Tag Archives: writing

It’s Live!

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I’m super excited to announce that the pre-sale link to the e-version of my first book is now live.

Be one of the first to ORDER More Things In Heaven and Earth.

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“The veil is coming down. What will be revealed about you?”

Simone Fitzgerald battles for a normal life against voices no one else hears. She seems to be succeeding, until an angel appears, asking her to embrace the voices as a gift and stand as The Prophet.

When demons mobilize the beings of legend against mankind, Divine Wrath burns hot against creation. Simone must find the strength to embrace The Light and bring peace to the universe, but she may be crushed under the weight of the burden she’s been asked to bear.

Follow an epic journey that takes the earth you know through a time when fairy tale creatures rule and into realms undreamed of.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama onTwitter or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

Want to REALLY know what my busy typing fingers have been working on lately? Visit my author page for oodles of short stories and all the latest info on the Heaven And Earth Series!

The World Needs Your Novel – Tips To Survive NaNoWriMo 2015

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Yes, there is Thanksgiving and my birthday (feel free to send cash and gifts), but November has become my most dreaded favorite frightening exhilarating exhausting longed-for month of the year for a whole other reason. November is National Novel Writing Month, affectionately referred to by lunatics everywhere as NaNoWriMo, or simply Nano.

If you truly commit to it, Nano will change you. It will show you that you are capable of more than you ever dreamed. It will stretch your imagination and test your limits. It will lead you into fabulous uncharted waters of creativity and it will wrap you in community.

It is hard.

It is wonderful.

If you even think you might have a story that needs to be told (and, trust me, you do) you need to participate in Nano.

Here’s the gist: You have the month of November to write a novel of 50,000+ words. If you hit 50k, you win. 

NaNoWriMobanner

There are prizes – mostly in the form of discounts and assistance for moving forward in editing and publishing what you wrote.

Really, it’s not about that.

You have a story (or several) in you that no one else in the history of the human race can tell. It might be a fable or a romance or an epic space opera. It’s your story. If you don’t tell it, it will die with you and be lost forever.

This year will be my third year with Nano. My first and second projects got merged in editing and that book will be released by Nuff Said Publishing in September, 2016. This year I’m planning to write the sequel. There will be kissing and brown eyed vampires. I’m pretty excited about it.  I’ll share my Nano info in a bit so we can travel this road together but, for now, I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned in the past couple of years.

Take my advice with a grain of salt. My best friend is on the verge of publishing her third book (Click here to learn about all three. They are awesome). She doesn’t really follow any of my “rules.” Writing is a creative process. No two people do it exactly the same. Stephen King and Dean Koontz are both wildly successful authors. They’ve both offered advice to writers. Their advice conflicts at pretty much every point.

That said, I hope this helps you on your journey:

#1 – First and foremost: The Most Important Rule. The mother of them all. The Big Daddy…

Don’t edit.

Start writing and run for the end. If you change character names in the middle, or your world starts as an ice world and then you decide it’s a jungle, if you spell every word wrong, or never use quotation marks, don’t worry about it. Just get the story out. Word vomit. It’s OK. You can clean it up later.

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If you write one page and then you go back and edit it, you will keep editing it until you die. You will never write the second page. Your story will never be perfect. NEVER. You will NEVER be done editing. You will reach a place where you are reasonably confident in what you have but there is always some little detail that needs just one more moment of attention. Deal with that later.

You have thirty days to get your story on paper (or flash drive). It doesn’t have to be ready for publication in thirty days. It just needs to get out of your brain.

#2 – Don’t be afraid to skip around.

So your supernaturally clever purple octopus is swimming in the Atlantic ocean looking for a mate when, all of a sudden you have THE BEST IDEA EVER about how his great grandchild will figure out that he’s able to walk on land.

Write that.

Come back to the purple octopus later. He’ll still be there, waiting for you.

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#3 – Know the end.

This one is controversial.

nanowrimo1For years I wrote as a “pantser.” I had a concept or a character I loved and I would put it on paper and see where it would lead me. A lot of writers work that way and do it well. For the most part, it led me around in circles.

Nano 2013 was the first time I wrote with an outline. My outline is the only reason I finished. It gave me freedom to move about within the context of the plan.

See “purple octopus,” above.

If you know the end of the story you may take all sorts of crazy detours but you’ll never be utterly lost. You’ve always got a true north to head toward. It will save you when you get stuck.

