Writing Time


I am not a best-selling author.  I am a mother of two.  I am a wife.  I am an English teacher. And, I am also a writer.  I love writing.  I love blogging and lately I have had to literally scrape together minutes of writing.  I have had to carve and beg and steal time to put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard).

I can’t be ruthless about protecting writing days – because in my world a day devoted to writing is a fantasy.  But I can be ruthless about protecting those precious twenty minutes I told myself I would use to write.

Writing is my happy place.  It nourishes my soul and revives me.  It gives me a little bit of space where I can be me.  I do something that is just for me without the tug of all the people in my life who incessantly need a piece of me.

It is my selfish, unapologetic, self-indulgent time.  And I wouldn’t be able to survive without it.

I keep this quote by Rowling within reach everyday because it helps to remind me how important writing is to me and it is something I will not compromise on.

I’d love to hear how you remind yourself to do the things you love – regardless of the struggle it may create.

blog sign off

Friday Five Favourite Moments

My Friday Five Favourite Things WM

Wow.  Is this place dusty! Life and all that was terribly in my way of writing.  I missed my blog. *sigh*

Considering the pace of my living and the expectations placed upon me from family, work and all sorts of other sources, today’s Friday Five will be about my absolute favourite moments in which I felt that “Today is the day that life is excellent”  – wise words from my 6 year old son!

5.  Laughing all together as a family.

4.  Feeling the pudgy arms and legs of my 18 month old squeeze as tight as they can in response to my “I love you”.

3.  Walking down the staircase at the end of the day, leaving my children in their rooms for the night and heading down to the couch to chat with my husband, watch some t.v. or pop open my laptop.

2.  Hearing my six year old say please and thank you and excuse me and you’re welcome.

1.  Right now.  I am blogging.

What are your favourite moments where everything is just perfect?

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Wednesday Quotables: On Support

Wed quotables 3

In light of all of the support, kinship and good spirit that Book Marks has received in the past few days. today’s Quotables will be about Support – those who support us, why we need support and how it affects us.  Enjoy!

from quotes-lover.com

from quotes-lover.com

I find in the blogging community a deep respect for all writers, great encouragement and support for all that a blog has accomplished and where a blog goes.

from searchquotes.com

from searchquotes.com

Just when I feel my most empty, without words, wiped out – the universe reminds me that I love doing this.  Last week, it was a short message from Dawn at Life, Love, Adventure “Karen, we miss you!!”

from bedroomdesigncatalogue.com

from bedroomdesigncatalogue.com

Ok, so who doesn’t love a Winnie the Pooh quote? And, isn’t this how you feel when you discover a great new blog or connect with a blogger who’s blog you love?

from quoteshunter.com

from quoteshunter.com

Every fantastic blog and writer out there challenges me to improve, change and better my blog.  I feel like it is always a work in progress.  Each step helps me discover who I am as a blogger and what I’d like to see at Book Marks.  I wish I had more time to do this!

from happyologist.co.uk

from happyologist.co.uk

We all love to see the stats go up, it’s fun to check the daily numbers and views and clicks…but ultimately, it’s the great comments and support from the people who read and care about our blogs and what we have to write about that really matters.

So what did you think of today’s quotes?  Any ring true, hit home, make you think?  Share your thoughts!

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Blog of the Year Award 2013!

November was busy!  New home.  Home renos to said home.  Preparing for new baby.  Coping with complications with pregnancy and third trimester stuff. Oh, and NaBloPoMo…which seemed to have ended for me about a week early.

Then amidst the daily chaos of life I found this lovely comment from Melanie Jean Juneau at Mother of Nine9:

you have been awarded the BLOG of the YEAR by melanie at http://themotherofnine9.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/even-though-i-said-no-awards/

I was flabbergasted.  And giddy.  And, oh so grateful!

The rules for Blog of the Year 2013 Award are:

  1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.
  2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required- and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.
  3. Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them- (please don’t alter the instructions or the badges!)
  4. Stop by and say hello to the originator of the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award via this link: http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/blog-awards-2-/blog-of-the-year-2013-award/
  5. Recipients can now join the Blog Of The Year Award Facebook Page. Click the link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear and share your blog posts with  an even wider audience.
  6. And as a winner of the award- please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award-and then proudly display the award on your blog- and start collecting stars!

I will begin with #6 – Thank you so much Melanie from Mother of Nine9!  I love reading your blog.  You have a lovely perspective on parenting and children that aligns with my own.  Also, you have become a strong supporter of Book Marks, so thank you!

Here’s #1 & #2:  I love reading these blogs and I am grateful to these bloggers for always being so supportive of me and my blog!

Jessica Vealtzik at TRUE Stories – Jessica writes such an honest blog and tackles all sorts of subjects from the very personal, to parenting and best of all she allows many to tell their true stories on her blog.  Jessica offers a variety of perspectives on the experiences of women and family through story telling.  She has also recently published her first novel.  Looking forward to reading it!

Heather Lindskold at Between the Covers – Heather is my book blogging guru. I am normally in awe of the way she devours books and offers such succinct, clear and fair reviews.  She LOVES books and reading. It is a great blog for book lovers.

