Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pizza, Vegatables and New Goals

        Today was a busy but relaxing sort of day.  It began with the normal early morning madness that happens when you have three energetic children, a  hungry puppy that is learning not to bark in the house, and a husband that works swing shift which causes him to need peace and quiet so he can sleep for a few more hours.  I survived!  I even made it to my daughter's homeschool ballet class (with 3 fed and dressed children!) and a lunch time play date.  My eldest son was a bit disturbed that I brought a bag of school books with us on our adventures but that is the only way I could fit in all that needed done today.  We topped the day off with pizza, more friends and a trip to pick up our organic produce order.
       I am happy that we made it through our busy day and I am even more pleased that it has left me feeling calm and ready to write.  So often I feel drained at the end of the day.  It is so hard to be motivated when your body and brain are screaming for sleep.  When I lack motivation I end up going to bed without accomplishing the extra things I want to do,  primarily my writing.   I have made a few goals that I hope are attainable and won't leave me feeling like I'm failing.

My writing goals for February are:
  • to map out my plot and characters for the YA novel I am working on (I thought I was a panster but I am very much not...)
  • write 500 words a day (whether that be on my current novel or a short story for a magazine) 

  • finally, to blog about it or the random things that happen while I am working on it. 
This isn't a far step from what I have been doing but now it is official!   Let the writing begin!


Monday, January 28, 2013

The Writer's Dojo

A note from me-

The more I write, the more I realize how vital it is to seek the advice and support of other writers.  I stumbled across "The Writer's Dojo" a few weeks ago and am excited to not only join but to be able to help spread the word as well.


              The Writer's Dojo is returning to its roots and invites you to join in on the fun! 
                                                       by Ali Cross

When I first started the writer's dojo in 2008, she did it as a way to keep the glory of National Novel Writing Month alive all year long. I loved the camaraderie and support I received during the month of November and desired that same feeling of community every month of the year, in every aspect of writing--not just the drafting.

Beginning February 1st, 2013, the writer's dojo returns to its roots and ushers in a new age of ninjawesomeness. Each month we will open three training rooms at the writer's dojo website. A room for drafters (Writing Month, aka WriMo), a room for revisers (Revising Month, aka ReMo) and a room for those querying (Querying Month, aka QuMo).

We invite you to set your own goals, whether it's to write a thousand words a day, revise ten pages a week, or submit twenty queries in a month, and register your goal in the appropriate training room.

Every Monday we'll post the leaderboard for the previous week, and at the end of each month those who met their goal will be able to post the coveted Writing Ninja Warrior badge on their blog or website.

To help you reach your goals, we have a number of ways to support you:

CHATS: At the dojo every Thursday at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time.

TWITTER: Anytime, day or night, at #writingninja.

GOOGLE+: Join our community for random write-ins and sprints.

NEWSLETTER: Subscribe to our Ninja News and once a month you'll receive an email with an encouraging note and a list of the top performers for the previous month. There will also be opportunities for giveaways, starting with February's newsletter!

We hope to see you at the dojo as you reach for--and achieve--your goals!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New look for a New Year

    I have been wanting to update the look of my blog for sometime now.  I know very little about designing an appealing blog but I do know what I like to see in one.  I feel that mine now reflects the current me better then my old layout did. 2012 was such a year of change.  I almost hope that 2013 slows down enough to feel dull and ordinary.  Almost... but not quite!


Book Review- "No Safe Harbor" by Elizabeth Ludwig

  Cara Hamilton arrives in New York City in 1897 in answer to a somewhat cryptic letter from her long lost brother.  She was expecting him to find her and for them to begin a new life in America together but instead finds herself caught in a web of political intrigue and deep set grudges.  A man shows up when she needs a friend most. Cara longs to trust him despite a warning from her brother to trust no one. 

    "No Safe Harbor" by Elizabeth Ludwig is a fast paced read.  I love a book that balances suspense with romance and history.  This book did it perfectly.  It also had strong but subtle messages of faith woven in.  It was inspirational yet never came of as preachy. I plan on reading more books by this author as soon as I can!

I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House publishing.



Friday, January 4, 2013

Book Review " Cleaning House" by Kay Wills Wyma

Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma (Chapter 1 Excerpt)   The book "Cleaning House" by Kay Wills Wyma was not what I was expecting it to be.  That was not at all a bad thing, however.  I thought it would be a slightly different take on the same basic cleaning principles that are covered in the vast array of  books that are on the market.  Instead I found myself reading a book that is about a mom who has decided to rid her home of youth entitlement.

   Kay Wills Wyma is the mother of five children and one day she had an epiphany.  She realized that her own children were victims to our age of entitlement. In a conversation to her sister in law she said, " I think I'm raising little socialists, the serve-me kind that are numb to the benefits of ingenuity and hard work, the kind that don't just need to be taken care of-they expect it."  She noticed that by doing every thing for her children she wasn't being as helpful as she intended.  She, like a great many parents in today's world, was sending the message of "I'll do it for you because you can't".   Instead of ignoring the problem she decided to start a year long journey.  She made a list of twelve things that she wanted her children to know before leaving home. Over the course of a year she worked on one item from her list each month.  The book covers each stage of her "experiment" with all of its ups and downs.
  I enjoyed reading about how this mom decided to go against the grain of society and teach her children to truly work instead of doing it for them.  As a mother of three this is an issue that I confront daily.  It takes courage to be the mom that steps back and allows her children to learn a task, even if they don't do it as well or as quickly as you can do it yourself.  By the end of the year the author had taught her children many valuable life skills ranging from running errands, to cleaning, to serving others.  The book is full insights and encouragement.  It has enough humor to keep it light and fun to read.  I plan on re-reading this book and implementing many of the ideas in my own life.

I received a free copy of this book to review from WaterBrook Multnomah publishing.