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Showing posts from May, 2010

Writing Prompt Monday: What Is The Meaning Of This?

The dictionary atop your shelf has more than 200,000 words defined. Why don’t you blow off some of the dust on its cover and randomly pick out 10 words? Don’t look at the meanings; just concentrate on the words. Write down your chosen words on a blank sheet of paper. Now, you’re going to have fun creating meanings for those words. What do the words make you think of? What do you think should they mean? (Get other writing prompts at ) Craven – The leader of the Raven race. A magical being half bird, half man. Fixation – A mental state in which you can posses someone’s mind. Hummock – An herb used in potions. Paradise – An altered reality. Clean. Pure. Diversely – A deep underwater world. Brassiere – Leader of the human race. Astrakhan – Magical kingdom. Place where wizards live. Postal – Crazy person. Lack of mind. Superstition – Magically enhanced physical strength. Unitar

Get Up & Get Moving: Week 1

Okay it is time to get in shape after having my baby and sitting on my butt all day writing. I promised you all I would post every Monday about how I am doing to not only help keep me going, but to help get you up and moving as well. You do not have to post your weight in the comments section (unless you’re crazy like me), but I do ask that you share what you did during the week to help get you up and moving. Actual weight on May 31, 2010 188 Goal weight by December 31, 2010 130 Total weight loss planned 58 Instead of me listing everything I have done throughout the week to help lose weight, I am going to post a link to a site I have been using to log my activity level and food each day. The site is totally FREE! You can join me on . Having a log helps you stay on track and really lets you see where you need to make improvements or adjustments to help shed those unwanted pounds. Here’s the link to my overview http://www.fitd

Interview Friday with Karen McGrath

Karen McGrath is a wife, mother, homeschool advocate, author and an editor for MuseItUp Publishing. A three time cancer survivor, Karen writes short stories and novels in several genres with a core message of hope in overcoming life’s numerous challenges. You can find her in the suburbs and streets of Boston corralling children, socializing with parents and jotting notes madly about imaginary characters, while carrying on real life conversations. No one finds this unusual but her. Karen, I want to thank you for being my first interview here on The Writing Mama. I know being a parent and writer can be a bit much to swallow on some days. Finding time to write is not the only problem. I find myself sometimes wondering if I am giving my three children enough attention as well. I am sure you have been in my shoes from time to time. So to start here is the first question. VS: Karen I am sure, before we begin our readers would love to know how many children you have and what ages. Kare

Call Me Crazy!

After reading some of the comments from today's post I'm thinking I should do a weekly post on how I'm working to lose my weight to help motivate you to join me. (Or help motivated those who don't need to lose but want to get toned.) So starting on Monday, I will not only post my writing prompt, I will also do a post on my weight, my goal weight, and a picture of what I look like now. Let's Get Up and Get Moving Together!

Get Up and Get Moving

Recently I just talked with you all about the “Butt in Chair” theory. As important as it is to sit down everyday to write, you also need to find time to get out of your writing chair. This can be hard to do if you have not only manuscripts to work on, but also, websites, blogs, social site updates, workshops to prepare/do, PR/marketing, etc. However, finding the balance is very important in every writer’s life. This does not mean just finding the time to spend with your children, spouse, friends, or even finding the time to clean your house. You also need to get up and get moving for your health. I would love to tell you the pounds I packed on over the last year were because of my pregnancy. But that would be partly a lie. I had a few extra pounds to lose way before I got pregnant with Sabrina; about 40 to 45 pounds to be exact. My excuse use to be, “Why lose the extra weight when we’re trying to have another baby and I’m going to get fat anyway.” But the truth behind this state real

Article Wednesday: Learn to Achieve Goals You Set

By: TJ Philpott Far too many people fail to actually achieve goals they have set for themselves. Although reasons vary and circumstances differ the basis for most people's failure often is common one. Setting goals is a process that should be well thought out but it does not stop there. The ability or desire to actually motivate yourself to pursue your goals seems to be a common 'sticking point' for most people. The obstacles that confront most everyone in the successful pursuit of any tangible goals can be narrowed down to three stages. Let's review these stages to see the best way for you to achieve your goals after setting them. Determine 'Your Own' Desires In setting goals for yourself take conscious note that these goals you have elected to pursue are yours. Often times even as adults we find ourselves striving to achieve milestones that others want for us. For instance, the influence of a parent for you to be a doctor or attend their alma mat

Butt in Chair Theory: What Does It Mean to Writers?

