Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday... time for a getaway!

Instead of a friday five, I'm just going to do a short post today. I'm crazy busy getting ready to go on a trip. By the time you read this, I'll be on the road to Cali for a Memorial Day getaway with my family before baby girl arrives. Woohoo!

Yes, I am super pregnant, and yes, that is a LOOONG drive for us. But I will get through it so that I can enjoy the feel of sand between my toes, the sound of the ocean crashing on the shore, the cry of seagulls overhead... Ah... I can't wait! We are staying in a condo right on the beach. My kids are so excited, SonB (who is 2) has been saying, "Mommy, I'm so essited [excited] to go to California! I'm essited to take my shovel and bucket to the BEACH!" all week.

We'll be gone until Wednesday, so until then, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend (for those in the U.S.), and a great start to your week. Catch you on the flip side!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Um... whoops?

So, apparently it's Wednesday. And I didn't do a post on time. Or even close to on time. Um, yeah. I have no excuse. Just... whoops. #sarafail

But probably everyone is at BEA anyway, and didn't notice my lack of posting, right? Man I wish I were at BEA. Someday I hope. Did anyone nab any awesome ARCs--particularly ones you would be willing to share with me? *wink, nudge, cough*

I did just buy Veronica Roth's DIVERGENT and can't wait to read it -- all I keep hearing is how amazing it is. I'm saving it for the holiday weekend.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Monday, May 23, 2011

A little J.K. Rowling to start the week

As most of my older followers know, I LOVE Harry Potter. I think J.K. Rowling is a genius. One thing that a lot of people overlook, are the little pearls of wisdom she sprinkled throughout her books. Here's one to start off the week:

"It is our choices... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." -- J.K. Rowling

Isn't that true? I know extremely talented people who just don't have the drive or dedication to make something of themselves; whereas I also I know people who maybe don't have as much natural talent who bust their butts and become incredible at what they're pursuing.

I know people who had amazing potential for good, but made choices that took them down paths of greed and selfishness and destroyed their potential. I also know people who were raised in enviroments where everything was against them, and they rose above it all and became amazing people who touch more lives for good than they could ever realize.

To put a little spin on the quote, it is our choices who MAKE us who we are.

What do you think?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Five: the late edition

1. As you may have noticed, this post is later than normal. Sorry about that. I don't really have an excuse except for being super busy. And also tired. And really, really pregnant. And busy.

2. As I mentioned in my last post, it's been raining here. A lot. So much that I'm beginning to wonder if we somehow got transported to the Northwest peninsula. If I were into sparkly vampires, my hopes would be getting higher for a sighting any minute now.

3. Because of that rain, my plans to take my kids to the zoo today (since SonA was out of school) got nixed. Bummer. Now I'm trying to figure out how to entertain him inside, at home, yet again. Maybe I should convince him that cutting and gluing preschool art projects is super fun; that way he can help me get my work done for my job and I'll have more time to write tonight. A 6-year-old's work would totally look good enough, right? I'm totally kidding, but it's a nice thought!

4. Pools are supposed to open next weekend, but I'm thinking it might not happen. High 40s and rain isn't conducive to sitting out by the pool. There go my plans to take the kids and let them swim everyday until I have this baby. I guess the bright side to that is the fact that no one will have to see me in a swimsuit while I'm this pregnant any time soon...

5. Writing is really therapeutic for me sometimes. I've been in a funk this week, most likely because of the icky weather. Confession time: I have barely written this week. *blushes* I know, I know! I always say to write every day and I usually do. I promise to rectify that immediately. Well, not immediately because I have to go make lunch for my boys, and clean up, and yeah. But you know, soon. Like tonight. When they're in bed.

What's on your mind this Friday? Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rain, rain go away

Does the weather affect your mood? I actually usually enjoy a rainy, stormy day. But we have had way too few sunny, warm days this year. I want the sun.

However, this kind of weather is conducive to writing for me. I love to curl up with my laptop, some beautiful music, and write to the sound of the rain pounding on my windows.

