It's PiBoIdMo 2015- have you signed up??

Well I participated.  I didn't exactly accomplish all my goals. What were they?

Oh, that's right....

 KISS  (keep it simple silly)

  1.  Read all posts by Saturday of each week (no way can I do it daily).

  2. Do exercises (if applicable to my current writing goals/ideas by Sunday.

  3. Write a minimum of one idea daily (7 a week) or add more details to an already listed idea.

  4. Make an honest attempt of writing a minimum of 30 minutes a week.

Well, I kept it simple.

I didn't read the posts daily, but I did indeed read them within a week of them being posted and all but one time was caught up by Saturday.  And I did work on the exercises, sort of.  I at least made note of the ones I want to get started on and a list of materials to do that with...especially the index cards and mini notebooks.  I did not get an idea every day.  Sometimes I didn't even think about PiBoIdMo let alone form ideas for writing, but I do think most of the ideas I had were fairly decent that could lead to something in the future. AND-  I actually did end with 30 by early this afternoon! I certainly did not do the 30 minutes a week.  I thought for sure that I could make an attempt at that.  But nothing.  Not even 5 minutes all month was dedicated to working on starting or even editing a manuscript.  Sigh.

But it's okay, right?  I mean, at least I have some (30) ideas.  And I tried out the babysitter thing....which didn't turn out actual writing that day but did get me started on reading and gleaning some good ideas from the PiBoIdMo posts and motivated me to try the babysitting thing again- maybe once a month to actually work on a manuscript?  We shall see.....

And I have my little writer friend to keep me company on occasion!

2015-01-13 07.11.33

How did your month of writing go?

2

Wrapping it Up:  November

The year is just flying by!  I can hardly believe that December is upon us bringing with it the end of 2015!  My oldest son will be turning 17 and I will be....um....well, older than I was last year!

My Writing World

It's PiBoIdMo 2015- have you signed up??

This was the month of PiBoIdMo - the month where aspiring picture book writers check in with Tara Lazar's posts on her blog to see the day's guest writer's post to find inspiration on our craft and attempt to come up with at least 30 ideas for a picture book.  You can check out my posts about the month starting with this one and ending with this one with a few in-between.  Other than reaching most of my much smaller goals for PiBoIdMo this month (I didn't actually get to work on a manuscript), I did get a few other blog posts out and thus have done better than the last few months.  But I really need to figure out a way to work on some manuscripts.  Sigh.  In time, I guess.  If you want to check out some of the other blog posts, here they are:

My Commonplace Book - this is something that I hope will also improve my writing skills; it will certainly lead to more writing topics!

Peaceful Reflections

Book Review Wednesday: Ishtar's Odyssey - finally- the first book review I've done in ages! Hopefully I will get back to at least doing one a month....fingers crossed!

Year One Homeschooling & Orthodoxy

Foster The Good (actually posted at the end of October)

My Book World

Photo by Kregel Publications
Photo by Kregel Publications

It's been a slow month for reading.  I really haven't been doing much of it at all.  I didmanage to complete For The Children's Sake and worked here and there on The Living Page.  And, if you've followed, I read all of Ishtar's Odyssey in time to do the blog post for Kregal Publications.  It wasn't my favorite book by Arnold Ytreede, but still a quality book for family reading during the advent season.

 

 

 

Our Parenting/Homeschool World

This has also been a slow month for completion of homeschooling.  I have mixed feelings about this.  I have determined that it's okay to stretch out a week of schooling (according to the Ambleside Online 'curriculum' that I'm using) into two or more weeks...but I'm not okay with days going by in which we don't do much of anything for school.  Unfortunately there were a few stretches like that this month.  I don't necessarily think that was a bad thing, but I don't want it to turn into habit.  SO - I just need to juggle this around in my head and figure out how to still get a half hour or hour of school into most of our days, even when really busy.

