7/14/14

With the beautiful weather we had yesterday, I took the day off to get some much needed relaxation. Kept on reading Mercy Falls out on the deck with Molly, while she laid out there and watched people and cars go by. The book is a good one, just like the previous four in the Cork O’Connor mystery series.
 
I thought about when I first got interested in creative writing. I remember writing in diaries when I was a girl, in the small leather bound books with the locks on them. They had one year and five year varieties. I have them put away with the other things I  saved from my childhood. I even have the keys on a key ring in my jewelry box. Made a point to keep them hidden from my brother, so he couldn’t read the secrets I wrote about. Then it moved on to writing and telling silly stories. I have one of them on loose leaf notebook paper that I wrote in high school in my filing cabinet.  It is written in the form of a play. The characters were all based on members of our high school marching band and it was set in a Little House on the Prairie scene and story line. Some of the logistics of the story were way out there, but it was fun and made sense to where my writing was at then.
As goofy as it is, there may be some material in it that could actually work for a story. I think in any creative writing we do there are some good ideas, which may may not be obvious at the time. Sometimes creative writing can lead us on a journey to a place that you never expected to arrive at, like a reader gets out of reading a book. In some of the writing that I have done, it has gone exactly this way. I created a novel years ago that started in one direction and as I rode the creative process, the story ended differently than what I set out to do. I was surprised, but when I thought about it, that was where the story was supposed to end. That journey had a surprise ending, like many life journeys that each of us are on. 
Be patient and have faith that the journey you may be on will work out the way it is supposed to, even if it doesn’t end up where we believe it should.

7/12/14

Our dog, Molly, started moving around and making noise to get us out of bed this morning ready to start her day. She decided that 8:00 would be the best time for that to happen, which I will admit is better than the normal 5:30 wake up time we have during the week. After seeing my fiancee out the door for his morning pick up, I took Molly for her walk around the neighborhood. It’s a warm, humid and foggy morning. Will be a good day to be inside and get some home projects done.

Upon our return, I made a cup of chai, planning to sit down and read for a little bit before embarking on the massive cleaning of our house. I just started Mercy Falls, by William Kent Krueger, last night. I had the opportunity to meet him in person when I attended the Bloomington Art Center Writers’ Festival and Book Fair in March of 2009 where he was the key note speaker, and taught a seminar on the Importance of Narrative in Your Writing.
I like his writing style, and the fact that his stories are set in Northern Minnesota, make them feel very familiar to me. To us Minnesotans, that area is considered Cabin country. When we say we are “going up north” that’s where we are going. Lots of wooded area and lakes for relaxing, to get away from the hustle and bustle of the day to day life in the city. 


Krueger is a Minnesota author who has been known to do a lot of his writing at the St. Clair Broiler in St. Paul. I have often thought that I do my most productive writing away from home. Coffee shops, up at the cabin, and on vacations are places where I seem to get my best work done. However, the idea for The Hard Way was conceived during a vacation at home in April of 2013. I think it may have more to do with when you feel comfortable enough to let the writing just come out, good or bad. Some days that seem the least productive towards the goals of the main project, lead to ideas for other projects. That has it good points and it’s bad points. It keeps the creative juices flowing, but it takes discipline to continue to get the goals of the main writing project done.

I have learned that writing is a process that probably won’t be started and completed in one sitting. Learning how to ride the process, by taking the good ideas and putting them into my creative writing, is one of the most gratifying parts of being a writer. 

7/11/14

When I typed the date in the title section for today’s blog, it reminded me of 7, 11 or doubles. Makes me feel like I should be in Vegas. Anyone feel lucky today?

Feeling pretty worn out after a pretty full week of baseball with the kids teams. Our family has had six games in the last five nights (one day both kids each had a game). Now the regular seasons are over and we move into the league playoff rounds next week. We now know who we are playing, but are waiting to finalize what field, what day and what time. We have had beautiful weather this week and I have really enjoyed being outside watching the games with the families of the other players on each team. What we all have come to know as our summer baseball families. Look forward to seeing you all next week.

There is a lot of buzz around town with the Major League All Star Game being played in Minneapolis on Tuesday. They are closing roads downtown to keep traffic moving around the vicinity of the field. It will be a great boost to our local economy, show what the Twin Cities has to offer when it comes to hosting these kinds of events, and showcase what a great venue Target Field is. I’ve seen it on TV a lot, but may be one of the few people in the Twin Cities area that hasn’t been able to attend a game there yet.

Have you been to Target Field?

Hoping to get some projects done around the house and a big dose of relaxing as the kids have no scheduled games or tournaments this weekend. Will hopefully have some down time to work on writing projects that are in need of some attention on the journey to publishing my novel.

