9 Questions Before You Become A Blogging Statistic

'Blog', courtesy of cortege9, Wikimedia Commons

‘Blog’, courtesy of cortege9, Wikimedia Commons

Are you tired of blogging?

I am.

I know that’s sacrilege to admit on your own blog. The stress of moving, illness, and the fact I haven’t posted consistently has me questioning my commitment to blogging.

Am I really getting a return on investment of the time I put into blogging?

Shouldn’t I be focusing on ‘real’ writing?

My blogging journey started almost three years ago. I researched for three months before taking the plunge, thinking about my goals for my blog. I didn’t want to start something new and shiny, to later run out of steam. (I have a tendency to do that.)

I liked sharing and meeting new people. Researching and writing about creativity, blogging, and social media fascinated me. And I loved sharing my write anywhere adventures.

But lately blogging has felt like a burden, a deadline that looms over me and highlights my penchant for procrastination. I’m considering taking a break, or a complete reboot. Should I start over? Will anyone care?

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Is “Pretty” A Privilege? Thoughts From #BlogHer14

kristin nador:

Visit my beautiful bloggy friend August McLaughlin and read her brave and thought-provoking post on women’s body image issues. Maybe how we perceive others has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with how we see ourselves…

Originally posted on August McLaughlin's Blog:

“A consequence of female self-love is that the woman grows convinced of social worth.” — Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

This isn’t an easy post to write, and certainly not one I imagined writing after BlogHer—but when you’re surrounded by inspiring women sharing their hearts and vulnerabilities, sharing what yours says only makes sense.

The conference was one of the most phenomenal events I’ve attended. Thousands of bloggers gathered to learn, laugh and mingle with likeminded others and have an overall uplifting time. On the second day, I read My Big Brindle Heart: A Love Story, the post I wrote about my bulldog Zoe, along with other Voices of the Year recipients. As soon as I met fellow winner Ashley, aka The Baddest Mother, I was smitten. Her wit, contagious laugh, glowing smile and warmth put me instantly at ease. When they lined us up beside each other, I thought, “I’m so lucky to sit…

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Write Anywhere #76 Bone Museum

It’s been a long hiatus here on the blog. Life went sideways but Keeper Hubby and I have left Oklahoma and landed mostly intact in our little apartment near Lexington, Kentucky. I hope to be posting more often now.

A funny thing happened on the way to Kentucky… not really. I injured my hip during the move, and developed a severe case of plantar fasciatis. Left hip, right foot. Not much locomotion happening now. I’m continuing to heal thanks to physical therapy, but in the meantime I’m mainly confined to the house. It’s very frustrating when you’re used to being independent and going places whenever you choose, and then you can’t. I’m anxious to begin exploring my new surroundings, but I’ll have to listen to my body for now.

The isolation has given me time to reflect on this new season of life.

The nest is officially empty: Artist Daughter and her hubby Saint Nick have gone off on an adventure of their own in the Big Sky Country of Montana. Poet Son likes it there, too.

Musician Daughter, Musician-In-Law, and Destined-To-Be-A-Musician are still in The Middle happily expecting to make their group a quartet in the fall. I’m happy for them all, but find myself nostalgic, the phrase “Remember when…” popping out of of my mouth almost daily.

I’m working hard on focusing forward, working on my health and my writing. Write Anywhere venues will be limited during my rehabilitation, however. My goal at this point is to get out once a month, at least until I am physically back to 100%, to discover new places to fuel creativity.

In the meantime I was fortunate to have one last Write Anywhere outing in Oklahoma with my youngest before we all went our separate ways. Artist Daughter invited me to spend the day with her. She advised I should bring my camera, because photography would be the main activity. I love taking photos, but little did I know I’d not only be preserving the trip in photos, but preserving my time with her in my heart.

Write Anywhere #76: Bone Museum

Museum of Osteology Oklahoma City Oklahoma photo by kristin nador

Artist Daughter had the whole trip planned out. She’d wanted to visit the Museum of Osteology in Oklahoma City for a long time, and this was her last chance before leaving the area. We’d drive two hours to the museum, then grab a bite before heading back. She printed a map to get there, and prepared a list of restaurant possibilities. Artist Daughter doesn’t plan things, so I knew she was serious about it. I decided to put aside my trepidation at visiting a museum filled with skeletons and tag along.

