2015 MARCH BOOK MADNESS SCHEDULE:
- Tue, Mar 3: Intro and 3 Tips to Balance Writing Time, by Rebecca Belliston
- Thu, Mar 5: Top 5 Reasons To Get (or Not Get) Your MFA, by Sarah Belliston
- Tue, Mar 10: Unique Tips for Successful Blog Tours by Danyelle Ferguson
- Thu, Mar 12: Writing–A Hobby or a Career? by Charity Bradford
- Tue, Mar 17: The Importance of Book Reviews by Charissa Stastny
- Thu, Mar 19: 6 Reasons Why Genre Matters by Tricia Pease
- Tue, Mar 24: 7 Editing Strategies by A. L. Sowards
- Thu, Mar 26: Writer’s Block? Using Mind Mapping by Chris Rosche
- Tue, Mar 31: So You Want to Write Funny? by JoLynne Lyon
I love these authors! Their topics include writing with humor, honing in genres, MFA programs, editing strategies and more. Don’t miss a post. Subscribe to get posts delivered in your inbox here.
This year, I thought I’d post my own thoughts. It would be strange to introduce myself, so I’ll just jump right in. :)
3 Tips How to Balance Your Writing Time by Rebecca Belliston
I just updated my quick bio blurb to read:
- I’m REBECCA BELLISTON, author and composer. If I’m not chasing my five kids, I’m writing fiction or music, the two best jobbies in the world. I also love to laugh, play the piano, and snuggle up with a good book (though not at the same time).
What is a jobby, you might ask?
I can’t remember exactly what we were doing as a family, but at some point, I leaned over and saw my youngest son (5) writing this…
(See if you can figure out his inflection; notice the first word in the upper left corner. It will give you a clue as to what he meant.)
I’m pretty sure therapists have their patients write down their frustrations from time to time. If that’s the case, he’s all set.
In my husband’s defense, this easily could have been written about me.
“Hey, Mom. Mom? Mom?! MOM! MOM!!!!!!!!!”
The realities of being the youngest of five.
The other kids think he’s spoiled rotten. This makes me think otherwise. :)
And since I’m showing pictures…Do you ever pick up your camera and find a completely illogical and random picture?
Apparently this is what happens at our house when my hubby and I go out to dinner. In case you can’t quite see it, let me explain what we have here:
- Up front is Afro Princess Rapunzel with her baby stroller.
- Basketball boy seems normal enough until you realize he’s wearing a Winnie the Pooh costume. I didn’t realize Pooh could dunk.
- Bob Marley is the one holding a guitar, sporting a ninja costume and a yellow floaty. Huh? A floaty?
- The mad scientist is wearing I don’t even know what. Not sure if I want to know.
- Cowboy Pumpkin Boy is riding his horse. He’s probably the most logical costume, assuming it’s logical for a pumpkin to ride a horse.
- The one up front in the lovely pink cherry skirt is a boy wearing reindeer antlers and wielding a light saber. Classic.
- Oh, and my daughter is in pajamas on the table.
You know, when people say this generation has no creativity, I beg to differ.
When we got home that night, I asked my kids, “So what did you do with your friends tonight?”
They said, “Oh, we made a video.”
Let’s just say I’m anxious to see this video.
Have a great weekend!
PS) I haven’t posted on the blog much in the last month because every extra ounce of time has been spent finishing that room shown above. You can probably see the bucket of plaster and ladder in the picture. The basement is almost done. Yay! I guess the kids like it. :)
My kids love YouTube.
It kind of scares me, actually. I’m glad YouTube has safety filters, but I still try to stay aware of what they’re watching.
I can’t tell you how many random, lame videos I’ve been subjected to. You should feel sorry for me.
One of their favorite YouTube sensations is Julian Smith. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s funny, a little odd, and sometimes not allowed in our house. But…Janette Rallison posted about one of his videos this week. It’s a song my kids have sung around the house, but I hadn’t seen yet.
It’s funny. Weird, but funny (which describes all five of my kids). If you love books and have a strange sense of humor like us, you might like it, too.