#4 – Don’t be afraid of really lame sentences.

Every book has transitions. Your character has been in a castle for the first three chapters and now she needs to go out into the forest.

Perhaps you know what life is like in the castle and you know what is happening in the forest but you’re not really sure how or why she leaves one place and goes to the other.

Don’t worry about it.

Write, “She left the castle and went to the forest.” Then tell about the forest. You can fill in the details later. Or not. Figure it out next month. Remember, right now your whole goal is to get to those magical words:

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#5 – Participate in the write-ins. 

The Nano hosts will have live and virtual write-ins. They are exactly what they sound like – a bunch of people sitting around writing. Sometimes there are prompts. The prompts are weird. For example, “Tell what happens to your character when they suddenly find a red bicycle.”

Go with it. Thinking about the way your character would react to that situation will give you amazing insight into who they are and why they do what they do. You may never use the few hundred words you write during the write in, but the experience will improve your story more than you can imagine.

#6 – Keep easy to eat, low-calorie food in the house.

I’m not even kidding about how important that is. If you have a bunch of chips and cookies lying around and you sit at a desk and write for thirty days you’ll gain a pound a day. I strongly suggest lots of gum and carrot sticks.

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#7 – Do not prematurely publish.

So, it’s November 25 and you are at 50,005 words. You did it! You won! You got your story out!

congratulations

You’re book is not done.

Trust me. It’s not. There is NO WAY.

Put it in a drawer. Pop open a bottle of champagne. Spend the weekend giving thanks and eating turkey. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished! Brag at the dinner table. You’ve earned that right.

DO NOT LET ANYONE READ YOUR BOOK.

Sometime later – maybe in December, maybe not until the new year – go back to your baby. Give it several months of loving attention and adoration. Then let some people read it and, when you have their advice in hand, write it again. And maybe one more time after that, just for good measure.

My book is on it’s fifth incarnation right now. I’m fairly confident that my editor is going to demand one more before it goes off to the printer. It’s still the same story I started with, but so, so, so much better. You may not need that many tries to get your story right, but you will need more than one month.

#8 – Find joy in it.

Joy is not always happiness.

writingishardThere is one scene I wrote that left me literally sobbing at my dining room table. I actually felt like vomiting because it was so hard to think about. It is still hard for me to read that chapter. For me, writing that scene was facing my single greatest fear in the whole entire universe.

It was not fun to write that, but there was immense joy in the feeling of overcoming. If I can face that, I can face anything.

Sometimes my joy came in being incredibly silly. In one chapter I made an Archangel wash dishes just because the idea amused me.

If you find joy in sharing your story, your readers will find joy in discovering it.

I sincerely hope that you will join me on this journey. I would love to read your story! Please find me at Nanowrimo.org under “Lazy Hippie Mama.” Let’s create together.

Have you participated in Nano before? Do you have tips I didn’t mention? Share them in the comments.

NaNoWriMo-Cover

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on Twitter or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

Visit my author page for all the latest info on the Heaven And Earth Series!

 

Making Things Happen

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“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Is that true?

I’m inclined to say yes. I truly believe anything is possible.

Seriously.

chicken-man-linda-matlowYou want to be a chicken? Well, that’s weird. But, this is 2015 and we have all kind of crazy science these days.

I think there is an important distinction to be made, though. There are two kinds of dreams. There’s a lovely wish, and then there is the thing that worms into your heart and mind and latches on and won’t let go.

Everybody has a laundry list of wishes. For example, I wish I were sipping a drink with a tiny umbrella in it on a white sand beach right now.

Most of our wishes are nothing more than fantasy.

But the other kind of dream…

That’s the kind that let’s someone run an “impossible” four minute mile or create a steel machine that can fly through the air.

No magic fairy waves a wand and makes it happen. Blood, sweat, and tears are shed before any kind of result is seen. The pursuit of the dream changes a person from the inside out and they don’t even see it happening because they are so totally focused on the prize.

Then someone says, “Oh, my gosh! You’re so lucky!” and you want to say things that would make your mother blush. But that’s a different post.

This morning a dream of mine came true.

I signed a contract with a publisher that I have a great deal of respect for. I’m absolutely beside myself with excitement.

I have wanted to give up many times. I wanted to quit when I found myself staring at a blank page, uncertain of where to begin. I wanted to quit when my first umpteen queries got zero response (turns out there’s an art form to writing those things!). I wanted to quit when an agent led me to believe that she wanted to work with me and then fell off the face of the earth, never to be heard from again.

