Saturday, August 30, 2014

Motivational Moments

If you're working to squeeze all you can out of the last few days of summer vacation, may this be a reminder. 

Enjoy the little things in life…for one day you may look back and realize they were big things. -R.Brault


Beach Kite - Photo by K. Gibson



Thursday, August 14, 2014

When writing gets real

This is what it's about. This is where I've been. This is when writing is real. Often, eerily, other people (characters) have to take over your brain, or some part of the process to make your story believable.

I discovered a post on Omnivoracious in which Karin Slaughter and Gillian Flynn have a conversation about books, characters, and process. The whole thing is great reading, but my favorite summation of the writing process is from Slaughter (seriously, what thriller writer wouldn't kill for that name?):


"Some of my best work comes from a flop sweat of realizing that what I’ve just spent two weeks knowing was going to be perfect and work brilliantly will never make it onto the final page. And I think going down these wrong roads teaches you about your characters, because at the end of the day, the story should always work in service to the characters."


Now, back to work so I may bring you an actual book of my own. Check back for updates and reveals!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Don't blink…you might miss summer

I’m confused. Is summer over already?

I read an article last week about ways to spend the second half of summer vacation, and now I’m seeing status updates and posts about kiddos who are already back at their desks.

The saying ‘if you blink, you’ll miss it’ must be true. It was mid-June, I blinked. Then it was July, I blinked again. Now, it’s August and I’m afraid to close my eyes.

We haven’t completed too many resolutions from our summer checklist (see below), but we have done a lot of the important ones, like playing and unwinding as a family. We even played and splashed in the rain, it was awesome!

While I would have liked to check off many more items, the list doesn’t gauge the success of our summer, we do. And it’s been a good one.

We’ve played in the water, visited with family, biked, walked, picnicked and went to museums. We even watched local wildlife feast on our garden goodies (current count: four tomato plants, numerous hosta plants, and dozens of berries).

So, as I sit in my fluffy socks and wait for the heat to kick on (we live north of all things warm, and our house got pretty chilly last night, so don’t judge me), I’m stuck thinking summer is ready to snatch our Sunny Gs and umbrella drinks before closing up her cabana for the year. Brr.

Before she does, I plan to make the most of whatever the days and the weather bring. After all, long summer days are best enjoyed relaxing and recharging with family and friends. Checking off resolutions is just a bonus. 

How do you plan to spend the final days/weeks of the summer season?

2014 Random Summer Resolutions

1.     Play
2.     Unwind
3.     Be silly—good, clean knock, knock jokes can get the ball rolling
4.     Hit the beach
5.     Go on a picnic
6.     Ride bikes
7.     Visit the zoo
8.     Go on family walks
9.     Paddleboat/canoeing
10.   Have a special date night dinner and concert
11.   Have a special family dinner out to celebrate summer
12.   Play in the rain and splash in the puddles
13.   Hug more
14.   Kiss more
15.   Unplug more
16.   Let the kids stay up later a few nights
17.   Sleep in late a few days
18.   Have breakfast in our jammies a few times
19.   Swim
20.   Golf
21.   Read 10 books—about a book a week until school starts. This is a big task since I’m also publishing a book soon
22.   Finish and publish the book mentioned in item above
23.   Play tag with the kids
24.   Sit outside one sunny day without mowing, weeding or yard work
25.   Run through the sprinklers
26.   Make homemade ice cream with the kids
27.   Grow fruits and veggies—we’ll have to get new tomatoes, the deer ate the ones we planted
28.   Take a real family vacation
29.   Pick colors and paint a couple rooms in serious need of ‘refreshing’
30.   Can something—jam, tomatoes, just to try it
31.   Take a class—maybe a class on how to can things
32.   Make a grown-up appetizer for dinner one night, even if my husband and I are the only ones who eat it
33.   Make a list of people to call, and call them
34.   Send handwritten letters to 5 people I know
35.   Go to a movie
36.   Camping
37.   Bonfire
38.   Try a new food
39.   Try a new drink
40.   Make snow cones
41.   Learn to flip pizza dough
42.   Make something
43.   Have more game nights
44.   Go on a nature hike
45.   See fireworks
46.   Take a drive in the country
47.   Go to a ballgame
48.   Listen to more music
49.   Frisbee
50.   Tennis
51.   Go to an arcade
52.   Drive at a track day event
53.   Plan a dream kitchen
54.   Teach the kids something fun
55.   Learn something fun
56.   Roast marshmallows
57.   Barbecue
58.   Have a party
59.   Light some sparklers (being careful not to burn holes in the tablecloth, like last time)
60.   Watch the fireflies when the sparklers go out
61.   Enjoy a starry night
62.   Find a constellation
63.   Relax and unwind
64.   Try a new slow cooker recipe. Found this post on how to make almost any recipe work in a slow cooker
65.   Water balloon toss
66.   Sing
67.   Dance
68.   Train ride
69.   Write a story for my kids
70.   Play hopscotch
71.   Sleepover
72.   All night movie fest
73.   Binge watch a new TV show
74.   Sleep outside
75.   Practice my Finn McMissile voice (right now it sounds a lot like Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, seriously)
76.   Play euchre
77.   Create a family friendly outdoor obstacle course
78.   Early morning run/jog/walk
79.   Spin around until we get dizzy
80.   Head north
81.   Head south
82.   Head nowhere in particular
83.   Have a relaxing day at home
84.   Spa visit
85.   Be brave enough to find out what’s been growing in our compost bin the past five years
86.   Learn a card trick, maybe share it with the kids
87.   Clear out closets and donate stuff we don’t use
88.   Visit family and friends
89.   Show more love
90.   Practice patience
91.   Be goofy
92.   Watch a movie from our childhood with our kids
93.   Sketch a tree house or a garden
94.   Cider mill late summer
95.   Take photos, print and send some to the grandparents
96.   Watch a sunrise
97.   Watch a sunset
98.   Snuggle
99.   Smile
100. Relax



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