Time, Where Are You?

Here’s my newest writing challenge — the fact that I have been doing freelance work has gotten in the way of being able to work on my own writing projects, all of the stories I’ve started or thought up, the contests I’ve wanted to enter. It has all been put aside to make sure the stuff that people are paying me to write gets done.

I’m not thrilled about this reality. Of course I love being paid, but I miss my own writing. I have four young children, so my free time is pretty limited to begin with.  Perhaps I just don’t have time for the freelance thing right now. Maybe it will be easier when the kids are in school. Or perhaps I just haven’t found the right gig yet.

I’m sure I’ll get it all figured out. Hopefully soon. 🙂

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Once Upon A Time…

“Once upon a time…” Isn’t that how kids always start stories? Did you like to write even as a child? I did. My cousin and I used to write stories for fun often. Although I remember him always writing the same story. I think it would be pretty awesome to use his story idea and publish a children’s book dedicated to him. (Don’t worry, he’s not a writer. He won’t mind that I used his idea)

My kids are pretty young still, so they haven’t gotten around to actually writing down many stories. But man, can they tell them!

I’ve seen that PBS has a writing contest for children in grades K-3. I’ve wanted to get my kids in on this for a few years (probably since the oldest was in kindergarten) and have never actually gotten around to doing it.

Maybe this year will be the year. One more thing to go on the (never-ending) to-do list!

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Spring, Where Are You?

It’s spring. I think. You can’t tell by looking outside. You can’t tell by walking outside. It’s been cold, and snowy, and icy.

Whoever scared off spring, could you please go bring it back? I love all of the seasons. I really do. However, by the end of one season, I am ready for the next. It works out perfectly. Usually. I’m ready for spring. We got a taste of it. I packed away the snow boots. And then spring left again. I hope it’s back soon. I can’t wait to take the kids to the park. I can’t wait to be outside more often than inside. I can’t wait to get inspiration to write from the awesomeness of the great outdoors. I can’t wait for spring to come back.

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My Favorite Number

Do you have a favorite number? Mine is 8. My husband and I were married on September 8th, and it’s been our favorite ever since, which will be ten years this year.

We joke around about it being a good sign, but I don’t think I would say that it’s a lucky number or anything. But we do run across it all the time. I’m sure this is just because I am looking for it. In fact, I can now find the number 8 in almost anything. I have been able to take various addresses we’ve had and add or multiply the numbers until they equal 8, and things like that.

I know it sounds ridiculous and silly, but its something I share with my husband. One of those little inside jokes that bring us closer together. And that’s why it’s special.

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Back On Task

So, I don’t know what happened, but I completely forgot to blog for the past two days. And I don’t think I got any writing done either. I’m not really sure how this happened. I don’t think I was that much busier than normal, but maybe I was. Either way, I forgot.

But here I am, back on task, and hoping to stay that way.

Happy first day of Spring to you all! We had rain, hail, possibly snow, sleet, rain again, and now thunder. I wonder what tomorrow will bring!

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Second Room On The Right

I liked the writing prompt over at The Daily Post at WordPress.com today, so I went with it.

There were a lot of doors. I’d never seen so many doors off of one room before. Then again, I’d never seen a room so large. “The hall” they called it. The name seemed to come up short in my opinion.

The second door on the right caught my attention. I don’t know why. It looked just like every other door in the modernized Scottish castle. But for some reason I found myself walking towards it and pushing it open.

My breath caught in my throat as I looked into the room. While the rest of the castle had been updated to include all of the conveniences of modern day, this room looked like it had been untouched since sometime in the eighteenth century. It was simply decorated. A large bed sat centered on the far wall. The quilt covering it was beautifully made, but worn as though it had been used for a very long time. I walked over and ran my hand over it, as the door closed behind me.

I jumped at the sound and spun around, startled. It was only then I noticed the small table in the corner. There was nothing on it, except for a plain white candle, burning steadily, wax dripping down the sides.

I made my way over to the candle, meaning to blow it out. It wasn’t necessary, as it was the middle of the afternoon and sunlight was shining in through the open window. Wondering why it was lit in the first place I leaned over and blew gently. Just before the flame went out, I saw that the candle actually wasn’t the only thing on the table. There was a picture. It was of me.

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The Ride

You’ve submitted a story, a poem, an idea to someone, somewhere. Maybe it’s for a contest. Maybe it’s simply for a chance at publication. Maybe it’s a query for a book that you have written.

Days go by. Weeks go by. Months of checking your inbox, hoping to see the name of the person you have submitted your work to. Waiting… waiting… waiting for a response.

And then one day it happens. The name is there. Your heart starts pounding. You get a little breathless. This is it. This is what you’ve been waiting for. You click on the email and read… a rejection letter.

The excitement quickly drains away and is replaced by a feeling of complete and total failure.

This is part of the roller coaster ride that is being a writer. It happens. It’s not fun. But hopefully you get over it, you move on, you keep writing, and you keep submitting.

And you know what? I would rather receive a rejection letter that shows that I am at least doing something, than to receive nothing because I haven’t even tried.

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How many of you like to read Shakespeare? I love it, although I don’t always understand it. I actually took a Shakespeare class in college. It was very enjoyable, because everything I may not have understood on my own was explained. We read quite a few of his plays, and made a journal of quotes from them. I was just thinking of this journal today and realized that it has been packed away in a box for about two and a half years. I’d love to find the box and read through the quotes that I liked enough to record.

I got on this subject in the first place because Barnes and Noble had asked a question about Shakespeare quotes on Facebook today. Reading through all of the different quotes people posted really made me want to read one of Shakespeare’s plays. I think all of my copies of the plays we read in class are in the same box as the journal. I would love to find it. Not that I’ve had that much time to read lately. But I think that even just reading through the journal would be inspiration to write. And you can never have enough inspiration.

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I just have a short post for today. I’m wondering what other people find to be their biggest challenge with writing, or any goal or dream they are trying to pursue. So, what is your biggest obstacle? Is it a mental thing, like fear? Does it have to do with time, and lack of it? Or maybe something else?

And, how do you manage to overcome these obstacles? Or do you let them stop you? Just curious.

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I Like To Read At Home

Most writers like to read, which I think is quite natural. I’m definitely one of them. I love a good book and I can read for hours and hours on end. I can read when I should be doing other things. I can read when I should be sleeping. The thing I’ve realized is that I can’t read just anywhere. I like to read at home.

I bring a book with me pretty much anywhere I go. But I usually don’t touch it when I’m not at home. Sometimes I can read if I have to be in the car waiting for something (as long as the car is parked — I absolutely cannot read in a moving vehicle), but that’s about it. I can’t read in waiting rooms. I don’t read at the beach. I like to read at home.

This weekend my 8 year old son was in the hospital. He is fine and at home now, but we were there from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning. My husband brought the  book that I am currently reading to me on Friday night. It sat there until Sunday, without me cracking it open a single time. And it wasn’t because I was too consumed with worry to read. I knew that my son was going to be just fine and that there was nothing too serious wrong with him. The simple fact is that I don’t like reading in other places.

I’m not sure why this is. Maybe it’s because I like to observe what is going on around me, which I imagine is a useful trait for a writer to have. I don’t have to do this at home, because I’m obviously very familiar with home. But I still continue to carry books around with me, because I never know when I’ll need it. And strangely, it’s somehow comforting to have a book with me, even if I’m not reading it. Maybe it’s just from knowing that if I want to read something I can.

What about you? Where do you like to read?

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