Monday, September 27, 2010

Piecing it all together

I'm single-parenting this week while Beloved Husband attends a conference.

First and foremost, I have to say that I have the utmost respect for single parents. Honestly, I don't know how they do it every day. I love spending time with my kids, but it's hard to give them the attention they want (and need) when I need to feed them, keep them in clean clothes, bathe them, and teach (my day job).

And then there's what I want... to spend quality time with my kids and quality time writing. Trifocal is nearing the end, and I want to get 'er done before I start traveling next month week. Gah!

So how is it possible to do anything writing-related? Well, Trifocal might be on hold for a bit, but... I started doing a bit of research for NaNoWriMo by collecting inspirational photos from magazines.

Jennifer Daiker at unedited does character collages, and Tera Lynn Childs did a vlog about character collages at WriteOnCon last month. And they got me thinking (yep, it happens sometimes)... not only can I do character collages to better understand who my characters are, I can also find great images of locations or events that I might incorporate into a story.

So this weekend, we pulled out the last two years' worth of National Geographics and went to town. I cut out anything that I thought might come in handy at some point in the future: scenery and people for my novels and cool animals that might make good subjects for a non-fiction PB. The kids got to tear out anything I didn't want that interested them (which, for the oldest, was just about everything... I listened to a constant stream of "Oh, wow, look at this!" for over an hour).

The result? I have a little box filled with inspirational bits and pieces to post on my magnetic board, so when I get back from my travels, I'll be ready to jump into NaNoWriMo. And I got to spend quality time with my kids. Win-win situations don't get much better than that.

If you have a family, how do you carve out time for family and writing?


  1. That's a very cool idea. I considered making collages after the WriteOnCon, but I haven't gotten to it yet. We don't spend money on magazines, but I know that my mother-in-law has a whole bunch that she doesn't look at twice. Unlike us, she has to subscribe to Everything. Even the science magazine that she never reads. Don't ask why.

    Anyway, next time I'm at her house I'll snag a couple of magazines.

  2. Hi Tessa, thanks for stopping by! It was a lot of fun, and since I'm a very visual person, this will really help me to bring my characters and settings to life.

  3. Oh man, National Geographic is perfect for finding inspiration! Now I need to get a subscription!


  4. What a great idea! I hadn't seen that part on WriteOnCon. I'll have to go check it out!

  5. I can relate very well to your post. My husband travels for business half a dozen times per year leaving me with three kids.

    I like your collage idea. Will this be your first time participating in NaNo? I'm participating too and it's my first time. I'm bringing a group of women with me who have never written a book and are eager to begin. It would be great to be writing buddies on NaNo. Only 34 days left! Yay!

    Thanks for making it over to my blog and becoming my friend.

  6. that is a great idea.

    As a Mom it is a constant struggle to carve out writing time and family time. Something has to give. I try to protect the writing hour each day and then give time to the kids when they are home form school. With my youngest, he gets me in the morning.

  7. Character collages...interesting. I'm usually more of a word based thinker, but a collage might force me to think a different way...ooh, much to muse on. Thanks!

  8. Justine: Thanks for stopping by! National Geo is the best. =D

    Megan: I didn't search for the direct link (sorry), but it's definitely worth checking out. Also see Jen Daiker's blog; she posts the ones she makes.

    Tabitha: Good for you for protecting your writing time. Some days that's easier for me than others. I hope today will be a good one.

    JEFritz: You're welcome!

  9. Patricia: I'd love to be a NaNo buddy. This will be my first attempt, too. =)

  10. I'm impressed by all your preparation - what a great idea to do collages!!! I've signed up for Nano too - I really want to take part, though it will depend at the last moment on how my WIP revisions are going I think :(

  11. Rachael: I'm not actually feeling prepared now that I've made it official. But I've got a month, right? ;)