Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's Here!

The publication with the first installment of my new column arrived yesterday. How exciting! I ran (up the hill, huffing... I'm no runner) from the mailbox and burst through the door. "It CAME!" I yelled to my husband, who watched my frenzy with the newspaper for a half-second, then returned to his project.

Soon after discovering my treasure amidst sales flyers and a cell-phone bill we had to leave the house. I absorbed the column with new eyes as we drove to our destination. I was nervous, excited, proud. I was grinning like mad. And I was a bit disappointed to see they changed the wording in one of my sentences. Actually, it was supposed to have been two sentences, but they replaced a period with a comma and ran (on) with it. Hmph.

During our excursion I was able to show the article to a friend, who hadn't really been acquainted with my writing yet. I stewed while she quietly read, afraid of what her response might be. Is it really that good? I wondered. Is she gonna think I'm a dork with only mild talents? ...She did seem to like it, but then my string of doubts took over.

Through fits of wakefulness last night I kept thinking I should have included this or That word should have been omitted. I reread it now and, though I'm proud of it, I worry it'll flop. Maybe it won't get the warm welcome I'm hoping for within our community. What if I'm not the next Erma Bombeck? ;)

But I just have to get my mind out of the funk. I have to believe in my writing, right? And I do. I just need to keep remembering that not every single person will enjoy my words. But if I write them true to myself, making them as entertaining as I can, I will have succeeded at my job.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ode to Sweet Mocha Goodness

Oh, Starbucks, how good you are to me,
Do you know what pleasure you bring?
The mere thought of you in the morning
makes my taste buds sing.

I seek you out at least once a day
You bring me simple happiness –
More than pure water, who needs it?
or anything with caffeinated fizz.

I find myself hunting dimes and pennies
just to purchase a bottle of you,
Sweet mocha frappuccino.
Without you what would I do?

Your low-fat concoction is bliss
your taste so divine,
When poured over ice, sipped through a straw
nothing is as fine.

You are a moment of peace
in a hectic day of mommyness.
You are mine and mine alone
and I treasure your goodness.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


It's the first time I'm admitting it...

Writing this novel of mine is hard, hard, hard. I'm getting frustrated with the process. Once again I'm stuck. Afraid to move on because I might fail. As if what I've been building toward isn't going to have enough pay-off.

How do I get out of this slump? I pull up my current chapter and stare at the few pages I have on the screen. I see in my mind the characters, sitting there, having their conversation, and it's so boring. How do I move past it? How do I get to the next exciting part? How do I continue working toward the end I know is coming? I still believe in it; I still want to see it come together for my characters. I just can't get there. Does it mean I'm hopeless? Has part of me given up? I certainly hope not.

I've been heavily active in the writing forums over at AW. On some levels it's encouraging, on others it's discouraging, to find how many writers JUST LIKE ME there are out there. Yes, I still believe in myself, but what gaurantee do I have that an agent will represent me? That he/she will succeed in selling my book? That my words will actually be read by hundreds, thousands, millions of people? Is my goal unrealistic? Have my dreams gotten too lofty?


Don't You Hate It When...'re missing cash you can't account for? Yesterday I was given two twenties by a neighbor for whom my husband completed a task. I spent one, roughly, on a movie rental last evening and lunch for my girls and me today. Made it to Wal-Mart this afternoon, intending to snag my purchases with the remainder, only to find - once already at the cash register - my wallet was empty. The second $20 bill was gone. Hm.

There are two, maybe three, possibilities. Perhaps I gave the twenty along with or instead of the cash I thought I put in the collection plate at church this a.m. Maybe I was careless and misplaced or dropped it somewhere. It's not a usual occurence with money for me, but I've been known to do silly, mindless things (says she with the Mommy Brain who occasionally puts the gallon of milk in the glass cabinet). Or, what I like least, maybe someone raided my purse and took the $20. It could have happened but why, then, didn't they take the adjacent debit card? It just makes no sense. Of course I prefer the first scenario, but what's hard is not knowing what happened to that money.

Maybe, just maybe, it'll turn up.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Thank Goodness... It's Naptime!

