Tuesday, December 16, 2014
What's the secret, you might be asking? I got up early. (Woo hoo!)
This is pretty much what it looked like:
That, and I've been doing more "positive thinking" work lately, and I have to admit...it does make a difference.
I'm not usually an early riser. I get up around 7:30 to help my youngest be out the door for school at 8:15. I start my writing day at 9:00. But I've been finding--especially during this busy holiday season--that my days get waylaid and before I know it, I'm on the phone or answering emails, or running out to do errands. I get home sometime in the afternoon, and my creativity is spent for the day. So this morning, when my husband got up to run at 5:00, my one dog kept scratching at the door to go outside. By the time I let him out and back in again, it was 5:45 and I decided to just get up and get going. I'm so glad I did! I had 1,000 words down by 8:00. Made myself a breakfast of Cream of Wheat and 2 clementines (I love these little guys!) and got my youngest on the bus. Then....came in, caught up with my mom and sister then changed and got on the treadmill for 30 minutes. All of this before 10 a.m.!! I'm so happy, and physically I feel great.
I know this may not sound like much to those who love exercise and get it in every day, but for someone who struggles with this sort of thing, it's major.
And my thinking has a lot to do with it. I've been working on telling myself I'm worth the effort lately. I'm worth taking care of myself. God wants this for me. My family wants it, too, so I feel more motivated to get some sort of exercise in than I have in a while. And I'm trying to take it easy on how hard I hit the exercise button. I'm taking it slowly, and that's fine.
I hope anyone reading this is having as good a day as I am. We'll see what tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. brings, but for now, all is right in my world.
Monday, December 8, 2014
Monday, November 10, 2014
Saturday, October 4, 2014
I'm also going to brag just a little, because my husband built these for me. We're still in the process of renovating this office (note the sub flooring and dismantled crown moulding...) but this is what I have so far. I'm also not finished decorating the shelves. My husband is an insurance exec, but he really should've been an architect. He's a talented woodworker as well. I am blessed to have him in my life for numerous reasons, but his handiness is one of them. I enjoy writing in this space very much. Thank you, honey!!
Sunday, September 28, 2014
I wish people would stop food shaming.
Last night, my daughter babysat these two, great kids. They come from a nice family, they're well-behaved and creative. But when they wanted a snack, and my daughter ran through the list of choices--two of which were some candy treats or ice cream (ok'd by the mother) the children refused saying, "They're not healthy choices."
Ok. But what about when you just want a piece of candy or a dish of ice cream? What I took from hearing about this conversation was that these children have already gotten the message: that it's not "right" or "good" to choose candy or ice cream. I mean, if they really wanted an apple or banana, great! More power to 'em. But if they wanted the candy or ice cream, that "should" be fine, too. But they're already reciting the mantra. They're drinking the Kool Aid, certainly with no sugar added.
And what if my daughter had wanted ice cream? Well, I know my daughter. She would've had the ice cream and enjoyed it whether the two kids deemed it a "healthy choice" or not. She's strong like that.
I know there may be people who may read this and give kudos to the kids for making "healthy choices" and I get it. Most kids in the U.S. today don't know about healthy choices. I guess because of where my head is at the moment, I see the food shaming side of this scenario more so than the healthy choice argument. It just kills me that these kids--ages 10 and 6--are already making comments like this.
We humans and our food issues. We start young, don't we?
Friday, September 26, 2014
For those of us old enough to remember, this is Nellie Olsen, from Little House on the Prairie. The queen of "Negative Nellies."
How do you handle negativity and negative people?
I received some great advice from my mother when I was younger. She said, "Whenever people vent, or share something negative about someone else, put it out of your mind. Try to forget it." These words of wisdom helped me in two ways: first, I learned that by putting negative thoughts/opinions out of my mind helped me not repeat what I'd heard. Second, I learned not to carry the negativity of others around with me. I have enough baggage of my own; I don't need to take on other peoples' problems.
