Posts Tagged ‘writing’
This week, my agent Michelle Wolfson, accidentally went for a jog. LOL! Her littlest decided to scoot to school and Michelle had to run to keep up with her. This tweet followed…
I had to smile because I’m one of those nuts that *enjoys it* (Most of the time.) Like anything else, it can have it’s moments. *pant, gasp, fall over* But yeah, I do it voluntarily and usually with a smile on my face.
I’ve been running a lot since the weather’s gotten nice, but that’s not the only thing I’ve been doing. This week in particular, I’ve wanted to do nothing more than write. I’ve been hit by a tsunami of writingness. I love/hate when this happens. It’s great because I’m doing something I’m so into. Even if I’m not super productive by a word count standard (I am ME after all) I’m still making all kinds of break throughs and I AM getting new words, better words, on the page. And I don’t want to mess with the flow of the universe, because it’s smiling on me and raining creativity. But it’s bad because I don’t want to do any of the other important things in my life and honestly I’ve got tons, heaping tons on my to-do list. So how have I been handling it? Of course I’ve been writing–riding the wave. LOL!
You know my motto–BUY MORE CLEAN UNDERWEAR!!!!
But, being “in the zone” with my writing has gotten me thinking about Michelle’s examination about running. There are certain things in are lives that can be very challenging, but when we are riding their wave, they’re amazing. We are drawn to them like a thirsty desert dweller to an oasis. But the things that fulfill us are different for everyone. There are people out there that would rather do anything else than run and/or write. There are folks who would run a marathon before writing a sentence, of a tome before heading out around the block. There are also people who like to do crafts and cook for fun. Now those people are like a foreign species to me! You made cupcakes for fun? Hello! I EAT cupcakes for fun. And that helps explain why I run. Full circle. ROTFL!
So, tell me. Do you get hit with writing tsunamis? What activity do you love that other people might like to poke their eyes out before doing? Does it pay to ride the wave when it come your way? Or is it really just avoidance of less fun things?
Yesterday I FINALLY had my house relatively clean, a decent amount of laundry done, all three boys in school and the hubby back at work. There was no need to run because I had dance class in the evening and even the weather cooperated by being unseasonably cold and damp. It felt like a writing day. It also came to my attention that my fridge was empty and Panera would be a good place for lunch LOL! Without a doubt, all the stars were in alignment for me to pull out my newest work-in-progress called CHASING ADAPTATION.
Now, don’t get me wrong–I haven’t been neglecting this new manuscript. It has been in the research and mulling over phase while I did things like wash and put away snow pants and clean cat litter. I’ve been reading, making notes and participating in other forms of mental gymnastics. Lots of good things. But one of my writing resolutions this year is to move more quickly into the drafting phase after I’m finished with a project. (I say “finished” loosely, since we all know a novel is never done until it’s on the shelves.) Any-who, yesterday was the day to pull out the almost 6,000 words of CHASING ADAPTATION that I’d written during this year’s NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. And trust me, there was a lot of dust on that baby–I hadn’t read it since November.
I am soooooo happy that I wrote those 6,000 words!!! At the time I was disappointed that I couldn’t do more, but with the TOUCHING THE SURFACE book launch, Thanksgiving and a dance recital, almost 6,000 words was my best. This is a great reminder that sometimes it’s better to focus on starting than on finishing. Worry about finishing after you start LOL! It was so much easier to begin writing again, having a platform in place to jump off of. This experience has also cemented my desire to try NaNoWriMo again next year. I may not finish, but the writing I did do, turned out to be very helpful. Also, the NaNo draft (to my surprise) ended up being a lot better than I remembered it. I fully anticipated having to trash a sizable chunk of what I’d thrown down on paper, but I don’t think I’m going to do that at this point. My original instincts may have been better than I thought they were. I believe I’m going to give this puppy a little room to grow and see what my subconscious mind has planned. Have I ever told you how much I enjoy the voices in my head? They are pretty cool company.
Anyway–for the record–I want to say something out loud. You know, before I get to that part in the manuscript where I suck and would rather cut my wrists open with a plastic butter knife than ever write again.
I LOVE WRITING!!!!
I’m so deliriously happy that I’m pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. Jumping into a new book right away feels brave and daring.
