Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What's Up Wednesday and Spring Writing Bootcamp Update

It's time for What's Up Wednesday!

If you are here for my Spring Writing Bootcamp Update and April Wrap-Up it is in the What I'm Writing section.

What I'm reading 

I just finished reading Balanced by Tricia Goyer.  It is all about balancing a family and a work at home career. I loved it! I'm currently reading Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs and am almost done with the audio version Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn. I have Cress waiting for me at the library but the roads are flooding... I can't wait to read it! My kids and I are reading Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates and Tree in the Trail by Holling Clancy Holling.

What I'm Writing

I am still revising Slumber but since I scheduled writing time into the day (and have been guarding it like a crazy person) I have gone from doing maybe a page a day to doing 5-6 :) If I can up that to 7 pages a day I can still make my Spring Writing Bootcamp goal of having this round of rewriting/structural edits done! It won't be by the end of April like I originally planned but I'm content with having it done at the end of May.
So to sum up April:

  • I exercised most every day.
  • I got into a decent writing routine.
  • I continued reading about revising and editing.
  • Except for the week and a half my toddler was sick (doctor visits, hospital ext.) I wrote 5-6 days a week.
I'm pretty happy with that! 
My May Goals are:
  • Exercise 5-6 times a week (rain and bears have made walking difficult to do every evening but I got some new workout DVDs)
  • Finish this round of edits.
  • Read over my fairy tale story so I can finish drafting it for JuNoWriMo
  • Write down the random ideas in my head and decide what to draft after the fairy tale story is told. I want to write 50k in June and I only have 20 k or so left in this one.
  • Find a critique partner that is willing to get into a series of parallel stories...

What Inspires Me Right Now  

I just saw the movie The Giant Mechanical Man. It was so inspiring that I started scribbling quotes down on my arm until I could get a notebook to record them in. The themes in it are very much like the ones I've identified in pretty much everything I've written so far (expect mine tend to be in a fantasy setting).
"Why do I have to be something? Why can't I just be me?"
-The Giant Mechanical Man
I've also found a lot of inspiration in the book I mentioned earlier, Balanced. It was that book that had me digging through my brain, looking for common themes in my writing and life in the first place. When I saw The Giant Mechanical Man and the quote I posted I was practically twirling in circles. It pinpointed what I was looking for and put words to it.

What Else I've Been Up To  
The weather is horrible today, as in schools are closed, roads are flooding, horrible. I've been curling up with my children and listening to the thunder rattle my dishes. We are having a painting, reading, chocolate pancake eating sort of day. I also quit procrastinating and made laundry detergent, primarily because I'm out and I'm not leaving the house in this downpour!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Writing Bootcamp Check-in

I haven't worked on my goals since last thursday. That's over a week of not writing. I think I might go mad. My toddler was sick and I spent days taking him to doctor appointments. He eventually ended up in the hospital. He is back home now and is feeling much better. Now that he isn't crying and needing held all the time I'm hoping to get back into my revisions. I dropped out of A-Z because my attention was needed elsewhere so that will no longer be apart of my goals.
My goals for this week are:

  • Set up a revision schedule for the week complete with phone reminders.
  • Revise every day.
  • Walk or exercise daily ( the bears are out so my husband doesn't always want me walking in the evenings...)
  • Write basic character and idea descriptions for a new idea floating in my head so it doesn't get away.

Go Team Mountaineers!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekend Book Reviews

Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate
First thoughts: I loved the mixture of old west and contemporary. I've never read anything quite like it.
What it's about: While following her dream of breaking into the film industry, Allie Kirkland finds herself in the wilds of Texas acting in a docudrama. Despite her desire to be on the production end of film making she finds herself enjoying being Bonnie Rose, a spunky pioneer teacher. Things didn't end well for Bonnie Rose or any of the residents of Wildwood and the more Allie learns, the more unsettled she becomes. Something is wrong and she doesn't know what it is or who she can trust.
What I liked about it: This book did a wonderful job of weaving history and contemporary stories together. The setting was fresh and exciting. The romance was light and the added element of mystery kept me guessing until the end.
What I didn't like: I can't think of anything!
Who I would recommend it to: I'd recommend this book to any fan of inspirational fiction. It should appeal to those who like contemporary or historical western settings, mystery and romance.

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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

M is for More

More doctor appointments. My toddler has an infection in his knee and it is causing him a lot of pain. We have been trying to figure out what's wrong at various doctors for a week now. So far nothing has helped it. If he is better soon I will continue A-Z but if not this might be my last post for the challenge this year. I love A-Z but my little guy needs as many cuddles as I can give him.
See you guys around!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

L is for Late

My son has been sick and yesterday was spent going from doctor to doctor. That is why this post is late and my next few may be as well. I hope you are all having a great week and good luck on the A-Z!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for Keys

Advice concerning keys and toddlers:

  1. Always keep them near the door incase your brain is frazzled by the time your ready to leave the house.
  2. Keep them higher than your toddler can reach.
  3. Keep anything that can be used as a ladder or stairs far away from the keys to prevent your toddler from accessing them.
  4. Keep anything that can be used to knock the keys down to the toddler zone closed in a closet.
  5. If all else fails keep the keys on your person at all times until the toddler in your life out grows his/her fixation with keys and locks.
I may or may not have had my keys disappear recently...

Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for Juggle

I am busy juggling homeschooling and a sick toddler who hurt his knee and has a double ear infection. I hope that whatever you are juggling, it goes well. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I is for Intentional


  [in-ten-shuh-nl]  Show IPA
done with intention or on purpose; intended: an intentional insult.
of or pertaining to intention or purpose.
(definition from

How much more would we accomplish in life if we lived intentionally? Doing what mattered, ignoring what doesn't? 

Anyway, something interesting to ponder :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

I'm a bit late but here is my What's Up Wednesday post!

What I'm reading  Last week I was in a reading rut. I barely read anything. This week I'm having the opposite problem. I am reading bits and pieces of everything. I wish I could settle into just one book or two but I lack focus apparently. I just finished Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (LOVED it), the audio version of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner ( loved it too!) and am now listening to Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Barbury while I clean up in the afternoons and Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn while I wash dishes in the evenings. I'm reading If I Stay by Gail Forman ( I didn't mean to start it yet but it drew me in... ) and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. Oh and some random poems and essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

What I'm writing  I'm participating in A-Z April so I have been writing lots of blog posts. I'm still revising Slumber and hope to have it done before the Spring Writing Bootcamp is over. I want to get back to drafting my fairy tale novel in June.

What inspires me right now  Words. Encouraging replies on my blog posts, a writer friend who encouraged me on Facebook, beautiful poetic words such as found in Emerson's works, words that my daughter is finally able to read (thanks to her new glasses), words that my toddler is finally learning to say (like "I want cupcakes" lol).

What else I've been up to
Besides reading and writing I've been busy with my children. Two of them are hungry every five minutes so I will probably be hitting yard sales looking for the next sizes of clothing in the near future, even though it seems like I just did that...

H is for Help

I was going to do a post on hindsight and how it can either help or hinder, depending on how you use it, but I've been hearing another word all morning. My all most three year old has been following me around saying, "I help you."
He wants to help me with everything. This morning it was the vacuuming. I tried to distract him, to have him wait off to the side but his lower lip drooped and he looked hurt. All he wanted was to help. I let him. It took me twice as long but he grinned the entire time. He is sitting next to me right now, chasing my hands with a paper alligator,
"helping" me blog.  I can't let him help with everything but if I'm willing to slow down and be creative I can find a way for him to help me with almost anything. He won't always be little. He won't always grin and skip when he helps me with chores. It would be a horrible waste not to except his help, at least as much as I can.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

G is for Grown up

I grew up.
I'm not sure when.
I don't feel old but when I turn
I see three miniatures looking at me
Each one wanting breakfast.
(From the rambling, before coffee brain of me...)

Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for Food

My kids are hungry all the time.  It doesn't matter if they just ate a stack of pancakes, two apples, a pear and and a scrambled egg.  They are still going to be hungry. It might take an hour but chances are it will be before I have recovered from the last meal. I don't know what I will do when they are teenagers... I'm already scared. 
I believe in feeding my family the healthiest meals that I can which means I make a lot of things from scratch. Since my family comes first and feeding them nutritious food is part of that I find it difficult to fit in my other priorities, writing in particular.  I've been working on streamlining my kitchen time so that I can have more time (and energy) for writing.
Here are a few things that I have been trying:
  • Freezer Cooking. I purchased this book and made one of the meal plans with a friend. It took 4 hours longer than the plan stated but I now have several meals on hand for busy days. They might not be as whole food as I prefer for everyday but they are way better than store bought convince foods.
  • Audible. How does Audible help me cook?  Well, it doesn't but listening to an audio book while I clean the kitchen keeps me focused and I can whittle down my to read pile while I work.  A clean kitchen does help me cook :) I sometimes get audio books from the library which is a great option if you don't want to spend anything.  
  • Making breakfast the night before or on the weekend.  My children love muffins, banana bread, baked oatmeal and many other baked breakfast foods. I make my own so I know what is in them. I can add all sorts of healthy ingredients.  I have found that if I make a large batch of something after the kids are in bed I can have breakfast made and cleaned up before I even go to bed.  I love it!  What's even better is that I can listen to an audio book while I cook then do writing sprints while things are in the oven!
What are some ways that you have found to keep everyone fed and still have time for writing (or whatever else you need time for)?

Spring Writing Bootcamp Update

My goal this week was to make progress and I did! I'm keeping up on my A-Z posts and love how it pushes me to create pieces I never would have thought of otherwise.  I took more baby steps towards my revision goal. I keep waiting for a giant step but I'd even settle for some super speedy baby steps at this point. I did walk several times this week which I have found to be perfect for settling in for a long writing session. It gives me time to sort my thoughts and untangle from the day before I write.

