Monday, July 30, 2012

How Do I Look?

This year—especially since I turned 30 back in April—I’ve been redefining my personal style. Or rather trying to find it again. I feel I’m in a transitional period.

I’m 30. That’s a significant grown-up age, I feel. Is it still appropriate for me to shop at Forever 21? When does it become inappropriate? What does a 30 year old woman look like these days?

I’m a mom. I’ve got to dress comfortably and in clothing that can handle daily stains. But how do I balance that with still wearing things I love and not looking like a bum?

I’m an author. I’m sure there are stereotypes of how writers look. Large thick glasses, frizzy unkempt hair, eclectic clothes…..or maybe that’s just what I’ve noticed out there. Here’s the other stereotype: most authors are middle-aged. So what’s my author look?

I’m not sure, but in the meantime it’s fun to experiment. I feel if nothing else, what I’ve gained from turning 30 is a little more confidence to experiment and redefine my style.

My husband laid out a good rule for me to follow: “Wear what you like, shop where you like, as long as you don’t come home wearing the latest trends my high-school freshman are wearing.”

Good rule.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pals with JJ Abrams

I have a lot of writing dreams. I dream of a publisher picking up Sherlock Academy. I dream of getting paid to write. I dream of meeting some of my favorite authors.

My most outlandish dream is the following: I always thought it would be amazing to be one of JJ Abram’s writers for one of his great TV shows—my all-time favorite was ALIAS. I think it would be fantastic to be locked in a room with other brilliant writers—including JJ Abrams—where all we did all day was brainstorm and write for a show with great characters and limitless plot lines. Ultimate creativity!

Or maybe write for a sitcom. I feel I would enjoy that too because my fave thing to write is dialogue and I have a knack for bringing a joke around full-circle. That’s the gist of a sitcom, right?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blah Blah Blah

This week I took Westly to his monthly well-baby check-up. We’ve opted for an alternative vaccination schedule, so we go monthly for one shot instead of every 4-6 months for 5 shots (or whatever the number is). I know this is a controversial parenting topic, but I’m not here to argue either side right now.

Instead I’m going to share another concern. West is not as verbal as he should be yet. Granted he’s a boy and he’s still young, and until he’s 18 months, there’s no real worry. But I’m his mom. And I can’t help worrying. He communicates really well with sign-language and he understands EVERYTHING. Just no real words yet.

His doctor asked if I read to him, and it almost made me laugh. I’m an author. Of course I read to him. Our house is full of books. And I talk to him constantly.

But maybe I need to give him a chance to talk back and more time to develop.

Sigh….there are times when parenting is so hard, even harder than writing a story climax.

Monday, July 23, 2012

I Had a Dream...

Have any of you heard of the blog Cupcakes and Cashmere? It’s a super popular and successful blog that’s been recommended in tons of magazines like InStyle, Lucky, etc. The blog focuses on fashion, design, food, and living out your passions. The author of the blog—who is a friend of my sister-in-law, believe it or now—has published a book under the same title. The book is divided into the four seasons and gives fashion, design, and cooking ideas and tips for each.

It’s very inspiring and indulges my girly-ness!

And I can’t help thinking this girl, the author, is living her dream life with her dream job. I get a little envious…

…but then I remember, so am I.

I’m married to my best friend and the man of my dreams, I’m living out my dream of being a mom to my sweet little boy, I get to stay home and raise West, and I am officially an author.

I’m living’ the dream!

Friday, July 20, 2012


Writing Book 4 in my Sherlock Academy series has taken longer than any other book. I'm trying to figure out why. I know I haven't been as consistant as I should be, but you'd think since West is older, I would have more time and energy. After all, I managed to finished Book 3 last year when West was just a few months old and I was averaging only 5 hours of sleep a night!
But I have to remember that I had written a bulk of Book 3 before West was born. I finished final edits, etc. afterwards.
This time, with Book 4, I started from scratch when West was here and I was in the full swing of being a mom. Maybe that's it.
Either way, I'm ready to finish it. My goal is to have a final draft by the end of August. We'll see...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

That Darn Boob-Tube

We’re house-sitting right now for my sister-in-law and her family. They’re on vacation in Hawaii and invited us to hang out at their house for as long as we want. It’s always fun to get away and do a little mini-vacation, especially when the stay is free. Best of all, they have Netflix Streaming, which is something we don’t have. FYI: we’ve got the most boring house for baby-sitters—no cable, no Netflix, and no internet (tight budget demands it…a perk of being a stay-at-home mom!)

Anyways, we’ve been wasting our hours away on Netflix streaming. As soon as West is down for his nap or down for the night, we’re back to our Cake Boss marathon.

