End-of-Summer And What Have You Got?

cathy going home

Me and Libs on the porch swing at Tybee Island, and yes, I’m wearing my choir robe. That’s a story for another day…

Here it is the last day of August and I thought I really should check in because, as you may recall, I had grand plans to check in every month with my writing and such and it is the sorta end of summer. But you know that old saying about plans, right?

Man plans and God laughs.

So much for the Great Accountability Plan. And yet… I have been writing.

I’m halfway through a middle grade novel that I’m thoroughly enjoying. That is to say, I’m enjoying writing it and I’m enjoying reading what I’ve written. That is no small thing, I think.

And I’ve sent bits and pieces of writing out into the world, not because I felt like I should but because I had something to say.

Small steps add up and before I knew it, I seemed to be sorta back on track here at the sorta end of the summer. And I hope your steps–whether small or large–are adding up to writing success. Because frankly, y’all, tomorrow’s September 1st–SEPTEMBER 1st!–and we all know what that means, plan-wise.

 

 

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Just A Word

Before I head out of town for a couple of weeks away, I’ll check my calendar for writing deadlines. And so it’s not uncommon for me to write a post for, say The Muffin, two, three, even four weeks out.

That was the case for this latest one, “The Importance of a Word.” I wrote it, scheduled it, and then forgot all about it. And then tragic events happened, and I couldn’t help thinking of my post and a word that has sparked national controversy, not to mention grave importance in this country.

No matter the platform–social media, a blog post, a letter to the editor–words spread rapidly. And just to be clear, I’m not preaching about the rightness or wrongness of your words or your beliefs. I’m just asking that you be mindful of what you write and put out in the world. That the next time you’re writing and shrug, “Well, it’s just a word,” I hope you’ll stop and remember how my mother set me straight.

It’s almost always more than “just a word.”

 

Catching Creativity

Finding my way back to writing–or more specifically, the joy I once found in creative expression–has been a challenge. But sometimes, creativity finds me and drags me along on new adventures.

That was the case this week when Juniorette Hall found a Tiny Lantern Workshop and paid for my ticket and…well, she knows I’m a sucker for tiny stuff so off I went. Because also, and most importantly, she offered to drive into the Big City.

I just now realized that you’re probably wondering what the heck is a Tiny Lantern Workshop, but before I can explain that you need to know about the Lantern Parade. Read all about it here or just watch the video of the parade from last year:

So yeah, it’s pretty crazy with all the HUGE lanterns lighting up the Atlanta Beltline.

This year, the Tiny Doors folks (you remember my Tiny Doors adventure, right?)  decided to join forces with this artsy fun by inviting people to make tiny lanterns for the parade. Thus, the Tiny Lantern Workshop.

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That’s Rosie, the Tiny Doors…um…mascot? Anyway, those lanterns on the tiny worktable (and the floor) are Juniorette’s. She was all about a Halloween theme (pumpkin, bat, and ghost). Whereas my theme was mostly My Favorite Things. I made a red and black football lantern (cleverly including UGA and the Falcons) and a beach lantern with waves and sand on it, both quite lovely. But then I found some words on a page in my purse.

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They’re not my words. I had A Psalm for the Dying by Edward Hayes with me (we had read it at Mister Man’s graveside service just this past weekend) and I took some of the lines and sort of cut and pasted them into this:

after I am home in the bosom of God

I will still be present

Whenever you are in need, call me

for my roots and yours are forever intertwined

 

So, creativity caught up with me and it was good.

Come September, I might even walk in the Lantern Parade. But only if Juniorette Hall’s driving.

 

 

 

Tooting My Horn Tuesday for Tasks Accomplished

So March 31st already–holy cow, 2015 is zipping along! And it occurred to me, looking at the March calendar page above my desk, that I’d actually accomplished all most of the tasks I’d set for the month. Some of which I’ve been blah-blah-blahing about or asking for your help with, so I thought I’d share results:

The Wisestamp email signature (and thanks for your input!) ended up like this:

new email sigThe Middle Grade work-in-progress (first draft) is stick-a-fork-in-it done! I’ll let those 40,000 words simmer a bit before tackling the revision in April. And though I don’t like saying too much about a story before it’s really finished finished, I will share that it’s a funny, contemporary mystery. (Again.) And there might be a ghost. (Again.)
And all those books I wanted to read before the SCBWI Springmingle conference? Read ’em. Thoroughly enjoyed them, too. If you take a look at my Goodreads shelves, (the widget in the sidebar only lists what I’m currently reading) you can find out more.
Wait. What? You’re not signed up for Goodreads? But you’ll love it! It’s free and fun and just the task to start off your April. And if you’d like to share what you accomplished in this runaway March, toot away.
Um. You know what I mean.

Pushing Through November

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you’re the observant type, you’ve already noticed the badges over in the sidebar. There’s one for NaNoWriMo and one for PiBoIdMo, and the calendar for Picture Book Month is there, too. So, a couple things.

Thing 1:

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, you can zip over to my Muffin post where I explain all those letters and what they mean. And how you can join in the fun. New writers are popping up and popping in here every day so I want you to know what everyone in the writing community is blathering on about all November. Because honestly, it’s not like we’re going to suffer work in silence.

 

Thing 2:

November is going to be busy, busy, busy! I’ll be revising a novel and thinking up ideas and reading, reading, reading. I hope I’ll be learning, learning, learning, too.  And all that writing, writing, writing keeps Cathy running around like a chicken with her head cut off (or perhaps a chicken trying to keep her head). But even a speedy chicken can come up with a post or two and a couple surprises, so I hope to see you around. But if you’re also pushing through November, trying to make word counts and idea deadlines, I’ll completely understand.