A long-time friend, Karen Palka, recently invited me write a blog post for a collaborative effort — Entirely Women — she developed with 102.3 FM WGRT, Port Huron’s family radio station. Entirely Women, which went live in November, is an online community — for women — that entertains, inspires and informs. Karen is also Founder and Executive Director of A Beautiful Me®, a 501c3 charitable organization that fosters girls’ self-esteem in 3rd-12th grade through uniquely developed, interactive workshops. She and I became friends at a luncheon the Greater Romeo-Washington Chamber of Commerce hosted in 2004. Her creative talents as well as her advocacy for building girls’ self-esteem, for her community and for her friends inspires all.
Are you like me? I struggle with two inner voices. Well, I have more than two. But, this post is about the battle I fight for creative writing time.
One voice urges me to sit; take some time in my writer’s chair. Write a blog post, rework a scene from that 50k I wrote a couple of years back during NaNoWriMo, or read. It tells me, I won’t write unless I make the time. True.
A second — often louder — voice says other tasks have priority. There is much to do; and the clock only gives me 24 hours. Parenting, family, professional pursuits, volunteer commitments, errands, socializing, exercise, household responsibilities and style hunting all pull rank. Something has to change.
I try to quiet the two voices. Compromise is necessary. Balance is in order. I must live in order to have content. Life calls. Experiences give writing authenticity and encourage connections with readers. Therefore, I must not feel too badly when my writer’s chair remains empty for stretches of time. The voice that compels me to create will be victorious… eventually.
Do you know moments like this? It’s been months since writing a blog post. Writing a random thought or word about life is due. Heck. But, since it’s been so long; writing this post is almost awkward. It’s a similar feeling I have when finally making the decision to get in touch with a close family member or friend I have put off calling.
So, instead of discussing my multitude of excuses for not writing; I am just going to say hello and move forward. In the coming days and weeks, I plan on changing things up at kateschannel. Life changes; and so it is time for my blog to do so as well.
I hope all of you have been well; and that you’re preparing for a summer of hot fun in the sunshine. Take care.
Happy 2013! I hope you enjoyed the holiday season and end-of-year celebrations. My crew is back to the structures of normalcy; or our family’s definition of normal. That normalcy is back to work, school, home work, and waiting for spring.
Another normalcy calling for some attention is blogging. While my brain and fingers collaborated to author a few posts here-and-there, I have strayed from blogging. During my free hours I have opted to read fictional stories from others rather writing. I call this hiatus from writing, my listening months. These months away compare to pauses I take while in the midst of live conversations with family or friends. Instead of talking, I seal my lips and listen.
The pause from writing enabled me to be a better study of writing and storytelling styles. I now have a better foundation for selecting authors and genres to spend free hours with. Further, I believe the authors who encourage me to miss sleep to read their stories also help me in the development of my own writing style.
It is Week 3 of the 2012-2013 school year in Michigan. We — including myself — are in adjustment mode. Alarm clocks, school lunches, bus stop rituals, homework, and early bed times are all becoming the norm once again. All of this makes for splendid blog material. So, I introduce School Days, a new Tuesday morning thing. I am hopeful that it becomes habit-forming like my addiction to coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
It was lunch time on a lazy Saturday. All of a sudden Issa and Riff donned sunglasses. They dismissed their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Strutting around the house, each proclaimed instant celebrity.
“I am Mrs. Movie Star,” announces Issa. “Riff is Mr. Movie Star.”
How is it that two children who have never seen a red-carpet affair, watched TMZ or glanced at People magazine know the looks, personality and style synonymous with film stars?
It’s been a while. My hiatus wasn’t even intended. But, then I looked. My most recent blog post is dated July 26. I compare this blog community faux pas to those ancient days when I failed miserably as a snail-mail pen pal. While I like writing, I am just not a letter-writer.
So, that’s my first excuse for being such a lousy summer blog pal. The next five are …
1. Katniss Everdeenstole my attention for seven days as I devoured Suzanne Collins‘ Hunger Games Trilogy. As I finished each book, I had to start the next. With the exception of maintaining my job as family chauffeur, chef, and referee all other responsibilities went out the window. That’s what summer break is for, right?
2. Beautiful revisit with my husband and children to my aunt Kate’s lake house in Claire, Michigan. For one weekend, we relaxed, fished, boated, swam, and hunted for snakes.
4. Missing husbands aren’t all bad. While mine was in Baltimore for several weeks, the kids reveled in the last couple weeks of summer vacation. They visited family friends in Canada, slept in, watched too much television, and ate hot dog dinners. The bonus for me: less mess, no sharing, and uninterrupted time with Mr. Grey and Miss Steele (see no. 5).
5. Fifty Shades of fudgery tied me up for three days. It was one day for each book in the trilogy detailing the kinky, over-the-top, hearts and flowers romance between Mr. Grey and Miss Steele. It is the only story I have ever been interested in rereading; and with the same level of interest as the first read-through. Note to those with lovers: minus some of fudgery, the trilogy is a guide to either re-igniting the fire; or to keeping it lit.
What if all those greats we learn about in history, science and the arts sat on their thumbs wondering? If they stood frozen with fear of failure would we be driving cars, chatting online with far-flung friends or sitting in the dark at night?