How about you? Do you have weather you prefer when you're writing, or do you not care?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blogger Lameness

The weirdest thing happened last week--Blogger stopped working! I couldn't believe it. Wait, you already knew that? Oh. Right.

Yeah, that was very strange and frustrating. But it seems to be up and working again, so hurray. *half-heartedly tosses confetti*

The saddest part is that you all had to miss out on my Friday Five because of it. I know, many tears were shed. I'm very sorry about the loss you all must have suffered. Ha ha. Ha.

So, back to business as usual now.

Let's get a little quotage to start the week, shall we? Here's a fun one:

“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” ~ Albert Einstein

I have a pretty active imagination, which can be good or bad, depending on the situation. Being scared of the dark because I am picturing all sorts of horrible things happening=bad imagination. Coming up with a new book idea that sucks me right into an awesome new world of characters=good imagination.

What about you? Where does your imagination take you?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Writing with distractions

As a mom of two young boys and a baby on the way, with a part time job, and my other "jobs" (housekeeper, chef, laundress, etc.), life is busy. I often get asked how I make time for writing. The way I get asked this varies from, "Wow, how do you fit writing in?" to "Boy, I wish I had time to write. That must be so nice." Ha ha. Ha. Cue my attempt to not appear annoyed. I have to make time for writing by sacrificing other stuff--TV, movies, sometimes the organization of my house, sleep... you know. The usual. I've posted about this before. I've also gotten good at multitasking. Thinking about plot stuff or my latest revision notes while making dinner or doing the dishes. Writing on my laptop while the kids play. Stuff like that.

Many of you are in the same boat, trying to write with young families, and some of you aren't.

Everyone is busy though, in their own ways. Everyone has distractions. Yours might not be miniature humans who require constant supervision, entertainment, feeding, cleaning, and care. But everyone has something (or many things) that could keep them from finding the time to write.

What are your distractions? And how do you make time to write?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Overcoming Writer's Block

Last week I talked a little bit about writing every day, and said I had some tricks for overcoming writer's block. I know everyone has their own method for writing, but here's a couple things I try if the words just won't come:

1. MUSIC. This is a big one for me. I almost always listen to music while I write, whether I'm blocked or not. This doesn't work for everyone, but for me, it's a biggie. Finding the right type of "mood" music for the part I'm writing can help intensify the emotions in that particular scene, and help the words flow easier. If I'm having a hard time writing, a lot of times I will listen to instrumental, usually from movie soundtracks, so that the words of the songs don't distract me.

2. Go back a few pages. I usually do this anyway as well, and I think by going back and reading over the last few pages I wrote, I not only write a cleaner first draft (because I'll catch mistakes as I go), it also helps me get back into my story and remember the details of where I was going. This way, when I hit that blank page, my mind is already flowing with the story, and I can keep writing.

3. Just start typing. Even if it totally sucks, I find that just by forcing myself to type something, ANYTHING, it makes the words start to flow. It might take a couple paragraphs before the words start coming faster, or it might take a couple of pages. Are there nights I give up if I've written two pages and it's taken me two hours? Yes. But at least I wrote something. And more often than not, when I force myself to write, I overcome the block and end up doing some of my best and fastest work.

When I push through, is everything I write amazing? No. Do I end up deleting a bunch of it? Sometimes. But more often than not, I'll go to bed thinking, "that was such a waste, everything I just wrote totally sucked." Then when I go back to it the next day, I'm often surprised to find that it's actually much better than I thought.

These are just a few ideas I use. What about you? What do you do to overcome writer's block? Because the honest truth is, once you have an editor and a deadline (which is what we all want, right?) you can't say, "Hey, sorry I'm only half-way done, but I've just been struggling with writer's block..." Yeah. Not so much. Make it a habit now to push on through, and you'll be very glad later!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Five

1. It was 70 degrees today. 70! There was much rejoicing throughout the land. I spent the afternoon weeding and planting flowers for my mom (to surprise her for Mother's Day) with my boys and my sisters. It was fabulous. I adore my mom, she is just completely made of awesome. She's always been one of my best friends. Love ya! Happy Mother's Day Mom!

