Writer’s Life

Writers make for unfortunate bed mates. I understand that I have no room to talk here, as I think my king size bed is just right for one person, 40 books, 10 notepads, and a small pooch, but it’s been a rough go lately and Catie has needed to sleep with me on a pretty regular basis. I have got to get used to falling asleep by the glow of her laptop, but if I wrote half as much as she did, I’d be in good shape.

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Midnight Notes

As a creative type, I’m constantly making notes – on my phone, tiny scraps of paper, my arm, whatever is handy.  My memory just can’t be trusted and if I don’t write it down right away, it’s gone. Probably forever.

Last week, I woke up in the middle of the night and simply had to take a note. This was GOOD stuff and I didn’t want to lose it. This could be IT. The magical words that would lead to my big break.

So in the morning, when I picked up the Post-It Note off the floor, what phrase greeted me? What was my key to literary respect and success?

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What in the ever loving hell does that mean?

After careful consideration, my writing group determined that it’s simply a reference to my ovaries and to carry on with my day job.

Finish It!

I love writing, especially short stories and flash fiction. I enjoy the process of coming up with ideas and plots, developing characters and their motivations, and thinking through possible twists and turns.

I have a handful of flash fiction, and an even bigger collection of short stories I’ve written over the past 25 years, but it’s only been in the past 3 or 4 years that I’ve tried my hand at longer pieces – novels.

I still love the writing process. I love the thinking and the planning and the outlines. I love writing key scenes and stitching them together. Where I run into trouble is finishing the damn thing.

So this week, while I’ve been on my own up in the mountains, I’ve devoted a lot of time to plugging away at the keyboard. Fueled by caffeine and a promise to my writing group, I’m nearly there.

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The Plastic Lady Fairy

Catie took advantage of the recent spring-like weather by getting outside with our camera. She’s learning about light and angles and perspective, and that’s great, but just as important, she’s learning about sifting through 100 photos to find one or two that she really loves.

This is one of her favorites from last week. She thinks it’s beautiful. I find it creepy as hell.

“Well, Mommy, that’s why there’s chocolate and vanilla.” (Someone sounds a lot like her Grandpa.)

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A Musician’s Trip to the Post Office

The day started out innocently enough. I made breakfast, ran laundry, and paid a few bills then Emmaline and I hopped in the car to go to the post office.

You have to pass the music store to get to the post office. Well, I guess you don’t have to, but given the choice, wouldn’t everyone prefer to gaze through the windows of the music store? To drool over the glistening drum sets, trumpets, and banjos?

Sometimes, one just calls your name. She picked out a beaut!

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Children’s Art

I love children’s artwork. I enjoy the freedom and honesty displayed before they start to worry about what is “right” and “wrong.” This morning I was looking for a copy of a play I wrote in college – when things were still saved on 5 1/4 floppy disks – and though I didn’t find the play, I did find a box of Emmaline’s drawings from 2005.

This is one of my favorites.

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A drawing by Emmaline, Summer 2005

My apologies for the size. It is important to be able to see the sad expressions of all the little stick people. The caption reads:

Mommy, all the kids are sad because you stepped on them to get to the tallest lollipop in the world.

So, all of those sad faced stick people are children, and the crazy-eyed woman on top, basking in her lollipop victory…well, that would be me.

Good vs Evel

Hit by creative bursts as well as an increased work load, much of last week was spent sitting at my desk, staring into the screen of my computer. The kids were understanding for the most part, and when I rose early this morning to get a head start on the day, I noticed a little blue note propped up on my keyboard.

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“How sweet,” I thought, passing through to make coffee. “Someone has left me a note of encouragement.”

Upon closer inspection, I realized that one of the kids might not be as understanding as I’d thought.

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