Time Slip

My time to blog and write have been seriously infringed upon by my home based business which is rosary sales and building. Every year I set up a table at a bazaar sponsored by our parish’s CCW which has become an annual local event than many attend. As I always manage to do, I wait until about six weeks before to realize my inventory is woefully short and I need to get more items built for the bazaar. This year is no exception. The added pressure came from an uptick in sales of my rosaries from the Parish store. The short version is I’ve been building a minimum of two rosaries a day for the last few weeks. Between the building and the difficulty I have making a design decision, my creativity has been focused very narrowly on the visual and not the written, emotional.

I daily get a twinge, pining away for my laptop and the familiar flow of ideas when I read a blog prompt. I’ve tried but my brain is so firmly involved in beads and wire, and metal it’s like trying to see through a brick wall. It’s not happening. Happily, there is a light at the end of the tunnel as the Bazaar is in just over two weeks.

Every year, after I sit back with my rosary building binge hangover I tell myself, “I’ll build one or two a week for inventory.” That commitment will keep the Parish store stocked and my on hand inventory at a place where if I need, I could build up stock adequately to have a deep selection for the Bazaar in November. It takes 45 minutes to and hour to build and I can carve out that amount of time and it won’t infringe on my writing. I’m already thinking those thoughts and will honestly work on that as a goal moving forward.

I hope those of you who follow my blog and have been reading my story “Faith from Ruin” will stick with me. The hiatus is temporary and I will continue the story, which I hope has the enough potential to become a published piece.

Here’s an example of what I’ve been doing. This is one of around 40 rosaries I’ve built in the last few weeks. There are 19 more on my table to be finished. “Can she do it?” you ask. She certainly hopes she can.

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It’s what I do

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Glazed

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Unleashed

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At a reading Neil Gaiman was asked to describe his writing process in three words. His response was “Glare. Drink tea.

This weekend, Trifecta asks us to sum up our own process with just three little words.

I’m giving you my three words and a great song sung by Jim Croce about how dang good it feels to be free, rolling down the highway with the top down. Yeah, that’s what it feels like when I hit publish.

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The Writing Garden

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Writing is like cultivating a garden. If you don’t feed it, nothing grows. I’m discovering thist more and more and unfortunately, the hard way.

IMG_0339Often I binge write. I get on a roll and I’ll post to my blog, Day In and Day Out,  four of five times in a week. Then something switches off, or life happens and it can be weeks. Like right now. My writing has taken a six week hiatus and my head starts screaming at me “WRITE! Just WRITE!” But I’m in my car driving somewhere and when I get home the voice has been drowned out by a three old needing “milkie” or
“sontee eee!” (something to eat)

Discipline is my kryptonite. I lack it and I desire it. Fortunately my best time to write is nights. Everyone else is in bed. My Nanny Granny duties have ended for the day and I have the quiet house to myself to open up my brain and write. Unfortunately, my best time to write is nights. When my head kicks in gear and the words flow, I’m up into the wee hours of the morning abusing my laptop.

The fertilizer that feeds my writing and gets things going are prompts. I have several favorites. I’m huge music fan and collector with a wide range of styles so there’s the  “100 Word Song” Lance, a fellow Studio 30 Plus member, has at his place My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog, Trifecta’s weekly writing challenge, and Velvet Verbosity’s 100 Words. I’ve participated in a couple of prompts here at Studio 30 Plus as well. When I’m participating in prompts and really stretch into those that don’t necessarily appeal to me at first, I have discovered that I write better and reach for more. Often once I get started I am writing for multiple prompts in a weeks time.

I find I want more from myself as a writer and am my harshest critic. I yearn for more and better quality time to write so I can punch out more than 100 or 200 or 500 words at a time. I have several examples of writers who have produced some quality stories using nothing but prompts to put together a plot with a beginning a middle and an end, and I’ve got a story going right now that is all prompt driven.

I give in to the distraction of cooking. I love to create, alter and prepare wonderful, delicious food and I blog about that as well. After two of my pack moved out of state and I got regular phone calls asking for this or that recipe, a blog was the perfect answer to share my recipes not only with my kids but my widening group of friends. IMG_1055So Cooking the Mad Scientist Way was born. Some weeks cooking becomes my focus as I spend time in the kitchen perfecting a recipe. When cooking happens, creative fiction writing suffers. Recipe blog posts are given the effort to make them well written and entertaining if possible, so it’s not a complete loss.