It also makes me feel good to know that I’m always growing and adapting. Recognizing my method while simultaneously learning to challenge myself.
Finding a new balance.
And I adore the potential and excitement that comes with a new idea.
The start of a book leaves me tingly as I filter my brain onto paper.
I can’t babble about this forever. I must finish writing this post so I can go back to Scrivener and write more words.
How long does it take you to start writing again after you finish a project? Can you juggle multiple projects? Are you able to “work” on a book in your head while you’re busy doing other things? What’s your view on starting and finishing? Does starting a book make you giddy?
I’ll be honest, I’m not really a researcher in the traditional sense of the word. I hear about writers attacking mountains of data for non-fiction and historical fiction–and quite frankly–I start to hyperventilate. That stuff freaks me out!
I’m sucky at tasks with a high attention to detail and prefer to flit around like a butterfly, but I’ve also come to realize that I do have a Kim version of research. Like most people, I start with an idea. Usually a question–an itch that must be scratched. I spend a lot of time, while I’m revising my current WIP, tossing the new nugget of an idea around in my mind. I examine it from every angle. Usually I find, that while I have a starting point, I don’t have enough stuff to write a complete story. In essence, I’m lacking the threads to weave a full blanket. I’ve only got enough to do a half of a sweater. This idea tossing sounds like pretty typical behavior for most writers, but this is where I get a little weird. When I get stuck trying to find the rest of those threads, I go divining for inspiration in the book store the way this guy uses a dowsing stick to find water.
The first thing I do is wander around a book store. (One of my favorite things to do in the whole world. *sigh*) I keep my mind open and I touch books. I literally walk around trailing my fingers over spines and grabbing random books that have covers that pull me in. Then I read the jackets and see if anything resonates. If my mind and my fingers get a little jumpy with curiosity, the way that dowsing stick does over water, I add another book onto my pile of “research.” I usually come home with an eclectic pile of books and after I read them, I some how I find my answers. I’m not really sure how it works. On my more logical days, I believe that reading simply stimulates the mind and if you read enough, you’ll stumble across enough questions and answers to fill a book. Other days, I’m pretty damn sure that I was born to be an author and when you’re doing the thing you’re supposed to be doing, the universe is happy and rewards you with a little magic. Or maybe it’s a little bit of both. LOL!
How do you like to research a new book?
There are so many amazing authors in the world. I read them. I study them. I admire them. I aspire. But over the years, I’ve learned that there are people, who are not authors, that move me in just as powerful ways.
Here are some of my inspirations that have nothing to do with writing.
I want to write the way Mia Michaels choreographs.
I want to write the way Adele sings.
I want to write the way the 1980 Men’s Olympic Hockey team worked together to win gold.
I want to write the way Malala Yousafzai lives her life–bravely.
I want to write the way Mahatma Gandhi inspired the world.
This is just a few of many. And I consider myself lucky to have such a long list of inspiration. What about you? I’d love to hear what make you want to write a better book…
My friend Judy Dulberg and I got together because our dead fathers were conspiring with each other in the afterlife. We don’t have proof of this–but we’re pretty darn certain that’s how it went down. I doubt you could convince us otherwise–so you should just go with it. Judy and I have only known each other a couple months, but we’ve quickly learned that good things happen when we talk to each other and share our unfiltered thoughts. So, that’s what we’ve been doing. Even though, some of what happens between us seems sort of ridiculous sometimes, we’ve just decided to go with it because it seems to be working. In fact, one of the most recent and biggest surprises, that’s come out of our hanging out together at our local SCBWI Shop Talk meetings, has been that Judy got inspired by all the amazing people around her and started Center Rock Publishing, LLC an Independent Publishing Company. Very exciting! And most recently, Judy wrote me and said–I wrote this yesterday and I’m not really sure why….
Keep the Book Avoid the Booze
Written by Judy Dulberg
Storytelling is an art. Support of the arts in the United States has dwindled over the last several years. Everyone wants to purchase a good story as a gift or as a keepsake or to read while on vacation. However, few realize the emotion, agony, excitement, frustration, elation and millions of other nouns that an author goes through to make that story happen. If we don’t support artists, we won’t get great stories.