But those closest to me understood what could be accomplished by someone who has a dream. They whispered encouragement in my ear when I needed it and screamed it in my face when it was needed.

And today…

We celebrated!

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My first novel, “More Things In Heaven And Earth” is going to be published. I am over the moon today and, standing on this mountain peak, I can’t help but notice that there’s another, even higher peak just a little further on.

The dream continues.

Click here to get all the details about the book and the fabulous people I’m working with!

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on Twitter or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

Visit my author page for all the latest info on the Heaven And Earth Series!

I Am An Author

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downloadI am an author! A real, honest-to-goodness author of an actual novel. It’s nearly 100,000 words long and I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of anything I’ve ever done (you know… vocationally. Kids, etc don’t count).

It’s not actually a PUBLISHED novel. Yet.

I’ve spent 2 1/2 years of my life crafting this work and, one way or another, I am determined to see that bad boy in print! I would absolutely LOVE for you to come over to my new author page and say hello. Sign up for email updates and you’ll know all the details about how to get your hands on what could, potentially, someday, be a VERY valuable first edition copy of my book.

In other news…

I know I’ve been totally absent from the blog lately. There’s a number of reasons but, really, I think it just boiled down to me trying to figure out what my priorities are and what I wanted to write and why and how often.

I didn’t actually get all the answers to those questions, but I figured a few things out. Pretty much, that’s been the story of the past three years or so of my life. “I didn’t get all the answers, but I figured a few things out.”

If success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal I’m doing all right.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on Twitter or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

Visit my author page for all the latest info on the Heaven And Earth Series!

 

Lazy Hippie Mama: In Haiku (Nablopomo Day 13)

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*This post is Day Thirteen of the January Nablopomo 30-day blogging challenge hosted by BlogHer.

Sweet Hippie Daughter saw this on the “One Hundred Dollars a Month” Facebook page and has found it endlessly amusing for the past week or so.

Lazy Hippie Mama: in Haiku | LazyHippieMama.com

I was trying to think of something a little different for the blog today, having to do with the prompts centering on habits. I decided that since I’ve been in the habit of writing in prose for all this time, perhaps I would take inspiration from “A Winter Haiku.”

Here is the story of me, as portrayed in four verses of Haiku. Hope it gives you a little smile.

I seek to live green.

Sometimes it’s a lot of work.

Then I get lazy.

I seek to be thin.

Lazy eating makes me fat.

I can’t reach my toes.

I seek perfection,

in body, mind and spirit.

I am not there yet.

I am content now,

Knowing that growth continues.

Love this life of mine!

Lazy Hippie Mama: In Haiku | LazyHippieMama.com

Live on the wild side! Share the story of you haiku in the comments!

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

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If you enjoyed my blog, it would mean a lot to me if you’d toss me a vote by clicking the Top Mommy Blog banner. Thanks!

This Totally Counts! (Nablopomo Day 11)

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*This post is Day Eleven of the January Nablopomo 30-day blogging challenge hosted by BlogHer.

This Totally Counts! | LazyHippieMama.com

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

Top Mommy Blog

If you enjoyed my blog, it would mean a lot to me if you’d toss me a vote by clicking the Top Mommy Blog banner. Thanks!

Writing Is Easy!

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Writing Is Easy | LazyHippieMama.comIf you’re new around here you may not have heard: November is National Novel Writer’s Month, affectionately referred to by writers as “Nanowrimo” or simply “Nano.”

The idea behind Nano is that you spend 30 days just spewing out a 50,000+ word story. There’s not much (any?) thought given to making it clean and tidy, editing, spell checking or any other kind of detail.  You just get the story out of your brain and into the world.  Once it’s out you can neaten it up and make it presentable for others to read.

Last year was my first attempt at Nano and I fell in love. Around the first of October this year I started chomping at the bit. I couldn’t wait to do it again! As of writing this post I’m 5,840 words in and wondering if drinking 5 consecutive “5 Hour Energy” shots would give me the energy to stay awake for 25 hours straight. I want to write! The words are burning in my mind. My fingers itch. This story is BEGGING me to tell it.

People hear that I’m participating in this particular challenge and they say, “Oh! I could never do that. Writing is HARD!”

image from leavingcertenglish.net

image from leavingcertenglish.net

What?!

