Posts Tagged ‘Dust Bunnies’




Look at What the Dust Bunnies are Reading on Throwback Thursday!

Filed under: Drafting, In the Wild, Writing, Writing Style, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Everyone thinks that Dust Bunnies don’t like to read. In fact, because they blow all over the floor–a little to the left, then a little to the right–everyone assumes they only excel at dancing. And while they do have a particular fondness for the Cha-Cha and a good country line dance. I’m here to tell you they are also closet reader.



How do I know this? I have proof. They are the ones who’ve had all my old diaries and journals. I’d been looking for those so ling I thought for sure they’d gotten tossed.


Those sly little bunnies. Anyway, I’ve always told my readers that TOUCHING THE SURFACE was the first novel I’ve ever written. And I didn’t lie. Phew! But I’d forgotten that I’d started one in 9th grade. And now that the bunnies are done with it, I’m finding myself rather entertained. Part of me is cracking up and another piece is thinking–parts of this (small parts) are way better than I would’ve expected from my teenage self.

Since it is Throwback Thursday and I always take the advice of Dust Bunnies when it comes to reading recommendations, I thought I’d pull this untitled work back out again. Here’s my first “draft” of eleven, single spaced, handwritten (in cursive) pages.

photo 2


It goes a little something like this…

(I have left in all typos for your entertainment)

Chapter 1

Here I Come

     “Mom!” I wailed as we approached the school. “They left with out me!” 

     “Heidi, sweetheart, calm down” my mother replied. “There is practically a hurricane going on! “Do you expect everyone to be waiting outside with their luggage in a down pour?”

     I gave it a good second thought and realized she must be right. As we drove up to the front doors of Franklin Jr. High I could see all my friends including my best friend, Amber Bates, sitting standing in the hallway and  It was getting quite dark out but I could make out everyone quite clearly with every fresh bolt of lightening. I grabbed my suitcase and kissed my mother goodbye in one easymotion. As I dased to the doors which Amber was holding open for me. The one thing that stuck in my mind was “what a way to start our big 9th grade class trip

*  *  *

The Highlights:

Best 80’s Quote–“I had brown permed hair hair wich I blew out on top and left curly in the back.”

Best Dialogue– “That was quite and entrance Heidi”

“Don’t you know Tony. Its classy to come someplace fashionably late.”

“Sure it is but fashionably doesn’t mean like a seal in the hundred yard dash.”

“Well Tony, at least I don’t look (like) a seal all the time.”

Best Joke– “He was most famously known for his fig newton jokes. My favorite one was ‘What do you call a fig newton that just got out of the hospital? A: All figsed up!!'”

Best Cliffhanger– “Just as everyone was making a mad dash across the room everything went black and the only sound you could hear was clumsy Nancy Emory falling over someone’s suitcase in the dark.”


Are you still with me??? Because after a cliff hanger like that, I decided to skip that whole “write a complete first draft” step and go directly to my favorite part of writing–REVISION! I started all over again. This time with nineteen, single spaced, handwritten pages…

Above me the thunder crashed and with every fresh bolt of lightening my the feeling of anticipation grew inside me. I couldn’t really decide if I liked that feeling or not. As I continued to pack my clothes into the suitcase I finally decided I could sacrifice five minutes of my time to analyze it all again. I mean alot was at stake this weekend but the biggest risk I was going to take was with my feelings. If this last atempt on my part failed I was almost sure I would end up with a full fledge broken heart.

The Highlights:

Best Pep Talk–“If it was your different speaclness (specialness?) that attracted him to you in the first place then the only way you can ever get him back is by being different and special. If he really loved you inside as much as he had said he did then he won’t forget you very easy.”

Best Revised Sentence–DRAFT #1 ” I gave it a good second thought and realized she must be right.”

DRAFT #2 “I gave it a good second thought and started to scold my imagination for being over active.”

Best  Random Sentence–“Instead I followed him back to our group and silently watched listened to Craig Morris do tell us about how on his vacation he accidentally walked int a nudist camp while taking a hike.”


