Do you see those exclamation points in the title?  I've been 'accused' of using too many.  I can't help it... I get passionate when I write.  It's true, in my picture book manuscripts, I do need to cut back on them - but here? Hey, I'm excited!

I LOVE to WRITE!!!  (I guess you already knew that, right? After all, you're reading my blog - thanks by the way!)

But seriously - I've been doing this since grade school, so yeah, I guess it's totally natural that I have a blog.  And I've been really excited (and overwhelmed) by all the changes I've made here.  I moved from WordPress.com to a self-hosted blog on wordpress.org.  That transition went somewhat smoothly....somehow three followers got lost in the shuffle - but 231 remained strong (thank you!) and I was able to message the ones who did not get transferred to give them the news.

In addition, I've put the blog on a Facebook page to encourage more followers, make it easier for some to stumble upon me and to make it easier for some who would rather follow blogs thru Facebook than get sometimes daily emails in their inbox.  Don't forget there's also the Bloglovin' button too for the same reason! So part of the reason I'm writing this post is for those new followers - to get what it is that I'm doing here - and partly because - well, that's the idea I came up with and so here it is:


Writing, for me, takes me away into another land much like reading a book does.  Only this time, it's MY LAND.  It's whatever land, real or make-believe, I want to be in at that moment.  Whether it's remembering (on paper - or well, a computer screen but yes, I do often use paper for the first rough draft!) something from this morning, yesterday, last week or thirty some years ago (yes, or MORE...) or whether it's writing about something I'm doing or learning about... it's putting my mind in a place I want to be.  And to me that is magical like the places I read about - a  'little house in the big woods', the Hundred Acre Wood or River Heights.

It's an escape in a way - because when I'm deep into writing, much like when I have my nose in a book - there's a lot that can go on around me without notice.  My oldest son has finally learned to actually have me look AT him, before speaking...because he knows if  my eyes are in a book or looking at the computer or writing pad, chances are I'll have no clue he's even speaking to me, let alone actually know what he's saying.  When I'm writing I become ALIVE inside - passion overcomes me as I delve into whatever land I escape into at that precise moment and can forget all else...  If you're not a reader or writer and don't get that - my apologies  but I'm pretty sure you MUST have a passion - a way of escape that does the exact same thing!

My true passion for writing began in 5th grade when the lovely Mrs. Allred ( I can still picture her in that all RED outfit she wore on the first day of school) actually read MY story to the entire class and encouraged me to continue writing...she was a much bigger inspiration than she ever realized, I'm sure.

While I never devoted full time to writing, it stayed a passion in secret....always keeping journals and always writing fiction stories on the side.... I did enter a contest once with the Institute of Children's Literature - I was in 9th grade at the time... they sent me details on courses.  Yeah, that wasn't going to happen on my grandparent's budget.  Oh well... I kept writing. I seem to recall  making a middle school teacher chuckle quite often with the ridiculous fictional stories I would conjure up with my spelling words weekly as a sort of extra credit for English class.  Speaking of English class - I also managed to pull an A on a descriptive paper from the professor on my college campus known to be, um.... well TOUGH.  And he told us, for this particular assignment, if ANY of the details in this descriptive paper were made up, HE WOULD KNOW... uh, yeah, well, all but the real incident in my paper was 100% fictional...every single detail was made up....  I'm rather proud of that paper.  LOL

Move forward quite a few years....  I retired early (VERY early) from teaching and decided to stay home with the kids (we had two then) and suddenly my urge for writing deepened.... and I finally decided to take that course from The Institute of Children's Literature. In fact, I took two.  (and I'd like to take more....though with someone else this time - any suggestions?  Something geared for picture books?)  And then I learned about SCBWI!  WOW!!! (yeah, there's those exclamation points again)!!!

So I wrote and I wrote and I.....ooops!  got pregnant!  Yeah, right when I was in the beginnings of taking a shot at a YA manuscript (that's young adult in case you weren't sure), God decided he had other plans for me.  Between the nausea, the exhaustion and the utter shock (my oldest was 15, my youngest 11)....I stopped writing.  🙁

It took me several years to get back into it.  I started with my blog.  I had no idea what to write about... well, I had ideas...but getting started wasn't necessarily easy.  I really only started it as a journal, and also the possibility to tell others about Our Food Story.  Our Food Story is sort of personal, yet people constantly tell me I need to tell it.  So I wrote a very abbreviated version of that back in October of 2013 - just a year ago.  I am glad to get it out there, but I know more needs said.  I'll say it...in time.

Which brings me to this:

WHAT DO I WRITE ABOUT ON THIS BLOG?  How do I decide what to write?