Relationships are draining and take a lot of work. Storytellers need to be in a relationship with characters. We have to flirt with them and love them. We have to hate them sometimes and even change some of what we love about them so that they can fit in socially. We have to wake up in the morning and say “How you doin’?” (Like Joey from “Friends”). Sometimes they’re not doing too well… they are limp and lifeless. Like a good partner we have to help them thrive. Maybe we need to shake up their lives, take them off the page and send them on an adventure… or send them away completely, like the saying says – “If you love something set it free. If it comes back to you then it’s yours.” If it doesn’t come back, it did not fit the story.
Writing a story is like holding a new life. You are excited. It is endearing. Then it shits on you. What?! I know, it sucks and it is something that your friends without a book in draft form can’t understand. It keeps you up at night, sometimes for good reasons and sometimes just because you think it “needs” you. You fuss over it when sometimes it just needs to be left alone.
Oh and the advice. “Why don’t you just give the character wings and he can fly away from the problem,” or “why don’t you just send him to France where he can see her again and reunite after 50 years?” You want to tell them “Well clearly if you understood ‘Johnny Goombatz’ you would know mafia dons don’t fly and he can’t just get out. He would have to disappear!” You might get the all too recognizable eye roll. What they are likely thinking is “Relax. He isn’t real.” If he isn’t real to you then let him go, because no one else will believe him either. This is when belonging to a writer’s group is important. It’s group therapy.
At my last writer’s meeting one of the writers, Michelle Mead, told me she sometimes feels like she is there for an addiction meeting. When we go around the table to introduce ourselves and what we are working on she has a compulsion to say “Hi, I’m Michelle, and I’m a writer.” It’s true; we need a support group for this. No matter what you are writing, sometimes you have excuses that no one wants to hear. No one wants you to tell them that you were late for soccer practice because Ollie Octopus plays soccer and you could not figure out if tentacles are legs or arms and he might be in violation… So you made him a monkey, but the name Ollie doesn’t sound right anymore, and the only name you like “George” is taken. Queue eye roll.
Writers always keep a healthy dose of anxiety about “the book,” or “the article.” This leads people to say, “Take a break. Maybe you should stop doing this.” Suffice it to say, as Michelle pointed out, it’s an addiction. As with any addiction, we crave it and love it, so be patient with us, because something good will come of this addiction. Trust me when I tell you, if we give it up, we might replace it with a more extreme addiction. Nobody wants that.
I read Judy’s piece and I said…this is a blog post! Do you have a blog yet? Because I’d love to use it as a guest post on my blog. Well, she was more than happy to let me share it with you AND she started a blog DIARY OF AN INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER. Head over there to read more about Center Rock Publishing and follow Judy’s journey.
Center Rock Publishing, LLC
You can also connect with Judy on Facebook.
Anyone else have experience with an Independent Publisher? Do you have a favorite and why have they impressed you so much? Any advice for Judy? Do you think of writing as an addiction? Isn’t the Center Rock Publishing logo adorable?
Yesterday was my birthday and coincidentally the first day in March that all of my boys were in school at the same time. We have the pleasure of spring breaks that NEVER fall at the same time in our house. *head thunk* Yup–I’ll have a grand total of FOUR days in March that are kid free. And while I love my kids and really enjoy all the fun things we do while their home. And while I enjoy NOT getting up at the crack of dawn for the 12yo–me and 5:30 am have a hate/hate relationship. And even though I have managed to find ways to get a decent amount of writing work done around them–the truth is I also love my alone time.
So, back to the birthday. I had a zillion good wishes yesterday. Thank you everyone. And one of the things that many people said to me was…Do something special on your birthday! And because I was revising (I AM ALMOST DONE!!!!) Other people suggested…Don’t forget to take a break from revisions and do something special! Now I’ll be the first one to tell you, there are points in the writing process where I’ve seen way too much of whatever it is I am working on and a break from it would be a little slice of heaven. But yesterday, after nineteen days of having other people in my writing space, spending the day with just my manuscript was the special thing I got to do. And realizing it made me smile because I was reminded of what a gift I’ve been given–the knowledge to do what I love and to love what I do.
When do you love writing the most? What makes writing special for you?
