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Well, obviously I did not follow through on the blogging resolution. I hate resolutions. I am seriously trying to decide if I should keep this going or if I waste valuable writing time by babbling away through my fingertips. Yes, I started this blog as an outlet for my NEED to write, get the words floating around my head out so I would not develop any more personalities. In turn, blogging introduced me to the wider world of writing available on this here Web. I’ve learned so much about writing and publishing, both traditionally and independently. I’ve also learned about my own writing, as in: what I want to write, how important writing is to my life, and what my shortcomings are.
Often, I think about “My Blog” as if it is a favorite old hangout, where I “used to go,” but which feels different when I occasionally visit now. Does that make sense? I admit that when I branched out and realized just how many people were blogging about the same or similar topics, I lost some confidence, or perhaps just the novelty wore off. I found myself comparing my blog with others, which are better written or “more popular” or funnier. It feels like high school again.
Is this whining? Or just the thoughts flowing out of me again? I want to be a better blogger, but I also want to be a professional writer, so I feel the need to focus more on that now. I am torn, though, because I know that blogging stimulated my writing in the first place, and I know I do not want to completely give up.
I have started posting on tumblr, which makes it easy to pass on links without feeling the need to create an accompanying post. Also, you may have noticed that I am firmly addicted to Twitter. Did Twitter kill my blogging buzz? Maybe. It is a fantastic forum that allows us to “micro-blog” and find resources, and of course, socialize. (Though to snark for a moment: I think I liked it better before the brand names and MSM discovered its potential for PR and marketing. And who really trusts “social media experts” who have 50,000 followers, but post the same links constantly? Not me.)
Anyhoo, this is just a check-in really. I am not quitting, but I am trying to let go of the nagging feeling that “I should be blogging” when I know I really should be WRITING and/or cleaning my damn house or any of a multitude of duties. I didn’t even plan on writing this post when I logged in today; it just sort of “flowed” out of me. Maybe My Blog is the outlet I need after all.
(Ironically, I was actually thinking of doing Poetic Aside’s Poem-A-Day challenge again which means I may post more in April *fingers crossed*).

Just thought I would pop in and visit. Though I have completely fallen off the blog wagon, I am making plans for my new year which include, um, blogging more. I am sure I said this last year too 🙂 But seriously, I’m planning a regular schedule to try and keep focused. Recently, I have been letting the family duties and schedule take over my writing time. Wish me luck! Hope you guys are having a good holiday season and a safe, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Glaring isn’t it? It makes it look like I am slacking already but REALLY, it’s a reminder of last night’s NaNoNightmare.

As I said, I want to use this NaNo to really focus on getting in the habit of writing every day, which really means every night, for me. I can get in the flow and write a lot better when I do not have juvenile distractions and other duties to perform. I have eagerly looked forward to 9pm (aka: bedtime) every night. Last night, I was somehow waylaid and it was closer to 10 when I got back online. So, I used Write or Die which helps me do fast sprints. 2000 words in 90 mins was my goal and I made it, passed it with time to spare and was typing along when everything disappeared.

The whole computer was off. The screen was black, my headset was silent. I almost passed out. It was raining, and we do tend to get the power blown out sometimes, but no, the rest of the house was still electrified. So, trying not to panic (i.e. “cry”) I got on my hands and knees and checked every freaking plug and wire and yes, the main cord to the tower was wedged loose. But, I still thought all was lost. I  felt like a loser who had just lost over 2000 words and I was mentally kicking myself while watching the computer reboot.

