Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Passive MC

If you're worried your MC is too passive, try taking the MC out of the novel. Would the plot remain the same? Would everything still happen the way it's written? If so, your MC is merely reacting.

You need a MC that drives the plot. A person the whole novel would fall apart without. Then you've got the character we all want to read about.

Monday, March 16, 2015

story time

Pretty girl (my four year old) was taking a loooong time in the shower the other night so I stepped into the bathroom and asked if she needed any help. Which, as everyone knows, is secret mom code for 'hurry up!'

"But, mom." She replied "I'm telling a story."

That caught me short. My little girl is making up stories in the shower. I get some pretty good ideas in there, too.

Carry on, Writer Girl, carry on.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pi, or rather PIE!

Saturday is National Pi Day. March 14. 3.14.

Now, we actually have a national pie day (Jan 23), which is celebrated with, well, pie. But since you can't have too much pie that's what we do for Pi day also. It sure beats doing math to celebrate. So, in honor of the day, I'm sharing my award winning peach blueberry pie recipe.

Pie dough
This makes enough for 2-3 pies depending on size. You can half the recipe, add the whole egg and maybe a touch more flour.



4 C flour
1 ½ C shortening
2 tsp salt
2 TBSP sugar
1 egg
½ C water
1 TBSP vinegar

Mix flour, salt and sugar. Cut in butter. In separate bowl mix water, vinegar and egg. Add to dry ingredients.

Persoanlly I mix this by hand with a pastry blender. I know others who use a mixer and it turns out fine, but I like the texture from hand mixing better. It's more flaky and light. 



Peach blueberry pie filling (one pie)


4 C peaches
1 C sugar
¼ C flour
Cinnamon I had a big dash of it, you can add as much or as little as you like.
Handful of blueberries.
I add a 1/2 tsp or so of almond flavoring, but that is not required. (I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to though) 

Happy Pi day!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Book Pile

The other day I came into the playroom and found the kid's bookshelf like this.







My heart stopped for a moment, horrified, because we don't treat books like that, and because we're trying to sell the house and we have to keep it clean, clean, clean. I got over it quickly. Who can be angry  at children who like to read?

Apparently, Mini Engineer had been looking for a specific book. A book he couldn't find because I had pulled several books and toys out and hid them. When we take the three day drive to Denver we'll have things for the kids to play with in the car that they haven't seen in months and hopefully won't get bored with quickly. 

I sat down and read them some stories. After all, my kids are more important than a clean house or painting the last of the trim.

I love that they love to read. I love that they have favorite books that they just HAVE to find. But, I'm sure I'll love it more when they learn to clean up afterwards.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Help


Yesterday I started my third simultaneous arthritis medicine.

I’ve been putting it off for months because I didn’t want to be that person. You know the person dependent on so many drugs. The one with a pharmacy on their bathroom sink. Wasn’t two medicines enough? Plus the prescription folic acid I have to take because of one of those medicines. 

I was doing better after starting the second one. I still had pain but it wasn't as bad as it had been. I told myself it was enough. Other people didn't need to be on so much medicine. But a couple of things happened recently that made me rethink my stance. First, I had a eight month pregnant woman come and sink into a squat next to me at church one day. I can't squat on the best of days, and here she could do it eight months pregnant without any pain, discomfort or inability to get up. A few days later my five year old had to open a jar I couldn't open. It made me wonder how bad I really was. 

It didn't help that recently I had to come off one of my medicines for two weeks while I did a round of antibiotics (thank you very much strep throat) because the two drugs don’t get along. And I remembered what it was like. Not being able to lift up my kids, having to calculate very carefully how much walking I need to do and whether or not it’s worth going up the stairs or if that would mean missing out on walking later. Whether or not I could sit in the chair long enough to write. 

I remembered how much I missed out on. 

So I did it. I jumped in and started the third medicine. I didn’t want to miss out on anything else. I wanted to live normally again. I don't want to have to rely on my five year old to pick up the slack for the things I can't do. It's not fair to him. 

All of these things reminded me that I wasn’t using the medicine as an emotional crutch, it's for my family, my quality of life. And I want to live my life. I don't want just half a life. Same with my writing. I’m not going to write halfway. If there are aids out there to help me write better, blogs, books on writing, crits, feedback, conferences, then I’m going to do them. I’m going to sit down and write and rewrite and rewrite again until my quality of writing is where I want to be. Until I’m good enough to get an agent and a publisher and have people want to read me. I’ll keep working at it, every day, just like I take my medicine every day. Not because I'm not as good as everyone else, but because everyone is different, everyone needs help, and this is where I need help. 

And that's okay.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Guilty



No one is perfect.   

Why we all feel guilty for this I’ll never know. 

When big storms hit a ship out on the sea, the sailors take precautions. They do everything they can to keep the ship and their lives safe. But if the storm is bad enough there comes a point they tie off the wheel and hold on. Are they feeling guilty that they aren’t doing more? No, because there is nothing else they could do. Sometimes life is like that. Sometimes life is a raging storm and all we can do is hold on. Why we feel guilty for not making time for lunch with friends, or crafts for the home, or 100 percent home grown food I’ll never know. We need to hold on, and we need to be grateful that there is something to hold onto. That not every moment of our life is like this. 

Because it isn't. 

We can only do what we can do. And some days that's a lot, and some days that's a little. 

Some days it's all we can do to hold on. And that has to be enough.And that has to be okay. Who would want to read about a character who feels guilty and apologizes for everything? So who would want to live that life?

I hope that in 2015 we can let go of the guilt, and learn to live again. I think that all starts with feeling grateful.Today I am grateful for my kids. They are sick as dogs right now and I didn't sleep at all last night, but this is just an illness, something they can get over quickly, and return to their normal, happy lives. Not every child is that lucky. So I am grateful.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

today

I'm in Denver house hunting but I couldn't let today pass without a post. Four years ago today I published my first post on this blog. It was short, pathetic, and didn't have any readers. But it was a beginning. My first step on this road where I would find so many friend and support. Thank you all for four wonderful years.