And since I can’t top that AND my kids need my attention AND the dust bunnies want their reading material back–I’ll stop torturing you now. LOL! Go look up some of the things your dust bunnies have been reading and don’t forget to share!

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Bright and Shiny Lightbulb Moments

Filed under: Pondering

From time to time I have these bright and shiny light bulb moments. Not just one single pop of illumination, but more like Times Square at night. Maybe even bigger than that…


Not all of these ah-ha moments are brilliant, or even worthy of stopping the presses. But together they bring a new light to my life. What it reminds me is that I am leaving a place of stress, upheaval, insecurity, sadness, fear and unfocus. And now I am moving towards a place where my compass is spinning towards it’s true north.

It’s not perfect. I still have “stuff” going on that I’d like to put behind me. Little black holes that suck up my illumination. I’m tired lately and I need to get more aggressive with getting to bed earlier. I have a couple tweaky body parts that are keeping me from running and dancing the way I like. And even though the weather is getting warmer, putting me in the salad, fruit and veggie, smoothy zone again. I’m also just as likely to be put in the ice cream zone as well. *le sigh* And yes, even though I want to be healthier–I’m counting down the days until the Easter Bunny brings me my Alps Chocolate. So–yeah–far from perfect.


The the cascade of bright and shiny lightbulb moments is irresistible none the less. And what I love about a lightbulb moment is that it doesn’t feel forced–like I’m saying something in the secret hopes of trying to convince myself. Nope–this is the good stuff. It’s solid and true and I thought I’d share a bit of it with you. Be warned…they are kind of random. And of course I like it that way.

*EVERYTHING I read makes me a better writer. When I first started writing I only read for pleasure. I never read as a writer–for instruction. Then when I started reading as a writer, to improve my own craft, I found myself a little shell shocked about how much there was for me to learn. I forgot to get lost in the story. But now I feel as if I’ve found my balance. I’m like a person who’s been wearing bifocals long enough to jump effortlessly between perspectives. I’m liking this tremendously.

*There are more adult bullies out there then child bullies. Often they are instructing children how not to be bullies. I’m not sure we can change the adults–but I always have hope for the children.

*REMOVE YOURSELF FROM TOXIC ENVIRONMENTS!!!!! You can call me naive, optimistic, a door mat, pretty damn stupid, evolved, hopeful or even a glutton for punishment. In truth I’m probably a mix of all of them. But despite who I am, I’m not sure what makes me stay so long in relationships that allow people to treat me poorly. But I’ve discovered that whatever my motivations are/were for toughing out a bad situation–I’m happier when I’m no longer in a toxic environment. So yay for making a change, even if it took me way too long to make it in the first place.

*Raising resilient, happy, well rounded kids means sometimes they have to be miserable. If you protect your children from everything–their world will implode the day you’re finally not there to insulate them. Instead of fixing everything–it’s more important to hold up a mirror so they can witness their own strength. Reach out a hand to help them up when they fall. Hug them when things are hard so they know they are always loved. Let them fall down from time to time so they can practice getting back up on their own.

*I just want to write what needs to come out of me. I feel like I should elaborate, but I don’t need to. It’s that simple.

*The only reason I keep unpacking those leftover boxes is because I still have things I need and can’t find. If it weren’t for that…

*Half the battle in anything is showing up. This means sitting down and writing. It also means doing your laundry. It even means relaxing or climbing into bed in a timely manner.

*Homeopathy is the single best thing I’ve done for the physical and emotional health of myself and my family.

*Jealousy is like a fleet of dust bunnies. That dark feeling can hide in small unexpected places. It can be around every corner and blow out of hiding with the slightest breeze. And no matter how well you “clean house,” it can’t be eliminated. The evil dust bunnies must be stared down and wrestled into submission.


See how scary they are…

*My lap top is not going to live forever. *sobs*

*I am a work in progress. Every bright and shiny lightbulb moment I have today will be seen through a different lens at another point in my life. And that’s okay–illuminated moments of thought are the layers we use to get to more complicated thoughts and emotions.