I've also been thinking over twaddle vs. living books as I mentioned in some of my PiBoIdMo posts (yes, even my Writing World intersects with our Homeschooling World).  I'm thinking more and more these days while there can be a huge difference between twaddle and living books, there can also be some overlap.  What's more- perhaps rather than focusing on eliminating 'twaddle' completely, it's just more important to make sure that better quality Living Books make up the majority of your child's reading time.

Homeschooling aside, I've struggled with parenting in general. Nothing surprising. We ALL struggle when it comes to a method of how to get our children to be obedient without killing their spirit or doing it in a non-loving manner.  My son is struggling with following directions without doing his 'growling' thing or actually attempting to push me or protesting by putting his face right in mine with the dirtiest face a five year old can give.  We read recently, my husband and I, Peaceful Parents Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham.  We believe entirely in her theory but putting it into practice isn't always easy.  His behaviors definitely push my buttons whether I recognize his need for guidance in how to display feelings or not and , well, it's a challenge.  So we are working on that. This afternoon was a difficult task - telling him no, he can not go to the neighbor's house as his behavior after church was not of the quality to earn privileges such as that.  While it was difficult, it was manageable, but only because I was able to prepare myself for it.  I knew , getting into the car at church, exactly what was going to happen when we got home and I had 20 minutes to prepare my own set of mind for carrying through.  It's not so easy when a situation presents itself necessitating an immediate response when we are needing to go somewhere or get a list of things done in a short amount of time.  Those cases don't always go the way  I'd like. But I'm sure I'm not the only one in that boat, am I?

Our Food and Health World

My husband continues his health goals in losing weight and becoming more conditioned. doing-the-w30-fb-cover-660x244Have I mentioned since doing the Whole30 during Lent this past year and sticking to a paleo eating style (at least 95% of the time) he has lost over 100 pounds?  The man is amazing as far as I'm concerned!  While I used to be the one doing the attempts at motivation, he is the one trying to motivate me to start exercising now....sigh... the vision is there....finding the time to do it and everything else needs some work!  I'm at least starting to walk a bit more again...if only I can figure out how to keep it up during the winter!  I have a HUGE aversion to cold weather!

This month we started the Nativity fast that is practiced by Orthodox Christians. I'll admit, we've never been ones to follow the nativity fast as well as we do the Great Lent fast.  But this year, my husband decided he wanted to do another Whole30 for the fast.  While my love for sugar was reluctant, I assented to his wish....well, for the most part.  He's doing a whole30 which I help with by keeping completely compliant for the meals (with a few minor exceptions on Thanksgiving) and I'm doing my own modified whole30- while not whole30 approved, is certainly a step up for me as I remain about 95% paleo,  I'm not adding sugar to my teas, keeping my meals whole30 compliant, sticking to non-processed snacks for the most part (at least at home) and attempting to increase my water intake.  And I'm doing my best to keep Wednesdays and Thursdays as days we not only observe the Whole30 rules, but stick to abstinence of meat products as well in accordance to the Orthodox fasting rules.

Our Faith World

Again, the nativity season is upon us.  I'm trying hard to keep up with my morning bible time, adding an Orthodox Advent Study to my materials. I purchased this last year through Sylvia Leontaritis at Orthodoxmom.com.  Unfortunately, I never got past the first week last year.  This year is still a struggle to keep up but I am sticking with it thus far.  I have actually learned a few extra things about the Theotokos I hadn't known before and I always like reading passages from the Old Testament that were prophecies of the birth of Christ.

We were disappointed to know that my husband has been scheduled to work both the nights of Christmas Even AND the night of Christmas Day.  He will be forced into missing both church services.  It's a struggle to not want to pout and think ill thoughts of those in charge of his schedule....  but we are trying to stay positive and be grateful he has a job and, really, other than church - which is of course the most important part of celebrating the holy day- we can do the other celebrations any time...and have planned to do just that.  Yes, Santa is such a NICE man, that he's decided to wait a few days to visit- so we can all open presents together....  cool dude, isn't he?

