Slacker(ish) Alert!

Okay, so I must admit that I was a little surprised when I saw that it has been 24 days since my last blog post.  Wow……there goes that New Years resolution!  While I’m pretty bummed that I let it go so long….I promise, I actually have been productive.  I finished my woman cave (a/k/a my office, a/k/a my writing spot).  It’s been awesome!  I’ve been doing research, including reading different aged children’s books to get an idea of what age group I would like to target.  I’ve really done quite a bit.  In fact, I even FINISHED MY FIRST DRAFT!  I just couldn’t stop myself last night.  The words just kept coming, so I just let them.  I’m feeling very proud of myself, but I’m dreading the next stage.  Revision.  I know how important this stage is, so I need to make sure and do it right.  I’d like to also work more on my characters as well.  So my question for all of you is, do you have any tips or suggestions on the revision process?  I’ve read that it’s usually good to let a bit of time go by in between revisions, but I would love some more pointers to help me along the way.  As always, thanks!

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My Woman Cave

I’ll start off by giving my bad news….my Grandma finally passed away on Wednesday afternoon.  It’s incredibly sad and I’ll miss her tremendously, but I know she was ready and she can now be at peace.

The good news is that, in attempting to keep my mind occupied, I have been very productive with my writing.  I am in the process of setting up my woman cave…a/k/a my writing space.  My birthday is Sunday and this writing space is my birthday wish.  We are turning our breakfast nook into my writing space.  It’ll have a desk, bookcase and whiteboard.  I started picking up some office supplies to keep handy and will order the desk and bookcase this weekend.  I also went to the library and picked up a ton of children’s books for research.  I’m trying to figure out what age group I want to target with my children’s book, so these books will help with that research.  I also picked up some books on writing children’s books so I could get some tips and pointers.  I started reading all of these books last night and have some great ideas.  I’m getting very excited about it all!

I talked to a good friend about really making my writing a priority.  I am going to commit myself to writing so many hours a week and if I don’t meet that quota, I will have some type of punishment.  I haven’t decided on that punishment yet, but I’m hoping that will get my butt in gear.

My question to all of you is…..do you have any tips on making a great writing space?  Also, any ideas for punishments on not meeting my goals?

Random Remarks

To make up for my pathetic post last week (all like 5 words of it..haha), I actually do have some updates for you guys.

I’ll start by telling you that I had an AMAZING time at Jeepin’ with Judd!  We were able to go on 5 trail rides and rode the moderate obstacle course.  It rained a good chunk of the day Saturday….but mud and Jeeps go together like peanut butter and jelly so this was obviously a non-issue.  This year’s event had a much bigger turnout than last years and there were some growing pains, but it was still a blast.  Here are some pictures for you!

Onto other things now.  My husband and I just had to deal with something that was so devastating to us.  It may seem silly to some of you, but it was a punch in the gut to us.  Early last week my husband came across a dog that the Sheriff’s office found running in and out of traffic on a busy highway.  They called animal control out and were told that she would likely be destroyed within two weeks because she was a pit mix.  Obviously, we couldn’t let that happen, so he brought her home with him.  We grew so incredibly attached to her in such a short amount of time.  She was THE BEST DOG EVER!  She was less than a year old, but was well behaved, housebroken, loving, affectionate, cuddly….just perfect.  Seems like it would be a no-brainer to keep her, but we had more factors in the equation to consider.  First off, we have two (almost) 16 year old cats that would absolutely disown us if we kept her.  We tried introducing them and it didn’t go well at all.  I know we could’ve given it time, but I really didn’t want to make their last few years of life miserable.  Secondly, we have an almost nonexistent yard.  She wouldn’t have room to run and play.  And third, we like to fly by the seat of our pants and didn’t think it would be fair to pass her off to babysitters so often.  Anyway…you know where this is going….we found a new home for her Wednesday.  We did update her on all her shots and got her all squared away with heartworm and flea prevention.  She’s in a wonderful home now and the new owner even named her Kelly (our last name) in honor of us saving her.  It still sucked and we both cried like little babies, but alas….it’s over.  Here’s Babygirl….n/k/a Kelly.

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I still miss her, but the new owner said we could visit anytime we want.

