Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bye-Bye Blog

After taking the last few weeks off from my blog, I have come to a conclusion.  I need to retire the blog.

I am finding that I have much more creative energy and time if I'm not worried about my next blog post.  I have so little "free" time, I feel like I need to zero in on just a few uses of that time.

I am certainly happy that I started this blog as I was just getting to know the writing community.  It helped me get to know folks quickly.  And I've made some great friends!  The challenge for me now will be to continue to visit all the great blogs I found along the way.  So, thank you all for the welcome, the friendship, the advice, and the support.  I hope I can pay it forward for all of you.

I will still be active on Twitter, so follow me there if you haven't already (@megankbickel).  I'll see you all around cyberspace!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Off the grid

As I expected, keeping up with my on-line world has been very difficult with all my kids home this summer.  So, rather than fight it, I'm going to close up shop for a few weeks.  I'll probably be MIA from here, other blogs and Twitter for at least a week or two (or three or four).

I hope you all have a fantastic mid-summer and enjoy family, friends and good weather.  I'll be soaking up time with my boys, time with extended family, holiday celebrations, and the ability to be outside away from my computer.

Keep writing!  You know I will!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When it rains, it pours

I have always loved that phrase.  It sums up my life so completely!  When I have one thing to do, it ends up being 20.  But it is also a concept I'm working on in one of my picture books.  It is the idea of piling things on to make them more frantic, energetic, and fun!  When one crazy thing happens, it triggers 20 more. 

It is actually rather difficult to pull off.  I'm having trouble finding that balance between constant action and a jumbled mess.  It is a balancing act that is reflected in my everyday life with three boys.  And like my everyday life, all I can do is try!  : )

Happy writing!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Good Life

These days, I'm reveling in my children being home with me.  We've picked something fun to do each day and kept the sibling squabbles (mostly) under control.  It is bliss.  But, since I'm juggling being a full time stay-at-home-mom to three boys with being a full time employee of my "real" job, my computer time has taken a major hit.  I have a feeling my posting/comments/tweets will be rather sparse this summer.  Any spare time I have, I'm devoting to writing/revising/submitting.

I hope you all can enjoy some serious summer fun too!  Write on!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Special Summer

This morning my boys and I sat at the kitchen table to make a list of everything special we wanted to do this summer.  The obvious answers of "Children's Museum" and "Zoo" made the list quickly, but then something funny happened.  They started listing off restaurants.  The same restaurants we always go to.  Places we've been in the last week or two.

My initial thought was, "that's not very imaginative."  But when I thought about it some more, I realized some things. 

First, anything out of the routine (even something as simple as lunch at McDonald's) is special.  Just taking time to break out of schedule and switch up life a little bit is exciting to a three year old.

Second, they enjoy what we do together, even if it is just having dinner.  They love having the attention my husband and I lavish on them when we are out to eat.  That attention is largely our monitoring of appropriate behavior for a meal out with the general public.  But we are hyper-focused on them, and they lap it up.

Finally, my own reaction to adding fast food joints to the list...YES!  Not cooking is always a vacation-worthy endeavor!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Joplin, Missouri

I spent this morning looking at pictures out of Joplin, MO.  The most deadly tornado in 60+ years hit there on Sunday night.

I spent most of last night in my basement with my husband and three sleeping children as storms swept through Indiana with hurricane force winds and at least three tornado touchdowns (nothing too close to us, thankfully).

Tornadoes are a part of life in the Midwest.  I know the drills, I'm all to familiar with the sound of sirens, my youngest asks me if a "tomato" is coming when we troop down to the basement, I can interpret radar images with the best arm-chair meteorologists, and I have plenty of brush-with-tornado stories.

I once pulled my car over on the side of a highway, jumped onto the floor of my backseat, curled into a ball and rode out five terrifying minutes of hail pelting my car as it rocked back and forth in the winds.  I've huddled in laundry rooms, bathrooms, basements, and inner hallways as storms pass.  I cradled a sleeping baby in my arms in a bathtub with pillows around and on top of us.  I've watched a tree being cut off of my swing set, which was reduced to an inch of metal. 

But I've never seen anything like Joplin, MO.  The swath of complete devastation is heart wrenching.  It is the worst nightmare of anyone who lives in tornado country.  It is entire neighborhood flattened.  It is families ripped apart.  It is the total loss of possessions.  It is the unthinkable loss of family members, friends and neighbors.

Of course, Joplin was not the only town devastated by tornadoes recently.  In fact, the storm that swept through Indiana last night had over 60 tornadoes credited to it by the time it reached our boarders.  But for some reason, Joplin has touched my heart deeply.  Perhaps I can see myself and my town in them. 

So, I'm just putting this one little plea for help out there.  Consider, if you will, donating to the American Red Cross.  And remember to be thankful for all you have today.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

And then...

What next?  This is a question I've been struggling with for about a year now.  Before then, I just kind of lived in the moment knowing what was coming next.  All my life I knew the next step.  First grade then second then third and on through college.  By the time I graduated from college I knew I was going to get married.  Before I even got married, I knew I was going to have kids.  So now what?

There are no big life milestones in my immediate future.  I'm entering into a phase of my life where I am not planning for any big changes.  I've got 9 years before my oldest goes off to college (or whatever he chooses to do) and 15 before I'm an "empty nester".  Of course I'll be crazy busy being a wife and mother and doing my day job.  But I feel like I'm missing some big thing I'm supposed to be getting ready for, you know?  Like I'm overlooking some major life event.

Guess I'll just have to make my own event.  Like getting a book published some day...