Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Making, Not Finding Time to Write

I found a great article for all you Writing Mothers out there.

Time is on Our Side: Write to the Beat of Your Circadian Rhythms

How do you find time to write?

That's a question I'm often asked, not because I'm the most productive
writer in the world.

I am not.

But the question misses the mark. It's not about finding time to write, but making it. For inspiration, here are some ways that busy people make time to pursue writing dreams that may lie outside their day jobs or family lives.

Read on...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

All moved!

Sorry for the delay in posting my friendly internets, I was moving! It was a little stressful and not nearly as organized as our last move. I throw my hands up because I had no part in this move. Yes I had a temper tantrum and told the family that THEY could plan the dern thing if they didn't want to listen to me. I feel vindicated. Disorganized and chaotic, but vindicated. "Ha, I won that argument!" she said from behind the pile of boxes.

How disorganized am I? Check out my new office:
It doubles as the play area for the kids. And apparently a storage spot for my saddle over there in the corner!
One thing that's great about this place is that the main floor is all one floor. There are no stairs at the entry way and I can close the door to downstairs. My daughter isn't ready to climb up the stairs yet, but when she is, a baby gate will work nicely. But for now, she can do her crawl/scoot thing all over the office, dining room and kitchen.
Off to the left side of the picture are the sliding doors to outside. There's a small yard that barely contains all the outside toys.
I got quite overwhelmed in the last week with moving and family stresses. I have been waking up in the middle of the night with my jaw clenched. It doesn't help that my daughter has been waking up 3-4 times a night either. What's up with that?! I considered going for a nap this morning while she did, but I really don't want to fall further behind in my writing.
So, without further delay... I'm off to write. Er, check email... er... have more coffee.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Third!

I got an idea for a third book proposal! Yippeee!

I used to be one of those writers who wondered how other writers got so many ideas. I mean really, where did they come from? Out of thin air? How can one incident spur on an entire novel?

My first book (the one that is sold and being written) came from a conversation with a friend about our favourite books and we realized that there was a hole. I decided to fill it.

The second idea came up in a conversation with my agent.

The third came today whiel I was bouncing my daughter on my knee and singing a song. One line struck me and I thought "gee, that would look good on a shirt." Driving later in the day I realized that you could write a whole book on the topic.

Or *I* could write a whole book on the topic! YAY for ideas!

Cultivating ideas takes work, just like cultivating a garden. I keep a running list of every single idea that pops into my head. I have a notepad right beside me and when an idea comes, I write it down. By doing this I've begun to take note of how good ideas sound, what elements they need, how I could tweak an idea and when to just let one go.

Sometimes it's the ones you let go that come back later, stronger and smarter. They just need to stew a little on the back burner.

Howzit going?

Day two of following the "Discipline Without Distress" thingy... and things are going well. Bed time was a little long, but it always is.

"I just need to come out to find Wolverine."

"I just need to come out to find a guy to fight Wolverine."

"I just need to come out to find water cause I'm thirsty cause I'm fighting with Wolverine."

I cannot wait until we move next week. No more having to put the Kindergartener to bed in MY room so he won't wake the baby in the crib. Woohoo!

Otherwise, I'm feeling very happy, hopeful and optimistic today! Usually when this happens I try to figure out WHY I'm feeling so happy, hopeful and optimistic. I want to REPLICATE it. But I am way, way too introspective and somedays you just need to ENJOY the feelings!

There's a "waiting for the other shoe to drop" feeling that you get when good things are happening. Like, "wait, I'm happy. What's going to go WRONG?"

The problem with this is that when you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So any little mis-step in the day looks like it's that BIG WRONG SHOE headed for you.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Couple of Resources For Writers

If you are a copywriter, head over here to find free podcasts to download from some of the best copywriters in the world. My favourite is Bob Bly.

Erik Sherman has compiled a list of quotes for writers.


Now hubby and I have an arguement going on. He points out Canadianisms all the time and I had no idea that this was one of them.

Me: I like those houses.

Him: Which houses?

Me: Those ones. (pointing) Those ones right there.

Him: Those ONES? How can you have a bunch of ONE THINGS. It's like saying those bunch of single houses over there. Those ONES.

Me: And?

What say you oh wise internets? Have you ever said Those Ones?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wassup ...

Mir got hitched.

Kira's kids are growing... waaah!

Joshilyn's dog committed planticide.

Lani has another podcast up ... and has invented the perfect mix of alcohol and writing

Lena's house still hasn't sold, and her breakdown is entertaining. For me. Not so much for her.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Til Debt Do Us Part

There's a show I watch some days called Til Debt Do Us Part. It's one of my indulgences in the middle of the day.