Photography has been a longtime love of mine and pictures go hand in hand with my creativity. The upside is I almost always have a picture somewhere on my hard drive or iPad that is perfect for a blog post. If not, I grab my Canon 40D and shoot, transfer edit and upload.

While I tend to be hard on myself for not being as disciplined as I believe I should be, I can look at my extra creative outlets as branches on the same plant. My imagination is always working on something. I’ve given myself permission to have other outlets to inspire and share my abundance whether it’s  something tasty, a beautiful picture or new story.

So for now, with the time I’m given between being Blossom’s mom, a babysitting Nanny Granny to Princess and Warrior Girl, wife to Captain my Captain and being an awesome cook and a mediocre housekeeper I write, I blog and I create what comes when it comes. I balance what’s in front of me in the moment and I tend the big garden where writing is but one row.

*** Blogger Note: Tom Petty and I go back a long, long way. Since the beginning of his career to be specific. Long road trips and raucous fun blasting songs on the radio or the electronic device of the time. I love that he sings with raw emotions, and this song pretty much sums up what I wish. I wish I had it all; all the time I want to write, I want the perfect kitchen and all the time to cook, I want the best camera and the time to step out the door and frame the perfect shot. I want it all. Don’t we all?

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I wrote this post for Studio 30 Plus as a featured writer. Tuesday and Thursday they feature articles on writing, becoming published, social media strategies, improving your blog, and more. I don’t think I’m an expert at giving advice on any of those, so my article is about my writing process.

Blossom-ing Into an Author

Blossom, my beautiful 9 year old,fancies herself as a writer. It’s a good thing because she’s pretty damn good!

At three, she announced she wanted to write a book and then narrated a story for me to type and print for her. She also illustrated and decorated each page. She wanted it to look like a “real book” so at the next trip to the Mart, I acquired a report cover and her book  “The Puppy and The Girl” was published. For Mommy and Daddy anyway.

When she was 5, she was absolutely in love with the Numeroff book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and she wrote her own “If You…” story called “If You Take a Mouse to Sundance” [side note here Sundance is small community in WY we visited that summer]. This tale was written in her own hand with notes by Mommy with correct words so I would know 20 years later what she wrote and what she wanted to say. This too was self illustrated and published by way of three staples on the left side so it would page like a book.

She tapped a little 250 word story out yesterday and shared it with her fam and friends. She asked me to make a blog post so she can get some “concrit”. I agreed because I believe concrit is good for every writer whether we are 9 or 90. I may put her onto Write On Edge and have her do some prompt writing. I think there’s some gold in them thar fingers. At least some fabulous writing waiting to burst out of her little mind onto the page.

Now, for Blossom’s Story (no title – yet)

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I walked down the stairs. A cool morning, 5:00 am. Never in my life had I thought of this. The haunted house down the street. I never notices it before, but remember one vague night. I was looking out my window at the house, waiting for her. Then it all happened in a flash… A black ghostly figure staring at me, holding a fist up daring to kill. Then she vanished… ”Clara!” yelled my friend Sam. (current day now). ”Im coming!” I yelled back to her. I quickly grab a cinamon roll and head out the door to wait for Sam, Josh, and Malinda. They all came in about 20 minutes. 

My heart stops beating. A black cat crosses in front of the house. “NO!!” I scream. ”What, do you need help!!??” screams Malinda back. ”No there was a black cat in front of the house!” I reply. Josh’s face is green with terror mixed with sick fear. I want to scream and run but cant. My friends are relying on me. I fasten my backpack on my shoulder, brace myself, grab onto my friends hands, and walk to the door of the haunted house.

All I hear as we walk in our hearts beating. ”MOMMY MOMMY” yells a faint voice. I scream, grab my friends and try to run out the open door. But it shuts. We have been trapped in this haunted house. Forever. I should have said goodbye.

This is not a true story!!!!! I made it up out of my imagination. I HOPE YOU LIKE

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I’ve written about Blossom several times. I’ve included links to those post below.

More about Blossom in “Beauty Unknown” and “Only The Lonely Kid” and “Doing With an Audience of One