Love in Hindsight III

In Post 1 and Post 2 of this series I looked back on my time as a pre-parent teacher and then as a parent in the present day.

While teaching and parenting are hugely important aspects of my life, they don’t define who I am.

It is interesting to note (to me at least) when I started blogging what information I added to my gravatar. ‘Mum’, ‘wife’, ‘sister’ and other titles were provided. But who am I?

Over the past two years I have seen myself on a course of discovery, trying to locate me and my passion. I won’t bore you with the long list of endeavours and ideas that floated through my mind.

Since the middle of last year I had thought about starting a blog but knew very little about what it entailed. On January 1 this year I decided that there was only one way to find out and that was to just do it (to borrow the famous Nike slogan). I could blog from home and it wouldn’t take me away from my young family. Yes! It was the perfect solution and it would be great. By choosing the theme and focus of my blog I would also be able to remind myself that there is love in the everyday moments of life with littlies.

Aiming high, which is always what I seem to do, I set out to write a post a day. Mum would probably say, ‘biting off more than you can chew.’ Yes, Mum, you’re right-as always (tongue in cheek).

Starting Free Little Words was the best thing I have done just for myself for a very long time. It is also the most time-consuming undertaking I have attempted in a very long time.

I don’t know about anyone else reading this but blogging, over the course of a week, has me sitting at my laptop or catching up on the reader on my phone for approximately 16 hours. That’s an ENTIRE DAY! Now, I don’t mean to shout at anyone but that’s a shedload of time.

Any new ‘thing’ that we choose to do generally takes time to learn and grow accustomed to. While I’m all for learning, there is a limit to the amount of ‘me’ I’m able to invest.

The one thing I am truly grateful for and would have given my left arm to rediscover was that I love writing. As the people closest to me would testify, I can talk underwater with a mouth full of marbles. I have a tendency to be a jabber jaws though and my mouth moves faster than my brain can handle. I trip over my words and get tongue tied, particularly when I’m nervous or anxious.

So writing is the ticket for me. Being able to think then write and order my words and erase when needed, is just plain awesome. Add to that, my experience with children and the love of rhyme and rhythm and I feel a natural affinity towards picture books.

So blogging has led to more writing but there just isn’t enough hours in the day to do everything. My manuscripts and ideas lay languishing on the bench at the end of every day, crying out for more words to join the fray.

So it has come down to this – my last post here on Free Little Words. I didn’t want it to sound so final even though it does.

There’s two young boys, who won’t be little forever, wishing that their mum would be slightly more present when she’s present. I owe them that much. Then when the lights are out and those eyelashes flutter as they dream sweet dreams, the words can spring forth to the begging blank page.

I leave you now with just one promise.

My journey on WP is not complete. I will be back; I’m just not sure when that might be. When I do, I hope you’ll welcome me back.

This mum/wife/sister loves to write.

♥ Kelly

 

Image from: here.

Love is in the Hands of Fate

Holding a heart in cupped hands. Love and health care concept.Did that song on the radio play just for me, right at that moment, for a reason? If I turn around three times on the spot while patting my head and rubbing my stomach will that make one iota of difference?

Fate revealed itself in the few short minutes it took to drive the post box last night. Or did it? You be the judge.

By nature, I’m not superstitious. Being born on the 13th I embrace black cats, limbo under ladders, scoff at broken mirrors, 13, is naturally, my favourite number and I leave umbrellas open inside to dry. Actually I’m not sure on the last one – I think it’s just considered unlucky.

Luck is not something I rely upon or base my life around. That may have to change though.

For the moment I’m sticking with fate and I hope it is kind to me. I’ve done everything in my power and now the lap of the gods is where my little manuscript sits. Yes, editors are god-like figures to me right now. Soon enough though, they may be compared to the devil.

My family and I started a new little ‘tradition’ that will precede every letter that leaves our house to make its way to a publishing house. Each of us sealed that letter with a kiss (I did wipe the boys’ faces first to make sure none of their dinner was evident on the envelope). I dressed for the occasion and grabbed my keys. The song on the radio in the car was turned up loud. One last check of the address as I stood at the post box had me hesitating. Post the damn letter. Someone you know might see you in your track pants and ugg boots. What were you thinking, leaving the house wearing them?

Deed done. Return home and think.

Stop thinking otherwise it’s going to be a long three months.

I threw in a bit of love for good luck. A new tradition/superstition has begun. Fate will play her hand in due course.

I’d love it if you could join in the lunacy. If it’s lucky undies or other nonsensical doings that are crucial to your fate, please share your superstitions with all 13 of us.

Post script-this song had me singing all the way to the drop zone. Sheppard are Australian and they’ll be sure to let me down easy.

 

Image from: here.

Love on a Deadline

When faced with a deadline in life, love or work what is your natural response?

Do you face up to it ready for a fight or do you shy away and go into flight mode?

After self-imposing a deadline on myself recently it has helped me to learn what kind of writer I am.

July 1 has arrived and for all in the southern hemisphere will be over in a couple of short hours. This was my deadline. The manuscript I wrote was supposed to have been placed safely into a depository we, in Australia, call a post box. It hasn’t left the building.

I struck a couple of hurdles today. Procrastination and Dissatisfaction.

While I believe I can deal with dissatisfaction to an extent, I cannot deal with procrastination.

There was a part of my story that I had been unhappy with from its conception. Until today I had no ideas that were even adequate.

My deadline it seems had worked its magic and forced me to think. Think hard and solve the issue.

