what I learned from reading Matilda at age 30

Confession time: As much as I absolutely love reading, there is quite a long list of books in which I have watched the movie version first. Most of that habit happened when I was a kid. As an adult, I’ve gone back and read some book versions of the movies I’ve loved. 

This year, my Summer reading list is different than other years. You see, it all started with Matilda. I was scrolling through my Libby app looking for a new audiobook to listen to. Having just finished, The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black, my natural reaction was to head for The Wicked King. However, there was a considerably long wait. So, I added myself to that list and began to browse. That’s when I stumbled upon Matilda, by Roald Dahl. 

I have seen the movie version of Matilda roughly, fifty times. Don’t ask me why I had never picked up the book. It doesn’t matter now! Why? Because I simply devoured it upon falling into the whimsical world that Roald Dahl creates. I think Matilda, the film, was awesome. The book is ten times better. 


Here’s the thing about experiencing children’s books when you’re 30. You have a whole new perspective on life. Even if you have read Matilda in the past, reading it now, is a completely different story. I was simply enchanted by the content. My passion for children’s literature definitely helps…

One moment, which truly inspired this blog post, was this quote below: 

“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.” 

-Roald Dahl, Matilda

I stopped reading after coming across the passage. I thought about all of the times that a book had proven to be such a memorable companion in my life. I contemplated how long my personal list of books that have left me nurtured would be. With a smile on my face, I was happy to add Matilda to that list.

So, what does it all come down to? I ask you to take a moment and consider the books that have truly been a companion to you. Jot down those titles for the days that might be tough. I ask you to pick up a children’s book to read, even if you feel like you’ve outgrown them. You never know what lessons you can still learn from them.

Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay. Thank you for joining me here today. You can look for a new post next Friday.

Until next time,

Christine

books, books, and more books!

What’s better than a weekend of books with your best friend? Well, nothing! Last weekend brought Book Con 2019 to NYC and I was lucky enough to go thanks to the lovely lady pictured below.

While there were so many wonderful moments, I wanted to share 5 things I loved about Book Con 2019!

One: You really can’t beat being surrounded by books, people who love books, and book merchandise.

Two: I love seeing promotions for upcoming releases. This one had be squeal a bit. They are such funny picture books. The Crayons’ Christmas by Drew Daywalt will release on October 15th.

Three: Listening to authors talk about what inspired their work was very memorable. Evangeline Lilly, author of The Squickerwonkers series, shared how she wanted to write for her childhood self.

Four: Listening to authors nerd out about their love for books in general is pretty cool too. Neil Patrick Harris did just that.

Five: (Which is probably my most loved moment!)…and then there are those authors that you just totally black out when you meet. My best friend and I had recently just finished reading all of the Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab. We wanted to meet her, but the whole digital ticket, ticket line, extensive process was too much. So, we figured we would see her at a panel and be satisfied with that. Then, something magical happened. We stumbled upon an additional signing, were invited to a line with five people in front of us, and met her!!! Yes, I blacked out. No, I don’t remember what I said, but it doesn’t matter. I have her autograph and this photo!

All in all, it was the best Book Con I could have asked for. We had a fantastic time and I highly recommend doing it at least once! You never know what exciting things are going to happen while you’re there.

Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay. Thank you for joining me here today. You can look for a new post next Friday.

Until next time,

Christine

what’s your writing time of day?

For the past few years, I’ve been a participant in #5amWritersClub. Why 5am, you say? Well, working a job with traditional 9-5 hours left me pretty drained of energy by the end of the day. What I found was, if I did my creative writing before work, I felt accomplished and creatively charged. If you had asked me to do that five years ago, I would have laughed at you. Why? I am a night owl at heart. Always have been. However, forcing myself to conform to “normal people hours” and become an early bird turned out to be okay. Before long, I adapted, and rose happily in the morning to write.

This past month has brought so many positive changes into my life. One of those new changes is starting a new position as Evening Library Supervisor. So, what does that mean? I get to go back to being a night owl! When I worked the evening shifts in a library a few years back, I found that I was incredibly creative in the night time hours of the day. My mornings were spent “adulting” in various ways. I’d go to work and then I’d come home to create. I look forward to returning to an evolved version of that lifestyle.

With all that said, how do you feel about writing routines and how they fit into times of the day? Do you feel more creatively charged in the morning or the night? Does it actually matter? Many writers I know find that writing in the evening results in more success. However, the #5amwritersclub community is booming and bigger than ever.

I suppose at the end of the day, as long as we keep writing, it doesn’t matter what time of day we do it. It is fun to think about though, huh?

Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay. Thank you for joining me here today. You can look for a new post next Friday.

Until next time,

Christine

what it really takes

Let’s get down to business. Have you ever heard of the Iceberg Illusion? Normally, when you think of icebergs, you think of…

“ICEBERG RIGHT AHEAD!”-Titanic Dude

…but I am actually referring to this…

It can be hard to be a writer sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a writer and I will always be one. It’s a huge passion in my life, and I am grateful for it. However, I think sometimes people who don’t write can’t understand all of the aspects that go into creating a novel, picture book, short story, etc. One of the things that makes it hard for writers, is to come up against those lovely opinions such as: “Oh, so you just write the book and then you’re published, right?”

