Reflections on The Beginning of Fall

Yes, I know fall began a few weeks ago, and I know the school year began a few weeks before that, but bear with me. I’ve not done the best job of keeping up with this blog because of the beginning of the school year. It always seems to take a couple of weeks for everyone to get adjusted to the new schedule. Also found some things to add to the schedule since last writing in this blog. Both boys are now participating in a homeschool bowling league and are having a blast. John is also playing fall baseball, and that’s been a positive experience too. I’m certainly learning my way around Birmingham which will be helpful once both boys are playing baseball next spring.

Now, on to the reflecting part. Today is a painful day for me. One year ago I had a miscarriage. It’s hard not to think of how different things would have been if I had carried my baby to term. I would have been an older mother, a wiser mother, a different person than I was when my last child was born thirteen years ago. But it wasn’t to be, and I’m okay with that now. So much good has happened. Steve has been with his job for a year. The boys are happy and healthy and have made friends. And I know everything that I have been through will make me a better writer. I leave you with this poem.

Just think of me, and I’ll be there, 
I’m always around, I’m everywhere, 
I’m in your dreams when you sleep, 
I hear your cries when you weep, 
Don’t be sad, wear a smile on your face, 
all my sufferings in a better place, 
I’ve left this world, my bodies gone, 
but in your hearts my soul lives on, 
I know you’ll grieve and suffer pain 
but one day soon we’ll be together again 

Author Unknown

 

Until next time, be real!!!!! 

 

Owning Your Words

What is it about the Internet that makes people want to be cruel and nasty? Is it because they can be anonymous, that they’re not talking to someone in person? Some people say so. Is it because they just don’t care? Some people say that too. Is it because they think they have the right to speak like this because of freedom of speech? I’ve heard that as well.

For myself, I think it is a combination of the three. I think it is sad in our society that people aren’t allowed to have different views without being personally attacked. Over the last few weeks, I have read or heard about many such instances and have come to the conclusion that I need to own my words and consider what I’m saying when I make comments on the Internet.  If I’m reviewing someone else’s work, I need to concentrate on the work itself and nothing else. If I’m replying to someone else’s comments on Facebook or Twitter or any one of the number of sites that I visit, I need to reply like I’m in their presence and treat them with kindness and care. I believe if more people did this, we would be better off as a society.

 

Until next time, be real!!!!!

Planning

I started something this morning, and as I usually do, I thought of how it related to writing. As my About Me says, I am also a homeschooling mother of two. They are boys who are 15 and almost 13 and are entering the 10th and 7th grades. This will be our seventh year of homeschooling, and I have embarked on the planning phase of our studies. That involves getting all the books out that I have bought for them and planning how many lessons we are going to do each week and planning out what our schedule for the new school year will be. It is so nice to feel more settled this year as we had just moved to Birmingham at the beginning of last year. Anyway, not only do I plan out what the school schedule is going to be for each of them; I plan out what my schedule for the year will be. This schedule usually includes: what times I will be working with or teaching each child, household matters such as cooking, cleaning, paying bills, and whatnot, exercise,  and for the first time this year, I will place a specific time for writing in my schedule.

Now, I will tell you how writing relates to planning. There are some who say they are going to write, but never get around to it because there are always so many things that can get in the way. But if you have a specific time set aside to write, there is not a whole lot that can get in the way of that because it’s on the schedule. I know some of us who write don’t like to get caught up in planning because they are waiting to be inspired, so to speak. 🙂  For me at least though, I find I get my best writing done when I am actually in a writing time.

Until next time, be real!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Doing it Yourself

For those of you who live in the United States and keep up with the news, there has been a lot of publicity over something the current president said about business owners—essentially that they didn’t build their businesses themselves, that they didn’t put in the effort themselves. It was only because of the government that their business was successful. This is a paraphrase, but is essentially the general idea.

Now, leaving the political discussion behind for a moment, I thought of how that could affect those of us who write. What if people who write didn’t put in the effort to write? How much would our society lose if that happened? I believe that can already been seen in the general writing skills of the population–poor grammar, poor organization of thoughts, and the abbreviated way we express ourselves on the Internet. Is that the fault of the educational system not putting the time in to teach proper English skills? Is that the fault of the home with two parents working and not requiring more effort out of their children? As a parent of two children, I always try and be cognizant of the things I can do better, and this would be one of them, that doing it yourself, mastering a skill yourself is always more satisfying than letting someone do it for you.

What do you think?

Until next time, be real!!!!!!

Write about your Passions

I know a lot of us who are writers are interested in eventually getting published, and what that involves is someone thinking that whatever we have written is going to be the next big hit. And while we should pay attention to the audience we’re writing for, I believe that being passionate about what we’re writing plays a big part in this. If you are writing about an experience that is close to you or a story that has captured your heart, you have more invested in making your writing interesting. This also helps in pushing through the inevitable writer’s block and through the rejections that all writers receive.

So, what do you do to reflect your passions in your writing? How do you make your writing interesting if it’s not something you’re passionate about? There are things that I’ve read that aren’t interesting to me at all. But, I know if they’ve been published in some form or fashion, they are interesting to someone. Would really like to hear your thoughts.

Until next time, be real!!!!

 

 

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

For the last several days, I’ve been thinking about what I want for this blog, and that is why I haven’t posted anything. Still working on some stylistic issues too and hope to have those resolved in the next week or so. But there were events last night which caused me to doubt myself and my hopes and dreams of writing which is why I am here this morning trying to resolve them by writing.

