January 2015
Monday, January 05, 2015
What if I write more?
The other day I asked myself: what if I take five minutes a day and write more? How much more will I have written? Curious to know, I tried it. I took five minutes to think about a story concept I have been churning over for the past six months, and then I wrote for five minutes straight to see how many words I could get onto the paper. For me, 192 words (a little shorter than this blog post).

192 words might not seem like a lot. But, if I write 192 words everyday for one year, I will have written 70,080 words! The length of a novel. Granted, these 70,080 words would be a very rough draft, but all stories have to start somewhere.

So for 2015, I am going to attempt to write for five extra minutes a day on the same story, and maybe by this time next year, I will have a completed first draft to a new novel. If not, I will keep writing more, even if I can only write 192 words every five minutes.

What are your resolutions for the new year? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Posted by Michelle
Monday, January 12, 2015
10 aMUSING Thoughts (# 5)
It’s a new year and time for one of my favorite blog posts: aMUSING thoughts.

The remarks my children say often make me think twice or outright laugh. Here is the latest collection of their amusing comments:

1) “Why don’t you cut it, slice it, or scissor it?”
Apparently, cut it wasn’t enough. My daughter wanted to be sure I knew all my options for dicing.

2) “That was not in my brain anymore”
A simple, I didn’t remember, would have sufficed. My girls, however, have clung to using “brain” as a reference to thoughts and memories as the next comments also show.

3) “Oh no…I forgot something in my brain.”
Who knows what she forgot, but I love that she added the phrase “in my brain.” Not in my room. Not at school. But in her brain. Unfortunately, I wasn't much help finding whatever she forgot.

4) “Did you forget?” I asked.
My daughter said, “Yes, sometimes my brain lets it out the window.”
Instead of visualizing words floating in one ear and out the other, I know visualize words floating out a window in the back of a head, like hair blowing in the breeze.

5) “Mom, I got ink on my leg,” said my youngest daughter.
I assumed she accidentally got a little ink on her leg until I looked at her leg. The ink covered both legs and came in three colors: black, red, and purple. Perhaps, my daughter's confession would have been more accurate if she said, “Mom, I colored my leg.”

6) When my husband complimented my oldest daughter and told her that he was proud of how patiently she waited for them to leave for their daddy-daughter outing, she responded with “Thanks, Daddy, but I was more eager than patient.”
Ahhh, the honesty of kids.

7) “Guess how I fell asleep last night?” my daughter asked.
“How?” I replied.
“I got my blanket, got comfortable, then I squirmed, I kicked, I screamed…then I fell asleep.”
I couldn’t help but think, that’s one way to get the wiggles out.

8) “How do you get ice cream sundaes?”
“You get ice cream on Sunday.”
My girls take words they hear literally, and it always make me laugh.

9) “When’s the next skip year?”
Skip year, leap year…it’s all the same. Right?

10) “My hair is still gloomy.”
This comment was a first for me. Gloomy was not a descriptive word I’d heard used for hair. But now, I can see the lack of sheen and the clumps of tangles that make hair gloomy.

For those readers who missed aMUSING comments #4, see michellekarene.com/default.php?content=blog&sid=3&date=2014-11-17#61

What silly, amusing, or thoughtful remarks do your children say? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Posted by Michelle
Monday, January 19, 2015
Inspiration from my Muses…
As an aspiring children’s author, seeing a book in the bookstore with my name on the cover is a pretty huge dream. I’d chance saying most unpublished authors have the same dream. But being published is not my only writing dream. Second on my list is connecting with readers and hopefully inspiring them in some way, perhaps by triggering their creative side or helping them see a new perspective.

I have come to realize that even without a published book this second dream has already been achieved. I have my children to thank for showing me that my writing has inspired them. I am their muse so to speak.

When I’m working on a book, my girls like for me to read these works-in-progress to them. If have a presentable draft, I oblige their wish and read them a story.

Afterward, they will tell me whether they liked it or not. Sometimes I get questions about parts they didn’t understand. My favorite thing to hear is “read it again, please.”

I’m not so disillusioned to think that because my kids like my stories that I have a winner. I understand that my kids love my stories simply because I’m their mom. They enjoy seeing me happy and smiling as much as I enjoy seeing them happy and smiling.

However, in addition to this “love begets love” scenario, I have discovered that sharing my stories inspires my girls. My girls will draw me pictures, act out a scenes, or tell me stories inspired by my books. Even better, my girls will write their own stories. I have to give them props because they write the old-fashion way with pen and paper. They even go the extra mile and illustrate the pages.

Here’s the bonus—while my girls are busy letting their creativity flow, they inspire me. They become my muses.

Inspiration begets inspiration!

Their silly antics, thoughtful comments, and endearing gestures creep their way into a new story or become a trait of a new character. Sometimes a single comment of theirs awakens an entire story concept. My fingers then hit the keyboard to write another story.

It’s a beautiful cycle!

The bigger bonus for me is that I will forever treasure that my girls fulfilled one of my biggest dreams…not once, but over and over and over again.

So I will enjoy being inspired and inspiring others, whether I remain published or unpublished.

Are your children inspired by your creativeness? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Posted by Michelle