ON MEDIA…please comment!

When you walk into our home, sometimes you might be greeted with the sound of dialogue accompanying moving pictures on a large, flat screen to a score…sometimes you might hear music echoing from a speaker…sometimes you might hear a computer (or two) with game music on continuous play…and sometimes you might hear the latest cooking video from Cakes By ChoppA or Rosanna Pansino playing on YouTube for my little people.

Other days, when you walk into my home, you might hear a child practicing on the piano a theme to Harry Potter or James Bond…sometimes you might hear a child reading aloud from her latest book…sometimes you might hear dishes clinking as they move from a sink into a dishwasher, a broom moving across the kitchen tile, or the simmering of sauce on the stove.

Some days you might even find us in the kitchen, having an impromptu dance party.

What I’ve been thinking about lately, though, is the media-saturated society (and even media-dependant society) in which we live.  I am guilty myself of allowing this guest, in its multitudinous forms, often into my home.  My wonderings have led me to consider (though I cannot know the future) what this bombardment and obsession with media will bring about in our lives, in future generations’ lives, and in society as a whole.

While I find myself abundantly grateful for my phone allowing me to Google information for my child’s homework question at the swipe of a finger or send a friendly text message across miles in mere seconds, I continue to find my dependence on it (and my children’s, as well) somewhat exasperating.

I’m guessing the answer to my dilemma comes through my all-encompassing quest for BALANCE. And, I’m glad to know that many of you (including Jasmine–since we talked about the topic last week) are right there with me!

So, my question, which I would love to turn into a discussion (because I am really interested in your thoughts) here is this:

What do you think the effects of the current media accessibility and even dependence in society will have one, two, and three generations from now? Please share your thoughts!

The Product of NaNoWriMo 2012

As promised, I am recording for posterity (and my lovely blog readers) the lessons I have learned over the past weeks since I made a spontaneous decision to enter NaNoWriMo 2012.  (I was serious blogging about whether or not to do it…having done no outlining or anything…and just did it on a whim thanks to the encouragement of a few lovely voices!…& I thank you sincerely Marissa and Darcy!)  Here we go, in no particular order…:

  • Prayer works.  (Not that I didn’t know this prior to Nov. 1, 2012; it was just reaffirmed to me….)
  • Productivity produces energy.
  • Support from those you love is vital for success!
  • Goals can be accomplished…(and a lot more, too!).
  • I CAN WRITE!!!!!
  • Being purely creative is energizing.
  • My family, friends (& I) love me!
  • Even with road blocks (scheduling, sickness, holidays, etc.)~keep moving forward….! (See Meet the Robinsons for more info on this topic.)
  • God is aware of me and loves me!
  • I HAVE A VOICE (and an important one, at that)!
  • I can cultivate creativity…and a writing mood.
  • Breaks are important.  (I took every Sunday off…and a few other Thursdays sprinkled in the month, as well.)
  • When all else fails, have a dance party with the kiddos (…or with friends…or by yourself…)!
  • Have munchies around always.  (I had a Swiss Cake Roll emergency…luckily for me, I did have some left-over Double Stuf Oreos which satisfied the chocolate/creamy craving.)  🙂
  • Buy back your kids’ Halloween candy and use it for NaNoWriMo snacks…and to last until NaNoWriMo is over and you start making Christmas candy.
  • Spotify created great mood music when I needed it…and was a great resource for the karaoke scene I wrote.
  • You can always edit later.

In the past few days, I have listened to some of the songs on Alicia Keys’ new album–and the chorus and several lines of this song resonate with me.  I do feel like a “Brand New Me.”

The only time I recently felt this kind of growth and accomplishment is when I worked and trained for (& completed) a half-marathon with a dear friend of mine…something about measurable success.  Hopefully, though, I will write more novels than the number of races I’ve run…! 🙂

Hugs!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I could give you lists of all the aspects of my life for which I am thankful, but I try to make gratitude part of my moment-to-moment existence, so I will leave you with a Thanksgiving memory which embodies giving and music and family–all parts of my existence which bring me happiness.

We have a Thanksgiving tradition in our home of singing, “The Turkey Song” each year (though I’m sorry I don’t know who to credit for this lovely addition to our Thanksgiving holiday).  It goes like this:

A turkey sat on a backyard fence and he sang this sad, sad tune

Thanksgiving Day is coming, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, and I know I’ll be eaten soon

Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, I would like to run away

Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, I don’t like Thanksgiving Day!

