Thanks so much for visiting HipWriterMama, my blog about children's books, authors and readergirlz!

It's time for a change. I've decided to focus my attention on my writing blog, www.vivianleemahoney.com. Hope to see you there!


Monday, August 31, 2009

Mapping Out Writing Time: The Countdown Begins...

...2 more days before the kids go back to school. 2 Days!

We are ready.

New school supplies. Check.

New backpacks and lunchboxes. Check.

We even survived shopping for new school outfits and shoes, which is not an easy task with three girls. Though, I'll admit, I should count my blessings. Ninja Girl and Princess Rock Star are at an age where they like anything I choose. Another plus, they're really good about wearing hand-me-downs...for now. It shouldn't come as any surprise, my biggest challenge proved to be Spy Girl. The most trouble, believe it or not, was not over clothes, but over a certain type of boot...

"Come on, Mom! Everyone has these." Spy Girl threw me one of those sad puppy-eyed looks that she thinks will make me feel sorry for her. "You didn't let me have them for two whole years and I'm growing older and want nice things." She held on to these chestnut brown boots as the sales woman stood a few feet away, waiting to scoop in at any sign of weakness.

The other two girls were across the store, looking for the perfect footwear to start off the new year. When they heard Spy Girl's voice curl into a whine, they came over, checking out the boot.

"Oh, Mom," Ninja Girl said. "I want those, too!" She walked over to the table and picked up a black boot, waving it in front of my face.

The heavy fragrance of the sales woman drew closer.

Wouldn't you know this particular brand even carries pink boots--which Princess Rock Star spotted in a second. "H has these same ones! Can I have them?" She jumped up and down, her voice carried throughout the store. "They're my favorite color!"

Needless to say, I left the store fast, with as much dignity as I could muster--a difficult task with three whining girls and a hovering sales woman, who told the girls, for my benefit, "You can always order these on-line...here's my card."

Spy Girl smiled and took the card. We left the store.

Clearly, my child has been deprived of the coolness factor, since she's been without these status boots for the past two years. But, do they have to be so ugly? And expensive? Gah! After a bit of thought, I told Spy Girl I'd buy them for her, if she paid for half. She put a bit of a fuss, but finally agreed.

$46 left to go.

Fifth grade will be interesting.

On the other extreme, my baby, Princess Rock Star, starts kindergarten! She can't wait. Me, on the other hand...all I can say is the first day of school is going to be tough. For me.

Though who knows what kindergarten will bring this year, what with the push to test kindergarteners. Thanks, Jen Robinson for the heads up! Our school only offers half day programs. In the beginning, I couldn't wait, because I kept dreaming of everything I could get done in this time. Think of all that could be done in a half day! Exercise, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, not to mention writing--this is the time I coveted for so long, since I don't have any help in taking care of the kids.

Of course reality soon hit when I received the letter from Princess Rock Star's teacher last week. A half day of kindergarten equals 2 1/2 hours--really about 2 hours of class time, when you count a half-hour buffer for dropping off and picking up from school. Ack!

Okay, 2 hours of free time. Need to reassess priorities and use this for writing.

No Internet.

No phone calls.

No housecleaning.

No grocery shopping.

No errand running.

No catching up with friends for coffee.

Only writing. Pure writing.

For 30 days. Because I feel like it.

Anyone in?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Alphabet Chair Sculpture

I love sculptures.

Check out this alphabet chair sculpture in front of the Eight Cousins Book Store in Cape Cod.

Revisions With a View

Words added -- 4,593
Words deleted -- 3,258
Chapters revised -- 2
Plot Moving Forward -- Yes!!
My writing view this past week -- Priceless

Friday, August 28, 2009

Five on a Friday

1. I've had a glorious Cape Cod vacation, despite family craziness and all. Seems it's somewhat difficult to get three independent girls to agree on what to do when away from all their friends and things. One wants to bike, the other wants to go to the beach, another wants to hang out and shop, etc., etc., etc. Thankfully, we developed quite a nice routine and a good time was had by all.

