Monday, March 10, 2014

My Writing Process

Writing stories, since I was a kid, was just something I did.  Then, I had kids, life took over, and I read stories to my children, rather than write my own.

Three years ago, Mandy, from In Mandyland, inspired me get back to my writing, even if she didn’t know it at the time.  Though, I’ve told her since that it was her own creative writing she shared online that made me want to move some of the characters parading through my head back onto paper…or my laptop.  Her writing brings her characters to life, always making me feel as if I’m in the room with them while curled up with the book that writes of their tale.

So, when she asked me to participate in a Writing Process Blog Tour, of course I said yes!

What am I working on?

If you’ve swung by here in the last year, you may know that my muse decided to take an extended vacation – an unapproved, extended vacation.  With or without my favorite muse, I have continued to write, albeit mostly offline, rather than on.  Thankfully, I'm beginning to see sparks of mojo returning.

I have focused more closely on editing the beginnings of two novels and slowly adding to them, in an attempt to get back on track.  And there is a microfiction/photography project that I have been toying with for a while now and am finally beginning to work on.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Honestly?  I’m not a fan of labels.  I think the minute we use them, we remove our ability to try or see something new.

And since what I’m working on currently dances in four different “genres,” I’m glad I don’t subscribe to them.  I understand how quickly and easily we human beings want to slap a label on something and make it easy to define, but personally, I really don’t want to live in a world where we only look at the surface.  For me, life is rather boring that way.

Why do I write what I do?

I grew up moving.  A lot.  And in each new state, town, school and/or workplace, new friendships were formed.  Through those encounters, I watched and learned about relationships in a way that I don’t believe I would have if I had grown up within the same community all my life (though, if I had, I’m sure I would have learned a lot as well, just from an entirely different perspective).  Consequently, a lot of what I write looks at the bonds of friendships and the individuals that create them.

How does your writing process work?

It’s the call of a character parading through my head that leads my fingers to tap a keyboard.  That is inevitably where I begin writing a story, whether that is the actual beginning, middle, or end of the tale itself. 

I suppose that makes me somewhat of a pantser in terms of just sitting down and writing.  Though, I am finally caving and know I need to embrace outlining to help me get past the walls I’ve hit with those two novels.

And fortunately, I’ve even learned how to write when the kidlets are immersed in their own activities three feet from me.  Though, editing amongst chaos does not work for me and for that, my brain needs quiet space to twist the words and hear the characters on the pages in front of me.  Because, really, just how many voices can my poor brain hear all at once?

Next Monday, the Writing Process Blog Tour moves on to four writers I’ve connected with through both ends of the word loving spectrum - an online writing community (Write on Edge) and an online book club (From Left to Write):

Shelton Keys Dunning is the author of paranormal mystery novels The Trouble with Henry and Hagatha Kittridge Must Die, along with several short stories and the blogs Expressions of Talking Leaves on blogger, and The Scribe, The Quill, and the Secret Notebook on Tumblr.

Eva Greene Wilson is the editor and owner of, an award winning website for Caribbean parents.  She has also written and published the children’s book, Anancy’s Family Reunion.

Shannon Morgan is an editor and a food and travel writer working on her first novel.  Visit her blog at Shannon Morgan Creative.

Jessica Claire Haney is a writer and mother of two who is working on her first novel. She blogs at Crunchy-Chewy Mama and has two essays published in the recent anthology, Have Milk, Will Travel: Adventures in Breastfeeding

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

#iPPP a la Girl Scouts

Back for #iPPP and it hasn't even been a whole year since my last visit!  Say what?  Only two weeks?  Call Guinness!

Life's been busy, busy, but last weekend, busy also meant tasty.  My sweet girl was working on her Snacks badge for Brownies (Girl Scouts) and got crackin' in the kitchen, creating a sweet treat and a smoothie.

Saturday night, for dessert, she made yogurt strawberry parfaits, layering greek yogurt mixed with a li'l honey, sliced strawberries, and granola.

And while the first set of parfaits were made gluten free, using Udi's vanilla granola, she needed to go one step further for her brother, who can't have dairy,  to join in the sweet treat fun and swapped out the greek yogurt for almond yogurt creating a GFCF parfait delight.  Looks nearly the same, eh?