Other Parts of My World

Hmmm....what haven't I covered?  My son's girlfriend came up from Florida for a few days and visited.  She was able to watch him in one of his last football games of the season.  It was really nice to have her here.  Of course, it was really sad to watch his sadness in the days following her trip back home.  But they are able to at least count the days to the next visit which isn't terribly far off...though I'm sure it seems a terribly long time to them.

Thanksgiving was spent here at home as it usually is.  We had a quiet day- my husband  worked the night before so he slept for a number of hours during the day after he came home and prepped the turkey and chicken (long story that one).  The kids and I lounged in the living room watching the parade and dog show.  It was nice that I didn't have much cooking to do since I was inspired to do the majority of it the day before.  THIS is something that I plan on doing again!  I was sooooo thankful for a low stress day on Thanksgiving!

The days continue to get shorter and a bit colder though I can't complain about temperature just yet, especially for October.  And we've found an excellent 'handy man' to help us with cleaning gutters and other household/outside tasks that makes prepping for season changes all the  more easier.  We also installed a new pellet furnace in the basement and a pellet stove insert into our fireplace.  Between the two, we expect our electric bill and the hassles of last year's woodstove to be a thing of the past.  Time will tell but we are hopeful and feeling warmer already.

It's now 4:08 in the afternoon as I write this and I can see the color changes of the sky in the west already. This indicates to me as the day is nearing an end that I really should be thinking about ending this post and starting the evening meal.  So, until next time- take care and drop in and say hi sometime!

What did you do during November?

So here we are, November 21st.    Day #21 of PiBoIdMo.

It's PiBoIdMo 2015- have you signed up??
It's PiBoIdMo 2015- have you signed up??

I'm really glad I decided to change my goals this year, because there is no way I would have met last year's goals this month.  It took me until Friday night to read any of the PiBoIdMo posts on Tara Lazar's Blog.    This week was a whirlwind of errands, tasks, and diversions from getting anything done, let a lone writing!

So-  I read the posts and I actually DID get a few ideas jotted down as well- but still at only 17 ideas....I need 21 to be at the PiBoIdMo goal....

hmmmm..... what to do?

Well- this week's posts have helped.  I've got some general notes on a post-it to help me focus:

2015-11-21 09.22.11

The one I think I'm spending the most time considering right now is:  Don't limit your genre.

With all the time I've been considering twaddle vs. living books, the more I am actually drawn to a non-fiction genre. This is not the genre  I was really drawn to before, other than the manuscript I wrote about my saint about a year ago.  That manuscript was not accepted by the editor and has collected dust at the side of my desk for some time.  However, I have spent a bit of time as of late thinking over two possible alternatives to revising my original vision of that manuscript.  And I've thought about some other possible ideas for that genre (yes, some of them are among the 17 PiBoIdMo ideas for this month).  So among the other posts from this week, Nancy Tupper's post today at PiBoIdMo has gotten my wheels turning again.

But alas, it's Saturday and time to catch up on all that didn't get done through the week.  Hopefully I'll find a way to make a bit of time doing some more writing later today but for now, it's back to real life!

It's PiBoIdMo 2015-  have you signed up??

Well, the week was NOT productive in my writing....but pay a babysitter for an hour and a half today and ....  WOW!

I got to read the whole week of posts and this week they were AMAZING!  I have several pages of notes, a list of activities to work on (buy a notebook for my purse, purchase some index cards and index card boxes, rethink my daily goals, etc.), and added some actual picture book ideas to my incredibly short list (no, I do not even have a list of 14, but I have quite a few more than I did when I woke up this morning).

So I've decided the babysitter thing just may need to be a habit.  My son had a blast.  My only restriction to them was no TV.  I can plug him in front of that brain killing machine myself if I need to.  But a mere $8 got him total undivided attention.  While a little distracting since I placed myself in the dining room (in the middle of the rooms where they were) I also got to listen to him be creative and laugh- a LOT - which is music to a mother's ears and pretty inspirational for a writer to boot!

