Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 Writing Resolutions

From Kate's Writing Crate…

        Like most years, my 2013 writing resolutions became hopeful targets rather than hard and fast goals.
They were:
Write every day.
Write 52 blog posts.
Continue to co-write and/or edit articles for trade publications.
Take another writing class.
Finish my novel.
        The reality:
                I wrote almost every day so I feel okay with that one.
                I did write and publish 52 posts.
                I did not co-write an article, but I did edit a big project.
                Due to unexpected family situations, I did not take     another writing class.
                For the same reasons, I did not finish my novel.
        Professional writers write no matter what—and despite the unexpected events—I never missed a paid assignment or blog deadline. That was what I could manage in the circumstances and I am proud of the quality of my articles, essays, and posts.
A writing class is a way to challenge myself to work harder and write better. I have enough deadlines in my life, but adding another pulls more writing out of me. I enjoyed meeting new people and learning from a brilliant teacher, but family comes first so I feel no guilt that I did not have time to take another class.
I did not finish my novel partly due to the unexpected events and partly due to the fact that I'm not sure I am a novelist. I think my writing strengths lie in other directions.
        In light of that, my 2014 writing resolutions are:
Write every day.
Write 52 blog posts.
                Write, co-write, and/or edit for trade publications or big projects.
                Write a book by writing a page a day.
                Write a poem.

        I'll let you know how these resolutions work out next year.
What are your New Year's writing resolutions?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Junot Diaz--How I Became A Writer

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

In my last post, I shared an essay that I wrote that will be published in one of the magazines I regularly contribute to, "The East Greenwich Monthly", about following my dream to become a writer.  As I celebrated Christmas yesterday with my family (8 very excited kids ages 8 - 21) I quietly sat back and observed and absorbed their innocence and excitement as they opened gifts, joked with one another, and simply lived in the moment of Christmas morning 2013.

As they exuberantly gave thanks for receiving the gifts that they had opened, I quietly gave thanks for the gift of my family, oh, and for the gift of doing something I love for a living--writing.  I can honestly say that not a week goes by that I don't pinch myself for the opportunity to write every day as well as get paid for doing so.

And although I feel privileged to write professionally, I still have many, many goals and dreams that I yearn to fulfill as a writer, the biggest one to finish the novel I've been working on for the past three years and then to see it published by a major publisher.   So when I feel overwhelmed that this seems like such a lofty goal to complete, I find that reading about how other author's "finally made it" is just the inspiration I need to give me a "kick start" in the 'write' direction again.

An author that I've recently enjoyed following is Junot Diaz, who I had the privilege of seeing in person at an author's event last year.  He did an interview with Oprah this past summer which I found raw, real, and passionate.  

In light of the brand new year ahead, I thought I'd share it with you with the hopes that if you are striving to make your writer's dreams come true in 2014--this might inspire you as well.   

So I became a normal. A square. I didn't go to bookstores or read the Sunday book section of the Times. I stopped hanging out with my writer friends. The bouts of rage and despair, the fights with my fiancée ended. I slipped into my new morose half-life. Started preparing for my next stage, back to school in September. (I won't even tell you what I was thinking of doing, too embarrassing.) While I waited for September to come around, I spent long hours in my writing room, sprawled on the floor, with the list on my chest, waiting for the promise of those words to leak through the paper into me.

Maybe I would have gone through with it. Hard to know. But if the world is what it is so are our hearts. One night in August, unable to sleep, sickened that I was giving up, but even more frightened by the thought of having to return to the writing, I dug out the manuscript. I figured if I could find one good thing in the pages I would go back to it. Just one good thing. Like flipping a coin, I'd let the pages decide. Spent the whole night reading everything I had written, and guess what? It was still terrible. In fact with the new distance the lameness was even worse than I'd thought. That's when I should have put everything in the box. When I should have turned my back and trudged into my new life. I didn't have the heart to go on. But I guess I did. While my fiancée slept, I separated the 75 pages that were worthy from the mountain of loss, sat at my desk, and despite every part of me shrieking no no no no, I jumped back down the rabbit hole again. There were no sudden miracles. It took two more years of heartbreak, of being utterly, dismayingly lost before the novel I had dreamed about for all those years finally started revealing itself. And another three years after that before I could look up from my desk and say the word I'd wanted to say for more than a decade: done.