Money is the number one cause of failed marriages. Rare is the couple that agrees on how the pot should be divided and the bills paid. Most families are in debt, and with debt come family arguments, tears, tantrums and marriages on the verge of divorce. To save families from the doldrums of debt, each episode of Til Debt Do Us Part follows financial wizard Gail Vaz-Oxlade as she helps families go from red to black by getting to the root of their destructive spending habits. Related Reading on Short of cash and it's still a week till payday? Read the article, Survive on Little to No Money.

What this show helps me to do is to keep my family's financial situation in the forefront of my mind. My habit has been to exert control over my money by spending it. In a backwards sort of way I felt that it was the only way to show Money who was boss.

Thankfully I have a wonderful financial consultant to help me these days and the only debt we carry is my truck loan.

One habit I'd like to change is one I carried over from my own family's inability to save properly: telling my kids we can't buy something because we have no money.

While it's important to teach your kids to budget, it's equally important to keep the adult finances a topic of adult discussion only. Sure, you could break down the finances for your children, show them how much goes to rent and how much goes to food etc... but let's not scare the children!

I think that parents have a tendency to add extra information after the word "no" because they want their children to understand that they aren't just being mean, there are reasons for "no".

"No, we don't have enough money" actually causes kids to worry. If they don't have enough money... what does that mean? They already know that we use money to 'get things' like food and fuel and housing. There's a fine line between giving enough info and too much info.

Sometimes, though, no is enough.

Break My Heart

A few weeks ago while watching a Christian program I heard the phrase "Break my heart with that which breaks Yours". I prayed that phrase, hoping that God would show me the things in my life that I was glossing over or ignoring. The pain of others. The saddness of others. The hurt in my own family. And He sure has.

Today I had to go in to talk to my son's teacher about an incident at school yesterday. It was no biggie really, he's has so many good days that we expected some kind of regression. Especially since his teacher has been away for a week and then my son had been sick for several days. He needed to get back into his routine...

Anyways. The teacher was out of the class for a while yesterday because she had to go down to the Children's Hospital to talk with a host of other experts about a child at the school who was being taken away from his family by Social Services. It really hit me... a child in my son's school was being taken away. This child had spent the last 8 weeks at the school at the Childrens's Hospital, and now that he or she has recovered from whatever abuse, Social Services needed to step in. And it broke my heart. I sat in the truck and cried.

How can these lives swirl around us and we have no idea? I look out at the playground and it's easy to see kids screaming, playing, running. But there are wars being waged. There are hearts being broken, children fighting their way to the top of the heap. Friendships made now may colour their lives forever. Lessons learned now will play out over and over for the rest of their lives.

A group of boys ran by, a trio followed by a straggler. The straggler met my eye and I was struck by what I saw there. He was at least Grade Five, older than my Kindergartener, but as he looked at me I saw the soft roundess of his face, the eager cut of his hair, the blue eyes that laid on me with a little fear because of my adult status. Not yet hardened by a desire to strike out at what scares him, but a softness that said "I still believe that adults can save me".

God, please keep breaking my heart with what breaks yours so that I might be a better person in the eyes of children.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Deluge of Magazines

At the beginning of the month, the mailman begins to look at my house with a heavy sigh and an overly dramatic pursing of the lips. He does so while dragging a bag behind him that is filled to the brim with my favourite indulgence: my magazines.

I'm a magazine, non fiction writer, so I can actually write off many of the subscriptions. Especially since I have a pattern of subscribing to a magazine, then writing for them consistently enough that I get put on their free subscription list.

Right now I get about a dozen magazines each month. That's a lot. It really takes me the rest of the month to find time to read them. And because I'm such a hoarder, I tend to keep them for a long time. Thankfully my husband just steps around the piles of magazines in our room. I do use the old ones... usually for filler in boxes when we move!

Speaking of moving... we have found a perfect, beautiful piece of heaven to call home. We've interviewed for it and gotten to the references stage... please pray with me that we get it!

Monday, May 07, 2007

What the heck...

So... my blog was locked by Blogger's "spam-prevention robots"... what the heck does that mean!

What it meant was I was unable to post anything!

I had to fill out a form to get my blog reviewed by Blogger... unfortunately Blogger doesn't tell you anything about WHY your blog has been locked... just that "On behalf of the robots, we apologize for locking your non-spam blog."

And yet... I have to wait for some real person to come and unlock my blog! Grrr....