So while we were dealing with this whole dog drama, I got a phone call that my Grandma is going to be dying any day now.  Her last rites were even given.  So for the last two days, I’ve just been staring at my phone waiting for the inevitable.  It’s a terrible feeling.  I know that she is ready though and she lived a long life.  It also still sucks, but that’s life for you.

So believe it or not…..with all the ickiness lately, I do have a silver lining.  Book ideas have been flowing like hot lava lately.  I have one idea for a children’s book that I’m crazy excited about!  It’s something that hasn’t been done yet, but I see so many possibilities with it.  I’ll obviously have more on that as time passes.  I also came up with another idea that I’m really excited about for an adult fiction book.  I’m making my notes, but trying to focus on one thing at a time.  It’s just exciting for me because I was having such a tough time brainstorming stuff initially.  Now it’s just coming to me left and right.  Maybe with gloom comes gain.  I don’t know, but whatever it is, I’ll welcome it with open arms.

Another incredibly exciting bit of news……The Walking Dead starts in 2 days!!!!  Woohoo!!!

I did it!  (Insert Round of Applause)

So it’s not even 6:00 am on Friday morning and I am on my way out the door to head to Jeepin’ with Judd!  So this will be my quickest post yet.  Please excuse any grammatical errors.  I just wanted to send you all a quick update.  I FINALLY HAVE A GREAT IDEA!  It’s for a children’s book and it’s not a poetry book, but I feel like it’s pretty darn brilliant!  I haven’t seen it done yet, which is an obstacle I kept encountering.  More on this later…..had to meet my one a month quota.  I’ll have some updated Jeepin pictures too!  Have a great weekend!

A Shel Parallel

As a kid, I was dramatically obsessed with Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends.  I’m pretty sure I knew every poem by heart, yet still read it over and over again.  I’m not sure what made me think of it recently….but it’s been on my mind.  It got me thinking about possibly trying to branch out and try writing a children’s book.  A book of children’s poems to be more specific.  I just remember how big of an impact books had on me as a child, and I can’t help but think of what a rewarding feeling it would be to have that same effect on a young and curious mind.  I’m just wondering if anyone out there has tried this and can give me their opinions on it.  I will do some research but would love some first-hand input.  Anyone?

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

I finally started writing!  Alert the media!!

I’ve been so wrapped up in coming up with my storyline, that I never once put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard…I guess).  So last Thursday, I finally said, “screw it,” and just started writing.  I was hoping that the idea may just come to me as the words started flowing and that is precisely what happened!  I’m sure I’ll change the storyline numerous times along the way, but actually getting something down on paper is so completely gratifying.  Now my mind is swirling with all kinds of ideas!

I actually loved doing it too!  Thursday night, I could’ve stayed up until the wee hours of morning as the ideas just kept coming to me, but unfortunately, the 8-5 job doesn’t allow for that (insert frowny bratty face).  Not to mention, those stupid Powerball numbers failed to listen to my instructions Saturday night.  They’re so disobedient.  Oh well, maybe one day I can make writing my full time job.  One can dream, right?

Anyway, I am very excited about my ideas and can’t wait until it all starts coming together.  I will, of course, keep you all up to date on my progress.

Also, now that I’m finally moving forward, I would love any suggestions on organization, structure, etc…  I read something about a program called Scrivener’s that is helpful.  Does anyone have any tips on this, or unique methods you use?  As always, thank you!

Operation Success!

So I’m not going to lie….I haven’t done much writing the last week or so.  I’ve been down with a cold and pretty much spent the last 6 days on the recliner, in my pajamas, watching Maury, Price is Right, and all the other guilty pleasure shows we’re all too embarrassed to admit we watch when we’re sick.  However, I’m feeling better (for the most part) and am feeling a renewed hunger to write.  One cool update to report is that my writing exercise (this one) has been very successful.  If you’ve never done it, I highly recommend you try it.  Craig Hole, one of the guys that I’ve done this exercise with actually created a short story inspired by our exercise!  How freaking cool is that?!  You should check it out right here.  While you’re there, take a look at his blog!  The exercise really does help you with writer’s block and, for me, it has helped fill my brain with all these new ideas.

Since I’ve definitely deemed this exercise successful, I’d love it if anyone else out there had any other ideas or exercises that they’ve found to be successful.  Help a newbie out!!  Somebody?  Anybody?