I can't decide on my  favorite post for this week like I did last week.  But I would say that the words of Janna Matthies, Denise Fleming and Julie Gribble were the most helpful to me at this point in my writing.  All for various reasons, though perhaps it's the insight of Denise Fleming that might keep me going for the long haul....  she reminds us that not only for every good idea are there probably about 50 'stinkers', but that we really should keep EVERY IDEA-- even the ones we think are bad or totally ridiculous.... because you never know where even years from now, that ridiculous, bad idea may lead to the inspiration of your best idea ever. So hold onto them- and keep going back to them to revisit and you may just be surprised one day.

I've been thinking more about the whole twaddle vs. living books as I discussed again in last week's post.  I spend much too much time on Facebook, and have been gradually cutting back (I do not want the most vivid memory of me by my children to include me holding my phone to check Facebook, Words With Friends, or even PiBoIdMo) on using my phone-  but if I do find myself on Facebook, it's usually to check out what's going on at the Ambleside page.  So many really good discussions. One constant discussion topic is the whole twaddle vs. living books debate.  Obviously this is tied into my writing life.  As I discussed last week- I worry about the children's market being so much more geared to twaddle and 'entertaining' kids rather than truly filling their minds with living books - quality books that feed the mind and ignite their passions.

Always on the Ambleside Online page there are questions posted stating , "Is this book twaddle?  What should I do if my child loves to read twaddle?  Should I let my beginning reader read these books she loves if it's twaddle?"  I am always a little shocked at the tone of those telling these mothers to take all the twaddle away.  These kids, they say, will not develop good taste for real literature or a sound vocabulary if they fill their minds with twaddle.  But personally, I'm thinking, why would you take away a book that makes a child WANT to read???  Why would you risk killing that desire to read a book by FORCING them to only read the books that YOU consider LIVING?  Isn't one of the concepts of a living book is that it entices the mind of the child?  If a book is enticing your child to read....makes them hunger for more words on the page....why would you ban it?  If it's not filling up the mind with something immoral, why would you take it away?  Wouldn't it be better to make sure you are reading them living books and giving them choices that include living books rather than insisting they never read something that YOU consider twaddle?

I will not read Scooby Doo to my son.  But I will allow him to bring one home from the library for him to look at himself (or allow someone else in the family to read it to him once in awhile).  Nor will I  buy a book that I consider to be totally twaddle...well- there might be an exception here and there. But if there's a book that makes my child WANT to read on his own (and it's not immoral in any way) then I WILL allow him to read it.  It does not mean that's all he's ever going to read.  I'm not going to go through my bookshelves and immediately throw out all that might be considered twaddle by the ladies on Ambleside.  I think they mean well....but I also think they are missing the point.

Well- enough of my ramblings on twaddle today.  I need to throw out my cold coffee and get some things done (including revisiting my PiBoIdMo notes and my idea page) now before my Movie Night with my youngest son today.  It will be the first time he'll get to watch The Wizard of Oz - my desire to offer him classic movies rather than the twaddle of today and reinforce his infatuation with tornadoes!  Pray with me that the green faced witch and flying monkeys are seen as funny and not scary!

2

It's PiBoIdMo 2015-  have you signed up??

So here I am at Day#7.  I was already feeling overwhelmed this morning with so much to do but was determined I was not going to fail my goals in the first week!  So while I'm surrounded by house clutter (my computer barely fits on the kitchen counter as I sit here with my now cold coffee attempting to write this post)and house clutter really drives me crazy, I was determined to finish reading and taking notes on this week's posts!  If you are new to the concept of PiBoIdMo, be sure to click on my posts (see the tag) about it and also hop on over to Tara Lazar's website where all of this is happening!

Honestly, I have really mixed feelings about PiBoIdMo this year for so many different reasons.  I guess the biggest reason is that I just know I don't have the time in my life right now to really dedicate to my writing time the way I dream of and feel is necessary to really put my words on the page and edify them enough to make them publishable let alone take the time to find the right editor/publishing house that would be interested in it!  But I don't want to completely give up on it (my dream) either.

