Friday, December 31, 2010

Bring on the New Year!

It's 11:01-do you know where you are? Just kidding. Almost time...just under an hour and we will ring in 2011. I have to say I'm a little excited about the new year. See, I have decided this is the year I take the bull by the horns and push forward with this whole writing career thing. Yep, no more of this fancy pant-sing around- I'm taking it to the next level. I will no longer look sheepishly down at my feet and whisper "I'm a writer" when someone asks me what I do.

To prove this newfound dedication to my craft, I will give you a brief rundown of my writing day. I sent out two queries, updated my list of story ideas, updated my blogs, updated twitter and Facebook, wrote an article and worked on my ebook. Not much you say? Well, for me between wrangling my three year old, entertaining his older brother and keeping up with my teenager-that's a pretty productive day.

So I welcome this new year. I'm going to try my best to write every day and learn everything I can from those in my writer community. But most of all I'm going to push forward and keep writing because writing,that's what I do. Happy New Year!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Umm, Who Ordered the Blizzard?

Well good readers-I am so far behind and this last cold snap, it is not helping to ease the pain. Mounds of the beautiful white stuff is falling outside our window as we celebrate snow day #2(out of three-thank you Gov. Strickland-I'm glad I'll be spending my summer vacation at home so the kids can make up the extra snow days!) Tomorrow was to be the kids last day of school, but I don't think we'll be going then either considering the fact I cannot even tell there is a road in front of our house.

This ill-timed snowfall has produced much tension among the ranks here at our house. My daughter's cell phone stopped working yesterday-which means she cannot communicate with the outside world(her friends). She was counting on a trip to AT&T today to get a replacement-but we cannot get out of the driveway. This makes her...well..unhappy."There's nothing in this house to do!" Back in my day(80's), I told her, we read books and played board games on snow days. There were no cell phones, computers, Xbox360's or, what is she complaining about?  My son is bummed because no school means no "Santa's Workshop"( the PTO's way of collecting coin from parents by way of .50 items sold for $1.50) and if he's out tomorrow, it means no Christmas party, which I just realized I forgot to buy cookies for. Did I mention I was in the running for mother of the year? Yes, the cabin fever is running a little high this afternoon-and no snow plow in sight! At least the little guy is happy, give him a jelly sandwich and he's good to go.

Hopefully everyone will calm down soon and enjoy their day off school. I have a food article to write and then maybe we'll make some holiday cookies...yeah who am I kidding-arming this motley bunch with cooking utensils and icing today would probably be a recipe for disaster. The gingerbread man won't be the only one who runs away!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Newspaper Days

Well, since I obviously cannot outlast my three-year-old and his insatiable desire for jelly sandwiches this evening, I guess I'll go ahead and get to work. I cannot understand how such a tiny little person can inhale all that jelly but at least he's eating something other than those goldfish things. My other son wanted to help me work on a food article this evening, but he fell asleep during the divas match of WWE  Monday Night Raw. Since he will be turning 8 in a few weeks I'm sure that won't be happening much longer.

Today I was (procrastinating) cleaning out my writing area and I found an old book my mom had bought for me about writing newspaper articles.  It made me think about how I got my start-professionally-and about those first few clips. I remember going to the interview with my fancy portfolio full of papers I had written in college. I didn't have any real clips-except that little paragraph I had published about what I was thankful for when I was in fifth grade. Somehow, I didn't think presenting that would be a good idea. Believe it or not,  I was later offered a job at that paper as a staff reporter.

My first story was about a "pajama day" at a local school-my daughter's to be exact. At least I knew enough not to interview her.It took me 2 hours to write that little ditty. Yep, I was greener than Kermit the Frog. Months later I was sent to our county fair where I lost my high heel in the muddy track around the grandstand, but I had a great time interviewing all those little 4-H kids with their animals. I interviewed all kinds on interesting people, heard amazing stories(some I couldn't print) and did some cool stuff. Oh yeah, and there was the time the photographer and I spent an entire day at the local Harley Davidson waiting for that Matthew McConaughey guy to show up on some charity ride. He didn't make it, but we had one hell of a good lunch that day! Later, I would move on to a short stint as the news editor of a weekly newspaper writing a column where I worked at various places for the day. I made pizza, pumped gas and milked cows at a dairy farm. Looking back those first forays into journalism weren't so bad.  It was a good time. Sometimes I kind of miss it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We Are Not Alone...

No, I didn't see any alien lifeforms on my snow-covered roof this evening...they probably wouldn't dig my neighborhood anyway..not a really happening place.   Anyways...These last couple of weeks I have noticed a few things about my writing: 1.) there's more of it 2.) it's getting done more frequently, and 3.)I'm feeling less of that burning, red-faced, embarrassed feeling when some jerk says"So,what is it that you do again..write stuff? Well what are you working on now?"
Sadly, I don't personally know any authors in my area so when people would ask me when my book was published or told me I couldn't really call myself a writer until you could buy my book at the bookstore, it would make me question my chosen career path. These ideas were really starting to get to me, I even thought about quitting for good(I'm not sure how that would've worked out, this is all I've wanted to do since I was five).
That is, until I discovered something amazing...there are others out there.
I visit the Writer's Digest site at least twice a week, have for some time. But a short time ago I decided to check out the writing community. I joined, made a profile page and joined a couple of groups consisting of writing professionals of all types-aspiring authors to novelists. It's amazing! I've learned so much already and it's been fun. So to my fellow group members I would like to say thanks, and to any other aspiring writers out there who feel like they're hanging out in literary land by themselves I offer this advice-connect with other writers, join some groups and get out there. It will do wonders for your writing-and maybe even your sanity.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Passion for Writing

Last night after my son finished his homework, he informed me he wanted to write a story. Well, needless to say I am always excited when one of my children shows any interest in writing, so I grabbed him some paper, a pencil and told him to let me know if he needed any help. But this wasn't any story he was working on, he wanted to write a mystery. 

To prepare himself for writing this story, he wanted me to help him solve a mystery. Some nefarious individual had made short work of the giant bookshelf in his room and scattered Thomas the Tank Engine books all over the floor. We looked at the clues, the tiny perpetrator had left a calling card- a tiny plastic engine had been left behind. Hmm...After reviewing his notes, my son concluded the guilty party was no other than his three year old brother. I have to say, I kind of saw this coming, the little guy is a known Thomas fanatic.

My son was ready. He spent the next hour or so jotting down his masterpiece-only stopping to ask me how to spell something. He then stapled it together and starting reading it to me. I thought it was pretty good! He didn't. Then he started editing. He poured over his story making changes until it came out "perfect". I understood, I've been there. Walking over to the computer where I was working on my own book, he informed me that since he had finished his mystery novel in just one day, he would be happy to help me finish mine after school today. He couldn't wait to take his story to school this morning to share with his class, even though he admitted being a little nervous.

I think that's why we do it-writing I mean. It's that passion for writing, the writing process, it keeps us going.  It's what we love(even though sometimes we swear we hate it), and why we love to share our work with others(even  though it makes us a  little nervous too).  I'm really glad my son got to experience that feeling-being passionate about something he created. I think that's pretty awesome.