When I’m confused or frustrated, I turn to writing. Don’t miss my blog post on the Hummingbird Charm website!
Tag Archive | blogging
Being a Hummingbird
Recently I’ve joined an amazing group of women, Hummingbirds, who have come together to create a place where other women can come together for inspiration and motivation.
It was formed by four incredible authors and women Tess Thompson , Tamsen Schultz , Heather Huffman, and Carolyn Ridder Aspenson who want women to feel empowered and connected.
It’s been a wonderful experience. You can also join us on The Hummingbird Charm Readers Haven (or Haven for short) where we share and talk Books and the Perch where we share our lives!
I’ll be covering posts about family and motherhood, which I’m super-excited about. There’s nothing I love more than talking about my family and being a mother. While I’m certainly not an expert, I am passionate and believe parenting is terrifying, fun, and amazing.
I recently wrote my first post, Imagining that I’m a Mom, which I was excited to write and share.
I hope you’ll join the Hummingbirds! The more I get to know these women the more excited I am to get to be a part of them. My wonderful friend JC Wing helped bring me on board, personifying what this group is all about, and I’m so grateful.
Women supporting women.
I couldn’t be more happy and proud to be such a beautiful little bird!
Life, Books, Writing
I’m diving in. For real this time!
Every month I tell myself that I’m going to get better with my blog for a number of reasons. Mostly I know that I need to for the practice, to create a more consistent schedule in my writing, and because I need to create a better flow for the random words that are often tumbling out of my brain, with no rhyme or reason.
I started my blog a couple of years ago but I’ve always struggled to keep up with it regularly. I tell myself that, like exercising, it’s due to time constraints, but it’s really about commitment. My blog has been like that old boyfriend you can’t quite stay away from, but don’t ever completely say ‘yes’ to.
(Yeah, you know the one.) 😉
Just as I was about to recommit to my blog, once again, this beautiful blog challenge presented itself. Since I’ve never been one to resist a challenge, I’m taking it and am going to post every Friday, then reblog it on Monday for anyone who missed it. If this works, I’ll be in blog heaven for the remainder of 2016, which is super-exciting.
Next week is the first week where I get to write about My Writing Room which should be interesting because I don’t really have one … but I’m going to write about it anyway.
Can I do this thing? I guess you’ll have to stay tuned!
I haven’t blogged in, what feels. like. forever.
I find that summer is an extremely difficult time to write. It’s not because the words are not there, but because the time to let them flow, is not. This can certainly make for a frustrated writer.
Between baseball, working, spending time with little boys who are home all summer, and juggling the craziness of plain old life, blogging falls to the bottom of the priority list, with working on my fourth novel not that much higher. I’m not whining… not really. Doesn’t anyone and everyone feel the way I do about things they love? Life just gets in the way which is expected.
But do you want to know what really makes me crazy?? It’s the ONE thing in life I can’t stand or accept no matter how hard I try. It’s the one thing that pulls me from being able to write and makes me insane… sorting socks!
With four people who wear multiple pairs of socks sometimes all in one day even, between washing, sorting, matching, and folding I waste hours of valuable writing time. HOURS! HOURS! If you’re like me, socks are the last thing I deal with when doing laundry. I would rather clean a toilet than sort through a gigantic pile of socks in every imaginable size and shape. It’s a task that feels futile… you know what I mean. Laundry is the one domestic duty I detest because it’s time consuming, annoying, and never ever ending. And honestly, I’d rather be writing. I’d rather be writing than doing many things, but I’m not kidding, I would rather go naked if it was socially acceptable that wash another load of dirty clothes.
An old friend asked me the other day,” How does it feel to be a writer?”
I struggled to answer the question because quite frankly, I don’t often feel like a writer. As much as I want to be, I’m more often other things. Queen Sock Sorter, being one of them. And it’s not a question of not wanting to write more often, it’s just a matter of what is most important in my life, and sometimes, those little pieces of cotton just end up to be priority above sitting at a keyboard and “bleeding” (Ernest Hemingway).
I jest, but seriously. Show me a writer, mother, blogger, full time career woman, SAH (stay at home) Mother, who doesn’t deal with the same issues? How many times do you say “I would work out more” or” eat healthier”, “get my nails done”, or “take that art class” if only… I didn’t have to (fill in the blank)? So, I’ve decided it’s time to make a stronger effort.
Writing makes me happy.
It calms my nerves, empties my head, and is the one thing I do for ME. I don’t write because I’m expected to or even particularly great at it. If I stopped writing tomorrow the only person who might really miss it, is me, which I accept and am completely fine with. But being a writer helps me reflect so I understand who I am and can make better sense of the world which is why I’ve always done it. Which is why I’ve decided that this Queen Sock Sorter can also be a more prolific writer.
I just have to figure out how.
I’ll keep fighting to blog and to write because sorting socks just depresses me. And hopefully you’ll see more pieces from me in the near future as I practice my writing skills, release the demons, and do something other than practice my powers as a domestic Goddess. 😉 And if anyone wants to come over and sort my socks for me, you can comment below and we can negotiate. 🙂
Cleveland Author Event 2014
I participated in my first big Author event over the weekend, which was fantastic!
