Friday, September 12, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-September 12, 2014

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

I am a co-host for this weekly meme.  The other co-hosts are:

Diana Wilder
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse

I started babysitting a couple of kids to help earn some extra money.  It isn't an every day thing, but it gives my kids someone to play with after school, and they love that.  It gets a little crazy from time to time, but that's the nature of things when kids are involved.

I'm going to a few garage sales tomorrow to see if I can get any good deals on clothes for my kids.  It's probably the best way of getting clothes for my boys, because they grow so fast, and they're rough on things anyway.  It hardly makes sense to pay full price for everything.

My husband got sick earlier this week, but he seems to be feeling much better now.  Yay for speedy recoveries!

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Express Yourself: Reading and Writing Places

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is: Do you have any special writing/reading places?

Before I had kids, I made frequent trips to whichever coffee shop was near where I was living at the time.  Coffee shops have the perfect atmosphere for me to read or write.  I love the smell, I love the fact that coffee is readily available, and it's a social setting where I don't feel too pressured to interact.  That's important for an introvert like me.

Nowadays, I write whenever I can snag the time.  I mostly write in my living room when I don't have kids jumping on me, but I take my notebook with me everywhere just in case I get a few spare moments to scribble something down. It's the same whenever I'm immersed in a good book.  It travels with me wherever I go.  So, in a way, every place is a potential writing/reading place for me now.

Do you have any special spaces where you read/write?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sunflowers for Tina

Today we celebrate the life of Tina Downey.  If you would like to join in and share a tribute of your own, you can sign up HERE.  She was a bright light in the blogging world, and she will be greatly missed.  Her cheerful outlook on life inspired me, and I'll always remember that about her.

I didn't think it would work out too well to plant a sunflower in Iowa at this time of year, and I wanted to put some time and thought into my tribute.  In the end, I decided to buy some art materials and turn it into an art project that I could share with my kids.

The sunflower we made is now prominently displayed on our refrigerator.

Tina's family has also set up the Downey Education Fund.  Any donations made will go toward a college fund for Tina's two boys.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Express Yourself and Celebrate the Small Things-September 5, 2014

Today I'm doing a combination post.  I kind of got lazy after a nice holiday weekend and didn't do my Express Myself post on Tuesday like I normally do. Then I was going to do it yesterday, but I got too wrapped up in a project and forgot all about it.

First of all, it's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

We had to buy Jude a new pair of glasses as the other pair has yet to turn up. The good news is that, even with the holiday weekend we had, the glasses came in six days earlier than the estimated time I was given when we ordered them.

The holiday weekend turned out to be a pretty good one.  The weather cooperated when we needed it to, and we had a good time with family.

What would you like to celebrate?

Now let's move on to the second half of my post.

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is: What books do you have lined up to read for September?

As far as the month of September goes, I don't have any specific books lined up. I figured I'd just read whatever I happen to get my hands on.  However, there is one book in particular that I would like to buy in the near future, and if I manage it, I'll definitely be reading it right away.  It's The Art of Neil Gaiman by Hayley Campbell.  Anyone who has followed me somewhat regularly will not be surprised by this.  I haven't exactly kept my love of Neil Gaiman's work a secret or anything.  I would have bought and read it already, but every time I've seen it anywhere, it cost between $30-$40.  I think it would be worth it, but with two kids and all the expenses that go along with that, it's hard to justify the expense. Still, it will be worth it.  I'll end up with that book in my hands one way or another.

What books would you like to read this month?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group-September 2014

It's time for another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!  This group was started by the always awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh for the purpose of providing fellow writers with a way to express their insecurities and receive support from others.  This month, the co-hosts are Laura @ My Baffling Brain, Mark Koopmans, Shah Wharton, and Sheena-Kay Graham.

Be sure to check out the IWSG Website if you haven't already.  It's an amazing resource for writers.

This month my insecurity has to do with rejection.  All writers have to deal with some sort of rejection, and though it is a necessary part of this business, that doesn't make it easy to handle.  I've been submitting a lot of short stories over the last month and a half, and I've started getting a lot of rejection letters as a result.  Some of them have been the standard, run-of-the-mill "no" that tells you nothing about why the story was rejected, but one letter was so encouraging that it only inspired me to keep submitting.  Still, as those rejections pile up, it can be difficult to keep your determination from wavering.

I won't lie.  I've felt my confidence waver on multiple occasions over the last few weeks.  It's hard to see a story you poured your heart into turned away for reasons unknown.  Still, I won't let myself give up.  I know the rejections aren't personal, and when a magazine is looking at hundreds, or even thousands, of submissions, a rejection doesn't automatically mean the story you submitted is bad.  It's not personal, so even though the denial stings in a very personal way, I'll keep trying.  I am a writer, because I can't picture myself ever giving it up.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-August 29, 2014

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

I am proud to be a co-host for this weekly blogging celebration.  My fellow co-hosts are:

Diana Wilder
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse

We had some bad luck in my family this week.  My son Jude lost his new glasses. There has been no sign of them anywhere for almost a week.  We're going to have to buy him a new pair after he only had the first for about a week and a half. Still, it could be worse.  He seems to have learned a lesson about taking care of things from this experience.  That's how we learn, after all.

Writing has been going pretty well.  I keep second guessing myself, yes, but I'm getting a lot of work done.

The kids have been having a great second week of school.  They're both bursting with excitement when I drop them off, and I'm encouraged to see that kind of enthusiasm.

Also, I have to celebrate the fact that it's a three day weekend for us.  Happy Labor Day to all my fellow American bloggers!  I'm hoping for good weather this weekend.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sunflowers For Tina

The blogging community has lost a great friend.  Tina Downey was one of the most optimistic and kind bloggers you could hope to meet.  Whether you knew her well or only know of her through her connection through someone else, you can help celebrate her life and what she did for the people around her.

In memory of Tina Downey, the A to Z Team is hosting a sunflower tribute on September 8, 2014 – Remembering Tina Downey. 

Prior to that date, purchase or plant a sunflower in her honor. (If you have to resort to plastic, that’s cool.) Take a photo of your sunflower and post in in her memory on Monday, September 8. Tina loved her sunflowers, and we want to splash the blogging world with sunflowers that day and honor a truly amazing woman who was friend and family to so many. 

You can sign up now or add your link when you post your sunflower. 

Please help us spread the word! Add Tina's motto #LifeisGood as hashtag and share about this blogfest on all social media platforms. Let’s brighten the Internet with sunflowers the way Tina brightened the lives of so many. 

Go HERE to sign up!