Can I share the most random and yet helpful thing I learned over the weekend?  Thanks to friend Jenn visiting, I finally learned how to spell dessert and not get it mixed up with desert!  Dessert is spelled with two 's's because you want more and desert with only one 's' because you supposedly want less (since I'm not a fan of the heat, this totally works for me).  Told ya it was random...but, it will save me when spell check isn't nearby!

On Sunday, she blended up a smoothie, using frozen organic blueberries, frozen strawberries, frozen mangoes, fresh ripe banana, fresh baby spinach leaves, and coconut water.  We slurped up smoothie and then poured the left over mix into popsicle molds for desert this week.  Delish.

Coming back for an #iPPP visit with

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

#iPPP: Valentine's Day...A Year Later

Holy camole macarole!!!  Looking back, my last #iPPP post was last year, this same week!  I knew it had been quite awhile, but geez!  Um...well, then...hello again. :>

This year, we found some really cute li'l heart printables with the perfect Valentine's sayings for the themed pencils we slid through the cut out hearts on Pinterest, of course.  You can find them on Or So She Says where Sharon, from Lemon Squeezy shared them.  Loved that they were a fun non-candy option!

But, since I've annoyed myself and forgotten to snap a pic, let's move onto what I did remember to document from Valentine's Day.  And that is what has quickly become a favorite tradition:

hubs brings living flowers for me

and for his sweet li'l girl too.

When we keep them alive long enough, they can be planted in the backyard next month.  Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn't.  I hear there's this little thing plants like called water???  So far, they're looking good and my girl's old enough now to help remind me of that tiny life sustaining necessity. Fingers crossed!

Finally coming back for an #iPPP visit with

Monday, February 17, 2014

From Left to Write: Hope's Dream

Young, elementary school kidlets stepping up to the podium, taking the microphone in hand, sharing their dreams for their classes' I Have a Dream presentation carved a niche in me.  They spoke from their hearts and touched mine.

Thinking on my response to reading Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement with From Left to Write this month, those speeches bubbled up.  This is a bit different than my typical post, but where both the book and those children's words took me.

Hope’s Dream
Martin Luther King, Jr. -
Ideas cut through the air, rolling across hundreds of thousands.
Orated ideals, shuttled forward through decades to come;
Words chauffeured through time, but not all lands.
“I have a dream…”
Children speak their own whispered hearts.
Trees for forests, healed and healthy parents, worlds without war -
They have a dream.
Breathing environments, cornflower blue skies, crystal streams channeling dirt-
They have a dream.
Kids free of fear, shining seas, feathered and furry friends left to roam free -
They have a dream.
Dozens of children hope for the wider world around them.
One child hopes for a world he came from, a world he knew.
A future holding more,
A future lacking less,
A future without dirt floors,
A future without empty bellies,
A future with hope.
He has a dream.

This post was inspired by the novel Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement.  Ladydi grew up in rural Mexico, where being a girl is a dangerous thing.  She and other girls were "made ugly" to protect them from drug traffickers and criminal groups.  Join From Left to Write on February 18 as we discuss Prayers for the Stolen.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.  Opinions and response are my own.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Music Countdown

'Tis the season
for my current
Top 5 Christmas Songs:

5) Let it Snow  (Because I miss the possibility of li'l white flurries falling from the sky and blanketing the earth below for a glistening white Christmas.)

4) Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (It's my favorite Christmas movie too!)

3) Silent Night  (Was taught this one in sign language at church when I was just a girl and have always loved it.)

2)  White Christmas (Sang this one to my first kidlet when he was a newborn, even though it wasn't Christmas time because Girl Scout & Christmas songs were the only songs, in that severe sleep deprived state that I could remember the words to!)

1) The Little Drummer Boy  (Currently, the kidlets and I are absolutely hooked on Pentatonix rendition of this Christmas classic. Nothing like a li'l beatboxing to modernize a traditional favorite. Have a look & listen!)


If you listen to Christmas music, what is your current fav?  Song?  Album?

In addition to more Christmas tracks than I can count (heavily laced with Christmas music from Glee), we're also enjoying Kelly Clarkson's newest album, Wrapped In Red, and more from Pentatonix  (which is new to us this year)
Mama’s Losin’ It
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