I knew that if I had been on Scrivener, like I was supposed to be, the Autosave function would have saved me (*maybe). And that if I was already a more dedicated writer, writing daily would not be such an issue. I also knew that  it was not an enormous problem; I am still on track and can easily finish at this pace. I was going to chalk it up to Lesson Learned and just take the red mark. I restarted Firefox, planning to just post a sob story about the words that got away. So, I was truly grateful to see Dr. Wicked’s tab open with *My Words* still in that wicked box. 🙂 Oh joy! I thanked the gods, declared my love for Dr. Wicked, and opened Scrivener. I Cut and Paste and Saved and Saved As and checked my word count and…

Seriously, then I could not find the chapters I had written the night before. Now, I was pissed. I like teh way I can organize and split up the document with Scrivener, but I thought somehow when I Split the entire text up, the new pages had been eaten.  I had seen them the night before, neatly filed, but they were gone. So I had the first chapter and what I had written on Write or Die. Fortunately, I did make backup copies, saving it in Rich Text and on open source software, on a flash drive, so I pieced it all back together and finally…

I made it back to the NaNOWriMo site to put in my update, waited…this week is definitely kicking their servers around…and the update saved– at 12:01 am! Seriously. And now, that red box just stares at me, taunting, mocking me. Let it stare. I know that I wrote, and I know that all of those obstacles were just tests, minor setbacks and that I met them all, kept trying, did not lose my shizzle, and I wrote. Tonight I will break 10K and I should be at 15K by Monday. I hope everyone else is having fun and remembering to BACK UP YOUR WORK!

Happy Summer! At least I hope it was. I  hardly can believe it is the middle of September. I am still catching up with Back to School.  Though I have been in absentia here, I am staying in my writing flow, and I am returning to the blog *soon* (Who knows? This could be the day!). I know this has been said before, but it’s true! I have been channeling my writing time and energy elsewhere this summer because my “spare” time was rare. Most of my summer was a blur of work, kids and heatwaves. I did do some good reading and, yes, tweeted away a few hours of my life. Well, more than a few. Some of those hours were my most productive though. I’ve found fabulous information and inspiration from people I have connected with on Twitter, including the community at YAlitchat. I even attended a virtual writing conference (which was “Fab-u-lous!”) which I learned about on writer chats. WriteOnCon was an amazing whirlwind of activity and information, mostly from pros in children’s publishing, but with plenty of publishing insight that most writers can use.  All for free! Next year’s conference is being planned already, and I highly recommend interested writers check out the archived information and forums.

I am almost done with this WIP and looking forward to going to a Real Live writing conference next month. I registered for the James River Writers Conference in Richmond, VA. I’m really excited and, of course, anxious at the same time. Fortunately, I feel well prepared from everything I’ve been learning online and in my own studying. The writing community here, there and everywhere is one of the most amazing facets of the entire vast Interwebs that I have discovered. I never cease to be amazed at the resources, outlets and support that I find.

This Fall, I plan to revive this blog and focus on sharing what I have found, and learned, as well as connect more with the networks I have online. This blog is going to go through more changes, just as I am. I remember when I started blogging, I thought of it as a learning process, starting in order to learn more about Blogging, in general. I liked reading other blogs, and as a writer, I wanted to understand more about the medium and try my hand at it. Like many writers, I turn to books and articles to learn about any topic at hand. I also like to practice new skills and improve my writing as much as I can. So, I jumped into blogging and learned even more about myself and my goals as a writer.

I have seen some chatter around town about what the term “writer” actually signifies. Apparently, the question is whether one must be published in order to actually call oneself a real writer. Personally, I don’t think so. And that’s not just the non-book-published writer in me speaking. I can’t really speak for non-writers, but I venture to guess that they truly feel a different way about writing than people who choose to write, no matter what the reward. I know that I will always be some form of writer, because I always have been. I have turned to writing as my most comfortable form of expression, since I learned how.There are people I know who scoff (or shudder) at the idea of writing for anything other than a grade or payment. Even if they were capable of stringing the standard 5 paragraph essay together in school, they feel they have done their time and they do not write much more than business proposals and emails. Or not. Isn’t there something to be said for those of us who want to write, not just for the results, but for the act itself? The closet poets, daily journal-keepers, aspiring novelists, and, yes, bloggers? We are definitely writers~aka, people who write.

