About Me

My photo
I'm a published author of short fiction for kids and adults. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. I'm a former content writer for Spirit and Truth publishing on their Living the Word series. I've also worked as a paid book reviewer and as a student editor for The Louisville Review literary magazine. I'm a wife and mom to two great kids, three dogs, and a cat. I love books, movies, gardening, kids, and animals.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What is the Hardest Part of Writing



This week I've read a couple of articles that discussed the difficulties of writing and whether or not it is worth it. I will admit that writing IS hard. Anyone who tells you it isn't is lying. Some days I'd rather hide in a paper bag with my cat than sit at my computer and work. As to whether it is worth it or not, well I think the answer to that lies in why you write. One of the articles I read posted by writing coach, Suzanne Lieurance, compared writing to moving mountains.

So what is the hardest part of writing for you? For me I would say its finishing that first draft and then sticking with it through the revision. When I first start a new story, I can't wait to get started. For several days I'm in love with it, the characters, the world, it's all just wonderful. Then I get to the middle and somehow getting to the end seems very far away and I become as slow as a turtle.



But I plod through it knowing that whatever is wrong with the middle section or even that ending chapter can be fixed later. Once its done I celebrate and then go on to something new. Usually revising something else or working on a short story of some kind. Then I return to my manuscript with fresh eyes eager to revise and polish it. Until I get to the middle again and decide I don't like chapter fourteen or fifteen and I should completely rewrite them. Those are the days when I wonder is this really worth the hassle? Sometimes those days are harder to get through than writing after receiving a rejection. I've found that if I keep at it and then reward myself even in a very small way, it is worth it. I've accomplished something and I've brought a whole host of characters to life on a page.

What about you? What is the hardest part of writing for you and how do you work through it?

This Week's Story Start

I like this story start enough to keep it going for another week. Read below in the comments section to see how it unfolds.  :)

CORRECT CHANGE ONLY

I was born right in the middle of a candy shop. Mama said the first thing I probably saw as I came out was the toy train rattling down its track through the store.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Excellent Free Weekly Newsletter for Writers

Check out this great free weekly newsletter by Hope Clark. It offers weekly articles on writing, lists writing contests, and publishers/literary agents open for submissions. I enjoyed both articles for this week on the writing life. One was written by Hope Clark, and discusses some of the more frustrating aspects of the writing life. Another article was written by Noelle Sterne and offers sound advice on seven things to do or keep in mind once that first book is published. Here is the link for the newsletter:

FundsforWriters

Monday, April 8, 2013

Story start for the week...

Echo's Curse Rewritten:

Many of you have probably heard the legend of me, Echo. How I was in love with that jerk, Narcissus. And how I was cursed by Hera to repeat back whatever anyone else says. Well like all myths there is only a small grain of truth to the story. I was never in love with Narcissus. How can you love someone who is in love with himself? The curse part is partly true, but it didn't happen quite the way you've been told, and I found a way to break it.

Why Garden?



People I know casually are often surprised when they find out I love to garden. Invariably when they find out I’m a gardener, I get one of two responses. I wish I had the time and the space to garden, or I would love to have a small garden of my own, but I know nothing about gardening and I’m afraid any money I spent on plants would be wasted when I killed them. Others ask how I find the time or energy to garden and wonder how I manage it. Why go to all the work of gardening when you can buy your produce at the grocery or local farmers market? While I agree that sometimes it is much easier to go to the grocery or farmers market to buy what you need, neither is quite as satisfying as growing something yourself. Gardening is very much like a home improvement project that you’ve decided to tackle on your own instead of hiring a contractor. It can also add benefits to your home and your health.


While I still support my local growers by shopping at the farmers market in the late spring and summer, and I buy my meats from a local butcher, I also grow many of my own vegetables myself. To be honest, I don’t find gardening work because I love it. From the moment I was able to have my own apartment in college, I’ve had something I’ve started growing outside as soon as the weather got warm enough. I started with pots and container gardening. I didn’t remember all of what my parents and grandparents tried to teach me about gardening as a child. I did remember the satisfaction they had in working in the soil and picking food right out of their own backyard though. It was an urge that I felt once I had space of my own and I’ve never looked back. 


One thing I’ve learned over the years about gardening is there are many different ways to do it. Having house plants is one simple way you can be a gardener and it doesn’t require a lot of space. Keeping an African violet in your kitchen window, growing a Christmas cactus, or even putting together a small terrarium can be fun and relatively easy. Plus having indoor plants can improve the air quality in your home. Container gardening on a small deck, balcony, or patio is another way to garden. Containers with flowers or herbs can improve the equity in your home or brighten your apartment by adding beauty to your landscape. If you live in an area with poor soil, or don’t have the space or money to keep a tiller, you can put together a box and have a raised bed garden. Don't let lack of know-how stop you either. There are plenty of resources both on the web, with state universities, or with a local extension office that can help you with information on garden projects. Many of these resources are free or only charge a moderate fee. Another source on learning how to grow things is local nurseries and home improvement centers. Many offer weekend classes for adults or parents and children on fun, family gardening projects. Support local nurseries and explore fun activities that you can do with your kids that involve plants and growing things. It will make you feel good about yourself, help the environment, and give your kids an appreciation for the earth and nature. Most importantly, don’t give up on yourself if your first efforts in gardening fail. Being a gardener means accepting the fact that sometimes your garden won’t thrive and your plants may die. Learning a new thing involves stamina, and practice, and gardening is no different. You have to keep trying in order to get better at it. 

Nothing tastes better than food you grew in your own garden. You know when you eat it exactly where it came from and how it was grown. And few flowers look prettier than those you bought and potted yourself. So this spring take a risk, even if you start small, give growing something a try.