So dissatisfaction has been taken care of but I have that lingering sense that procrastination had me putting off what could have been achieved last week and enabled me to post it TODAY.

My little four page picture book manuscript will leave my hands tomorrow but I am left with that feeling that procrastination will visit again and I need to be more prepared to deal with it. Putting kids and the family, the paid variety of work, blogging and feeding the goldfish first may need to change.

And just as an aside who decided that procrastinate should have the prefix pro? Who supports or is in favour of crastination? I love words and language but really? I am tempted to submit to Oxford that procrastination be changed to anticrastination.

Am I being too hard on myself missing my deadline by one day? Please share any tips you have for power-punching deadlines and assisting with anticrastination.

I need all the help I can get.

 

 

And can someone please make sure the goldfish are fed.

Image from: here.

Crazy Little Thing Called ♥

Love is a little crazy.

There’s a touch of weird lurking here so don’t say you weren’t warned.

Is it just me or has there been a steady stream of bloggers heading for the hills of their own minds?

There’s a little bit of crazy talk going on around these parts and I’m sure I’m not the first one to pick up on it. I’m not that fast on the uptake.

I think I’ve already arrived at this point once before. Last time it was more like a ‘what the frigging heck am I doing?’ It’s changed now to a ‘I know what I need to do.’

Through the RCC I mentioned a self-imposed deadline to send off my first manuscript by June 30. That in itself proves I’m crazy. But not being one to back down without a fight I will stick to it. Only problem is, I haven’t even finished it yet. After that, I want to sit on it for a bit and revise/edit yada yada. Now please don’t hound me in the comments section for belittling the editing process or writers in general. A picture book is normally under 500 words. No biggie. Every word just has the weight of the world on it as there are so few of them.

Anyhoo. I wanted to take up a little blog space to thank some people. Don’t worry, it’ll probably only take as long as it would for you to say, ‘well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.’

I’m not going to name drop. You guys all know who you are. My followers. No, not the 325 of you. The 10 or so true followers that have read almost EVERYTHING I have written.

Poetry and poems.

Whinges and whining.

Troubles and tantrums.

Humour and heart warmers.

10 words or 1000. You’re here every day.

I caught up on my reader today for the first time in over a week. Boy it was a relief and I felt great. On top of the reader for 0.4 seconds until one of you posts something I must read. Not because you expect me to; because I need to. I haven’t read a ‘real’ book in 3 months and my manuscript hasn’t seen one ounce of love in 5 weeks. As for my completely understanding, wonderful husband, well, he needs some extra loving.

This is not a ‘goodbye’,’ see you soon’ or ‘not sure when/if I’ll be back’ post. I’m not totally off my rocker.

This is a lull in the halls of love. I’m giving you guys a break. Your reader will be a little lighter and a slightly easier to manage without me taking up space. Actually, cancel that. I’ll be taking up space with stuff that’s already taken up space before. Not a fan of reblogs to be honest but it beats the looney bin which is where I’m worried I’ll be headed if I don’t find a new lease on love.

Oh and don’t think you’ll be getting off that easy. I’m relying on you lot for my daily dose of laughter. I need uplifting quotes and heartfelt poems. Update me with where you’re up to with all your goals and help me choose my next actual book to read. I’ll also be commenting my behind off so no need to be concerned for my mental health. I’m going to be a blogtrotter!

Finally, I would like to take my crazy brain with me having you know:

what I’ve sought

what I’ve learned

what I’ve shared

what I’ve gained

what I’ve pondered

what I’ve found…..

…..is LOVE!

And for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Kelly

Top 10 Tips to Help Children Love Reading

reading

My children love books and they love reading.

This Top 10 list looks at what parents can do to foster a love of reading from birth. The right start can make all the difference.

  1. Start reading with babies right from birth. Get comfortable and read aloud every day for 10-15 minutes. This will help develop a routine for reading enjoyment.
  2. Read several different books at times throughout the day or the same book multiple times. Hearing a thousand stories will help a child begin to learn to read.
  3. Use your eyes, voice and body to bring a story to life. Using a flat, monotone voice will not convey your excitement.
  4. Read the same stories time and time again. Use the same pattern or rhythm each time. In time, children will be able to retell the story to you.
  5. Interaction with the story is key. Look at and talk about pictures, connect the story to a rhyme or song and answer any questions children ask. A book does not need to be read cover to cover without stopping to enjoy the pages within.
  6. Point to words, pick out letters, think of rhyming words when reading. Whatever you do should be fun and not remotely resemble teaching.
  7. Use the three R’s when choosing books for young children. Rhythm, rhyme and repetition are an awesome combination.
  8.  Read aloud to kids even when they can read themselves. Tell stories, make up stories together or sing nonsense rhymes-all of which are language-rich activities.
  9. Be a good reading role model. Read books, newspapers or magazines for enjoyment.
  10. Read, read, read, read and read.

I love reading. My kids love reading too. Whether that is inherent or not, I have no way of knowing. I do know that I have read with my children right from birth. Over the past 6 years I have read thousands of books to Almost 6 and Just 3.

I am a mum who loves to read. My teaching career has spanned nearly two decades during which time I have had the privilege of reading thousands of stories. I majored in children’s literature and I write picture books for fun in my spare time. This top 10 is by no means exhaustive. There is so much you can do with your children and a good book. If you have a book but no child, borrow one from a friend or relative. Reading with a child is magic and they’re the most captive audience you’ll ever have.

♥ Kelly

Image from: here.