No way!

Writing is easy!

Writing is just like talking… on paper. It might even be easier than talking because when I talk you’re looking at me and judging me. My words are colored by your preconceived notions of what a chubby Caucasian woman of a certain age wearing a maxi skirt and a hoodie would say/believe/think/do.  The paper never judges me. It simply accepts my words for what they are.

The computer is slightly more harsh. It tells me, with a series of red and green squiggles that it does not approve of my spelling and grammar.

I’m creating ALL. THE. TIME. There are worlds in my head that have been growing and developing since I was a little girl in the 1980s with horrible yarn bows on my pigtails. Everyone I meet is a potential character and every character in my head has a fully developed life and personality. That outfit I saw on the mannequin at the mall Saturday? That would be the perfect outfit for Raziel to wear when he meets Simone face to face for the first time.  I saw a dragon fruit at Meijer yesterday. That just sounds cool. “Dragon fruit.” I bet that’s something Freyja would eat for breakfast.  There are two squirrels who have spent this entire day running to my backyard for walnuts and bringing them to a tree in the front where they are stashing them in a hollow space.  That’s the kind of thing Ike would notice and tell his mother about.

If you’ve ever been speaking to me and gotten the blank stare/smile/nodding combination it’s because thoughts like the paragraph, above, are never ending background noise in my head.  You may be talking to me about the upcoming township election and I really do value what you are saying but I can’t help thinking that the light, refracting from the chipped fake emerald in your earring dances across your cheek like a fairy… no a water sprite… yes, that’s it… a water sprite would dance across the turgid (hmmm… turgid? Is that word too much associated with books of a certain type?) surface of a rippling pond.

Writing is release. It’s a purging. All of that babble pours out of my brain and onto the paper (or, more often, into the computer) and creates space for living daily life out here with the rest of humanity.

Writing Is Easy | LazyHippieMama.com

On the other hand, coming back from writing can be painful. If I’m submerged in one world where the moonlight is brightly shining, illuminating the sweet-smelling prairie with it’s quiet silver light and I’m suddenly ripped away by screaming children fighting over who gets to pick the next TV show to watch my brain gets all twitchy.

Editing is like trimming body parts. I’d just as soon cut off a pinky toe as a chapter of my book.

Marketing and promoting are exhausting. Trying to tap the collective consciousness to figure out just the tag line that will get people to click on MY post, as opposed to one of the other 52,876 posts that they will see today sucks at my soul. And that’s not even figuring in the effort it takes to make sure the various social media sites allow a decent number of people see the post in the first place!

Waiting is Hell. You would think that a business so utterly obsessed with deadlines would move a little faster. No such luck. You rock a book out in a month and spend another six months editing and polishing. Then you write to agents and wait. They ask for samples and you send them and wait. They ask for full manuscripts. You send them and wait. Finally you reach an agreement for someone fabulous to represent you! Hooray! They send your samples to an editor and you wait. The waiting never ever ends. You want instant gratification? Become a server. You bring food. People give you tips. It’s done. You move on. As a writer, instant gratification just isn’t going to happen.

Writing Is EasyBut writing is easy. I wrote 2 blog posts, half a chapter of a novel, a newsletter article, several emails and a note to a co-worker today. Putting words on paper couldn’t be simpler.

Life is hard. People ask me to do things. They are offended if I say no. Loved ones suffer and I’m helpless to do anything at all for them. Am I doing enough to help my children grow into well-adjusted, productive, happy, healthy adults? Have I been supportive enough of my husband and his dreams? Am I contributing enough to my community, paying forward all that my neighbors have done for me over the years?  Am I being wise with my money and material blessings? Did I remember to send in that form the insurance company needed? Some days I feel like I spend the whole day cleaning up poop. Some days I worry all day long about why my little people haven’t pooped.

The blank page doesn’t ask for anything but words. Any old words will do. I can tell the truth or a complete fabrication. I can recite the day’s events, share how I feel, or create a 43 hour day on a planet with 3 suns where the rocks are all purple and the rulers are gentle octopi covered in soft green fur.

Lots of things are hard. Writing? Writing is easy.

Writing Is Easy | LazyHippieMama.com

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

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f you enjoyed my blog, it would mean a lot to me if you’d toss me a vote by clicking the Top Mommy Blog banner. Thanks!

Balancing: Is It All Just An Act?

