Tag Archives: Blogging

Where to find me!

I may not be the most prolific blogger during this season of my life, but I’m still writing. For now, my priority as a writer has shifted to freelance work. However, I hope to be able to write more personal pieces in the coming years. If you’re curious about my current projects, check out my freelance tab, and don’t be shy about getting in touch!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

Update: Oh hi, it’s me!

Still here! Just a little preoccupied with the creature in my arms.

Still here! Just a little preoccupied with the creature in my arms. This is the only recent picture I have with me actually in it– but pretty fitting since I took it last night while I typed one handed. Learning to get a lot done with a little extra creativity.

As I sat down to start writing today, I remembered I had some comments over on Leap of Mama to check out. Then I wandered back over to this blog and realized, wow, it has been more than a month since my last entry. That made me a little sad. This blog used to be my baby. Then I had a baby and, well, she took over that spot and my writing had to become a lot more prioritized, (as in, somehow, this blog fell to the bottom of the list).

I hope you stick around despite the neglect. I plan to triumphantly return one day and hopefully soon! The non-mom part of me is still alive and kicking, if just for a couple hours here and there throughout the day. Most of my writing attention has been going to middle grade fiction, a novel about an 11 year-old girl in search of answers about why her mom left and what it means to be alive, all within the kid-favorite context of living across the street from a graveyard.

I am having a blast writing it, started the last week when E was in my belly and picked it back up a few months ago. I’m 15,000+ words deep, which for middle grade fiction means I’m about halfway through a book, exciting stuff. I look forward to sharing more as I finish up in the next few months. My goal is done with my first draft by E’s first birthday; the best present I can think of for her, even if she has to wait ten more years to appreciate it, (which is great, because that gives me plenty of time to polish it up and slap a real cover on it!).

Anyway, just wanted to stop by, say hi, and tell you I’m still around, writing. I miss the community that was beginning to emerge on this blog. Now it’s a little like an abandoned garden plot, but I know there are more good things to come, just hope you are still around to say hi too! If you really miss me, (which how could you not?), you should stop by my other blog, Leap of Mama. I make a more frequent appearance in those parts.

Happy holidays to you and yours!

And, oh yeah, let me know how you’re doing– what projects are you working on? What’s new in your life? Would love to hear, whether it’s a comment or email!

Tagged , , , , ,

Getting Meta: The Stories we tell Ourselves

A collection of notebooks I found around the house... I'm sure there are more.

Time to whip these suckers back out and get intentional about my present and future again.

I have always been a storyteller. When I was a kid, this got me into a bit of trouble as I molded my reality to fit the story I wanted to tell. I wasn’t a liar, per se, but I manipulated details to create my world into one where I wanted to live.

Without stopping to notice, I am still the same person. I tell stories all the time. And just as when I was a kid, they are neither true nor false, but rather subjective to the lens I choose.

Today I was feeling down for the first time in awhile. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was those pesky hormones still sticking around after baby. Really it does not matter. What does matter is what I realized.

I had a choice. I could either tell myself a negative story or a positive one. Both were true enough, depending on which details I chose to focus. What a thought. I could live in whichever story I wanted, so why choose the gloomy one?

Time to get out those notebooks again and be more intentional about the stories I'm creating now and five years down the road.

I love old pick-me-ups in forgotten journals… It is like the old me knew I would someday need a picture of a fish saying, “Boo!”

Even so, I let myself bask in the gloom for a bit. Sometimes I enjoy a good mope. Contrasts are good. Recognition of feelings is good. After all, we can’t always opt to live on a bright, fluffy cloud. {Where is the growth and variety in that?}

Still, we can choose where we want to spend more of our time. Overall, I prefer the rosier lens. Maybe not the one filled with rainbows and unicorns, but the one where even the less enjoyable details serve some bigger, higher purpose.

Have you stopped to think about the stories you tell yourself? What kind of reality are you crafting in this very moment?

With those questions in mind, I am off to create a new story for myself, one where I get back in the driver’s seat and count my blessings for what they are worth. {A lot…}

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Wanted: WordPress.org Advice

Hi fellow bloggers–

I have been researching making the move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org for my other blog, Leap of Mama. Does anyone have experience with hosting a wordpress.org site? I’m looking for the simplest option that is also affordable, as I don’t have a lot of experience with site maintenance or security. Even though I like the built-in community of WordPress.com, I want more control over the ads on my site, as communities like BlogHer won’t let you join from WordPress.com.

Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated! I have read forums, but it helps to hear from other bloggers who have actually used WordPress.com as well.

Happy writing,

Olivia

Tagged , , , , ,

Come join me over at my new blog!