I've put this advice into practice so much over the years, that I feel I've perfected it. This past week, a a "negative" issue arose where I had forgotten some key pieces of information. One of the people with whom I was speaking about this issue thought I was nuts; at least, that's how I felt when this person reacted to something I'd said. How could you not remember that? I had to explain that when negative information is being bandied about, I listen with half an ear. I don't want to be drawn into the negativity. It's not that I'm being disrespectful or uncaring about a person's upset. It's more a matter of self-preservation.
I know many people who thrive on this kind of emotional interplay. They listen as the "Negative Nellie" goes on and on about something or someone, then the person or people get sucked in. It's like a tornado of negativity. Before you know it, everyone's up in the funnel, being tossed about. One person passes on the negativity to another and so on, and so on.
This isn't the case with my friend who thinks/thought I was nuts this week. Her problem is that the Negative Nellie is impacting my friend's life and she can't seem to get away from the swirling vortex of detriment. The Negative Nellie may have some serious emotional issues, which only makes things worse.
I beat myself up for a few days because I felt stupid for not remembering important bits of information regarding this negative upset, but now I'm comfortable with how I handle this sort of thing. I don't remember because I've put it so far out of my mind, and I'm happier for it. My friend can't help but be impacted by this bad juju. She's closer to the Negative Nellie than I, and has more cause for interaction with her. So I keep everyone in my prayers in hopes that things will get better for them. Meditating helps as well. I'm finding that meditation is the cure for many emotional issues I encounter in life.
This clip sums up what I'm feeling and what I'm trying to say in this post:
Now on to the positive side of my week...
Last weekend, the group of which I'm a member, Women Who Write, held their annual (soon to be bi-annual) conference last Saturday. I met with three agents regarding both of my WIPs, my novel and my memoir. I got good feedback on both! Two of the three agents told me I could submit to them after I make some revisions. I was thrilled! I haven't had positive feedback on my writing in a while (outside of my wonderful critique group) so this was just what I needed. I feel motivated and energized to get some work done. So I should probably stop blogging and get to "real" work.
I hope for anyone reading this that if you're dealing with negativity in any way, you take my mom's advice: listen, then forget it.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I came across this great article on the Atlantic.com website. It's by Megan Mcardle, and the title grabbed me because it picked on writers as being the worst procrastinators. You can read the article here:
The gist of the article is that writers are procrastinators because we often were the ones who excelled in English class in high school, and while our teachers were busy explaining mundane grammar rules to our fellow students who didn't "get it" as easily as we did, we were learning that we were smart and it came easy and we just understood things like grammar better than other people. In short, we learned that being smart and successful was "easy" and didn't take much work. This translates into our writing careers now as that writing and publishing should be easy. We shouldn't have to work that hard at it or, God forbid, fail at all, because it's always been easy for us. That "success in work depends mostly on natural talent."
We procrastinate because we fear failing, or submitting something that's "bad." We put it off until the last possible second, as a deadline looms, then turn something in. Because turning something in is better than not meeting that deadline.
I guess it's nice to know that I'm not alone, that I'm in good company when I procrastinate. But man, I hate that I do it! In fact, by writing this blog post I'm procrastinating right now. I should be working on my "elevator pitch" that I'm supposed to practice with my writer's group tomorrow. I should be working on a practice query letter for a writing conference I'm attending this Saturday, but I absolutely HATE query letters. I've been working on this letter for the past two days. It's killing me. It's harder to write then the darn book I've been writing! (Why are queries so challenging??).
The truth is, I spend most of my days procrastinating. My dad asks me all the time, "How's your writing coming along?"
"Great!" I lie. And then I think of how I've spent the last week doing things other than writing...
- researching colleges I think my daughter would like to visit (SHE should be doing this, not I!)
- email, email, email
- buying mums and pumpkins (things like this can always wait, can't they?)
