Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This Journey...

Sometimes this path we are on seems like there is no end in sight. Or our journey may put us on a path not many others are traveling. It's easy to to feel lonely. We let all our doubts and insecurities overtake us. It makes us question who we are. What our purpose is.

We see angry storm clouds ahead which fill us with fear. Looking over our shoulder the thought of fleeing is strong. But our faith keeps us pushing forward, knowing we have a purpose. That there is a plan for us, even when there are times that plan is not clear to us.

And I believe when we reach the end of the road there will be dancing and joy. The celebration will be jubilant. His purpose for us will be realized. And His promise to us will be recognized.

How do you feel about the journey you are on?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Journal Keeping For Writing Ideas

I keep a notebook in my purse, my car and next to my bed. I should probably go high tech, but sense I don't own an iphone or ipod my little notebook works just fine. In fact, my ten year old had to just edit my spelling of iphone. I wanted to say i-phone, she shook her head and pushed my hands away to fix my errant ways!

Anyway, you may ask why I do this and I'll tell you. The best ideas for my writing always come to me when I'm juggling a phone, a child and the groceries. Something snaps, and I think , "Wow, that would be a great plot." I used to be able to remember what great idea came into my head until I had a pen and paper or the computer to jot it down. Not so any more my friends. These days I can barely remember where I stashed the car keys as my toddler bolts out of the car in the parking lot. I've learned to have pen and paper handy at all times.

What is my notebook full of you might ask? Well, I'll tell you:) I have favorite quotes, description of places, plot ideas, and character profiles. One night I had this amazing dream. I woke up and realized it was just the start to a story. I stared up at my ceiling for a good hour as the rest of the story came to me. I didn't dare go back to sleep until I had written down an outline of my dream story. I got up stubbed by toe on the end of the bed, hopped around in silent agony, as to not wake my husband and quietly went in search of pen and paper. Minutes later my husband awoke to the crashing sound of the kitchen drawer dropping on the floor. I learned two things. Never go wandering around your house in the dark. And keep pen and paper on the bedside table.

I love my notebooks, because they are little snippets of not just writing ideas, but of the life around me. Sometimes thumbing through them I have vivid images of the day I wrote a certain quote down. Or I recognize the sticky smudge from a lollipop on a page my daughter left as we waited at the doctors office.

Do you have a system for keeping your thoughts and ideas organized? I'd love to hear.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Change In Direction

I feel like I am sort of floundering around here at Eskimo Kisses and Air Hugs. When I started this blog almost three years ago my hope was to share stories and family life for our friends far away. Then it turned into a way for me to just share stories. Then I broke my blog off into four parts dealing with our new homeschool adventure, one for crafts, and one about home and garden. This one became dedicated to my writing.

I've met some amazing writers and friends through this blog . But here is my problem I'm running out of things to say. My writing journey is a very slow one, by choice, and I feel most of you are far ahead of me in this journey. I'm happy about that because I'm learning so much from you. You are guiding me along my path.

Right now my blogs and my family column are my writing. Very rarely do I get a chance to sit down and write like I used to. I'm finally at peace with that. God has lead me to this point in my life and I feel I need to follow the path He has given me.

So my plan for now is to blog here once a week and keep up with all your blogs as you post. My passion right now is to concentrate my writing on my Home and Garden blog and until the summer break my Homeschool blog. I'd love to have you catch up with me at one of those blogs during the times I'm not writing here. Probably won't be talking much about the art of writing over there, but I'll teach you all about driving tractors, feeding the Christmas fox, and my kids cooking adventures!

So I'll leave you with this today:

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
~Irish Blessing

Friday, March 12, 2010

Commitment and A Winner

So many times I have wanted to put the words away and just give up. I don't have the time to write. I certainly don't have hours to put into reading about the art of writing. I look at the market and tell myself there is no way that out of all these writers I will get a break and get published. So I should just stop writing.

Excuses, how easy they are to make. Commitments, how difficult they can be to keep.
WB and my sister before the Turkey Trot last fall.

