Friday, April 1, 2011

B is for...

Well, Blogging for one.

I'm new at this blogging thing, though old hat at writing in one form or another. Previous to this, I've had two blogs. The first was called "NotATestTubeBaby." It was through a site that paid for parenting blogs, and mine was about my son, who was conceived through IVF (in-vitro fertilization). It was just goofy stories about him, basically, with some about my experiences with infertility. It seems my brain was plenty fertile, but maybe not the rest of me.

My second was simply a private blog to keep family and friends apprised of the goings on within our family. Basically, I posted news, pictures and stories about the kids. Nothing fascinating (except to me, of course). So, while these were actually blogs, they were just a mom chatting about her kids. What mom has trouble doing that?? They were also fairly short-lived.

I've been perusing other participating blogs in this A to Z Challenge (you can, too, by clicking on the A to Z icon on the right side of my blog). I have spent far too much time doing that today! But it is wonderful to see all the different blogs out there that I didn't know about before, as well as how they have spun this A to Z Challenge. Several have put me to shame based on the creativity of their themes, especially considering I didn't theme this (other than the already existing theme of this blog). Some have made me laugh. Some have made me nod in earnest. Some have simply made me think.

I've said it before, but surrounding yourself with like-minded people can really help the creative juices flow. That's why I love the writing groups, the meetings, the conferences. Being around other writers gets me jazzed. It makes me want to achieve what they've achieved, to prove myself, to release my Warrior Muse.

Why do we blog? I started this one to keep myself accountable. I figured if I put myself out there and started talking about what needed to be done and what I was doing, I'd feel like other people knowing meant I had to get it done. It does sort of work that way.

I also wanted to do this blog to help other people in the same place. I've found such great resources in the guise of other authors, writing groups and such. I want to pass along what I can and help where I can. The world of writing is boundless, and there's so much to learn, so many secrets and methods and things you simply shouldn't mess up. And if I help educate others, maybe they will do the same in return for me.

B is also for...


How much of that do we do, fellow writers? Sometimes my brain just keeps going and going, like the Energizer Bunny, and it simply won't shut off. I spend many sleepless nights alternating between getting completely engrossed in where my brain is taking me and trying to shut. it. up! Shhhhh! Let me sleep! Can't you do this in the morning? Oh wait, what am I asking for? Sometimes I wake up in the morning, maybe with a full bladder, ahem, and if one stray thought drifts through my brain, the cycle begins again and I am up. My husband knows not to talk to me in the morning unless he absolutely has to, because once I have engaged the ol' mental facilities, I absolutely cannot shut my mind off.

This is also partially a mommy-driven engine. And, I imagine, simply female, as well. We can't shut it off. Lists, to-do's, worries. We are preoccupied. Add a writer's brain to all this and one just doesn't stand a chance. Doomed, I say! Doomed!!

I swear my brain works best at night, though. Come about 7PM, I finally start waking up all the way. I'm not saying I can't function during the day--I do an excellent job of pretending to function and even making it so--but night time is the right time for my synapses to be firing. It's like a drive-by synapsing in my brain. Snap-snap, snap-snap, snap, snap, snap, pop! Shhhhhhhhhhh!

Insomniacs everywhere are nodding. I can hear their brains rattling. There's something about climbing into those warm, comfy covers in a darkened room that screams, "Wake up, brain! We have work to do! Now is the time! No cooking, no cleaning, no screwing around on the computer, no dressing kids, conversing with a three-year old who loves to talk, doing spelling words with a six-year old, packing backpacks, paying bills, building with Zoobs or Legos, doing laundry. It's time to PLAY!"


I try to keep some manner of paper and writing utensil close at hand throughout the house, and even became adept at keeping a composition book and pen on me at all times during my novel-writing. People just had to adjust to me gasping and scribbling something down randomly. They know I'm a writer. They also know I'm not quite sane.

With that, this post still ended up far too long, despite the fact that I vetoed several other "B's," so it's time to zip it.

Happy Writing!

P.S. When does your brain fire best? And why do you blog?


  1. Brainstorming - that is a good one!

    For writing purposes, my brain does best in the shower, on long drives (without the music on), walks, and of course, lying in bed when I'm trying to fall asleep. :)

  2. My brain kicks into gear thirty seconds before someone comes running in to ask me to do something. Without fail. I'm also very good at having an idea when I'm out and about, convince myself I'll remember it when I get home, and when I get home only be able to remember that I had an idea but not what it was.


  3. Hello Shannon,

    Thank you for commenting on my blog. I blogged because I knew it was the thing to do as a self-published author,(I am on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc etc!), but I have met such lovely people I shall continue to do this, even now that I have one or two people interested in publishing my little books. Kind regards, Carole.

