Keep Calm and Carry On

Contemporary rendering of a poster from the Un...

Contemporary rendering of a poster from the United Kingdom reading “Keep Calm and Carry On”, created during World War II. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow. I’ve seen this meme bandied about over the last couple of years… never bothered to look up its origin. But there you go. According to Wikipedia, the British Government popped it up on posters at the beginning of the Second World War, to help ease the concerns of the public… or rather, to tell the publc to “get over it”.

I was so sure it was a mother’s mantra.

It is, isn’t it?

Well, it sure was for me yesterday… and so I thought I’d share.

The inciting incident for this story happened back at the start of February… day after my book released, to be exact. I was heading out for dinner and a movie with a bunch of friends (absolutely nothing to do with my book launch, by the way, which I was very happy with… I usually like to quietly make my way in life until I can say BAM! Here I am!). It all started with my choice of footwear. Usually, when I go out, I wear my high heals. Lovely shoes (and I tend to only have one pair until they’re so worn I must replace them), but this time, I had decided to pull out an old pair of wedge-style shoes. Now, when wedges seemed to be all the rage last year or so I screwed up my face at them, because I think they look horrid — forgetting, of course, that I actually had a pair of my own. The difference is that the “classy” high heels with a filled in sole are just not my thing. These ones look like little pink sparkly ballet shoes; they are covered in beads (that were probably hand sewn on by some poor girl in India who didn’t get paid nearly enough, but I’m so grateful because I could actually afford them… I’m so sorry!), and they tie up my legs with pink ribbon… see… sometimes I’m a girl! Woah.

Anyway, recovering…

So, I was wearing these wedge-style shoes… I know, shoot me now.

After buying our tickets to Django Unchained, we crossed the road to the nearest Thai restaurant, and my wedge-style sole found the chipped edge of a broken bit of tarseal… … Read more…

Today’s Proud Mum Moment Number 2

Number 1… but, you get the idea…

I love the lunge… and the legs in the air… and how he looks to the music video for inspiration…

Yep. I’m just damn proud that my son enjoys a boogey! We have little dance parties in his bedroom now. Usually to “Mahna Mahna”… sometimes to Kylie Minogue…

Gets me up and moving, too… Can’t be a bad thing!

Waiting to be Santa

Every year we attend the Christmas Eve Dessert Party hosted by some friends of ours (the 9th annual, this year). Tonight’s party has kept the toddler up two hours past his bed time… He’s just gone down (it’s MY bedtime, now). Time to wait for him to drift off, so I can sneak in there and be Santa… He’s 2. This year sets a precedent, I think. I hope I get it right…

He knows . . .

I must be letting off a vibe that I’m on a deadline. The toddler has become incredibly difficult to get to bed – day and night sleeps. Until recently, he was the model child when it came to bedtime. Yesterday, we skipped the daytime sleep altogether (!), which meant my writing/editing time down the drain, and it took him an hour to settle at night. I swear . . . he knows.

He’s just doing it to keep me on my toes, eh? I keep making calculations: If I write … words per day, I’ll get there; If I edit … chapters per day, I can make it … It stresses me out, it really does. I knew it was an ambitious goal to get this thing close to finished by the end of this month, anyway. That was with regular, reliable writing times. Now, he eats into that, and then I’m all wound up and stressed for the first 1/2-1hr of the time that I do get … which might only be that long. It’s not easy, I tell you.

Anyway, that’s why I’m quiet everywhere. I’m editing/re-writing (or working/mummying). Mostly, I’m doing it away from the computer, with a print-out. The thoughts feel less jumbled then.

Back to it. Wish me luck.

Keepin’ ya regular …

Okay, I totally stole that from the Candlebox (band) Fan Club Newsletter – I was a big fan back in the ’90s.

Well, I’ve done a little housekeeping around here, and I think the blog is starting to take on the kind of look I’d like to achieve. I have helluva lot more drawing to do to gain the kind of expertise I wish I had, but at least I can slap something together with what skills I have. I guess I can say the same for my writing … and my mothering. It’s all about surviving with what you’ve got, huh?

So, this week has been was pretty slow on the writing front. I’ve hit that bit in the middle where I’m just about finished my set-up and am ready to tackle the big End of Act 1 event … I’m excited about it – have been for weeks – but I just want to feel like I have things set up right. It has paid to take some time getting there – several weeks ago I just hadn’t thought about all the players that could potentially be involved at the upcoming “big event”. But, last week I guess I had a wee bit of inspiration tap me on the shoulder to say “What about these guys? You think they’re just sitting there passively waiting for the story to hit their borders later? Why not bring them into play earlier?” (I’m talking about a country, here … ). Anyway, it was an eye-opening thought. Sometimes, the best ideas just don’t have the habit of hitting me in the face the first time. I need to stew. … Read more…

What a week …

Or, rather … what an end to a crazy week. Hmm. No. I’m not so sure it’s over, yet.

OK, here goes. (I’m on caffeine, so bear with me). Last week, I learned new stuff about writing (Thanks, Janice) and I set about implementing what I learned in my WIP. This meant MAJOR re-writes (good-bye scenes I was really quite attached to …). The problem with doing this now is we start reviewing in the “First Three Chapters” group I am part of next week! Eep! OK, that’s fine. Breathe, you can do this. And … you know what? I was doing it. At over 2,000 words per day, I was doing it. The end of Chapter 1 is done. Chapter 2 is done. Most of Chapter 3 is done – thanks largely to the fact I can reuse some old stuff here.  And, I even finished a short story (~2000 words)  for a competition yesterday. Yeh man. I am a MACHINE.

So, the two competition stories I did over the last couple of weeks? They earned me two 3rd places. Not too shabby, huh? OK, so they weren’t major, prestigious writing comps, but that’s OK. It’s nice to prove to myself that I can write to a prompt and do alright. Especially when the story I write is away from my WIP. As a novelist, I get worried that I’ll only ever have one story in me. This is it. Once I’ve sent these characters out to play, I’ll be stuck. I’ll never write anything again. Oh woe is me.

So, I encourage you to play with short stories. Find a few competitions (writing.com is great for it … but I’m sure there are others) and challenge yourself.

Even better than placing in competitions is getting feedback – in-depth feedback – from an enthusiastic reader. And I found one today. … Read more…

Plot theory – from a toddler

I was writing some ideas down on a scrap piece of paper while away from the computer. Baby-J picked it up and headed straight for the shredder … I was thinking ‘just my luck if he suddenly figures out how to use it’ …

It was one of those moments where I was thinking to myself “Do I stop him to avert disaster? (OK, hardly a disaster – the ideas weren’t ground-breaking, although they were helping me clarify my thoughts.) Or, will I be just a little bit proud if he actually makes it work?” (there’s no way his fingers would go into it, so all is fine on that front).

And then I got thinking how like a plot-line it was. The child grabs the piece of paper and crawls along the floor with it, heading straight for the shredder. You can see the ending – ideas shredded into thin strips – a disaster! But, then again, just maybe, the child will fail to achieve that end. Will he be thwarted by his inability to properly control the paper as he goes to line it up? He has every other time. But, what about this time? Another stride on hand and knee. The tension builds. What will happen?

Why is this here? No reason, I just really like this short/sweet number.

It went into the shredder bin. Whole. (It’s a cheapy plastic bin with a wee shredder sitting on top, so it missed the working part altogether).