Thursday, September 26, 2013

Four Trips + A pair of Shoes = Jazz Music on the Way Home

So, I have this cute child. He's six. Tall for his age. And very much like my first born with his perfectionist tendencies.

While extremely responsible, and this year has been exceptional -- him telling me what homework he has the day before it's due; that he wants to take his spelling pretests with ABSOLUTELY no help from me, etc -- he forgot something really important the second week of school.

He went to school without his shoes.

Okay, not the end of the world. I drove up to the "drop off" area, ready to expel my children to the world of learning, when I hear, "I don't have my shoes!"

He was so in shock, so scared I would be mad at him, that all I could do was say, "Okay. Wow." No way could I be angry. No way could I tell him that he seriously ruined my morning routine, that I'd be late meeting a friend for coffee, or that I didn't care. Because I did care. And my cute child is everything to me. On the good days. And the bad days.

What did I do? I walked him to his class in his stocking feet and went home to get his shoes.

Normally, this event really wouldn't have been so bad. But, as the "schedule gods" had worked out for me in advance, today was the day that I was already making three trips to and from home and school.

This little jaunt would make it a fourth.

I texted my friend that I would be a little bit late to coffee and began the drive home.

I so wanted to be angry. But, I literally couldn't. Like, I couldn't even muster up the frustration. There was nothing. I think I felt this way partly because I knew it would be fruitless. I mean, the kid is shoeless. And partly because ... did I have any control to begin with? By ranting and raving, I would be admitting that I thought I had control of my little day.

Clearly, I had none. God had it. And He made this concept known to me with my cute child forgetting to slip on his shoes.

Where am I going with this? Only to say that I had to think of the good. I had to think of the benefit of making a fourth trip, though I was just beginning my second for the day. How could a bad thing be good? I would make a list on this little trip.

1. I would be able to say hello again to my sleepy dog. She loved extra hellos. Okay. Good. Dog is taken care of. Check.

2. I would be able to get my cell phone. Yes, I had left my lifeline at home, lying on the counter, charging. Bonus. I wasn't alone! I'd be able to check my mail a million more times than I thought I would, seeing that I wouldn't been without it after all. Check.

3. Well, I was having a hard time with number three. Until I thought ahead. My fourth trip of the day would be in the evening, going from home to the school for Back to School Night and home again. While that was always a fun trip, meeting his teacher and all, the best part would be the jazz music on the classical music station that night.

This is my cute child, Caleb.
I love Jazz. I don't know much really, but I do know that here are some real musicians in that genre. And because I don't have "satellite radio" in my car, I had to wait, as we once all had to do. I had to wait for Jazz until after 8:00 pm, when the classical music station turned to Jazz.

(No, we don't have a jazz station in Sacramento.)

So, the end of my day would be steeped in jazz, driving home to see my cute kids.

The thought of that made my little trip home like an appetizer. And the dessert of jazz music in the evening would make everything okay.

And my cute child would have his shoes ... just like everyone else.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Work in Progress

You know, I had originally titled my blog this, A Work in Progress.

And would you look at that .. my life has come full circle three years later, and I'm back to naming my blog A Work in Progress.

Why this name? Because, quite frankly, it fits me and what I'm doing.

I  am always working on something as far as writing goes, and it not only never feels complete, but I always feel like I can do it better.

Sort of carries into my personal life as well.

The house we just bought? Unless I like the dated wallpaper and old kitchen cabinets, which I don't, it's a work in progress.

My dog who loves the ball more than obeying? Well, she's a work in progress. Very cute, but very much a work in progress.

My job as a parent? Where do I begin? That's a forever work in progress.

Just when I've mastered diapering, it's onto saying "no" at the rights times (which feels like ALWAYS) and then it's onto juggling school and sports and home life and dentists and doctor visits, and of course the necessary vacations if there are any... and learning to be the parent and not just a friend-- one who your child needs to listen to when they're about to make a horrendous mistake (yes, I'm referring to Miley Cyrus) -- that your child will want to come back to once they're an adult. I could go on.

Definitely a work in progress.

My non-existent exercise program? A work in progress for sure.

I am a work in progress as are most people. And I suppose we are until our dying day. In all seriousness, with all the weird news of weird people doing such outrageous things, I'm beginning to think that if we don't see ourselves as continually needing to learn, we begin to assume too much. We begin to think more of ourselves than we are.

And that's when the self-destruction starts.


So, as a work in progress, I will be posting blogs erratically (though I had already said I wasn't GOING to blog anymore), rambling about various things that may not matter, and trying to continue writing my middle-grade fiction.

In the mean time, enjoy a picture of my sweet WIP (work in progress) Sierra as we contemplate the other highly-talked about WIP's like Miley Cyrus, like the people behind the idea of using Ben Affleck as Batman, and like the now-former mayor of San Diego. I do feel so sorry for two of the three people here. Really.

And if Ben is ousted as the Dark Knight, heck, I'd feel sorry for him too ... but maybe not though.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Poolside with Myself

My sister just sent me a blog post, from a friend who sent her the blog post and it is one I had to absolutely share with you.

It has to do with kids, sweet spots, goat rodeos and the freedom to laugh and cry.

If you have kids that are older (like over 8) read this. You'll get EVERY. SINGLE. WORD.
If you don't have kids, read this so you understand your friends that do have them.
If you have young kids -- like age 5 and under -- read this anyway ... the light is at the end of the tunnel.

Click HERE for the post written by Julianna W. Miner.

Hope your summer is excellent. Mine is. Enjoying our new pool.

And judging by the picture, so are my boys.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The End?

Blogs are great. Blogs are cool. Blogs really let someone write and rant about whatever the heck they want.

Yippee.

