Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Thirteen - Places I've Written

Like babies who can sleep anywhere and through everything, my Muse is pretty flexible. Despite the special place I've created for her to reign, she pops up at will, despite what I'm doing at the moment. Here's my Thursday Thirteen list of places my books have been partially penned in (so far):

  1. In a hospital room (passing the hours with my son)
  2. In an airport (forced to write when I refused to pay for wireless access to surf)
  3. In my car (before work when I'm putting off going in)
  4. In a bank drive-thru (on the back of a receipt)
  5. At the park (as I fight off bees while the kids are playing)
  6. At the kitchen table (for some reason I couldn't revise in the same place I originally wrote. ???)
  7. On the front porch (watching the kids ride bikes)
  8. In the movie theater (in the dark, on the back of a ticket stub)
  9. At a conference (boring @#$ speaker. . .)
  10. In a meeting (pretending to jot dates on my PDA)
  11. At the doctor's office (Okay, so what's the logic behind overbooking again?)
  12. By candlelight (when the power went out)
  13. On a long stretch of highway (En route to Idlewild. The scenery was too beautiful to not be inspired.)
Not so many places in the great scheme of things. Guess I need to get out more...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

With special thanks to and for my brother, The Marine

This Memorial Day weekend, I just wanted to take a few minutes to say “thanks” to my brother for his work as a Marine, keeping me and mine as well as you and yours safe in this America. I also wanted to say “thanks” to God for keeping him safe during his tour in Iraq at the start of the war and to ask for a replay as Cal prepares to leave for his second tour there in a couple of months. (May I mention that his first tour earned him a Bronze Star for heroism in combat?)

I am grateful to be part of a family where the kids grew up to do what they love. For Cal (or CJ to us) being a Marine is as ingrained in his being as writing is in mine. That’s a blessing I don’t take for granted.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Free Your Mind

I took a walk with my kids yesterday and the entire way my son was picking on my daughter. She finally says to me, “Mom, he’s making me feel bad.”

My immediate response to her was, “He can only make you feel bad, if you let him.”

The statement seemed to shock them both. You could almost see light bulbs swirling in their heads. For me, the knee jerk reaction was meant to instill lessons it will take them years to realize: (1) Do not abuse power – or perceived power – bestowed on you by position, trust or affection. (2) Do not grant power – real or perceived – over any aspect of your life, to anyone without deep, conscientious and rational thought.

But we do this even as adults, don’t we? Find ourselves letting people exert influence over ourselves or specific situations that they don’t deserve to exercise. Maybe it’s because of friendship, love or family ties. It may be habitual. It may be impulsive. It may bring us comfort. It may bring us down. The ones we empower may be current cohorts, past demons, or a fusion of both.

The point today is mostly for me and I share it with anyone who might want to use it for themselves: Spring cleaning ought to be an ongoing personal effort. Today, I will take time to assess the people around me and their place in my life. Many good things have happened for me lately and I have plans for the days and years ahead (God willing.) I’m just going to spend a few minutes making sure that the people or circumstances I’ve allowed to occupy space or take root in my life ought to be along for the journey ahead in their current capacity.

I could not have come this far in my personal or professional life without the support of people who are genuinely in my corner. I am so grateful for them and include them in my daily prayers. Those other folks – the naysayers, haters, wolves in sheepskin – don’t deserve my time or attention.

After all, writing – for those of who consider ourselves craftsmen – takes incredible energy, drive and focus. I cannot afford to allow undue influences to sap me of my strength. Plain and simple.

So, where’s my broom and dustpan? Today I am sweeping out the debris in my life; freeing my mind and re-charging my life force to help me create better days and better pages in my future.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

April blessings bring May challenges

Well, I had a wonderful April. I have so much good writing news that my head is about to burst. (I'll share soon. Really.) As a result, there's also a whole new crop of characters lined up in my ever-busy brain itching to plot their way out.


It's May. There are deadlines (both real and perceived), word counts and new promo avenues to tackle. And, of course, the Worth in me insists on kicking butt on all of the above.

Bear with me as I challenge myself to learn to write (much) shorter blogs (about) twice as often and juggle this with my son being home from college for the summer watching loud movies and rummaging through cabinets (in search crumbs he might have missed) during my precious midnight writing hours.

Here goes!