A Writers’ Room of Requirement

loft2

The Writers’ Loft
Sherborn, Massachusetts

When I tell people I’m a writer, some of them have a hard time believing it. I’d like to think it’s not because they think I’m incapable of writing but rather because I’m an incredibly social and outgoing person…not very bookish.

Thanks in part to Hollywood—which paints an image of writers as people who need to move to Tuscany or at the very least to a sprawling, New England farm, complete with pond-front writing studio—it seems the average person assumes writing is a profession best pursued in solitude.

A common misconception.

No question, there are many successful writers who do have dedicated, solitary, creative writing space, like Lois Lowry, Kate DiCamillo, Gore Vidal (who’s writing retreat is on the Amalfi Coast). The operative word here is successful. No doubt the lucrative benefits of a prolific and extensive writing career have afforded them such comfort.

But, not all aspiring writers have the luxury of dedicated writing space consisting of more than a flat surface at home or even beyond their computers. Instead, many writers find solace in public libraries or coffee shops, where they can simultaneously be in the company of others as well as alone. Such spaces, however, are not always conducive for channeling inspiration nor even connecting with like-minded souls. More

Advertisements

40: Shades of Gray

shades of grayWhat do you want to be when you grow up?

No, really. What do you want to BE?

Because, let’s face it, whatever you’ve been doing in your twenties and thirties, probably isn’t what you still want to be doing in your forties and beyond. (If it is, congratulations, you can stop reading now because you are way ahead of the pack).

I know this is true because in the past few years I’ve been watching friends and acquaintances around me turn 40 and each time, within months of their birthdays, many of them have initiated one type of major life change or another. Some of them have changed careers; some have started families; some have ended marriages; and some have finally worked on turning their dreams into realities.

Forty is reality.

It’s time to take charge of life rather than allowing life to take charge of us. Out with what society expects of us; out with what we’ve been groomed to do or be our whole lives…what is it YOU want to be?

More

Lois Lowry and Becoming a Writer

Kyla and Heather get Lois Lowry to sign a copy of The Giver

A little over a year ago, DH made a new friend. It wasn’t a friend for him,it was a friend for me. Her name was Heather Kelly.

DH met her on our daughters’ kindergarten playground. Luckily, in the way children either  become fast friends or sworn enemies, our daughters were instant pals: my exuberant, over-the-top, Type A with Heather’s quiet, shy but equally headstrong Cowgirl. It took the moms a bit longer but resulted in a friendship with far greater symbiosis.

Heather has been the jumper cables for my childrens book writing aspirations and I’ve helped hone her athletic pursuits. It’s a very positive and supportive friendship, the type that enhances ones well-being rather than detracts from it in the way that friends you just share vices with do.

The pursuits we share (sports and children’s literature) make us better people. Neither of us depends on the other for inspiration nor survival—like the symbiosis between plant and animal found in lichen—rather, we are motivated toward our mutualistic pursuits just by spending time together and encouraging each other.

Which is why it strikes me as particularly ironic that one of the galvanizing pieces of our friendship is founded on a dystopia, conjured in the mind of Lois Lowry. More

Mommy Burnout

Yesterday I let my three-year-old sit on the potty for 45-minutes, having an epic meltdown, waiting for someone to help him wipe. That someone was not going to be me. I’m out of the bottom wiping business.

Did I feel like a bad mother? yes. Did it fry my nerves to listen to his wails? yes. Will I repeat the situation all over again when it happens next? yes.

In just three week’s time he will head off to preschool where no one will be allowed to wipe his bottom. He’s got to do it on his own. But it wasn’t just this motivator that spurned me on, it’s that I’m in Week Eight of the American school system’s ten-week long, summer holiday. I’m toast. More

Writing Requires Discipline

In addition to my sporadic writing on this blog, I also write (and edit and work) on another blog. It’s a fascinating blog, which mainly focuses on travel and parenting issues around the world. Even though I’m on the site several times a week, editing other writer’s posts, I only get to publish my own articles about once every 6-8 weeks.

Since I have a post running on that blog next week, I sat down to write. I chose the topic: children and discipline. As I got into the article, writing about how important discipline and enforcing rules is in our house, it occurred to me that I’m not very good at practicing what I preach and I started to wonder why that was.

It’s times like these where I really wish I had taken more psychology classes in college or understood more about what makes people tick. More

The Fragments of Divorce

I’m the product of divorce. Not one, not two…FIVE.

My parents’ divorce was the first, then, like zygotes, they kept splitting until they landed on their third and fourth spouses, where they seem to be very well matched. I think it’s safe to say that they both have settled in for their golden years with partners for life. Thank God!

I was seven when my parents separated, my brother was 10. By the time the divorce was final and the papers signed, my dad was just weeks away from his second marriage and my mom had moved clear across the country, from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, to pursue her next union.

When my parents split in 1979, it was highly unusual for children to remain in the custody of their fathers but my dad sought custody of my brother and me. In between the separation and next marriage, we went More

SOCIAL GOOD: World Moms Blog Delegation to Washington, DC: Part I

Here’s a terrific post written by World Moms Blog founder, Jennifer Burden, about our recent WMB delegation at the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life summit in Washington, DC. Meeting some of the women I’ve been “working” and writing with for the past year was an equally as exciting as having the UN Foundation fly us in for the summit.

SOCIAL GOOD: World Moms Blog Delegation to Washington, DC: Part I.

Being a World Mom

I started blogging 15 months ago as a means to hone my writing skills, find my voice and to process life’s small moments…you know, pretty much for all the same reasons most people start blogging. We’re all a work in process.

Shortly after I started, a fellow blogger, by the name of Jennifer Burden, reached out to me about a new blog she had just begun, World Moms Blog.

In her own words, the blog is about this:

As busy mothers we often find ourselves without the time to  jet-set around the planet.  So, we invite you to come travel the world with us, through our global writers.  We will read about how women across the planet are mothering, how their lives are similar or different from ours, what’s on their minds and expand our horizons into corners of daily life around the world.

Her mission immediately resonated with me. I started following the blog and soon became a contributor. Within weeks of signing on as a writer, I More

Ode to Holiday Cards

Every year, by November’s end, I fancy this will be the year I rebel and won’t send holiday cards. They’re too stressful. Finding the right photo, picking out a card style, maybe writing up a short synopsis of the past year. Who has time? But who am I kidding?

My favorite season on the postal calendar has just begun.

It started shortly after Thanksgiving and runs right through Epiphany and until I get our own cards in the mail, it makes me just a wee neurotic.

I hold silent my grudge against early arrivals, the ones stamped, addressed, mailed AND delivered even More

And So November Begins

Saturday, October 29th was just one of those great days. Overcast but not over programmed, cold but not freezing, full but not stuffed. Somehow, the afternoon found my whole family napping so I found refuge in a terrific YA book my good friend, Heather, recommended to me. When the family awoke, we proceeded as planned: carving pumpkins into Jack-o-lanterns, eating a great crockpot dinner, donning PJs to settle in for a family movie night. When your kids are just 5 and 2, these sort of activities come as rare and special treats. We watched Wall-E, a perfect choice for a kindergartner who’s into robot talk and a preschooler into spaceships.

Outside, the clouds emptied their rain, the rain turned to snow and the temperature dropped to freezing. Unknowingly, while we sat warm and cozy inside, the earliest snow storm in North East history raged outside. If you’ve never experienced thunder snow, take my word, it’s surreal.

The poor trees, still heavy with leaves, carried the extra burden of thick, wet snow. Intermittently, we More

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: