Tag Archives: writing

For the Love of Reading

So, I’ve been busy. I went back to work at the beginning of January and my blog has been left alone and lonely.

We’ve been up to plenty of things (around the house mostly, because I still can’t drive), but I haven’t had time to post our fun.

But I couldn’t stay away today, no matter how busy I am. It’s Family Literacy Day and we’re all about reading (and writing) in this house.

Little Brother finished another Reading Road last night (way past his bedtime, but hey, who am I to say turn out your reading light when I’m snuggled in my bed way past my bedtime reading just one more chapter?)

Big Sister is working on writing chapter 5 of her first French story. And she won’t go to sleep at bedtime unless I read her a chapter from one of her Beverly Cleary books and then she reads a chapter from her Judy Blume book. (We really need to start the bedtime process at 5:30pm to get everyone in bed and read to by 9pm.)

Husband has picked up the reading bug big time. (He’s always been a reader, but since my surgery, he’s spending more time de-stressing with a good book before lights out.)

And me, well, I read constantly, and everything I can get my hands on.

So, while taking a break from some reading for work, I stumbled on a site shared on FB by a friend of my mother’s…StoryMobs…and I’m totally stoked for their upcoming events!

One of the events StoryMobs is doing is going to coincide with World Read Aloud Day on February 24th this year. To join in the fun for World Read Aloud Day, all you have to do is pick a favourite story, use your imagination and a smart phone (or other video recording device), then add costumes and actions (if you want), and get your family and friends to join in the fun and read with you (pick a character each to read aloud and bring the story to life!)

You can make it as elaborate of a production as you want, or you can keep it simple with a straight read-aloud from the book. You can do a whole story book or just a few pages. Anything goes!

Make a video of you and your friends and family (whoever you invite) doing your mini-mob and then send it to StoryMobs at storymobs@gmail.com by Friday, February 19.

They ask that you please try to keep your video clips/files small so that they can include everyone who submits a video. StoryMob will then share their final collection of mini-mobs with their subscribers, via social media (FB, Twitter), and on their YouTube channel as part of Read-Aloud Day festivities on Feb 24!

Isn’t that cool?!

So we’re gonna cuddle up this weekend and make our mini-mob video. I’ll come back here and post it when its done and I have a free minute. I’d love to see your read-loud mini-mob videos, too! You can post your links in the comments!

And keep reading!

Living by Intention

“We need never be bound by the limitations of our previous or current thinking, nor are we ever locked into being the person we used to be, or think we are.”
― Allan Lokos, Pocket Peace: Effective Practices for Enlightened Living

Intention and simplicity have been two big themes in recent months for me. I’ve not necessarily done much along the lines of these themes, but they keep popping up, tapping me on the shoulder and making themselves known.

I think, with my surgery recovery, I’ve finally made some space to just be, to just listen to the undercurrent of my life, my rhythm, something I haven’t done in a very long time—if ever.

I’m going to back to work soon, and I’m fearful that this slight peace that has drifted into my life is going to disappear in the madness that was my life before surgery. I have been hoping that three months away from the rat race and stress was enough time to set me on a new path, but I fear that I did not do enough to cement this path. No pun intended, but when I think about traveling a new path, the last thing I want to do is put my feet to concrete and walk a road that to me seems so full of stress and anxiety.

The path I want under my feet is strewn with fallen leaves and green moss; it’s a dirt path for sure, maybe a few wood chips, but not the man-made kind, the kind that happen because a tree has fallen and small animals have chipped away at the rotting log and left their chippings and shavings all around the openings to new homes where new little creature families will be born and will grow up.

But to have that mossy green, soft, forgiving path and not the hard cement, man-made road of my previously too busy life, I have to intentionally choose it.

I’ve let it choose me over the last few months and it has been a simple, enjoyable beginning to a journey that I hope to continue. For that to happen, simplicity and intention must be my guides. I know I’m going back to work and I know that life can take over if I let it, but I would like to at least feel as though what I am doing is being done purposefully rather than just as it comes up and needs to be dealt with.

My goal for my return to the “real world” is to set an intention of simple living and purposeful living so that, at the end of my day, I feel that my day was one that was guided by my beliefs and core values rather than a day that just sort of happened to me.

Because that’s what a lot of the days fee like. Life takes over and the days just kind of go by.

There are plans, of course, and moments of connection and happiness. But for the most part, up until very recently, my days just sort of happened.

We had our family routine, and every morning we would get up and press play on that day and everything just moved along as if it were a recorded episode. The odd time we would press pause, but for the most part, we just moved along in the recorded manner.

When I return to work in a few short weeks, I want to do it differently. So I have begun to do more with intention.

One intention that I have been working on is writing. I want to write with a more regular rhythm. I’m always saying I don’t have time to write. But I don’t ever set aside that time, and writing is something I love to do. If I don’t value it enough to make time for it, then maybe it should not be part of my life. It’s harsh to think of it that way. But it’s refreshing, too. I know that I love to write, so I will have to be more intentional about it. And when I think of making time for a thing that I love, it creates in me a dedication to the enjoyment of that thing.

So, my intention has been to build a habit that supports my writing and my enjoyment of writing. I did this with one simple change. Rather than waking up at 6am and lying in bed enjoying the quiet before the rush of the day hits, I wake up at 6am and write.