Well, all that being said, there is still the fact that one cannot call oneself a blogger and not actually blog. I saw my “Last Post” listed under a comment on someone else’s blog and I was embarrassed. I also realized how much I miss it when I visit some of my favorite blogs and see what they are up to, and what I am missing. I considered throwing in the towel, but I hate throwing anything perfectly good away before I have done all I can with it.

I have found that I put my writing into different focus depending on what is happening in my life, which projects are most important, the changing seasons, etc. Hence, my struggle to finish a simple coherent post tonight, when I know I really should be writing the climactic scene of my YA. I admire writers who can write several different types of projects at a time. I’ve been able to juggle better before, but I do have extra baggage and duties these days that don’t involve books or words. And they keep getting bigger.

I do tend to work on several projects at a time, but they usually complement one another. I am currently in my KidLit phase. I cannot stop thinking of  ideas and writing opening pages or sketches for future projects. I am working on a Young Adult novel now and I have several more in various stages, as well as the picture books I have written and am  currently submitting. Sadly, other channels of my writing flow are stagnating these days, including this blog, other sites I supposedly write for and my poetry. I can comfort myself with the knowledge that those words will return to me someday.

I will always be a writer, but now I am on the path to becoming an Author. For that is what I truly want to be. Authors have always been some of my favorite people. When I was young I felt like I truly knew and understood who Laura Ingalls Wilder was. Authors seem to be our extended friends because they tell such great stories. I always imagined that I would get along famously with my favorite writers. We would be able to talk and laugh and regale each other with witticisms and tales for many hours, if not days spent on dream literary vacations. In reality, I would probably get tongue-tied and go into a secret panic attack; I am so much more verbal in writing 😉

I did get a glorious opportunity to meet Margaret Atwood last Spring (which I meant to blog about, natch) and despite my desire to tell her how much her writing has meant to me (particularly CAT’S EYE and her poetry), I ended up blurting out that I follow her on Twitter. As trite as it sounded, this at least brought a smile to her face and we did have a mini-chat about the wonders of that social network. I will never be a writer of her magnitude, but she and other writers I love inspire me to use my ability, and desire to write, to improve the world, whether providing information or entertainment.

This post is in serious danger of becoming too long and full of personal drivel, which I have promised to avoid, but I did want to check in and do some dusting. I am going to be focusing more on what I call Writer’s Flow, as well as the condition of Writer’s Block. There are a ka-jillion great writing blogs out there that can guide you to better characters and query letters. I will surely link to some of the ones I find helpful, but I am still a virtual student too, so all I can really share is my own experience and what has helped me. I did attempt to start a separate Book Blog about an eon ago, which did not go far, but I will be using that to share non-writing books and literacy info I find.

If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me and I hope you will return to see the next phase of my Writer’s Flow 😀

{Prompt:Your character is determined to do something they know to be a mistake.}

The bells hanging on the door sound almost like church bells tolling doom instead of the cheap leftover christmas bells thta they are, hanging on frayed green and gold yarn. I swear the door slammed behind me and I expected everyone in the place to turn and stare at me. I paused, waiting, but they were all looking at the glittering jewel tones, trying not to acatch anyone’s eye themselves. It was only when the clerk asked if i needed anything that I realized I was standing in the middle of the entrance still, so I slunk over to the side, shaking my hand at him, denying, denying.
I hid behind a display of collectible sets for five minutes before I heard him speaking to a customer. Part of me was thinking I could make a bolt for the door and just get out of here. Should get out of here, but I felt stuck. I was here, I made it this far, and I was not sitting in the corner licking a bottle yet. Maybe I could make it through a simple purchase. Maybe.
I was walking down an aisle, tripping through a flashback slideshow of memories, linked to each different silhouette on the shelves. I couldn’t stop myself, I remember when I had that one in Vegas, I remmeber when Joe bought that one to the wedding, I remember…
Why I am here. Not for me, but now I can’t remember why not Those are good memories. Where are the bad ones? when DO they come floating in? Maybe it has been long enough as they say, or maybe not long enough, because it has taken me this long to walk down one asile of memories, and I still have not gotten what I came for.