I think women have a harder time finding time to write vs. men. Maybe I’m wrong, but from my viewpoint I don’t see it. I’m not knocking men and saying they have all the time in the world. I know that is not the case when it comes to their writing. Many male writers have full-time jobs or part-time jobs. So they have to juggle writing around family, work, and a social life. However, most female writers I know not only have jobs outside the home, but a full-time job in the home. So how are we as women supposed to get it all done I ask? There are many ideas out there. Some of which I have shared with you already. But there is one I have not. If you are a writer, chances are you have heard someone at a conference, in a critique group, or some writer get together say, “How I get my writing done is by following the ‘Butt in Chair Theory’. But what does the “But in Chair Theory” really mean. Or better yet, what does it mean to you? Here are what a few fellow women authors on writing boa

Writing Prompt Monday: Pictures of You

Prompt: A picture is worth more than a blank page. Take out those dusty photo albums. Pick out photo #14. Count however way you like, but make sure you stop at photo #14. Look at the photo for 2-3 minutes. Then for 10 minutes, write all the feelings that photograph made you feel. Don’t censor yourself. Just write. Finding what fourteenth picture I was going to use was a bit hard. I have stacks of photo albums on my desk right now because my sister and I are putting together a video for our parents’ 25 th wedding anniversary. After going through all the albums and of course digital albums on my computer I finally picked the fourteenth picture I would use out of twenty-eight fourteenth pictures. LOL. While looking at the picture many memories flooded my mind. The first sadness of a young child missing her father and listening to him playing the piano. A sensation of joy overcomes me as I remember when he first saw the father’s day gift my mom and I had gotten him so many years ago.

Interview Friday: The Objective

I was thinking today, while out shopping for food, it would be great to have other writing moms and dads share their insights on writing while raising a family. Besides, coming up with new blog ideas weekly and daily is a challenge, so why not share the fun with others. So here is the deal starting next week. I would like to interview fellow writers who have children in the house or did have children in the house while working on a writing project/career. You can either be interviewed by me or do a guest blog about a time when getting an assignment down was a challenge because of your children. I am very open to any suggestions about posts by you here on Fridays. I will only do one person a week so first come first serve. If you are interested in being interviewed or doing a guest, blog post contact me at . I am really looking forward to getting to know you all better and hear how you have made raising a family and writing work in your life.

Riddle Me This!

They work for Father Time, But some people hate them While others love them, And all writers need them. What are they? Do you know the answer? How about taking a guess? No, it is not a clock or timer. Nice try. Nope, if you guessed calendar, oh, you guessed a To-Do List and Schedule. Then you would be totally and completely . . . RIGHT! One thing I find that works to my advantage is having a To-Do list. It is basically sitting down and looking at all the things I need to do for the day, week, month, and even the whole year. I find having a To- Do list works better for me over a schedule. However, I do have a daily schedule even if I do not keep on track with it all the time. I am not sure how many of you use both or just one of these to help you as a writer. To be honest, I feel a To-Do list is one of the best tools to help you be a successful writer. If you think about it, you sit down at your desk or open a file on your computer and it shows you all the things

Article Wednesday: Using Change to Promote Creative Thinking

By: TJ Philpott Change can be considered an asset that helps promote creative thinking. Life as it is has each of us routinely existing in environments that lack the necessary stimulus to tap into our own creative resources. Consider a picture hanging on the wall in your home. The longer it is there the less it gets notice. After a while, it no longer presents the noticeable change it once did for you and therefore ceases to exist. The same is true for your own thinking process and the creative intelligence contained within. If it is not properly stimulated it will remain dormant. The best way to awaken it is to stimulate it with something new or different. Here are 3 reasons changing your environment will help to stimulate your thinking process and awaken the dormant creative resources within. Work Station Stagnates Your Thinking Let's face it, your workstation is a deliberately contained environment designed to minimize distractions. This also greatly reduces any s

What Will You Be Doing This Summer?

