Friday, July 29, 2011

What a DAY!

Today is one of those days. The kind that are wonderful and stressful at the same time. Where you have a lot to do....just so you can get to the good stuff? Know what I'm talking about?

My son is having a birthday party tomorrow. Here. In my house. Ugh. Now I know why we moms are willing to spend buukuu bucks on having the party SOMEWHERE ELSE. There is that whole cleaning thing. It sucks. On top of that, I decided to make him a cake. Double ugh. I actually used to be pretty decent at making cakes. People actually paid me. I quit for a reason. But here I am doing it again for my beloved son.

I was up last night making Lego Star Wars Mini-figures out of fondant. Seriously. It will be awesome though. So today I'm baking, cleaning, fondanting, and all the while planning to get the four of us (me and my 3 boys) ready to hit a huge water park this afternoon with my sister. Oh, and I have a shoot tomorrow morning at like 7 am....before the party at 2:00.

Yeah. Sounds good, right? I will enjoy the water park....when I get us there. The shoot will be fun, although it will be early. (Plus I love this family!) And I will enjoy the party....when it happens. But the stuff in between?? Not so much. After that party tomorrow I will throw on some "soft pants" (as we call slumming clothes) and curl up with a good book to recoup.

Oh wait. Still haven't written through the kissing scene yet.


Happy Friday Peeps!! :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dirty Little Secrets...are hard to keep

If you read yesterdays post you saw where I mentioned giving my husband back control of our finances.

Now, I'm not going to air my dirt laundry here...but we needed to button up. We've needed to do it for awhile. My husband knew this...but not to the extent he should have. I knew it too, but you see...if you are really only answering to yourself with your spending it's easy to buy a book here or there. Or decide you don't want to cook the kids lunch and head to Chick Fil-A. Those things add up, and faster than you think. When I shared with my husband the whole situation it was a relief. His words were, "Okay, but you can't spend even a penny without us discussing it."

Now, to some of you that would be a "WTF?" moment. Well, maybe at one time it would have been. But right now it is a weight off my shoulders. It is accountability. It is partnership. It's direction.

We have a plan. We are a team.

My husband doesn't realize it, but I secretly do the same thing to him with my writing. I casually voice what's going on to him. I know many of these things he really doesn't care about. But, when I voice them...I'm sharing my plan. It's not just in my head's out there. I've said it to the universe. I do the same thing here on this blog. When you put your intentions to the world, you want to keep them. You want to work harder.

That being said, my intention was to not read another book until my two main characters kissed. I haven't read in almost a week. I'm tempted to throw a kiss in and edit it out later...but that would be lame. And weasley. No more.

Often I think my husband isn't listening when I talk about writing and kissing and blah, blah, blah. Well, last night as he was drifting off to sleep I cracked open a nutrition book. It was NON FICTION FOLKS!! That certainly doesn't count right? Well...I did feel a little guilty. About three paragraphs into protein and legumes I felt his weight shift on the bed.

"Have you written a kissing scene? Are you reading?"

"Pshhaaa, it's a diet book!"



Dirt little's best to share.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What I know for sure....right now.

Today I'm channeling my inner Oprah. I need to do that sometimes. Don't you?

A few things I know for sure today.

Giving my husband back the job of handling the bill paying and finances has been the best decision I've made in the last 5 years. Really.

I'm desperately ready for school to start.

The last two days I've watched more TV than I have in the last year.

I made a deal with myself that I couldn't read another book until the two main characters in my ms have their first kiss. I haven't read anything since last Thursday!!! OMG!! (Hence the tv watching.)

I haven't been able to write because I've had so much picture editing to do. Ugh!!

My little puppy is almost one. He is still a brat! We love him anyway.

I'm feeling rather optimistic about everything lately. It's a good feeling.

The heat here in the Midwest is getting OLD!!

Having my work email give me issues has become a real problem. When you aren't getting your emails, you are just SURE that the ones you're missing are very important. I'm sure I'm missing a local celebrity asking me to shoot their wedding. I'm sure of it!

My wip has suddenly developed a new piece to it's puzzle that I'm very excited about. Don't you love it when your characters reveal a part of themselves to you that you didn't see coming??  Now....if I could just get some time to write!

Happy Tuesday to you!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Yee hawwwww....the words are flowing!

I'm in the groove lovelies! I think I ran the first/present bug outta town. (maybe) I'm feeling the motivation to get this thing DONE!!!! I want to type THE END so bad it physically hurts. I don't care if it ends with a 6 week rewrite. I just want to get there!! Oh, and I wanted to share that picture of my baby!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Can't find the rhythm.

My brain has a little problem. It goes like this.

I read a book in first person present...and then when I go back to my novel words don't sound right anymore! I get confused, things don't make sense. Wording seems awkward.

I just finished up the novel Anna and the French Kiss...which I LOVED! Don't get me wrong, it's not Anna's fault. But all I can hear is 1st/present. The end.

Does anyone else have this problem???? How can I switch my brain back?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sometimes you have to Steal!

That was a hook of a Sorry, I didn't mean it. I should have put borrow. But that didn't have the same zest at 7:00 AM on a Tuesday morning where it's already 83*.

Speaking of the heat, it's HOT. Like, hope my AC does freeze up hot!

