Time Wasting

For my day job (kindergarten teacher) I'm reading a book on teaching writing by Katie Wood Ray.  Katie mentions how satisfying it is for writers to do mundane tasks like dishes, and laundry, and picking up dog poop. (Uh, I make my kids do that). Anyway, she pointed out the fact that these tasks are there, visible and tangible and you know when you're finished. You can see the end. You fold the laundry, put it away, and check that off the to-do list. It's done. Unlike writing. I'm so glad to read in print that there is a reason I get up to take care of the dust bunny staring at me from the corner, or that urgent need to run to the store this minute because we have no milk. So much easier than facing a new, blank document or working on a novel outline, or on who I need to send the next query letter to!

So what on your to-do list takes you away from your writing? What's your favorite? Mine lately is wiping off the kitchen counter, and vacuuming.

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Holy Thursday, Titanic, and Hunger Games

1. Lent is over, it's Holy Thursday and I meant to post more often. You know since I gave up TV I should've had more time, right? But I did get more revising done and that's always good. Plus I had report cards and conferences in there too. But honestly my Lent cheating guilt kept me from posting. Jesus suffered and starved so I couldn't come on here and post how the stress of 22 kindergartners forced me into Starbucks a few times in those 40 days, could I?

2. I've seen Hunger Games twice now, so obviously I love it. I never see movies twice in the theater because who can afford it? But we have an old, cheap theater nearby, complete with a stage, velvet curtains, and Christmas trees that adorn each side of the stage year-round. The owner smokes in the box office but the tickets and popcorn are cheap! Since it's spring break I may have to take the kids to it again. I'm thrilled they stayed true to the book, but of course I always want more. But then they can't do a five hour movie, can they? Darn.

3. Speaking of seeing movies more than once in the theater, I did take my daughter and her friend to see Titanic last night. Back when it came out in 1997, before I had kids and was about 50 pounds lighter, my sister and I saw it twice in the theater. And since then I've watched it about 100 times on TV. I'm not sure why they re-released it in 3D. I'm not a fan of 3D movies. Number one I hate putting glasses on over my glasses and number two I have to take Dramamine so I don't get sick. Dramamine makes me sleepy. Titanic is a 3 hour movie. Still loved it but so glad when the credits rolled.

4. The highlight of my life is coming soon: The SCBWI Western Washington Conference! Yes I'm excited about what I'll learn and the online friends I'll get to see. But what I am most excited about (and always am) is the two days away from home and family and only having to clothe and feed and care for MYSELF! Is that horrible? Well really if it is I don't care.

Lent

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent and I'm going big with my give-ups this year, even posting them to keep me honest.

I'm giving up sugar/sweets. This is so hard. I'm also giving up TV (except a little news) which pains me since The Voice, The Amazing Race, and Celebrity Apprentice all just started, not to mention Smash, which I love, even though it's on too late for me. No night time TV will keep me on track with revisions. Unless I read instead.

I just finished my last latte, as I'm giving up lattes. I bought a Keurig for my birthday last September as an attempt to kick the latte habit but I haven't been able to so far. Maybe I can do it for Jesus.

Also, the family doesn't know it, but we're all giving up restaurants, fast food, and school lunches. Mom must cook more. Imagine the money we'll save, even though we only go out a few times a month. It adds up.

I can do this, it's only 40 days, right?

Random Stuff and Stuff I Love

1. Can you verbally describe the story you're writing? I am horrible at this. Though I've been told I have a pretty good logline for my current story, if someone asks for elaboration, I'm in trouble. This week I realized I'm equally horrible at describing the books I read, the TV shows I love, and the movies I see. Definitely something to work on.

2. While I'm sticking faithfully to my New Year's resolution to write daily, my health goals haven't been so easy. Is anyone doing Weight Watchers? I'm doing it on my own with the Points so I'll probably update progess here. Maybe it will work better that way.

3. If you are gluten-free, I just tried Udi's Gluten Free Pizza Crust for the first time, and all I can say is FINALLY! Someone finally got store-bought, GF pizza crust right. Thank you, Udi's! (Hey I know it's pizza but I'm within my Points, so there.)

4. Another thing I love is Maggie Stiefvater's Scorpio Races. Read it. I won't describe it because I'll fail. The Scorpio Races

Buying Books

Do you buy books? I'm a little addicted to buying them from this place since the nearest bookstore to my house is over 25 miles away. My house is bigger than our local library, and I'm way too impatient to wait for the 100 people in front of me on the wait list.

While on eBay, bidding on a hand bag (Christmas present), I thought, hey, Shannon, why not see if ebay sells books? Duh. I can't believe all these years I've bought stuff on eBay and never thought of this! As a result, I'm bidding on three YA books (currently the high bidder, BTW), and have two on the way thanks to Buy It Now.

So now I'm feeling a little guilty, not because I'm spending money, because books are truly my only frequent indulgence, next to chocolate; I feel guilty about it because of karma. Buying the books cheap or second-hand means I'm taking away money the author could make, right? I feel it my duty as a writer to buy books if I ever hope to sell some. But then again, one of those Buy It Now books came from a bookstore, which means they'll buy new books and keep the authors in business, right?

What do you think?

The Help

The Help is my favorite movie of the year. Even though I already saw the movie in the theater last summer, I slacked off on my own writing this month so I could spend time reading about Aibileen, Skeeter, and Minny. Because I hoped I'd get the DVD for Christmas.

I did.

If you get the chance, please read the book, and see this movie.

Author Visit

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since April! But I have been reading your blogs.

I teach kindergarten and the other day we had Erik Brooks visit our school! Of course he came for the kids but since I write I was definitely more excited than my class! I don’t tell folks at school that I write because it’s hard to talk about it when you don’t have an agent yet and they ask when your book is coming out. They don’t understand how long it takes and how much rejection there is. You know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, I so enjoyed hearing about his journey and what I really wanted to do was raise my hand and and say ‘hey I write too’! and ask him about all his rejections and how long it took to get his first book published, etc. I came away so inspired! Revisions have been difficult with this novel and I really needed this inspiration!

Right now I really want to write but we’re off to go get our Christmas tree!

Time Wasting

I should be revising my novel, but instead I’m doing time-wasting things, like ordering clearance Christmas wrapping paper from this place

My daughter’s karaoke songs keep popping up on the iPod so I’m also wasting time singing along to those.  Today I have 4 kids in the house so this is a huge distraction.

Here is the latest batch of cookies I baked.  They are Linzer cookies which I made gluten-free with rice flour (I was pretty excited about this!)  I am posting all cookie pictures in honor of my WIP, which is waiting for me to get on with it and stop wasting time. 
  
Have a happy week!