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photo via freedigitalphotos.net

photo via freedigitalphotos.net

I’ve seen a lot of posts on other blogs lately, or comment threads in social media groups I belong to, discussing “finding balance.”

“How do you find balance as a blogger?”

“How do you balance your work and family life?”

“How balanced is your social media vs. face-to-face interaction with people?”

I’ve sought the answers to these questions, too.  I’m a mom. I’m a wife. I’m a writer. I’m a church secretary. I’m a Sunday School teacher. I’m a community volunteer.  And on and on… just like everyone else.  We all have a thousand various things in our life, constantly vying for our attention. Some of them are very important. Some of them are lower on our priority list. But they all have value to us or we wouldn’t include them in our lives.

But lately I’ve been thinking…  is balance all it’s cracked up to be?

Maybe it stared when I was watching the Olympics.  World class athletes don’t have balance.  They eat, breathe, and sleep their sport.

Then I started thinking about an author who spoke at a seminar I went to a few months ago.  He spoke about waking up before sunrise and writing. Then he went to his day job and on his lunch hour he wrote. He came home from work and he wrote. He ate dinner with his family and put his kids in bed and then he wrote some more.  Every day. For years.

Where does this idea of “balance” come from?

Don’t some of the best creations of the human race come from some fairly “imbalanced” people?

Isn’t there something to be said for throwing yourself – your entire being – into a passion?

In my own life, two things take precedent: My family and my writing.  I spend time deeply immersed in nurturing those two loves.  If that means that the floor doesn’t get vacuumed today then I’ll write in a pile of dog hair, but I will write. If it means that I can’t go out with my girl friends then I will sip my glass of wine (or apple juice, as the case may be) over a game of Candyland. Do I lack balance? I don’t know… maybe. Probably. After a recent visit with family during which time my every sentence had something to do with my husband, children or writing it was pretty clear.  Is that so bad? I don’t know…

What do you think? Is balance something to be sought or is it just an illusion?

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow Lazy Hippie Mama  by emailFacebookGoogle+Twitter or Instagram to get all the updates?

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve! 

 

What Do You Think Wednesday – Apathy (Does Anybody Care?)

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question-mark-nothingWho cares about apathy?  Well… that’s what I want to know.

This particular installment of “What Do You Think Wednesday” is a little selfish.  I’ll explain why in a minute, but here’s the question:

Do you think that the human race is becoming more apathetic?  If so, what indication do you see of that?

ap-a-thet-ic

(ap-u-thet-ik)

adjective

1.  Having or showing little or no emotion: apathetic behavior.

2. Not interested or concerned; indifferent or unresponsive: an apathetic audience.

The reason I say this is selfish is because I’m working on a project.  Remember when I said I was going to write a book in 30 days?

I did it! (Yes. I’m blatantly bragging.)

Here it is:  50,000+ words that have been bouncing around in my skull for 20 years.

Here it is: 50,000+ words that have been bouncing around in my skull for 20 years.

 I’m pretty darn proud of my book, too, even though the first draft is so rough you could use it for sandpaper. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end and there is a theme that runs all through it.  I figure the rest is just a matter of editing.

But… The main theme of the story has to do with what happens when people become truly apathetic. I know what I think that would look like, but I’m curious about hat you think.  And so, in order to help me move my project forward I’m wondering if you’ll share your thoughts.

I’d love to get some other viewpoints.

Thanks for caring enough to comment!

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama  by email, Facebook or Twitter to get all the updates?

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve! 

Tossing The Plan To Follow A Passion

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Homeschoolers have so many labels for themselves.  We are unschooling, or doing Charlotte ID-100207085Masen, or virtual schooling, or farm schooling or….  well… about the only thing we can all agree on is that we are NOT doing school at home.

Yet, even though we agree on that verbally, so many of us have our ideas of “school” so deeply engrained in our brains that we are unable to truly let go of what a child needs to be educated. Don’t they need to spend a certain, designated amount of time each week studying history, science, math, reading, music and so on?

Well…  ask 100 homeschoolers and get 100 answers.

Here’s mine. Feel free to quote me.

Yes and no. Sort of. Sometimes.

I believe that it is very important that a child learn history, science, math, etc. Some things require regular, if not daily, practice.  Others are much more fluid.  So we approach “school” with the attitude that some things are not negotiable while others are.