So i literally take a big breath and start all over agin. Not at teh front door, but at least in my own mind. Noone here knows that I should not be here. In fact, maybe they should not be here. That thought at least carries me over to teh other aisle, where I should find what aI need. I mean, what I am here to purchase. Can;t believe it I am actually berating myself for doing a simple errand.

But it is not that smple, really, is it? I have been adding complex levels to teh entire chore ever since the PTA meeting last week when what’s her face said, “You can pick taht up for us, right? It should make a nice retirement gift.” I could have said no. Should have, but then I may have had to say why, and that was just not happening in front of her and the other moms. So I’m here. And it only took me twenty minutes to get from the car to the store, and now at least twenty to do the lap around.

[That was “at least five minutes” just to keep myself going, and now the teen’s home and I must run all over town again…have a good weekend all.]

Just a quickie because I want to share this link with the world. I recently discovered a group on WordPress called ReadWritePoem (see sidebar) and I just jumped at the chance to join yet another network. Seriously, it seems to be a  good network for poets and poetry lovers to gather. I am still checking it out and setting up camp, but I love what I see so far. I may even get the gumption up to submit some poetry 🙂  So, then I followed a link to a blog because the name “I Was Born Doing Reference in Sin” made me literally LOL, and I was fortunate to read the newest post called Why Do I Write from a poet named Arisa White, which is what I want to share. Definitely some very good reasons there i.e:

It is truly, the times when I feel safe. Free to take risk, to emote, and to be led by imagination without fear.

I believe we all have our own reasons, and some are more personal than others, but she has definitely summed up some of my own feelings. Hope you enjoy!

Thank you to Danielle over at Calliope’s Pen for bringing me back from my down swing. I guess i was burnt out after all of that forced creativity in April. I did finish the Poem-A-Day Challenge, writing several obviously rushed pieces in the last few days. Then I volunteered to read through not one, but two days worth of poems for Poetic Asides’ blogger Robert Brewer, who was under enough stress. It was a lot of poems. And a good lesson in itself. I feel more confident in my poetry writing now, but also know I still have a lot to learn and improve. Just when I was thinking I should give up on the novel writing and concentrate on other things, I was struck by another idea for yet another story, the kind where you wake up from a dream anxious to write it all down before it is gone again. That always feels good 🙂 So, even though I have not been on here, I have not been totally slacking, and I am working on getting back in the flow again. I still do not have  a job though. I guess we can’t really have it all…

PS: I am planning on doing a bunch of reviews in June, because I have also been reading [natch!].

The prompt today was to make the title of your poem “The Problem with [fill in blank]”. Here’s mine:

4/3/2009 8:31:39 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)

“The Problem with Poetry”

The problem with poetry is
it does not always come when you
ask and sometimes it does not mean
what it says. There may be a few

poets who do not agree, but
I have fought with the words at times.
Maybe I just don’t have enough
patience to wrestle with their rhymes.

Yet, I keep going back for more.
What looks good to one may not be
musical for another one’s
eyes. See, on that we can agree.

button designed by Elizabeth Dulemba

Share a Story - Shape a Future

I just learned about this blog, just in time to share before the festivities begin. This week, Mar 9-13 there is a blog tour  happening which concentrates on children’s literature and literacy. Anyone interested in kid lit, whether as a writer, teacher or reader, will find a plethora of information there. Each day is hosted by a different blog and covers a different theme/topic. I got the heads up through The Reading Tub whose blog is hosting the first day. There will be related downloads and giveaways too. As a mom, I look forward to gaining some insight into teaching the skill and love of literature to my own kiddos. As a writer, I think we can probably gain some insight into what children’s literature encompasses and how to write for young audiences. Either way, encouraging literacy in the new generation is beneficial to our culture, future and anyone who loves books.

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