Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer = Exhaustion

I love Summer, but it is so tiring.

The weekends are long and exhausting if I'm shooting a wedding. A wedding day is high adrenaline then a major crash at the end. This weekends wedding  included 8 hours of driving, 11 hours of shooting, lots of stress, and seriously sore muscles. There is just no way to get used to standing and squatting for a full day. No matter what,  it is draining. Emotionally and physically. So, I spend all of Sunday recovering. Sometimes Monday too.

Then, during the week I have my precious boys to contend with. Weddings start to seem more and more enjoyable!! haha! Just kidding, I love my boys. But the novelty of summer will start to wear off here in about a week and the complaining, whining, hitting and yelling will come full force.

Somewhere in this madness I will be finishing my wip. OH YES, i will. I must remember? I said, must be done by the end of summer!

The beautiful thing about being a wedding photograher and a writer is being able to witness so many different relationships. The dynamic of a wedding day leads to the most AMAZING interactions between friends and family members. Good, bad, stressful, precious, emotional. It is the most awesome research...and I'm paid to observe, witness and capture this. All the while I'm soaking it in like a sponge for material. Really. I love that. AND this weekends wedding was practically set in my stories small town. It was a beautiful thing.

Now, I must force myself to plant my rear in my chair...open up word, and get to work!!!! My boys are putting together a humongo lego set so we'll see how long that keeps them busy. If it works I may be investing some serious money in legos this summer!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Guilty Pleasure

It's Friday. I'm going out of town. I don't have a lot of time. I have recently rediscovered a guilty pleasure of mine....ready to laugh?

Hall and Oates.


Unless you were broken up while one of their songs were playing, I don't know how you can't feel happy while listening to Maneater, I Can't Go For That, She's Gone, or Rich Girl.

I leave you with a happy Friday morning. I DARE you not to sing along!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Snippets of Information

* I wrote 2000 words today. Yes I did. I'm slightly proud of it. It was the good of kind of writing too, the kind that just flows and before you know it your plot has taken on a new dimension you hadn't seen coming. I truly believe it's those days that help us to slog thru the rest. Hear, hear?

* Having my nails painted makes me feel so much prettier and feminine. Seriously. Am I alone?

* The only way I can enjoy the presence of my puppy is for him to have a bone to chew on. The end.

* Muddy backyard + puppy + hysterical woman + carpet = disaster.

* I'm out of bones.

* Sometimes when you run your own business, you should wait for a clients check to clear before paying your own bills. (grrrrrrrrr)

* My children have 2 more days of school. I'm terrified and excited at the same time.

* My heart breaks for the people in Joplin and Reading.

* More storms are on the way. I will sleep with my hard drive. I have peoples weddings on there!!!!

* I'm going out of town with another photographer friend this weekend to a small town in western Kansas to shoot a wedding. I'll be gone all day Friday, Saturday and be back Sunday.

* Yes, western Kansas is exactly what you would imagine. Remote...but the people are so darn friendly and when your children are not around and you have a friend to laugh with—it's as good as paradise.

* My wip is not a YA. Can you forgive me? Should I change my header?

Warning: I'm about to GUSH!

intransitive verb
1: to issue copiously or violently
2: to emit a sudden copious flow
3: to make an effusive display of affection or enthusiasm <an aunt gushing over the baby>

I just read the. best. book.

Seriously. Sometimes you read and book and after wards you feel compelled. compelled to do what? I don't know. Just compelled. To Google history, to tell your friends, to hug your children, work on your wip.

This book compelled me.

The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly.

It was sooooo good. It falls into the genre I've heard described as "historical fiction with a strong romantic element". AKA as The perfect genre for me.

In my world, it doesn't get any better than this. Drama, despair, happiness, love, excitement....but with the perfect ending.  Jennifer Donnelly plotting is spot on. I was fully engaged the whole entire time. I'll admit, the overall story line is somewhat formulaic for a romance, but it is the formula I love best. Opposites attract, fall in love, drama ensues, mistakes a re made, misunderstanding, separation, pain, suffering, finding out the truth....blah, blah, blah. I won't give it ALL to you.

Along side this 'old as time' formula is the most amazing details. The setting is turn of the century London. Need I say more? A woman from a wealthy upbringing wanting to do good crossing paths with the biggest "gang leader" of lower class London. You had me there. Done.

It's not a short novel...and I read it in about 24 hours. Yes, yes I did. I'm not ashamed. My kids DID have clean clothes to wear to school today.

This book is part of a trilogy, the first one titled The Tea Rose. I haven't read it. I should have, because it sounds amazing. The third, The Wild Rose comes out in August and i will be at the book store on release day. BELIEVE ME! I can't wait.

Jennifer also released a historical YA novel last year that looks really good also. Revolution.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Get on with things alredy.

Four more days of school for my kids. FOUR!

I have mixed feelings on this. Part of me is thrilled to let go of the morning routine. (Although I will still get up at 6:45 and make my husband luch, coffee, and a water bottle. It's what I do!) But nothing beats letting my kids sleep in. The other part of me is dreading the summer boredom. Fighting, whining, hitting etc. It becomes skull splitting.