The last weeks of school are right around the corner. Summer is knocking at the door with lazy days and sunny skies. My son could not be happier. Today he announced, “There is only one week and three days left. I cannot wait to sit around all day playing video games, sleeping in, and not taking test.” If life could only be that easy as his mom. No, I will be spending my summer working on projects I normally do not have the time for during the school months. I think many writers forget summer is not a time for us to take a vacation. Yes, vacations are important, but taking three months off from our writing is not ideal. Summer is the perfect time to maintain, refresh, or jump-start projects. Yes, having all three kids at home does make working a challenge. However, I find this the perfect time for me to work on writing workshop ideas for the New Year. To refresh old workshops I have done for upcoming conferences. Putting together new ideas for school visits, updating

Writing Prompt Monday: The Challenge

The idea is too basically express yourself on paper, learn how to use your five senses, or build upon an idea. Think back to when you were in school, it used to only take your teacher saying, “Write a paragraph or one page composition on any subject you want.” This was all it used to take to get those creative juices flowing, but what about now? If you are like me and most writers I know, you have most likely experience the dreaded word “Writer’s Block” from time to time. Getting past this wide-eyed, blank page stare can be hard, and the flashing cursor does not help matters. What is a writer to do? Well it does not matter if you are a New York Best-selling author or an aspiring author, we all need a little creative boost from time to time and that is where my Writing Prompt Monday comes in. In my search for a writing prompt for this week, I came across a great site called Creative Writing Prompts . They have over 300 writing prompts to get your creative juices flowin

Jotting Down This and That

The other day I was reading through my Twitter posts and came across a posting about one of the people I follow forgetting what blog post idea she had earlier that day. In her tweet, she said a comic strip gave her this really great idea. Problem was she could not remember which comic and what idea. I am sure you all have experienced this same thing. If not . . . boy are you lucky. After reading this tweet, my mind-starting coming up with this blog post about jotting down notes, ideas, and parts of stories. However, I did not write these ideas down. Nope. By the time I was ready with my word file up, Ashley needed me. Of course she did and if it wasn’t her . . . I’m sure it would have been Sabrina. One thing I have learned being a writing mama is you never have the time or right moment to jot down the things going through you head; especially if it has to do with your writing. Okay, maybe this only happens to me, but I highly doubt it. By the time I did s

Reflections of Mother’s Day

I hope all you writing mamas had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I wish I could share with all of you some wonderful moments from this Mother’s Day, but I cannot. What I thought was going to be a wonderful day ended up in complete disaster. I guess the first sign it was going to be one of those days was when the girls starting waking up about every couple of hours. If it wasn’t Sabrina whimpering (our new baby) it was our five-year-old, Ashley crying out because of growing pains in her legs. To top it all off, Sabrina decided getting up at 6:00 am was a great idea and not going back to sleep until noon. But I did not let the sleepless night get to me. No, I just pushed forward and started my day at 6:00 am. After getting the whole family up and out the door, we headed to a church meeting. I was really looking forward to the speakers and hearing some music to lift my spirits. However, I was met with total resentences from our fourteen-year-old son. On any other day, I would have cha

Writing Prompt: Back from the Future

A knock at the door catches you off-guard. Upon answering it, you're greeted by a man who says he's from the future—and he can prove it. More important, he says he has information that will save your life. Rules: Anyone can post a piece (850 words or fewer) here in the comments section. I will post my piece here as well. All responses must be posted by midnight on Sunday, May 16th MST. Note: This writing prompt comes from Writer's Digest

A Little R-n-R

There is nothing like a bit of peace and quiet to focus on your writing. After a busy day of grocery shopping, picking up the house, and getting my hair cut . . . I never thought I would find the time to sit down today at my computer. But I did get the time and I am happy to say I just finished putting together the 41st issue of SFC Newsletter for Writers. It is hard to believe this little newsletter (voted one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer’s Digest 2009) is going into its fourth year of publication. SFC Newsletter for Writers ( ) is the first publication I started after taking my writing course at The Institute of Children’s Literature (ICL) in 2005. From there I started Stories for Children Magazine ( ) and finally the parent company Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. Besides this blog, SFC Newsletter for Writers is also helping me get back into the sw