Thursday, April 28, 2011

Purple Feathers

I am so blessed to have two of the most funny, curious, sweet, impulsive, 
imaginative, busy, and adorable kids ever. Yes, I know that most parents feel 
that way and should, but lately, I have gained an appreciation for their unique 
personalities in a way I hadn't before. Both are extremely strong willed, 
definitely sure of what he or she likes, wants, or disapproves of, but they each 
are their own little person with their own dreams and hopes. They each have a 
beautiful imagination, of which, I sometimes am able to steal a glimpse. I love 
seeing into their, not little, but huge imaginations, where anything is possible, 
where the void of earwax on a q-tip is because a "monster licked it out." Being 
with my little crew and trying to see the world as they do gives me, what I hope,
a unique perspective in writing for children. I love penning, or typing, out a story 
that was started as a conversation between my children and myself. 

In my daughter's preschool class, she and the other little girls love picking 
purple feathers off a class dress up boa and hiding them in their pockets until 
they get home. I then find a trail of purple feathers from time to time, evidence 
that my daughter has been there. I used to get annoyed at the feathers, having 
to pick them up from random places in the house and finding them soaked in 
the washing machine, while transferring a load from the washer to the dryer. 
Earlier this week, was tidying up in my room, when I looked down and found 
a little pile of purple feathers. Instead of sighing, I giggled to myself. Holding 
them affectionately, I treasured what they represented - the whimsy of a sweet 
little girl, innocent and lovely. How much longer would she remain this way, 
concerned only with princesses, butterflies, tutus and purple feathers? 

How I need to cherish every moment, every smile and every seemingly 
silly question. I am so thankful for this time of endless hugs and kisses,
beaming smiles, furrowed brows of disapproval, unintentional food fights at the 
dinner table and baths turned magic by bubbles, even if there seems to be no 
end to the stinky diapers or more than occasional tantrums. I am so blessed for
purple feathers leaving me a reminder of what God has given me.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

Speed Bumps and Curve Balls

This last week I wasn't able to work on my writing at all. Life sometimes just throws 
us a few speed bumps or curve balls along the way. Last week, my oldest had, and
gave to me also, a contagious virus (hand, foot and mouth), causing us to be 
sequestered in our home for a week. Yikes! Talk about cabin fever. When my 
daughter is sick, she doesn't slow down, but remains her bouncy tiggeriffic self. 
This makes it difficult for her to get rest and for me to make sure she's not 
sharing germs with her younger brother. I am happy to be able to say my youngest 
and my husband didn't get sick. However, I may have acquired a couple new 
white hairs in the process. I was also not able to work this last week because 
I work with babies, so that prevented me from buying the books I wanted to get 
to start getting my new query letter and proposal ready. 

Here in the heartland, we also had devastating storms and tornadoes this last 
weekend. Thankfully, my neighborhood was untouched, but just 20 minutes 
north, there is a tornado path 22+ miles long and in some areas 1/2 mile wide. 
The St Louis airport was hit hard. The video footage is incredible. I am so 
thankful for God's protection and am praying for all those affected for speedy 
recovery. We heard multiple tornado sirens that Friday night, but they were for 
counties just north and south of us. My daughter wasn't so sure she should go to 
bed that night, but with some reassurance that God was protecting us, she 
eventually went to sleep. 

Although speed bumps and curve balls come in life, I am so thankful for God's 
providence and grace. Through all the devastation of this last weekend, I haven't
heard of any fatalities. What a miracle. And in my own little universe, I survived 
the week of quarantine with my munchkins, no one else got sick, and my oldest 
gave her life to Jesus on Friday afternoon, a moment I will never forget. God is 

Speaking of curve balls... Go Cards! Way to turn the season around. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hello Book Bloggers

Welcome to where I am sharing my journey on the path towards publication and 
beyond. I am an aspiring children's book author and am excited about the "blog 
hopping." What a great idea. I also look forward to hopping to as many other sites 
as I can while watching my munchkins. 

I have a three and a half year old girl and an almost 18 month old boy. They are 
such a joy and inspiration. It was a conversation with my daughter that gave me
the idea for my first children's book. Even now, I "run" my ideas by her for the 
kid approval. I love how children think. They're not just small adults; their minds
work completely differently than ours. 