Have you ever had someone close to you say that your dreams are silly or unworthy or any other term that was not encouraging? Or even to imply those things, not necessarily saying them, but saying enough for you to know that was what they meant? Well, it happened to me, and I’m trying to sort it all out. I talked with my husband for a long time too, and I realized something. When that happens, we need to find people that support us and that believe in us no matter what. It doesn’t matter if they’re in real life or online. It’s just important that we have the support especially as writers since writing is such a solitary endeavor.

So, for those of you who are reading this, I would like to know where do you get that support when you feel discouraged? When you can’t find the right thing to say? When someone tells you that your dream of writing is not worthy to be considered a dream? And most important, how do you get rid of the negative influences? I really appreciate all of you who have taken the time to read this.

Until next time, be real!!!!

What Inspires Me

Inspiration—a writer is always looking for inspiration, and I am no exception. I hadn’t thought a whole lot about what inspires me though until yesterday when another blogger nominated me for an award. (Thank you, Marina!) It has been nice to find such a supportive group of writers on the Internet. Anyway, here are the list of things that inspire me in no particular order.

1) science fiction and all the new ideas it represents–I’ve been a science fiction buff for so long you would think I have this down, but I’ve recently subscribed to several authors and editors’ FB feeds, and I have learned so many new things by reading and watching the things they enjoy.

2) new places and new foods I’ve never tried–I can’t do all the traveling I would like to do, but I can look at pictures and imagine myself being there. But, I can try new foods. I had a lamb burger the other day, and it was yummy.

3) writing down the perfect sentence or the perfect passage for my story–When I can put my thoughts down on paper, and it reflects exactly what I want to say, I get excited. What can I say?

4) sunrises and sunsets—The colors in the sky are a tapestry and represent beginnings and endings to me.

5) ocean—When I go to the beach and view the ocean in its majesty, I am reminded of the potential it represents.

6) And finally, I am inspired by everyone who writes. Each of us has different things to say–not any more valuable than the other. It is a privilege to be associated with all of you and to call myself a writer. Thank you!

Until next time, be real!!!!!

Day 15 – Serving

Today is the last day of the challenge. I have learned so much and have been stretched out of my comfort zone, and I have met so many nice people. First, I would like to say thank you, Jeff, for the challenge. While I had made the commitment to step up on my writing this summer. I had never dreamed of exposing myself the way I have during this challege. I have grown as an author and as a person.

Now, to the final challenge. Jeff says that to serve people, we should do three things. 1) solve problems 2) answer questions 3) help people  I don’t really have anything I could give away yet. But I do have a talent of proofreading that I could offer. If someone has a piece they would like me to look at for the grammar, I would really enjoy being able to help you out.

I hope that all of you who are writers are able to continue to develop the consistent writing habits that this challenge has fostered, and thank you to all who have commented.

Until next time, be real!!!!

 

Day 14 – Branding

Branding—Jeff Goins defines it as an “impression you leave on a customer or reader; a mental imprint.”  It’s like when people get a first impression from someone. Sometimes that impression is accurate; sometimes it’s not. That’s why he says that marketing and self-promotion are important to being a writer. Creative people have resistance towards that–I have resistance towards that, but it’s something I’m thinking seriously about right now because writing and all of what it involves is my future. I want people to read my words whether they read my blog or the stories I’ve written or even the book I want to someday publish. According to Jeff, there are three steps to creating a brand:

  1) Pick a Name: Whether it’s my given name or a pseudonym, it’s something that needs to be consistent over all of the parts of my website presence as an author.

  2) Create an Image: A picture or logo–something that I want people to recognize me by. It goes along with number one in that I need to use it in all the places I have a website presence.

 3) Finding your Voice: This is my style as a communicator. I’m still in the process of figuring this out, but I think just being consistent with my writing every day will help tremendously.

 

If you have any ideas about any of these or would like to share what you are doing, I would welcome reading about it in the comments.

Until next time, be real!!!!!!

Days 12 and 13 – Provocation and Publshing

I’m doing these two days together because, well, I couldn’t figure out anything to say about provocation yesterday. But, I was contacted by a writer from Jeff Goins’ blog because I had offered to proofread something for her. (Hi Tracy!) Once I had done so, I sent her back a response detailing my thoughts and stating some of my own thoughts about some things going on in my personal life. She sent me back a response this morning with the perfect quote about how she sees provocation, and I realized it dovetailed with my feelings. “I am bascially a big coward when it comes to causing confrontation or conflict. I am more of a “why can’t we all get along” type, and I lose sleep over the idea of people getting upset with me.” Why, why am I like that?? I don’t want to be, and I can’t be anymore. The person that I want to be can’t be that way anymore. So, today, I commit to sharing my blog link with those who might not like what I have to say, to having the conversations that people might not like, and to becoming the person and writer that I am meant to be. Here’s to courage that I didn’t know I had.

Publishing–wow, Jeff, you just keep heaping on the challenges. Funny how my thoughts had been leaning in that direction. I don’t have any pieces that are ready to send off today. However, I am working on a short story for my next writing course assignment. When I was planning it out a few days ago, I received an email about a short story writing contest from Writer’s Digest. I planned out the theme of my story to match the requirements of the contest. And I am going to submit it when I’m finished. July 15 is the deadline. I challenge all of you who are reading this blog to keep me on my toes and celebrate with me when I cross the finish line.

Until next time, be real!!!!!!!!!