Thank heaven's for pool passes. Seriously. It must seriously be a lifesaver if I am willing to put on a swimming suit in front of every person in my small town.

Either way, I'm ready to get on with it. The last couple weeks of school I'm just done. DONE! Ready to figure out our new normal for the summer. When your kids are still young every summer is a little bit different than the last.

I'm really hoping to get my husband out the door and then spend the quite morning time writing. (Remember that whole finishing before the end of summer thing I threw out there!! yikes!)

Completely unrelated...I've been working out the last couple of weeks. I'm talking lunges and squats. It's hurting. It's working. I'm seeing the difference. It's kind of awesome. We'll see how this plays out!

Happy very rainy Friday! I just want to crawl in bed and read with the thunder as my backdrop.

What does a rainy day make you want to do??

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Way Too Long

I apologize. I seemed to have taken a blogging hiatus. Sabbatical. Vacation. Break.

I think I'm past it. Maybe.

It's just May. May  is busy!! I'm busy with work. Seniors are needing stuff for the end of year, moms want photos of their kiddo's in the flowers, etc. Busy with school stuff. Every activity is having a "end of year" get together. Cub scouts, preschool, talent show, music program.

The main thing though? BASEBALL. Baseball is in full swing. (hardy har) Because of that, we are on the go like crazy. With three little boys in ball this year, we are living and breathing it. 4 games a week, practice. It doesn't stop. The schedule is insane. I told my husband...the first boy that shows the sign of "not really being  into it." is OUT! I'm not putting myself through this for some kid that isn't into it! Got me?

I know that sounds mean, but really? So far, all three boys are doing well. And truthfully, I wouldn't let them quit easily. Two of them are still a little too young to know if they really don't like it. They haven't got to the good stuff yet. I happen to like baseball, so it's really the only sport I will go through this crazy schedule for. I enjoy the ball fields in summer. Especially in a small town like ours. It's the epitome of summer to hear the crack of the bat on a warm evening. Kids running around in the background. People you know surrounding you. My kids begging for nachos from the concession stand. I love it. Would I get three boys up at 5 am for a day full of freezing soccer games in October? NOT A CHANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, all of this is to say...Sorry. I've neglected this blog and I'm ready to get back on the ball.

My WIP is also in a happy place. I've been writing daily and I told my writing group girls that it must be completed by the end of summer. MUST. It can't go on after that. I won't let it. Hold me to it.

Speaking of my very talented writing ladies, they are back from OWFI and had awesome connections with agents that I'm praying turn into something amazing. I'm so proud of all of them and so very honored that I have them to share my writing process with.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


It's been a full, exhausting day. You know, the kind where you've worked hard and you fall in to bed feeling accomplished.

That's my day today. A friend and I had a garage sale the last two days and had lots of fun hanging out and making money. Today my husband and I cut down an ornamental tree gone wrong in our yard and did some relandscaping, complete with a $150 Home Depot trip. I planted cilantro, tarragon, sweet basil, and tomatoes. Got a sunburn, pulled some muscles and finished the evening off at a Sonic Car Show. (my husband is into muscle cars!) To top it off it was a beautiful, hot sunny day.

I love days like that. It is going to end with a hot shower and reading in bed next to my husband. Perfect!

Happy Mothers Day to all you mommy's out there!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

To Compare or not Compare....

We ALL do it. It's human nature. Is it healthy? My answer would be yes and no.

It's healthy in the sense that you have to compare to grow. There is no other way to gauge where you've been, where you are, and where you need to go without comparing your work in some way.

On the flip side, it can become a problem if you're not very careful. It can lead to severe frustration, dispair, or even arrogance. Is that a problem? Uhhh, if you're not really that good than yeah! It is a problem. What you might really need is a fat helping of humble pie. A little frustration isn't necessarily a bad thing though, it can motivate.

Last night I went to my writing group. There are 5 of us. I'm the greenest of the group. :) I'm cool with that. It is what it is. They are gearing up for a writing conference this weekend. I'm so very excited for them...I'm hoping something amazing happens for at least one of them. I'm hoping that the proverbial ball will start rolling. At the same time, it made me sad. I'm no where near pitching my wip. No. Where. I guess theoretically I could just go for fun and learning, but I'm not made of money, and I've got those three kids that need me...so until I'm a little closer to that place I'm going to wait.

As I sat there helping them prepare pitches, polish synopses and plan the hotel sleeping arrangements, I could have felt sorry for myself. Sorry that I'm not further along. I could have felt that I'm not good enough. But the whole situation was just a huge motivator. I'm channeling that envy into hard work, it's the only thing that makes sense! I'm thinking about all the hard work they've been doing for years to get themselves to this point and understanding that I need to plant my butt in front of this laptop every stinkin day so I can go next year!!

I think any creative endeavor...or anything at all for that matter requires a little comparison. After all, isn't that what were REALLY doing when we blog hop? We click onto a blog, and what were really looking for is ourselves!