I also have an issue with today's market.  You see, I've spent so much time learning about Charlotte Mason and the difference between living books and twaddle, that I'm realizing that the stories I want to write, don't necessarily fit into today's market.  And the more I look at the books that are selling like hotcakes in today's picture book market, the more I kind of want to cringe.   Today's stories are funny, creative and highly entertaining, and for that they have value. I love the imagination, dedication, and work by the authors and illustrators to put these creative ideas into book form and into the hands and minds of children.  But I now wonder if they really ignite the mind to learn and hunger for more like the Living Books I'm reading to my young son or are most of them truly twaddle?  I think there is a need for books that are entertaining- they have merit- but as I go through the library now and look for quality books that will edify my child's mind, I realize just how much twaddle there is out there.  While I think books that are just for entertainment and a few laughs are fun and not necessarily bad, I'm realizing the majority of today's market is that....   they are not full of rich vocabulary,  high literary quality, or truly leaving an impact on my child's mind that leads him to learn more about a subject, person or time in history.  And that's frustrating to me.

I  think now of my personal favorite manuscript that I have submitted to critique groups....  the biggest common factor they tell me is they love the language of my story but I need to cut it out as it doesn't fit for today's market. Really? We're not allowed to have rich vocabulary that entices the child and challenges their thinking and , gosh,  shame on us for trying to actually teach them some new words???

Sigh.

So I'm torn.  Maybe I'm not cut out for the picture book world of today.

Or maybe I need to stick with non-fiction?

I don't know.

But I do know that when I finally  finished reading the posts for the week this morning (I started earlier in the week while sitting in the ER....but we won't go there...lol...don't worry- all is completely fine), I really enjoyed listening to what most of the authors had to say...  though I did have that word 'twaddle' in the back of my mind for some of the ideas discussed....  and I really LOVED the post for today by Jessixa Bagley! Jessixa wrote about making lists...and I am a HUGE list maker.  Though often poked fun of by my daughter and her friend for all of my lists, they keep me on track and my mind a little more focused and organized and a good habit I refuse to give up- so poke all you want- I love my lists!

So now I breathe a sigh of relief that no matter my mixed feelings, I have at least accomplished my goals for the week for PiBoIdMo (I'm saying that even though I only have 3 ideas listed rather than 7-  it's my prerogative to do so)...  and now I'll go off and try to do some housework....and work on making up for those 4 missing ideas.

Thanks for taking time to listen to me ramble on about PiBoIdMo 2015...

What do YOU think of the books in today's children's market?

 

 

It's PiBoIdMo 2015- have you signed up??
It's PiBoIdMo 2015- have you signed up??

I mentioned PiBoIdMo 2015 in my October Wrap Up.  I kept ignoring the reminders on Facebook and other places like my inbox that this was coming up.  The last year hasn't gone so well for my picture book writing.  I'm barely getting a few posts on here, let alone writing or editing manuscripts.

But as I sat reading to my son the other day - one of my favorite picture books:

I had a great idea for a picture book pop into my head and well..... okay, I drug out the 2014 PiBoIdMo notebook and wrote it down...and then thought about it.  Maybe-  MAYBE - I could participate.  I glanced at the first page in my notebook...

2015-10-30 20.54.21

Well, THAT's not going to happen.

But maybe if I changed my goals??  So I signed up....  and rather than ordering a new notebook because that's just ridiculous - I never filled up the 2014....  I'll just start the second half... and write in new goals.

So-  here it is.  First of all-    KISS  (keep it simple silly)

  1.  Read all posts by Saturday of each week (no way can I do it daily).
  2. Do exercises (if applicable to my current writing goals/ideas by Sunday.
  3. Write a minimum of one idea daily (7 a week) or add more details to an already listed idea.
  4. Make an honest attempt of writing a minimum of 30 minutes a week.

I think I kept it simple?

What are your PiBoIdMo goals this year?

 

2

Wrapping It Up

November was a good month for me....possibly not for these turkeys...but good for me!  It wasn't quite as full as October, but it was certainly productive.

