Adultish Grime Antidote

Sometimes, life is just too adultish.  Mortgage payments, dinner parties, grocery shopping, careers, taxes (yikes!), saving for college.  Oh it just zaps the kid right out of a person!  Thank goodness for the little whirlwinds in my life that help bring me back to the wonderful world of tomfoolery and bodily sounds and the smells that go with them!!

pups

These aren’t the whirlwinds I meant, but they help too!

During the month of January, I have been feeling especially adultish 😦 and this required a very  seriously unserious intervention by the best team of silliness masters and imagination gurus south of the Sears Tower (yes, Sears!).  I needed help brainstorming.

Recently, I participated in my first live webinar, Unlocking the Mysteries of Chapter Book and Middle Grade Series Writing led by Eve Adler editor for Grosset and Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Random House.  This was made available through KidLit College.  (Be sure to bookmark this one!) One of the nuggets I took away from this was though you only submit one story at a time, you should have 2 or 3 more in the series waiting in the wings, of at least your imagination. Not entirely new information, but one I had been avoiding. Because I have been stuck, right here in that spot! I did feel a sense of relief when she said two or three more ideas on your own should be enough.  After that, agents, editors, fans, etc will help supply story lines.

The chapter book I have written lends itself to series.  But the problem was, I couldn’t think of one single bit of mischief my adorable and highly curious MC with a powerful imagination could get into.

I’m still writing a MG story in verse, that leans toward the serious side and my brain was stuck in neutral there.  Yet, I want to have a vision for the next writing project so I have something new to work on when revisions start for my current project.  I also want to be ready should an agent or editor say, “This is delightful.  Have you thought about series?  What ideas do you have for the next two or three stories?” (oh, it’s a decadent dream to have until the harsh reality of the vacant inbox hits).  What was it Oprah once said? Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.  Well, I don’t want to be caught unprepared, so  I staged my own intervention during dinner!

Incredible happenings spewed forth! Complete with up-out-of-their-seats demonstrations.  One idea spun off into other ideas, unfathomable mayhem, and a delightful (ahem) scene with a toilet.

At least three ideas came out of it plus illustrations created by my two lead silliness experts.  But, really, the best part of the whole thing was the imprint it made on my little whirlwinds, calling it one of the best nights they’ve had in a long time.

Don’t have little whirlwinds of your own? Borrow some! Babysit your niece, nephew, or for your good buddy.  This is an everyone wins situation!

Enjoy shedding the adult grime.  It accumulates pretty quickly without regular doses of fun.  Happy writing!

Confession

I have a confession to make.

I broke the cardinal rule of writing a rough draft.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I had to do it.

I read my entire MS.

I know, I know.

Full steam ahead.

No looking back.

But I had to do it.

Another confession.

I haven’t written in a week.

Yes, I gasped too.

So, you see,

I had to read it.

I’d lost the flow,

was loosing my MC,

ran out of steam,

while my daughter was sick.

So, you see,

I had to read it.

And I’m glad I did.

It was pretty good,

I’m on the right track.

And I’ve found the fuel

to keep writing.

Random Brain Babble during NaNoWriMo

You’re cute and your sweet, but your not getting my meat.  (Words spoken to my begging dog. Yep, I’ve been dabbling in rhyme during NaNoWriMo).

Which led to this thought:

What was it like to live with Dr. Seuss? Could he just not help himself but to speak in rhythm and rhyme?

This stuff is crap!

If my dog has to go out one more time and not do anything . . .! thinking brain

Wow! I think that was actually pretty good!

I really need a dictaphone that’s waterproof.

I might have to ask a person to switch tables at the cafe.  I was really in the groove at their table.

Can’t forget the Flintstone vitamins for the kids because they better not get sick during NaNoWriMo.

I wonder how much a personal chef costs.

I can’t let my mom read this.  I don’t want to make her cry.

Please let the school bus be ten minutes late today.  I just need ten more minutes!

This is getting really serious.  It needs levity.  How do I be funny again? Crap, I’ll have to go back and add humor and levity.  Right now my brain is stuck in emotional.  Where’s the chocolate?

I’ve been sitting a long time, but I can’t stop now.  Better do some butt clenches.  It’s exercise, right?

Fellow writer,

Keep at it!  It’s only the tenth.  It is the tenth right?  I’m not even sure what day of the week it is.

It’s OK, I’m behind too.  Just keep writing, writing, writing. (Can you hear Dory singing?) I love to write! but . . . NO EDITING!  Resist! Resist! Resist!

I’d love to hear your random thoughts.  Unless I’m the only who whose brain seems to be splitting into several personalities as I write.  Maybe it’s just me. Or me. 😉

OK – quit procrastinating.  That was a good brain break.  Yep, absolutely nothing of substance here today.

A good, long while

Patience. Dear, sweet patience..

I dated my boyfriend for a good, long while before we got married.

We were married for a good, long while before we decided it was time to have children.

I waited a good, long while before my oldest was ready to potty train.

I researched my first novel for a good, long while before I dared to write.

I worked on my first novel for a good, long while before it was worthy of submissions.

Now I’m sitting tight a good, long while to find that agent or publisher.

The editor said, “You’ll hear back from us within six months.”

Keeping watch over that ever loving inbox.

Umpteen squared rejections later.

I still have patience.

Hello Dear Blog,

WIN_20150924_140726

Thank you, dear blog, for waiting for me through an injured child, an ailing parent, friends in need, with a tornado on top.  It’s okay, dear blog, there were good times too. A just-what-we-needed family vacation, a wedding of a young girl who grew up in a blink, summer days with stories and swimming, and a sweet four-legged baby too.  So, dear blog, let’s get writing again.  Autumn is poking its nose around the corner.  It’s a great time for writing.  You and me and a cup of joe.

You Know You May Be a Writer If . . .

You know you may be a writer if . . .

Love my journals!

Love my journals!

  • you have an uncontrollable fetish with journals and writing utensils.
  • a trip to the library is a highlight of your week.
  • you are reading at least three books at the moment.  One is to research a topic that intrigues you.  One is in the genre you can see yourself writing.  One is just for you.
  • when a loved one asks you to watch TV, you agree because it’s important to spend time with living, breathing loved ones, and not just the darlings that are sitting on your nightstand tugging at your heart.
  • on your nightstand you keep a journal, writing utensil, and flashlight.  Great ideas that must be written down come before the sun.
  • you get caught reading over someone’s shoulder.
  • you know how some people get hangry? That’s how you feel when you haven’t had a chance to write in a few days.
  • you edit your text messages
  • your loved ones know that you are not hangry and send you off to write (because they are tired of your brooding).
  • you keep an inspiration journal close by.
  • you frequent thesaurus.com
  • you love to listen to others speak, waiting for interesting phrasing.  And then you hurry to that inspiration notebook to record it.
  • you keep a dictaphone in your car.
  • you secretly contemplate how to portray your middle school nemesis in a future story.  Haha! The written word lingers forever!
  • you never feel lonely if you have a book or journal with you.
  • you run late in the morning because you had to write down one idea, but that idea grows and you need to see where it takes you and you have to keep writing despite the ticking clock.  Then you rush through your shower because the idea percolated with the falling water and you hurry to that journal once more, dripping droplets on it (because ideas come best when its inconvenient.)
  • cutting your word count by 5% is as satisfying as getting a haircut.
  • you’ve been wondering if you are a author-in-waiting, but doubt yourself.

Doubt no more.  Get playing with words!