I wanted to talk to you a little bit about revision today. I’ve got some RANDOM thoughts that have been marinating and I thought I’d share them with you…
*Right now, revision is a blast because I’m in the slay-the-monster-zone. The only thing stopping me from having a kick-ass, completed, manuscript to send out to my agent, is the fact that I’m a rather slow monster slayer. LOL! Even so, it’s a fabulous feeling and I’m really enjoying it. I’m pulling out my laptop every chance I get. (Have revision fort, will travel.) Even though things are going great, I’m prone to self examination, so I’ve been wondering…Why is this section of the writing process one of my favorites?
I think it’s because it consists of 50% structure and 50% intuition. I’m not in a place where I’m just doing the brain-numbing task of fighting with my horrible spelling and grammar. I gleefully have more than the bones of the story down on paper. My rough drafts, riddled with their own issues, are a full story. This means I don’t have to work in the place where I have ALL the ideas in the world. That can be overwhelming. Right now I’m walking the line between being creative AND doing the nuts and bolts work. It’s a really good balance for me. Of course, it always helps that there’s a light at the end of my tunnel to guide me home.
*Lately I’ve heard a lot of words bandied around–procrastination, fear and writer’s block. These are words I’ve used from time to time. In fact I pull them out at at regularly scheduled intervals in my writing process LOL! We all do. But as I’ve been pondering the joy of revision, I’ve realized that there is something to be said for revising my process as well as my manuscripts. Sure, I can write volumes about how and why my second book has gotten away from me during the process of being a debut author. I can talk to you about my emotional writing style and why I approach writing the way I do. I’ve got a zillion fabulous posts in me about these topics. You’ll likely even get a few of them from time to time, but I’m a growing girl. (No, I’m not gonna get taller than 5 foot 4 inches–no matter what I write.) What I mean is, if I open myself up to it, I’ll learn to revise myself, the same way I do my words.
K.L. Going once said to me...you can’t put a book on the shelf if you don’t put it on paper. It’s not a book if it is in your head–it’s an idea. That was a big turning point for me. But I’m also coming to realize that I need to expand upon that nugget of truth. What will I be doing the minute I put THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY in the hands of my agent? I’ll be working on CHASING ADAPTATION! It’s not just enough to get the book on paper, it’s important to understand what role procrastination, fear and writer’s block play in that process. They can be speed bumps or they can be excuses. They can be challenges to overcome or they can be blog posts that keep a writer from doing the real work. You know what I choose. I am discovering where and when to push myself to be the writer I want to be.
*This next thought is going to sound counter productive to my last one, but if you were paying attention you know that balance is important. I just suggested that it’s necessary for me to push myself harder through the parts of the writing and revising that are naturally hard for me. It’s true. It resonates. I believe it. But I’m also suggesting that an important part of revision is what I think of as The Feel. It reminds me of my son at his music lessons. As he’s learning the guitar, his instructor doesn’t want him to look at his fingers while he’s playing. He needs to know where his fingers are supposed to go. Playing has a feel. I had a very similar experience when I learned how to type. I spent lots of time looking at my fingers in the beginning, not believing that I’d ever be able to stop doing that. Then one day I realized I could hit those keys without thinking about where they were. Writing and revision are like that. They have a feel. You DO have to push yourself to show up when the work is hard. You DO have to understand you won’t always be comfortable in the different phases of this process. But you also shouldn’t be trying to push a square peg into a round hole. No one benefits from that. Not the peg. Not the hole. Writing is art–there are parts that have to be felt to be done “right.”
*Agents and editors have special-super-hero-vision and can see a manuscript in ways that I can’t even begin to comprehend. They have a whole different skill set than I do, which means I want them to pull my manuscript apart. Their work is a pivotal step in the process of changing a manuscript (a solitary endeavor) into a book (a collaborative event.) BUT, even though I want my agent and my editor to pull my words apart, in order to get to an even better version of my story, I still need to bring my very best work to the table. Maybe it’s just me, but I liken the revision process to shopping for a very awesome birthday present for a friend. Sending out a completed manuscript is like giving a gift that is well thought out, nicely wrapped, usable, exciting and timeless. Sure, it’s about me too–a good book is going to benefit me as much as the agent and the editor, but when I’m working on the revision, I find myself having a sense of intimacy with my first new readers and that makes the process really wonderful for me.
