Get busy trying…not dying.

ada on the paddleboard

Photo caption reads:  And she’s OFF!

So, unless something super funny pops into my life in the near future or something that just hits me where I super feel it, you won’t be seeing too much of me on this page for some amount of seconds, days, weeks, months…I’m getting my writing on…chapter book style!

Yep!

I am on chapter 2 of my first book for youth.   It’s a lot harder than one would imagine.  First of all, I gotta create a character those tweens want to read.

So far, my biggest of all my brood is my judge.  I look to her, as she reads it, for her laughter or tears (ah-just kidding…no tears.  yet!) and I especially hone in those moments when she raises her eyebrows in confusion.

The thing driving me crazy about an 11-year-old critic…she doesn’t understand that writing is writing and editing comes NEXT.  She is over there correcting so many mistakes I wonder if she is even reading anything at all 😉

But—good news in the 11-year-old world—she sat next to me this evening and asked if I had written any more.

Whoop-whoop.  Chalk that one up for the mom score!

When do I write this said book?

When my two littlest are at Polish preschool on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  I have 2 hours of me time.  Okay—that’s stretching it a bit far.  It’s more like, take away the 50 interruptions, I have about 1 hour and 10 minutes to write.

I never knew my brain could work so fast.

Then, on occasions, when the brain isn’t in the fuzz-bucket, I try and write a bit when the stars come out and the snoring commences around the house.

Unfortunately for me, I am not a sharp-witted night owl anymore.  Those days left me once I had #3.

My goal????  You may ask.  Even if you don’t, I’ll let you know…

1 Chapter a week.

I have already scoured the net for all of those newbies looking for new authors, and found most are not interested in my super cute children’s books that I have written—but many are interested in chapter books for middle-agers.

We’ll see how this goes.

One of the sagest pieces of advice I read while checking out all of the peeps out there looking for writers:

Your first book is just that.  Your first book.  Keep writing.  Edit.  And write some more.

This wisdom brings me back to what my good ol’ ma and pa always said, “Try and then try some more.”  Or “Try again”

In any and every case, you gotta begin somewhere.  Today I choose to begin.

Therefore, unless life throws me a major hilarious curveball that just is a MUST for this blog, or I find some piece of psychological wisdom that is a MUST share for the sanity of parents … or if there is just too good to pass up cultural experience that lands in my lap—or I just feels (yes, I wrote feels as it was how I said it in my head) as if I must write to bring the lot to tears…

I hope to not see ya from here too much in this present day.  No offense and hopefully none taken.

Here’s to words.  Brain power.  Creativity.  And bringing imaginations to soaring heights…Or just simply entertaining kids because I love both of those things:  kids; entertainment.

Best of all—through written words.  Where they have to close their eyes to soar into their world of imaginations…

Which, as we all know, is the best way to fly!

Here’s to up,

b

***

If you’re not already following this blog, I hope that you’ll hit the follow button and join my journey—even if it will be randomly sporadic!

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Digital Detox. Impossible? Not.

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My sister, you’ve met her before on this blog.  Remember?  The one with the Cleanest.Kids.In.America (http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-b8).  Well, she’s back.  This time with an extremely valuable lesson for us all.

A lesson besides how to keep your kids really, really clean 😉

She and her husband, John, have four amazing children ages 6-13 years.  Three of those amazing children are very.active.boys!  And the 13-year-old is a girl.

Yep.  It’s a home of tackle inside football and knocked over candlesticks on one side.  On the other, a beautiful teenage girl with a phone attached to her ear.  Or, more appropriately, fingers since it’s a texting world.

And each child has his/her very own electronic.  Be it a Nintendo DS, iPad, phone, or Kindle.  They are tech savvy kids.  Not necessarily due to their mommy.  She is a pro at phone calls and instant messages—but that’s about it.  Their daddy, on the other hand, his business revolves around the computer.  And he is brilliant at his job.

His kids…yep.  They definitely got that savvy from their daddy.

But they, John and Darby, decided to do something that is nearly unheard of in nearly any part of this world today—they decided to ditch the digital for an entire month!  And they dragged their kids along for the ride.

This means:  Darby and John used their phones and computers only for work.  Emails solely in regards to work (Now John, his business is Internet websites and hosting—so he had to actually do a lot of work on the computer, but it stopped at that.  Work.  Check out his newest business about to open here:  https://www.ezspaces.com).

The kids.  No hand-held devices.  No phones.  No computers.

But they expanded it:  no TV, no radio, no Xbox.  And this rule applied to all.

And for Darby and John, the parents, that also meant no social media.  None.  Yikes!

Pretty much it became the times of the Amish inside a very electric-lit home.

In the cars, the same thing.  No radio.  No electronics.

On their road trips.  No radio.  No electronics.  And, believe me, in a month’s time with 4 kids and two parents packed into one vehicle, they went on several car trips that racked up hours in the vehicle at one drive.

And my sister, to quote her, “I thought the month would be impossible.  After all, I have 3 boys!  Three.  I had no idea how we would make it in the car without electronics.”

My own sister, Darby, thought that their family decision was perhaps a very impossible idea.  How would she survive?

But survive they did.  And not just barely, hanging on to their very last shreds of sanity.  They survived brilliantly.

They swam, they ran, they played.

The couches.  Forget using them for the entire month.  They were continual forts and dungeons and indoor trampoline pads.

They visited museums and took art classes.  They played in the sand and learned how to “talk and play” in the car.  Even the car rides of 3 hours proved blissfully full of laughter and good times.  My sister initially feared bickering and threats of don’t make me pull over the car.  Nope.  The car rides even became times of continuous imagination and play.

Digital Detox.  It sounds impossible in today’s world.  My sister, her husband, and their four (did I mention FOUR very active children) proved that it is not.

It was a month of peace and family.  It was a month of imagination.   It was a month of culture and creativity.  It was a month of outdoors and dirty feet.  It was a month of community service and feeding the poor.  It was a month of chess games.  More chess games.  And even more chess games.  It was a month of evening gatherings in the family room where they read books together.  It was a month of renewed, revived family.  Time with family.

And they survived.  Even without the TV.

Digital Detox.  Sounds impossible.  I guess the cleanest kids in America proved that it’s not.

***

Here’s Darby’s list of “What they learned” during their month (I’ll highlight just a few from her original list):

1.  My house was messier without electronics because every cushion was off of the couch, every craft project was out, and every board game was played.

2.  The kids listened better.  One of goals for the month.

3.  The kids picked up after themselves better.  Our other goal for the month.

4.  The kids were calmer in the head.  Does that makes sense?

5.  Our time was intentional.

6.  Gabe, our oldest son, can now go to sleep without the radio.  And I, Darby, can now go to sleep without the TV.

7.  We had to ask friends and family for updates around the world.

8.  We missed watching football (American football) the most!

Tell me here.  Could you do it?  Would you do it?  Truly, a great challenge for all!