Sometimes, I am interrupted by my littles who want to snuggle. And my intention for that is to let them in. I enjoy them more than I enjoy writing, and making time for them solidifies my dedication to enjoying them, interruptions and all. And since I was never writing with any scheduled regularity or intention before, why not let them in? Writing can happen anytime. Littles grow up and grow out of snuggles. But I do want to write and I do relish that time alone with my thoughts and my keyboard or pen and notebook.

So, I invite them into my writing and we make up stories; they dictate while I type. We play word games on my laptop or draw silly pictures in Microsoft Paint and learn about shapes and colours and patterns.

I may not get that hour of quiet writing time where I get to write whatever I want, but I get so much more. I get to teach and learn and inspire and be inspired. And when they are off to school and I’m alone, I get to write that story that we started while we snuggled in my bed at 6am.

Because, after all…

“We need never be bound by the limitations of our previous or current thinking, nor are we ever locked into being the person we used to be, or think we are.”
― Allan Lokos, Pocket Peace: Effective Practices for Enlightened Living

Slowing down, slowed down, stopped

So, I haven’t been around in a while. I kind of gave up. I got tired. I was overworked (in every area of my life) and now I think I might be a little bit ready again. I miss this space. But this space is going to be a slow space now.

I learned a lesson recently. I won’t go into details. Life presents so many lessons. But I’d like to share this post that I read this morning from UnTangled that kind of frames the lesson I learned…http://drkellyflanagan.com/2014/08/13/why-you-should-unsubscribe-from-my-mailing-list/.

Writing for Print in a Wired World

I’ve been doing a lot of writing off-screen lately; which is weird in this wired world. If you write something, you share it. Why would you have a thought that isn’t shared with all of your followers and fellow Tweeters? Well, that’s the way it seems anyway. Every thought, every little scribble that used to be reserved for ourselves is now shared with everyone.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t share our thoughts and make connections via social media. But lately, I’ve taken my writing off-screen and into an old fashion journal…and it’s liberating. Back when I started blogging, I had business cards printed (similar to the ones from YouPrint and Moo), which made the sometimes isolating process of blogging more real. Handing those cards out at social media conferences and to new acquaintances established the blog in real life and has had an effect on how long this blog has existed.

Recently, I’ve also been working on several print projects. There’s something about the printed word, whether it’s a card, a brochure or a document. Seeing your words in print lends credence to the idea. Ideas are easily shared via social media, but printed words come alive and express a certain permanence to me. It takes effort to share it, so its worth is in the time someone has taken to pass it on.

One of the projects to which I’ve been dedicating my time has been a monthly newsletter. Crafting the words, laying them out on the page and entrusting them to a printer is like sending your child to the first day of kindergarten. Terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time.

When the newsletter is published and distributed, it invites conversation among the group members, individual articles are photocopied and shared, and the printed pages are kept in an archive for future group members. These words that I write for print establish themselves in the real world. And that is really quite something.

Five Minute Friday – Grace

Linking up with Lisa-Jo over on her site today.

It’s Five Minute Friday. The word is grace. Here’s how to play:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back to Lisa-Jo’s post and invite others to join in.
3. And then, absolutely no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community...

GO

Two things collided this morning.

Yesterday, I volunteered at my daughter’s school, which gave me a chance to be with the teachers and the administration and to see the children in the environment in which they spend most of their waking hours absorbing, learning, grasping, growing, and attempting to comprehend their place in our world. Continue reading

We made it!

I don’t have much time to write tonight. I am running an event at my church this weekend and I’m just swamped swamped swamped.

But I wanted to reach out to all my readers with a great big THANK YOU for voting and reading my little blog.

I’m so blessed and so honoured and I think it’s just fantastic that you all voted for me in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Canadian Mom Blogs. I landed at 21 and I’m feeling so blessed and filled with so much gratitude. (It really does make you happy to express it.)

So, as soon as my event is over this weekend, I promise to sit down and dedicate some time to my blog and to my readers. I’ve got some pieces in the works. I just need time to polish them off and get them up on the blog. And right now, I’m running a little ragged and having a hard time keeping up…but there again, with this event for my church, I’m full of gratitude for all that has come together to allow me to pull off this event. I faced down fear that it would not be successful, but I’m riding a new high. Much prayer and meditation have shed light on what can only be a success this coming Saturday!

God Bless!

Last day to vote!

The Circle of Moms Top 25 Canadian Mom Blogs list is closing today at 4pm PST (that’s 7pm in Ontario and 8:30 in Newfoundland). You can vote here up until that time.

Before this list closes and we find out the results, I want to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has voted for Life Takes Over.

I watched a video today over on Upworthy.com about the science of happiness. Great video. It reinforced something for me that I think we all know deep down (or at least have heard or read somewhere; it’s not a new idea).

But it’s so true. Gratitude and the expression of it leads to happiness.

But that’s not why I’m expressing my gratitude to all of you who have been voting for Life Takes Over in these last few weeks. I’m expressing my gratitude to you because, no matter what the results of the voting are, I’m so deeply touched that you made the effort for me. It really means a lot to me. Thank you. (And it does make me happy to express my gratitude to you, so I guess the science is right.)