10

I'm smiling and laughing.  So I sit down Monday morning, after waking at 4am....even though I had went to bed before my 10: 00 usual 'bedtime' and hadn't set the alarm for 4, but rather 5:45, and am irritated by my lack of sleep, open up my "BLOG folder" because I'm determined if I'm going to be awake I should at least let myself enjoy the time writing, and in what used to be the next blank spot on topics I'm posting this month is this:

My Son Loves Me
My Son Loves Me

Do you see it?  Right there at the bottom....  My husband has written in 'My wonderful family wants me to have a gazebo'.....

What's that?  Oh.  You don't get it?

Well......  several years ago....okay, quite a few actually.... I went to New York City and attended an SCBWI conference.  one of the speakers - I believe it was Katherine Patterson but don't quote me on this as I don't have it written down in my notebook - told a story of how their child's friend didn't believe that their mother was an author because she didn't have a gazebo in the backyard and 'every author has a gazebo in the backyard'....

So it's been this standing joke (I think it's a joke...we'll see) that when I'm a published author (doesn't that sound cool?) that my family will put a gazebo in the back yard for me.

I DON'T think it will be this one....
Maybe closer to this one?
Maybe closer to this one?

Either way,  I feel highly motivated and encouraged!  🙂  And loved 🙂

So I guess I should get really busy writing....because the cost of gazebos is going up (isn't everything?)!  And apparently my family wants to see it happen....

"People often ask, 'How do you start a book?' Well, I've always started this way...Chapter 1."  ~ Paula Danziger

This made me laugh.  It's such a low-key thought approach.  It's like, well, duh, you start at the beginning.

Paula Danziger was an awesome author and wrote a lot of wonderful books. Unfortunately, Paula passed away after complications stemming from a  heart attack in 2004.  But she had already left a legacy to the world of children's literature before the age of 59 including the Amber Brown series, The Cat Ate My Jumpsuit, There's a Bat in Bunk Five, and Remember Me to Harold Square just to name a few.  The   I can still remember reading The Cat Ate My Jumpsuit back in middle school.  That book really sticks out strongly in my mind.  I'm sure it has a lot to do with how much I strongly despised gym class and wished I had a cat that WOULD eat my gymsuit...or something like that.  How I hated that gymsuit.

It is hard to start a new book...or sometimes really easy if an idea pops into your head that you just can't get rid of. But sometimes the idea is there, it won't let you sleep at night, but the story just won't form on the page.  And you are left there staring at the page with the little doodles  you made of your character being very thankful you won't have to be the illustrator if you can ever actually make this into an acceptable (or better yet, bestselling) manuscript!

Right now my ideas are flowing.... ideas, not necessarily a manuscript.  But I'm enjoying the process and playing around with the ideas.  It's Saturday, which is to be my day for writing but I am away from home.... or should I say I AM home?  I'm in my childhood home, right where I read The Cat Ate My Gymsuit.  Memories!  Those are good idea starters too!  Anyway, I'll just have time to write down ideas today, not much else, but that's okay.  I can always write "Chapter 1" as an idea 🙂

Random Thoughts For Saturday:

  • It's amazing that, when the toddler doesn't get the pirate ship he wants at the store, he comes home and builds one! It's okay not to buy your child everything he wants.
  • The brain of a three year old is a HUGE sponge!  WOW!
  • If making a list helps you keep track of what to do, that's great!  Make a list....but try to remember where the list is.
  • Why is it when you think of a really great thought to write down there is never any paper available?
  • Everyone should watch a child at play...... and remember the world of imagination.
  • When we assume something about another person's thoughts, that's unfair to the person and unnecessarily damaging to ourselves (I took that one from Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst)
  • Sometimes people just need someone to listen and not for judgement or advice.
  • Sometimes we assume something based on someone's reaction but don't take the time to consider other reasons for their reaction...which leads to what Lysa was saying above.

I hope you have a nice, relaxing Saturday.  Take a little time to read or watch the curious antics of a child.  Look around and find a sign of God in the world around you.  Enjoy.

