I’ve recently started teaching a creative writing class to a group of homeschooled children ages 10-12. Akin to a “writer’s room” in the television industry, we sit around a long table and brainstorm ideas for a group story. Initially, I wondered if this idea would take flight.
Sure, in the beginning, many of the children were shy to share their ideas, but soon the ideas were flying out of them. Some went off on tangents, but that was interesting in itself. They naturally had a sense of what worked and what didn’t. Commonly, I heard, “What if we did this…” or “How about if…”
The best part of group writing is that it also inspires reading as a group. One time, one of the children suggested an idea similar to a book she was reading. The others weren’t familiar with the book, so we decided to make that our reading club book for the month.
Want to get your kids reading and writing? Try one of these writing prompts for children to get them started:
Being creative with children helps spark my own creativity. You might want to check out the #FREE deals on my books this month.
Sleeping with the Sandman – Free til April 18
Keeping Up – Free from April 19-23
Released – Free on April 25 and 26
Happy reading…and writing!
Malibu Angel, a contemporary/paranormal romance, is now exclusive to Amazon. This means that Kindle Unlimited customers can read it for free. And, not wanting to leave anyone else out of a special deal, I’ve discounted the price to 0.99 for 30 days –until March 19th!
Here’s what readers have said about “Malibu Angel”…
“What can I say. This book had me at the very beginning.”
“Brilliantly spun together is the danger, suspense, and romance.”
“I am absolutely in love with this book and can’t wait for any additional books in this series.”
“Malibu Angel is absolutely delightful.”
“This is a definite must read!”
I plan to expand this series so why not try out the first book, “Malibu Angel” today? Simply click this link to get started.
A good newsletter is worth signing up for. I love Jane Friedman’s newsletter. She provides countless articles about the publishing industry. That woman is an encyclopedia of knowledge and she’s willing to share it!
I also love Melissa Foster’s newsletter. Not only is a great romance writer, but she sends me the coolest information that’s not in her books such as family trees so I can keep all of her great characters straight in my mind.
I also love Drew Chial’s newsletter. He’s a wizard when it comes to blogging and social media. His articles offer that rare combination of wit and wisdom all wrapped up in a neat package for fellow authors.
So where am I going with this plea to give newsletters a chance? You guessed it. I’ve got one too. It’s not my way of begging you to buy my books, although I will probably tell you about new releases that are FREE to subscribers only. But more often, it’s my chance to share some of the lesser known pitfalls of working as a writer, such as when you’re on such a roll that you forget to pick up your youngest child from school. Thankfully, she forgave me and the school didn’t call Social Services.
I’ve got some doozies of personal stories to share as well as a few pretty delectable recipes that busy people will love when the kids ask what’s for dinner and you hadn’t considered making anything. Oh wait…that only happens to me. At any rate, sign up here. I’ll never spam you. You can unsubscribe whenever you like. And, you get a FREE EBOOK copy of “Ready for the Yeti” when you sign up.
When you get home do you immediately start the conversation with your partner by rehashing what happened at work? And if so, do you ever wish that your relationships could be more like the ones in the romance novels you read? Maybe it’s time to create a work free zone?
It’s not that you can’t talk about your work, you just need to know when. Let’s face it, work is not sexy. Even if you’re a Victoria’s Secret model, you still have to show up on time, deal with cranky co-workers (probably more than most people!) and be accountable. Talking about work when you first get home is probably the most definitive way to ensure that you don’t have a romantic evening.
Okay then. Here are some tips for how to balance romance with rehashing the day’s events:
Don’t underestimate the power of non-verbal communication. If you lean on your partner, literally, he’ll sense that you might not have had a particularly stellar day. Your reward will be a warm hug in which you’ll feel loved, rather than stressed after telling about the co-worker who tried to back stab you.
Another decidedly unsexy proposition, but the alternative is far worse. Take time to meal plan by buying ingredients on the weekend and using clever make-ahead recipes. If you want to go so far as to have dessert, try my special brownie recipe, which has an essence of coffee and almonds! The result will be that you come home to the inviting smell of dinner already cooked to perfection in your crock pot rather than having to scramble to put something together when you’re both tired.
If you’ve followed both of the tips above then you and your partner should be feeling a bit more relaxed by the time you even sit down for dinner. You’ve held each other. You smell the food and it’s sure to be delicious. Pour yourselves a glass of wine. Set the table with nice dishes and candles (maybe get it ready before you leave in the morning). Now it’s time to sit down, relax, and enjoy each other’s company. There’s a fine line between sharing and over-sharing. Take advantage of your pre-planned candlelit dinner.
Put work on the back burner (ahem, after romance ensues). By the time you get around to talking about your work day, chances are you will have had time to put things into perspective and just maybe, you won’t even feel the need to vent.
Looking for more romance and recipe advice? Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll get this as well as quarterly giveaways.
Work, marriage, kids…responsibilities. As women, we tend to take on a lot for others, but when it comes to ourselves, we forget to just breathe. Those who read my blog know that I love yoga and through it, I learned meditation. If you’ve never tried meditation, your initial reaction might be that you just don’t have the time. But that’s kind of the point.
Humor me. Try meditation for one week. Your sessions can be as short as five minutes…even one minute. Just do it every day and you’ll see why experts claim that you’ll be calmer, handle stress better, and even sleep better. For myself, I feel inspired afterward and ready to sit down and create my stories.
Studies show that meditation helps to increase density in the area of the brain responsible for regulating emotions and processing information. It also shrinks the amygdala, the part of the brain that responds to stress. So, what are we waiting for?
If you find that you want guided assistance with meditation, there are a number of apps that you can download such as Buddhify.