That's my tale in a nutshell. Not the tale of how I came to write my novel but rather of how I became a writer. Because, in truth, I didn't become a writer the first time I put pen to paper or when I finished my first book (easy) or my second one (hard). You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway. Wasn't until that night when I was faced with all those lousy pages that I realized, really realized, what it was exactly that I am. 

Junot Díaz's novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead) won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008.

Where do you look for inspiration to help you fulfill your own writer's goals?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Reads for Writers: The Quiet Center Provides a Masterclass

From Kate's Writing Crate…

        As a reader, I always love finding books that appeal to me. As a writer, I am twice as pleased when the authors also provide masterclasses within their books.

        Masterclasses take place when performance artists and musicians work one-on-one with students. Writers don't generally have this option, but I have found some books to be masterclasses for characters, backstories, plots, settings, voice and/or creativity.

        (I am reviewing a book written for women by women.)

        Most women are busy this time of year: cooking, cleaning, decorating, providing hospitality to out-of-town visitors as well as hosting and attending parties on top of all our regular responsibilities—so much to do, so little time for ourselves.

        When do we have time to read, reflect, and write?

        If you have a moment to read at any time, pick up a copy of The Quiet Center: Women Reflecting on Life's Passages from the Pages of Victoria Magazine edited by Katherine Ball Ross. Noted writers including Diane Ackerman, Madeleine L'Engle, Jane Smiley, and many others write about Childhood, Motherhood, Grandmothers, Sisters, Places of the Heart, Rituals, In the Company of the Past, On Writing and Writers, and The Quiet Center of One's Life.

        These thoughtful essays are a delight to read. They bring back our memories even as we read about other writers' lives. We can write essays of our own in answers to theirs—a wonderful communal activity.

        In Suzanne Berne's essay "The Gift of Memory" on page 36, she writes, "Nostalgia, after all, is our remembrance of focused attention, our romance with the particular. Without the odd glimmering detail, childhood would be a faded blur, lost to us…"
        Doesn't that make you want to dash down the glimmering details of your own childhood before they fade?
        For those who think they have no time to write, consider Tovah Martin's essay "So I Knew Rachel Carson," author of the multi-award winning Silent Spring on page 280. "Somehow, the gentle lady…found the courage to stroll out of her tidal pools, pick up her cogent pen, and wage war for what she knew was right. She had scant history of defiance, and her life was already overflowing with pressing personal responsibilities…single-handedly raising a young orphaned nephew while simultaneously fighting a losing battle against cancer."
For writers, this quote jumps out in Marian Seldes essay on page 304:
        An older writer, Sarah Jewett, advised the young Willa [Cather], "you must find your own quiet center of life, and write from that to the world that holds others, and all of society, all Bohemia; the city, the country—in short you must write to the human heart."
        Brilliant advice given to a talented writer who wrote short stories, poetry, essays, nonfiction, and novels. Cather went on to win a Pulitzer Prize.
        Patricia O'Toole's essay, "The Romance of Old Books," on page 322 sums up every avid reader's greatest joy. "Happening onto a favorite story is like an unexpected encounter with a friend too long unseen: You seize your good fortune and make time for each other. The rest of the world must wait."
        A reader of this blog asked my opinion of this book and I'm so thankful she did. The Quiet Center is a timeless classic that should be reread often. It's inspiring. It's comforting. It's a kindred collection of essays I recommend that 'you make time for and let the rest of the world wait.'
What books do you make time for?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Following The Write Dream

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

For today's post, I thought I'd share with you an essay that will soon be published in one of the magazines I contribute to regularly, The East Greenwich Monthly.  With the holidays in full swing and the New Year right around the corner, I'm going through a very "reflective" period in which I ponder all the goals I have, both personally and professionally.  This essay sums up how I have been maintaining the life as a writer! Something I never take for granted!

Five pizza boxes teeter at the end of our kitchen island—empty except for a few remaining crusts that didn’t get fed to the dogs.  Dishes tower in a neat stack in the nearby sink waiting for the lucky child who has kitchen duty in our house this week to load them in our already full dishwasher.  I hear muffled voices drifting towards me through the heating vents but other than that, it’s eerily quiet in our usually hectic household.

