Going On A Bear Hunt


My younger daughter is attending Girl Scout camp. She’s participating in lots of traditional camp activities like first aid and rock climbing and archery. They’ve made God’s Eyes (those yarn wrapped popsicle sticks that provided days of fun when I was a kid too), and duct tape pouches and they’ve tie-dyed shirts. They’ve sung many, many silly songs and chant-alouds (those not-quite-songs that children echo after a camp counselor) and memorized the hand motions that accompany them; songs that get stuck in their heads so they sing them not only at camp, but at home too, over and over again. Continue reading → Going On A Bear Hunt

Hashtags or Hashbrowns for Christmas


Twas the night before Christmas
The topic was stress
Two bloggers were writing
Their posts still a mess…


To: Karin@Let’sGrowLeaders
From: Regina@CreativelyConscious
Re: Christmas


Hey Karin. Merry Christmas! Can I stop by and bring you some breakfast?


To: Regina@CreativelyConscious
From: Karin@Let’sGrowLeaders
Re: Christmas


Thanks, but I’m on a deadline.  #toobusy #nostresseating

Continue reading → Hashtags or Hashbrowns for Christmas

10 Things I Took Away from NaBloPoMo

keyboardSo my month of daily posting is over. For those of you who don’t know, I was participating in The National Blog Posting Month Challenge, otherwise known as NaBloPoMo. The challenge is to write and post a blog entry every day during the month of November. I made it 25 out of 30 days. Not bad for a first attempt.  It’s been a good month generally and it was definitely a learning experience.  Some were new lessons, some were reminders of things I already knew but could use some reinforcement. Here’s what I took away from the month: Continue reading → 10 Things I Took Away from NaBloPoMo

Five Things I Know About Writing

NaBloPoMo_November_smallIn no particular order:

1. Stop over-thinking it.  Seriously. You want to write? Then just start. Don’t worry if you don’t know the ending to your novel. Don’t panic if you don’t know how to correctly format conversations. All of those things can be fixed later, provided you have something later to fix. And the only way to have that is to put those words on paper. Write. Then write some more.

2. Which brings me to maybe the most important thing I know. Writing and editing are not the same thing.  Let me say that again.  Writing and editing are not the same thing. Get your words down on paper. Don’t worry about subject/verb agreement or sentence fragments or anything until long after you get everything down on paper. If you want to enjoy writing, forget about editing it at the same time. There is plenty of time after you are done to rework. When I work with my youngest writers, the first thing I tell them is spelling counts, but only a little. Grammar counts, but only a little too. If you can spell well enough and construct a sentence that conveys what you want then a few misspellings or grammar mistakes aren’t that big a deal. That’s what spell check is for. And editors.

3. Keep moving forward. Say you’ve been writing about a middle-aged, male, insurance salesman. Then you get to page 100 and you suddenly realize that your main character is actually a 25-year-old female roller derby skater. You are going to want to go back to the beginning and start over. You’ll think, “I’ll just fix it quick and then it won’t drive me crazy. Plus I might forget later.”  Trust me, you won’t forget. And, again writing and editing are not the same thing. Keep moving forward.

4. You don’t have to create huge blocks of time in your schedule to write. This may be the biggest roadblock for many of the people I’ve worked with. Somehow their image of a “real writer” is a person who sits at their computer for hours at a time, hammering out pages and pages of material at one sitting. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are writers out there who have the luxury of time to create that sort of writing habit.  However, there are lots of writers who sneak in 15-30 minutes a day, sometimes while making dinner or for a few minutes after they put their kids to bed each evening. The key isn’t the amount of time you spend. The key is consistency. Write every day and you will complete the stories rattling around in your head.

5. Write what you like. I once took a children’s book writing class. The first thing the woman said was “Don’t write books about animals who act like people. Publishers don’t buy those books anymore.” That was the same time year Mo Willems exploded on the scene. He’s the author who writes such immensely popular books as  the Elephant and Piggy and the “Don’t Let the Pigeon…” series. Don’t chase after genres because something seems to be popular or you think it’s something you *should* write. If you love what you are writing, it will shine through.



This is day 24 in the 30 Day National Blog Posting Month Challenge.

Inspiring Creativity

NaBloPoMo_November_small“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

― Maya Angelou

I love everything about this quote. I often find it to be true. When I am creative, when I am doing things like writing every day or singing or playing music, more creativity comes easy. Ideas cascade into my view sometimes faster than I can write them down. Everything around me shines with possibility.

And when I’m not creative- when I’ve gotten so busy or too stressed or distracted, my ideas tend to dry up. I stare at a blank page for days, or worse yet, I spend a couple of hours creating something only to realize it’s not working and have to delete the whole thing. It’s a common experience, lots and lots of creatives go through dry spells. But it can feel isolating and like everyone around me is still brimming with interesting ideas while I’m sitting in the desert waiting for an oasis to pop up and rescue me.

One of the ways I love to get my creativity up and running again is to watch other people’s creativity. People who are inspired and interesting, unusual in what they are offering get my creativity pumping.  So, I thought I’d share a couple with you- I hope you find them as inspiring as I do:

Brushy One String – For everyone who has ever felt that not having the perfect instrument or tools holds them back.

Shane Koyczan – His words, his presentation, the music -all of it, inspired.

Bobby McFerrin – OMG- I mean really, Bobby McFerrin.

Boyan Slat – This teen may have found the solution to one of  our greatest environmental challenges.

Do you have people who inspire your creativity? Add them in the comments.

This is blog post #11 in the National Blog Posting Month challenge.