I was so excited and did as much as I could to prepare, including signage, swag, hair, nails, and wardrobe. It almost felt like a trip to the Oscars!
First, let’s start with the wardrobe. I purchased five dresses for this event. FIVE! That is more than I have bought in two years and two of the dresses were the same, just in different sizes. I’m a short woman with a long torso and stubby legs, so finding dressed that fits me proportionately is quite a feat. Then when I finally picked “the perfect dress” of the five, it was too big, which I didn’t realize until after I was already at the event. All day, I was tugging and pulling, and at risk of having a serious wardrobe malfunction, which was frustrating! UGH! If I had done my usual black skirt and whatever shirt, I think I would’ve shown off less and been far more comfortable. 😦 Lesson learned!
But I was happy with my hair, nails, set up and swag. So that made me feel a tiny bit better about the dress issue!
As for the event itself, it was incredible meeting so many authors, bloggers, and readers who are passionate about books like I am. I was overwhelmed with how nice everyone was, and how genuinely supportive everyone was. One wonderful blogger even offered to buy me a shot to calm my nerves (Thanks Mayas!). I was so nervous in the beginning, I thought I was going to freak out, but my husband kept me grounded! Even though he was sick as a dog, he still made me laugh and helped me gain perspective on the day.
I’ve been networking and connecting with people for the past year via social media and email. When you make so many connections and share so much on line, and then actually get to meet face to face, it’s transforming! It makes all of the hard work and long hours of writing, editing, marketing, and networking seem completely worthwhile. It was wonderful to put names with faces and to be inspired by so many talented people who are living their dream of writing and promoting books! I felt very fortunate to get to spend the afternoon with such talented and successful people!
Overall, the event was a success for me. To even have the opportunity to be included, felt truly amazing! The House of Blues was a beautiful venue, the fans were fun, raucous, and amazing, and the event was incredibly well organized by Books, Coffee, and Wine and Mary Tatar! It was a smashing success, all around!
It was such an inspiring event, I went home and finished my third book, which is currently off to the beta readers, and then off the my amazing editor, Rogena Mitchell-Jones.
It has been quite a year! A big Author event, my blog turns one year old in May, and with my third book on the verge of release I realize that I am enjoying this journey so much. It has enhanced my life in such unexpected ways and I am so thankful to have been reminded of how much I love to write and the fulfillment it gives me to be able to do it.
I wish I would have taken more pictures at the event, but time was limited. I’m pasting the link below to the photo gallery on my website if you’d like to check it out.
I don’t know what is in store for me moving forward. I have an event in May, but after that I’m open. I’m open to whatever new experiences this journey takes me on, and I look forward to continuing to share them. 🙂
Little Fish, Big Pond
My first BIG book signing is a month away and I’m totally freaking out, inside.
I’m excited, exhilarated, motivated, but I’m also petrified.
I’ll be at a signing with amazing, best selling authors… and then there will be little old me. I almost feel like I’ll be the ugly duckling or Cinderella before the epic transformation.
As I look back on the last year, I’ve been able to accomplish quite a bit. And a lot of it has absolutely terrified me. I released two books, started a blog, and then launched head first into social media which forced me to expose myself in ways that made me incredibly uncomfortable. I even had my own little solo signing at a lovely Italian restaurant, Spennatos, two months after my first book released.
Now, almost exactly one year after I released my first book, I’ll get to join some talented writers at the Cleveland Author Event. Since it’s my home town, I almost wonder if I magically got in by default 😳. But regardless of how I squeaked in, I’m so excited that I’ll get to be there surrounded by such creativity and talent. The thought of it makes me giddy.
My one tiny hope is that someone comes to my table to see ME too. If not, I’ve already decided that I’m totally stalking the fans of TH Snyder, my lovely table mate. I just hope she doesn’t mind.
In this past year, I’ve been encouraged by how supportive, positive, and wonderful oter authors, bloggers, cover artists, designers, and readers can be. I’ve never asked someone a question to be turned away or scoffed at, for my ignorance. I love the genuine support that everyone gives, even though I have yet to meet many of them in person.
I know I’ll feel like a little fish in a huge body of water. But I’m excited and thrilled because I love getting to write and getting to be a part of it all.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until this past year that I was able to share it. Perhaps that has been the most difficult part of it all. I’m not a person that typically worries about what other people think. But when it comes to my writing it’s completely different. Because when I write, I am bare, and I am vulnerable, my soul exposed.
In preparation and anticipation of the CAE, I’ve decided that for the next 30 days, I’m going to blog one thing about myself, every day. I’ll use serious, frivolous, and random topics. I’ll even leave it open to the floor if there are any suggestions for topics.
If you’re at the CAE, please don’t hesitate to come say HI! I’ll be the one fan-girling TH Snyder or photo bombing Tara Sivec. ❤️
So, I’m working on my third book. And it’s going painfully slow.