And here’s one more video that made me smile this week, not because it’s funny, but because it was just sooo cool.
This video comes from Eclipse, an awesome mens A’Capella group. It’s their version of Taylor Swift’s “22”. A great love song for those of us who need reminders to keep dating after marriage.
- Maybe I should have started with that video. The two are nothing alike. Sorry. Random.
- As I rewatched both videos for this post, my kids came running up to my computer to see them again. They’re crazy.
The best part, though, was last night my kids were playing the Wii, and I happened to glance over from the kitchen. For some reason I’ve yet to figure out, the 5yo and 16yo were wearing the exact same glasses as Eclipse wore in the video. Not sure where they found them, or why they needed them to play Wii Sports Resort, but it made me laugh. :)
Read other Friday Funnies here.
If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to.
I also haven’t been writing as much as I used to, which is why I just BARELY finished Augustina this week, when I hoped to finish it months/years ago.
- I have five kids.
- I love my five kids.
- I’m a stay at home mom to my five kids, so technically it’s my job to take care of them.
My oldest is 16 and the youngest, Jacob, is almost 5. Jacob does not attend preschool, so we’re together ALL THE TIME.
This sometimes causes issues. :)
Jacob is a pretty smart kid.
His entire motivation in life is to be seen as an equal to his older siblings and their million friends. He hates being the littlest in everything, and often he forgets that he’s not, in fact, a teenager.
Because of this desire to be ‘old’, he’s been learning to read for awhile. He has most of the smaller words down. He loves to type new words he’s learned on the computer. He’ll even ask me to open Microsoft Word for him so he can type what he knows. (Future author in the making.) If he gets stuck on a word, he’ll ask me to help him spell it so he can type it “All by myself.”
This is what I found him typing this week:
- Now…I need to preface this with: I was extremely sick this week—like flat in bed with the stomach flu. It was awful. I haven’t been that sick in a long time. Because I was sick, he may have spent a little extra time on the Wii. Don’t judge me too harshly.
- (However, if I’m being truly honest here, he was obsessed before the week started.)
As I’m helping the other kids get ready for school, he says to me,
“Mom, how do you spell FRIEND?”
With an inward sigh—I love that kid—I smile and let him keep typing. From across the kitchen, I help with a few more words, hard ones like WORLD and THOSE.
When I check back, this is what I see:
Picture my smile fading here.
If you don’t know who Bowser is, thank your lucky stars. He has taken over our household lately. He is one of the characters on Super Mario Brothers, a stupidly addicting Wii game. I personally HATE Bowser right now. This didn’t help the relationship.
Me to Jacob: “Um, who else is your friend, buddy?”
Here’s what he added:
Me really starting to panic: “What about your friends in the neighborhood? At church? You have lots of other friends!” Doesn’t he?
Jacob: “Oh yeah. I forgot.”
He named quite a few others. (If your kid is his friend and wasn’t on the list, please don’t disown us; he honestly said their names!) But by then he was sick of typing and wanted to go play the Wii.
Guess what he’s not playing today.
So here’s writing tip #3.
KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES.
I love to write. It’s my escape. It’s my joy. But it’s my hobby, and I love my kids MORE.
I guess this was a little reminder that perhaps I need to spend even less time in my imagination and more time in Jacob’s.
This is our last year together before he starts school full time. I’ve had a kid at home with me for sixteen straight years and it’s going to end in nine months. Instead of wishing it away, cringing that my book STILL isn’t done, I should be enjoying these last few months with my youngest.
I thought I was doing that, but obviously I could use a little improvement. My mom reminds me that someday I will miss these days.
Maybe your writing schedule could use some tweaking as well.
What are your priorities? If writing isn’t your job, then it probably isn’t your first priority. So how do you fit writing into your life? Or even if writing is your job, it still probably shouldn’t be FIRST on your list. So…
- Know your priorities.
- Set your priorities.
- Live your priorities.
- And don’t let anything come in your way. Not even a great story.
“BUT MY BOOK IS GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD!” you cry.
