Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom: A Plea for Advice

Normally I have life together. At least I think I do. But lately I can't seem to get my ducks in a row, I swear! Here's why:

1. WRITING. I established a routine almost twenty years ago while I was in high school where I would get up in the morning at 5 am and type away drivel on a surplus laptop my dad brought home for me from work. (It really DID look a lot like this one. And the writing really did suck.) This habit of getting up early has continued throughout college and work and everything else.

My best hours for productivity are still between 4-7 am.


my two year old has another agenda for me--especially lately. He likes to get up with the butt crack of dawn too and claim my undivided attention. So what do I do to get writing done?! I write during his nap, but I'm also struggling for other times during the day. I NEED other time. Does anybody have other suggestions of how to get it/find it?

2. WAITING. I'm learning patience. But not fast enough. Maybe it's because of the pregnancy and all those added hormones. Maybe it's because I've always struggled with patience, but I've been waiting for word on Courtesy and Patience (ironic I know) from an agent who has had it for the last few months. I wouldn't obsess, but this agent seems a perfect fit and well... cooler than I deserve. Additionally, I haven't sent out any other queries because I really want her opinion first. I'm stupid, I guess. I put all my egg-shaped hopes in one basket and am completely distracted by the 5 month wait. It's effecting my writing, clawing me onto the Internet too often, and making me lose sleep. But this isn't any different than anything other writers have experienced and I'll survive.
Anyone have any advice on how to earn patience in a REALLY short amount of time so that I can get back to my life?

3. CLUTTER. Clutter is threatening to swallow up my being in one bite. I have four unwritten books clamoring around in my head that will not be silenced. And I want to write them all. Right. Now. This is creating (a) no time for house cleaning, and (b) slips of papers, ideas, and notes scattered all over the house and my desk. I've tried to minimize the mess by making 4 comp books with glued scraps inserted for each book. That's helped, but my brain feels as scattered as my house. Luckily my peach of a husband has challenged me to finish ONE in 30 days and then he'll have a BIG SURPRISE for me (which just means the rare dinner date). Whatever I can get, baby! Besides, it's been nice to just write--not plan--not edit, just write (that is if I can focus and find the time).

But alas... the messy house... does anyone have any advice on how to control the clutter?

...And do it ALL without coffee???

Monday, April 20, 2009

Old School and Out of Cool

Lately I've been feeling old. Even though I'm not that old. (Really, I'm not!)

And generally I don't feel the age thing, since I'm only 32 and am an active, healthy person. My habits of eating dinner at 4:30 pm, going to bed at 9, and/or hating loud music don't even dent my mental image of my being a cool, twenty-something momma. I just don't see myself as a crotchity old lady, even if I know (deep... deep down) my twenties are behind me.

Instances recently, though, have made me wonder if I am old and out-dated on the coolness scale.

For one, I'm not up on the acronym/texting lingo. I mean, I just barely learned what LOL and BFF meant! And then I had to learn what LMAO and IMHO stand for.... There are so many, how does one keep track?

Last week was my birthday and the day before I went on a field trip with my Kindergartener's class. We had a great time, but as we were on the bus headed home, my daughter tells everyone, "My mom's birthday is tomorrow and she's going to be 32!" Of course all her friends proceed to tell me that THEIR mothers are 26 or 28!

"That makes you older, Mrs. Alston," they told me, rubbing it in unintentionally.

The icing on the over-the-hill cake though, was when the kids asked their teacher how old she was and SHE said she was 26 too! I felt old. I knew their teacher was young, but I didn't know she was that much younger than me.

Normally all these things wouldn't bother me, but as I've started free-writing my first contemporary novel, I feel too uncool to be writing a hip teen book (is hip even a word I can USE anymore?). So, with my mental block in place, I'll stumble ahead anyway and hope that my coolness will come back sometime.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Link O' Mania #1

I had a cute and funny post all planned out for today and then eight o' clock struck and I became brain dead. Sorry. Chances are it wasn't as droll as I thought it was anyway, so I'm sure you'll not lose sleep over its loss.

Instead, I give you Link o' Mania for the woman's soul. Yeah, yeah, I know it's corny. But honestly, I've been a bit, "poor me, poor me" lately and the following links have helped me remember that there are others out in the world who deserve my self-pity more than... well... mySELF. I know these people don't want pity, but they can certainly use prayers. So pray for them with me, please!

1. My cousin just had a baby with heart and GI tract problems and can I just tell you how inspiring her story and little Grant's is. They (she and her husband) are amazing people and though my heart breaks for them, their strength gives us weaklings hope.

2. Nie Nie is a mother who has been through a fiery furnace (an airplane accident) and has managed to overcome it and claim her life back bit by bit. I can't help but cry when I read her story and think how very blessed I am.

3. And for those of you who are hopeful writers, Stephanie Blake has had many ups and downs trying to get published. But I have to really admire her perseverance. She has a great story on trying and trying again. And she seems like a great writer, too.

4. I love, LOVE Lindsey Leavitt's blog. (Note: blogger wouldn't let me link: Not because she's going through some enormous struggle, but because she's hilarious and sassy and well, all those entertaining things bloggers (and especially teen/tween writers because that's what she is) should be. I can't pull it off, that's for sure. If you need a laugh, go and visit. But come back to me. I swear I'll try and be funnier. I'll even remember to post before it's past my brain's bedtime.

Did I miss anyone? Probably. So why don't YOU leave me some other blogs that inspire you? Others (and I especially love the women stories) who struggle through and overcome huge obstacles. I need other blogs to stalk, because it's not as if I already waste too much time on the Internet anyway. (Yes, the sarcasm should be noted.)