I write about my PASSIONS in life.  And I have quite a few, I guess.  A lot of bloggers say that we bloggers should pick just one niche..... one topic we are passionate about and stick to that especially if you (I) want a lot of followers.  I've thought about it - a lot really - just narrowing down the blog to a few of the topics I cover - but there's so much more to me than JUST one or two of these topics!!!  I thought about separating the topics into two blogs....but can't figure out how to balance them and not leave anything out.  The bottom line is, I write about what I am PASSIONATE about.  And yes, I'm PROFOUNDLY PASSIONATE about my Orthodox faith, my marriage, my children, homeschooling, cooking natural whole foods - mostly Paleo now -, books, WRITING, and gaining balance in my life.....so that's what I write about.  I think I'm finally crawling out of my shell here - finally finding my voice.  So I'm sure I'll write more about that food story at some point - but for now I have SOOOOO many topics I want to write about - it's hard to just pick one some days!  Furthermore, there's other writing to be done besides the blog!

I'm ESTATIC over the start of PiBoIdMo TODAY!!!!!!!

I signed up on the 24th and have been reading the Pre-PiBoIdMo posts on Tara's blog ever since, notebook and pencils in hand!  I even took my son to the library the other day to specifically look for books by the authors that are being highlighted this month!  It's good to be familiar with someone's work when you read their post, but certainly not necessary to still get lots of inspiration and further insight into the writing process of picture books. (p.s. It's NOT too late to join - registration ends on November 7th.)

So here I am with my notebook, my pencils, pens and highlighters, my coffee mug filled with delicious Lonely Monks Coffee, (and no, fellow PiBoIdMo companions, I did NOT piboidmo2014officialparticipantsteal that list from Laurie Meyers - it REALLY is my own list! LOL) my chocolate, my laptop and YES!  I'm headed directly over to Tara's first official post for PiBoIdMo 2014!!!   Woot!!


p.s.   Did you know that November is Picture Book Month???  PBMBADGE-AMBASSADOR

7 thoughts on “I LOVE to WRITE!!!

  1. joyofdawn

    Way to go! Keep up the good work! Keep that writing passion! One day I'd love to read one of your books to my kids! (An there are NEVER too many exclamation marks! I get told the same thing when my work is critiqued... )
    I'm working on a story this month but with going home, I'm not sure how much will get written. 😉 Now that I've started it should be inspiration to finish.

    1. orthodoxmom3

      Thank you!!! So good to see you on here! I wondered where you had gone off too- you know, you are one of the BIG inspirations for me to get on here and start back to actively writing - so I think you should get the first PB free! 🙂 Thanks for the compliment. I hope to see more blog posts from you and keep me posted on your current writing activity! Any amount of writing is better than no writing and yes, inspiration to finish is good!

  2. writersideup

    I love to write, too, Carol, though it's been years since I've written what I WANT to be writing! I'll get there 🙂 I'm glad you found your way back to it and that you got your blog where you want it to be 🙂 Yay for you!

    1. orthodoxmom3

      The blog is certainly a beginning.... now with the help of PiBoIdMo, I hope to get back to the manuscripts as well. I know a lot of writers say not to put so much time into the blog and just work on your manuscripts, but I feel I get a lot out of the blog - motivation being a huge factor because it helps my sense of accomplishment. I find the more I write, the more motivated I become to stick with it. One step at a time... what do YOU want to be writing?

      1. writersideup

        Ah, Carol, for me it is my novel series. For years I've been aching to truly focus on them, but I end up with all kinds of other stuff that keeps pushing them back. Picture books and board books are the only things I've actually put effort into due to submission factors. It's one of the reasons I never wanted to participate in PiBoIdMo--I already have lots of ideas, come up with them pretty easily and don't want to add to them! lol I've already come up with a few I like, but don't want to do them because I want to do the novels lol Then of course, there are lots of other things that take over in life that are priorities or unexpected, one of them having been getting my blogs ready for launch, plus posts, too. I'm getting there, I hope!!! I've been saying it for so long, I wonder WHEN! lol

        And I do agree that the blog can't take precedence. So far all the social media-related stuff is still an all-consuming venture and I need to somehow get a handle on it (and it's more about following other people's blogs, not concentrating on my own). I won't set a blogging schedule for myself unless it's something that's on a tour or something to that effect. I DO want to post subjects that are timely in certain ways, but will never force myself to post several times a week or every day or the same day every week. No way! I don't care that it won't get my blogs to rise on a Google Search lol I need to lessen the pressure---not increase it 😀

      2. orthodoxmom3

        Oh there are so many things we always wonder 'when' about isn't there? 🙂 I am learning, that one by one, I need to say NOW.... or it just won't happen. I can't do all of those things at once, of course - but I do think that sometimes we just need to say, "Okay, now's the time"...and for me it's the blog with a little of the PB writing too....
        If you really want to write the novels, what's holding you back? Why do the picture books if it's the novel you want to write? Not being pushy - just wondering?
        I promised myself Id do 20 minutes manuscript writing a day once I started PiBoIdMo.... it's only happened once in one shot...lol...but I'm going to try again NOW....

      3. writersideup

        PBs are a much different animal than a very complex novel series. I need to be able to focus and I can't do it in short spurts. It's a different type of writing. And it's the opportunities that arise, typically for the PBs. I also illustrate, and illustration takes a lot more time than the writing, at least for me, plus making dummies. Putting together submissions is very time-consuming, too. I also have a relatively demanding life that gets in the way. Lots of reasons : / Mostly overload!

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