Monday, August 30, 2010

Little Life Moments

I woke them Friday morning, my two little girls, with mommy kisses and soft calls. It was the last day of their first full week of school.

I fed them, helped them with their clothes, reminded them (once and then again) to brush their teeth, their hair, clean their faces and gather their things.

Those were all little bits of our life that morning; they're becoming the usual of our routine. But one thing stuck out, a favorite moment, one I doubt I'll see often.

We stood outside, waiting for the yellow bus to break free from the tree line. We heard it first, and I said, "Here it comes." We traded hugs; my husband and I wished them a good day, and they started down our driveway to meet their ride.

They weren't but ten feet from us when my littlest, no announcement, no request, floated her tiny hand toward her sister. Biggest may have seen that hand, peripherally, or maybe she just sensed it, for she grabbed it with her own. They held fast to the bus.

And my husband and I, already sappy with sweet love for our daughters, watched with our hearts hopping down the drive behind them.

It was just a little life moment.

Tell me about one of yours.

**Thank you for the encouragement after Friday's post. I'm learning I overthink the whole process, instead of trusting it, and that I need to stop making this harder on myself. I appreciate you all!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lost: One Voice

The safe return of my written voice.
Where can it be, do you know?
Is there a place the lost voices go?
It's been intermittent for so long now.
But I'd swear I had it just two days ago. Was I mistaken?
Have I done something wrong, did I drive it away again?
Maybe I've been fooled. Tricked. Led to think I can do this, but
maybe I can't.
It's just so unfortunate, so sad, and maddening, too,
because we had a good thing going, my voice and me. I was so sure.
And now, without it, blogging isn't the same.
Special projects are hard; inspiration is far.
My novel-writing is lame, flat, horrible. It's like
I can't
continue--though I've tried, oh, I've tried--because
nothing is cohesive without it.
I'm lost without my voice.
Still, I guess I won't give up hope.
Please, if you see it, won't you send it home to me?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Random Question #11

What makes you happy?
I am unsure of this picture's original source. Have you seen it before?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Business Cards: Marketing You

Do you have business cards?
Do you carry them with you?
Do you actively pass them out?
So far I've only been good at giving them to some family and close friends.
When and to whom do you think it's a good idea to pass one along? And how do you go about doing so, without feeling schmoozy and horn-tooting?
The upper-left insignia is not truly crooked; it just came out funny in this recreation. And the dark lines are where I marked through my address and phone number for today's purposes. 'Cause not just everyone needs those, you see.
What do your business cards look like?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Creative Brainstorming and Contest Details

I recently purchased a couple writerly kits. The Writer's Digest Writing Kit: Everything You Need to Get Creative, Start Writing, and Get Published and The Writer's Toolbox: Creative Games for Inspiring the "Write" Side of Your Brain.
Seem redundant? Mayhaps. But the first is more a box of how-to; the second, like a get-you-thinking game. I saw I could get them both (brand new!) for less than $10 (plus shipping) on Amazon, and figured one can never have too many ways to brainstorm, right?
Anyway, I've opened and lingered over each set. (Who else geeks out over stuff like this?) There are booklets with craft points and reminders, and super-fun things like idea cards. This, from the Writer's Digest kit:
Write a new story using the first sentence and the last sentence of your favorite novel or short story as your starting and ending lines.
There are minute-timers and wheels of inspiration, and more. With The Writer's Toolbox, I can choose my protagonist's action (takes up dancing), an obstacle (fear of heights), goal (to know God), or get a jumpstart on the protagonist himself (Devin, with a gift for comedy), or expound upon plot twists and dramatic turns.
I have yet to really use them, just been so busy. Except now, there's a perfect opportunity to try out my new toys:
Zoetrope is holding its 14th Annual All-Story Short Fiction Contest. Follow the link for all the details, but it's worth mentioning here that three prizewinners and seven honorable mentions will be considered for representation by some of the most reputable literary agencies.
This news makes me squee just a little bit. 10 people!
I'm gonna do it. I have to enter. I just need to brainstorm a little first...
Do you have either of these kits, or anything like them?
If you're a fiction writer, will you enter the contest?
**My newest article is up at the Rose and Thorn Literary Journal blog. Please check it out!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Milestone, Time to Shine

I feel rusty with this blog thing. And it's only been two weeks.

Funny how easily it becomes a way of life, this medium, this expression, and the second you step away is like the second you lose part of yourself.

Well, I'm back, and the timing is perfect. Today is my kids' first day of school. This day has been building--though hazy, and bittersweet--in my mind and dreams for seven years, since my first daughter was born. It comes to fruition now that my baby begins kindergarten. It means they'll be away, all day, both of them. Entrusted to others, my duties suspended several hours at a time.

It means more bits of time will once again be my own, and I've a new routine to develop and follow. My daytime responsibilities will shift; I will devote myself to writing like I couldn't before. I will buckle down, get things done. Finish manuscripts, seek a willing agent, pursue publication.

It's time for growth, theirs and mine.

It's time to shine.

PS. I'm missing you all! Will start making my way around the blogging community, too.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Last Vestiges of Summer Vacation

Two weeks. It's all we have left, before school starts.

We've an out-of-town wedding to attend (and family to see). A float trip, riding and rowing, sweltering and splashing. Vacation church school, which my husband and I are spearheading (ack!). And, hopefully, a day we can squeeze in the state fair, which has become a tradition with our kids.

There are dinners at which to gather, and things to bake and prepare, shopping to do. Swims in the pool before it's too late, lake waters to float upon, games to play, books to read, before summertime sets.

Two weeks.

I'll be back August 18th or so...

Monday, August 2, 2010