*Or there are times when you’re revising and it feels like a you’re wrestling a giant octopus. Just ask my friend Amy. But hey, the cool part about that is you can wear those tentacle burns like a badge of honor when your done. *fist pump* So, what I guess I’m saying is that revision is awesome…even when it isn’t.
Any thoughts on revision? What do you love? What do you hate? Have you ever eaten octopus? I’d love to stay and chat, but I’m off to the revision fort!
I’m writing this post at 6:22 on Thursday morning. I’m telling you this for a couple reasons:
#1 This makes it more likely that in my writing frenzy (more to come on that in a minute) I will jump around between the Thursday and Friday point of view and get everyone confused. Usually I sort this kind of problem out. Because I have a brain. But as I mentioned, I am in a writing frenzy (more to come on that in a minute) and it’s 6 freaking 22 in the morning. So beware of the time machine I’m playing with.
#2 The second reason I’m telling you about my 6:22 blog-post-writing-extravaganza is that it is occurring THE DAY BEFORE THE BLOG POST IS DUE! Don’t get me wrong, I do write posts ahead of schedual-ish on some occasions. I’ve also been known to write posts at 6:22 in the am on the day the post is due. *head thunk* But rarely do I write a post that is timely, at 6:22 in the morning. Seriously, everyone knows that’s when you check FB and Twitter, if you are forced by the universe to be awake at such an ungodly hour.
#3 I’m also telling you this because I’m excited. And I don’t always think straight when I’m excited. Why am I excited you ask? Because I’m in a writing frenzy–sort of. The writing frenzy part involves this blog post. And I’ll be honest with you. This was not the blog post you were supposed to get today. I mean yesterday. Heck–Thursday or Friday. (see #1) What I expected to post, whenever I got around to posting it, was a prelude to the 2013 NY SCBWI Conference. I planned on writing the blog as I was packing my stuff. I sort of have a track record for doing that. Typically what happens is I run into my office to grab something I need off of my desk–SHINY–I get distracted and write a little. Of course there are more shiny things to follow, causing me to bounce back and forth. The good news is, so far I haven’t packed my blog or posted my underwear–lucky you. But back to the matter at hand. I am in a blog post writing frenzy because….*drum roll*….I just had an impromptu get-together with THE BOYS IN THE BASEMENT!!!
If you do not know who the Boys in the Basement are, drop everything and go read ON WRITING by Stephen King. Why are you still standing here? Okay–or you can finish this post and then go read it. Since I really appreciate the support I’ll give you a little hint, the Boys in the Basement refers to the writer’s muse.
I was visited by the muse at 4:30 this morning!!!! *hugs self and jumps up and down* Now don’t get me wrong, the basement boys come all the time. They send up an emissary from below for a cup of coffee or a snack and while he’s here he’ll leave a few nuggets of muse-like wisdom behind. This happens (thank heavens) on a fairly regular basis. The boys take turns dropping by with the perfect name for a character or the page-turning end to a chapter that I’ve been gnawing on for awhile. But today THEY ALL CAME UP.
AND THEY BROUGHT A BOOK!!! A BRAND NEW, SHINY BOOK IDEA AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!!! I have a title and a main character. I have plot ideas and supporting characters jumping out at me. It’s different, but it’s me. It’s exciting!!!! The boys brought up so much stuff I had to pop out of bed and grab a notebook. Book #4 has floated up to the surface to be explored and I’m giddy and so happy to see the whole crew at once. Sure, I get nervous when I haven’t seen ALL OF THEM in a bit, but I’ve learned not to worry too much. I’ve come to trust them–they obviously know me better than I know myself. They listen to my signals. In fact, I think they heard me when I was watching all those fabulous ALA award winners and muttering under my breath…someday I’m going to write a book that good. Some day I’m going to be on that list. What might a Printz or a Newbery award winner look like?
Yeah, I did that, but so did everybody else. Even the people who aren’t actually writing books LOL! But for me, perhaps #4 will be the book or maybe it will be #7. Or who know, maybe it’s #2. It doesn’t really matter. I’m not an if girl. I’m more like a when girl. I’ll get there when I’m ready, in my own good time. Right now what I’m focused on is what I CAN control. It’s about writing the kind of books that send me into a writing frenzy at 6:22 am on a Thursday or a Friday. (see #1) And no matter what day it is–I really like that.
