Saturday, June 30, 2012

Life was so much better when I woke up at 5 a.m.

In the past, I have raved about the benefits of waking up really early in the morning -- specifically, at 5 a.m. -- because it really did help me to get things done. Things that I normally can't find the time for during my day, such as prayer, reading and writing. Even getting my daily "news fix" and catching up on emails! But after summer vacation started, I changed that. I started to sleep in. That turned out to be a problem.

The one important thing I want to get done every day is work on my books. A least one book, anyway. (I find time for prayer every day at some point, even if it is a quick 3-minute prayer in my bedroom!) During the school year, I was able to wok on two or three books every day during the week. Maybe one or two on the weekends. With summer vacation, and with the kids around 24-7, that number was drastically cut to one or two during the week. Sometimes, a day or two went by when I couldn't work on one of the books at all.

It's not like it'll be the end of the world for me if a day goes by without me working on a book or two. But writing books brings me joy. It makes me happy. (You know what they say: "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.") And I get SO MANY ideas for the books or stuff to write down and I get edgy if I can't get that stuff OUT of my head and onto paper. (Plus, I tend to be forgetful, so I might forget it if I don't get it down!) It is just something that I NEED to be a part of my day. For me, writing is like breathing. A daily necessity!

And I have a feeling that if I had been waking up at 5 during those days, I might've gotten more writing done. I managed some writing, but not as much as I would've liked.

The way I have worked on my books has changed, as well. I grab bits and pieces of writing time here and there. I print stuff out to revise/edit while I'm eating or cooking a meal. I jot down notes during the day.

I have also fallen behind on book reviews, but I am trying my hardest to keep up with that, as well.

I know that if I got up earlier, I could get more done on top of the housework, taking care of the kids and running errands. (The cooking gets done every day no matter what -- thank goodness for "throw this into the oven for an hour and add a can of veggies to serve with it" meals!!)

Starting next week, I have a bunch of activities planned with the kids. These last days of June were meant to be "lazy days'" before all the craziness of activities and trips begin. So, next week, I'll be back to my old schedule. And hopefully, that means there will be some extra time to get more writing and reading done.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

No animals were harmed in the writing of this blog post

Sometime ago, when I met with Jennifer’s teacher, I shared with her my personal email addy. She noticed how this email addy was similar to the movie title, Dances With Wolves. We both love the movie and we both happened to share how difficult it was during the scene when Dances With Wolves' horse, Cisco, was shot. We both cried over that scene. As a kid, another “sad horse scene” had me in tears: When Atreyu’s horse, Artax, drowned in the Swamp of Sadness in The Neverending Story.

I know it’s fiction, but stuff like this has me bawling my eyes out. I love animals and I can’t stand to see stuff like that in a movie.

And, in fact, I can only take so much of it.

Last night,. Jennifer and I were watching the movie Two Brothers. We thought it was going to be one of those “feel good” animal movies about twin tigers separated at birth and reunited after they grew older. But, in actuality, it was a very difficult movie to watch. Lots of cruelty to animals, killing of animals and just a total disrespect for animals in the wild. I kept saying, “Why can’t they leave them alone in the wild? Why can’t they just leave the wild animals alone?”

But, no. Hunters want the elephant tusks for the ivory. The tigers for their skin or to sell them to the circus. Or to kill animals for sport.

We were both in tears halfway through the movie and we could not watch the whole thing. I mean, even a dog was killed in this movie! (Mercifully, they did not show what was left of the dog after the tiger attacked it.)

It made me think of just how some movies depict this type of thing. And how often it happens. This was not the first time we have seen animals being killed in movies, but usually, animals were killed as an act of mercy, like with Old Yeller after he became rabid and a horse that was bitten by a snake. We understand this is just part of reality, but there is such a thing as overdoing it.

That movie definitely overdid it. And if we see too many other movies with animals being killed in them, I’m going to have to start looking for a web site or something that will list warnings of bad things that happen to animals in movies. We know it’s just a movie and it’s fiction, and the animals are not REALLY being killed during the making of that film, but that’s just not something that we like to see in a movie.