There’s no time to worry about a dirty kitchen or how my six school-aged children are fairing with their homework because the calendar says it’s the 11th of the month and for me, that means my usual hobbies such as baskets of unfolded laundry, finger-smudged glass work, dusty hardwood floors, and the rest of my 5-page “to do” list is going to have to wait—it’s deadline time, and I’m a writer.

Most of the writers I know thrive during deadline probably because there’s nothing like that adrenaline rush you get as you push through the finish line with your latest piece of creativity that now envelopes the space that used to be a sterile blank page.  Think about it—whether your staring at a white page on your computer or looking at crisp, empty paper in your journal you have the incredible power to occupy that vacant space with whatever thoughts you choose.

Now I know this might not excite everyone the way it does me, (don’t forget, we writers spend hours in solitude) but even if you’re not making deadline as a writer, everyone still has the ability to create something from nothing whether it be as simple as your grocery list or the last chapter of your 600-page New York Times’ best-selling novel—you’re still the author.

Today, however, I’m not penning a list of groceries and housekeeping products that desperately need to be purchased, or uploading `my weekly post to this writing blog that I share with a kindred-spirit writer friend, Kate Phillips, no, today is deadline for one of my dream writing jobs—my parenting column with Macmillan Publishers in New York City—a full-time writing position that was practically handed to me on a silver platter all because I took chance on myself 12 years ago by submitting a personal essay.

Writing has always been my true love (beside, of course, my family, mystery novels, Disney (been there 18 times) and pressed grapes!), but I never pursued it seriously because whenever I admitted this was my career path of choice I was always cautioned to find something more practical that would provide me with money for the essentials like food, clothing and shelter. (I guess the vision of being a starving writer made too many folks in my circle a wee bit uncomfortable.)

I listened to all the well-meaning naysayers and instead pursued a career caring for people’s teeth, a job I truly enjoyed for nearly two decades but in my heart, it was never my passion. (Oh, but it did instill flossing into my nightly regimen, something I will never take for granted.)

My lucky break into my writing career came 13 years ago when I was 7 months pregnant with my 7 seventh child and we bravely took our growing family on a summer vacation to Disney World.  (Remember, I’ve been 18 times!)  The commotion we caused everywhere we went was something I never expected.  From the airport to The Magic Kingdom, by the end of the week, I was so tired of answering curious on-lookers questions about whether or not the kids were all ours or did we have a blended family, I turned my frustration into an essay that was published by The Providence Journal, titled “Yes, We Have Seven Kids and are Proud of it”.  

And so it began!  The essay was very well received by both proponents of large families and those who wished we would be a bit more conscious of the carbon footprint our deluxe family would be leaving on the planet.  (Trust me, with 8 kids, we have mastered living green.)

The positive feedback I received from that one essay was just the push I needed to pursue my passion, and it was then that I promised myself I would search for an opportunity that would allow me to continue my love of writing all while raising my brood.

Excitedly, I began exploring avenues in which to get published and then the perfect job presented itself in this very publication.  The East Greenwich Monthly and North Kingstown View magazines were looking for writers, and although I was hesitant because I still didn’t feel like a real writer, I bravely applied anyway. Within a month I had my first assignment and thirteen years later I’ve been happily writing articles each month in addition to my column, The Family Zone, for our wonderful readers in both communities—a job I am privileged and thrilled to be doing.

The time has gone by so quickly and we’ve since added one more addition to the family, our final chapter—daughter Annie who was born eight years ago.  As the mother of eight, you can’t imagine how many times I look at my kids in complete awe (or harried disbelief) and give thanks as well as pray for continued sanity as the oldest two are now off to college, the next two leave next year so one by one, tuition by tuition—my heart is racing—breathe, Cheryl, breathe!

During the course of being a regular contributor with the magazines, I’ve branched out and written for national magazines, local newspapers and magazines, on-line publications, am the adviser of the Pier Middle School’s newspaper, The Mariners’ Catch, and wrote and published my first book, Pregnant Women Don’t Eat Cabbage, in 2010.  I’ve also been published in several issues of the popular anthology series—Chicken Soup for the Soul and have been a guest on Reading With Robin, Channel 10 News and Fox’s The Rhode Show.