The weather started out clear, but as we drove west, clouds began filling the skies. It didn’t matter, it was sunshine and smiles inside the car. A.D. chattered away about her coming move to Montana. In between her thoughts on mountain air, snow, and her new job, she’d check the map and tell me to turn this way or that. When we finally pulled into the parking lot of a German restaurant on the northwest side of the city, she realized she printed out the wrong map. We were supposed to be in the southern outskirts of OKC instead.

Points for trying.

We laughed about our ‘extra’ trip while the temperature plummeted and fat raindrops followed us to the museum.

whale ribs and vertebrae, Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, photo by kristin nador

whale ribs and vertebrae

The Museum of Osteology is the only skeleton museum in the country. It houses over 300 skeletons, both animal and human. They focus on educating patrons about the importance of skeletal structure and its function in living creatures. I thought it might be creepy, but I was willing to endure for the sake of Artist Daughter. She wanted to photograph the exhibits for a series of sketches and oil paintings she planned on completing. Unlike many museums, this one encourages photography.

Cars filled the parking lot to capacity around the small nondescript building, which surprised me. I thought we’d be the only ones checking out skeletons on a Saturday afternoon. What looked plain on the outside was anything but on the inside.

Greeting us in the foyer where we purchased museum entry were an array of horned animal skulls, such as gazelle, mountain goat, deer and elk along the walls.

Antlers and horns, Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, photo by kristin nador

Antlers and horns greet us

A whale skull towered over the entrance. Amazing.

Whale skull, Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, photo by kristin nador

Whale’s skull. Compare to the door. Amazing.

In the corner of the foyer, a glass exhibit showed one of the more efficient ways the museum and the company Skulls Unlimited prepare the skeletons: dermestid beetles ‘clean’ bones by eating all the tissue off carcass bones. Fascinating but gross.

Dermestid beetles cleaning lion bones, Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, photo by kristin nador

Dermestid beetles enjoying a meal

Some of the collections include primates, reptiles, birds, forensic pathology, and Oklahoma wildlife.

Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, photo by kristin nador

Reptile skeleton, Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, photo by kristin nador

Giraffe Skull, Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, photo by kristin nador

Armadillo skeletons, Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, photo by kristin nador

I made my way around the museum, then made a second pass. Among the Girl Scouts completing the museum’s scavenger hunt, young couples, and parents pushing strollers, I spotted Artist Daughter. When I had already walked through the museum’s two levels twice, she was only at the third exhibit, painstakingly taking photographs of each and every skull and skeleton. I took about a hundred photos, she took thousands. When it comes to her art, she is focused and meticulous.

I found a bench in front of a television monitor showing ‘Dirty Jobs’ host Mike Rowe’s visit to Skulls Unlimited, and pulled out my notebook for a little writing.

Bones are foundational structures. They are strong, giving shape and strength. Bones grow with the organism, protect it. They are at the same time delicate, and with the wrong pressure can be broken. Mothers and daughters have a similar journey.

I remember…

little fingers and toes.

how she used to grind her first front teeth.

tiny girl with porcelain hands and sapphire eyes.

her bones grew straight. Her teeth didn’t. She endured the never-ending orthodontia like a trooper.

my shock at her stubborn streak, and my greater shock when I realized where she got it from.

her laugh, which she hid in the folds of adolescence for a time, now fills the air like wind chimes in the breeze. Saint Nick has a lot to do with that.

 

I watched her snap photos, so focused, so excited for her future, thinking how proud I am of her, and the woman she’s become. The finality of my children leaving hit me. I stared at a display case of shark teeth, trying not to cry.

Like bones, our relationship is solid. Same as my other two, but also completely different. Add to the mix a layer of new: new ways to communicate, new ways to let go and let them choose, decide, live. New ways for me to advise, cheer, accept.

And always the memories: her first step, the time she survived falling down the stairs in her walker, the time I survived her bald haircut, piles of paper filled with sketches, layers of curls and lace as she walked down the aisle.

We finished at the museum, but not before A.D. bought a replica skull of some critter to add to her ‘collection’.

We finished out the day with Thai food and lots of conversation. I knew I wouldn’t get to see her for a while, so I savored the words while I sipped the Tom Yum. Even though we’ll talk and text and Skype, I will miss her every day.