Is she a mother too? She writes while nursing?
Oh, his wip is only half way done? 
Oh good, she has trouble with grammar also.
She writes paranormal YA also!
He is now published after receiving 65 rejections...phew!

We are looking to compare. Looking for confirmation. We want to have that Jim Carey Dumb and Dumber moment....."So you're telling me there's a chance!"

We need to be constantly reminded that our dreams are possible. That we're on the right track. Our frustration and hard work may not be in vain.

Of course sometimes we just want to say, "ugh...bitch!" And you know what? As long as we keep it too ourselves, that's okay too. We are human after all.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The need to Read

Yesterday I started reading Stephen Kings book titled On Writing.  (thank you Dawn!)

Wow. I fell in love with him, which is funny because in my life he has represented fear! I remember being about 9 and seeing Cujo on televsion one evening with my mother. I have been scarred ever since. (I also loved it!)

In 6th grade all the boys I knew were reading The Stand. Their arms would bow out beside them grasping their Trapper Keeper, science book, and the hugest book I'd ever seen. I couldn't fathom any 6th grader (except me, ha!) reading a book that big. When my brain made the connection that the author of that massive book was the same mastermind behind Cujo I began having graphic fantasies about what those boys were reading. I remember watching one boy in particular one day. he had finished his assignment and pulled open his monster novel. I watched him closely — just sure that he must be terrified. Sure that he must be reading of blood and gore and very scary things. I was waiting for him to shut the book in terror....unable to continue. It didn't happen.

Want to know a secret? To this day I have no clue what The Stand is about. I'm assuming it's a good book.

So, back to me reading On Writing. Last night I read one part that really resonated with me. He talked about the importance of reading. He stressed his theory that NO ONE can be a good writer without reading. I already agreed with this totally. It just makes sense to me. But I've often questioned my desires to write throughout my life. I even did it through the beginning of this book. Stephen talked about writing all through his adolescent years, his early adult years. Submitting, writing, submitting, rejection....blah, blah, blah.

We've heard this story before. Famous writer wanted it all their life...so they DESERVED to be published. They were better. They wanted it MORE. (That's what we're thinking right???)

Did he want it more than I do? Well, in many ways yes.

I learned to read when I was three. Not because I was a child prodigy, but because my mother devoted herself to it. I remember living and breathing flash cards and repition. I loved it. I was good. I slept with my books, I organized my books. I LOVED my books. Reading was my life. I wanted to write early. I knew that I would be a writer. It was that simple.

I was always thinking of story ideas. I was always writing down little stories and creating characters. All the while I read like an addict. 

My desire to write had a long draught. It didn't dry up completely...but it was sparse. In those years I went to high school, worked, met my husband, had babies, stayed up all night with said babies, stressed, made snacks. Does this story sound familiar? To some of you it will. Here is the deal, during those years....I wasn't really reading. Sure I read the basics for school...The Scarlet Letter, Red Badge of Courage, Killing Mr. Griffin. While my boys were young I read the Harry Potter books as they came out. I loved them too...but I wasn't really reading for pleasure on my own all the time.  Consistently.

About three years ago, when my youngest son was three, I started reading again. Like a maniac. It was a problem, I was taking in books like I was starving. I had been. My husband was all, "What is with all this reading, the laundry hasn't been done in 2 weeks!" I wanted to tell him, "This is who I've always been!!" I'd just been dormant. (As young mothers often are.) The writing desire came back almost immediately.


Funny enough, when I finally told my husband after a while that I was kinda sorta writing something. He wasn't at all surprised. It seems I had been a reader all along...I just didn't allow myself the indulgence. Life had gotten in the way.

Last night I read this in Stephen Kings On Writing.

Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.

Thoughts? I'll tell you what I thought. Stephen King was giving me permission to stop beating myself up over the fact that for years writing wasn't a priority. It didn't mean that I wanted it less, or was any less capable of being a writer. I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. I wasn't reading.

Why, as creative minds, are we always judging ourselves against others? It is a disease! More on that tomorrow.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Able to breathe....

What a weekend right? Well, beyond the news...it was a big one for me.

Saturday night I had a surprise 40th birthday party for my husband. OH THE STRESS!! This past month I have been a wreck preparing for it. I'm so glad it's over!! Not because it wasn't fun, it really was. But because it was very stressful keeping it from my husband!!  AND, he is not a surprise party kind of guy. I was prepared for him to hate me for a minute when we walked in.

If you've ever held a surprise party you know about the paranoia. The whole week before I was just SURE he was onto me. I knew he was picking up clues, that he was looking for them.

He wasn't. He was shocked and horrified at the same time. :) It was a beautiful thing. As we walked into the game room at a local "pubish" restaurant and 15 people yelled surprise (at which was supposed to be a couples shower for one of his closest friends- I even sent us an invite in the mail!!) he jumped in surprise.

I instantly turned and hugged him, laughing in his ear. "Do you hate me?"

"A little bit," He said with a chuckle. It was a great night!
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