Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Where Has The Month Gone?

Good morning, gentle readers!

June seems to have come and gone in a flash of frenzy!!  I have been busy trying to fit as much writing into my schedule as possible, which hasn't amounted to much but at least I'm back at it.  It is unfortunate that the things that we love to do, that we are attempting at making into a career, that fill our hearts and fingers with joy... always seem to be the things that get pushed onto the back burner when the going gets tough.

Going through life's trials certainly points out that having a "regular" 9-5 job with a boss and a rigid schedule can be handy.  Particularly when family is ill, friends need help, the mortgage is due and our creative streaks are coming infrequently.  Yes, I can freely admit that I would have gotten far more work done this month if I wasn't able to walk 20 feet from bed to office and pound out my work wearing Spongebob Squarepants pajamas.

On the other hand, when those brilliant creative streaks appear at 2 in the morning, I also haven't had to worry about getting up early the next day and dragging myself to the office just to be hassled by some "more important than thou" supervisor.

Although the transition to "full time" has been slow going, I am making progress.  I have a schedule written on the whiteboard (the better to erase you with, my dear) and have been able to pound out a couple of online articles this month.  I've also got about half of my short story for the contest I'm entering written, and although I've started having doubts about the entry I am pretty sure that they are just my own self-doubt sneaking in during gaps between inspiration.

July promises to be an even more demanding month, but I think I'll be able to get even more of this writing business under control.  Being your own boss is amazing, and difficult and completely perfect for those of us who hate following direction.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

And The Contestants Are...

My newest adventure has presented itself over the last couple of weeks.  I have decided to enter a writing contest just to see what happens.  Surprisingly, there are quite a few local and national writing contests that are available to new authors and I'm not sure why I didn't think to enter one before.  Perhaps it's the ominous, "Here is your deadline and the reading fee... now write something amazing and we'll give you $500."

I printed out one of the contests, a new-author contest based out of Portland with a grand prize of $1,200.  I could definitely use $1,200.  Mr. Kawaii and I just rehashed the ongoing conversation about needing a new garden shed, I have flower beds to fill and a patio to build, our comforter has seen many better days and I'd really like to have some funny money to spend on salt water taffy and a trip to the casino.

Not that there are any guarantees that I will have the winning entry, especially since I haven't finished writing anything definitive to enter yet.  But still I'm optimistic.

I remember a chat I had with one of my fellow writers over on Triond.com not too terribly long ago where he told me that he supports his writing almost solely by entering (and winning) writing contests.  As I think of it, it's a great way to get work read rather than just having it sit dormant in a file buried somewhere on your computer, and who knows, maybe some editor somewhere will notice what a fantastic writer you are and request a copy of your latest novel or short story for publication.  The sky is the limit!

I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out.  Even if I don't win, although why wouldn't I, it will be a great exercise in writing with a purpose.  If you have a short story, poem or novel buried in your desk drawer or brewing in the back of your mind, why not see if there's a contest that you can enter it into?  Really, what do you have to lose?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Winds, They Are A'Changin

This month has been a whirlwind of activity for those of the Kawaii household.  Some pretty big changes have taken place and we are now helping a family member get back on their feet.  Trips to the Social Security office, the Department of Health and Human Services, GoodWill and various other places have filled up my days and left very little time for writing.

I have forced myself to put out a couple of articles this month through Associated Content and have been able to chronicle my drive for a slimmer waistline through another blog called A Smaller Bottom.  Unfortunately, I was forced to miss the 2nd meeting of the writing group I started due to working on moving our family member into the house, but I look forward to meeting up with the other authors again soon to discuss their amazing writing.

As things settle out, I look forward to pressing forward with the novel writing.  I even have it marked on my calendar and scheduled out over the next several weeks which I'm sure will keep me on task.  Sadly, it's written in dry-erase on a white-board and has the potential of being edited, but I'm determined to stand strong and fight the urges of procrastination!

I hope you are all getting your early summer projects going during the brief breaks in the sheets of rain!


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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hello, June

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!  We got to spend time with family, eat lots of delicious food and work on some big household projects for the in-laws.  *Whew!*

Although I thought Sunday was going to be my day of non-exercise relaxation, I spent the last two days doing lots of bending, lifting, stair climbing and urban hiking with the family as we worked to get the family homestead ready for summer activities.  It was a lot of work and we all got sweaty, stinky and sore over the last two days doing some pretty major clean-up.

The great news is, we were able to get things set up enough that ten of us were able to sprawl out for good conversation and great food at dinner last night.  The bad news is, my poor body hasn't gotten it's break yet!  Unfortunately, that doesn't give me much to blog about today as I rest my feet and hips and shoulders.

I suppose my only jewel of the day centers around eating out since we did a fair amount of that this weekend.  One great way to make sure you don't over-indulge when you're eating out of the house and you're sick of munching on a bed of lettuce (some days I feel like I'm turning into a Cabbage Patch Kid) is to order off the kid's menu.  Yes, other people will look at you strange, but kids' meals will give you at least some variety when you eat out and their portions are more in line with what you should actually be consuming.  An extra added bonus is that generally you get a toy or activity with your meal, and let's be honest, you've been jealous of your kid's for getting to play at the table since they were able to sit up on their own.

With that, I am off to do a little bit of work today and then rest.  I'll write you again tomorrow!