Well, actually no. When I was scrolling through social media the other day, I came across “The Iceberg Illusion” image above. I thought, “I need to print this out and carry it around with me.” I need to show this to people.

You know the drill…

It all starts with a wonderful, inspiring idea. You feel as though you’re looking at the grandest ship in the world.

You start to write, to create, to dive deep into a new world, and you churn out a project.

Then you have to face all of the other aspects that go into the writing world. It’s not just about the writing. Success is the tip of the iceberg, and everything else underneath the water is what creative folk actually face.

A lot of times, we as the writer are Jack, and our book is Rose…about to drown in the water if we don’t pull her up, if we don’t continue to believe.

Are you following me here? Why do I write this, you ask? Well, I’m not writing it for the people that don’t get what it takes to commit to the writing career path. I’m writing it for you. I’m writing it for the writer who is too hard on themselves and needs a friendly reminder that we are dealing with a lot. If it was always just us and our characters, things would be easy. However, that Iceberg Illusion is very much a real part of our journey.

At the end of the day, I urge you to celebrate it all. You are dedicated. You have worked hard and will continue to do so. The rejections won’t stop you. The Iceberg Illusion may look scary, but remember, you are doing what you love. And don’t forget…we have each other to turn to when it all becomes too much.

Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay. Thank you for joining me here today. You can look for a new post next Friday.

Until next time,

Christine

spring smiles

Happy Sunday to all. I’m back! What have I been up to? Well, a lot! Here’s what’s happened in the last two weeks…

It’s been pretty amazing. I feel so lucky! Here are some photos from our engagement:

Love, love, love!

So, back to my blogging update! New posts will be moved to Friday’s now. Yep, that’s right. Even if it’s only one sentence, you can look forward to a new post from me every week once again!

I hope you have a glorious week. See you Friday!

New Posts Will Be Back Soon

…and by that I mean….

All of my free time is currently going to be dedicated to writing, reading, and/or recharging. I‘ll be back to a steady blog schedule in the Spring, but for now…it’s hibernation time.

Thank you for stopping by WriterChristineMarie.com.

Feel free to tweet me @AWritersWay, where I will continue to share updates on my writing and many Disney gifs.

Until next time,

Christine

Cleanse. Write. Repeat.

I know what you’re thinking. Christine, what does clutter have to do with my writing? Well, whether we like it or not…many outside factors impact our writing habits. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I realized just how true that was. Thankfully, over the last year, I have taken time to declutter much of what prevents or hinders my writing.

Hey, I’m not perfect. I’ve had some major lulls in the past year too, but the point is always to return. The more we keep to organizing and/or cleansing our writing lives, the easier it will be to keep to a healthier routine. Sometimes the clutter isn’t physical clutter on our desks or working surfaces of choice, but in our minds. Here are four ways to declutter your writing life:

One: Clear that space. So, what I really wanted to say here was, clean that desk. However, I’m more realistic than that. In fact, I know there are people who enjoy a less organized home. However, there is something about approaching a space to create and having the room to do it. What I mean is, even if your living room is covered in unfolded laundry and/or kids toys, make a spot for you and your work.

Even if it’s just for an hour or two, clear a corner, a coffee table, etc. for your writing tools of choice. I always find that when I approach my clean coffee table, light a candle, and open my laptop…all of that clutter in my mind moves aside for some writing time.

Two: Make the time. Yesterday, I attended a small tribute to the late poet, Mary Oliver. Ten or so of us gathered, reading bits of her work. In her book, A Poetry Handbook,Oliver spoke about how important it is to show up for your writing.

She wrote, “If you are reliably there, it begins to show itself–soon it begins to arrive when you do.”

Isn’t it the truth? For me, making the time often means getting up for #5amWritersClub. I’ve only been back in the club for a week now after being out for two months, but gosh what a difference it has made.

Three: Keep a clear inbox. Recently, I found myself scrolling through a full inbox. Tons and tons of emails, piled on top of each other. It dawned on me just how out of sorts it all was. I think we sometimes forget just how overwhelming something so simple can be.

Remember, everything can be sorted into folders. What a difference it makes! Drafts, query letters to agents, rejections letters, you name it! If you’re going to keep it all, you might as well organize it.

Four: Protect Your Plan. Whatever it may be, an hour in the morning, a fifteen minute break at work, or some late night time, protect it. There will always be a text message, phone calls, new episodes of This is Us, well…you get the picture. Temptation is there, waving at us in the corner of our homes. It’s important that we take that type of clutter and press a big metaphorical pause button. Texts, calls, TV, etc. will be there after we dedicate an hour to our writing.

So, there you have it. Cleanse. Write. Repeat.

Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay. Thank you for joining me here today. You can look for a new post next Thursday.

Until next time,

Christine