Most recently, synchronicity has played an important part in landing me my full-time writing gig with MacMillan Publishers in New York City as their Mighty Mommy for the past two years.  This opportunity came to be when I unexpectedly received an e-mail from a producer at Macmillan who happened to attend a book signing of mine a couple years before.  She didn’t know me personally but remembered I was a writer and mom of a lot of kids (yep-8 kids does count as a lot, doesn’t it?) and invited me to apply for the Mighty Mommy position that had just opened.  After interviewing with their editorial team, I was hired and have since been writing a parenting column that reflects on the various twists of parenthood along with a weekly podcast which is available on iTunes.  Because you have all been like family to me, loyal readers of The Writer's Crate, I invite you to visit to share in this journey.  

I’m so grateful I took a chance on myself by contacting The East Greenwich Monthly and North Kingstown View thirteen years ago which in turn became the inspiring springboard to my writing career.  Even more so, I’m so thankful I finally followed the ‘write’ dream so now I will never have to live with the regret of “what if”—something far too many of us do in order to avoid potential failure, the most important lesson this writer hopes she can share with all of you as you meet life’s important deadlines of your own.

What was it that finally inspired you to take a leap as a writer?


Monday, December 16, 2013

Inspired by Art

From Kate's Writing Crate…


        Some writers have writing spaces without windows so they aren't distracted when they work. I cannot write under those conditions.
        My desk does face a wall, but it's next to a window overlooking the lawn and a few trees. I also have a birdfeeder next to an evergreen tree so I can see not only the birds darting to and from the feeder, but those waiting their turns sitting on nearby branches. In a snow storm, the cardinals and chickadees decorate the tree beautifully for the holiday season.
        On the remaining wall space, I have lots of artwork. Mostly framed photos of nature cut from coffee table books or drawings from books I love. I buy second copies of these books, usually used, to cut up so I can enjoy the artwork every day instead of only when I open the books.
I discovered one of my favorite artists, Schim Schimmel, years ago when I stumbled across his notecards in a gift store. They were astonishing nature paintings that juxtaposed water and outer space so you got the feeling that everything is a part of everything else. (Copyrighted artwork so I cannot include pictures with this post.)
My favorite notecard is titled "Arctic Dreams." Three baby seals are lying in the foreground on the ice that seems endless around them. The one in the middle is on its back, flipper in the air almost waving while two adult seals swim in the nearby ragged-edged slash of open water that is painted outer space black complete with the Earth, moon, Saturn, a comet, and a thousand stars. It is, to me, the picture of infinity. When I look at it, I'm transfixed, transported, and entranced.

        While the original costs more than I will be able to afford until I write a best seller, I wanted a larger copy of it. I searched for and found a partially battered used copy of Our Home, Too by Schimmel which includes many of his paintings including my favorite four times larger than the notecard. The original painting is 36" x 54". I think if I owned it, I would fall into it like Alice into Wonderland.
Among many others that I feel drawn to are "Conception" which has a large shaft of sunlight illuminating the water/outer space where nine dolphins are swimming surrounded by stars and "Between Two Worlds" with elephants, giraffes, and a rhino roaming the plains of Africa next to a coral reef complete with Clown fish as whales and dolphins swim above them all.
In the introduction to the book, Schimmel writes: "…I found myself wanting to say something about what we were doing to the planet, show people what we were losing. I began to see that everything on this planet is interrelated, that every action we take has far reaching consequences. The concept of planetary interdependency became the central theme permeating my work."
Schimmel's central theme inspires me. I see things differently—twisted, but in a good way.
What art inspires you?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Wintry Writing Prompt For Kids

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

In addition to my own love of writing, I'm also passionate about helping kids get creative in some way, shape or form in the written word.  For the past six years I've been the adviser of our middle school's newspaper club.  Our paper has grown leaps and bounds since we started producing it 6 years ago, and our student staff grew from 10 to 28.  

Not only do we publish our 16-page color paper four times a year, we are very fortunate to have it printed through a local newspaper, therefore giving our students a real journalism experience on authentic newspaper.  There's truly nothing like getting black newspaper ink all over your fingers when holding this student masterpiece each time it's published!

The student staff on our paper, The Mariners' Catch, participate in many different creative writing tasks each month to help build on their writing skills as well as stretch their imaginations.

With the holidays now in full swing, we found a jolly exercise involving snowmen that everyone really enjoyed.