 

turkey-72771_1280

 

My Writing World:  My month was consumed with PiBoIdMo-  and that was not a good thing-  it was a GREAT THING!  The last week hasn't been as successful, but the first three were excellent.  I read a great post last night as I was reading through several days worth of posts I had to catch up on.  Ruth McNally Barshaw convinced me I need to give myself permission to be imperfect with my goals and that it was okay to not do so well this week.  It certainly didn't hinder from me from obtaining my 30 ideas.... I already have a total of 36 and I still have today and tomorrow to add to that!

I also had about 20 posts here on the blog this month...pretty good, I'd say though this week was quite slow.  Sorry about that.  The most read post this month was on Picture Book Month and the Giveaway, but my favorite was Answer The Phone Please.  Go check them out if you haven't read them yet!  Hopefully I'll get tomorrow's Peaceful Reflections done and hopefully I'll get an announcement made for Monday for the winner of the Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Book World: My book world sort of slowed down, mostly because my writing picked up but also because I think I'm finally learning to focus on just a few books at a time instead of the incredibly large stack by my bed and all the other places I have stacks around my house.  This month my focus was on The Emotionally Healthy Woman: Eight Things You Have to Quit to Change Your Life as I'm participating in a book club using that book and the workbook that comes with it.  I still picked up Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst here and there and read a few chapters of A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections to the Gentle Art of Learning.

I did pick up one more book, at the high recommendations I heard about it at the book club I mentioned above.  I'll tell you more about it after I've read some more of Love and Respect:  The Love She Desires and the Respect He Desperately Needs .  I bought the workbook for this one too and it looks like it's an awesome set!

Our Homeschool World: Pennsylvania got some wonderful news for its homeschool law as I reported in a post earlier this month!  I am thrilled!

Regretfully, our football season ended at the District Championship game.  While I was looking forward to not having so much running to do (back and forth to practices and games), I found myself in tears when my son's team was beaten for the first time all year with a score of 2-6.  I truly felt depressed all week when the clock would strike three and I couldn't take him to practice.  Still, I think after a few days of experiencing the deep disappointment, he was able to focus on all he learned and realize he did, indeed, have an AWESOME year and is already looking forward to the year ahead.  And now....to get caught up with academics.  He'll do it.  I have every bit of confidence in him.

My youngest son is reading beyond my dreams.  And WRITING!  He has taken it upon himself to join me at my desk while I write.  He brings his stacks of colored papers and pencils and sits and writes, and writes, and writes while I type away or write in my PiBoIdMo notebook.  Sometimes he pretends one of those brightly colored bits of paper is his laptop and begins to type!  The astounding thing is, he really is writing REAL words (among some not quite so real words....or at least not English words....) including Mom, Do Not Entr (he's four, so what if he spells enter wrong! LOL), is, go, dog, cat, and so many others!  It's so much fun!  Creative Fun Writing, then, has been our focus this month. But we've done a few lessons in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, made a lot of words with Delightful Reading by Simply Charlotte Mason, played in the snow (well, he has....I'll try to do better next month), drawing and listening to various types of music.

Our Food/Health World

I haven't been doing much writing about this on the blog.  Other topics have taken up the majority of my posts.  I did however do some more research and one post on the Elderberry!  I'm glad I did.  I woke up one morning with a touch of a sore throat and some mouth sores that are usually indicative of a major cold virus....  I started taking extra Elderberry (I used the drops since the store was out of the syrup!) and in just two days those symptoms decreased dramatically and never got any worse.  I'm convinced!  Hopefully, I'll get back to some more food and natural health posts soon.  Remember, let me know if there's something in particular you'd like me to write about- you never know- your suggestion just may be something I've been meaning to research!

