Mama Diaries

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

IWSG: Writing Stresses and Joys


Today's IWSG question is, "What stresses you out as a writer?  What brings you joy?"

Stresses:  Trying to complete a project when I either don't have time, or I have writer's block. Sometimes revisions stress me out, too, but mostly because of my time issues.

What brings joy:  Completing a project, knowing people like my work, and selling books—lots of them!

How about you? What things make you want to pull your hair out, and what makes you jump up and down?

Friday, November 5, 2021

IWSG and Another Klaus Story


Okay. So I'm a few days late on the IWSG post. Sorry. It's been busy in my world!  Better late than never. The question is, is it easier for me to come up with a title for my work or write a blurb?  Title. For sure! I have titles popping out of my head all over the place. Blurbs take way more effort. They have to be concise, convey the story, and interest the reader at the same time. Not an easy task!  What about you?  Which do you find easier?

And now for another Klaus story:  The feisty canine reached the point in his life all dogs dread. It was time to get neutered. On the day of the operation, he was up bright and early at 6 AM, jubilant and jumping with glee. He knew a car ride was in the picture. The excitement was too much. He arrived at the vet's office, still overjoyed., super-hyper, tugging at the leash, jumping, and greeting everyone who was there.

As you probably know, a dog undergoing the neutering process has to be sedated. Well, Klaus, being the extraordinarily hyper beast he is, wouldn't settle down. Extra tranquilizers were required. Then afterward, when it was time to put the "cone of shame" on him, he needed three people to hold him down to get it done. You'd think after having his privates altered, he'd be a little more subdued. But no. He still wanted to greet everyone. Bumping into them like a drunk person, he rammed them with his cone of shame.  

I'm sure there was a collective sigh of relief when he finally went out the door.

Klaus has fully recovered and is no longer wearing the cone of shame. And he is still as crazy as ever!

Have you ever known a dog (or cat) that required extra tranquilizers to have any kind of operation?

(Note: The story is a second-hand account. I did not take the dog to the vet. The ex did. This is what he says happened.) 


Tuesday, October 5, 2021

IWSG and Cat Dog


This month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question is:  Is there anything you wouldn't write in your books? (That's loosely paraphrased.) Well, yes. I don't write profanity or sexual scenes in my manuscripts. First of all, for children's books, it's not appropriate. Second, I just plain wouldn't feel comfortable doing that. I don't use profanity in my everyday vocabulary because I don't think it's very classy, so why would I write that way?  And I guess I really have never had any desire to write a steamy hot sex scene. What happens in the bedroom should stay private between lovers because more often than not, it ends up coming off less-than-romantic in the written word. It takes a really special talent to pull it off. 

Are there any things you would not think about writing in your manuscripts?   

About cat dog...I am speaking of the wild German Shepherd named Klaus. The other day, I went to the mansion (the ex's place) to pick up my son. When I got there, I found the giant, 80-pound dog standing on a table. What in the world...?  I thought. The ex quickly came and yelled at the beast to get down. 

So, ladies and gentlemen, Klaus does indeed have a new trick:  Jumping on any table he can.  He's like a Tigger (think Winnie the Pooh). Bouncing and jumping,  just like a cat.  Have you ever seen a German Shepherd standing on a kitchen table? If you have, I'd sure like to know about it!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

IWSG and Lost in the Secret Room


This month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question is, "How do you define success as a writer?"  I think there are different levels of success. The first level is that you actually complete a manuscript. If you are a writer, you know that's a challenge unto itself. Then I would say getting your work published is the next level. For me, it wasn't just publishing it myself. It was finding an agent/traditional publisher who actually thought my work was decent enough to accept. It gave me a sense of validation. The next level would be selling copies of your work. That means people are actually interested in what you write and that you've done a decent amount of marketing to get the word out. Finally, if you hit a best-seller list and make a lot of money, I'd consider that the ultimate success. Not many of us get to that level, but we should all take pride if we reach the first level. As one of my author friends likes to say, "If writing was easy, everyone would be doing it."

Now for the story. It's another Klaus one. The overgrown German Shepherd puppy had been let out of his crate. Usually, I keep a pretty good eye on him, because he's nothing but trouble. But I had gotten sidetracked answering work emails. By the time I looked up, Klaus was nowhere to be found. I called his name. No response. I went upstairs to look for him. No dog. I began to worry. Did he somehow get outside?

Going back downstairs, I noticed the basement door was open. Surely, he had gone down there. I went into the basement and called his name. No Klaus. No sounds indicating another living creature was there. I went into the storage room. I went in the theater. I went into the other storage room. Nothing. 

Then I looked on the ground in the first storage room I had checked. A dog toy! Evidence the wayward creature had been there. Puzzled, I wondered where in the world an 85 pound, frisky German Shepherd could possibly be hiding. And so quietly!

My son, Bubba, solved the mystery. He came down into the storage area and crawled into a small space that led to a little door under the basement steps. He opened that door and guess who popped out? Klaus! With his tongue hanging out and a big doggy smile. He had gone into the secret cubby space and somehow closed the door behind him. Why he didn't bark to tell us he was trapped is a mystery. Apparently, he enjoys a good game of hide-and-seek!


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

IWSG and More Klaus Destruction


This month's question is:  What is my favorite writing craft book?  Answer:  Save the Cat! Writes a Novel.  It breaks up a story into 15 plot points. All you have to do is follow the plot points and voila, you have a novel.  Right. If it were only that easy!  But seriously, it takes out some of the mystery of how to write a good novel. I have found it quite useful on my writing journey.

And now for the latest report of German Shepherd, Klaus's destruction:

My daughter's wallet. Apparently, Klaus has an appetite for fine leather.

And styrofoam pots. 😁


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

IWSG and the End of Bootsy


Today's Insecure Writer's Support Group question is, "What would make you stop writing?"

Not enough time. And unfortunately, I am struggling with the time factor. I manage to write a paragraph here and there, but it's taking me forever to finish the last Bubba and Squirt book. If I had more of me or more hours in the day, then I don't think I'd ever stop writing.

What about you? What would make you stop writing?

And some not so fabulous news:  Our cat, Bootsy, seems to have met his demise. He's always been an outdoor cat (a stray we rescued, but who absolutely refused to live in the house). He usually stays on the back deck and comes for meals like clockwork. But he's been missing. It's been about three weeks now, and no sign of him. I know he didn't like the new German Shepherd, Klaus, but he still never missed a meal.  Bootsy was about 16 years old. So, I think he slinked off to die in peace. We'll miss him. Hopefully, he and Schultz are playing in animal heaven now. RIP, Bootsy!


Tuesday, June 1, 2021



The Insecure Writer's Support Group question of the month is, "How long do you let a first draft sit before you revisit it and make revisions? And is it related to how many books you have under your belt?"

I honestly don't have a specific time I let first drafts sit. Generally, I start writing something new and work on that for a while before even thinking about the most recently completed first draft. I want to forget what I wrote as much as possible. Then I can truly look at it with fresh eyes. And no, it really doesn't depend on how many books I have written. With Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China, I waited 6 years before looking at it again. I had written three books before I came back to it.

What about you? How long do you wait to redo the first draft?

Here's a recent puppy picture of Klaus. He's so adorable, but definitely a high-maintenance bundle of trouble! (For those who may have missed the last post, yes, the wall behind him is his handiwork. He likes to chew!)