I know posts about motherhood aren’t for everyone, but in case you missed the memo, I am now blogging over at Leap of Mama as well. Whether you are a first-time parent, empty nester, or suffering from baby fever, you are welcome! Come on over, click follow and join the fun.

I'm sure you don't want to miss what is happening in the world of this cute face.

I’m sure you don’t want to miss what is happening in the world of this cutie.

Tagged , , , , ,

Writing While Pregnant

One of my biggest fears about motherhood was I would lose my writing identity. Sure, I follow plenty of women writers who find ways to make it work, but I also heard story after story of how motherhood changes you. No time, little rest, more important priorities.

While true motherhood is at least a few months away, I already feel these shifts I dreaded, as writing has taken a backseat to other activities, such as napping, cleaning, preparing, resting some more. What I did not expect, however, is a calm to come with these changes. Instead of lamenting my lost writing time, I feel more present, still, and content. Time has already gained a sort of elastic quality, where less occurs in more time, as though the minutes are stretched, the actions slowed, hours somehow disappearing with little done.

Other things have fallen by the wayside, too. Yoga now means a few minutes of stretching and breathing at various points in the day, instead of my before-treasured blocks of hours. Again, there is a peace in this. Instead of panicking over a loss in identity, I feel a reassurance that these pieces of myself will return in time, or perhaps just exist in more fragmented but highly-treasured moments.

I realized recently, I write to escape and create a space of contentment. With pregnancy, my urge to escape has diminished, my ability to be content in simple moments has improved. Likewise, my thoughts I used to share so freely suddenly feel much more private, more difficult to share. Even so, I love that feeling of progress, as pages of writing become clean and stronger, blog posts emerge out of thin air, and connections are made across this electronic universe. Today I write to say I am still here, just a little quieter than before.

For those of you haven't hear already, we're excited to welcome a little (human) girl to our family this March.

For those of you haven’t heard, we’re excited to welcome a little (human) girl to our family this March.

Tagged , , , , ,

The Importance of Stopping

This week is fall break, the glorious light at the end of the tunnel after nine weeks of school. For those of you with the normal two to three weeks off per year, I realize nine weeks does not sound like such a terrible stretch of work, but as a teacher, it is a solid chunk of energy investment, particularly given the first weeks of school are among the most tiring.

Before I became a teacher, I thought the breaks alone would make up for any amount of exhaustion in the classroom. Instead, I discovered that while time off definitely helps, the exertion required to keep 30 children learning, entertained, and emotionally supported surpasses anything I expected.

The upside, of course, is the reward in knowing I am doing something good for others, and the enjoyment I derive from building relationships with my students. So, none of this is to complain, but the truth is, I’m tired. Fall break could not have come at a better time, and I did not realize how tired I was until I finally allowed myself to sink into my couch this afternoon and shut my eyes.

Here is the thing, though, I know I am not alone. Teachers are not the only people pushing themselves to their limits. Most jobs are stressful and we also have family and other obligations that require our time and focus. We commit ourselves to a lot because we care about a lot. I get it. However, there has to be the balance, the time to stop and regroup, and sometimes, we have to let a few things go.

Balance is a big reason I have stepped back from my blog in recent months. Between school and family, writing has taken a back seat. Not because I stopped caring about writing, but because I realized other priorities had to come first. My health and my family are of paramount importance, then my job, then my writing. With less time to write, I have focused on my fiction over my blog. It is all a series of trade-offs. When I have more time, I enjoy blogging, when I don’t have time, I have to just let it go.

I know I am fortunate I get to stop, I get time to breathe and fall asleep on the couch as the leaves outside my window change color and the air is a bit more crisp. But, what about everyone else who is not a teacher? What do you do for yourself to allow for a little break, the time to stop and recharge and take care of just you?

Hopefully you have an answer!

One of the

For the past few weeks, my 17 year-old sister stayed with us, which added to my shifting perspective on life and my priorities. Family has always come first, but I feel myself transitioning to a new level of awareness in how important family is to me and what this means in my quest for balance in other areas.

Tagged , , , , , ,

A Wordless Week

Blog words aren’t jumping out of me this week, so instead I’ll leave you with my favorite moments from the past week caught in photographs. A new camera and Lightroom for my birthday have given me a new hobby, (as if I needed another).

Butterfly kisses

Butterfly kisses

Inky

Inky

Happy Rye

Happy Rye

Happy baby

Happy baby

Dog friends

Dog friends

 

Tagged , , ,

Out-of-office Response: See you next week!