We do have a schedule.  Sweet Hippie Daughter comes to work with me and she has an assignment book with a list of tasks to complete.  Her tasks are based on the state’s grade level expectations.  Usually she has 2 or 3 books to read from, a writing assignment of some sort, math practice, music practice, typing, and so on.

Sometimes she makes requests.  A few weeks ago she found a book about the solar system at the local thrift store and asked if it could be her next reading project.  Sure thing!  I was going to have her read about Marie Curie but if she’s got planets on the brain Madame Curie will wait until after Christmas.Annoying_Orange_Characters

Sometimes the requests are less reasonable. “Can I watch this goofy Minecraft video instead of doing math today.”  Uhm… no.

Yesterday, her request floored me and opened up a floodgate of thoughts about the real difference between homeschooling and schooling at home.

She knows that I’ve signed up for Nanowrimo (the what, how and why of that is in this post).  I told her there was a “Young Writers” version as well.  She just kind of shrugged and said, “OK” so I left it at that.

Then she came back to me and said, “I’ve been thinking about the thing where you write a book in a month. I have an idea I’d like to write about, but I’ve never written that many words before.  I was wondering if, just for this month, I could use my school time to work on my book and, if I finish it, will you help me get people to read it?”

My first thought was, “NO! You can’t write a book during school hours!  You need to do math! And you’re right in the middle of a book about Tecumseh.  And we just start a Mr. Wizard’s chemistry project.”

My second thought was, “What if someone had encouraged me to write a book when I was 9?”

When I was in school I wrote all the time.  I wrote stories in the margins of my history lessons and on the backs of my math papers.  My best friend and I would write them and swap and edit each other’s work.  I wrote after school.

I was constantly getting in trouble for writing.

It wasn’t the time to be writing. It was time to be learning.  It was time to be studying. It was time to be washing dishes.  My handwriting was poor. Sometimes my subject matter was very inappropriate for my age.

What if…

What if I had been given an entire month, during which time a teacher guided me, just to write?  What if I had been excused from a few fact-repeating sessions of history class and given, instead, the opportunity to explore the area of my passion?  What if someone had said to me, “Yes. If you put the effort into writing something and editing it and make a nice, polished finished draft I will do everything in my power to be sure people read it?”

What-if_1

Maybe nothing would have come of it.  Maybe I would have written for a week, flaked out and started drawing doodles of the cute boy in the next row.  I guess we’ll never know.

But now I’m the teacher and my daughter is the student and here’s what I’m thinking.

If you can’t toss your assignment notebook out the window to follow a dream as big and bold and exciting as writing a book in 30 days, what’s the point of homeschooling?

So I made a deal with my girl.  I told her she could have the month of November to write.  I will help her if she needs help but it needs to be her project (I’ve got my hands full with my own projects!).  And if she finishes I will do everything in my power to make sure people have the chance to read her work.

If I see that she’s not being productive with her time. If, during work time, she is watching Annoying Orange videos or playing Minecraft, the deal is off.  And she still has to do math at least 3 days a week and practice her trombone.

Math, because she really struggles and needs every minute of practice she can get. Trombone, because she has a concert coming up and her ensemble is counting on her to be able to perform her part.

She accepted my terms and we shook on it and she’s off and running.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

Handsome Hippie Hubby has been with the big kids this week (they stay with their mom during the school year but he is visiting with them right now) and he mentioned Nanowrimo to Not-So-Hippie Teenager.  She was signed up before he finished the sentence.  She decided to go for the full 50,000 word brass ring and had a stack of pages finished by the end of the first night.

Now the girls, who can be fiercely competitive, can spur each other on.  Setting a goal and reaching it is satisfying. Beating your sister is something entirely more exciting to them!

I am so crazy excited to be sharing this little journey with BOTH of my girls and I am so ridiculously proud of both of them for having the ambition and self-confidence to face such a big goal at such a young age.  I can’t wait to see what these two beautifully creative young minds think up!

I’m also a little curious to see how these next few weeks of “school” go for SHD.  She’s not the most self-disciplined kid on the block (she gets that from me, I’m afraid) so I wonder if sticking to the task of writing will be a bigger challenge than coming up with the words.

I guess time will tell.

So, I’m curious.  Have you ever tossed your homeschool plan out the window?  Why? How did it turn out?  Do tell!

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve! 

You may also be interested in:

110 Reasons Why We Homeschool

What Do You Think Wednesday – Math (Including a Splash Math Give-a-way)

Reading Eggs Online Curriculum Review