8

When I said goodnight to the moon last night, I had 73 views of yesterday's post!  I was completely amazed and excited.  I guess it confirmed I should write more on that topic and I will!  I promise.  As I wrote before, there are many things I am passionate about and food and what we put into our bodies is definitely one of them.  I'm sure I'll touch on that subject quite often. But perhaps a lighter topic today...Books! After all, I blog here because I want to be a writer.  And what is a writer without books?!

Goodnight Moon is one of my youngest son's favorite books!  We started reading that book when he was about 9 months old.  I believe it was a Christmas present from his Grandpa!

We read that book nightly for a very long time - probably at least two years! We usually saved it for the last of 3-4 bedtime books so that he knew it was the last and a sign of it being time for prayers and sleep! He still loves the book and he is 3 1/2 now.  We play games with it.  I'll read one part "Goodnight comb, goodnight brush," and he completes the rhyme... (If you don't know it, you simply must read the book! ) Other times, when I'm not feeling to tired, I play around a bit and read the wrong line: Goodnight Hippo jumping over the moon.  Oh how he laughs!  And of course, after reading it however many times, quickly corrects me and tells me what it should be.  I think he had it memorized before I did! 🙂

Margaret Wise Brown has always been a favorite of mine. She was a talented author who knew the mind of a child.  I just read that she is best known for Goodnight Moon (no surprise there), Big Red Barn (have not even heard of that one...will need to check that out at the library next time!) and Runaway Bunny (again, no surprise but was never a favorite of mine). When I was little I loved Mister Dog; The Dog Who Belonged to Himself, The Golden Egg Book and Home For A Bunny.  I never even heard of Goodnight Moon until I had my second child!  But I know it quite well now!

Margaret Wise Brown died when she was only 42.  It's amazing how many great books she had written by that time.  And here I am , past that, and haven't one in print (yet?).  She had 4 other pen names.  That is new to me.  I will have to do some further research into that interesting tidbit.  I'm not sure if they were all children's books or if she actually wrote other genres as well.  I think it's fascinating when authors write under various pen names.

I have often wondered if I ever did publish, whether I would use my actual name or use a pen name.  I don't know if many authors use pen names these days.  I remember when I was young actually making up names to use!  April Snow was one I liked a lot. Something about the extreme opposites... although it did snow here once in April on my daughter's birthday!  She was not appreciative of that!

Well, if I am ever to make that decision, I will have to actually finish writing or revising a manuscript worthy of publication and get it out there!  So no time like the present to get working on that!  So Goodnight Moon, hello days of writing!

DID YOU KNOW??

Four year old children who were read one alphabet book per day significantly
improved in their awareness of phonemes - tiny letter sounds that make up words.  Read to your child today! 🙂

As I start this post, I am sitting here enjoying my lunch of salmon salad over a bed of baby romaine alongside my tomato cucumber salad and a few candied pecans from the batch I made up this morning.  Mixed all together it is delicious.  My little man, however, does not seem to appreciate it nor his pear today.  I think rest time may occur without his fill of lunch today.  Oh well... he had some healthy snacks earlier and sometimes he just doesn't eat as much as other days.  Most days he is telling me he is 'hungry like a caterpillar' ever since enjoying that wonderful picture book by Eric Carle.

I am really feeling the writing bug.  I'm really working on figuring out how to make it work.  I've been exploring the SCBWI site... trying to determine if the cost is justifiable, as well as exploring other blogs by writers and considering dusting off my old materials.  I did open that cupboard the other day and dig out an unused journal to begin writing down ideas again.  That's a big start for me.  And trying to keep up on here.  I know I haven't written much that is edifying but it's a start... and my mind is turning with ideas and concepts.

I read yesterday that one published author of picture books has two young children and she literally often only spends 5-15 miutes a day in actual writing.  Well.... if she can do it in that amount of limited time, then maybe I can figure it out too.  We shall see!