2. Speaking of my boys, SonA's birthday is this weekend. He was actually born on Mother's Day (my first real Mother's Day!), and his birthday landed on it again this year. We will be celebrating on Saturday since Sunday will be so packed, and he can't wait! I can't believe how old he's getting. Time just seems to fly when it comes to how quickly my kids are growing up. Except when my two-year-old is throwing tantrums. Then, it could stand to go by just a tad faster. Okay, not really. But sheesh! ;)

3. Melanoma sucks. Why can't our society still think pale is pretty? No, we have to all wish we were tan (me included), even though I've already had a cancer scare on my back. I still long for golden skin. Lame, right? Ugh.

4. Also, why can't plump still be in vogue? Then we could all slather on the sunscreen, not get skin cancer, eat all the cake and ice cream and cookies we want, and die of diabetes instead.

5. Hmmm, I haven't seemed to come up with any thoughts on writing this week. So, here you go. I wish my laptop screen worked better outside. Because it's hard to see what I'm typing when I'm sitting out, enjoying the sun (with my sunscreen on of course), letting my boys play. It's a true dilemma.

So, wow, there's some random thoughts for you to round out this week. What are your thoughts today? Any fun plans for Mother's Day?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Writing: Career or hobby?

I had the opportunity to go to dinner with some great writing friends last night, including the awesome and hilarious Janette Rallison. We all met at the WIFYR conference a few years ago. I love getting together with other authors/aspiring authors and "talk shop" (plus a lot of other things--you seriously never know what's going to get brought up whenever this group gets together) (and I can't tell you upon pains of death and humiliation to all involved) (but one part may have involved Erin standing up to try and show us her new jeans and her chair falling over and hitting the older gentleman sitting behind her, and us trying to say she has turretts [because of an earlier incident in the night] while laughing hysterically, and him looking really angry at us, just as a mild example).

Left to right: Carla, Janette's daughter who doesn't want her name on the internet, Erin, Melony

Stacey, Me, Janette

One thing that Erin (the dark-haired beauty in the middle of the first picture, also the culprit of attacking innocent old men with her chair) and I were talking about at one point was how often to write. She was asking me if I write every day, and what if I'm having a day where I'm blocked and everything that's coming out is crap?

I told her I do write every day, even if I can only get 500 words out. "Even if what you write is so bad, you just have to delete it all the next day?" Yes, even then. It creates a habit, it helps train your mind, and get you into the necessary schedule of writing every day. If you want to be published, you will have to be able to do that. You can't take month long breaks because you're "blocked" if you want to be published. You will have deadlines that can't be missed, and you have to push through the block and keep going no matter what. There are tricks I use to help me get through writer's block, and maybe I'll talk about that in another post.

I guess it comes down to whether writing is a hobby for you, or if you want it to be your career. If it's just a hobby, then by all means, write when the muse strikes. If you want it to be a career, you have to treat it like a career NOW. Before you even have an agent, let alone a publishing deal? Yes. I believe that if you want something to happen, you have to act like it already has--create the habit and the mentality now. Act as if you already have an agent and an editor. It will just make it that much easier when it really does happen.

What do you think? Do you write every day? How do you get through writer's block?

Monday, May 2, 2011


Isn't it interesting how you wait for something for so long, and then when it comes, it's over before you know it?

That's how the A.F. Writer's conference was for me. I actually enjoy public speaking (gasp! I know, I'm weird), so the ten minute speech wasn't something I was too worried about. But I was nervous for all the classes I was supposed to teach. Particularly because I was team teaching them with one or two other authors (except for one that I was alone for). I'd never met the other authors before, so I had no idea what to expect. Luckily, they were all lovely, and the classes were really fun to teach. Everyone there was so nice and had some great questions for us to answer. It was fun to meet new people and to get to interact with other authors and aspiring authors.

I guess I learned a good lesson. Most of the time, the things we are nervous about end up being no big deal--and in fact, oftentimes, they end up being a great time. I'm glad I got to participate, and thank everyone who was so kind to me and everyone else involved.

How was your weekend? Can you believe it's May? The weather is forecasted to FINALLY be warmer this week. Hurray!