Posts Tagged ‘Back to School’




Seasons: Love the One You’re With

Filed under: Family, Pondering, Vacation Madness, Writing


Photo on 4-9-13 at 2.03 PM

(Me doing the happy dance)

Please don’t judge my enthusiasm–I really do sympathize with the back-to-school teachers. (((hugs)))

Truly, it’s not because I didn’t love having them home–we had a fabulous summer.


I got some projects done around the house. Cleaned out and organized all my clothes and the closets and drawers that hold them. *fist pump*

Then it was vacation time…





IMG_2313 (1)


We went to Vancouver on our way to Alaska.


Then on to the Disney Wonder.



Tracey Arm, Alaska



Skagway, Alaska



Juneau, Alaska




And Ketchikan, Alaska too!

We also did some local stuff with visiting family…



The 9/11 Museum.

IMG_2911 IMG_2912

Summer in NYC

And then it was off to LA SCBWI!!!!



Caught a baby dragon <3


And happily hanging with my tribe. <3

And then a road trip to Lake Placid with my Mom…


Miracle on Ice



AuSable Chasm



And Whiteface Mountain.

But even when I was home, there was lots going on. Camps for the kids and just hanging out and enjoying the gorgeous Hudson Valley.




And while I absolutely did lots of writing over the summer, it was always writing that was done in and around other things. It was moments stolen here and there.


Which sometimes made it feel as if I was trying to type with a wee beastie in my way.


So, as great as the summer was, I’m looking forward to some longer, quieter, uninterrupted stretches of writing time.

And while my boys are moaning and complaining about their impending doom…

upset boy against a wall

I think they’re secretly excited to see their friends again and perhaps to get away from their annoying mother.

(I know–hard to believe *snort*)

And of course, the trade off for that newly acquired work time will be lunches and homework and a never-ending schedule of after school and weekend sports and activities. But that’s okay. Although I have a reputation for hating change, I’m a seasonal girl–always more than ready for the next change of weather after the previous three months. And maybe, since I can’t slow down time (even if I wanted to) it’s a good thing that there’s some change I actually enjoy.

Love the one you’re with.


How do you do with the change of seasons? Back to school? Did you get more writing done over the summer of less? And what’s your favorite season? Mine’s fall–I consider it my own personal new year. <3

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The Novelty Has Worn Off

Filed under: Check-it-out, Pondering, Running, Writing

Ohhhhh! Bright and shiny and new! Isn’t that how things always start off?

Think about back to school–everyone starts off perky and excited and about two weeks in the fluffy, fun, get-to-know you stuff is over and the focus is work. I’m not trying to say fun things won’t happen over the course of the school year–but lets be truthful–people are already posting on FB about having kids frustrated and in tears. Two weeks in and parents already need wine to get through their child’s homework challenges or to recover from the after school activity schedule. I know that even though mine are loving so much of what’s going on, they would trade it all in for homework free lazy summer days in a heart beat. And the novelty of making school lunches is sooooo over? Oh, wait–that was NEVER fun!thumbnail-1.aspx

And then there’s running. I am determined to get back into shape and my best way of doing that is planning on running right after I get the kids off to school. Can’t go home until I’m put in some miles. (I don’t run everyday so this is a reasonable plan) And it’s been working. I’ve logged 33 miles so far this month when I only logged 7 in August! But let’s be honest, even though the more I run, the easier it gets physically, the more I run, the harder it gets because the first blush of young running love has turned into a kind of hum, drum begrudging relationship. *sigh* BUT once I start, I don’t feel that way. In fact, I feel great, but the starting–almost as bad as making lunches.

And let me tell you, the novelty of the 11yo’s fish tank has worn off completely. Now that I have two hamsters that are pretty low maintenance by comparison, I kind of wish that all the fish would peacefully die of old age in their sleep–tonight. Does that make me mean? Since all the fish are still alive, I prefer honest with the potential to write an aquatic thriller some day.

And speaking of writing. The novelty of a shiny new story ALWAYS wears off at some point in the process. But since I’m a more experienced writer than I used to be, I’ve also come to realize that the novelty of crying writer’s block has also worn off. I know too much to be able to shut myself down completely. So, here’s what I do when the novelty of a manuscript has worn off. These options may not be as good as writing 2,000 fresh and exciting words a day, but I think they are the bridges we use to carry us to the next high.

*Write at least a small amount of bad words even if you don’t want to. You might find something salvageable. You might jiggle loose a flood of good words. You never know. But at the very least, you’ll feel like you didn’t step away from the project for too long.

*Make a playlist, a Pinterest board, a map of your world, a character outline or take road trip to research something related to your manuscript. This is creative fuel for the road ahead and it helps to clarify your thoughts. It shines a light on your vision in a different way.

*Participate in mindless exercise and let your thoughts just float and see what happens. I’m a runner and this is a great brainstorming time for me. I never underestimate what comes out when I let my subconscious take the lead.

*Work on a different project. Be careful with this one. You can’t let the secondary project be a thing that allows you to never finish the original piece. But sometimes I find that I need to feel productive with something–any thing. And I do know that I will return to the MS at hand and get it finished. So I’ve been able to trust this method.

*Give yourself a break. Really. A day off here and there isn’t the end of the world. Just be working most of the time. Every once in awhile I notice that the dishes and laundry and all the other house and boy stuff has built up and it feels like Mt Everest is sitting on my chest. I’ve learned that taking a day off to right my world is better for my writing than trying to work while sitting in the shadow of a mountain of guilt.

