Are you *just* a writer?

Are you *just* a writer?

I don’t know any writers who are *just* writers. And by that I mean they are full-time writers with nothing else on their plates. Not to be construed as me saying that being a writer isn’t among the most fabulous and honorable things in the world to be.

Frederick Lee Brooke, my blog friend and author of DOING MAX VINYL (currently queued up and being enjoyed on my Kindle) recently blogged about the multi-tasking writer and gave some worthwhile tips on successfully juggling a writing life. Good stuff, go check it out.


Multi-tasking is something I think most people, writer-or-no must struggle with on a daily basis. Whether you’re talking about managing many things in your head or physically carrying out several jobs at once, we’re all one slip away from the abyss. (Not that I’d mind being in The Abyss, not just any old one, but this one, what with my little crush on Ed Harris and all…

Being a writer and trying to multi-task your work isn’t easily done.  I know for a fact that I can think about my writing while cooking dinner, doing dishes, changing a diaper, talking on the phone, and carry a nursing baby all at once, but that is not something I could easily add actual writing to.

*shivers as that flashback falls away into 2006.*

Writing, for me, requires a bit of mood setting.  I have to block out some other things in order to get into that mental place.  I need to close the door and pretend it is locked. I have to switch on Pandora (currently on “Explosions in the Sky” channel) and start letting myself fall into that writing place in my brain. I have to pull my manuscript up on the screen, scroll back a few pages and read it aloud, sometimes in a mighty British accent. Only then can I tap into the stream of my muse and let her tickle my mind.

Granted, there is a timer counting down to the moment my eldest cherub must turn off the video games, and another timer will chime when I have to go stir the savory goodness that is simmering in my crock pot, and yet another timer will go off later this evening when I have to pause my writing and begin working on preparations for my non-profit event happening next weekend.  And this is an especially free day due to Mr. Corinne being home to manage the spawn’s every need in the interim.  Thank you Mr. C!

So, I am juggling some things, in my head, but nothing is keeping me at this moment from the act of writing.

I found this fabulous book called THE NIGHTTIME NOVELIST by Joseph Bates in which he talks about many things relating to finishing your novel in your spare time. On craft, if is full of fab. I recommend getting the actual book form of this one, because it is 1) gorgeous, and 2) write-notes-in the-margin-worthy.  In the introduction, Bates lists a few famous authors who wrote in their off time.  Among them, Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens… to name a few.

Hearing things like this only inspires me to get it done. Taking the time is a choice. So is making excuses. So, I leave you on this quiet Black Friday here in Colorado, switch off the interwebs and get to work. I am sending my husband telepathic wishes that he’ll feel inspired to get all the Christmas stuff out of the storage closet.  **~~*:*  (I never could figure out how people create those magical swirly and whimsical little lines from the keyboard…)

Check out this list from Publisher’s Weekly about famous authors who didn’t *just* write.

Peace love and magic!

Fun Goodies from the Interwebs

Fun Goodies from the Interwebs

Thanksgiving break has arrived; that magical time when the family is home and my time is no longer my own.  While I steal precious moments for writing, I’ll leave you with some fun and interesting stuff.  Continuing with the theme of the week, I thought I’d share some random things found while surfing for which I am thankful.  Enjoy!

Hovercat: I can’t remember the last time an image brought me to tears… hilarious.

George Takei’s Facebook, where I found the rare and elusive hovercat.  Check out his “Wall Photos” album.  Not just the images, but his comments as well. I haven’t laughed this hard in ages.

Heart-grabbing art. My friend Susan shared this with me and I have not been able to let go of it.  I wonder what the artist intended. I believe it is open to interpretation, but for me, this is about the line between the living and the dead.  Just beautiful.  Love the music too.  Thought of you-by The Weepies.

Bookshelf Porn.  *swoon*

And what Thanksgiving celebration would be complete without:

The Cranberries!

Have a fabulous day.

Thoughts on Being Thankful

Thoughts on Being Thankful

Today I’ve got a guest blog over at Damyanti’s Daily (w)rite. Head over there and check it out, I’d love to hear from you over there today, too! 

