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
It 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?
I 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?
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Millie and Willie gave you good advice Mary!
The pace this side is not so hectic after the A-Z but still busy. I hope to get a walk in this lovely sunny winter day … something I haven’t done for a long time.
I have a love/hate relationship with ole A-Z. 🙂
I think Willie and Millie need their own picture book. Just saying.
Thanks, Teresa. I’m so glad you wrote that. I would love to have a picture book with them, maybe even a radio show. hmmm…
I have no doubt you’ll figure this out. 🙂
Here’s my link if you’d like to drop by 🙂
Anna from Elements of Writing
Thanks, Anna. I’ll see you at your place!
Right now I’m feeling a lot of relief! I’m trying to finish a novel, and now I have more time to do so. I did love the challenge, though, and connecting with many of the other bloggers.
Hi, Mary! For me, it’s a mixture of both. 🙂
I totally feel the empty spot where the A-Z was. Am working on filling it in. 😉
What an exhausting month, whew! I do best with external deadlines as well. It’s so easy to let our own stuff slide, isn’t it?
I think you’ll feel much better after a little break. Take it easy, and be kind to yourself. 🙂
And btw, I make this promise to you, based on your comment on my post–NO GORE. You have my word on that.
Thanks, Holli. I might get brave and read your book. Will it keep me up at night?
“Blame it on the full moon.” LOL
I think it’s a mix of both this time.
I agree that Willie and Millie need their own picture book.
Happy IWSG Day, Mary!
I’ll work on it, Michelle!
What about a Youtube appearance for Willie and Millie?
I think that’s brilliant, Michelle. I can totally picture that happening.
You should write a story about them! You know the characters well and they’re funny.
Thanks, Alex. I’m sure I will. They’re just too much fun to leave in a box.
I so agree. It’s okay to have a little down time, to let ourselves process all that happened in April. And for you, Mary, to play the piano. 🙂 Oh, I would love to hear you play. Well done, this Challenge. I didn’t really visit the list much either, maybe once or twice, mostly stayed with trusted friends like you. Congrats, and see you around here soon.
I’ve also been missing playing the piano. The fingers need a workout, too!
I hit something and my comment disappeared, hope it doesn’t duplicate. 🙂 I so agree with Millie and Willie — we need a little down time, and time to reflect on all that happened in April, and for Mary time to play the piano. 🙂 I didn’t really visit the list either, mostly stuck with trusted friends like you. And … we did it. Congrats, Mary, and see around here.
You are so funny, Mary. Listen to Alex and write their story.
Diane IWSG #108
Love the quote at the top. I write better/faster with deadlines too. What is that?
Most of us need that extra incentive!
I so agree, time for some down time and reflection. And my comment doesn’t want to take, for some reason, so I’m back. 🙂 My site was crazy today, too, must be the post-Challenge bug.
Great Challenge, Mary. Thank you. Will see you around here.
You can double, triple, comment on my blog any time. Sorry it’s been glitchy. I think the blogosphere got overwhelmed with all the activity during the challenge!
Sorry about the double (triple comment), Mary. I seem to be a little tech challenged today. 🙂
Finishing the challenge was a relief, but I was also sad. I had that moment of now what? But I took a couple days off and didn’t worry about blogging. That left me refreshed and ready to jump back in to my regular posting.
I feel the same way, Patricia.
I was going to say a picture book too. A picture book and merchandise, my grandkids would love the puppets and the book!
You did a fabulous job on the A-Z and you were such a supportive commenter as well, thank you so much.
Rest, relax, breathe and then write a picture book:)
A picture book. Hmm. I think I’m hearing a message.
It’s natural to get caught up in the hysteria of the A-Z Challenge because that’s just what it is – hysteria. It’s contagious and sucks you in in a way that just writing for yourself could never do.
Good description, Michael. It’s that feeling of “We’re all in this together,” that I like.
Just now getting around to visiting the blogs in the challenge. April was a busy month for me. Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! Looking forward to next year! See you on the Road Trip!
Thanks, Mary. I’ll look you up!