Saturday, August 22, 2015

Win A Copy of My Book

I have two autographed copies of my book to give away to somebody!

To enter to win, just leave me a comment on a memorable lesson your mom taught you.

You can earn another entry by sharing this blog with a friend.

And, earn even another entry by "liking" my Facebook Writer's Page

I'll be using some sort of super scientific random method to pick the winners on Friday August 28. 

Good luck and happy reading! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Snap Out Of It!

It was time. I needed an attitude adjustment. And I needed it to be brutally honest.

The most honest, effective thing I needed to tell myself was:

Yeah Jennifer, snap the F* out of it!

I began #AugustMoon15 whining about what if when I get a "real job" I don't have time to write anymore? What if I get a "real job" and hate it so much that I lose my desire or energy to write? Being a "real" writer is all I've ever wanted to do and if I go back to work (by necessity because mortgage companies don't really care so much about artistic endeavors), I won't be able to call myself a writer anymore.

And I know from past experience that when I am working a full time soul crushing job I am not a happy person.

But then, as usual, my yoga and writing friends reminded me of a few simple truths:

1 - If you write you are a writer.
2 - If I insist on defining being a writer as being published well then yeah I've got that covered too.
3 - I've always written and will always write even if I am working full time outside of the writing field.
4 - Yes, if I wasn't raising six kids by myself I probably could go live in a beach cottage somewhere and spend my days living a bohemian artistic existence without worry of bill collectors.
5 - But, I am responsible for six other people so quit looking at 'what if' and start focusing on 'what is'.
6 - When I was working full time I somehow managed to still be there for my kids when they needed me.

The real kicker in all this is I have been out of work since March and no one has even offered me a job. And, yes, I have been giving it an honest legitimate effort at finding a full time work.

I'm so convinced I'm going to hate this unknown future job and I don't even have the job yet!

So snap out of it and stop projecting negativity into the unknown!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

I Fear The Darkness Is Still Too Close

This week begins #AugustMoon15, a series of writing prompts by the lovely Alana Lawson of Wolf and Word

Alana and my friend Kat McNally periodically send out these writing prompts and as a collective we bloggers, writers and dreamers from around the world share our thoughts and our words.

I love participating in these projects because, aside from forcing me to write more often, it forces me to write for my own sake. I'm not writing with the intention of getting paid. I'm writing with the intention of discovery. 

I'm combing the Day 1 and Day 2 prompts into this first post tonight.

So let me tell you what I am afraid of.

I am afraid of once again returning to the darkness.

I spent many years in darkness, afraid and hopeless. I have worked hard to get out of that place and these past few months have been full of much light and happiness.

Many of my Instagram posts this summer have been hash tagged #livetheliveyoulove and #creatingajoyfullife (based off the release of my book).

Although I have been unemployed, I have been very busy writing and teaching yoga. That is the life I love! That is where I find joy.

When I am writing I feel the most alive. It doesn't even have to be good writing. Just setting aside time to pound the keys and release the crazy inside of me is what nourishes my soul.

I am afraid I am going to lose that.

I am very pleased with the success I've had with my writing this summer. Yet, I wonder can it continue?  I fear it can not.

Let's be honest, a successful book release and even writing that's gone viral to the Yahoo home page don't pay the mortgage. My financial future is shaky at best and I am afraid it is irresponsible of me to stay here at my keyboard rather than take the first soul-crushing job that comes along.

I am afraid it is an either/or situation. Either I stay here and live the life I love and become even more financially unstable, Or I go to a job I hate and pay the bills.

I am afraid I can't have both - A life I love doing what I love, where I stay far away from the darkness and instead dance wildly in the light, and still have the financial security to raise six kids and provide a secure future for myself.

I try to stay focused on the path in front of me and not get distracted by fear. I try to stay open to the signs that I am on the right path - and I believe I've been given many positive signs. In fact, the oracle reading given to me by Kat McNally at the beginning of #AugustMoon15 included this:

"... this is positive confirmation of the fine tuning you’ve been doing. Allow your authentic, beautiful inner hues to unleash, adding dynamic and creative power to your world. Not only does it feel amazing to create from this space, but success is difficult to avoid when you hold joyful states over a period of time.”