I miss Poet Son and Musician Daughter, too. But somehow my youngest child is a bridge between two lives for me.

My first life: three children, evenly spaced enough to experience each ’stage’ of maturity at different times, but get the flu altogether at Christmas. Homeschool field trips and macaroni and cheese. Piles of laundry, Oklahoma red dirt and hot wind. Sunday school verses and Barbies. Arguments and piano lessons. Oldies on the radio and Pokemon cards across the floor.

I can always visit my first life through the stories. Writing them, speaking them, sharing them. I will always love that life, without regrets.

My second life is unwritten. A little scary, the deadlines seem closer, but it’s time to start writing it. Time for new adventures. Time to collect new stories. Ready, set, go.

Where did you write this week?

 

What Exactly Does Facebook “Friend” Mean? The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

kristin nador:

Have you ever been offended by a Facebook ‘friend’s status? ‘Unfriended’ (how is this a word now?) someone because of what they post? Thought about chucking it all and deleting your Facebook account?
Read this blog post from the wonderful Kristen Lamb, where she honestly deconstructs Facebook friends, virtual offenses, and how to deal with them all.

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

WANAs at DFWWWCon

WANAs at DFWWWCon

What is a “friend?” That’s a good question. One of my personal peeves about The Modern Age, is that English is a very rich language and too often words are employed as a synonym when they aren’t. A HUGE bugaboo? A 13 year-old girl cannot be mature unless maybe she survived a concentration camp or other horrific events (and even then she could actually be emotionally stunted). Maturity only comes from life experience. She is too young to be mature.

The kid can be precocious, meaning she seems very adult-like. The danger in using these two words as synonyms is they AREN’T. Often a precocious child will be given more freedom than is age-appropriate or even handed burdens and responsibilities that are NOT age-appropriate.

For instance, I did most of the accounting, banking and bills by the age of twelve. I helped my mother get through nursing…

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Writing Process Blog Hop: My Writing Process

Today I’m part of ‘The Writing Process’ Blog Hop.

Author Linda Austin graciously invited me to join. Linda is the author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight and Poems That Come To Mind. She also helps others tell their life stories and focuses on the WWII generation. Please visit her over at Moonbridge Books where you can discover her writing process and more of her writings. Thanks Linda!

The blog hop asks 4 questions to each author about their writing process. Here are the questions and my answers:

1) What are you working on?

I am currently revising my first novel, which I finished at the end of December 2013. It’s a contemporary suspense novel about a female Iraq war veteran’s fight to keep herself and her daughter alive during a weekend in Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains. She must face an enemy she never expected, as well as the ghosts haunting her since those days in the Iraqi desert.

I’ve also been doing some basic outlining on a generational historical fiction set in St. Louis and Denver in the 1890’s. And to be real, because I’ve been busy moving from Oklahoma to Kentucky, I’ve only been working sporadically on these projects for the last six weeks or so. I’m looking forward to settling into a writing routine again.

2) How does your work differ from others of this genre?

My focus is on writing stories of strong, courageous women. The genres may be different, but what connects them are vital, determined women hoping to make a difference in their worlds.

3) Why do you want to write what you write?

I think all the stories I want to tell are in some way exploring myself, peeling back the layers in a ’safe’ way. But I also discover these characters, these women, who want to tell their story, and they demand a voice. I guess that’s what keeps me from giving up and flushing it all down the toilet. :)

4) How does your writing process work?

When I’m ready to get to work, hot tea and listening to christian monks sing gregorian chant (yes, it’s on iTunes) sort of ‘clears the pipes’ and I sit down at my desk. Some days I’m on the keyboard. When I want to hash something out, I write it longhand. Sometimes I use a timer to work in 20 or 30 minutes chunks. Other times I sort of multi-task (which means play on social media) and I get some writing done, but not as much as if I force myself to focus. Imagine all the books that would have been written if we writers weren’t so busy liking and tweeting! Truth.

Now that I’ve answered the questions about my writing process, join my three author friends next Monday, April 14th, when they join the blog hop and give you the scoop on their writing process.

What is your writing process like? What are your answers to the four questions? Please share in the comments. Happy Writing!