Summer does not equal creative process for me. At. All. I have to literally suck the words from my over-processed brain. It's tough. Very tough. Anyone else have this problem? It may be the heat. It may be the kids. It may be the desire to do other things...go to the pool, vacation, nothing.

Anyway, two of my favorite bloggers recently had excellent post that inspired me. I thought they might inspire you too. Hence the stealing/not stealing. I'm actually referring you. You should get to know these gals if you haven't already, because they are the shiz!! (Sorry, too much iCarly as of late.)

Heidi Willis of Some Mad Hope did a great post on Motivation. Loved it. There is no story without motivation, and she gives you some things to think about. (We're talking your characters motivation here...not your own!!) Plus, she is currently getting her MFA, so she might sorta know what she is talking about!!! ;) I love reading her posts every time!

Natasha Hanova of Writes By Moonlight has a post on being stuck. I can relate to this and she has an excellent set of questions to ask yourself about your "stuck scene" that I love. Sometimes you just need a little something to get the wheels turning again. Check her blog out, she always has good stuff. Oh, and I've read her writing so I KNOW she knows her stuff!! :)

I've mentioned this blog before, but it deserves another mention. Stephanie Morrill's blog Go Teen Writers. Don't be discouraged by the name adults, there is some seriously  awesome content on this blog. And Stephanie will welcome you even if you are 45. She is just like that. I love what she is doing for young writers though. Giving them a place to share and learn. She holds contests that encourage their creativity and sharing and I think that is so awesome. If I would have had access to Stephanie fifteen year ago it would have been a game changer! She has done a whole series on writing a novel and it is great. Locate the info by the tabs at the top of her blog. Good stuff peeps. Oh, and check out Stephanie's awesome series here. I've read it and LOVED it.

Sometimes you just need something to light the fire...I know you can find something with these ladies!!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dreaming Big

There is something magical about hearing that another writer has been signed or gotten an agent excited! I feel it in my gut. It's similar to that feeling you feel when your going down a roller coaster. A little light headedness. A little drop. Even though it's not YOU, you're hearing about. (damn) It's someone...and that means what?

It's possible. It can happen, and it can happen to you.

I love hearing these stories, because more than likely...that person really deserves it. No one else knows how hard writing is than another writer. It's not for the faint of heart. It's hard, grueling, cry inducing work. (Okay, for me it is anyway!) After I hear these stories I imagine my own. I can't help it—you know you do it too!! You have too. The only way to keep going is to maintain the dream.

So here we go. Close your eyes. Dream it. Share it with me. These dreams will motivate us all!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Historical Fiction....*SIGH*

I just can't get enough of it. My love of history is extensive. My love of reading....ridiculous. Put them together?


Oh, and throw in a strong romantic element??  HEAVENLY BLISS!

So, last week being what it was, (see post below) I needed an escape this past weekend. In a bad way. An escape is really what all my reading is. I think that is why I have to read books that end happily. They may not be happy throughout, that's okay. But they must end feeling good. I'm escaping my stressful life for goodness sakes. I want some hope in there...some kissing too if we're being honest.

Last weekends escape was The Yellow House: A Novel, by Patricia Falvey. It was perfect. A strong voice in the protagonist and yummy secondary characters. The icing of course was the historical setting, which was Northern Ireland in the 19teens and 1920's. If you know anything about Irish or English history at that time you know it was an extremely tumultuous period. Home Rule, Easter Rising, Catholic, Protestant, Quaker, and of course WWI. It covers all of that time thru the eyes of a young Catholic girl coming of age and trying to keep her family together through it all. 

What I appreciated about Patricia Falvey's style was that it was smooth and easy. Sometimes with these historical fiction books you're in for a grueling roller coaster of emotions and drama. While there was no lack of drama or wasn't heavy. It was perfect for summer and gave me my historical fix with the perfect romantic story woven in. I loved it. I escaped perfectly...and I thank her for that!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Beautiful Life

How is everyone doing? I notice I'm not the only blogger that has let summer and life get in the way. Is the summer being good to everyone's wip? Not mine, which is also shameful. My motivation comes and goes. It's hard to feel motivation for anything while the midwest is experiencing this epic heat wave.

Then on the 4th, a little girl we know was tragically killed by a stray bullet. I am friends with her mother and her aunt. It has been absolutely heartbreaking. The shock and randomness of it has been numbing. I had photographed this little girl and spent time last Friday prepping the images to send to her stepmother for her funeral slideshow. It was the saddest thing. To open each file and look into her beautiful smiling face was so hard. A smiling face full of so much possibility for the future.

The funeral was beautiful and overwhelming. Watching a mother grieve the death of her child is a heartbreak in itself. Watching a father grieve his daughter is almost too much to bare. I think I felt that way because watching a mother grieve makes me imagine losing my own child...but watching the father grieve makes me imagine my husband hurting and that is even worse.

I don't mean to be a downer today, on this beautiful (albeit hot) summer day. But this is where I've been. It is though, a reminder of life's fragility. A reminder to make sure our children feel and know our love for them every single day because anything can happen.

The beauties of Blair's life are endless, but her final gift was the donation of six of her organs. It was her choice. She had voiced it to her father a couple of weeks before her unexpected death after finding his drivers license in his wallet and inquiring what it meant. Isn't that a beautiful thing? Just thinking of it brings tears.

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