*Be hard and flexible at the same time. Be tough–ask yourself to be professional and hard working and you’ll be happy you did. But don’t beat yourself up when something doesn’t go according to plan. It never does for ANYBODY. It’s never about always being right–doing things perfectly. It’s all about how you pick yourself up and drive forward, even when the novelty has worn off.


Got any other tips for what to do when the novelty wears off? Time to share–I can always use a few more.


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Why Summer Needs to be OVER!

Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m as sad as the next person about the end of the summer. *scratches head* Then again maybe I’m not. Sure I’m not looking forward to regularly scheduled morning wake ups, making lunches, three kids whining about homework, after school sports and the logical reduction of my ice cream intake. But gosh darn it–the summer makes me feel so unorganized. And that’s saying a lot–I’m pretty scattered on a regular basis. With a 6th grade orientation today and a bunch of other things, it took me until 2:53 in the afternoon to realize–hmmmm it’s Thursday–I kinda have a blog due. (And I only remembered that because I was thinking about posting a Throwback Thursday photo on FB LOL!)

So, here’s your #TBT pic…

photo 1This was me back in the late 90’s on top of a tower in Coppenhagen. :o)

And here is my list of reason why–as lovely as it is–SUMMER NEEDS TO BE OVER!

*I need regularly scheduled wake ups and bed times. My body likes it and this year I don’t have to get up super early so I’m doing a happy dance!

*Making lunches–this is a stretch because I have to make three this year instead of two, but I can start catching up on all those grown-up lunches with friends I haven’t seen all summer.

*Kids whining about homework means their brains are engaged. By the end of the summer, it has become obvious that my kids will benefit from the mental stimulation. And so will I!

*Yes, after school sports are a bear, but I’ll get my work done while they are at school and that makes me less resentful about my whole evening feeling like we are running non-stop. And all three boys are on the same schedule and out of school early enough for homework and dinner to theoretically get done ahead of time. I’ll keep you posted on how this works out for real.

*Let’s not kid ourselves–there is NEVER a dip in ice cream consumption. Silly reader.

*Jeans!!!!! I love wearing jeans and a sweater. It’s my outfit of choice with a pair of comfy sneakers or clogs. Happy days are almost here.

*Cool night and breezes. Windows open but snuggled under a down comforter. *sigh*

*Autumn leaves. Can’t wait to see the changes at my new house. Pics to come.

*Publishing is back from vacation and bookishness is in the air. And there are stretches of writing time without feeling guilty about having kids home.

*Running!!!! It’s my favorite time of year to run outside. FAVORITE!

*Stew, soup, and chili–YUMMY!!!! And hot chocolate with whipped cream.

*Trading in my air conditioning for my wood stove. Not a big AC girl unless the humidity forces my hand. But I do love to be warm and toasty.

*The kick off to the year’s best stretch of holidays LOL!

*RAIN–I know it sounds weird, but I love a good rainy day when it’s not a chess pool of hot humidity. *see woodstove and throw in slippers and a cozy blanket.

*The “REAL” new year. I always consider the first day of school my new year. September 3rd is a fresh start for me. <3

*And on time blog posts. Why are you laughing? Okay, if not in the fall–definitely in the winter. Ha!


What’s you’re favorite things about kicking summer to the curb?

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I LOVE September–I Always Have

Filed under: Check-it-out, Pondering, Writing

Life is crazy at this time of year. Kids head back to school. Mornings come earlier. There’s homework and after school activities.

But there is also daytime alone time.

And as much as I’ll miss have my pack of little men (actually they aren’t so little anymore) to hang out with every day. I am looking forward to having some alone time to write and run and day dream.

But I’m not the only one ready for a little space, a little structure and a bit of room to grow. The boys ┬ámiss their friends. They’ve also hit that end-of-summer stretch of boredom. It is time. Everyone knows it. The nights are cool. Brown is my favorite color again. I love the feel of a worn pair of jeans. I’m craving soup and stew. Soccer has started. I’m no longer hiding the Halloween Costume catalogues in the bottom of the trash to save my sanity.



What is your favorite thing about heading into the Fall? What do you miss the most about summer? I’m not thrilled about getting up early or packing lunches again LOL! Do you write better in the summer or during the school year? All I know is I LOVE SEPTEMBER. I always have. <3


And because it’s my blog and I can do what I want…

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It’s Labor Day or As I Like to Call It–New Year’s Eve

Filed under: Check-it-out, Pondering, Writing

I won’t lie. In my twisted little brain I think of Labor Day as New Year’s Eve. In my little world, back-to-school means the start of the new year. I’ve felt this way since I was a kid and I’ve never managed to shake it. That may have something to do with having moved from being a student, to a teacher and then a mother. But whatever the reason, I’m ready to start fresh and get to work. I’m ready for jeans and a sweater, soup, crunchy leaves and fuzzy blankets. I’m ready to have a little structure in my schedule. Of course, I’m not ready to get up early and pack lunches, but life is never perfect. There is an upside and a down to every season of life. The reality is that I’m always laboring but the how changes like the weather–and I kind of like it like that.

But since it really is Labor Day, I don’t want to let that moment pass me by either. I never like to forget how lucky I am. No matter how hard my job feels some days, it’s always good to remember those who have paved the way. Those have truly labored to give me what I have today. Thank you…

History of Labor Day

I know that most of you are out there having picnics and soaking up the last of the summer, but if you happened to find your way to my little old blog today, feel free to share the worst job you’ve ever held. I’ve got a few fun ones I can share with you.

Ready…set…back to school!!!!! Bwwaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

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