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Viewing Blog: The Writing Mama, Most Recent at Top
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Creative writing can be a great way to express yourself. Of course, being a mom makes it hard to find writing time. My goal with this blog is to share my weekly writing prompts, a few writing tips, a little inspiration, and me trying to make it in the publishing world as a writing mama.
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1. 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 sit down to start writing this blog idea, hours had gone by. No, actually almost two whole days had gone by. I know what you are thinking, “Wow. She has a great memory.” Wrong again! But I am not going to tell you what I did just yet to remember what I wanted to say in this blog. First, I’m going to share a few ideas about how others remember what their muse is wanting to share with the world.


I read once many years ago author Anne Rice would write her story ideas, scenes, etc on her bedroom walls. No joke. I really wish I could remember where I read this, but I don’t. See bad memory. Anyway, the article or interview talked about how many of Anne’s stories came to her in her sleep, but instead of writing things down in a notebook . . . she would write on her walls.


As much as this idea appeals to my inner child, I am sure my hubby would not be too happy seeing our bedroom walls covered in my thoughts, ideas, scenes, and dialog between my characters. Of course, if I was a New York Best-selling author . . . he might not say anything. I’ll have to let you know once that happens.


But for those of you who are like me and think maybe the walls of the house are not the best place for writing ideas, you can follow in the footsteps of fellow author Claudette Hegel. She once told me during Back-to-School month how she likes to stock up on all her writing supplies. One of her favorite items is . . . you guest it . . . spiral notebooks. She is able to buy dozens for very little money at this time of year and has an endless supply for her thoughts, notes, ideas, and what not through the year.


I know not all writers are fond of the notebook idea. They can be troublesome to carry around all the time for the just in case moment. Heck, half the time I can’t remember where I put some of my ideas for a story in the darn thing. However, I do use notebooks for some of my writing, but not all of it; and n

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2. 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 chalked it up to him just being a teen, but for some reason I was shocked. Maybe because it was Mother’s Day and after all I did bring him into this world. But that did not stop him from pointing out all my faults as a mother while the speakers read poems and talks about why mothers are wonderful.

You can imagine how I must have been feeling. I felt I had let my children down. My writing was effecting how they saw me. But then my five-year-old put her hand on mine and said, “Mommy, I love you. You’re the best mommy ever. Don’t be sad. I want you to be happy.” I could feel the tears sting my eyes wanting to pour out. I looked down at my little baby and all I saw was total trust and love.

I again felt good about my choices until my hubby was about to drag our son out of the building for acting up. I, being the wonderful mom I thought I was, tried to calm both of them down. Which only led to my hubby pointing out, “Now our son thinks he can get away with acting like a real jerk in public because you’re afraid of me causing a scene by dragging him out.” I again felt like the worst mom and now wife.

The thing is . . . even though my Mother’s Day did not turn out the way I wanted it to; I know have a great scene in which I can use in a book. So I may not always be the best mom. But if I was, I would not have any material to use in my writings either. I guess you can say my fourteen-year-old without knowing it still gave me a Mother’s Day present . . . even if it was not the one I was looking for.

Looking back on yesterday I realized I still have a lot to learn about being a writing mama. Finding the balance is not always easy. My son only reminded me of that. I worked most of his young life and now as a teen he does not understand I am trying to make up for all the lost time. It’s nice to be home raising my children and doing what I love . . . writing, but my kids don’t always see it that way. Sometimes the muse strikes and I want to sit down and write, but my five-year-old decides it is time for me to play Candyland with her instead. Or maybe my son needs help with his science project. And now, I have a new baby who is also cutting into their time.

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3. 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

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4. 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 (http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/SFCNewsletterforWriters.aspx) 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 (http://storiesforchildrenmagazine.org) 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 swing of writing. Even though it is only monthly; sitting down, writing, and editing my newsletter helps get my mind back on track in the writing world. I don’t always write the articles inside, but I do have to write my little opening and do research on the articles I publish, which are all tips for writers. This month I found some of them very motivating and helpful in getting myself back in the writing chair. However, with little ones running around, I do find it hard to hold on to my muse.

That’s what brings me back to my title of this blog post, A Little R-n-R. As a writing mama, it’s not only about finding time to sit down and write. It is also about having the right mood in which to write. Every writer has a different way to find their muse, but I’m sure it’s not having your fourteen year old and five year old fighting over the TV. Or having your newborn crying because it is time to eat. So how do you find the right setting and mood to get your muse to come out?

Well that all depends on your circumstance. I am lucky enough to have family living close by. There is nothing better in this world to children than Grandma and Grandpa. I find if I need a little down time, picking up the phone and calling my mom to have the kids spend the night is just the answer. However, you may not have that luxury. So what are you to do?