7/10/14

Yesterday I had my yearly Mammogram screening. For those of you that don’t know, my Mom passed away from breast cancer in March of 2008. After she was diagnosed, I’ve been diligent to have the screening done each year to set my mind at ease, or if something is wrong, to have enough lead time to do something about it. My doctor has reassured me that just because my Mom had it, doesn’t mean that I will. 
It is always an emotional day for me. As I sat in the waiting room listening to the elevator music, I thought about if they could have found it earlier, would my Mom still be alive today. It almost brought a tear to my eye because I miss my her so much.

After the appointment, I head back to work and drive right by the cemetery where she is buried and think about her again. Made me miss her more. Work was a nice distraction, but I was on the emotional edge all day. Feeling tired from having to get up early for the appointment and sad that she is not physically with me.

I’m grateful that I have been cleared on screenings every year. Still waiting for the results of this one, having faith that everything will be just fine.

I think about my Mom every day. I watched one of the boys boys play baseball last night and thought of my Mom watching me play softball when I was growing up. I wished that she could be here watching the game with me. My Dad is here tonight, so I get my chance to watch the game with him.

Be sure to tell your Mom that you love her and spend time with her when you can. One of my fondest memories was being able to scrapbook a couple of pages with my Mom while she was in hospice care. I made a point of spending as much time as I could with her during that time knowing I had limited time left with her.

7/9/14

 

There are many writing websites that carry what they call daily writing prompts. Thought provoking scenes or words to write about to get those creative juices flowing. The one I saw yesterday from Writers’ Write, caught my attention…

Your protagonist describes some one who stole something to a detective. The thief is you. Describe yourself through his eyes.

After thinking about it, here’s what I came up with,

I saw her fly into the downtown boutique. She was a complete blur, I could hardly tell she had blond hair, except it was flying back behind her. When she stopped over by the expensive fur coats, I got my chance to see her. She was short in stature, long blond hair and wore a long dark red trench coat.When she picked up the fur and placed it under her coat, I then saw that she was wearing a white t-shirt and jeans underneath. She ran out of the store and into the pouring rain. I followed her out of the store and down the street to see if I could catch her. She took a left from the sidewalk and into an alley. When I saw her again, She was making her way up the fire escape and into a second floor apartment.

How would your witness describe you to the detective?

7/8/14

 

Is it all about winning or losing? Is it about how you play the game? Or is it about the life lessons learned while playing team sports?
I played summer softball and was a clarinet player in the marching band growing up. At the time, I wasn’t paying much attention to what life lessons I might get out of being involved in activities where I had to be part of a team. Learning how to work and play well with others is a skill that we all must have to make life easier. None of us can do it alone, and if we don’t learn how to work as a team, it will be a much tougher journey.
We can teach kids a lot about life through sports. Sharing in their celebrations when the team does well and learning from the mistakes when the team loses, help them to not only become good baseball players, but also good people.
Lesson One: You don’t get to do what you want to do all of the time. Learning that one may have to do what the team wants them to do and not what one might want to do can be a difficult one to understand. Sometimes we don’t understand that the coach has a bigger goal in mind when they want us to do something we don’t want to do. Instead of seeing it as punishment to have to play it, how about looking at it as and opportunity to give you a break from that position, so another player can get some experience at the position you normally play? Playing right field when one really doesn’t want to is an example that has been brought up in our house. Right field is an important position on the field too, and someone needs to do it so that the team can play the game.
Adults can learn something from this too. In life, we don’t always get what we want when we want it either. And, how many times at work have we procrastinated the task we don’t want to do, even though our team needs us to do it?

7/7/14

Last night, as I sat by the baseball field waiting for the game to begin, I saw two teenage boys, dressed in baseball uniforms, helping their Dad put the white lines on the field. Getting ready for the game.

I wondered what the Dad was thinking as he was running the white chalk up the first base line. Is he enjoying it? Does he see the task as something he has to do? My hope is that he was doing it out of love for the game and his sons. It’s why my fiancee shows up early to his sons’ games. To get the field ready for them to play ball.

Even though his two sons are not mine biologically, I consider myself a baseball Mom. I’ve been at almost every game and have participated in volunteer opportunities to help the baseball association. I support them both in their pursuit of their dream to play baseball.

As I watch the players get ready to play, I hope that every kid has supportive parents or family in their lives. It’s a big commitment for the family to make for a kid to play baseball. But it needs to be done, not only for the kids, but for the parents to see the kind of kids they have and can be proud of. It is what our family does multiple times a week.