The students all took turns reading the following book, Snowmen at Night, and then they brainstormed a list of all the things the snowmen did at night. They wrote 3 paragraphs, developing the characters in the first, describing the snowman's activity and a problem faced in the second and solving the problem in the third. The wide mix of ideas that stemmed from this project was fantastic, and we all voted for our top three stories at the end.

If you have kids that are looking for a creative challenge, you could try something similar and then sit back and be amazed at their wonderful stories.

What favorite writing prompt ritual do you follow to get your creative juices flowing? 

Monday, December 9, 2013

TV Shows Highlighting Writers 5

From Kate's Writing Crate…


        It's a busy time of year. Hopefully, you are making time to write. For some inspiration and a break from the frenetic holiday season, take time to watch Super Soul Sundays and/or Well Read, two more TV shows highlighting writers. Both are weekly programs.

In Hawaii, Oprah Winfrey hosts Super Soul Sundays on Sunday mornings on her channel, OWN. Please note: there is a philosophical/spiritual theme to the show so it may not appeal to everyone.
Guests on the show have included authors Steven Pressfield discussing The War of Art; Anne Lamott discussing Bird By Bird and Stitches; Mariel Hemingway and Bobby Williams discussing Running in Nature: Stepping Into the Life You Were Meant to Live; and Mark Nepo discussing The Book of Awakening, to mention only a few. Songwriters like India.Arie have also appeared.
There are a variety of views presented on the show by many people, not just writers, but I especially enjoy hearing from the wide array of authors about their work.
Anne Lamott was a recent guest discussing many things including her latest book, Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair. She writes with passion about her takes on religion and politics among many other topics. If you read her hilarious and heartbreaking book Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, you were introduced to Lamott's best friend, Pammy. In Stitches, you learn more about her.
One passage in Stitches jumped out at me.
On page 28 Lamott writes: As far as I can recall, none of the adults in my life ever remembered to say, "Some people have a thick skin and you don't. Your heart is really open and that is going to cause pain, but that is an appropriate response to this world. The cost is high, but the blessing of being compassionate is beyond your wildest dreams. However, you're not going to feel that a lot in seventh grade. Just hang on."
Many writers I know would have benefited from an adult spilling that secret.
* * * * * *
Well Read is a PBS show hosted by Terry Tazioli who interviews an author each week for the first two thirds of the show. Both fiction and non-fiction books are covered. Some recent interviews included The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, Ian Rankin about his Inspector Rebus series, and The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean.
After each interview, Mary Ann Gwinn joins Tazioli on set to discuss other books on the same topic or in the same genre. Gwinn is a former VP of the National Book Critics Circle and a book reviewer for The Seattle Times so she offers six or more recommendations.
Both Tazioli and Gwinn are passionate about books. I learn about many authors new to me from this show.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Positive Self-Talk for Writers

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

As a working mom of 8 kids, I suppose you could say my days are busy.  OK, make that very busy!  Truthfully, I enjoy being on the go and the way I stay grounded is by waking earlier than the rest of the house so I can spend ½ hour – 1 hour quietly writing my morning pages and contemplating about the day ahead.  In fact, I gladly give up that extra hour of sleep just for my own inner peace and as a way to help me organize my thoughts.

I started a new job a few months ago and am learning things I’ve never had to do in the workforce before.  While I find some of my new duties challenging, the one constant that has kept me focused and feeling confident is the co-worker who has been training me.  Not only is she extremely patient, she’s also a big believer and speaking positively each time I conquer a new piece of the job.  I can tell you I never tire of hearing her say, “Great job, Cheryl, you are becoming a master at this grant writing!”

That got me thinking about how I talk to myself when I’m writing an article, a column or working on my novel.  I often read aloud so I can see how the piece sounds and if it flows.  It also gauges how I feel about my writing on that given day.

I ask myself if I like what I’ve just heard, but often I’m a harsh critic.   There have been times I’ve read something aloud and wondered why I wrote it and then the negative self-talk sneaks in and makes me question how I could ever get this particular piece published and what was I thinking when I began writing it.
Now that I’ve been hearing positive feedback from my new co-worker, however, I’ve stopped to evaluate how I talk to myself when I step back and critique my writing.  Sometimes I just chalk it up to having a bad day and take a break.  But more often, I’m becoming more mindful of my inner critic and instead of saying negative things to myself, I’m stopping and appreciating the fact that at least I’m trying and I then change my comments to positive ones so that I can pick back up and let the muse flow once again.