I’ve got more, but it’s your turn. Are you having any bright and shiny lightbulb moments lately that you’d like to share? I find interesting thoughts breed more and more interesting thoughts…

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Good Things to Know Before the Dust Settles

Filed under: Pondering, Writing

As I mentioned earlier, my husband and I are redoing the office. I promise there will be pictures when everything is in place. But as I’ve been sneezing and sorting, I realized that there are a lot of positive changes I’d like to make about how I handle all things writing related. I figured the earlier you learn from my mistakes and experiences the better off you are. So here are some good things to know before the dust settles. *achoo*

*If you blog, you’ve heard me talk about the need to blog regularly. (preferably 2-3 times a week) I completely balked at this when my agent suggested it and yup, I was wrong and she was right. It is harder to have a party when no one knows when to show up. It’s also embarrassing if people stop by and you’re in your pajamas–the lumpy, cozy ones that make you look like a giant Build-a-Bear.

My organizational suggestion is to get a calendar and keep a running log of your blog posts. It’s a good habit to get into–maybe it’s not necessary when you’re only blogging M-W-F every week, but as things kick up in your career, it’s very helpful. I now have to keep track of my blog, guest posts for The Class of 2k12, my monthly blog for YAOTL, coordinating posts for teamTEENauthor and lots of guests posts request from bloggers. Every little bit of built in organization helps. Visual helps.

*I am now keeping a blank notebook at the side of my desk in order to jot down a tangible to-do-list that does not get moved around as I shuffle things on my computer screen. This doesn’t have to be pad and pen–it can be whatever works for you. Something on your phone perhaps, but I just miss pens and notebooks some times, so I’m going old school. The pad is also good for throwing down potential blog ideas. I know this works because I took the topic for this post, right off of that new list! Yup, I’m feeling good.

*Get yourself personalized notecards and use them.

They don’t have to be expensive, I get mine at Vistaprint, or it is easy to make your own. I’d love to do that, but I’m the girl who has a Pinterest page titled…Crafts I’ll Never Do Even Though I Want To. *makes note in new note book to add “making note cards” to list of crafts I’ll never do–even though I want to* Moving on. Back to the purpose of the notecards.  They are perfect for writing a thank you note to the editor who gave you a critique and they’re great for writing a quick note when you’re sending out a package of swag. Just let your imagination run wild.  And let’s face it–it feels good to get a little old fashioned mail that isn’t a catalogue. I LOVE when my editor and agent send me little love notes in the mail. Come on–where do you think I got the idea from?

*Surround yourself with things that inspire you. (Pictures coming soon.) I’ve always surrounded myself with things that inspire and motivate, but now I’m trying to make sure I can see them. I’m trying to cut back on the clutter. Ironically, several of my inspirational things are personalized notes from people. *grin*

*Organize your emails and files. *groan* I’ll be honest–I’m afraid to tackle this one. I wish that when I started out, I had a clear, concise system for organizing my cyber office. Instead I’m a mutant–just throwing together files and emails willy nilly as needed. This area of my work space needs more attention than I can give it right now, especially since I’m concentrating on the physical purging, but I highly suggest that you start off on the best foot you can. And be sure to think like an author and plan for those future needs. If anyone has any links to any great blog posts about this specific subject, send them my way in the comments. I’d love to know some tricks for this kind of organization for writers.

*Give yourself room to grow. I’m like a fungus. Show me an open area and I’ll crawl all over it and only a good scrubbing with bleach will get me to leave. I AM TRYING to leave room so that I can grow into my space. I’m trying to balance what I need and what I want. This is HARD because of that thing called intermittent reinforcement combined with Murphy’s Law–if I throw something away, that I haven’t used in ten years, I will need it tomorrow. *head thunk* It’s a true story–I swear it happens to me all the time. But, I’m going to do it any way. I think I can–I think I can.

*Keep a box of tissues nearby–cleaning makes you sneeze. A lot.

Okay…must go. *achoo* and do some more purging and organizing. *achoo* While I’m working, feel free to leave me some of your best office organizational tips and feel free to point out all your weaknesses so I don’t feel like I’m all alone with the dust bunnies.


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