As fun as it is, Michael and I have both agreed we’re glad we don’t have this luxury because we would have no self-control and would spend all our time watching Cake Boss, etc. And we would never write.

Stephen King said in order to write, you have to get rid of your distractions. So true. He goes so far as to suggest you get rid of your TV altogether…

…I’m fine having no cable and internet, but I still need Survivor and NBC comedy night!

Monday, July 16, 2012

What's In a Rhyme?

Here’s a little poem I wrote for my memoir I’m working on…

Waiting, waiting, waiting
I’ve been sitting here so long.
Mama says she’s coming
But the day is nearly gone!

Tired, tired, tired
Of staring at the door.
I’m sure it’s been forever
I’ve been sitting on the floor.

Knock! Knock! Knock!
Mimi’s here at last!
“Are you all set to go?”
Does she even have to ask?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sweet Moments

As a first-time mom, I have to be honest and say there are moments when I miss being solo. Mainly when it comes to writing. Before West, I would spend all day at Starbucks writing to my heart’s content. That will never be an option again…at least not until my children are grown, which will see me in my 70s and probably burned out on writing. (hope not)

But then there are some moments that are so much better because of my little boy. I’m enjoying a family Shaw vacation in the beautiful Lake Tahoe and today we went to spend a few hours at the lake….which was so much more fun with little Westly. He sat in the water and shoveled sand into his bucket and was content and having fun for at least 2 hours. And it’s simple joys like this that make life so much sweeter.

Starbucks will keep.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A New Project

I’ve started a new writing project: a memoir about growing up at my grandma Mimi’s house. I don’t have the idea entirely solidified, but I’m thinking it will be a collection of poetry and essays about key moments of my growing up that involved my dear grandma and being at her house. I have so many fond memories with her. And I may also tell a bit about her life as a young woman and mother in the 50s, etc. I’ve only been jotting down ideas and notes…until today.

See, I’m one of the featured writers for our Writer’s Group this month, which means I have to submit something to the other members for review. I’m really trying hard to be a better group member and not be like a slacker college student (see previous blog). Today while Westly napped (a particularly long nap, which was nice), I managed to crank out 4 pages of a rough draft of my memoir for the Writer’s Group.

And I’m feeling good about it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Weakness

Every writer has a weakness. For most writers, they’ll tell you middles are their snag. I’m not talking about belly blubber. I’m talking about the middle of a story. The middle of a story is where the tempo slows, the author delves deeper into detail, and things are getting into place for the ending.

I don’t really have a problem with middles. I’ve learned how to keep things going. My issue has always been…

The climax. That moment of suspense when the stakes are raised, and the reader can’t put down the book because they have no idea how the hero will get outta this one. It’s the moment of change, the moment of story peaking.

I can write an okay climax that can get by. But even that takes a lot of time and effort on my part. Right now I’ve decided to re-write my climax for Book 4…again.

I’ve decided to pull out all the stops this time. And I think it might pay off.

Well, you can be the judge of that later when you read it J

Friday, July 6, 2012

Red Ink

I’m in deep-editing mode on the fourth book in my Sherlock Academy series. I do a lot of edits on my laptop. But then there comes a point where I have to go to the next level and print out my story and do hard-copy edits. For whatever reason, I see new things and catch more mistakes when I edit on paper.

And it’s more kid-friendly. Westly is obsessed with all things electronic, and all things Mama’s. So whenever I bust out my laptop, he’s right there wanting to tap it and grab it and get in the way…no matter how many times I tell him NO.

But when I bust out a stack of typed paper with red pen marks all over it, he doesn’t glance twice. And I’m able to catch a few misspelled words and rewrite a few sentences while he stacks his blocks on the floor.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The American Dream

We all have big dreams for our kids. We all want our kids to pursue their passions, use their talents, and contribute to society. And we all say we’ll support our kids in whatever endeavors they pursue.

Except if they played a vacuum like a sax. Or a baseball bat like an oboe.

I’m writing this with America’s Got Talent on in the background. And some guy just had the courage to display his talent for the world. A talent for playing unusual objects like instruments.

And deep down I really hope Westly has bigger aspirations in life than vacuum-playing on TV.

Although right now he’s obsessed with our vacuum. But I trust this is just a phase.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Few Good Reasons

Why do I write?

Lots of reasons: it’s my creative outlet, it’s my return to childhood, it’s my escape, it’s my joy, it’s my challenge…

And when I look at my little boy, I get excited for the day when I can read him my stories and say “Mama wrote that.” I hope it will inspire him to pursue his dreams and passions someday.