No. It won’t.
At best, your story will entertain someone for a depressingly short amount of time. I think one of the most powerful lessons for authors comes at the end of the Truman Show, when the whole world seems to be on the edge of their seats waiting to see if Truman will choose freedom. But the second he makes his choice, the whole world sits for two seconds contemplating his decision, and then they flip the channel to see what else is on TV.
Our stories are great, but really, they’re not that great. They’re just entertainment, so don’t lose your priorities over it.
I have to remind myself of this often.
So if you don’t see me as much as you used to–or maybe as much as I sometimes want–it’s because I’m trying to keep my youngest from having a Wii addiction.
Right now I’m off to play dinosaurs in a different kind of pretend world. As of right now, all his dinosaurs are named—care to guess?—Bowser. My goal is to change that. :)
Have a great weekend.
How do you set priorities when it comes to writing? Do you schedule time or squeeze it in? How has your writing time changed with your life? Comment here.
Other writing tips:
- Writing Tip #1: Ending Chapters at the Height of Scene, Not Resolution
- Writing Tip #2: Using Beats to Strengthen Characters and Settings
- Writing Tip #3: Know Your Writing Priorities
- Writing Tip #4: Beta Readers
- Writing Tip #5: Trim the Fat, Cutting the Easy Stuff
You know the old saying, A picture is worth a thousand words?
Welcome to my life.
I was alerted to this strange ice cream phenomenon by my fuming mad daughter (who is convinced her brothers were put on earth to eat us out of house and home).
Picture me trying to yell at my son for eating ONLY the chocolate part while trying not to laugh my head off. He might as well have licked the inner part clean. Not a spoonful of chocolate left. It’s like the Grand Canyon in there. I’m pretty sure he didn’t use a bowl either. Straight from the container. That’s his style.
Yep. Welcome to my life.
It’s one of those parenting dilemmas, though. Disciplining without laughing. You see, I can totally understand his predicament. Vanilla is boring, and you have to be in the mood for strawberry. But chocolate is great anytime. Anytime!
Gotta love him for his creativity.
I’m not sure if he’ll live to his 12th birthday–not if my daughter can help it–but you gotta love his creativity.
Welcome to my life.
What do you think? Is Neapolitan better this way? Personally, I’ve never been a fan. Pick a flavor already and stick with it. Why confuse your taste buds? It’s the last time I buy it, that’s for certain.
By the way, any suggestions on how to eat the rest of it? There’s not a soul in the house who will touch it. Oh, wait. There might be one.
Maybe I’ll sick it on the 4yo. He won’t care. :)
Have a great weekend!
It’s possible I’m not getting out of the house enough.
In fact, I know I’m not.
In an effort to keep my youngest (the notorious 4yo from the UofM library fiasco) entertained, I’ve spent the week playing hours and hours of UNO, his new favorite game.
I should warn you: if you’re going to let a 4yo deal when you’re not watching, fate will tip wildly on his side.
Don’t believe me?
HIS HAND YESTERDAY
MY HAND YESTERDAY?
Not even so much as a lousy little Reverse.
He took the Hunger Games motto to heart. “May the odds be ever in your favor.” Or more accurately, “May the odds be ever stacked against you, you gullible mother of mine.”
I’m happy to say I almost won that round. Apparently, cheaters almost never prosper.
And just to show what hanging with a 4yo around the clock does to your brain, I find this video clip incredibly funny.
I’ve watched it more times than I should admit.
The writers of Sesame Street have a great sense of humor. I aspire to be one of them–sort of.
(I’m assuming you’ve already seen the Harvard baseball team version of this song. If not, it’s here. You must watch the whole thing. What makes this even better is that my daughter (13) was doing this little dance to the radio as we were driving. We pulled up to a red light and the man next to us, an older man in his 70s, started doing the dance with us. Classic. I love funny people!)
Have a great weekend!!!
Do you have any other “Call Me Maybe” video clips? We’re starting a collection at the Belliston household. (Must be kid-friendly)
related posts: Four-year-olds and Curators Don’t Mix