Maybe get hubby to take the kids out for some ice cream or go see a movie. If you have some close friends with children around the same age as yours, maybe they will be willing to take them for an hour or two. Of course, if you have a new baby like me, you will not be able to send them off. But that does not mean naptime or an hour after they go down to bed you should not set the right mood for your muse to come out.

Trust me when I say it is hard choosing between catching some Zzzzz’s or writing when only Sabrina is home with me, but I find I sleep much better if I get in a few minutes or hour of writing time. If I don’t, then my dreams become a story fighting to get out of my mind. Waking me up with images and ideas wanting to be expressed on the page. I tend to toss and turn, fighting my muse to catch those Zzzz’s . . . when I know just writing down a few lines, paragraphs will only help me sleep easier.

So tonight, my muse won. I sent the two oldest off to my mother’s house. Sabrina is down for the night and here I am writing. Enjoying the quiet sounds of the night. Getting my newsletter ready for editing and sharing with you my thoughts and progress.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but for now, my muse is ready to share what it has been dreaming about while I’ve been busy being a

1 Comments on A Little R-n-R, last added: 5/10/2010
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5. My Ramblings on Social Media

We all do it. Sit for hours in front of our computers posting on Facebook, Twitter, My Space, Ning, and other social media networks. Face it; it is the best way to keep tabs on all your friends, family, and fans. But do you find yourself playing the tug-a-war game everyday?

I know for me as a writer it is important to have a cyber-face present at all times. Social media is the new way of marketing. I teach this in my workshop, How to Sell Yourself. As a writer, you must have a website, you should join social networks, consider a blog and newsletter. However, finding the time to keep up on it all can be a bit much.

The biggest thing I noticed was when I had a few minutes after putting my two month old down I would do the should I clean or should I hop on the computer just to check this or that. I bet you can guess the answer. I, of course, hopped on the computer to just check email and would end up spending more than a few minutes. Let’s say my couple of minutes normally turned into an hour or two. I wouldn’t even notice until my five year old would come into my office saying, “Mommy, can you make me lunch?” or the baby monitor would go off letting me know my two month old was now awake.

I’m not the only one who experiences this problem. I have a couple of friends who finally closed down their Facebook pages because they spent hours everyday just trying to keep up on all the postings from friends, family, and fans. One friend even told me she had not written in weeks because of the time she was spending on social sites.

So what do I suggest? Well, I’ll be honest . . . I was a social media junkie a few months back. I had profiles on My Space, Facebook, Twitter, Jacketflap, a few different Ning networks, Shout, etc. You name it and I was most likely on it. But I could not keep it up once Sabrina came into the picture. A new baby really makes you stop and relook at your time. Before Sabrina, I would spend hours everyday just trying. It cut into my writing time, my personal time, and most importantly … my kid’s time with me. I had to cut back, make choices, and really look at which internet outlets were performing over the ones that were not. I finally choose the ones I found to work best for my now extremely busy schedule and me.

I have cut my social sites down to Facebook, Twitter, Jacketflap, and two Ning networks (Utah Writing and Kids Stories Online). I still have my author website, my company website, blogs and magazine site. It is still a lot to handle, but it’s manageable. The best part is . . .

Now I have more time to do what I love best . . . raising my children and writing.

Follow Me on my Social Networks:
I’m on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/people/Virginia-S-Grenier/1199014654
Catch me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/VSGrenier
See what I’m up to on Jacketflap at http://www.jacketflap.com/index.asp

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6. Back to Writing

The time has come to start writing again. I just had child number three back in February this year. I had of course put my writing on hold during the last two months of pregnancy and now it is time to get back into the swing of things three months later. I’m hoping this blog will help me do just that.


One of the things you will hear repeatedly in the writing world is, “Write everyday.” As wonderful as this thought is, sometimes-writing everyday just doesn’t happen if you’re a Writing Mama like me with a fourteen year old son, five year old daughter, and new baby girl.


Between spending time with my husband, three children, our two pets, and cleaning the house . . . I sometimes wonder how I find the time to write at all. Not to mention maintaining my editing business and company Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. However, somehow I seem to fit it all in each day, week, month, and year. Of course, sometimes I find I do not get as much sleep as I need because of it all. But what is a writer to do if they are a mom, too?


My hope with this blog is to share with you all how I seem to manage (if you can call it managing) everything in my life. I won’t lie to you, I’m sure there will be good days and bad days, rejections and contracts to sign, school visits, book signings, works-in-progress, crazy stories about my children, and most importantly lots of do’s and don’ts.


So come follow me, my crazy life, and learn what it is like to be a Writing Mama!

8 Comments on Back to Writing, last added: 5/8/2010
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