My sister is visiting this weekend and she helped to remind me of commitments. She'll be competing in her first Half Iron Man competition in Orlando in May. She recently moved from sea level to the mountains of Colorado, which makes training even more difficult because she has not acclimated to the altitude change yet. But through all this she dedicates each day of her life to training. It doesn't matter if she has had a long day at work or the weather is bad, she will be pushing herself to be better. Right now she is out for a 20 mile bike ride even though the wind is gusting up to 30 mph and the wind chill is in the low 40's. She knows what it takes to get to her goal and she sticks to it. Her words are "Every tough workout I have I just tell myself how much sweeter crossing that finish line will be."

As a writer I need to use that same philosophy. Set my goals and stick to them. There will be days those goals seem impossible to achieve, but I have to at least try. When I cross that finish line I want to look back with a smile on my face. I want to know I worked hard, didn't give up, and finished the race.

Now to switch gears, the winner of the Limerick poem was difficult for WB to pick. He took his job seriously and reread each one for all sorts of technical and creative points. But the one he liked the most was Elizabeth's. That you so much to everyone who joined in. I was truly stuck on finishing that limerick and I loved each one!

Do you know what is it going to take for you to finish the race?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Limericks And A Little Fun Give Away

St. Patrick's Day is next week and around here we're already going green. Green with shamrocks, little leprechauns, and all sorts of Irish fun. Over on my homeschool site we've started a whole unit on such things and I thought I might share a little bit of the fun here with you.

The girls will be learning about and writing limericks during this unit. I remember writing a book of Limericks when I was in 5th grade. I still have it, somewhere. I know one starts out like this:
There once was a rat,
He was really fat,
He went to the store,
Slipped on a wet floor
As he swat a gnat.

Very deep stuff. The poems are very silly and don't make much sense, but I did manage to learn the a a b b a rule. Where the a's all rhyme and have the same number of syllables and the b's rhyme and have the same syllables.

Okay so I've been sweating over this limerick and need your help with the last line. I thought it would be fun to see what people come up with.

Once long ago was a freckled lass who loved to write,
But nowadays she’d look at her stark blank page in fright,
Interrupted by laundry, cleaning and tots left her frazzled
Gone were the days that words came quickly and left others dazzled


Okay friends, could you help me finish the last line of my limerick? My girls have put together a little St. Patrick's Day basket for the most creative finishing line. My husband, WB, will be picking the winning line and I'll announce it on Thursday.

Luck of the Irish to you!

Friday, March 5, 2010

From My Heart

Well friends it's been one of those weeks! I kept trying to post here and just didn't know what to say. My life has been full of homeschooling, reorganizing, and playing in the warm sunshine with the kids. My heart has also been heavy. Weighed down by hurtful attacks by others against loved ones.

I've spent many hours this week in prayer and reflection. I've rallied to remember I am a follower of Jesus and should act accordingly. Whenever feelings of anger over the situation have consumed me I have sought peace in prayer. I pray not only for my family, but for the offenders. I know that I can not change their hearts or minds, that only God can do that. So I pray.

Then early this morning yet another kick in the gut. A betrayal by someone who was considered a friend. Who we invited into our home on several occasions, celebrated the birth of their child, and brought food to when they were in need. A person who has been given every excuse in the past for their sometimes rude behavior and been given the benefit of the doubt by my loved one. Turns out they have been spreading hateful untruths about my loved one to anyone who would listen over the last year. Even as we were welcoming them into our home they were full of hatred.

I was blinded by feelings of anger and betrayal. How dare these people spew hatred, spread untruths, and hurt a good man. How dare they! Through my own haze of hate and thoughts of what I was going to say to this person when I saw them I heard a voice. It very clearly said, "Remember my walk." I sat with head bowed and felt very humbled. Did Jesus not walk a path filled with hatred, betrayal, and untruths? And yet he forgave and kept walking. He walked right to his death. To die for those same people that hurt him, so that they might have life.

During this Lenten season I am trying to remember that. I know that there is no room in my heart for anger and bitterness. I humbly ask for your prayers. I know that forgiveness must be given to lift this burden off my family. I also know that this is such a small sacrifice for an amazing gift given to me on a Friday long, long ago.