“Life is meant to be fun, and joyous, and fulfilling.” – Jim Henson
This last week has been all about fun! We took our kids to the Wisconsin Dells. None of us had ever been there. We did one of those “stay and play” deals where it was a hotel/water park/amusement park all in one place. I realized that I had sorta forgotten how to have fun! Just good, old-fashioned, don’t-think-too-hard, slide-down-a-water-slide-and-come-up-spluttering-at-the-end-while-your-kids-laugh-at-you kind of fun. I’m not saying that my life is devoid of fun. But there are different kinds of fun and I definitely hadn’t taken part in this kind of fun for years and years. I highly recommend it! If nothing else, go to your local park and take a turn on the swing set.
In other “fun” news (but definitely a different sort of fun), I attended a workshop on Saturday hosted by the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators called “Crafting the YA Novel: Word Choice and Voice.” It was awesome to be in the same room with all those like-minded and creative people. I learned so much just by simply being there. If you ever get a chance to attend a workshop such as this, don’t hesitate.
Have a great week everyone!
“A happy life consists in tranquility of mind.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
I’ve been unplugged quite a bit lately – trying to find a little tranquility. Easier said than done. You would think that would mean that I’ve done lots of writing lately, too. But, sadly, no. I have some time off this week and hope to balance family time with a little “me” time for writing. (One can always hope!)
Have a great week, everyone!
“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Ah, here’s an oldie but a goodie! I don’t know about you, but I need this quote this week. Without going into details, let’s just say my body seems to be a train wreck as of late. So I’m tying my knot and hanging on. And putting faith in the idea that I’ll snap out of this soon. It’s nothing permanent or chronic or truly awful. I just seem to be getting sick a lot lately! At least it makes me grateful for my normally healthy body and I look forward to getting back to that state.
The picture doesn’t really tie in with the quote, but it’s a nice shot I took last weekend while camping. Have a great week, everyone!
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” – Winston Churchill
Attitude, indeed! This little honey has lots of it. This picture is from the very fun camping weekend that I just enjoyed. More on that to come later. I’m just dashing off this quick and late edition of Motivation Monday as I’m trying to catch up from a weekend of nothin’ but fun. Have a great week, everyone!
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
I’ve spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about the murders in Aurora, Colo. and the fragility of life. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. It causes me to really stop to think: am I living as if everything is a miracle? It’s hard to do that day in and day out. But there are people whose lives have been cut short – in the Colorado shooting and elsewhere across the whole planet every single day – and if I’m not at least trying to make every second count then, shame on me.
The above photo was a miracle of sorts – I happened upon this beautiful cardinal while I had my camera in hand with the zoom lens attached. I only got a couple clicks in before he took off.
Have a great week everyone!
It’s Road Trip Wednesday! This week, the folks over at YA Highway are asking When you need creative inspiration, where do you go?
In a word: out. The funny thing is, I do it subconsciously and never realized it. But in a pinch, I’ll go out on my deck with my laptop. And if I’m really looking for a change of scenery, and therefore a jostle of my creative juices, I’ll head to the grassy paths and quiet of the woods.
There is a state park just at the edge of town that works perfectly for this. Both pictures in this post were taken there. There are miles of trails where a person can take a hike, stop to look out over the river, or sit on a bench and listen to the wind weaving through the trees.
It’s the perfect place to completely unplug and put my head in a much more quiet place than it’s used to. I don’t necessarily take along a notebook or laptop. It’s just a good thinkin’ place. I unscramble all my thoughts and then dash back home to write down whatever nuggets of wisdom I may have been able to dig up.
Admittedly, I don’t get there as often as I’d like. Especially this summer, when it’s been a hundred-and-billionty-degrees for days on end, it feels like I’ve barely stepped foot outside at all. Here’s looking forward to fall!
Where do you go when you need to find creative inspiration?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Like this little guy, who believed in his future outside his safe and sound birdhouse in my backyard. Remember a couple weeks ago when I posted this picture and said that the momma bird wasn’t happy with me because I was getting between her and her babies? The bird in the picture above was one of those babies. They’ve all flown the nest now. And I feel like I’m about to fly the nest, in a way. I found out yesterday that I have been accepted into a group called the MNYA Writers group. I am beyond excited to participate in this group of people whose purpose is encouragement of each other, furthering their craft and cameraderie. It’s another step in the right direction down the path toward improving my writing and publication!
Have a great week everyone – keep believing in the beauty of your dreams.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt
This wonderful quote is right along the lines of the more colloquial – “Bloom where you are planted.” I don’t know who said that. Hallmark, maybe. Just this week, I had a conversation with a good friend about whether or not pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing would appeal to me. And when I think about it, it kinda does appeal to me. But my gut reaction is that the timing (and the finances) are just not right at the moment. It’s a nice little pipe dream to have, though, while in the meantime, I “do what I can, with what I have, where I am.”
Have a great week, everyone. Go out there and do what you can, with what you have, where ever you are!
(The above photo was taken at a relative’s house. From this angle, it kind of looks like a wall in a secret garden, doesn’t it? It’s really more of a trellis. But, let’s pretend it’s a secret garden.)
Do you ever find yourself going back to the same blogs again and again? Not that this is a bad thing. Obviously if you re-visit the same folks over and over, it means they are doing something right and their blog (and the blogger) becomes like a friend that you enjoy visiting. This is the way blogging is supposed to work, right?
My challenge recently has been that I have noticed I tend to visit only the same 10 or 15 blogs. There’s only so much time in the week and you don’t want to miss out on what your blogger friends are up to. But there are so many fantastic blogs out there and an abundance of creative sites to visit that I’m afraid I might be missing out on if I stick to the same circle. I don’t know what the answer to the time problem is – because I can’t really double the amount of time I spend each week visiting other blogs! But I have definitely made an effort to visit some of the sites listed in the blog rolls on those blogs I enjoy.
Here are just a few that I have found this week. Even better is that they are creative, wonderful blogs but not necessarily only about writing. I think finding a few blogs that serve up creative energy in a different way will be a wonderful change of pace.
Do you ever find yourself in a blog-reading rut and what do you do about it? How do you add blogs to your list without having to conjure up additional hours in the day? How do you “make new friends but keep the old?”
“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” – Maya Angelou
I’ve always loved this quote. I think what she’s trying to say is that we all have a message, a story, a painting, a song, a novel … something that is in us trying to get out. Have a great week and do whatever you can to sing your own song!
This little bird definitely had something to say. I took this picture in my backyard a few days ago. I got between this momma and her babies to take the picture and she was NOT happy with me. Don’t worry – I snapped a few quick shots and got out of her way. Have a great week everyone!