Bulging Buttons – this is a fun, diverse blog.  I came across this blog during NaBloPoMo and am very happy to have connected with this blogger.

Dawn Kealing at Life, Love and Adventure – I also met Dawn through NaBloPoMo.  She has a great travel blog and reminds me of my younger self.  I have fun reading through her adventures and travels.

Rebecca Scaglione at Love at First Book – Rebecca is another dedicated book blogger.  She too reads through so many books and offers great reviews.  Her blog is all things bookish and she inspired my Friday 5 Favourites.

Franco at Peach, Plum, Orange – Franco writes honestly on all sorts of subjects – and responds to comments quite thoughtfully which is great for discussions.

I foresee lots of time away from the blog once baby arrives, but in the meantime I will try to continue blogging and keeping up with my favourite blogs.

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What NaBloPoMo Has Sparked

Blogging every day for a month.  It’s been challenging – but not daunting.  It has inspired me to move forward with a few ideas for my blog.

I don’t know how soon I’ll put these into place -especially since they’ll fall apart in a month with a new baby…BUT they may help me get back on blogging track once I’m out of the new baby stupor and desirous to get back to writing.

Mondays I think I’ll dedicate to all things parenting – whether anecdotes, interesting tweets or posts from parenting cites I follow or something I’ve learned and can pass along.

Mommy Mondays WM

On Wednesdays I’ll probably need inspiration to get through the rest of the week.  I hope to inspire my readers too with interesting quotes and images that just might do the trick.  These may be quotes from books, their authors or other people we can all learn from.

Quotable Wednesdays WM

Thursdays will be dedicated to all things bookish.  In honour of why I started this blog in the first place.

Bookish Thursdays WM

On Fridays I hope to post about things that I love.  My lists can include classic books, modern books, vacation spots, parenting advice, beauty products…anything that catches my whimsy that week.

My Friday Five Favourite Things WM

That leaves Tuesdays.  I might participate in a meme or I might consider adding “Teachable Tuesdays” to the list.  I could provide teaching ideas for things that have worked in the classroom, or discuss teachable moments – personally and professionally.  I’m not sure yet.

What do you think? Has NaBloPoMo caused you to think differently about your blog?

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What I Have Learned From Daily Blogging

Week 1 of NaBloPoMo done…today’s prompt is to reflect upon what we’ve learned from blogging everyday.  So, what have I learned?

  1. It’s not as hard as it sounds: once forced to blog every day because it is a challenge, because you’ve made a commitment, the words seem to flow out of your fingertips and onto the keyboard with less trepidation.  The more I write, the easier it becomes.
  2. There is writing material everywhere: while NaBloPoMo provides writing prompts for those days when I’m stumped (such as today), being challenged to write every day also forces me to pay more attention to the way life unfolds around me. Inspiration is found in small moments, in interesting articles or blog posts, or an idea that’s been nagging at me can finally come to fruition.  Basically, there’s never a shortage of material.
  3. Meeting other bloggers:  part of NaBloPoMo includes supporting other bloggers in their daily writing journey.  This challenge is about more than just writing, it’s also about being exposed to other blogs and feeling a part of the blogging community – which is enormous!
  4. Finding time to read is easier than I thought: daily blogging has also forced me to make more time for reading in order to keep up on the bookish topics on my blog.  I’ll be doing my first author interview soon and reviewing a book or two from my fall tbr list.
  5. Appreciation and Gratitude:  while I am always grateful for every single person who chooses to follow my blog, who comments and hits that “like” button – it is especially gratifying when other bloggers visit and choose to comment on Book Marks.  Out of the plethora of choices in the NaBloPoMo blogroll…they’ve chosen my little blog!  It’s awesome!

I’m sure the learning will continue throughout the month.  All in all, it has been a very positive experience.  Have you accepted any challenges recently from which you have learned about yourself?

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Inspiring A Fellow Blogger

Melanie Jean Juneau from Mother of nine9 honoured me in quite a lovely fashion last week!  I have recently discovered her blog and am loving it.  It is a beautifully written blog about mothering, parenting, children and a few other things too.  One of Melanie’s featured posts includes inspiring quotes matched with beautiful art.

And, on Halloween, she used one of my comments as inspiration for her quote/art post!

I was surprised and deeply honoured.  One of my personal goals through my writing (whether on this blog or through other forums) is to inspire others, to provoke thought, to provide insight.  Melanie Jean validated these goals with her post last week.

If you get a chance, take a moment to read the post and check out her blog.

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NaBloPoMo – Personal Writing Challenge

I have added Book Marks to the BlogHer blogroll for NaBloPoMo where I will post daily for the month of November.  Perhaps next year I will attempt NaNoWriMo and this might be a way of training.

I am nervous, but looking forward to the prompts provided by both BlogHer and WordPress; and, nurturing those daily moments of inspiration into blog posts.

Wish me luck!  I hope to offer my readers some entertainment, perhaps information and a few moment of enlightened reading.

