"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Monday, June 27, 2016

Millie and Dr. Phil

Now that I’m officially on summer break, I’m hoping to get back to posting regularly once again. I've been super busy. 

I just finished a home project that I did not do myself. However, it was stressful and exhausting, and that was just Millie’s take on the matter. For once she wasn't exaggerating. 

First, I had to find “The Man”, agree to pay him a bunch of money, choose tiles, order them, move furniture and dishes out of the kitchen/dining room and remove stuff from three bathrooms. My kiddos helped, when I let them. 

Millie didn't offered to help, not even once.

I worked the first three days “The Man” was doing the job. The other three? I shopped one day, hung out in my bedroom an entire day and the other I spent in a spare bedroom. 

Poor little Millie was shuffled around, too. She didn’t appreciate any of it, not the noise or the limitations I put on her. 

She was a bit sad and angry at me, sassing with her doggy talk and applying other bad behaviors. I just sighed and said, "It's not forever." Apparently, she decided to take matters into her own hands. 

This appeared on FB about Millie: 

Millie didn’t like the six days of intrusion when her human mommy invited a stranger into HER home to redo HER floors with tile. Millie fought back by throwing fits in the middle of said floors, body slamming her mommy on a regular basis, participating in a hunger strike, barking her deep big dog bark at the man who only wanted to be friends and chewing on her mom’s hands. When all else failed and her feelings appeared not to be considered, she watched Dr. Phil for therapy ideas on how to change her mommy.”  

We have our home back. 

And Millie can once again lay around uninterrupted. It's important to her, sleeping 20 out of 24 hours. 

I've missed you all so much!!! What's been your summer fun or aggravation? 

Monday, June 06, 2016

I forgot IWSG Wednesday.

I forgot about posting last Wednesday, so my post is late.  I have my reasons like reclaiming my property back from springtime nature (I’m not winning), finishing up the school year to be on vacation and buying tile and getting a tile man here to do the job. All are stressful and exhausting. 

My Insecure Writer’s Support Group post is about being lousy at the business/marketing part of writing. In all things lucrative, you must put out effort towards the business part of it. 

I don’t have a problem with finding time to write or doing it. I write nearly every day, but where I get in trouble is that I don’t give myself deadlines or goals. I was looking for a way to make myself more accountable. Then in I saw something that author Hope Clark’s does. She calls it KEEP 13 IN PLAY. Hope keeps 13 things that she has written going out somewhere, at all times. When one comes back she pushes it out to a different market or when it's sold puts another writing out there. Any number can be used. My number will be low at first. No high expectations for this girl.

My spreadsheets will look something like this. I will chart:
  • Sheet 1: Each story, a deadline to complete drafts, get readers for them and when I want it finished. 
  • Sheet 2:  What and when I send those stories to copy editors.
  • Sheet 3: Markets and contests that I can send, too and due dates.
  • Sheet 4:  Actual dates when I send out each story or inquiry and when they come back (rejection). Okay, okay I’ll put a column in for sold. This process will certainly help me be more productive. 
I will check this document every Sunday evening to keep myself on track. 

I need to figure out what’s best for me and get it started. Goals/deadlines are something I need because…

I’m really bad at business things. I would rather write and chase butterflies when they show up to distract me.  

And speaking of distractions. Millie distracts me. 

“Do you want to play with Baby?” she woofed. “Wanna play? Huh? Huh? Huh? Play?” 

Not too long after this photo was taken, Millie ripped Baby’s gut open and ate on ¼ of her stuffing. 

Oh, Millie!

Helpful articles: Here’s a great article by Hope Clark at The Write Life, Make a Living as a Writer: A Simple Strategy That Works. Read at Write Naked how hope works on Keep 13 in Play 

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Ruralhood

I'm talking at The Ruralhood about Laura Ingalls Wilder, if you're in the mood to read it.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Keep the Change!

I was cleaning my study, den, (former) living room, whatever you wish to call it. I started with cleaning out two bookcases. I found my stash of rejection slips and tossed them. Who needs them? I also found stacks of printouts of my short stories that I’d forgotten about and even file backups on CD’s that I need to look through. Unfortunately, I have lots of paper to go through yet, in this paperless society. 

I’ve written a lot of short stories.

Even though I tried not to, because it slows down the cleaning process, I stopped to read some of them. There are changes in my writing—from then to now. 

In the mix of cleaning out books, I found that I had purchased two of the same book at some point: Comedy Writing Secrets: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for it by Melvin Helitzer, published 1987. The second book was published in 2005 and has a c0author, Mark Shatz, listed beneath the original author name. I’m sure there’s changes in the second book to warrant an added author’s name. 

There’s another change, too. The cover! I guess it needed to meet the standards of 2005 and appeal to the (then) modern reader. 

Unless we're already perfect or brilliant or something, we need to be open to change in order to get better at our craft.

“The only thing constant in life is change.” Fran├žois de la Rochefoucauld

I hate that quote because I hate change, but this post isn’t about hating change, is it? I'd like to say, "keep the change", but we need to be open to change so that our craft reflects our best effort.  

Which cover do you prefer? 1987 on the left or 2005 on the right? Does it bother anyone else that 2005 seems so long ago?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Reflection: This is the verdict...

All of my life, I’ve heard people say that Christians are the worst people. Hating. Doing bad things and are hypocrites. To that I say yes, Christians are both good and evil. And yes our actions should reflect love in every thing we do. People are flawed and this includes those who follow {the life example of} Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It's not in us yet to be completely good.

 I like what this says.

 “When sin came into the world, everything broke. The earth no longer functioned as it was supposed to. Our bodies and minds became susceptible to sickness, disease, and demonic oppression. And we found ourselves relationally separated from God and other humans. In Matthew 8 Jesus shows His authority over sin in all these areas. The kingdom of God is not just a place we go to when we die. It is a kingdom Jesus began during His time on earth. He manifested it every time He healed a sick person, drove out a demon, or calmed a storm.  And it will be ultimately revealed when He returns to earth again and makes everything whole, perfect, and new.” Dennis Moles (ODB Insight)

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. John 3:17-21 (NIV)