January has New Years & MLK Day
February has Valentine’s Day and President’s Day
March has St. Patrick’s Day
April has a shot at Easter, plus a fun poem to remind you how awesome the spring is.
May has May Day, Cinco de Mayo, and, for lots of people, the end of school.
June has…June has…June had bubkis. But now June has the FIRST OFFICIAL RUBY SLIPPERS GIVEAWAY (loud screaming and cheering)
Enter to win a copy of Stealing the Ruby Slippers from Goodreads June 1-7.
If you don’t win, don’t be sad. I’m only giving away three copies this time. And you can always buy your own . I’ll be running some more giveaways throughout the summer.
Also, if you’re in Minnesota, come out and see me at The Judy Garland Festival from 12-2 at The Village Bookstore where I’ll be signing.
My recently redecorated front porch. I’d like to spend more time doing nothing here.
That one that you get after you accomplish something that felt nearly impossible? For a moment, it’s total euphoria. And then, for me at least, there is a huge crash where I just want to bask in the glow of what I’ve done and take a nice, looooooong nap.
After you’ve worked so hard for so long, you deserve a break, right? I always thought so.
I feel the same way after a long writing session. It’s a content exhaustion.
I used to love to bask in the feeling. Relax. Reflect. Take some time before beginning the next task. But lately, as I get further down this whole self-employed, stay-at-home-parent-while-running-
twothree-businesses-and-go-to-grad-school life that I’ve built (and I love love love this life, please don’t think I’m complaining, I’m not at all) I can’t take a break. Because there is always something else that needs to be done.
I’m trying to learn— when is okay to step back, say the list can wait until later, and just do nothing? Right now, for me, it’s after the kids go to bed. Unless I’ve got some formatting stuff to do (like laying out Your Pilates Life, which btw, I did for nearly six hours last night. Be looking for it in actual book form soon!) I usually pop some popcorn and plop myself in front of the television.
But I often wonder if that time shouldn’t be spent more productively. Maybe I should be painting (I still want to really launch an art career also). Or making necklaces. Or writing. Or…or…or…
What do you think? I know this isn’t a problem just for me. Should there be “veg” time every day? Or just on weekends? How do you balance everything that needs to get done?
I took 120 pictures in the last week. Here are some of them.
It’s Friday, not Thursday! Did you know that? I didn’t. I’m a day off after my long weekend at the beach. Not complaining at all. Just giving you my explanation for being a day late with this post.
May has been an awesome month. Last week, in particular, was notable.
- Monday: Finished my MFA Core class
- Tuesday: Stealing the Ruby Slippers release day
- Wednesday: Turned in the huge portfolio for my Groundings in Fiction class (got my grade back an hour ago, I’m quite happy with it.)
- Thursday: Packed up a bunch of books to mail, packed my suitcase and flew to Mobile, AL for a weekend at Gulf Shores.
- Friday: Hangout Festival.
- Saturday: Flew from Pensecola to Nashville for an awesome wedding with some dear friends.
- Sunday: Flew back to the beach for the last day of Hangout.
- Monday: Drove to Mobile, had coffee with my first Writer’s Loft mentor, then boarded a flight
- Tuesday—got home just before 1:00 in the morning
Now that the book is out and school is over, my to-do list hasn’t gotten any shorter, but I’m trying to settle in to summer. Originally the plan was that I would be able to forgo my morning writing time (the time from 7-9am that I has been blocked out for me to do homework and/or write) because both of the kids would be in summer school from 9-2. I would get up early, walk the dog, go to the gym, get the kids to school, write, and then be able to focus on the kids 100% when they were home. They have been awesomely patient as I’ve juggled everything, but I don’t want them to have to do that anymore.
We found out this week that the school thing isn’t going to work out how we’d planned. At least not for a few weeks. For now, I’m going to keep the early writing time and try to do a little bit of work throughout the day, but always be ready to do fun things like play and go for walks and hang out at the lakes.
The new focus began this week, even though Austin is still in morning preschool and Lily is still in afternoon Kindergarten. We’ve had fun! Lily and Austin each got to take individual trips with me to the library, and Lily has mastered her bike without training wheels. We planted all of our seed cups for our new gardens and started a few house projects. I need to find a bit better balance, I’ve literally crossed one thing off my to-do list (and I haven’t even counted how many have been added) but it’s a great way to go into the holiday weekend.
All-in-all, summer is starting off beautifully.
Click here to order Stealing the Ruby Slippers.
I realized today that having my blog as my landing page is not the easiest way to find information about my books.
But I’m on the beach right now at Hangout Festival so I can’t change it.
(My view right now)
Apologies for this short promotional message, I’ll get the layout of the site updates tonight. For now, I’m going to enjoy The Tontons and my last night on the beach.
Again, if you want to order, click here.
There have been a lot of tools that helped me with Stealing the Ruby Slippers. Some of them have been fun, but by far the most fun has been learning InDesign. In honor of Throwback Thursday…
When I was in high school I took a desktop publishing class (that was a class, right? Or was it a part of another class? I might not remember. Anyway…) My high school (and most in Minnesota, I think) had a club called “Business Professionals of America” or BPA for short. In BPA, I did fun things like business math (kinda sorta like accounting) law (lots and lots of questions about torts…tortes?), speech, desktop publishing (the vintage name for graphic design). I’m sure there were a bunch of other things I don’t compete in. (BPA has a website if you want to research this further.) The BPA members would travel to a regional contest, and then the students with the highest scores would get to go to the state contest.
State was held at the Hyatt in downtown Minneapolis (across the street from the hotel where Chris and I would eventually get married, incidentally). I went to state both my junior and senior year and won a whole bunch of trophies. I loved doing “desktop publishing.” But neither my majors, nor my jobs, nor my internships ever gave me a reason or opportunity to keep working in PageMaker. Getting into InDesign last month was actually the first time I’ve done any type of layout or design since the state BPA contest in 2000.
It. is. so. much. fun! And so frustrating! Obviously, InDesign is not PageMaker, and it’s been 14 years. So I’ve had to learn the whole program again. And, being me, I’ve done this with the help of my trusty friend, Google. I do something, it doesn’t work, I Google it, and try it again.
It’s fun. It’s kind of like driving around until you’re lost, then finding your way home, in order to learn a new city. You find things you wouldn’t have found otherwise.
It’s also just exciting to teach yourself something new.
I love it. And I highly recommend it.