2. Limited Internet: Dear Internet, as much as I love you, it's been nice to not have to bow down to your every whim and become captive to virtual time suck. Amazing how much more time I found to write, spend time with the family, read, and simply relax. I vow to take more vacations from you in the future. We'll both be the better for it. Truly.

3. I CAPTURE THE CASTLE by Dodie Smith Simply, simply wonderful. If you want to study voice, read this book. For Disney fans, Dodie Smith wrote The One Hundred and One Dalmatians.

4. Spy Girl is on her third book this summer! My reluctant reader is really into Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books - she is now on The Titan's Curse.

5. My incredible critique group likes my changes to PB, and this makes me so happy! I'm starting to realize all my hard work is coming together and it is very empowering. Yay for great critique groups!

How was your week?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

readergirlz Chat with Coe Booth, Tonight, August 26th, 6PM PST/9PM EST

Coe Booth--author of TYRELL (2006) and KENDRA (2008)--will be chatting live at the readergirlz blog TONIGHT!!!!, August 26th at 6 PM PST/9 PM EST. This is a great chance to ask Coe questions about her books, her writing process or to simply follow along and learn more about this talented author!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Writing Tip: Feeling Cool and Sassy a la Mad Men

With all the buzz about the Emmy Award winning Mad Men, it's only natural an avatar creator would soon follow. Ben mentioned he liked my new avatar. You can have one, too!

Just go to Mad Men Yourself and fashion the 1960's character you'd like to be.

Also, do yourself a favor and check out the ever brilliant Beth Kephart's post, Why All Writers Should Watch Mad Men.

Now, excuse me, while I read how the creative writing team -- 7 women!!!, 2 men -- for Mad Men, keep the smooth 1960's male-powered show real. How's that for progress?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Five Things on a Friday

It's been so long since I last posted, I fear I've lost my blogging touch. Thanks everyone, for your patience! Hopefully, this is just like riding a bike...

1. I'm making progress on my revisions and I'm excited with how everything is pulling together. I'm now a little more than half-way through what I hope to be the FINAL revisions of PB!

2. The kids will be in school in 13 more days!!! Not that I'm counting. We're all ready for school to start. The kids miss their friends and have pretty much had it with sisterhood. I'm tired of all the bickering. If I hear one more, "You're a pea-brain," or "I'm bored," or "We never do anything fun," I think my head will explode.

3. My sister posted some of her artwork on Etsy! She's an architect turned artist and will donate 10% of your purchase to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Check out WonderRoom!

4. My brother helped develop a new stress-relieving game, QuitIt! for the iPhone or iPod Touch. I don't have an iPhone, so I'd love for someone to tell me what they think of it!

5. It's been so hot and humid here in Massachusetts, I've been making refreshing homemade smoothies! We're soymilk drinkers in my house, but you can easily switch to milk. Also, you can freeze leftovers (if any) into ice pops.

Here are a couple of the kids' favorites:
Strawberry Banana Smoothie: Bag of frozen strawberries, two frozen bananas, ice cubes, soy milk, a pinch of sugar -- Blend -- Four Generous Servings
Blueberry Banana Smoothie: Three frozen bananas, 1/2 bag frozen blueberries, ice cubes, soy milk, pinch of sugar -- Blend -- Four Generous Servings

Here is my favorite:
Coffee Latte Smoothie: [Note: I've been up since 4 am and when I wrote this post, I didn't realize I messed up the measurements. This will taste much better...] 1 mug strong fresh brewed coffee, as cold as possible (remember the ice cubes will dilute the coffee, especially if the coffee is hot!), splash of soymilk, ice cubes, sugar to taste-- Blend -- Just for Me Serving - Relax and Enjoy!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Writing Tip: Write Something Down...Anything

and you'll find yourself writing silly nonsense like this:
How many words can a writer write if the words won't write the right way?

but, at least it will get you thinking...

and then writing...plotting...and creating...

And isn't that what we want?

Don't worry about getting it perfect. Write the words first.

My challenge to you: Go write some words today!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Writing Confession #5

I can revise a sentence a hundred times and not tire of it.

The trick is to know when to stop and go on...

Here's wishing you good revision karma.