- Candy Crush
- Words With Friends
- menu planning
Saturday, September 13, 2014
- my oldest daughter growing up and away from me
- my younger daughter's emotional/anxiety issues
- my evolving yet still tinged-with-strain relationship I have with my sister
- my rejected ED/memoir essay
Thursday, August 21, 2014
And this one?
As a tennis mom, this is what I'm working on at the moment: my Oracene Price face.
Oracene Price is mother to Venus and Serena Williams, arguably two of the best female tennis players in history. When I watch them play on the world stage, in big tournaments for big money, the camera often pans to their mother who sits stoically, yet supportively, in the stands. She appears calm, cool, collected...unfazed by what's going on with her daughters on the court. She's had years of practice and she must be very strong.
I, on the other hand, feel more like this when watching my daughter play:
When my daughter hits a winner, I want to pump my fist and yell, "Great shot!" But Oracene Price can't do that at Wimbledon or the U.S. Open. It would be uncouth. Just as it is at the high school tennis courts.
When my daughter falls behind or misses a shot, I want to scream, "Come on! You can do it!" But again, it would be unseemly.
So...I sit there, my insides twisting in angst, trying to maintain my composure. It's very difficult, as any other sports mom or dad can attest. Oh, if we could only run down there and play the games for them!!
Tennis season is ramping up for us, as is field hockey season for my younger daughter. It's a bit easier to yell my support at a field hockey game. Other parents will be there yelling support, too. It's played on a bigger field and it's all-around noisier, unlike the staid, polite tennis scene (how it's supposed to be, at least). It's all I can do at times to keep my mouth shut. I just get so excited and into the game! I can't help it!
So this fall, this is who I will summon up: Oracene Price, and her serious, patient, calm demeanor. My daughter hits a winner? Nice. She flubs an overhead? Who cares? Just sit and enjoy the game, I'll tell myself. Like the other parents...seem to be doing.
Hopefully, Oracene can be proud of me...almost as proud as she is of her daughters.
For me, keeping it together will take just as much mental toughness as it does to win Wimbledon.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Monday, August 11, 2014
Friday, August 8, 2014
I also admit that sometimes creativity hits me at the worst moments. Like, for instance, when I'm sitting in a cooking class and the woman lecturing on wine is a character herself and she says a number of things I want to use in my writing somewhere. But do I have my trusty little notebook where I jot down ideas when they appear on the spur of the moment? No. And how rude would that be, to start compiling notes about the woman when she's standing right in front of me, giving of her time and herself in order to expand my knowledge of wine? Ok, to be honest, I wouldn't care if it'd been rude or not, but I didn't have my notebook. This wanna-be writer knows, when creativity hits, take advantage of it. That's the only honest bit of creativity I've had this past week--in the cooking class I took with my husband last Friday. Here are some pics of us preparing scallops:
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Thanks to my Dynamic Duo (DD) Jenn and Ani.
It has also taken me years to learn this, but I'm glad I finally learned it. And maybe it just takes years to learn these things because that's what life is: living and learning. Anyway, from Joel Osteen:
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Our eldest has been away for the past couple of weeks. Last week she went to visit family friends in Ohio. I brought her home last Saturday and at 6:15 the following morning, she was down at our church, loading into a van and heading to North Carolina on a high school mission trip. When she was in Ohio she was running around, having lots of fun and rarely texted me. :o( I had to text her first and she would reply. Ok, I know...at least she answered me. This week, we were advised by the mission trip chaperones that the kids would not be allowed to have their phones with them while working, and that the focus of the trip was fellowship and helping others, so we should not expect to hear from them. I get it. But I hate not hearing from my daughter. It's killing me.
This daughter, who turns 16 next week, is heading into her junior year of high school and as anyone who's gone before me knows, this means more challenging academics, ACTs, SATs and college visits. It means preparing our baby to leave us.
Let's get the cliches out of the way.
- She has grown up too fast!
- We blinked and she's 16!
- It seems like she was toddling around just yesterday!