In light of all the lovely blog love I have received in the past couple days, it’s hard to keep myself from checking in around here, (thanks again to my fellow Bloggers for Peace). However, I really must push myself to step away, so hopefully you won’t be seeing any more words from me until next week. Must. Resist.

Okay, now that I wrote that, I’m going to have a million irresistible blog ideas…

Have a safe and fun fourth!

Happy Fourth of July from Oahu's lovely North Shore.

Happy Fourth of July from Oahu’s beautiful North Shore.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Playing the Part: Fake it ’til you make it!

Fake it ’til you make it is a common piece of advice for anything you want to achieve in life. While on the surface, it might sound a bit disingenuous, there is a lot of truth to this statement. As a teacher, I had to fake it until I knew what I doing. Had I not, the kids (and their parents) would have eaten me alive. Likewise, when it comes to writing, platform creation is the current buzz.

However, for all of us yet-to-be-published authors out there, we know platform creation comes with a little faking. After all, we have to create the image of the author (and an audience) before our books even have real spines. I knew I had achieved some success in this endeavor when a friend introduced me at a party as a “real writer” again and again. While I protested a bit at first, she was adamant I had earned this title. At that moment I realized I had successfully played the part.

So, now it’s time to take this adage to the next level as I prepare to query (last round) and possibly self-publish Expecting Happiness. Some of the most common advice in platform creation is to make sure you present a professional and unified picture of yourself across all of your pages, (blog, Facebook, Twitter, Gravatar etc.). It’s important to make sure you pick just one or two photos as many readers will not know you well enough to identify you in different settings without these cues.

As such, I enlisted the help of a local blog friend and talented photographer to take some head shots to help me polish my presentation. While I’m going to hold off on picking which photo (or two) to use until after I get back from my trip, I wanted to give her a shout out for her photographic talent. If you live in the Sacramento area and need photos for any occasion, head over to Urke Photography’s blog. Likewise, Ashley also runs her own blog empire over at Domestic Fashionista (and has been my delightful inspiration for Thankfulness Thursdays). Stop by, say hi, tell her I sent you!

And, most importantly– keep on playing the part until it becomes a part of you! Any secrets you want to share on how you’ve faked it to make it?

Photo credit: Urke Photography

Photo credit: Urke Photography

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why do we blog?

A blog friend recently retired… Or, more likely, decided to step away from blogging for awhile. I both admire and understand his decision. Blogging can become a drain on time. The dopamine released when others comment, like, validate our thoughts has been proven to create online addiction. The instant validation temporarily beats the years we wrestle with other creative projects. And, sometimes, blogging can feel selfish, vain…

Still, I find reasons to stay. Blogging is an instant creative release, the kind of regular writing that makes you into a better writer. It provides a way to practice the craft in short bursts, to get the fingers moving, the mind thinking. It is a window into the real lives of other people I would never meet in my regular world. It is a source of friendship, camaraderie, inspiration. For me, blogging provides a way to be brave, to put myself out there, to stop caring so much what other people think. It is powerful medicine.

Even so, I sometimes feel tempted to do the same thing as my friend, to hit delete or disappear. Sometimes it feels like too much of me out in the world or like a waste of time when I could be doing something more productive. Then I think of blogging as my hobby. I enjoy it. Words help me process the world, connect, live. In that context, it is a much better hobby than many of the alternatives, at least for me. After all, the whole point of having hobbies is to take a break from always having to be productive, right?

What is blogging to you?

Much like riding shotgun while my husband races, blogging was one of those instances in life where I had to push myself to be brave.

I recently pushed myself to ride shotgun with my husband while he raced (his hobby of choice). Blogging is kind of the same thing. Sometimes it feels scary to put myself out there, but I still hold on tight and hit publish, and it gets less scary the more times around the track.

Tagged , , , , , ,

When It Don’t Come Easy

A coworker, friend, and yoga buddy just started his first blog– check out his first heart-felt post and click follow!

I remember talking to myself driving on the highway trying to find the right song that would understand and keep me company through this trip, trying to keep it together and be focused. Hours earlier I received a call from my mom that her and my dad were in Palm Springs as my sister, Ana, had been in a severe car accident(jaws of life to get her out, life flight helicopter, etc.),had to have both of her legs amputated and was in ICU sustaining other injuries. How in shock I was at work when I tried to get the words out of my mouth to my supervisor and co-workers. I felt disoriented, it couldn’t process, “MY sister? My little sister?! Both legs amputated?! This can’t be right.”. Here I was hours later, making the drive from Sacramento to Palm Springs(that I would eventually become pretty familiar with)still trying process this…

View original post 1,297 more words

Tagged ,