Category Archives: Rest

the “h” word

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

John Dryden ~ 1631-1700, Poet and Playwright

Whew! What a week! Back from 5 days of laughing, writing and guiding young scribes at my Young Writers’ Summer Studio, followed by afternoons with my two boys, browsing toy stores and craft shops, walking our little downtown area and checking out new shops, getting ice cream, ordering in.

A week of no routine also meant breaking all of my good habits. I fell off my eating clean plan, made excuses not to work out and ignored all of those other monotonous tasks and responsibilities. Yes, I fed my children. Sheesh!

We all need those days or even weeks when we just S L O W down. Though, I’m paying for that relaxation now!

Habits do make us who we are. Time for me to get my focus back.

Are your habits helping or hurting you?

 

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Filed under Advice, Believe, Rest, teaching, Young Adults

5 prompt Friday

         Here we go again…

  1. The empty feeling in my stomach spread to my chest and head, threatening to pull me inside out.
  2. How do I say this to you?
  3. On her wrist was a bracelet made from multi-colored paperclips.
  4. His voice crackled through the walkie-talkie, “The Eagle Has Landed.”
  5. Are you ready to do this?

Have a story or prompt to share? Post it here : ) Happy writing!


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thankful thursday

This week, I am TRULY Grateful for:

A Weekend ALONE in Michigan at my parents’ cottage to reset and write!

A Renewed passion for my novel-in-progress, tentatively titled Half Moon Bay Resort

Bedtime reading with my little Sam : )

Chobani Greek Yogurt on sale at my local store

A new weekly series I’m planning to roll out next Wednesday (stay tuned!)

What are you thankful for? What little or big things fill your soul and inevitably fill your creative spirit?

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Filed under Rest, Thankful Thursday

Commit to 3: When you’re OVER committed

Some weeks even 3 commitments prove too many.  Last week, for instance, and this week as well. It’s all I can do to just Get. Through. The. Week.  And that is what I’ll commit to this week.

Of course, I have to go to work everyday, cook dinner on my alternating nights, make school lunches, review homework, and finally prepare my last Super Saturday class – my young writer workshops.

Other than the “norm” I’m giving myself a pass. Some weeks, that’s just what we need. Anyone else feel this way?

This week:

 I commit to:

  1. Give myself a pass
  2. Get through the week
  3. Soak up the support all around me

My Salary:  Celebrate the end of another successful 5-week young writers’ workshop series by going out for a pizza lunch with my son, David.

Due: Saturday, 2/26

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Filed under emotion, goals, Rest

Help for Hump Day

I  had mini meltdown. You know, puffy- eyed crying, hiccupping sobs, woe is me mental state, everything- is- out- of- control, insurmountable, unavoidable, bad-sad-boohoo, BLECH!

I don’t know what brought it on, I haven’t been that blue for a while. Well, no, I do know what brought it on. My novel. My beast of a rough draft that I’ve been diligently revising for at least 2 months now. The whole first scene is a forced dialogue set up as a dream, which BTW editors HATE!, and the protag is just not appealing. So, I rewrote it. I rewrote it again. I changed the occupation of a minor character to beef up the tension of my M.C.’s main goal. This was good, moved me along nicely. But,  because my mind works in a linear fashion, I feel the need to write this way. However, the first scene still sucks. It just does. I need to start that part over. Sometimes, most of the time, a blank screen is easier to conquer than a page of sucky writing.

Well, maybe I was overtired, but putting that first scene/chapter to rest while I moved along with the rest of the revision put me over the edge. Suddenly, I was “not a writer; I was a fake, a phony, a poser.” Who am I kidding? And I TEACH?! Seriously? What do I have to offer? I’ll never be able to focus enough to get past this hurdle. I’ll never finish this book. Again with the boo-hoo-hoo’ing. My husband was getting concerned.

