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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Meet Miss Spelling

And I don't mean Tori.

Miss Spelling READS the Dictionary every morning with her cup of peppermint tea. She can spell Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious backwards without even closing her eyes. She's calm under pressure, looks good in green, doesn't spell check her tweets, and never needed the assistance of Mr. Spell Check.

poor overworked guy! 
I, on the other hand, dread pulling out the dictionary, can't even spell supercalif . . . forwards, even with my eyes closed. I rely heavily on Mr. Spell Check.

Not that I'll ever be as together as Miss Spelling, or become a pocket protector wearing Mr. Spell Check, but I'm making an effort to be more like her and use Mr. Spell Check less. Doesn't he look overworked?

 To the end, as I write if I type a word and the red squiggly line attacks it, or if I pause in typing, not sure whether to use bare or bear, I do what my teachers always told me. I look it up.
And then I go a step further. I write the correct spelling and any notes I need on index cards (that I cut in half).

I thought I'd share some of my recent misspelled* words **.


*I had to look up misspelled just to be sure for this post*
**If you're curious, I found the 100 most often misspelled words here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

IWSG-something's gotta go.

It's that time again: Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh where we share our doubts and fears in this challenging and wonderful world of writing.
Where was I in June you ask? At WIFYR and visiting family of course. But don't worry, I'm sticking around for the rest of the summer and looking forward to catching up on your blogs.
To write we have to give something up and I haven't found a comfortable balance. I'm always worrying that I'm spreading myself too thin, giving too much to my writing, too little to my family, not sleeping enough so I'm on the verge of a cold, and possibly heading to a mental breakdown. Writing is hard. Determining to write, and make the time for it, is even harder.

At the Writers and Illustrators for Young Readers conference this past month Mette Ivie Harrison gave a talk entitled "Finding Time To Write." The entire talk reminded me of the father in Cheaper by the Dozen. Mette finds the most efficient ways to workout (down to the individual steps), quickest way to unload her dishwasher (she can do it in 30 sec), and she no longer cleans her house or does any yard work (she showed us pictures as proof). She told us this great story of a Kirby salesman coming to her house and she had him clean her bedroom carpet and realized that it hadn't been vacuumed in the 18 months they'd lived in that house. Yikes!

While I haven't gone to her extremes, here is a list of the big things I've let go for writing. In the end I hope it's worth it. 

1. Exercise time
Running in the early morning (because this is my one undivided writing time)

2. Sleep
I write best from 5 to 7 in the morning.

3. Money
Couponing. It can run your life, tracking down deals, organizing coupons, and rebates.

My savings towards my dream trip to Alaska. I spent half of it to attend WIFYR in 2011

4. Cleanliness
My house doesn't get the attention it once did.

Showering? Getting dressed? Totally optional.

A Kirby salesman actually came to my house yesterday and while in the past I'd let him come and make some portion of my house spotless, I sent him packing, plaid shirt and all. No way could I get writing done while he's here trying to sell me a ridiculously expensive vacuum.

5. Driving my kiddos to school
 Hello bus, I know you're awful and where I learned all about S-E-X and cuss words, but here are my children.

6. Time with my husband
One night a week he watches the kids so I can have 3 hrs of kid free writing time.

7. Time with other adults
Story time at the library and playgroup with my church

What have you given up? And is it worth it? Have you found a balance?