Wednesday, March 30, 2016

WATCH: Big Hero 6

As friends head off to Disney for spring break, I dream of being there too. I rarely see my kids as excited and happy as they were when we took them to Disney World last summer!

Maybe you've been to Disney World lately...maybe you haven't.

Maybe you're planning a trip there soon...maybe you aren't.

Maybe, either way, you'll join me in some Disney fun!

In this clip from Big Hero 6, you'll watch as Hiro is desperate to get into his brother's school but in order to do so he needs a spectacular idea to prove they should accept him. 

I use this clip from Big Hero 6 any time I talk to writers about keeping a writer's notebook, the work of paying attention to the world around you and finding ideas, and free writing. Here's the Haiku Deck I use if you're interested to see how it fits into this bigger discussion. 

Free Write - Writer's Notebooks - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Watch and notice what happens even when Hiro is so so so so ready for an idea. Does this ever happen to you? How are you similar or different in Hiro in not giving up? What do you think of his brother's advice and what does it look like in your writing life?

Watch and think about how you focus your writer's eye and what you do with ideas when you spot them. Do they go into your phone? Into a writer's notebook? Onto a napkin? Do you write about them? Just jot a note? Draw them?

Thanks for being reflective today, 
looking at your life as a writer, and exploring your story with me today!
I'm glad you are here.

Monday, March 28, 2016

READ: The Little Book of Mindfulness

Last year a friend sent a copy of Flow magazine to me as a gift and I discovered mindfulness and the power of it's potential. It was a major inspiration for Story Exploratory and I do believe taking time to be aware of everything around us truly our perspective and how we perceive life. 

I found this sweet book near the checkout at my local bookstore. It's a small book full of exercises in mindfulness. 
One of my favorite activities is to practice gratitude by writing down something you appreciate from the day. The book notes, 

"Studies show that the regular practice
of gratitude and appreciation, 
including writing down 
the experiences you feel grateful for,
can lead to better health, 
less stress and 
a more optimistic outlook on life."

Another idea to end the day is to write down your "EGS" for the day:

"what did you Enjoy today,
what are you grateful for,
and what are you Satisfied with?"

I like how these two ideas work together but also how the second gives some guidelines for how to focus your thoughts on not just being grateful but also on recognizing what was fun during your day and what you can feel content with even if it maybe wasn't the absolute best day of your life...because not every day can be you absolute best day ever. 

We can appreciate all the days we are given!

I appreciate you and that you stopped by to read my words!
What are you reading today?

Check out It's Monday! What Are You Reading? at Book Date.
For the kidlit version, visit Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Be Present - #mystoryishere

Be Present

Everyone is busy these days. Busy busy busy. So much to do. So little time. Continual pressure to get it all done is the new normal. And though we hate being stretched too thin, we pride ourselves on how important we are. After all, people want things from us, need us, couldn't do it without us. If everyone is busy but you aren't, then you must be a nobody.

Well, I've got something to say about that. Being busy isn't so cool after all. 

I've been busy. 
I've been tricked into thinking busy is where it's at. 
I've been burnt out on being busy. 

Being busy means "having a great deal to do". 
Working, hard at work, occupied.

Stop being busy. 

Start being aware of all you get to experience in life. 

Being present means "being in a particular place". 
Here, near, available. 

We are all works in progress. Slowing down to be present allows us to see who we are, what we love, and ultimately where it's best to spend our energy. 

Be present. Explore your story.  

When we write, we take a snapshot of a snippet in time. We stop being so damn occupied and instead open ourselves up to the power of being present and the potential to be great. Screw being busy, revel in each and every moment.

Start here. Put pen to paper or fingers to keys. Write about the here and now. Write about what is near to your heart. Write about all that is available to you in this moment. Appreciate the people, places, sounds, smells, joy all around you. Celebrate everything that gives you energy. Let your hopes and dreams tumble out onto the page or screen. 

I'd love to read what you've noticed in this fine moment! Whether it's what you've written or how you feel about having written or something else entirely, comments are welcome! Thanks for stopping by to explore your story with me!

This post is part of a 7-Day Intentional Blogging Challenge hosted by Jeff Goins. For more information and to see what others are writing, 
check out the invitation and Facebook page

Saturday, March 5, 2016

JOIN: Celebrate This Week - It's March!?

Every Saturday, join me as I CELEBRATE This Week 
with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build.

It's March! How is it March!? I can't believe it's March. I'm not sure where the winter went! I think I was busy taking care of our puppy that it just passed me by. I've still been reading and writing and full-time jobbing and momming too.

Just look at how much she has grown! The first picture was posted when she was first taken in at the shelter. It was the picture I spotted when a friend shared the shelter's post on Facebook and the picture that made me fall in love with her. 

Friends warned me having a puppy would be a lot of work and it still is. But now she's almost six months old and she has learned so much! We saw some puppies at an adoption event today (that I just had to hold and snuggle with) and it helped me stop and reflect and look how far we have come. I would say that hardest part was after her spay. Having to deal with the cone and the bandages was annoying and I thought those two weeks were never going to end...but they did and now we're at the dog park all the time and she loves it as much as I do. 
It seems like a lot of my Saturday celebration posts are puppy focused lately! But honestly, having her in my life is monumental. I've wanted a dog since before we even got married (and we celebrate our 11th anniversary this summer). And now I have a puppy and she is a lot of work but she's so sweet at the same time. 

She helps me stop and think about how awesome life is. 
She helps me stop and reflect on how fast things change. 
She helps me stop and check my emotions. 

Writing helps me through all of these things too. 

When I write, I stop and think about how awesome life is. I get to celebrate it and make it come to life in my own writing - whether I'm retelling an event that happened in real life or bringing real life to a fictional story.

When I write, I stop and reflect on how fast things change. I've only been really really focusing on my writing for about five years now. Oh, how fast things change! I've written so much and learned so much and experienced so much thanks to writing. And how many friends I've made by living a writing life.

When I write, I stop and check my emotions. I have to put my emotions into my words. But I have to keep my emotions out of the mix as much as possible when it comes to my querying life. Or, I should say, I've learned to recognize my emotions and to accept and deal with them as I navigate next steps in my writing life. Perdi definitely helps me with this! But going back to writing that I love helps too. 
So that's how I find myself wondering how I made it to March! I was busy and it surprised me! But I'm glad for it. I'm ready for warm weather and the anticipation of summer! Bring it on!