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Liebster Award

I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Christina Jones at Seventeen:20. Thank you so much Christina Jones!  I am so thankful since my blogging lately has been sporadic at best. I have found it extremely difficult to incorporate my blog into the demands of every day life and so am pleasantly surprised when new readers visit, comment and even nominate me! It is humbling and a reminder to keep the blog alive.

Now, to fulfill the 4 requirements of the award.

Part 1:  11 Facts About Me

  1. I am fluent in Spanish.
  2. I am the eldest of two children.
  3. I have been married for 7 years; together for 12 years.
  4. I am a Pisces.
  5. My first car was a Hyundai Accent.
  6. Ice cream can be eaten at any time.
  7. I am 19 weeks pregnant.
  8. I used to frown upon the idea of botox…now that those frown lines are getting more visible, I am surprisingly open to the idea (post-pregnancy of course).
  9. Trashy books are awesome.
  10. I am an optimist.  I believe in the power of our thoughts.  I believe in the connections we share with each other and the universe.
  11. I have a HUGE extended family and love them dearly.

Part 2: Answer 11 Questions by Christina Jones

  1. What is your favorite song?  Changes often.
  2. Why did you start blogging? Because I love to write.
  3. What is your favorite book?  Oh boy…just one?  The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (off the top of my head)
  4. Do you have any kids? If so, how many? 1 gorgeous 4 year old boy and a baby on the way
  5. Favorite color? Red
  6. Favorite food? Hmmm…Japanese…Italian…Ice Cream…
  7. What was your first car?  Hyundai Accent
  8. Where did you grow up?  Toronto & Colombia
  9. Would you rather play the sport or be the spectator? I am an active person, but not sporty so I’d rather watch
  10. Favorite movie?  Moulin Rouge, Braveheart, Devil Wears Prada
  11. What do you want to be when you grow up?  Haha. I want to be the person that gets paid to go to all the best resorts and spas and rates them.

Part 3: Devise 11 Questions for My Nominees

    1. Favourite place you’ve visited?
    2. What’s your dream job?
    3. One place in the world you’d love to move to?
    4. Favourite Book?
    5. Favourite Movie?
    6. Best Memory?
    7. What’s the most delicious thing you can cook?
    8. Sunrise or Sunset?
    9. Something you’ve crossed off your bucket list?
    10. Favourite Childhood Book/Story?
    11. Blog you visit (almost) everyday?

Part 4: My 11 nominees for the Liebster Award

  1. SweetJellyBean
  2. Between the Covers
  3. Nikki Owen
  4. True STORIES
  5. Milo’s Telescope
  6. The Bookshelf of Emily J
  7. Should be Reading
  8. Mama Tattoo
  9. Blogging for a Good Book
  10. Enchanted by Books
  11. Fourth Street Review

The Rules

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog. Thank you, Christina Jones at Seventeen:20. (http://christinajoneswriter.com)
  2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions asked of you, and create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate.
  3. Nominate 11 blogs you think deserve to be noticed, and leave comments letting them know that they’ve been chosen.
  4. Display the Liebster Award logo.
  5. No tag-backs.

Top Ten Posts That Most Tell You About Me!

(a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish)

This week we have been asked to list the top ten blog posts that are most telling of our personalities.  I vary from very serious about the books I read, to passionate about certain topics and occasionally, I allow my cheeky side to come through – I think the more comfortable I become with blogging, the more of that will come out.

1.  Wannabe Lisbeth Salander: I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy at the beginning of the year and got a little obsessed with Lisbeth Salander.  She is so cool and smart and doesn’t give a shit about anything.  Awesome.

2.  A woman’s life: the more I write this blog, the more I realize just how much a woman’s life, roles, expectations placed upon her and those she has of herself, intrigue me.  I love books about the way women choose to live their life and books that showcase our strength.  I love writing about it too.  This post is an article I wrote that shows just that.

3.  The article Women Still Can’t Have It All gets me going:  see above.

4. Using a toddler book to understand teenagers:  I reviewed Harvey Karp PhD.’s Happiest Toddler on the Block and showed its applicability to teaching high school students.  I love this post because it was so much fun to write and it really showed me that I can do this.

5.  Mothers in Literature: part of my mother’s day gift included time to write (which is so precious) and I remember spending part of that Sunday morning writing this post – it was also included in The Major Genre Daily.

6. Teaching Inspired: I was inspired by another blogger and told a story about reading an entire novel to my English class.  Yes.  I read every word aloud to a high school English class because some in the class had admitted to never having read a book.

7.  I couldn’t finish a book:  this has never happened.  I hated the protagonist and I really struggled with giving my honest opinion.

8.  I get on a soap box:  and tell a story about a man who was belittled by his teacher in elementary school.

9.  My view on the age-old debate movie vs. book: tough one with movies being so good now and it sometimes depends upon which you experience first.

10.  Kate Chopin: I just started reading her this year!  And, I love all her writing.  The Awakening, Short Stories and other musings.

So far, these are my ten.  Any thoughts?

Share yours with me in the comments below or at The Broke and the Bookish through the above link.