Last night, my son (10) and I were at a meeting and the speaker closed with some thoughts on being thankful. He said that he wanted all of the kids to go home and spend a little time acknowledging all that they have and all that they need that is provided to them. To look around at all of the things that are done for them. He said he wanted everyone to just think about those things for a while, and then, once you’ve taken stock of those things, give thanks. Because being thankful starts with being aware.

What a powerful message for all of us.

Thanksgiving Day in the US is this Thursday, and everywhere you turn there are messages about being thankful. That is, if you can see them behind all the sales promotions and Black Friday advertisements (don’t get me started on that).

When asked “What are you thankful for?” We all have something to claim. Even on our darkest day, there is something to be grateful for. I mean, even if today is your worst. day. ever., – if you’re reading this you must be sitting at a computer or using a smart phone or tablet. That is, by itself, already more than many people in the world can claim. How much time do we spend actively thinking about why we are thankful for the things in our lives?  I know I don’t do it enough.

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving with your family, or going it alone for the holiday break, or if this week is just like any other week in November… take a minute and look around you. I dare you to say you have nothing to be thankful for.

So… what are you thankful for?

Today I’m thankful for my family’s health, graphic design software (isn’t my graphic cute!?), my fabulous hubby, and the amazing gift to be able to work from home.

I’d love to hear from you…

The Golden Sky Tribute for My Daughter

The Golden Sky Tribute for My Daughter
EC Writes

Tomorrow, Elisa Hirsch will be celebrating the release of her new book THE GOLDEN SKY by hosting a blogfest and media extravaganza. Congratulations Elisa!  For more about her book, a huge giveaway ($ and ipad!), some reviews, and a trailer, visit her blog here.

This blogfest is not really like other book-release blog parties I’ve been a part of because Elisa’s book is a memoir about the death of her son, Zeke.

I know that many will have read that last line and clicked away, because let’s face it, the death of a child is unpleasant stuff. But for those of you who are still with me–thanks for sticking around–I know child loss makes people really uncomfortable.

Elisa asked us to celebrate her book release by writing a tribute to someone we have lost. With that on my mind, I’d like to introduce you to my oldest daughter, Rowan. She doesn’t get a lot of attention here on my writing blog, but I don’t think she minds.  She has her own website doing loads of really good stuff here.

Rowan Johanna O’Flynn 12/17 – 18/1999

Rowan Johanna was born on December 17, 1999 and although she spent a little less than 24 hours with us, she changed our lives forever. After almost twelve years, I still think about her every day.

It is so hard to explain to the uninitiated the difficulties bereaved parents face after losing a child. While so much about grief is universal and truly shared by everyone who has felt deep loss, the loss of my child remains the most isolating thing I have ever experienced.

It is almost like waking up in the morning to learn that everyone is suddenly speaking a different language. You feel like you might have some tiny idea what they’re saying, but… you really just. can’t. grab. on. right. now.

Hello and Goodbye

When I think about a tribute to my daughter, I could start listing all the things in my life that I am grateful for. My perspective on the things for which I am grateful was deeply impacted by losing our daughter. There is so much beauty and goodness that can come after loss. That doesn’t make the death acceptable; nothing can ever do that. But what a waste it would be to ignore the gifts.

Rowan’s tile at RTF’s memorial plaza in Colorado.

When I look back on my life and the years since our daughter died, I can’t imagine it any other way. Rowan’s short life has had such an impact on me, my family, our friends, and so many people who never even met her.

Some of my dearest friends came to me through loss. I’ve learned about giving back, about accepting support, about the different ways love can look. I’ve learned about the power of connecting. I’ve learned to let go of the small stuff (mostly!). While I am not even close to perfect, I know I’m a better person for having known my daughter. Her lessons resonate the loudest even though she never made a sound.

Thank you Rowan, for honoring us with your presence and for the gift of being your mom.


If someone you know is dealing with the loss of a child, please reach out to them. Let them cry big fat messy tears in front of you. Say their child’s name. Tell them you are sorry and you don’t know what to say. Tell them about Rowan Tree Foundation (a org which was named for our daughter) or MISS Foundation, tell them about The Compassionate Friends. Tell them about stories written by bereaved moms and dads like THE GOLDEN SKY.  Google “child loss support” for them and find local support. Because there is power in connecting with others and realizing that you are not alone. Healing is made a little bit easier when you can share your story.