Who lives in your basement? What does your muse look like? How do they get the ideas to you? Don’t you hate how tired I’m going to be in a couple hours?
Also, don’t forget, myself and a metric load of other great folks, will be tweeting live from the NY SCBWI Conference. Join in the conversation at #scbwiny13!!!!!!!
Remember how I told you yesterday would be my first day with the boys all back in school again??? I’m a liar. The 7yo was home again. *head thunk* Now he has an ear infection. WE HAVE THE COOTIES AND THEY WON”T GO AWAY!!!!
What does this mean in the big scheme of things? Well, a chunk of my morning was eaten up by a Dr. visit and w-a-i-t-i-n-g at CVS. Grrr So my big plans to get EVERYTHING done on my domestic and professional list didn’t happen. Not like it was possible anyway, but at least now I can blame it on all those minutes that I used making toast, puncturing juice boxes and giving kisses. Ha! More than anything, I just want him to feel better–he’s been one off for quite a few weeks now–in and out of school. We joke that he’s allergic to academia this year.
As for you dear reader, I’m keeping this short and sweet because the school bus arrives with the 9yo in 45 minutes and I need to go grab my time turner and get some more stuff done. But my question to you is, what is the biggest obstacle you encounter when trying to work on your writing? What are your cooties and how do they mess you up? What slows you down the most? Are your cooties in your control or out of your control?
Yesterday I was keeping my promise to myself and focusing on revisions. I even hauled my laptop and marked-up manuscript to the lobby of the dance studio. I was kinda pumped because I was able to focus and move through my notes while sitting in the middle of three classrooms that were blaring different sets of music and instructions. I was in the zone. How could that be? There have been days when I’ve had the perfect work conditions and get less done. *head thunk* I sound like I’m asking for an answer from you, but I’m not. I know the truth. For me its a combination of being ready and being determined.
READINESS: The truth is there are times when I just don’t know what to write. And for some of those times, it’s good for me to take a moment or two or however long it is, to mull over what I’m doing. I know I need to let the thoughts that sit in my finger tips, tumble around in my deeper places. I believe there is more to me than I’m capable of understanding and sometimes I just have to trust myself. I’m learning and changing and growing constantly and all of that takes time. But in all fairness, there are moments when I’m just scared that I suck and I think I’m not ready. Book 2 is kinda hard folks. It’s not unlovable, but it’s kind of like the second time you get pregnant and you realize it’s not going to be anything like the first time where you got to sleep when you were tired and people pampered you and stuff. Book 2 is like…Hey–I know you’re tired but you have a two year old with a fever and you need to get up every 45 minutes because they are crying and uncomfortable. And I know you have a sensitive stomach right now, but the baby just vomited across six rooms. And to top that all off, don’t expect a baby shower either or time for a spa day… Yeah, Book 2 is kind of like that, but different. Word vomit is a little milder on the stomach. LOL!
DETERMINATION: I’m absolutely a person who loves to work from home with my own schedule–I like my creative freedom. I like to be able to juggle my family life. I like to run. I like to have less stress. I like to avoid laundry by doing social media. BUT–I benefit from having some manageable deadlines. The people pleaser in me responds to that. Give me too much, too quickly and I will get it done (I’m one determined and competitive person on the inside) but I’ll be reduced to sludge. I’ll burn out like a shooting star. I’m not a race horse who responds well to spurs in my side, but lead me to the starting line and tell me that I’m not as good as the other horses and I’ll run my ass off to prove it isn’t true. There is a kernel of strength within me that gets me over that finish line. I need a little push, but not a beating. That’s when determination works best for me.
So what happens when readiness and determination collide in a perfect storm? Well, I get stuff done. I mean–I’m still scared. I’m pissing in my shoes every time I stop to think about it all too closely. BOOK 2!!!!!! Failure is such a bigger target than success. But I’m at that point where I know one thing for sure. There is something that scares me more than writing a bad book–it’s writing no book at all. It’s that simple and THAT just makes me laugh and revise. Ready and determined.
“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
“The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”
Now I’m totally inspired for another day of revisions!!! What calms your fear of failure? What gets in your head and keeps you from moving forward? What’s your best overcoming failure story? Got another good failure/success quote to share? Have you been pregnant a second time????