My lack of writing talent and confidence quickly streamed into the other hurdles in my life. My son’s emotional struggle with his newly diagnosed diabetes. My day job rotting away hours in a cubicle, my younger son growing up and not needing me as much anymore. Boo-freaking-hoo. It was bad.

OK, this is supposed to be help for hump day? No, just a sample of how we can get as writers, artists, moms. What do we do when that dark cloud settles on our shoulders and the lightening severs our rational thinking? We let it run its course. Sometimes, we need a good cry.

And the next day, we wake up, puffy eyes and all, to see the sun is shining and the fall weather is crisp and refreshing and we ARE writers, no matter what. And we will push through.

I keep an ongoing collection of motivating quotes. They help me. They might help you too. Leave a comment and/or tweet this post and let me know. I’ll email my collection of quotes to you for a blue day.

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Filed under Advice, emotion, Perseverance, Rest

Live a little

At some point during your search for the meaning of life, don’t forget to do a little living.”

~From a Thousand Paths to Tranquility

Ways to live and gather fodder for writing:

walk around your neighborhood:  last summer my boys and I came across a garage sale that was winding down, seriously, the elderly owners were sipping glasses of wine and listening to the radio – they let the boys rummage through their dollar box and take what they wanted. relative to writing: character sketch in progress…

smile at strangers: just today I was deciding between two purses while shopping at Marshalls and a woman struck up a conversation with me, reccommended the red purse (which I agreed and  bought!) and she said I looked fun and the red suited me. huh. what do others see when they see you?

relative to writing: could be an essay there..

take a different form of transportation: ever watch people on the train? bus? while biking or hiking? not only the people, but your point of view changes if your normal route is sped up or slowed down outside your window.

relative to writing: create a new world for your story to emerge
 

hang out: with friends, family, your kids! your pets! “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” and you know what happened to Jack… don’t be dull. find yourself – find the people who help bring out the self you love and fill you with life.

relative to writing: journal-journal-journal about relationships, communicating, silly things, revelations, lost dreams, found dreams
How are you living? How does it affect your writing?
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Filed under Little Things, Rest, writers block

Help for Hump Day: Embark on a cleanse

Many changes in my personal life have reflected the changes I need to make in my long-term goals. I’m a planner, a list maker, a control freak, if I’m being honest.  I do not react well to others’ spontaneous decisions or a wrench thrown in my carefully mapped out plans. But, life doesn’t come with a map, rather a rough draft of right and left turns, with disappearing ink.

So, from time to time, I need to take stock and reevaluate my destination and plans for getting there.

Once again, I’m doing a cleanse. In the hypothetical sense.

Scrape and Dump the toxic people from my present life and past memories

Eliminate outside influences that are selfish and draining

Do more of what makes me happy: chick flicks, after dinner walks, lounging with the kids, reading novels and working on my novel revisions

Clear out paper stacks everywhere: Lesson plan ideas, articles on building better characters, writer’s guidelines, bios of agents and contest judges

Be a simple, silly, sassy girl again: lighten up! sing out loud! write really bad poetry and break all the rules. In fact, stop reading so many “helpful” blogs, magazines, sites and links. It’s becoming brain clutter!

Cancel all subscriptions. When I want to know, I’ll Google it.

Back to center. Start journaling more, moving more, breathing deeper, cleaner.

Break the mold, be weird. So what if others don’t get it. Stop trying to be a second-rate someone else and be the best me I can be. Remember the red polka dot pants. Wear them proudly!

Share information because I feel like helping, not because I feel obligated or want someone to like me/accept me, give me a gold star or a sparkling testimony. I’m a people pleaser to my own detriment.

Remember the children! Mine, especially. My boys, the reason I breathe, the inspiration for this list. Preserve my true authentic self: she is who *they love. (*they  includes the few young students who light up when in my workshops.)

How will you cleanse today? Any baggage you need to confront and toss out to the curb? Read baggage however it applies to you.

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Filed under Advice, emotion, goals, Rest