It’s almost as if I’m being hit over the head with the same message, today. Two of my favorites in the blogging world posted some good ones about seizing opportunities. We all know some only present themselves once. The moment to fulfill the success to its greatest potential might not return a second time.
So, without further delay, here are the two posts that grabbed my attention this morning.
The scenes playing inside my home last night and this morning resemble those tumultuous out-takes from ABC’sSupernanny. Don’t worry. Jo Frost hasn’t moved in just yet.
But, with this being Mother’s Day, the behavior coming from both Issa and Riff is apalling. I suppose this is just a part the job description: warrior-like mentality required. Expect to sweat, cry and bleed. This will be one of the fiercest battlefronts ever in your history. But, don’t fear. There are glimmers of glorious moments from time-to-time.
Amidst weekend chaos I spied something beautiful. A blogger friend, Lea, from Lea at Sea, honored me with the Beautiful Blogger Award. I consider her blog writing and photography to be among the most beautiful I spend time with.
Upon accepting the Beautiful Blogger Award, there are three rules: Share 7 things about myself, nominate 7 bloggers, inform nominees about their award.
7 Things About Me
1. Last weekend, I learned how to make incredible strawberry margaritas in my quest of honor Cinco de Mayo. The recipe I used as from Jessica Whitney at cooks.com. I don’t know Jessica. But, she knows margaritas.
3. Shoe therapy is one of nine ways I use to diffuse stress. DSW and Lucky Magazine are two supporters of this very vital, sanity-saving therapy.
4. If I could be anywhere in the world other than here at this moment in time, I would be in Lake Tahoe, Calif. sitting outside the cabin I shared with my hubby on our honeymoon.
5. My cousin Scott is the owner of soulful electronica label Ferrispark Records. He has appeared in many of the top industry recognized magazines; and has Deejayed and produced around the globe. Check out his music.
6. I live for good times with those I love (family and friends).
7. I am dreading the upcoming November 2012 U.S. elections. Gotta have them. But, each election-year the farce becomes even more of an embarrassment.
7 + 3 Beautiful Blogger Nominees
Well, what can I say? Working with numbers is not at the top of my list of talents. The following are blogs I feel truly embody beauty. The consistent combination of images and words to bring readers a worthwhile experience with each visit needs to be recognized.
As promised, I am sitting in my writer’s chair thinking about those two 7-at-11-ish lists I need to publish. One needs to contain 7 things I remember about myself that are appropriate for public consumption. The second requires selecting a meager seven blogs — from my just-updated blogroll — to bestow this great honor upon.
Thing 1: I am nearly out of ice cream, which is my favorite summertime treat. This means a grocery-store run is in the cards for tomorrow.
Thing 2: My daughter thinks my favorite store is Meijer’s, which is my local has-everything store. While it’s convenient, I despise going there. Here’s why: I am there almost every day. My 40-year-old brain just doesn’t remember all the items that must make it into my cart; even when I have a list. That means repeat trips for one item, which then, of course, turns into more.
Thing 5: My dad is a sailor. Before marriage and children, he purchased Veliero, a 32-foot Galaxy. He raced and cruised Veliero from Bayview Yacht Club until 2009 when he sold it at age 80. His love for spending breezy, sunny afternoons sailing the waters of the Great Lakes took hold of me before I learned to walk and talk. I was only 10 months old when he secured me to stern in my baby walker for a sailing trip to the Georgian Bay.
Thing 6: My maternal grandmother is a fourth cousin to Charlie Gehringer, one of the greatest second basemen of all time and Detroit Tiger from 1924-1942.
I must say I feel a bit like a player on Donald Trump‘s The Apprentice. Here I sit at his boardroom table. Friends and foes are on both teams.
Then the question from Mr. Trump himself:
Kate, who are your seven nominees and why?
All eyes are waiting for this list to post. If it’s bad and exclusive; I could be seeing ugly blog stats in the morning (and who wants that on a Friday?) and an exodus of followers. So, like The Apprentice players who stay in the game a while, I’m going dance around this question; and then waffle a little.
My list of nominees is…
to the right. See the section called, Blogroll. I nominate each and every blog listed for the Kreativ Blogger Award. So, I’m going to list new blogs I love that haven’t been added to the right, yet. Don’t worry. My blogroll will include them all — and probably more — for easy clicking soon enough.
One week ago I met Susan, author and blogger at Sillyfrog’s Blog. Immediately, I felt an instant connection. The vibrant photo of a frog adorning her header made me think of my daughter Issa’s passion for animals and natural wonders. Then, upon reading some of Susan’s posts I found her love for children, family, and nature to an irresistible element to her writings. Finally, her creativity inspires.
With these thoughts about Susan’s personal and creative accomplishments, it is with great honor that I accept her nomination for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Once again, I am called to revisit a favorite quote I posted about a couple weeks ago, “Good people, find good people.”
I do believe in the connections — virtual or personal — people make with one another. To ensure I follow the code for being a blogger with some manners, there are rules I must follow upon accepting the Kreativ Blogger Award. They are …
Copy the Kreativ Blogger Award logo and place it in your post. (Check)
Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog. (Check)
List 7 things about you that people might find interesting. (7 at 11 tonight)
Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Kreativ Blogger Award. (Ditto #4)
Leave a comment on the blogs you nominate to let them know about the award. (Ditto)
Remember when dittos were the norm? I loved getting out of class to make dittos for my teachers. Those were the days. What did you like getting of class to do?