I decided that the story was getting too dark. I decided that I need my main character to experience a little more love in her life. So now I need to go back and add it. The love that is. The truth is… I love dark stories. I always have. The twistier and uglier, the better. I think that’s why I loved mythology when I was a girl. Mythology rarely had the Happily Ever After and I was good with that, even at a young age.
My first two books were dark. Sad, ugly, tragic, and dark. I actually wrote about people killing and being killed, which surprised me because I didn’t plan it that way. It just happened because that’s where the story went. That is the beauty of writing, at least for me. Something comes out of nothing and then the unexpected happens. Magic.
But I’m having a hard time getting to a point in the story that makes me feel like I have finally made progress. I’m at least, if not more than halfway into the first draft. Once the draft is done, I tell myself that I’ll feel more resolved but chances are that I won’t. Since I’ve been writing again there is a consistent sense of things being undone. I feel more sane and there is a lot less chaos in my head, but I definitely feel a lack of completion in my daily life.
The fact is, I’m just busy. With a full time career that has full time responsibilities, a beautiful but active family, two dogs, parents who aren’t in the best of health, and a brain that won’t settle down… it’s hard to find the time to write. Even now, I’m blogging when I should be trying to figure out why my characters love each other so much. But I am writing and the exercise of writing and creating is what gives me peace, helps me breathe, and quiets the noise in my head. It always has. But moments like this don’t come every day.
My last post was about needing a vacation. But truly, I know that I can’t take a vacation from my own mind, only from some of the rigors of life. I’m always questioning how I can finish the next book, and with each one it becomes increasingly more difficult. But I do know that I need to be more disciplined in my writing. Writing instead of Facebooking tweeting, and daydreaming about writing. I need to just hunker down, “clear the mechanism” (For Love of the Game), and write, even if it stinks. I can work out the bugs after the first draft is done, after my editor and awesome pre-readers get done hacking it up.
Sometimes I am frustrated because I feel that there are so many stories to tell, yet not enough hours in the day to tell them in. When I began my first book, I told myself that I would feel like a writer after it was done. Then it became, after the second book is finished. Now it feels like, after the third book is finished, I may finally feel like a writer.
But who knows? Maybe I will never feel complete again. Maybe that is what compels me to write, this inward sense that there is so much more to write about. I’m hoping that after I finish this third book, that I will be able to take a little teensy weensy break before I write the third book in the Eva series. The overall 3rd Book, tentatively titled Run to You, was meant to give me a break from the heaviness of the Eva series. This was supposed to be my easy novel. As it turns out, it has actually become my most difficult in many ways. Now that my main character wants more love, it’s proven to be more challenging. But being more challenged it great!
So I gotta go now and try to bang out some more of this story. That is unless another shiny object comes floating by…
Blog Challenge-Day 18 & 19
What the meaning behind my blog name & what do I collect?
I decided to merge the two days because my blog name is quite simply…my name. I chose “Inside Jen’s Mind” because I didn’t want anyone to think that I was writing my blog believing I was an expert in anything. Other than what is in my own mind, of course 😛
And what do I collect…..?
This has been the question that has plagued my Mother-in-Law for years. She’s tried to convince me to find something to “collect” to make gift giving easier, and I tried but failed. The fact of the matter is, I’m just not a collector. I never have been. Not even as a young girl.
If I have more than one of something, it’s out of need, not out of want. I’ve never really found anything that captured my fancy enough to seek it out, search for it, display it and keep it. I don’t know what that says about me, if anything.
If I’m a collector of anything material, it’s stories, books. But even those I’ve lost a lot of over the years. At least physical copies. I have more on my kindle than I have in paperback. The stories that I collect, I write down. I journal, I blog, or I just keep the stories in my head.
Versatile Blogger Award
I want to thank Kristen Mazzola http://khmazzola.wordpress.com/author/khmazz/ for being so encouraging in my writing by nominating me for the Versatile Blogger award.
I also want to thank Staci Bailey for doing the same! Both wonderful, supportive, encouraging writers.
I’m nominating the following Blogs for inspiring me as well!:
They are beautiful, interesting, funny, entertaining, and thought provoking blogs that I thoroughly enjoy reading. When I began blogging, it started out as more of a writing exercise. I just hit my 30th post (this will be 31) and I find that it has become more than that. It’s become a way to share and to learn and to grow as a writer and as a person.
In accepting the Versatile Blogger Aware, I’m supposed to share 7 things about myself that you may not know. So…here goes.
1. I’m a Pisces
2. I hate Lima Beans-the texture grosses me out and makes me want to GAG 😛
3. I have a potty mouth. I wish I didn’t, but I do. It’s a bad habit.
4. The quality that I have needed to work on the most in my life is Patience. I finally have it, most of the time.
5. I am well aware of every single one of my shortcomings. It sucks to have that much self-awareness.
6. I love to cook and I love learning how to make new things. I can barely bake.
7. If my nails aren’t painted, I bite them. Another bad habit.
Thank you again to Kristen and Staci for nominating me and for reading my blog. I am so humbled that you think that much of it. Writing this blog has been a wonderful experience which I have loved doing.
I will continue to write it as long as I have the privilege to share!! XOXOXO