But, as attractive as that sounds, I'm thinking I'm going to let it go for now ...

I find I'm actually stressing about what to write about, which is ABSURD. And have been for months now.

Not to mention, what works for some, doesn't for others. I've had a two to three year blog. It's been good.

But, it's time to move on.

If I get a new blog, I'll let you know and post it here. But with a busy life, moving, sisters having babies, wanting to write and not getting to write, my husband having surgery, kids out for the summer ... for some this is fodder for writing. For me, it's beginning to feel false. I don't need to voice my opinion to everyone and tell them everything I'm doing. (and no, I won't go to Facebook for that either... that's a whole different animal ... one I don't like much either.

I'm finding blogging literally STEALS my creativity. It's become "not" my thing.

If I have a blog again, it's probably going to be a website, because I'll be a published author.

And I think we all can agree, that THAT would be worth waiting for.

It's been great, friends. Thanks for supporting me. :)

-HJS

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Harbinger- Tiny Review

Seriously, has it been two months since my last post? Wowsers. That's not so good.

I've been a little ... well, I was going to say busy, but then, we're all busy and other people get to their blogs.

But I don't. Hmmm. Priorities.

I did read a pretty fantastic best-seller though called The Harbinger, written by Jonathan Cahn.

If you're interested in Biblical history, enjoy the plot and pacing of John Grisham, like fiction and mystery - with a huge dash of real life, because the story is based on facts - then this book is for you.

Blew me away. History is happening right now. And we're in the middle of it.

I'm a Christian, so this book resonated with me. I got to take verses I've read before in the Bible and apply it to things that have happened since 9/11 at and around Ground Zero.

Christian or not (and the author is a Messianic Jew, by the way) this is an incredible book with indisputable facts, despite it being in a fictional format.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'm not a scholar, I don't know everything about everything, not even when it comes to my Bible. But, after reading the book, I plan on looking for more "clues" in real life as events happen around us, pointing us to our Creator and the Hope we have only in Him.

Want to test your Biblical knowledge? Not sure you believe any of the mumbo-jumbo that the book talks about? Read it. Research the same things, the data, the documents he cites.

You'll be amazed. This book should be recommended reading.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Reviews

Anyone who hasn't had a bad review of their work doesn't fully understand the stress that comes with being a writer. I recently had one of these reviews. And it seriously made me doubt that what I had put years into was even worth it.

It's bad enough that we pour out our blood and sweat and tons of tears into our work without a single affirming word from anyone saying, "what a swell job you're doing" or "though you haven't made a penny of your writing in years, your work is truly great."

And we continue to pour away because we are called to write. We can't live without doing that.

This particular negative review of my work, The Puzzle Master, was like a slap in the face, with a punch to the gut, and then just when I thought it was over, a blind-sided karate chop to the back of the legs.

I questioned if her negative review of my work was valid.

I questioned my abilities as a writer.

I wondered if indeed the last eighteen years of college and writing had been a waste of time.

I finally got over me. And wanting to smash in the face of this reviewer.

And a few months later, I got two awesome, glowing reviews.

Here's what I learned from all of this.

1. Don't take reviews seriously. It's SUBJECTIVE. What some people love, others will hate. Just how it is. Reviews are what they are-- reviews. Doesn't mean I'm a great writer, or a lousy one either. Just take the review and move on.

2. I chose to be a writer, chose to put my work out there, so I have to expect major dislike.

3. When bad things happen, drink coffee. Duh.

Was it Bill Cosby who said something to the effect, "I don't know the steps to success, but I do know the steps to failure is trying to please everyone." Oh yes indeed!

So there it is. People will like your work, some people will not like your work. Oh well. We aren't here to please everyone.

A good writer-friend (good writer and good friend) of mine, Lara, once said, "Writing prepares you for parenting: neither one receives any affirmation." So true. This is a genius line. (Lara, told you I'd steal it!)

Having said all of that, reviews can be full of life, uplifting and also give you the affirmation you've been looking for. So, regardless of reviews, whether bad or good, or neither, keep writing!

**To celebrate the one year anniversary of my book, The Puzzle Master, in digital form, will be free the 15th and 16th of February!**

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Year Direction

I'm a bit overdue for a post, but that's okay.

A new year means doing new things. And here's something new: I see that the more I am away from blogging, the more I realize I don't know what I'm doing, even though I'm always researching what I think I want to be doing.

New years goal?

To write to be happy. Not to write to finish a project or to enter a contest (which, by the way, I like). But, I want to be really happy writing. That is the main purpose for writing in the first place, for me. I write because I love it. But, when the writing turns mundane because I HAVE to write or feel compelled to write because I'm a "writer" well, it takes everything good out of the whole experience.

Sure, it makes me busy. But I'm filling my time with with writing things I don't really end up liking, or using; things that don't mean much to me.

I want to write whether the subject I'm writing about is ever published or not. I want that feeling I had before I had this blog that made me excited to write because I was doing what I loved ... and was doing it without the prospect of pay, or accolades or publishing. I want to be happy doing what I love doing.

Kind of like my dog. This is her, at her happiest, because she has her ball. That's the happiness I want when I'm writing. Pure joy because I'm doing what I love, regardless of the end result.



I want that feeling again. It's like family and friends and good cup of coffee. The small and simple things, the things we do when we're in it for the real deal, is what I want to get back to ... and probably what we should all strive for because it's so simple and easy. If success comes from it, then so be it. But, not because I want global success.

So, this blog is for you. If you have a book you want reviewed, ask me. I might do it.
Have a contest you want to tell others about? Tell me about it. I'll probably list it.

Have a great new year, full of dreams fulfilled because you worked at it! A tennis ball in the mouth is pretty amazing...

Keep writing!