Monday, May 18, 2015

A New Title

My six-year-old has taken an interest in my writing recently.  She's amazed at the amount of work I have been putting into it, but disappointed in the lack of pictures in my book.  She's also not happy that I'm able to work from home and don't have to put her in aftercare.  Apparently that's the place to be after school in kindergarten.  But overall she's very proud of me.

Yesterday I was working on book #2 as she worked on her drawings.  She asked what the title of my newest book was.  When I told her I didn't have one yet, she volunteered to help me out. 

So without further ado, here is the title of my next novel.

Now to tailor my book to fit this fantastic title!

Friday, May 15, 2015

To Outline or Not to Outline

When I started my book last summer, I had a spark of an idea and just started writing.  I didn't plan anything out or outline it.  I just wrote and wrote and let the idea develop as I went along.  Other than the fact that I decided to change the direction halfway through, which resulted in chopping out 30,000 words, the process worked well for me.  I liked being surprised by my characters and the direction the book took. 

However, in my post-novel writing research, I learned that this method is not very common.  Most people outline their novel first.  They know who all the characters are and the twists and turns the book will take before diving into the writing.  Huh.  Interesting concept.  The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced to try writing my next book this way.  It would be nice to already know the basic plot, and just let the details fill in along the way.

So a week into writing book #2, I already have a basic outline and most of my synopsis done.  I'm still getting used to such a different process, but I'm enjoying it.  I'm also hoping that it helps speed up the actual writing process. 

How do you approach writing a novel?  Are you a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person, or do you outline it all at the beginning?  I'll let you know which I prefer once I'm done with book #2!

Monday, May 11, 2015

In Honor of Mother

In honor of yesterday's celebration of Mother's Day, I'd like to share with all of you a speech I wrote back in college for my mother.  I hope you all enjoyed your day as moms or with your moms!

Washington Irving once said, “A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” 
My mother has been an inspiration to many through her roles as mother, daughter, wife, teacher, sister, aunt, godmother, stepmother, and grandmother.  But the most significant of these has been that of mother.  This is the job my mom has put the most energy into.  After two years of teaching, she quit her job in order to stay at home with her children.  Many may say that she was then no longer a working mother, but this is quite the contrary.  She worked harder at this job than any other profession.  It is a 24 hour, 365 day a year occupation without any time off.  And yet I never once heard my mother complain.  She loved us, her children, and everything that went along with raising us.  She brought us up in a safe, happy home filled with love and care.  I never once wanted for anything.  She always put our needs and desires before her own.  She loved us unconditionally, selflessly, and whole-heartedly.  She is there for me as more than just a mother.  She is the one I share my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my laughter and my tears with.  She is my very own guardian angel here on earth, and I love her with more love than I ever thought possible. 

           In conclusion, I would like to share with you a poem, written anonymously, which perfectly describes the role my mother plays in my life.  It is entitled, “You Were There”

You were there when we took our first steps,
And went unsteadily across the floor.
You pushed and prodded: encouraged and guided,
Until our steps took us out the door...

You worry now "Are they ok?"
Is there more you could have done?
As we walk the paths of our unknown
You wonder"Where have my children gone?"

Where we are is where you have led us,
With your special love you showed us a way,
To believe in ourselves and the decisions we make.
Taking on the challenge of life day-to-day.

And where we go you can be sure,
In spirit you shall never be alone.
For where you are is what matters most to us,
Because to us that will always be home...


         Thank you mommy for everything you have done and continue to do.  You are my mother, my best friend, and you mean more to me than simple words can ever say.