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Celebrate the Small Things 6: Faith Through Failure #FridayFeeling

Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.

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Life inside of a child is a courageous place to be. This week as I watched my own children tackle their own separate challenges, I saw myself in my sweet little girl learning to ride a bike. With my son, I remembered the same feeling on the soccer field, waiting as the goalie in that net as the opposing team barreled my way with what seemed like an unstoppable force.

 

Who doesn’t want a perfect result the first time you try?

 

Courage is my word of the week. Faith, too. Courage is the driving power to move. Faith is the fuel behind it. As I watched my kids go through their own unique challenges, I also saw them practice both acts within themselves, and being the proud mom who I am, these are the moments I’m celebrating this week.

 

  1. The bike. It’s not easy to learn to balance and trust you can go as fast as you need to go and to stop when you really need to stop without hurting yourself.
  2. The soccer game. Being the last man standing on a team and facing a small band of others headed your way is really overwhelming. You want to strategize where that ball is going to land. You want to protect the goal and the team.

 

Success. My daughter conquered the bike. My son conquered the will to try again through the defeat. When he told me he wanted to play another season, I couldn’t help but glow on the inside.

Remember …

Celebrate the Small Things 5: Change is Scary. Try it Anyway #FridayFeeling

Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.

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Change is a difficult task to swallow for some. We get comfortable. We’re afraid to rock the boat. We come up with multiple reasons why it won’t work and spend days and weeks thinking about it and wondering what-if. Then the string unravels and you make the choice, and hopefully, the pick was the chance to try.

Today, I’m celebrating a much-needed change in my mornings. One of my small kiddos is a morning bird. The smallest kiddo is the night owl. Morning moments and evening moments can be a challenge at times. But this week I dared to be different. I dared to establish three fast rules before the rest of the day gets the best of us.

  1. Get dressed.
  2. Brush your teeth.
  3. Eat your breakfast.

Pretty simple, right? In the past, I did these things, but not in an orderly fashion. But now that my kiddos know what to expect next, and after a couple of days, it worked! No one gets nearly as upset. It’s a happy dance out of the door, to school for the kids and to work for me.

So today, I am here to say, if you’re thinking about something different that may impact your life for the better but you’re not sure how to start or if you should … research it. Talk to folks who’ve tried it. You might be surprised.
I know I am.

Finish Your Book. Write for Big Moments #AuthorToolboxBlogHop #WriteTip

The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.

Thank you Raimey!

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It’s funny how as a kid you think you have all the time in the world. Each day spans forever, and when the sun dies and the moon is born, I hardly remember lying my head on that pillow, closing my eyes and starting all over the next day with a new sun.

In writing as a kid, I’d let my mind run away with my fingers. I’d write until I didn’t know where to go and I’d stop. Maybe it was dinner time. Maybe I’d lost the daylight. Maybe I had a tree to climb and a wind to catch in that tree. I did hardly ever finish a book though, well, at least not a lengthy one.

Now, I know why.

As a middle-aged adult, I realize I can’t just sit and write without a plan. Planning has become everything, especially in regards to writing, no matter how unfun it sounds.

Today, I’m thinking about planning Big Moments in any working story before the creative writing part takes hold of you, your fingers fly, and you write all those wonderful scenes and chapters. My resource today comes from my second favorite writing book, “Outlining Your Novel Workbook,” by K.M. Weiland. I wish I’d found this book in 2008 when I decided to get serious about writing, but alas, the book came out in 2014.

The 5 Big Moments begin after you think of all the possibilities in your story. After the Log Line, and your Premise.

Ever had that brain block moment, where you stop and you don’t know where to go?

The questions in this book help get you past that and it’s a real workbook, not just a text. My resource last month is also another great tool to make your mind buzz with possibility.

So what are the 5 Big Moments?

They are moments when the character is faced with a no turning back decision. They impact your main character in an uncomfortable way where the motivation or want is clearly at risk. The main character doesn’t get what she desires the most. She squirms. A decision has to be made. Change has to result. Settings blossom out of a big moment and all sorts of complications result moving your main character into the next Big Moment, 2, 3, 4 and finally the climax. I love how this resource book makes me think of these 5 Big Moments and then asks me what are potentially 4 complications that result in each moment. I would have stopped at one had the book not pushed me forward. Also, never never give your main character what she wants, else the risk and the suspense dies.

I won’t spoil the rest of the working questions in this chapter of the book, but now I find myself unable to plot my own manuscript without it. Ever come across this resource? Do you plot out the Big Moments in your story before you start writing a real single line?

Celebrate the Small Things 4: Humanize Bad Behavior #FridayFeeling

Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.

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This week, I’ve tried to practice a good behavior and an old skill I learned in a previous job as a corporate trainer. When I don’t understand what someone does, I try to stop and think, “Why would a reasonable and rational person do what they do and say what they say?” It’s a question from resource material “Crucial Conversations” I used to facilitate to managers. I learned a lot about people.

Body language. Tone. Facial Expressions. Above all things, facial expression tells us a lot.

This week, I’m celebrating the almost end of an incredibly busy week. I’ve tried every day to make amends with past hurts in relationships. Especially when I’ve had to swallow my pride. I think watching my kids grow and how they interpret the wrongs that go on helps remind me every day of the miracle we’re gifted in each day. I also really love these Friday posts. Why? Because reflecting on the good is healing for the heart and soul.

My list of smiles this week include the following:
  • I finished all the decorations I needed to make for a retirement reception at work. It was a huge event. It takes weeks of organizing to make sure all 61 retirees were celebrated. I fluffed and fixed tons of vases of flowers with raffia, moss and little monarch butterflies.
  • I smiled at people this week I know had a few bad thoughts about me. I tried to say sweet things and worked extra hard and extra detailed to prove I am competent and capable. I don’t know if you have the same pet peeve I do, but I’d rather a person talk to the face instead of the back. My mother always told me though, shine brighter than the rain. You’ll feel better on the inside.
  • My daughter had her summer birthday in school. These lovely rainbow cupcakes made everyone smile the second they saw them. I didn’t get to taste one, but I can only imagine the smile it gave others on the inside who did.
  • A book signing Saturday the 13th! I’ll be at a Second Saturdays event in downtown Blue Springs. It’s a celebration of artists, writers, and craftspeople. Free music! I’ll be at the bookstore with the newest loveliest anthology just released, “Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life.”

 

How about you? Did you have a great shiny moment this week? Do you try to smile when the world frowns?

 

It’s Friday! Yay! That’s reason to celebrate in my eyes.