My last post had me occupied for a little bit. When all was said and done I went upstairs to check on my girls... who had been quiet for much too long. Wouldn't you know it, they'd gotten into the oldest's (who's four) play make-up. The two-year-old had newly (and messily) polished fingernails, complete with a war-stripe of the same purple hue emblazoned across her cheek. No problem. I calmly placed the make-up in a high, out-of-reach location, and took to scrubbing Natalie's cheek. She seemed no worse for the wear.

I returned to the basement in search of socks and shoes for our planned outing. I hadn't been gone more than a minute or two when Natalie bellowed down the stairwell, "Mommy! Emma... stuck!" Criminy. Now what has the oldest gotten into? Turns out she was only having trouble with a sock, but it sure seems I can't leave them alone today.

Right now happens to be Quiet Time. The youngest is sleeping and the oldest is resting (she refuses to take naps now that she's a "big girl") while watching her PollyWorld movie. Ahh, a few moments of peace to work on my writing...

Eek! What's that noise? Cripes, I think I hear two sets of feet stomping around upstairs...

How Much is Too Much?

Seems like my days are filling with more and more writing. And there's nothing wrong with that. But I'm wondering at what point will I take on too much. Maybe it's not even the time I devote to writing that concerns me, but rather the time I devote to other things while plopped at the computer.

I have no less than four windows minimized on any given day. My personal MySpace page (and blog) is an important one; it's switched out through the day with my business page, also on MySpace. Yahoo is typically up, and again I bounce between my personal and business inboxes. The forums at Absolute Write have become a standard for me; I've learned endless new things and have made connections with great people. (I love the ongoing banter.) And here's this new thing for me, Blogger. LOVE it! I think it's going to prove great for networking, as well, and what more could I ask for?

The thing that concerns me is that, though each of the sites mentioned above have to do with writing on some level, there's a whole lot of messin' around to do and fun to be had on each, as well. A girl could waste massive amounts of time doing little piddly, fun things, instead of, say, working on the stagnate manuscript that's been staring her in the face for over a month. Many times I rave about how things such as MySpace surveys and AW forums get my brain working and exercised, ready to take on whatever mental block I'm trying to get past. It's worked that way before, honest! But now I fear I've become comfortable with merely playing around on these sites, and I'm avoiding the real work to be done.

I have been busy with small writing projects: I've sent off several article subs in the last few weeks, and (as mentioned yesterday) have begun writing as a columnist for a local paper. Those things keep me busy, and I love it all. I think, though, I've been - subconsciously, maybe - putting off work on my novel. I'm in chapter 13, which is pretty darn good. I know what my ultimate destination is, and even some of the routes I'll take to get there, but I'm stuck and I just don't know which way to go.

So, after all this rambling... what I guess I'm wondering is... have my other writing projects (and playtime) taken away from my most important goal and dream, that of completing my novel? How do I get back into the groove of my ms? Do I have to leave all the other windows down and closed until I've written something - anything! - on my WIP?

And then, of course, I didn't even mentioned the two precious preschoolers I'm responsible for day in and day out. Or the household I have to run. How to Spaghetti-O's and laundry fit into all this?

Friday, October 26, 2007

A by-line by... Janna Qualman

I've been waiting ever-so-patiently. It was supposed to have come, I assumed, sometime this week. But now here we are; it's Friday, and it still hasn't arrived.

I've had visions of how pretty it will be. My title across the top. Every Mom's Column. My name just below. by Janna Qualman. And my words, the ones I labored over so they were just perfect, will follow.

It's the introductory edition to my new column. A humorous, relatable look at motherhood (think Erma Bombeck). In some editions I'll talk about mishaps with my daughters (like when my youngest's diaper went AWOL), in others I'll tackle stages of parenthood every mother reaches (leaving your kid behind on the first day of preschool). I'm SO excited about it. And I can't wait to see how it's received by our community.

But it has to be distributed first. The fall edition is due any day now.

So I continue to wait ever-so-patiently...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Brownie and a Blog

How good is this evening? Let's see...

The kids are in bed. A pan of brownies (complete with milk chocolate chips) is fresh out of the oven. And I've embarked on this journey that is my new blog, here at the blogspot. I think that's a pretty fab night.

Don't rightly know what sorts of things I'll be talking about in the future. More than likely, my writing or some such. That would make the most sense, no?

But right now a brownie calls to me. So, until next time. I'll work on something witty to post.