Other Parts of Life

  • We celebrated the Feast of Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple.  It is one of the 12 Great Feast Days of the year celebrated by the Orthodox Church.  You can read my very short post about it here and you can read a past post I wrote about Mary last year here.
  • I began using my alarm on my phone to remind me to pray throughout the day.  It's something I did for awhile a year or two ago and got out of the habit of.  Rather than taking a full half hour or more in the morning for devotion time when I am sleepy and not entirely focused, I only do about ten minutes now, and several other 5-10 minute sessions throughout the day.  I find it to be more soothing and keeps me more mindful of our Lord this way.
  • We were very happy to have my daughter home for Thanksgiving.  She's been here for about a week and I'll probably be driving her back to school tomorrow.
  • I started working on my Christmas cards yesterday.  I made up a very small letter with a few photos to announce our new address.  I figure there's less chance in getting cards sent to us lost if everyone has our new address early on.
  • We have a new addition to our 'family'!!   Maggie is an early birthday present from my husband- he does know how to melt my heart, doesn't he?- though I believe the convincing came from my children.  Many hours were spent on determining her name.I'mfairly sure this is the name that stays....
    This is Maggie.  :)   She is a bit frisky and adventurous when not sleeping!
    This is Maggie. 🙂 She is a bit frisky and adventurous when not sleeping!

     

     How was your November?

 

 

 

2

Doodle photo by Nemo/Pixabay
Doodle photo by Nemo/Pixabay

 

I haven't posted a writing exercise in quite some time, and being that I'm doing lots and lots of writing during this grand month of "National Picture Book Month", an idea struck me. During November, I am participating in PiBoIdMo over at Tara Lazar's website.  Among authors and editors who are contributing posts to Tara's blog during the month, there are also illustrators.  It's through those posts and others that I have formed this idea.

DOODLE.

Yep, that's right.  Doodle.

What exactly is doodling, you may ask?  Perhaps you've never been bored in class?  According to Wikipedia, a doodle is  "an unfocused or unconscious drawing made while a person's attention is otherwise occupied. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be abstract shapes."

Allow yourself or your child to just doodle away....maybe five minutes, maybe twenty. Or maybe just doodle all day amidst doing other activities.  Just pick up a pencil and a nice clean sheet of paper and doodle, doodle, DOODLE.  Draw a cat, a dog, a purple hippopotamus.  Draw a tree, a mountain, a brown chair broken to pieces.  Just doodle whatever comes to mind. And don't worry about whether it LOOKS like a cat or dog or purple hippopotamus or whatever it is that you are 'drawing'....because this doodle is just for YOU.  It's not for art class, it's not for your family, it's not for anyone but you and your imagination.

Now....sit back and look.

What did you draw?  Shhh!  Don't tell....it's just for you, remember?

Is it a person?  An animal?  An object?  Take some time to look it over.  You may not have completed the doodle.  Where is this person, animal or object?  In the woods?  The kitchen? Africa?  No, you don't HAVE to doodle that, but hey -  if the mood strikes, go for it!  But think:   ask yourself questions about it, or-  ohhh....wait!  Ask the picture!

What?

Yes, I said, "Ask the picture".  You do know that writing takes imagination, right?  Not 'crazy' - just imagination.

Photo by Nemo/Pixabay
Photo by Nemo/Pixabay

If that picture could talk, what would it say?  Ask it.  "What are you doing today?  How are you?  Why are you laughing?  Why is your leg all twisted?  How did you get those spots?"  I can't help you too much with those questions because I can't see what you doodled....  but go ahead, have a conversation with your doodle.  It's okay, I won't tell anyone.... go ahead, I'll wait.

Okay?  Now write your story.  And don't hesitate to go back and ask your doodle some more questions when you get stuck. It may want you to add some more details.  It may want you to doodle another scene in the story. That's okay- whatever works to create that great story.

One more thing!  DON'T hesitate to STOP.  Yeah, it's okay.  You don't have to crank out a doodle and a great story all in the same sitting, or even two sittings.  Think about it for a while.  Some of the greatest stories are created not at a desk, but on walks, drives, or in the shower.  Take some time to think about your characters, your setting and most of all - what's the story ABOUT?  Without really thinking about those things, you'll get stuck.  So it's okay to pause or even completely stop for  awhile and really think things through before committing to pen and paper.

Enjoy the process.  It's fun!

