I'm on deadline... Send coffee? And screen cleaner? xo
My son's Montessori school brought the benefits of playing with playdough to my attention this week, so yesterday we made a homemade batch of it with JELL-O. It was surprisingly fun and easy to do – Totally messy too, as I let my two-year old be an active participant in mixing together the ingredients. So there was flour everywhere, but that's okay. Hence the diaper. My son loved playing with the playdough and since it's made from all food-based ingredients, no harm if a little ends up in his mouth. Store in an air-tight container and put in fridge, and a heads-up from my elementary school teacher friend, keep an eye on it for mold growth. A batch should be good for a couple of weeks and then toss out.
We've been reading Hank Finds Inspiration at home (my son picked it out on his birthday – he's really into taxi cabs), and today we were really in need of inspiration. Wednesday mornings are usually relaxing mommy + son time in my household, but as soon as we got up & ready, I knew we were both excited to hit the streets. I decided we'd take an inspiration day to the American Museum of Natural History, which isn't far from our apartment, and would allow us both the space to stretch our legs and stimulation to learn some new things (Remember when I wrote about why inspiration days are so important for writers?). We've been museum members for two years, so all the permanent exhibits aren't new to us, but I could still go every week, I love it so much. Plus, museums are even more fun now that Townes expresses his excitement and interest so vocally... He, of course, loves the dinosaurs ("rawr rawr rawr!") and pretty much all the creatures with big teeth. I took some notes + photos for a project I'm working on... We'll see how it plays out on the page ;)
For today's Stokke Adventures post, working mom of two young boys, Joanna, shares about life strolling around Jacksonville, Florida...
Our son turned two a few days ago. We just love him so much! Happy birthday, Townes!
At the end of each year – for the last two years, at least – I posted writerly recaps. It takes forever to write them + collect clips + gather my thoughts, but it's good to assess goals and successes and failures, and see where I still need to grow and what I have yet to accomplish that might be interesting. It's a chance to say hey, I haven't done this yet, or work with this client, and maybe this would be fun and different? Or you know what, that project totally sucked and ultimately wasn't worth my time and energy, and I don't plan on taking on those kinds of assignments anymore. It's also a time when I evaluate in an honest way where my writing skills need to develop, and what I need to learn about craft to up my game.
Anyone who knows me – or reads my blog, YA Muses posts, Twitter page, Instagram, met me at SCBWI, or pretty much has ever heard of me! – knows that I'm trying to break into the children's book industry in the traditional way (i.e. not self-publishing.) It's a tough business and I have lots to learn. The last five years especially have brought some amazing professional experiences, yes, and I'm incredibly grateful for them – I'm a better writer than I used to be, and I know that with hard work, I'll continue to strengthen my skills with each passing year – but still, writing books is a dream of mine, and it's on my heart every single day...
I have high hopes for 2014. In the last two months, I've had some secret meetings and signed a hush-hush contract. And just last week, a door has been opened for something.... BIG. If I can pull it off. The ball's in my court to make it happen. This is when I used to get creatively paralyzed and I'd stall on a project for months. Sometimes it's scary to hope for a dream to be fulfilled.... It's opening yourself up for disappointment, and in my writing life, I've experienced this too many times to count (oh the nights of ugly crying! hot baths! red wine! sweeping vows that I'll never write again!). Rejection is inevitable, but it still hurts when it happens, even now, a decade into this writing-game.
But this post is dedicated to putting yourself out there, keeping focused on the task, and slogging through the emotional muck and fear and self-doubt towards those big dreams. I know that with hard work, I can make it happen. YOU can make it happen. Let's make this our year. xo
Have you heard this bit by Ira Glass? I adore him, and he's so creatively wise. It's an oldie but a goodie..... If you can spare a few minutes, it's worth a listen!
Today's post in our Stokke Adventures series comes from mom Lidia (who recently moved from Portland to Dallas). She and her husband have been using the Stokke Scoot stroller with her young son Renzo... And wish her a congrats, as Lidia is currently expecting her second little one! :)
I updated my Facebook writing page with two new photo albums: YA Muses and NYC Write Nite. As a part of these two writing/blogging groups, I wanted to add another layer of support for their books, events, and so forth... You can also watch that space for writing retreat news, conference pics, and more. Link over to see what photos and up & live now!
Wrapping up a few projects at home before I tuck away my laptop, pay the babysitter, and whisk my little guy out into the park... It's a little slushy and melty, but the fresh air will do us both good :) I hear it's going to hit 50 degrees this weekend. FIFTY DEGREES! I don't even remember what that feels like. Bring it on, Spring – We're ready for you.
We escaped the city this past Sunday.... here's an NYC skyline view from exiting the Holland Tunnel into New Jersey. I love this city.
For today's Stokke adventures edition, Karina shares about Scoot-ing around her neighborhood of the Woodlands, just outside of Houston, Texas, with her 2.5 year old son...
Yep. Still a lot of snow here in NYC. And more on the way, so I hear.....
P.S. I feel bad for whoever has to shovel out this car! Hopefully it'll all melt before alternate side parking resumes?
We moved two weeks ago – to our third apartment in the same NYC building. I know. Our super probably thinks we're crazy (and the mailman....). It all went down right after I re-wallpapered son's room (an expensive DIY disaster) – But we couldn't pass up this amazing unit. Everything people say about the craziness of New York real estate is SO TRUE. We had to snatch it up before brokers and their clients got wind of it. While we're still getting unpacked, organized, and settled in our new place, we're loving the extra wiggle room. Here's a first peek inside: our coffee/reading nook!