Why I Write {a work forever in progress}

snoopy writing at typewriter

Just a few days ago I found myself sitting across from a man that helps people find suitable career paths for a living.

He asked me:  “If you could do anything, what would it be?”

“I’d be a writer,” I said, without even the slightest hesitation.

Because that has ALWAYS been the goal.

When I was about ten, I began writing a, ahem, novel.  It was probably a dozen pages long.  But it was a start.  And I promised myself – promised – that I would have my first novel published by the time I turned eighteen.

Yeah… and then, sometime in my twenties, when I still hadn’t managed to finish any of the novels I’d started, I extended that deadline to my thirtieth birthday.

Which came and went years ago.

So what the hell happened?  I mean, I’ve never completely stopped writing:  I wrote a ton of poems and short stories in college (NONE of which were ever accepted to any of the literary magazines to which I submitted them – yea for motivation…), but I just don’t seem to be on track with my goals.  Why?  What’s happened that’s gotten in my way of pursuing the one thing I believe I was put on this earth to do?

For starters, I don’t write enough.

That’s really one of the big reasons I started this blog.  Sure, I love, love, love posting about recipes and crafts and kid toys (no, really, I do), but if nothing else, it forces me to sit at a keyboard and put words together.

But sometimes that’s easier said then done.

Boromir:  One simply does not start writing without coffee.

For example, coffee is very important.

If there’s not enough coffee surging through my veins, then I don’t really function.  But that can also pose a problem since I get my best writing done at two in the morning.

Well, that and having to get up with my kids when the sun rises.

So, why do I bother?

Why do I keep trying?

you write because you need to write quote

I keep trying because I have to.

And I know I’m not alone.  If the advent of internet memes has taught me nothing, it has taught me this:  I am not alone in my literary torment.

The procrastination gene goes hand in hand with the writing gene.

So, at this point, I haven’t given myself a deadline for completing (or publishing) my next novel.  Mostly in an effort to avoid sobbing fits of devastation.

Instead, I have promised myself to write every day.

I mean, I’m aware that some days there will be very little or no writing done because I will be too busy controlling the beautiful but consuming tornado that is my toddler and preschooler, but I still promised myself I would try.

It’s kind of like a New Year’s Resolution – but for the rest of my life.

How hard could that be…

There is nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.  Ernest Hemingway quote.

I know I can, I know I can, I know I can.

Because I have to.  I don’t have a choice.

It’s who I am.

Roaming Rosie Signature

(sources: Boromir pic; Hemingway quote)

My To-Do List

My To Do List (Books)

I was looking at the pile of books in my to-read pile, and thought it would make a neat photo.

I can’t resist books.

Feeling them, holding them, smelling them, reading them, staring at them…

These books are not just my to-read pile, however.  In an ideal world, they would be my entire to-do list.

So I made a fun little graphic.  Enjoy.  :)

Roaming Rosie Signature

Dr. Seuss Activities for Read Across America Day

Dr. Seuss Activities for Read Across America Day

Yesterday (March 2nd) was national Read Across America Day!

A holiday celebrating my favorite pastime?  Whoohoo!

And better yet, I’ve found a way to easily incorporate activities for my kids into this wonderful holiday, via the Dr. Seuss site.

I may have been too distracted yesterday with setting up a new laptop to replace my well-loved laptop that finally died on me, BUT that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate it today.  Or every day, for that matter.

My girls and I read every night, and often during the day, too, but at Seussville.com I found a free downloadable Read Across America activity booklet that gives you ideas for expanding upon the readings of Dr. Seuss books.

How cool is that?

It’s technically a classroom activity guide, but that doesn’t mean you can incorporate the ideas into playtime at home.  Some examples include using The Foot Book as inspiration for dancing and different ways to sing based on verses and characters from One Fish Two Fish and Mr. Brown Can Moo!  Can You?

Dr. Seuss Activities for Read Across America Day

There are many more activity ideas and even a printable certificate for the kiddos.  So check out the Read Across America activity booklet and let me know what you and your kids liked best!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Roaming Rosie Reads Harry the Dirty Dog

Harry likes to get dirty and he hates taking baths.  Typical man dog.  :)

Anyway, this is a much requested book in our household.  Both of my girls love reading about Harry.  We have a few other Harry books, but the original is our favorite.

And, I just found out there’s a stuffed version of Harry:

Harry the Dirty Dog

How cute is that?

Roaming Rosie Reads Franklin in the Dark

Franklin is my favorite turtle.  :)

I read this book with my girls all the time.  The rhythm is fantastic, so it’s especially great at bedtime.

It’s about being brave, it’s about problem solving, and it’s about family.  A great combination.  But mostly, kids just find it fun and entertaining.  Can’t beat that.  :)

Franklin recently celebrated his 25th anniversary.  You can find him here.

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Reads Moongame

My girls and I love Frank Asch.

His books are magical.  Entertaining but subtly profound:  teaching life lessons and practical thinking in a way that children enjoy.

And I enjoy reading them.

Anyway, this particular book takes place at night, so the illustrations are a little dark (although that may just be because I’m reading an ancient copy).  The pictures are beautiful but a little hard to make out in the video, thus Moongame is one that I certainly recommend following along with a copy of your own.  Although (like all the others I’ve read) it’s still a great story to share with your kids – even if you don’t have the book yet.

But if you’d like the book, you can find it here.

Enjoy!

Mourning Alexandria

I am a history fan.

But, the main reason this little image caught my attention is actually because I’m a fan of literature.  A fan of knowledge.  Of books in general, of any sort, shape, subject, or size.

The thought of spending days (weeks, years) browsing and absorbing and immersing within the parchment fabled to exist there… well, that’s about as close as I get to a “dream come true.”

Sigh…

(source)

Roaming Rosie Reads Ten Apples Up On Top

Ten Apples Up On Top was written by Theo. LeSieg, or, as he’s more affectionately known, Dr. Seuss.

There’s a lot of repetitiveness to the story, but a good rhythm and my girls love it.

It is often requested at home, so, here it is:

Roaming Rosie Reads Owly

Owly was my favorite book as a child.  Still is.

I read it to my children often.

But as my divorce progresses, things have become difficult in ways that I never imagined.  Like having to say goodbye to my children at the end of every other week.

One day, as their father was about to pick them up, I was talking to my 3-year-old and telling her that I’d miss her but that she was going to have a great time.  I try not to say “I’ll miss you” or “I miss you” too often, because I don’t want her to connect any negative emotions with the time she spends with her father.  But I’m human.  It slipped out.

And she smiled at me and said, “you can read my books while I’m gone.”

It was such a grown-up sentiment.  It was all I could do not to cry.  I’d once told her she could hug a stuffed animal if she was missing me, and now she was giving me the same advice.  And with books!  As a writer (and a reader), story time with my girls is SO special to me.

This happy memory blossomed into the idea of me reading the books to a camera, so my girls could still have me read to them even when I wasn’t around.

And then I thought – why not share them?

Books are a gift, after all.  A wonderment.  A comfort.  And certainly worth sharing.

In the spirit of privacy, I had already decided not to make the stories too personal, (including their names in the video, for example), so I simply added a title onto the front of the video.

Seemed pretty nice.

Nothing too fancy, though.  The books themselves are magical enough.  And I wanted it to be like when we curl up in bed or on the couch or on the floor together and read the book, page by page, sharing a simple moment.  Books are powerful enough on their own with no need for special effects or soundtracks.

So the videos will be just me.  Reading.

Here is my first video, Owly:

I hope you – and especially your children/grandchildren/etc – love it!  Please let me know what you think.  :)

And if you’d like to follow along, you can find Owly on Amazon.