve been reading stories on the Merry Sisters blog for quite a while and narrowing it down to one proved harder than I thought it would . . . until I remembered this one. Though many of the stories are amazing, this one stands out to me. It’s one I remember and what I now think of when I hear “mermaid.”

If you want a chance to enter, click on over to the contest and see if you have an easier time of narrowing down your pick for favorite story.

Choose on!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pray on Monday

The kids are home from school for MLK Day. I’m not able to write much when they’re home so I’d planned to sort through emails and blogs, post here about my progress, and finish up some critiques.

My plans changed when I read this:

that had a link to  this:

My progress seems insignificant in light of such news. My thoughts and prayers are with Lisa and her family.

The first link will take you to a giveaway, and the second is to Lisa’s post where she shared her news. Even if you don’t enter the giveaway (I decided not to), I hope you’ll post on your blogs, twitter, Facebook, or whatever and let Lisa know we’re thinking of her.

Pray on.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What’s Up?

I’ve outlined the last part of the rewrite, and, after doing some additions and rearranging yesterday, I’m ready to dive into writing the end of the WIP today! YAY!

I’m not sure how long it will take me to get the end written, but I’m hoping to be finished by this time next week at the latest. Then I’ll do a few more revisions (yes, I revised before I was finished writing . . . I’m bad . . . very bad . . . don’t follow my example).

The new writing schedule seems to be working well for me. Though I will admit that I find it hard not to sit down and write after I get the kids home from school. Within a few minutes, we are busy doing chores and homework and the urge passes though so it isn’t too bad. I think much of it stems from the fact that I’m so close to the end that I just want to get it finished. LOL

Anyway, this has to be a quick update because it’s time to get busy writing.

What’s up with you on this Wednesday? Do you have any writing goals for 2011? If so, how’s it going so far?

Write on!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tomorrow . . .

The kids go back to school. I don’t.

This makes me happy.

I’m looking forward to a day of writing and more snow melting.

Snow is cold. My house is cold and running the heater at the temperature I’d like is too expensive. I wear layers.

Though I’ll miss not attending ceramics classes every Monday and Tuesday, the hours of writing time I’ll gain will be well worth it.

I spent the first day of the new year catching up on a bit of sleep. New Year’s Eve we ended up jumping in hubby’s four wheel drive truck and heading to Flagstaff to get the kids. YAY! It took three hours to get there (usually it takes about two) and three hours and a little bit to get back (it was darker and more frozen on the way back), but it was worth the trip to have them home and not have to worry anymore.

We got home at about 11:30 pm so we stayed up to ring in the new year and then went to bed around 12:30. We slept until about 7:00 when the youngest got up and crawled into bed with us (believe it or not, I missed that)!

Being without my kids and not being able to reach them, really made me appreciate them more. Sure, my house is more of a mess now that they’re home (it was much easier to keep clean with just the three of us here), but the mess on the floor, the extra dishes, even the squabbles are precious to me because they mean I have my kids.

So, while I’m looking forward to the kids going back to school tomorrow, I’ll also be glad when they come home again.

I’ve made up a schedule for my writing and hope I can stick to it!

Monday-Thursday I will write from 9:00am until I go pick up the kids from school at 2:30pm. I may or may not take a lunch break (more than likely, I’ll just have some snacks next to the computer). I will not answer the phone. I will not check email. I will not blog (or read blogs), tweet, or Facebook (so scold me if you see me).

After I get the kids from school, we will do homework, chores, family time, and dinner. When the kids are in bed, I will read, write reviews, critique, blog, tweet, Facebook, or whatever (I’m going to try to watch less TV).

Friday I will have from about 11:00-2:30 for either writing, blogging, reading blogs, tweeting, Facebook, or whatever. It’s kind of my free day to do what I want (the late start is because I volunteer in JR’s classroom on Friday mornings).

Saturday and Sunday will more than likely be non writing days because I want to spend more time with my family (the kids are in bed right now or we’d still be playing games).

Another change is I’ve moved out of my bedroom . . . well, for my writing anyway. Winking smile

My computer is now on the dining room table. That way, I won’t be tempted to watch TV or be distracted by my pile of TBR books. Of course I have to move the computer for breakfast and dinner, but it’s better than being distracted! Plus, I can be next to the laundry room and do laundry while I’m writing (though I WON’T fold it, just wash and dry it and put it in a pile on the couch until the kids come home *grin*).

That’s my plan. Of course, there will be Dr. appointments and other life things that will interfere with my schedule, but I still think having a schedule will help in the long run.

Do you plan your writing time? If so, how. If not, why not?

Plan on!