Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Your Personal Fairy Tales

Sunday night I watched the premiere of  ABC's new TV show, Once Upon a Time.  The programs I don't like on the tube heavily outweigh those I do like, so I was surprised that I got caught up in this reenactment of Snow White with some interesting--and humorous--side trips.

The real-life story played alongside the fantasy captured my attention, and I'm looking forward to the continuing  Sunday-night saga.  I already care what happens to the characters.  I want to see justice triumph, watch both the real and fairy-tale wicked witches go down. As they always do in fantasy.

I applaud ABC for the creative talent at work here.

Then yesterday morning, I opened my email, and as I ran down the list spotted my Story Circle Network's weekly newsletter, "Women's Wise Words A Week's Worth of Writing Prompts."  Surprise!  This week's subject.  Fairy Tales.  

Fairy tales are like a pair of glasses—not the rose-colored kind that make everything look wonderful, but the kind that bring reality into focus. Like good bifocals, they help us discern the way the world really is up close, without losing the biggger picture of the way the world was intended to be... The world of fairy tales sharply reveals that what we see around us is not all there is... Fairy tales offer hope. And hope, like nothing else in the world, inspires us and motivates us to keep going ~ Nicole Johnson

Then the writing prompts for the week, including the one I pick.
Do you have a fairy tale within you?  If so, this would be a good week to start putting it down on paper...crafting it so that it brings reality into focus but holds fast to the concept of how life could be. ~ by Lee Ambrose 

As a lifewriter, a family historian and memoir writer, maybe I'm the feminine role in Hansel and Gretel, leaving crumbs of where I came from, so I can find my way back.

Sufficiently engaged with this concept now, I look to Amazon to see what has been written on this subject.  I find Spinning Straw into Gold: What Fairy Tales Reveal About the Transformations in a Woman's Life.  Perusing the Contents page, which is the first thing I do when examining a promising read, chapter titles like Beauties and Beasts:  Looking Love in the Face promise interesting ideas to prompt more writing in a new territory for me.

Okay now.  A new writing focus emerges.  What fairy tales embody your life?  What direction will these mythical stories take your writing?  Leave a comment, please.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bullet Lists for Writing Scrapbook Stories

I'm a scrapbooker who loves to write.  I'm a storyteller.

But not everyone likes to write.

As a scrapbook consultant for eleven years, getting people to write on their pages was the biggest obstacle of all.  Well, getting organized was right up there too.  But that's another post.

When I'm writing anything--a family story for my memoir, a blog post, an essay or story for publication--I use bullet lists as outlines before I actually write the content.

I learned when I was a kid the fine art of outlining.  You know, those Roman-numeral, indented, long lists English teachers loved so much.  Over the years, though, I came up with my own style of outlining which is short and sweet.

Using a simple bullet list can actually tell the story.  So for those who freeze up when they stare at the blank scrapbook page, try bullet listing the individual parts of the story behind the photo.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Systems, Schedules, and Nesting

Okay, Dear Reader, you can tell from my last post on Motherhood that I'm into my trying-to-be-organized mode.  Let's call it the Seasonal Nesting Syndrome.  I catch it every Fall.  Along with all of the allergies that reside in Tennessee.

Freezing and stocking the pantry are high on the list during Nesting.  
Below are a few of the collard greens awaiting attention.  
Husband Gary and his farmer friends down the road grow a field of mixed greens for anyone who wants to eat them.  I like the collards more than the others.  Now to get some in the freezer for winter.

Organizing my office.  Too much stuff for so little room.  Shelves help.  So does purging stuff one really never uses but is afraid to let go of.  

But in the meantime, while the office is getting a re-do...

... our bed is a nice place to write.  The only problem is that I have to clean it off every night, LOL!  

The guestroom becomes winter storage for freshly washed blankets. And baskets of yarn stash!!  

The evenings are cool...great sleeping weather and cuddle-up opportunities with a good book or some knitting.

The best thing about this bedspread-in-progress (besides being my favorite color) is that as it grows longer on the needles it will cover my lap and legs on those frosty cold days of impending winter.  

These are the projects I have goin' on here in between the writing and blogging, and networking... 

Anybody else out there feathering their nest for winter?  

It's a good thing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Where Do We Turn in Our Mom Badge?

Yesterday I read on someone else's blog a review of a book I knew I wanted.  Just from the title.  Writing Motherhood, by author Lisa Garrigues.

I can tell you right now.  I love this book.  I got inspired just by reading the contents page.  And that's a good thing.

Because I was about ready to turn in my Mom Badge.

You know, the one they pin on you the moment you realize you've conceived.

A big family means there's always an emergency.  And I am "Mom" to a big family.

The trick is handling the crises with grace and class.  Not always so easy.

And still have time and energy for whatever "work" you've chosen.  And we all must have work of some type.  Outside of the duties of Motherhood.  "Work" in this sense means what you do as a person, not as solely a mom or a wife.

My work includes not only writing, because it's what I feel I'm called to do, but also volunteering, because I can and I want to.  This is my work now.

Work used to be leaving my home and going somewhere to perform various duties for a salary.  That was when the children were younger.  It was hard to squeeze everything in then, but I was young too.  Youth trumps it all.

Before I retired to write, I was a freelance court reporter with an office in my home, and my work situation now is similar.  People just don't get that because you are at "home" you don't work.  Everyone, including spouses and children some days, see you as a free agent who is available at all times simply because you do not go out the door to a job everyday.

Let me just say here, whoever invented voicemail was a genius.

So finding a book like Writing Motherhood is a win for me.  Here's a Writer Mom who's found some gold in them thar hills of self-employed at home.  We want more than just squeezing a few precious hours into our family schedules.  We want to be good at the Mom part as well as keeping the home fires burning.

We want to plan sensible schedules, provide a peaceful, beautifully decorated, organized atmosphere for our family as well as healthy home-cooked meals.

Not only that, but I want to also "grow" the food for my well-stocked pantry and freezer.   I want to create gifts and treasures with my mixed media of yarns, ribbon, fabric, scrapbooks, beads and baubles.

Worker Moms wear many aprons.

No matter what choice of work we choose.

As a Blogger-Writer Mom, Writing Motherhood is a double delight of tips for keeping it all together and inspiration for what we write.  That's how this blog post was conceived.

And having another book on my Kindle stack, for a reading junkie like me, is icing on the cake.

Women's Memoirs

Women's Memoirs
Women's Memoirs