  4. I'm like Kimberly. If I'm trying to sleep, that's when the brain goes into overdrive!

    Now for blogging, the best part is all the wonderful people you meet :)

  5. I like brainstorming. My ideas always come at the strangest times, but I'm not going to complain. Great post!

  6. Oh, I hope you're not too ashamed about not having a theme! You're giving it a try, and that counts. Thanks for coming by my blog. :)

  7. Kimberly, oh yes, the car and walks, as well! Last summer, I got so much brain storming done on the drive between Colorado Springs and Pueblo (about 20 minutes), because there was nothing else to do and the landscape just brought my book to mind.

    Mooderino, I have definitely thought up and forgotten an idea when out and about. Sometimes it comes back to me within the next couple days (where I actually remember that it's what I thought of), and sometimes not. :(

    Carole, very good point. I am very much enjoying the interaction brought about by participating in this challenge.

    Jaydee, I am rapidly discovering that part of blogging, and I have to say I love it.

    Renae, definitely no complaints (well...some nights...sometimes I need to SLEEP!). I would be so saddened and scared if my muse stopped talking to me.

    Michelle, thank you! I think I'm staying true to the theme of the blog overall, so it's all good. It's just very cool to see the way others have spun it and I've had moments where I thought "why didn't I think of that!?"

    Aurora, I love the name of your blog!

  8. For so long I quasi-wrote. I said I wanted to write. I bought books about writing. I locked myself in rooms and told everyone I was writing. As if I could turn it on for a day or two, write something awesome and complete, then go back to my 'real life' or my day job.

    Ha bloody ha. Just over a year ago I decided I would do my damnedest to build a sustainable writing life. I would think, connect with writing every day, even if I didn't have time to sit down and 'write'. Blogging is part of that. It gets me to sit down and think about writing every day, no matter what. I know some people say that blogging can get in the way of writing, but, so far, I haven't found that. We'll see.

    The best time for me to think, to spark a new idea is in bed, in the shower, driving, or walking. I'm usually alone, or tuned out and I'm not trying to brainstorm. It just comes.

  9. Blogging and brainstorming--I love them both! :)

    My brain fires best mid-morning. I blog to make connections, relax, and share stories.
    My Blog

  10. My brain is a night owl. I think it waits until my children are asleep, and then it knows it's safe to come out and play. I know some mommy writers who can write during nap time, but I'm not one of them. If there is even a small chance I'll get interrupted then my brain won't cooperate.

    I think blogging is my answer to that, in a way. It's a way for me to be creative and write during the day when I can't get involved in a story idea.

  11. Hi Shannon - thanks for visiting me through the A-Z linky list. I like blogging for that reason - meeting other bloggers - as well.

    I'm also enjoying exploring topics I probably wouldn't write about otherwise (for me, folklore - I'll use magic and myth in my fiction, but wouldn't have a reason to write about it otherwise).

  12. Hi Shannon, thank you so much for stopping by and following me! I invite you back soon ... I post a lot, and my Alamo post wasn't part of the A-Z challenge, but the posts below it are A & B. I explained that this morning, so I'm glad that you pointed it out to me. I wonder how many folks visited yesterday and thought that I hadn't given A-Z any credit!

    I love reading your "B" post. We sound a lot a like, even though my kids are all grown and my grandkids don't live in town so I have all day to create. My mind gets going and when my body is tired and I'm watching t.v., I have a pen and a stack of index cards and put my ideas down then and there. Or else I'll forget! That is hard to do when you are trying to sleep, I know.

    I'm your newest follower. You can find yourself on my top sidebar under writers in a few minutes. I think that you would really enjoy joining us in Lisa's Writing in the Buff's weekly Book Blurb Friday meme. What a fun and wonderful bunch of writers over there. Many of them have known each other for years.

    Have a wonderful Sunday, and it has been very nice to meet you.

    Kathy M.

  13. Magpie, I think the best thoughts come unbidden. I am hoping blogging works in the same way for me. I've heard it said that you need to write every day, no matter what it is.

    Catherine, hi and thank you for sharing! I like that you said it's for sharing stories.

    Kendal, I also have trouble settling down to write if I think I will be interrupted. I'm trying to find a way past that.

    Beth, interesting point on writing about something you wouldn't otherwise. There are so many things I enjoy learning more about that wouldn't necessarily find their way into stories. I need to bear that in mind.

    Kathy, thank you for telling me about Lisa's Writing in the Buff's Book Blurb Friday. I need to check that out. I was drawn to one particular tree in your Alamo post, so I couldn't help but check it out. By the way, my grandmother lived in the Oregon mountains (Sisters), and I grew up surrounded by such beautiful scenery. The index cards are a good idea! It reminds me that I have a little accordion file full of index cards from when I tried to "organize" my thoughts on stories and such.

  14. Kathy, I posted too soon. Thank you for the link on your page!