Friday, February 26, 2010

The pros and cons of being organized

I found an old blog entry that I felt inspired to share today. Especially in light of my current attempts to stay organized…while playing Mom, preparing to go back to school, helping children sign up for their own classes, AP exams, etc. This particular event took place a couple years ago, just a week or so after school started…when I was looking forward to doing more things now that five out of the seven children were back in school.

Yeah, right.


It snowed in my house today.

Now I know what you’re thinking. It’s August. In Texas. And I said, “in my house.”

How does this happen you say?

One word.


For those who know her, this should be enough to make you shake your head, laugh out loud and fill in the blanks all by yourself; and you would probably hit it pretty close to the mark.

For those that need a little more information I’ll break it down for you. Madeline is almost 5. Is that enough? No? Okay, I’ll give you a little more. Madeline is 5 going on 15.

Where was I when Madeline was making it snow in our house? I was making dinner, signing the usual pile of papers that come home with 5 children the first days of school, and cleaning up the dining room after putting together a new piece of furniture; to help me keep things better organized. I was so organized I didn’t notice the piece of Styrofoam that went missing.

I heard from the kids that it was snowing upstairs (as she shredded the Styrofoam with her younger sister), and yet I couldn’t find it in me to get upset. This was Madeline we were talking about. My husband handed her a bag and asked her to go clean it up. He was going to make her responsible. I went up with a vacuum. I was being realistic.

Yup. It had snowed in our game room all right. And in the bedrooms…and all over the air hockey table. I must say I was actually impressed. I didn’t think the piece of styrofoam had been that big. So much for being observant. Seriously. It didn’t take me long to vacuum it up, but it gave me plenty of time to reminisce about the time it actually did snow here in Texas. That was a fabulous Christmas Eve. A true miracle.

Just like my children.


1 Comment

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

the daily Reader...for writers

As is the case whenever I’m in a bookstore I walk by the glorious shelf of writing books, self-helps, and inspirational words of people who have at least been successful enough at writing to get their own published and on the shelf I’m looking at. That in and of itself is worth a glance. And today I struck gold. Literally.

This pretty golden book jumped out at me from the shelf today. I’m not sure if it was the color, or the bee, because surely it wasn’t the fact that it was on a lower shelf where my five year old would have likely seen it before me. As it was she was too busy rolling around on the carpet waiting…patiently…for mom to look at books.

the daily Reader, by Fred White looks to be one of the most promising mixes of reading and writing that I’ve seen in a long time. It’s declaration pretty much says it all with, “366 selections of great prose and poetry to inspire a productive and meaningful writing life.”

Well I opened it up and found there was gold on the inside as well!

On each page lay beautiful little pieces of prose and the author’s thoughtful reflections on their meaning, application, and includes an exercise to explore the writing and turn it into something personal and perhaps profound for ourselves. A true reach into one’s soul that can ultimately be shared on paper.
Just marvelous!!!! I love a good soul searching book…and one that helps me to be a better writer as well as a better person. Happy Reading! I mean writing! I mean…well…just pick up the book and you’ll see what I mean.

Have a great day!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Flowers, Word Count and Playlists

I'm in the process of editing. A difficult task to be sure. Even harder given all the advice there is in regards to how to best go about this. All I can do is trust my knowledge and instinct and hope I’ve covered all the bases.

One of the biggest concerns I’ve noticed that stems from my early writing days is the poetic heart that lies within and likes to use flowery language. I’d like to think I’m pretty well read, and have appreciated various styles including, but not limited to Jane Austen, Robert Jordan, and Obert Skye. All of which have amazingly different styles and whose descriptions are so varied as to wonder how on earth I can appreciate all of them equally.

But I do. And I enjoy the flowery language. The detail. To a point. But that’s the beauty of owning so many books I guess, and picking one that fits my current mood.

How does that help me as a writer though? How much flower do I include? How many cakes can I make with the words I cut. Combine that question with my current word count and there’s a possibility that I could feed an army.

I printed off my book today so that I could read it in its intended form. And without my playlist. So much of what I write comes from what I feel and influenced by the music I listen to. As I read and write I listen to music that drives my mood and changes the feeling and tone of the story completely. With the wrong type of music I could really mess with the plot if I was in a certain mind to.

So down with the playlist. Down with my word count button. And down with the flowery language that I find myself stumbling over as I read my printed word. This has the makings of a beautiful manuscript!
Have a Great Day!


1 Comment

  • Joan Sowards says:
    Don't cut the flowery, just compromise it.
    Though I'm a musician, listening to music while I write makes me nervous. I like silence and the sounds of family life around me.
    Each writer is different.
    Good thoughts and a great blog!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In Loving Memory

There are no words for my grief, and yet I will attempt to share a few.

I lost one of my best friends yesterday. She was one of those who loved me unconditionally and yet pushed me to be my best self at the same time. I’ve learned so much from her over the years, and even now I’m learning from her passing. And just like so many of my other life experiences, it’s painful. Utterly. But with pain has also come miracles. Gifts from God that have manifested themselves in a variety of ways and all of them blessings at this time of great sorrow.

I lost my mother yesterday. I’m one of many that call her mother. Even those she did not give birth to. She’s blessed so many lives over the years that she earned the title of angel long before she became one. Strange how she feels just as close now as she’s always had, but then again her love was never barred or hindered by distance. I suspect that even now that is still very much the case.

I love my Mom and I love my family. With her it was always about her Faith and her family. She taught by example and endured to the end. I know the path, and I pray to have her same energy so that I may one day be reunited with her.

I love you Mom. I miss you.


  • Cecily Markland says:
    What a beautiful tribute to your mom. May you be blessed to feel the power of the Comforter to help you through this difficult time.
  • Marsha Ward says:
    Oh Karen, I'm so very sorry to hear of your loss. May you feel comforted by the Spirit, by your memories, and by the special relationship you have with your sweet mother.
  • earwaxtasteslikecrayons says:
    I'm so sorry. I hope you and your family become even closer as you celebrate her life and remember your mother.
  • Liz Adair says:
    What a wonderful posting, Karen. I love your short declaration: I know the path.
    We pray for you and Neal and your family every night.
  • Joan Sowards says:
    What a beautiful tribute to your mother. May the Spirit be with you in the coming weeks and give you peace. Families are eternal!
  • hopeandme says:
    I am so sorry, Karen. May your days of sorrow be filled with love and good memories.
    Barbara B
  • Valerie Ipson says:
    The spirit is so close at these times.
  • C. says:
    May God continue to bless and comfort you during this sacred time.
    carolyn murphy