Now, as I write this, I feel positive. Yet later, when the lights are out and I'm alone with my thoughts, the fear and uncertainty of my future will creep in again.

Friday, August 14, 2015

I'm Considering An Exorcism For My Teen Daughter

Tonight my daughter is at her first high school football jamboree. Although I've already been through high school with the three older boys, I'm having some difficulty with Kid 4, the first girl, entering high school.

After just one week I’ve come to the conclusion I only have two choices in how to deal with this.

Option 1: Remind her, ever so lovingly, that I offer a safe place for her to channel her strong-willed nature. However, she has been raised by a strong-willed mother, who at one time tortured her own mother, so no amount of eye rolling or “Oh My Gawd” will be enough to break me. I am stronger than she is.

I think I’m stronger than she is.

Option 2: Dig deep down in to my Catholic roots and perform an exorcism. Because the only explanation for this new behavior spewing from my daughter is she is possessed.

My daughter has always been bossy. Although we prefer to call it, ’strong leadership abilities combined with a lack of maturity to know when to just shut the ef up!'

Each of my older boys survived their teen years. Even more impressive I survived my boys teen years. But this. This is different.

All summer she was my blonde-haired beauty who joined in family conversations. OK maybe she didn’t actually always join in the family fun, but she at least acknowledged we were her family.

But then, a couple days in to her freshman year, she changed. I saw it in her eyes first. She looked at us like we were pond scum.

Then her posture changed. I reached out to hug her and she recoiled like I had leprosy.

Finally, her voice. My years of teaching the kids that it’s not what you say it’s how you say it seemed to have been forgotten. Or, maybe she did mean to say it in the most snotty, condescending way possible.

Yeah, she definitely meant it that way.

Last night her brothers asked me what her problem was. I tried to explain that she’s a teenage girl and teen girls are going through many hormonal changes that can turn them into horrible creatures for a few years.

Her 12-year-old brother summed it up best by saying she’s becoming a mean girl.

It all became clear. I remembered that scene from Mean Girls when Ms. Norbury asks the group to raise their hand if they’ve ever been personally victimized by Regina George.

I slowly raised my hand.

No, no, no. Little girl you will not Regina George me! You will not make your older brothers question the sanity of the entire female gender. You will not prove my own mother true when she said to me, “you’ll understand one day when you have a daughter.”

You can let yourself believe that you know it all, you can believe I am the most horrid mother on the face of the earth, but I have 46 years of stubbornness and leadership ability under my belt.

At least one of us will survive your teen years.

But if it starts to look a little iffy, I have no problem googling “exorcisms for teen girls.”

Don't anyone tell her I posted this picture. But it's
very typical Kid 4 - snap chatting her displeasure at
her mom for the world to see.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Writer's Guilt - The Self Imposed Kind

Tonight I read Murees Dupe's blog about writer's guilt. She linked back to a blog hop writer's group called the Insecure Writer's Support Group - what a fabulous idea!

So tonight's post is number one of my participation in the IWSG. Yes, I realize I'm a day late. But, as an insecure and sometimes lazy writer, I just saw the post tonight.

Why am I feeling insecure as a writer right now?

Because everyone is being too nice to me and telling me how much they are enjoying my book and recent articles.

Stop being so nice to me everyone! It's too much pressure!

I recently had two of my articles picked up by Yahoo, one even made the Yahoo home page. Pretty cool right? But what if it never happens again? What if the best writing I'll ever do has already been done? What if I'm a one-hit wonder?

I've been in a writing lull for a couple weeks now. I'm the type of writer that writes when I'm inspired. But the past couple weeks I've just been hanging out with the kids before they go back to school. Netflix marathons and eating junk food haven't left me very inspired.

So we can add "not a very disciplined writer" to the list of reasons I'm feeling insecure tonight.

I'm sure there are other reasons I'm feeling insecure tonight. But I'm on season three of The Newsroom on Netflix and there's some Haagen-Dazs in the freezer waiting for me.

Monday, August 3, 2015

My BlogTalkRadio Interview

This morning I had the pleasure of speaking with Your True Colours Magazine on BlogTalkRadio.

Your True Colours Magazine is spelled with a "u" because it's all about YOU. It's a pretty neat magazine and the editor, Carolyn Bendall is delightful.

You can click on the link below and listen to the interview.

Your True Colours Image Radio