I love post-it-notes for this very reason.  I have several of them stuck to strategic places in my writer’s crate that say “You can do it” or “One step at a time” for when I’m overwhelmed with deadlines that are on tap.   It takes my mind off of negative thoughts and reminds me that as a writer, I can do anything I put my mind to.
Writing is work. Work we love, but still work.  By monitoring our thoughts, we can make it easier on ourselves. And the end result? Well, it will speak for itself.   What is your self-talk like?

Monday, December 2, 2013

2013 Gifts for Writers

From Kate's Writing Crate…


        If you're looking for some gift suggestions for writers you know or for yourself, here are some of my favorites:


        Writers need time to write so ask family members for 30- or 60-minute Time-to-Write coupons. Redeem the coupons by posting them where you write and listing a start time.
        A timer to get yourself writing quickly. Works great with the Time-to-Write coupons!

Mascots to keep you company in your Writers' Crates. A gift of a stuffed dragon became my first mascot. I also have two small plastic dragons on my computer tower that make me laugh. They have such disapproving faces and body language that I feel compelled to keep writing whenever I stop and they catch my eye. I also have a deep blue solid glass turtle with a smooth shell that I hold sometimes when I am considering what to write next.
Quote posters and large quote transfer stickers to decorate the walls of your Writers' Crates. I love the "You're A Writer" mantra available at (Cheryl discovered this gem.)
Cheap notebooks so you feel free to write anything in them. Filling one a month, as recommended by Natalie Goldberg in Writing Down the Bones, is a great way to keep you writing on a regular basis.
        InkJoy pens come in bright, assorted colors. The ink does glob a bit, but they're cheerful, fun, and especially helpful when you don't feel like writing. Pilot V-Ball fine point pens are excellent everyday pens. (Not paid endorsements.)
Blank journals to use as common books where you copy down inspiring quotes and passages written by other writers or to record your Six-Word Memoirs—they're great warm-up writing exercises. Search Six-Word Memoirs online for details or buy the Six-Word Memoirs books.

        For book suggestions, I recommend all the books I wrote about in the Masterclasses and Reads for Writers categories on this blog as well as the 16 I listed in my post on 12/17/12. However, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott, and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield are hard to top. If I'd discovered/been given just those three books when I first decided to become a writer, I'd have felt invincible. In her first book, Goldberg reveals how to start living a writer's life with practical ideas and prompts. Lamott shows you the good, the bad, the funny, and the tough aspects of living a successful as well as a published writer's life. Pressfield keeps you writing with his advice and experiences on fighting through Resistance. There are no excuses not to finish your projects. It's a book I refer to whenever I feel myself faltering.
        As I think every writer should blog, I recommend Are You There Blog? It's Me, Writer by Kristen Lamb and Publishing a Blog with Blogger, second edition, by Elizabeth Castro (reviewed on 9/2/13).

        I'd specifically recommend Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar (and her best seller Wild) by Cheryl Strayed (reviewed on 1/28/13) and Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir by Beth Kephart (reviewed on 8/26/13) as each author has a strong, unique voice that resonates with readers. I aspire to reach as deeply within myself and write from that place.
        Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Writing Quotes to be Thankful For

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

As Thanksgiving Day 2013 winds down, I am quietly reflecting on all the blessings I have in my life.  I am the mom to eight healthy, happy, wonderful children.  I have an amazing mother, sister and three brothers who I can count on no matter what.  And I am blessed dozens of times over with all the terrific friends in my life who make me laugh, support me and also keep me humble!

And I'd never not give thanks for having my two fun and feisty dogs, Molly and Gracie!  

Just as I'm thankful for the fantastic people in my life, I'm also very thankful for the gift of writing.  I simply cannot imagine my life without being a writer.  Writing is me!  I am a writer!

Because I spent much of my time during the past few days in the kitchen (that turkey didn't cook itself!), I didn't get to spend as much time as I usually do creating my blog post, so today, in honor or the special holiday of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd share some of my favorite writing quotes with you.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who support The Writer's Crate by visiting us every week, and I hope that no matter how busy you get during the holiday season, you still find the time to feed your muse and write!