This week:

  • Keep reading Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell
  • Keep up with A-Z posts
  • work on re-write/revisions every day
  • work on a schedule that gives me time to write when I actually have energy

Go Team Mountaineers!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

E is for Education and Eggs

 Education is always on my mind. Even if I didn't homeschool my three children I think I would still be seeking teachable moments and weaving literature into their lives. That's one of the reasons that I do teach them at home. I love watching them learn. I love introducing them to my favorite books and teaching them to read them for themselves. I also love the flexibility. Yesterday was warm and gorgeous so we finished up what had to be done at the house and spent the rest of the day playing in the bay. What could be more educational than chasing hermit crabs, watching sea birds catch fish, and digging in the sand to discover the layers of color that the tide washed in? I love that my kids can identify several types of crabs and shells (except for the two year old who is convinced that hermit crabs are monsters that live in shells).
  Whether you homeschool or not I think that having an educational mindset is vital to helping our kids love learning and discovering.  We are surrounded by nature, culture, weather, words and so much more wherever we go. Its easy to ignore it but by just taking a moment or two we can weave learning in everywhere, in everything.

  Speaking of learning, my seven year old has been writing stories and he wanted to write one for the A-Z challenge.

The Silly Egg
"Hi. I am Mr. Egg.
I am a clown.
I like to go to the store to buy eggs to eat.
I love Mr. Corn. He is my best friend.
Well by-by, ta-ta for now."
The End

Why does Mr. Egg like Mr. Corn? 
Because he looks like gold!

Have a great weekend!!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

D is for Dreams

I'd rather dream than not. I'd rather strive than be. 
How can I teach my children to reach for the stars 
if I don't even reach for the moon?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

C is for Concentration (or lack thereof)

"Momma, I've got to go potty."
"Momma, how do you spell dinosaur?"
"Momma he's sitting on my head. Again."
"Momma, at what rate would ice melt if I put it in water that has been in the fridge?"
"Momma, I think my sister is locked in the closet."
"Momma heeeeelp. They won't let me out!"

Yup. I've heard all of these and all when I'm trying to focus on something that seems important.
  Then there's the unsaid interruptions, say a toddler with a garbage can hat running down the hall, or a child that has decided that it's time to brush the cat's teeth.  
 Mundane life is always tugging at the back of a person's mind too.
Dishes need washed. There is banana goo stuck to the floor under the table. The socks have gone on strike. 
How is one ever suppose to concentrate? 
I honestly don't know. I just try, rolling with life as much as I can. The crazy thing is that I don't need to concentrate as much as I think I do.  It would be nice but if that's not an option I'm stubborn enough to persevere anyway, claiming little bits of quite for the treasures that they are. They add up and the interruptions add flavor to my life and writing that I wouldn't otherwise have.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

WUW, IWSG and B is for Busy,

Nope, I'm not busy. Ever. You can tell by the way that this post is only serving to keep up with three different blog hops. I'm sure that you are never busy either. Just in case you do find yourself busy (you know, chasing kids, working 12+ hour days, writing novels, doing heaping mounds of laundry, that sort of thing) don't forget to breathe. Slowing down for even a moment to feel the breeze, smell the scent of clean laundry, listen to your child laugh, anything that brings you joy, is worth it. These little moments add up so when the day is over you have something worthy of remembering it by.

What I'm Reading Its been a slow reading week for me. I made decent progress on Revision and Self Editing by James Scott Bell and I'm still reading Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. I'm almost done listening to the audio book of These Broken Stars. Oh and I read a big chunk of a cookbook if that counts!

What I'm Writing  I'm revising Slumber. I feel life flowing through my characters that wasn't there before and that is encouraging. I want to finish this round of revision/re-writing in time to continue my fairytale retelling during JuNoWriMo. 

What Inspires me Right Now Freezer cooking.  Having some meals in the freezer has taken off a layer of stress and it is wonderful. I'm hoping to keep up on it. 

What Else I've been Up To  I took my kids to the beach today. I thought we would just walk in the sand and look for shells but it was to beautiful out. We ended up jumping into the ocean in jeans and t- shirts. It was a drippy sort of walk back to the car but it was so fun!

I've been writing more and the more I write the less insecure I am. I think it's because I know I'm doing my best so even if I don't know if what I'm writing is any good at least its something. Something has so much more potential than nothing.

A is for Attitude

  Attitude is one of the most contagious things I have encountered.  It is so easy to catch a case of the grumps. Once contracted they can be difficult to get rid of. I've tried many traditional remedies including chocolate, coffee and losing myself in a book, all with varying amounts of success.  The odd thing about attitude is that it gives us a choice. We can catch it or we can shake our heads and choose for ourselves what tone we want for our day. Chocolate, coffee and a good book may still be in order as maintaining an attitude of choice can be somewhat tricky.
I challenge you to choose your attitude for yourself and make it work for you, not the other way around.

Happy blogging everybody!!!

Spring Writing Bootcamp Update

I'm recovering from last week's plot hole incident. It has been a bit painful but now I'm back in a rhythm of sorts. My goal for the past few days was to move forward. I'm glad that I kept it simple because I did move forward and now I feel accomplished!

Now that the troublesome hole has been repaired I'm working on my A-Z April posts and immersing myself in my characters.
This weeks goals:

  • Keep up on A-Z blogging challenge
  • revise every day trying for a chapter a day
  • walk/exercise everyday
Go Team Mountaineers!!!