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Celebrating Birth-days

You celebrate your children’s birthdays, your husband’s, and your own birthday, but do you also celebrate you on the day you gave birth? I do. Which means I have 6 extra birth-days a year, and I deserve a bit of celebration myself on every one of them. 15 years ago today I gave birth to child #6 (not in my plans, but then neither was #1, or #5, all girls by the way; the ones we planned turned out to be boys…) I was 47. We went dancing that weekend, because, why not celebrate? And get this party started! Our oldest daughter was pregnant with our first grandchild, who was born five months later.  She went dancing with us that night.     Today, on the day I gave birth to my third daughter, I celebrated with a spa-bath (triangular tub, lavendar bath salts, time to relax and breathe deep), in the…

How Small Prompts Help You Nano

And how to use them to keep the story flowing If you write with random prompts, or have, you are probably already a believer- this is the way; write in it. But even a believer falls by the wayside, forgets what tips and tricks have helped them in the past, and resorts to staring at the page or writing what turn out to be dull prose lacking the magic. How to get the magic back? Prompts- but what kind? from where?… I take phrases or words from books I’m reading, the stuff that jumps out at me since I read like the writer I am- looking for anything I can use, anything at all that will move my own story down the finish lane. Where to get the best prompts Currently I keep returning to a little known novel I find fascinating: The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre about how…

The Year-End Letter

Dear Friends & Family,We end this year with gratitude and send our heartfelt greetings, especially to those who’ve lost jobs, co-workers, friends, or loved ones. Whatever challenges you’re facing, we hope and pray love wins… During this year of going nowhere, instead of traveling to far off places, we’ve escaped into the local forests around us and sought to bring the outdoors inside… While John was off work for 4 months (Cargo w/ Alaska Air) he learned to epoxy thick slabs of Juniper we brought from Bend to make a desk, coffee table, and bathroom counter (left pic). We also stained, painted, and modernized the staircase with textured carpet & metal accents (on right). And John used his welding skills to build an artistic gate to hide our kayaks on the side of the house. Essentially grounded this year, we completed projects that make home more enticing. And haven’t we…

How is NaNo Serving You?

At the end of a very interesting first week of NaNo, how are you feeling about your writing? It has been an up-and-down week for me, but it’s ending on a high note. I hope you feel the same. Here are some of the ways I’ve gotten myself back on track when enthusiasm or motivation lagged. First, I looked at my thoughts- what was I telling myself about the writing (and the life going on all around me)? Awareness of my own thoughts, along with knowing that I choose my thoughts has enabled me to 1) accept myself and my thoughts, and 2) choose thoughts that serve me. So, for example, this week when I thought writing was drudgery and the world around me felt like a mess of uncertainty and upheaval, I acknowledged that sometimes life just feels that way. Actually, we have negative thoughts about 50% of the…

Make Nanowrimo Work for You

NaNoWriMo has been part of our family vocabulary since 2009 when two of our sons, ages 12 and 15, each wrote 50K+ novels while schooling from home. I was finishing an M.A. in Lit./Writing at the time, with no spare moments to craft a novel, which made me envious. Since then I’ve done NaNo off and on with limited success (and created a version for memoir- MaMoMeMo- May is Motherhood Memoir Month… http://mamomemo.com/2018/04/welcome/, a place where you set your own goals…). None of the novel messes I’ve generated during NaNo have become what I’d call a finished novel; think of a ball of yarn, 50K yards of it, in need of serious untangling. It’s easier to start fresh with new material. When I’m a slave to word count, I churn out an ugly mess, though I do make some interesting discoveries. And I hone the habit of putting words on…

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