Monday, January 25, 2010


I finished reading a YA novel called Need by Carrie Jones, kind of typical YA supernatural faire, quick and fun to read. But my purpose for this post is not to write a review of the book. Acutally, I wanted to share a quote with you that was quoted in the book. I think it's going to be my quote for the year:

" The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage."

I hope you like it, too.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Writing Challenge #2: What I've Learned

Here's a writing challenge from my beloved The Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder
. It's short, it's sweet, and it's kind of fun too!

Set your timer for 10 minutes; then complete this sentence as many ways as you can as many times as you can: I've learned...

Then post a comment and let us know how many times you completed the sentence and maybe share one or two of the different sentences. On Friday, I'll share the sentences I wrote.

Good luck!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A little grateful writing...

I've been diligently working on my Bucket List for one of my writers' groups this week (I'm up to 68; I might even complete it by Saturday. Woot!). Last week, I ran across the following quote in my Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder, causing me to pause for a moment in the writing of things I want to accomplish before I die and helping me to see how much I already have.

"Odd, the years it took to learn one simple fact: that the prize just ahead, the next job, publication, love affair, marriage always seemed to hold the key to satisfaction but never, in the long run, sufficed." --Amanda Cross

The prompt with this quote essentially was to write about what I want but to only include what I already have. So, here they are (in absolutely no order of importance):

1. Healthy, happy, intelligent children
2. A good, loving (and loved) husband
3. A house
4. A job with some freedom
5. Friends who want me to be happy
6. Family who takes care of me and my children
7. Talent in writing and art
8. Enough books to last me several years.
9. My iPod
10. My computer
11. My studio/writing space
12. Original artwork from artists I admire and/or know
13. A backyard with a huge tree in it
14. A new car
15. An imagintive mind
16. A caring and concerned heart
17. Good personal health
18. A friendly ward

Really, I am very blessed. While it certainly has been difficult during the year and a half TSH has been in and out of our lives (mostly out of it, although certainly not by choice), and there are days that I'm ready to walk out of my classroom, get into my car, and never look back. I've had a pretty good life. And I am thankful for it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Announcing the Giveaway Winner!!!!

First off, thank you to the five people who made comments on the first Writing Challenge. Seeing your comments pop up on my blog really makes my day sometimes.

All right.

Are you ready?

Here it is.

Our winner is....

*dramatic pause*

Amy!!!! (Doo-doo-doo-doooooo!)

Here's what Amy said for her writing goal this year:

Does this work as a "writing goal" since it's connected to my writing? My goal is to actively attempt to get my novel published without giving in to fear and self-doubt (both of which crop up every couple of days).

Yay, Amy! And you may remember that I said in my last post that Amy has started her own blog, Ramblings of a Novice Writer. If you haven't checked it out yet, why don't you do so now?

And I wanted to take take a picture of the journal I made for the winner of the challenge, but I can't find my cable righ now. As soon as I find it, I'll post it for you all!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Little Reminder...

that tomorrow is the day that I'm going to do the drawing for the cool journal (which I am currently decorating myself). Make a comment on the Writing Challenge #1 post to be entered in the drawing.

And *doo-doo-doo-doooooo* (trumpeting sounds) my friend Amy (who I mention on just about every other blog post) has finally started her own blog! Check out Ramblings of a Novice Writer and tell her that I sent you (I wish I could say that by telling her that I sent you, you'd get some kind of cool discount, but I can't. However, it would make me feel good. :D).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Writing Challenge #1 and a Giveaway!

So, this year I want to throw out some writing challenges. Hopefully they will be every week, but they might not be; we'll just have to see how it goes.

Hot topic on the writing blogs right now is writing resolutions. I already said that I'm not going to make resolutions this year, so I'm going to make goals instead. (Do you see the difference? It's slight, I know--Okay, there's no difference. Stop mocking me!)

Here I go (and these are in no particular order):
  • Write every day. Even if it's just for ten minutes a day, I'm going to write everyday.
  • Finish the first draft of my novel and work through it at least once.
  • Publish an actual article in a Stampington & Co. magazine.

Your challenge is to make a comment on this post telling me what your writing goal for the year is. It may be that you want to write in your journal every day or even once or twice a week. Or you could make a goal to blog more. Maybe it's to take a writing class or to start a notebook of favorite lines from novels. Whatever it is, leave your comment here. On Friday, I'll have a drawing for a cool journal to help you start on your writing goal.

Woohoo, writing!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hope is the thing with feathers

Hope. I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I've been hoping and wishing and dreaming the last few months. And doing a little work as well. And hope just keeps creeping up behind me, pecking at my heels, and telling me to keep on keeping on.

This is a page I did for a circle journal I am involved in. The theme was "birds" and I was supposed to use a bird image or a quote about birds. And my English major brain immediately turned to the poem by Emily Dickinson which begins "Hope is the thing with feathers." (Yes, the poem in my last post was inspired by her poem as well.)

Hope, in this piece, is perching on a branch (yep, that is a real stick) and with the feather and bird charm attached to it with eye pins. I love this piece! I hope the person it goes to will love it as well. And, now, that I think about it, I think I make make a larger piece that includes this line. And that one I WILL keep for myself. Unless, I guess, someone else really needs some hope.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hope's Flutterings

This is a poem I was going to use for my writing sample that I need to submit with my application to graduate school next week. And, since I'm a little bit crazy, I've decided to send some fiction work instead of poetry, so I guess I'll be working on THAT all weekend. And, since I am now not sending poetry for my writing sample, I'm going to share this piece with you.

My thing with feathers,
I'm so glad you're back.
I thought you’d taken an extra-long
southern vacation.
I’ve waited for centuries
To feel your flutterings inside me.
I was at the end of my rope
No light at the end of the tunnel
Treading water
Just surviving
When you sang your sweet song in
the nest of my soul.

No, I thought as your melody rang through me,
Not me. I can’t do that.
I’m not smart enough
Talented enough
Ambitious enough
Enough enough.
But you kept at it.
You made me think about a new future.
A brighter future.
I started to believe that maybe, just maybe,
What I had come to think of as only
daydreams conjured to dull the boredom
of grading papers
could be a reality.
A real life.

And when doubt, your scavenger relative,
Came pecking and chirping
You’re nothing!
You’ll starve!
You’re crazy!
I swept him out the window with the straw end of my broom

And there you still were
Hanging out in the perch of my soul
Urging me to complete the application
Take the test
Keep on writing.

It must not be easy to be my thing with feathers.
Certainly you wish that you belonged to another
Who didn’t constantly quiet you
with the mundane details of life,

But you’re still here
And your song pops up at random times,
In the middle of class.
In the middle of a sentence.
In the middle of—

Where was I?


And I want to shout

Hope, thank you!
Thank you for inspiring me to
Move on
Move out
Move up
To move.

No more imagined futures for me.
With you, I’ll realize my dreams.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

3 Wishes for 2010

I'm not going to make resolutions this year. Instead, I'm giving myself 3 wishes for the new year. I'm not a genie or a fairy or a talking fish, so I can't grant anyone else 3 wishes. Just myself. Here they are:

1. I wish for a year of following my bliss. A year that includes writing and creating art and being in my children's lives.

2. I wish for a year of happiness for my sweetheart. For him coming home safe in April, for him finding a job he can like and that can support our family, and for him to begin to live a life he loves.

3. I wish for a year of realized dreams for all those I love and care for. And, yes, that means your dreams as well.

As I said, I can't grant you three wishes, but you can grant them to yourself. What will you wish for in this new year?