And do come back and tell me later of your success!

2

It's the third week of PiBoIdMo. 

This is day #22!  I am still as excited as I was back on day#1 and feeling quite productive!  And not just with PiBoIdMo goals, but with writing in general.  I am finally, after moving back in August, getting my writing space together.

The walls of the library are still bare, books packed up in boxes awaiting the shelves to be built-in, hopefully quite soon BUT....

For now it's just bare walls that I see from my desk, and bare windows. I looked at curtains for the sliding glass door this week... I haven't decided on anything yet. I LOVE the clear glass...it's so nice to see right out but they do let in a lot of cold and the winter weather is just starting...

 

the work space is coming together quite nicely 🙂

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This is where my computer sits. I put all my current projects, manuscripts, notes, etc. in a pretty purple folder marked WIPs this week.
Notice all those colored pieces of paper?  They're not mine! :)   My four year old has started joining me for 'Quiet Writing Time' this week.  He writes stories while Momma writes.  What a dream!  I LOVE it!  I just hope it lasts a really really long time!
Notice all those colored pieces of paper? They're not mine! 🙂 My four-year old has started joining me for 'Quiet Writing Time' this week. He writes stories while Momma writes. What a dream! I LOVE it! I just hope it lasts a really really long time!

 

This is to the left of where I sit..... it's a collection of books that I'm currently reading or using as resources for blogging, writing, devotion, etc.  Notice the small box of caramels tucked away in the corner at the right?  Only one per day as a reward for getting that 20 minutes of REAL (manuscript) writing in! Shhh....don't tell my son!
This is to the left of where I sit..... it's a collection of books that I'm reading or using as resources for blogging, writing, devotion, etc. Notice the small box of caramels tucked away in the corner at the right? Only one per day as a reward for getting that 20 minutes of REAL (manuscript) writing in! Shhh....don't tell my son!
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This is my foot warmer! It is very important to have warm feet when writing!!!
And this....this is a bare wall that will NOT be filled with shelves.  I'd love to fill it with something to motivate me with my writing...something INSPIRATIONAL!!
And this....this is a bare wall that will NOT be filled with shelves. I'd love to fill it with something to motivate me with my writing...something INSPIRATIONAL!!

 

At day 22, I currently have 32 ideas written in my PiBoIdMo notebook!  That's including the really bad one I wrote in two days ago....  I almost erased it!  LOL.  But they say to write them ALL down.... even the bad ones can turn into something later on down the road- especially if you learn to combine some of those ideas.

I did get my 20 minutes in every day this week - some days were a little harder and two of those days were research and not actual writing but I STILL consider that a success!  How did you with your goals  this week?

Any SUGGESTIONS for that bare wall pictured above?

2

hand-325321_1280Writing is a passion.

It keeps me calm.  It allows me to express myself.  It makes me come alive.

So November is like a little drop of heaven.

 PiBoIdMo  is an AMAZING experience. And it's not just about reading one post and writing down one idea. It's about feeding a need and being a part of a feeding frenzy with hundreds, no thousands, others like me or all feel that same need.

I've done well this week with my goals.  I wrote them in my notebook.

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I have read the posts every day this week.  There hasn't been many exercises but certainly there's been many ways to change our train of thought and open more pathways to creativity - and that I HAVE DONE!  Thank you dear contributors to those wonderful posts on Tara's blog! They have been a great inspiration.  I have definitely written down my minimum of one idea per day.  Today, Day #15 of PiBoIdMo, I have a total of 22 ideas already!  YAY! I actually used one already for a full rough draft! And, yes, this week I did MUCH better at obtaining the minimum of writing for 20 minutes per day (on a picture book manuscript - not just the blog).

If you haven't signed up but still want to be a part of PiBoIdMo, head over to Tara's blog (see link above) and read the posts. Registration is over, so you'll have missed out on opportunity for prizes, but NOT on gaining some insightful help and aides for your creativity!

So how are YOU doing with YOUR writing goals?  And if you're not a writer, what ARE YOUR GOALS?