Friday, July 28, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-July 28, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I'm making good progress on a couple of short stories, and I'm looking forward to finishing them soon.  I have plans to submit both of them, and that prospect is both exciting and terrifying as always.

The bedroom switch is finished, and the boys love having a bigger room to share.  It seems like it's been a good move for everyone.

Zoe now has teeth!  A tooth on the bottom broke through a couple of days ago, and a second one is making its presence known.  She's been trying to gnaw on everything within reach. And since she army crawls with the best of them, so many things are within reach for her.  She's been giving me a work out this week!

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-July 21, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

We've been undergoing the grueling process of switching bedrooms.  Our two boys share a room, and as they get bigger and collect more toys, they're getting more and more crowded. Meanwhile, my husband and I have a large bedroom, but we only sleep in it and that's it.  Since the boys would make better use of the large space, we're trading with them.  It's amazing just how many things need moved, but we're getting close to being done.  They're definitely excited about the switch.

Zoe will be eight months old tomorrow.  She can move her walker around like a pro, sit on a blanket and play for long stretches of time, and she's kinda sorta almost crawling.  It's more of an army crawl, but she's impressively fast at it.  I definitely need to be careful what I leave within her reach. She's also teething, so she's a little cranky some days, but it's not too bad.

Writing is somehow going okay with everything else going on. I'll definitely celebrate that.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-July 14, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

The Kickstarter for the 2018 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide just ended, and the project met it's funding goal. I'm so excited to be a part of this anthology, and I'm happy to see so many people working together to make it happen!

We had an adventure getting an old car to a junkyard yesterday. It had been sitting around for a while and desperately needed to be moved.  The goal was to drive it there, but it didn't work according to plan.  Things like to go awry when dealing with old, broken-down vehicles.  We did manage to get it all dealt with in the end, and no one was harmed in the process, so I'll count that as a win.

I'm looking forward to a simple, calm weekend.  The last two weekends have been crazy busy, and while they were fun, I'm grateful for the chance to relax.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, July 7, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-July 7, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

The 4th of July holiday was a lot of fun.  Despite forecasts of possible rain both Monday and Tuesday, we had dry weather for the fireworks displays we planned to attend both nights. For Monday's display, we were treated to a lightning show in the distance.  It was pretty.  We also had fun firing off fireworks of our own.  The kids really enjoyed that part of things.

Yesterday was my husband's birthday.  Of course he still had to work, as many people do, but I'm planning on making a cake for him this weekend.

Speaking of this weekend, it's going to be a busy one.  We're having a town celebration, and the kids are going to be in the parade tomorrow morning.  They always love being in the parade, and they're also looking forward to all the activities that will be going on throughout the day.  They'll have me exhausted by the end of it, I'm sure, but it should make for a good day.

What would you like to celebrate?


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group:July 2017


It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time to convene another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Alex J. Cavanaugh is the creator of this fine organization, and this month he's enlisted the help of Tamara Narayan, Pat Hatt, Patricia Lynne, Juneta Key, and Doreen McGettigan.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website!

I went through a bit of a writing slump over the last month, and I felt terrible about my lack of any kind of progress.  I never feel good about myself when I'm not writing, but I'm not sure if it's the guilt of not being productive or if something about the writing process naturally makes me happier.  It could, perhaps, be a combination of the two.

The good news is that I'm bringing myself out of it.  I made a recent submission, I'm making good progress on editing a story I'd like to send out soon, and I have an idea for the next story I'd like to write.  I'll count that as a victory.

And now for the July 5th Question.

What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

There are a lot of lessons to be learned, and I'm sure I'll learn many more along the way.  One lesson I've been learning lately is to trust myself and my instincts.  This includes trusting both that I can write compelling stories and that I'm capable of getting better over time.

We all hear about what we shouldn't be doing as writers, but that doesn't make it any easier to figure out what we should be doing.  I think we've all felt insecure about stories we've written and whether they're any good.  We all want people to enjoy our work, and I know I've spent a lot of time second-guessing myself because of what I think other people might say about various writing choices I've made.  What will people think of the protagonist? Will people relate to this character? Will this POV do what I want it to do, or will it destroy the whole story?

We should ask ourselves questions like this, of course, but at the end of the day, we need to make a choice and trust ourselves to pull it off, even if it takes several attempts.  If we don't, we may get stuck in a perpetual loop of doubt and never finish anything.  Or we may get discouraged and give up altogether.

I realize I'll never write anything that everyone will love, and that's okay.  None of us can.  We'll always have people who dislike our work for whatever reason.  What we can do is trust ourselves to write stories that resonate with some people and be happy with our accomplishments.  We can learn to take criticism in a positive way and not let it destroy our trust in ourselves as writers.  We'll always have room to grow and get better, but that doesn't mean we're terrible or incompetent. Incompetence comes from an unwillingness to learn.  And the only way to learn is to keep writing.

None of this is easy, of course, but I'm slowly getting there.

What's a valuable lesson you've learned?


Friday, June 30, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-June 30, 2017


It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

The boys had a great time at my sister-in-law's wedding last weekend.  I might also be biased, but I think they look quite handsome all dressed up.  Zoe also looked adorable in her dress.  So did the bride, of course!

I had a productive morning on Tuesday.  While the boys had their library program and Zoe was playing with her toys, I wrote, edited, and submitted an entire story.  Yes, it was a flash fiction piece, but it still made me feel pretty accomplished.  That feeling gave me a creative boost for the rest of the day.

I'm making good progress on a short story I'd like to submit sometime soon.  I'm hoping to get that done in the next week or two.  With the 4th of July holiday next week, I can't say for sure whether that will happen, but I guess we'll see!

What would you like to celebrate?


Friday, June 23, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-June 23, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

The Kickstarter campaign for the 2018 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide is going well.  I'm also going to be taking part in a Facebook author party that Dreaming Robot Press is hosting next week.  That should be a fun way to interact with people, and I'm looking forward to it.

I've been in a writing slump the last few weeks.  Many of you know how that goes.  Fortunately, I seem to be getting back into the swing of things, and that's done a lot to improve my mood.  I tend to get grumpy when writing isn't going well.

My husband's youngest sister is getting married this weekend, and the weather is supposed to be beautiful for the occasion. Lyle is also supposed to be a ring bearer, and he looks handsome in his outfit.

What would you like to celebrate?