Quote of the Day: Your self-esteem won’t come from body parts. You need to step away from the mirror every once in a while, and look for another reflection, like the one in the eyes of the people who love you and admire you. Stacy London

Millie and Willie Cottonpoly, reflecting on the A to Z Blogging Challenge, 2015.

Millie and Willie Cottonpoly, reflecting on the A to Z Blogging Challenge, 2015.

InsecureWritersSupportGroup.jpgIt seems only fitting to combine my Reflections on the A to Z Blogging Challenge post with the IWSG post for May since we started the challenge on Wednesday, April 1, with the IWSG post of April. IWSG stand for Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Members write a post on the first Wednesday of every month about their insecurities in their creative life, and offer support and encouragement to others. Visit Alex’s blog for more info., or go to the IWSG site to sign up yourself, or find more bloggers participating. 

Successfully completing the Blogging from A to Z challenge proves that I can devote much of the day, for a whole month, to reading and writing. It also leaves me wondering why that same discipline can’t be applied to writing other things, like the play I’ve been working on for a year, or starting another big project. I’m good at writing for magazines where there is a deadline, and I’m good at accepting and completing challenges like this one, but I’m not so good at keeping a daily schedule for other writing. So, that’s my insecurity, feeling a little frustrated with myself. The other insecurity is about the characters I used during the challenge: Millie and Willie Cottonpoly, with an occassional appearance by Mr. Happy, and their neighbor girls, Lillie and Billie. I love writing using their voices. I get excited about doing the dialogue. What can I do with their stories, now? I do use them to engage my theatre students. They seem to enjoy them. I’d like to expand some of their stories into something longer. So, where can I go with that?

A-to-Z Reflection [2015] - LgI really enjoyed participating in the A to Z challenge this year. I read posts from other members of IWSG and a few of my favorites. I didn’t branch out too much from the list. I didn’t have enough time. I had fun writing in the voices of my characters. I had variety and stayed true to what I normally post on my blog with a few theatre reviews, interviews with authors, reflections on life, food, and some fun. I think I had the most fun posing the puppets for the photo shoots. I’d like to continue using them when I do author interviews in a fictional radio show called the Candid Canine Call-in Show, with hosts Millie and Willie Cottonpoly. I think I need a little advice right now, so I’ll call the couple, since they’re on the air.

Millie: Candid Canine Call-in Show, this is Millie. What’s on your mind today?
Me: I’ve had an intense month in April with the daily posting and reading of blogs, teaching theatre classes for kids, getting my students ready for the Spring Recital, on top of being a mom to my boys and going on outings with the Biker Chef. I’m afraid I’m heading for a let-down from all the fun and excitement.
Willie: I know how you might be feeling, Mary. I waited two extra years before I fully retired from working on the railroad. I like adventure, feeling the cars moving under my feet, the rush of the wind through the windows, seeing new places. But, I also got tired.
Millie: And, we never saw each other.
Willie: I needed a little R&R from the R&R. haha
Millie: Good one, Willie. Listen, Mary. It’s okay to have a little down time. Let yourself process all the good things that happened. Then, set aside a certain amount of time to work on your projects.
Willie: One of the best things about retirement was that I could start working on my model train set and take leisurely trips with Millie. We even brought the neighbor girls, Lillie and Billie, out to my cousin Dyllie’s farm for a weekend. Although, some strange things were going on over there.
Millie: Blame it on the full moon. But, that’s another story.
Me: Thanks, guys. You’re right. Maybe I could walk Tillie for you this afternoon, then read a book, or do some drawing.
Willie: Put your feet up and watch a favorite show.
Millie: Call your mother, or better yet, pay her a visit. It is Mother’s Day after all.
Me: Great advice. I’ll bring you back a loaf of her cinnamon bread.
Willie: Mmm. That’s my favorite.

Happy Mother’s Day to all who are mothering to others!

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel after completing a big project or challenge like blogging from A to Z? Do you feel a let-down, relief, or a mixture of both?