Monday, June 28, 2010


I had another one of those "AHA!" moments the other day. The ones that make you feel really stupid for not realizing it until it hits you in the head like a present from the bowels of an irritated pigeon.

Writing is supposed to be fun.

I usually LOVE spending my time, fingers on the keyboard, discovering characters and then throwing them into a pit while fixing lazy dialogue like "Help me!"

But lately I avoid the keyboard like it's the worst chore in the world.

In short, I stopped playing.

It's ok. I even know why I stopped. My life for the last few months feels like one big countdown to the day my husband deploys.

I'm not going to lie. It sucks.

And I'm really looking forward to when I'm ready to start playing again.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fixing the Little Red Wagon

Summer has only started, and my kids spent the whole weekend complaining.

"I'm BORED," came the first whiny voice. "There's NOTHING to do," echoed the second.

So I thought...I'll fix your little red wagon...which is something my Mother used to say to me. Frequently.

Every morning for the rest of their summer break, my kids have to:

1.) Write 300 words. It can be a story, a collection of poems, a letter, or
whatever else they choose.

2.) Read at least 30 minutes.

3.) Complete 1 page of math. They must show their work and discuss their
answers with me.

And for the icing on the cake, I also made them run 2 miles with me.

After the first fifteen minutes of mandatory grumbling about me being the MEANEST MOM EVER since I am ruining their summer break which is, by its own definition, supposed to be a break, they giggled and sang their way through their work. My happy children were happy once more.

And then I had one of those AHA! moments that make you feel really stupid. I figured out why I am mopey, dopey, whiny, irritable, and just sort of bleccchhhhy.

My break from writing has gone on WAY too long. I need to fix my own Little Red Wagon.

So, starting tonight, I'm back to my 300 word a day writing minimum, 2 chapters of reading, and daily research about possible agents that might be a good fit for me.

And I'm even giggling and singing while I do it:)

Monday, June 14, 2010


After school today, my son and I had a conversation while eating twisty Cheetos that look like intestines...or inch worms. We were full of spit laughing and he asked me, "What are you so happy about?"

I made a face, "What do you mean? Aren't I always this happy?"

He looked at his Dad before carefully choosing his answer, "Not really."

Now my husband gave him some explanation about me having to get after him for making bad choices...which has been a bit of a struggle since our last move. But that's only part of the truth.

The other part is...

I TOTALLY sucked at a job interview today.


I think the guy was as relieved for me to be out of his office as I was to leave.

It's not that I can't do the job. It's not that I'm clueless. It's not that I would slowly waste away at an organizational job with white walls, sterile people, and hour after hour of dealing with egos with a sense of entitlement.

Because I CAN do that job. But my heart isn't in it.

It's in a story about a little girl who is scared to death because her Dad is deploying to a war zone...which is really close to home, as my husband is leaving in a few weeks.

So I'm having a glass of wine to celebrate. Cheers! to working on what you love. Even if it means you totally suck at an interview...or retirement takes a little bit longer.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Moving mountains

I've noticed a very distinct, absolutely true correlation between two things:

The more I have my BIC (Jane Yolen's: butt in chair) to write, the W-I-D-E-R it gets. When I look in the mirror and notice my flatter, flabbier office bottom it's disheartening. And boring.

Now I have two choices:

1. Quit writing.

2. Keep writing. And keep moving.

Punch it up with stairs, hills, and miles. Stop shoving junk in my mouth when I'm bored. Or frustrated. Or working.

My characters are the same way. If I sit on them too much they are as wide, flat, and flabby as an office butt. If I fill them with words they just talk, talk, talk and never get around to doing things. But if I give them a few miles to travel and mountains to climb, they take on a shape that is much more interesting.

So here's to having a butt in a chair and moving mountains all in the same moment...and then working out a few miles more!