My mom used to make homemade pumpkin pies for friends, and my dad would drive us around town to deliver pies–and, as a “Thanksgiving Carol” of sorts, we would sing that song.  Gobble, gobble.  (So embarrassing as a teenager!)  But we were making memories and giving and singing and laughing, all parts of my life for which I am thankful!  Happy Thanksgiving!  🙂

NaNoWriMo Update

I was hesitant to start reading a new book this month.  I have been writing for NaNoWriMo for almost a week now (today will be my sixth day of writing since I didn’t–and don’t plan to–write on Sunday).  So, amid bursts of words and the patience of my dear family, I have so far (and I haven’t written today yet) 14,096 words (which, double-spaced, equals about 51 pages).  I have always wondered if I had the time, determination, and wherewithal to accomplish such a daunting task, but I guess I know the answer now.  I have been amazed at the positivity I feel about myself and the new energy with which I am able to perform my otherwise perfunctory responsibilities.  I feel the support of my children and husband.  I feel excited to share my news with friends and family and those on Twitter and Facebook.  And, I have an empty sink (since my daughters and I caught up on dishes last night) along with a full heart.  Life is good.

This morning, though, I was feeling a little deflated…so I picked up a book I had requested from our local library.  I hesitated to open it (because I read slowly and just finished a rather lengthy reading endeavor last week) but I found it a delightfully quick read and a nice way to fill my head with a fun, quirky story as a distraction from the craziness I was experiencing.  I do love to read–but the book has to be worth the work my brain has to go through to read it.  I think I’ve found another one I actually want to keep reading.  🙂  See? Life really is good!

So, I leave you on this Wednesday to pick of where I left off, feeling blessed, happy, and grateful once again.  Grateful that I have a voice.  And though, at times, I find it falling on deaf ears, not making the difference I would like it to, I should continue to speak and write and blog simply because I have a message to share and a story to tell…and I’m finally finding the courage to tell it.

Flavors, Scents, and Sounds – I

I’m going to do this blog in sections since most of my writing time currently is being devoted to NaNoWriMo. (I’ll give you an update on that later….)  So, I’ve been enamoured as of late regarding the ability of an inanimate object (such as food, or a smell, or even a computer speaker or iPod) to bring one into auto-recall–to pull the brain back into a moment, a feeling, a memory.  Maybe I’m getting older (hopefully a bit wiser, too), but I find myself being pulled by certain foods, smells, sounds into different moments of life…and I kinda like the backwards déjà vu experience.

So, lately, I’ve noticed this happening more with foods.  I’ve known for a long time that food could bring me back to the comfort of childhood, high school, college, or even being newly married.  By the time I was pregnant with my first child (and in a foreign setting living with a guy I barely knew…but that’s another story… 🙂 ) I was craving Cheerios (only Honey Nut), which brought me back to my childhood, running around a confederate state with my little brother in our backyard and feeling comforted by cereal and Saturday morning cartoons.  I needed that connection then.

I remember, after our last move, groping for some kind of connection to the world around me.  Over a tuna sandwich for lunch, the flavor took me back to a little dive where my dear friend Mindy and I would treat ourselves for lunch in college.  We sat at bar-height tables in the dark restaurant and enjoyed tuna on a pita with Lay’s potato chips and a dill pickle spear.  I get hungry again just thinking about it…hungry for yummy food, but also for our friendship and the laughs as well as frustrations we shared at that little table in the historic downtown where we went to college.

And even now, I bake throughout the year, and especially as the fall and winter holidays approach, and cook, and I love to hear my children oooh and aaaah over the flavors.  I hope I am building memories of comfort and love in their beings, memories they will be able to draw upon when they are feeling lost, sick, disconnected in some distant future day.

I know I do….

NaNoWriMo

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? Well, it is upon us!!! November 1st through 30th…! Will you be participating?

I’ve always been enamoured of the concept…a book in a month…but I try not to force too much creativity…I’m more of a free-spirit/let-the-creative-flow-happen-for-itself kinda gal. I still have a few hours left to decide if I’m in or not. 🙂

But I’m afraid my kiddos and house and marriage might all suffer from the neglect. Maybe next year, when the preschooler isn’t a preschooler anymore….

What do you think? Should I throw caution to the wind (along with fear of not accomplishing, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of laundry piles higher than my twelve-foot ceilings…among other things)?