Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

Couldn’t Resist

Some Holiday Cheer

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

Don’t Say Don’t

Sondheim had it right… We need to say Do more in our lives!

Everybody Says Don’t

In light of my last post, I found it funny that I came across a show tune I had not heard for twenty years or so.  The lyrics are so fitting to how I have been feeling lately, both about my writing and about finding my voice in other areas of my life -literally and figuratively.  I felt I had to share (and if you know the tune, by all means, sing along!) 🙂

This is “Everybody Says Don’t” from the Stephen Sondheim musical Anyone Can Whistle (1964).

Everybody says don’t, Everybody says don’t,
Everybody says don’t- It isn’t right,
Don’t- it isn’t nice!
Everybody says don’t, Everybody says don’t,
Everybody says don’t walk on the grass,
Don’t disturb the peace, Don’t skate on the ice.
Well, I Say Do!
I say,Walk on the grass, it was meant to feel!
I Say Sail!
Tilt at the windmill, And if you fail, you fail.
Everybody says don’t, Everybody says don’t,
Everybody says don’t get out of line.
When they say that, then Lady that’s a sign:
Nine times out of ten, Lady, you are doing just fine!

Make just a ripple. Come on be brave.
This time a ripple, Next time a wave
Sometimes you have to start small,
Climbing the tiniest wall, Maybe you’re going to fall-
But it is better than not starting at all!
Everybody says no, Everybody says stop.
Everybody says mustn’t rock the boat, Mustn’t touch a thing!
Everybody says don’t, Everybody says wait,
Everybody says can’t fight city hall, Can’t upset the cart, Can’t laugh at the king!
Well, I Say Try!
I Say Laugh at the kings or they’ll make you cry.
Lose Your Poise!
Fall if you have to, But lady, make a noise!
Everybody says don’t, Everybody says can’t,
Everybody says wait around for miracles, That’s the way the world is made!
I insist on Miracles, if you do them,
Miracles – nothing to them!
I say don’t,
Don’t be afraid!

Perhaps I have found a new theme song? 🙂

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

Don’t Let the To-Dos Get You Down!

My writing buddy, Lauren, has started a lovely little blog! This particular post really hit home for me as I am a list-maker from way back. Please pop over to her site to read the entire post and show some blog love!

Stop Stressing Over Your To-Do List!

Life can get a bit overwhelming at times. I know I’ve felt it. Try as you like overwhelming times happen to all of us, those times when everything just seems to build up into one giant never-ending list of things-to-do and you feel like you are never going to catch up and get everything done. Those times when, short of hiring a JCB to bulldoze the piles of paper and commitments, your just at a lose-end as to where to start or how to go on.

It hard when these times are upon us. All we really want is to curl up in a ball with a shot of something alcoholic and watch re-runs of ‘Friends’. But we know we can not. Because we’re adults, and things still need to get done no matter how overwhelmed they make us feel.

But what can we do to avoid this feeling? Or to combat it when it does arise?

First things first….[Continue reading]

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

No More NaNo?

I won’t lie to you. The first few days without NaNo are the roughest. You are burned out, exhausted, jittery and not quite sure what to do with yourself. The best thing to do is sit back, enjoy the glow of having accomplished a monumental thing, and contemplate what you have learned.

Life Lessons from NaNoWriMo

I realize that most people have posted about the end of NaNoWriMo already and I am a little bit behind, but I think it took a few extra days for me to process the things that I learned this year.

Winner-120x90-2

To get the official report behind us, I won – 50152 words officially counted by the Office of Letters and Light, and I passed 53358 before I took a much needed break from my characters. The story is not over, but I really needed to step away for a bit and let it simmer in a drawer before tackling the ending and the edits.

Now on to the things I learned this year in NaNo — lessons that can not only be applied to trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days, but also to life.

1) It is easier with friends. The first two NaNos I participated in were a lone venture. My husband knew what I was doing but that was about it. I was afraid that too much talking about my story on the forums would ruin it and I knew my capacity for slacking off was most obvious when I started to poke around on the internet, so I avoided the site completely except to update my word count. Last year, my faithful husband participated with me and we both won. It was easier because I wasn’t going through it alone, and I enjoyed it more because I could talk about the plot challenges and how much my characters were driving me up a wall and he understood. This year I could not convince him to sign up, so I reached out to some fellow bloggers and the folks on the Facebook NaNo page and made some buddies. They gave me encouragement when I needed it most! (Thanks Morgaine!!)

2) It is possible to do something just for the fun of it. I did not go into this year’s NaNo with any ideas. I had no plot, no character, nothing. I did not expect or plan on publishing this one and if it ever sees the light of day again remains to be seen. And that is okay. I enjoyed it. I embraced the challenge. I didn’t do it for glory or money (HaHa!). I did it just because. And sometimes that is a darn good reason.

3) I realized this year after deleting over 19,000 words on day 11 that I have more tenacity and fight in me than I ever thought. It never occurred to me to throw in the towel. I just started over and kept writing. I think all of us have hidden strengths and inherent pluckiness that we are unaware of. It will pour out of you when you least expect it. And it is wonderful.

4) You truly do have enough time and energy to do something you love. Everyone always seems to complain about not having enough hours in the day, days in the week, to get things done. I know I am guilty of this. It seems you run from day job to errands to chores to the couch to watch some mindless TV and then repeat the whole thing again the next day. You don’t feel like you have the time or energy to do anything fun. Well, I am here to tell you that you do. It may be an hour here, fifteen minutes there, but if the project matters enough, if it speaks to your soul, you will grab those minutes and use them up.

5) Not reading saps my creativity. I always worry that if I read during NaNo I will not only not have time to write, but I will inadvertently steal ideas from the books I am reading. This month I found that after two weeks of not reading and only trying to write in my spare minutes, my creative juices were drying up, and I couldn’t think of a single thing to write. I was dragging my characters along kicking and screaming and they were hating it as much as I was. I think we need to fill the well, feed the muse and just allow ourselves to relax sometimes with a good book – even in the midst of a crazy month and a looming deadline.

6) I am a better planner than a pantser. While sometimes writing by the seat of your pants will cause the most unexpected things to fly out the tips of your fingers onto the screen, I think I will plan and outline the next novel. I am not a hard-core planner and will definitely leave wiggle room for my muses to whisper ideas. But I know now that having no idea of where I am going and who I am on the journey with is much more difficult for me than to sit down ahead of time and flesh some characters out and outline some basic plot points. 🙂

7) You do not have to be an expert. Truly. You do not need to be a published author to write a book, and you do not need to be an expert on anything to write about it. First drafts are always bad! And it helps to remind yourself of this as you write. Perfection is highly over-rated and is probably responsible for more unfulfilled dreams than fear.

8) As E.L. Doctorow said, “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” You don’t always have to know what is around the corner or where your journey will take you. Sometimes you have to take it one step at a time and have faith that you will find your way.

Also, deep breathing and wine helps… in all things. 🙂

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

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