Monday, December 17, 2012

This little light of mine...

We don't need to dwell on the whys and hows. Instead, let's focus on the healing. For those who were taken, let's remember and honor them.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Do you believe?

It's that time of year when parents of young kids wonder if their children still believe. I know around my kids' school, it's a hot topic. My children are 11 and 8 and while I'm sure this will be the last year for the oldest, I don't want it to be for the youngest. But it seems the curtain gets pulled back earlier and earlier each year. When I told another mom about my oldest still believing, she scoffed and figured my oldest was pulling my leg.

What's wrong with her still believing? This very question got me thinking about when I witnessed the big reveal and to be honest, I don't remember. Most may know I had a sketchy past. We were poor and moved a lot. So holidays and special events were hard. I don't recall a moment where I felt I'd been lied to or found out all mythical creatures were false. I think I always knew but still held on to the possibility of magic.

Although I do remember figuring out about the Tooth Fairy. I must admit, I'm a snooper!

I remember one year we didn't have enough money to get a tree and with all the moving, we didn't have ornaments to cover one if we did. So I made one out of paper and taped it to the wall. I was proud of my paper tree with crayon colored ornaments.

Christmas morning rolled around and I wasn't surprised to find not a single gift beneath the tree. At the age of 10, I was disappointed but understood times were tough around my house. And I think I still wanted to believe in the idea of Santa Clause. Maybe he got lost. Maybe he ran out of toys. Maybe there were other children out there that needed them more.

That morning, a true miracle happened, or at least to my 10 year old self, it did. Late in the morning, my aunt and uncle arrived at our house. We hadn't expected them since they lived over an hour away. They came into our small home with an armful of brightly colored packages. And one box was for me. I slowly unwrapped the shiny colored paper to reveal a shoe box.

They'd given me a brand new pair of white Nike tennis shoes. They weren't fancy. They didn't light up or boost about making me jump higher. In fact, I'm sure they were the ugliest pair based on fashion standards.

But they were mine. All mine.

And that's what I want my children to believe in. The spirit of Santa Claus. Because when the day seemed dark and when a 10 year old kid gets nothing even when they're good all year, a Santa rides in on a late model Nissan with a brightly colored box with thier name on the tag. I cherished those shoes for years and had a hard time parting with them and what they meant to me.

So folks. Hug your kids tighter this year and share a little magic with them. Because even if they know the "truth", they can still believe.

Monday, December 3, 2012

What I've learned from NaNo 2012...

Now that NaNo is done and I have an unedited manuscript waiting for me to dive in, I thought I'd take a few minutes and use my words for something other than meeting a quota.

2012 proved to be a tough year for me. Time was an issue as well as creativity flow. Unlike last year, I didn't have a new baby who demanded my attention. I also worked a full time job along with my part-time marketing work where as this year I don't have a full time job outside of the home but my work load at TMP has increased. As you can see, running a house and loving a new born proved to be a hurdle.

In November 2011, I had a short story published as well as 3 novellas contracted for release in 2012. So even though I was considered published, I was very new to the game and participating in NaNo for the first time, I did exactly as I was told and threw my words down without looking back. This year, I found myself constantly wanting to formulate perfect sentences in my head instead of purging. I blame this on the publishing. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change my publishing status for all the Twinkies in the world, I'm simply admitting that I wanted my NaNo to be too perfect. NaNo's aren't supposed to be perfect. They're supposed to be raw. Full of mistakes but jam packed with idea and promise.

So, what have I learned from this year. First, no more babies! Second, attack this project with fresh, new, naive eyes. I need to approach 2013 NaNo as if I were a newbie. Where the ideas are bursting from my brain that my hands fly across the keys so fast I don't have time to stare at the word counter. Where every red or blue underline doesn't keep me from attaining my daily goal in the time I've allotted myself. Because just like this year, next year I'll still be a mother of 3, working part-time and still published.

How did NaNo go for you this year?