Tag Archives: blogging

Three for One – T U V

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I’m not ready to throw in the towel. Yes, I missed the last three days of the a to z writing challenge, but I refuse to give up. If I was smart (like a lot of a to z bloggers) I would have pre planned my posts, but I wasn’t and because of my lack of planning I had no choice but to let three days go by without posting anything new. I wasn’t being lazy or uninspired (although I have found that trying to think of writing related topics every day without repeating something previously written is challenging) I was suffering from an extreme lack of time. After three days and seven softball/baseball games, a night of cupcake making for a special girl’s birthday, work, housework and sleep somewhere in between I’m just now finding time to sit down.

Forgive me for wrapping all three posts into one but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

T is for TIME MANAGEMENT – As I explained, my time has been consumed with just about everything other than writing. This happens from time to time. Usually I make it a point to write everyday but once in a while my other responsibilities must take precedent. What tips do you have to offer to me? I’m somewhat of a scattered brain, organized in a disorganized way, self-admitted procrastinator whose dream of finding success is just as big as anyone’s. What are your rituals?

U is for Unwritten– There are so many ideas written down in my journals, prancing around in my mind, showing themselves in my dreams that beg to be written. I’m not an anxious person, but whenever I think about all of the stories I want to write and the little time I have to dedicate to writing them I feel my pulse race, my heart beat faster and my soul panic. All I want to do (professionally) is write stories for a living, but unless writing is my actual job, I may never get the chance to write down all of the stories I dream of writing.
I want to stare at a blank page every morning and a page filled of words every night!

V is for Vacation– After this month of blogging I may take a mini-vacation from posting to focus more on the edits of my current YA novel. As much as I loved doing this challenge, I have found that the extra time I normally would have spent doing edits or critiques was spent writing posts. I want my blog topics to be fresh so I will let my mind rest in hopes that new ideas surface. How often do you blog? Did you face any challenges with your other writing this month?

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O IS FOR OBLIGATIONS

OWL

I would love nothing more than to wake up every morning and spend eight hours writing. I would love if writing was my full time job! I want writing to be my full time job. I dream that writing will one day be my full time job.

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Unfortunately I have obligations that prohibit me from writing full time. Most writers dream the same dream but few of us get to live out the dream. It’s hard to find the time to write for hours when you only have a few hours available.

As an employee, I’m obligated to show up for work. As a wife, I’m obligated to pick up my end of the deal (whether that means cleaning, running errands, making dinner or just being available for my husband.) As a mother, I’m obligated to be there at my children’s beckon call. If they get sick, I must tend to them. If they have a softball/baseball game, it’s my duty to watch from the sidelines and cheer them on.

All of my obligations were also choices. I chose to work full time (only after my husband got laid off and we needed the money). I chose to get married and I chose to become a mother. I have experienced great moments (lots with story potential) because of these choices, but still wish that writing full time was an option.

In addition to the obligations I mentioned, I also have an obligation to myself. I’m obligated to put forth an effort to find the success that I’m looking for. I may not be able to write eight hours a day but I will continue to write everyday in hopes that one day writing will be my only job.

jlennon

Do you write full time? How many hours a day do you set aside to write?

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BRAINSTORMING EXERCISE

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In November I attended a writing conference where we met with some great authors, illustrators, agents and editors. It was a two day conference filled with writing tips, critiques, pitch fests and mini workshops. I had a workshop with Linda Oatman High, a successful children and young adult author. Linda was AWESOME. She shared stories of her road to success, offered advice and gave us a super cool writing exercise that I’m going to give to you today. At the end of this exercise, I will share the fiction story I wrote that day.
Grab a pen and get out a piece of paper (or your laptop). Are you ready?

Write down a symbol of hope.
Write down one or two difficult times in your life.
Write down something that recently made you laugh.

Now take everything you just wrote and write a short story. You might find yourself asking how they will possibly fit together but believe me you will come up with something. If you are willing, share with us your story. If you don’t feel comfortable or have time to comment with your story then maybe just comment with the answers you wrote for the prompts given above.

As promised, here is what I came up with.
*Symbol of hope-I chose a dove
*Two difficult times in my life
1. The death of my father
2. Being an overweight teenager
*Something that recently made me laugh – I wrote down “What If” scenarios and trying to apply makeup to my husband on Halloween (we had an idea that just wasn’t coming together, the more I tried to fix the make-up, the worse it became).

Here is the story I wrote.

Every dress I tried on made me look like an Orca. I succumbed to the fact that I was going to be the fat daughter standing at the casket. I don’t remember the drive to the funeral home but I do recall the half hour before the public came in to pay their respects. I stood above the simple wooden casket staring at my lifeless hero, stroking his cold forehead and kissing his cool cheeks trying to remember the warmth they once held.
Random memories surfaced as my face filled with tears. I don’t know how I could forget the car ride over but remember the fight we had one Halloween. My mother insisted he dressed up like the rest of us. “We are trick or treating as a family,” she yelled. As she scrambled about the house gathering our costumes my father sat patiently as my eight year old brother smudged my father’s face with paint from a kit purchased at a costume store. “You’re going to look scary but cool,” my brother said.
My oldest sister flew into my bedroom whining “I don’t want to go trick or treating. I’m a teenager for crying out loud,” she protested.
“Can I eat your candy?” I asked. All I was thinking about at that moment was chocolate, sugar and more chocolate. I followed her out the room continuing to beg for her candy (I knew regardless if she wanted to go, she was going to be forced to go). She ignored my pleading and headed down the steps. I raced behind her shouting “Erika can I eat your candy?” All I wanted was to hear her say yes. I skipped the last step to get to her sooner. When I hit the landing, I felt a crunch beneath my foot. My father still sitting on the floor getting his face done, looked up when he heard the sound. His face wasn’t cool or scary, it was ridiculous. I would have laughed at the blur of mish mash colors across his face if it wasn’t for the fury I saw swimming in his eyes. When I lifted my foot, I saw the remains of the shattered ceramic dove his mother painted for him when he was six years old, three years before she died.
It was usually on the mantle of our fireplace in its special spot but that day my father allowed my brother to take it in for show and tell. He didn’t put it back. “I’m sorry Daddy,” my brother mumbled before his eyes lowered. My father’s head shook. He looked at me “You should be giving away candy not trying to eat more,” he said. My heart crashed from his hurtful words. I knew at that moment that my father the only person in my world who never made a fat comment to me thought I was fat.
The memory faded as people from his life filled the small room. I took my spot next to my siblings and thanked the people offering condolences. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking that as they were telling me they were sorry for my loss they were also thinking she’s the fat daughter.
When the night came to an end and the funeral parlor emptied. I kissed my father’s cheek and said goodbye once again.
I heard its call when I stepped outside. I stood paralyzed. Above my head on a telephone wire a dove cooed. I looked up at the bird. Its head nodded as if it was acknowledging me. It might have been nothing to someone else, but to me it was my father giving me a sign in the form of a dove. Perhaps he didn’t want that memory to occupy anymore space in my mind. I let the memory of the only hurtful word my father spoke to me during his life fly away with the bird.

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Filed under A to Z, brainstorm, Fiction, writers, Writing

Viewer Shout Out

One of my favorite things about blogging is checking my sites. Even if I have one reader I get excited. WordPress recently started adding country views which is fascinating to me. It amazes me that I have readers from other countries taking a peek at my blog.

I’d like to take a moment to thank each and every one who stops by Writing Like Crazy. I hope you like what you read.

Which posting of mine did you read today? Is there a topic you would like to see me write about?

I am on a word filled journey thanks for coming along for the ride.

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