When I'm not writing or acting as a referee between the tiny people in the house, 
I work as a postpartum nurse at a local hospital. It's a wonderful job. I love it. I am
looking forward to the days of having time for a hobby, but I don't want to take
for granted this precious time I have with my babies. 

Happy Hopping and Happy Easter!

Welcome to the SheWrites Blogger Ball!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Technical Hiccups

I have been so excited about the third story in my children's book series, I dove
in this last week and finished the revisions. I was surprised that I didn't have as 
much work to do as I have had in the past. I hope that means that I am improving 
as I go. Afterwards, I thought it would be good to go back through my other two, to 
make sure there weren't inconsistencies. I tweaked a few things here and there and
am very happy with the results. 

Of course, I saved updates as I went, constantly. To be extra sure nothing would 
be lost, I hooked up the laptop to our external hard drive and backed my work up 
there as well. I went in later to read my revisions to my husband and couldn't 
find the updated version of my third story. What!? I was so careful. Even my 
external hard drive had somehow not stored it. Interestingly enough, the most
recently revised versions of my first two stories were on the laptop and external
hard drive, but why hadn't my third story revisions been saved?? One can only 
wonder. Even my IT savvy spouse couldn't figure it out. 

Luckily, I had printed out all three in their most updated versions and had given 
them to my big sister. I just have to borrow her copies back for a bit to recover my 
work. I have always not totally trusted technology and this confirms that feeling. 
Thankfully, I can always trust God to have my back. But lesson learned, one can 
never have too many forms of backup. I could have also backed up on my flash drive.

I find myself now, with more ideas in my head for future stories. I'm torn with 
going ahead and trying to write them out, or letting them marinate in my imagination 
a little longer. After all, I do need to research proposals and such, but there
is a book about it I'd like to buy first. I'll definitely have to ask God on which 
to focus on for the next few weeks.  

Monday, April 11, 2011

Write and Rewrite

Last week I wrote that I was going to start writing the third story in my children's book 
series. I had been unsure about how to go about it. Again, God was faithful. I started 
typing, and He supplied fun ideas and an adorable plot. I'm more excited about this 
story than my other two. Again, it took a little over a day to write. Once I start 
something, it is extremely difficult for me to rest until it's done, well, at least the first 

Now comes the multiple rereads and rewrites, until it's perfect. This may take a few 
weeks. I take a few days off after writing the first draft so that I can read it again with 
"fresh eyes," and be able to pick up on things I might otherwise miss. I don't know 
if this is how established, professional writers do it, but it works for me. 

For those of you who may be wondering when these stories will be published, 
I have a few steps in my journey until I get to that point. My plan is to resubmit to 
the literary agent I would love to work with in mid summer. Before I do that, I have 
some research to do on proposals and such. I want my query letter and proposal to 
be as strong as possible. With God's favor, if this works out, it may possible to have 
a book deal within a year. I know this may seem very optimistic, but I know God has 
given me this desire to write for children, and I believe with all my heart the He will 
bring it to pass in His perfect timing. Until that time, I will continue to write and share 
this journey I am on with you.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Brainstorming: All Things are Possible

I am going to start on book three, and now for the brainstorming. With the first story
the idea "dropped" into my head, literally. When I wrote my second story, I sat down
at the computer without a single idea and just started writing, and God was faithful to 
give me a great idea as I was typing. But as I approach story number three, I'm wondering how to get started.

I have a potential idea, and I've run it by my three year old, as is the usual custom. 
Part of my process is to try to think like my three year old daughter as I'm writing. 
What would she think of next? What would she want to see happen? Because I 
am writing for children, I think this will best create the stories that will capture their imaginations and curiosity. How wonderful it would be to see the world as a child 
does. With adventure around every turn and excitement everywhere, no wonder 
they seldom want to go to sleep.

I have been told that the writing is similar to a muscle that needs regular exercise.
Just do it, thank you, Nike. I will take that advice and do just that... after I get a 
shower. It is a bit of a sad reality that with my two cherubs, I rarely get a shower
before two in the afternoon. 

This week I am going to sit down and just start writing, and we'll see what will happen.
I pray that story  number three will be even more creative than my first two. God is 
the ultimate Creative One, and I know with His help, all things are possible! :)

"For all things are possible with God." Mark 10:27, ESV