Thursday, July 3, 2014

Moms Come Hither - Hands Free Mama - The Important Thing About Yelling

I came across this post via the lovely Face Book shared by a friend from  The important thing about yelling. I think every Mama has yelled at her kid(s). I have yelled at my kids. I admit it. Guilty. And I hate that I have. I try hard not to. Try VERY hard not to. It's not often that I do, but those few times that I do, I HATE that I do.

So, when I came across this, again shared by a wonderful friend of mine, also a Mamma, I had to read it. I think every mother doesn't desire yelling at her kids. One, it tears them down. Two, it makes them afraid of you and three, you just feel horrible doing it. Not in the moment. I get why we do. You are exasperated, spent, stretched and in a moment of weakness, you com bust.

Rachel Stacy Mafford seems to have a plan on how to stop the yelling. It started with this:

"Releasing myself from the unachievable standard of perfection and societal pressure to "do it all."

Rachael decided to become a Hands Free Mama. This is a wonderful article and you can read in detail how Rachael did just this by clicking here. Rachael has a blog of her own where she continues to write about on being a Hands Free Mom. Rachael even has created a lovely hands free pledge letter you can purchase in her store to hang on your wall to help remind you how to be a hands free mom. Click on image to go there.

image from

Rachael even has a book out that goes in further detail about being a hands free mama,  how to stop the yelling and to stop saying hurry up.

"Rachael Macy Stafford's post "The Day I Stopped Saying Hurry Up" was a true phenomenon on The Huffington Post, igniting countless conversations online and off about freeing ourselves from the viscous cycle of keeping up with our overstuffed agendas. Hands Free Mama has the power to keep that conversation going and remind us that we must not let our lives pass us by." 

--Arianna Huffington, Chair, president, and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, nationally syndicated columnist, and author of thirteen books. 

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Her book Hands Free Mamma : A Guide on Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do-List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! is available in the Kindle Store, in paper back, audio CD and audible.

Thanks for the drop by!

Monday, June 30, 2014

My Blueberry Picking Adventure and What I Took Away from it (Besides the Berries)

Nature, at it's finest, is when it produces produce- At least I think that. I know,I know, there are more things to Nature besides the yummy fruit, but hey it tops it. Organic, for me, well... you can't come any closer to organic than to pluck the fruit yourself (not using pesticides plays a factor too-I know) but let's carry on.

This past Saturday, my husband and I and four of our kids went to a local farm and picked some blueberries. We did it twice last year and this was our second time this year. We're going again next Saturday too. Love it. Fun, you get to pick and eat and get great berries at a reasonable price. We're also helping support a local farmer. You just can't beat that.

We went early, before eight, the morning so far was cool and the kids were in a picking mood. Yes, there is a picking mood. Kids have to be in this such mood or you get this- "Mom, I'm hot." or "Mom, my legs are tired." or better, "Mom, the grass is itchy and my bucket won't fill up fast like yours and I don't like the bucket tied around my waist, so can you carry mine for me. Look you can tie it right here next to yours..." It goes on.

And I still love it all. And yes, I would do it again.


I smile.

I would do it again because regardless of the whining, the itchy grass, the heavy buckets or even the biting bugs (not a problem so far, I remembered the spray), I'd do it again for the quality of time. Life gets busy sometimes. Or maybe we just let ourselves get too busy. Life is as busy as we let it. It also can fly very fast if we let it do that too. So moments like this. Berry picking moments like this, I savor. I savor it like garlic butter on a nice piece of steak that you don't get to eat very often because you are a mother of six plus one and so you are always too broke and can only eat steak about twice a year. Hamburgers are our finest otherwise and that's ok too. I've got a lot of fine memories over hamburgers.

Memories. Key word. Memories are the best. They are those special stories planted in our heads to savor like that nice piece of steak covered in garlic butter to enjoy over and over whenever we want and not just two times a year. (I really am OK about eating steak two times a year, it's just funny to reference:0) Get pictures of those memorable moments and it gives visuals to it. Plus it's fun to look back in time. It also comes in handy for later, much later when your memory starts to fail you. I recommend keeping a journal. Writing those stories down to share with the grand kids later. I cannot go on enough about how much I loved hearing the stories my parents and grandparents shared with me in their lives before me.

Memories are important and you don't have to go on the most supreme adventures or go broke to create a memorable moment. A cardboard box, scissors and a permanent marker has built a few great memories for my children and who would have believed it?! It's not what you spend or where you go, its how you use that time. That's what matters. Not everyone can do the theme parks. Not everyone can afford the vacations twice a year. And that's ok. People were making amazing memories before those kind of vacations or parks. Go somewhere local. Go to the beach. Go to a park. Go to the pool. Just go somewhere together.

Going blueberry picking with my family, I not only created a memory, got my pictures (cause I just love taking pictures of my family:0) and gained some juicy berries, I got that togetherness. I slowed down our lives just a little and got to spend some quality time with the ones I love. Family is  essential to a quality of life. Humans are not meant to be alone and no family isn't just blood related. Friends are family. The craziest of friends make the best type of family.

So get together with someone you love and go blueberry picking. Or not. It's your memory:0)

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How do You Choose a Book? What Type of Reader Are You? and Do We Stay Dedicated to Our Authors?

Before I  was a writer, I was a reader.

I love reading. As a teen I was always reading. Fiction. Romance. Supernatural and even chillers. I started with Nancy Drew Case Files, moved on to Fear Street and then on to Dean Koontz, Danielle Steel, V. C. Andrews and L.J. Smith.  I read them, loved them and if they had another offering, I read that one too.

This brought a question to my mind.

Why these books? Why these authors? Why do we pick the books we do? And how do we decide which authors to stay faithful to?

The answer to the fourth question is easy, because we love what they write. Now what about the first three? Lets break them up.

Why these books?

I can only speak for myself, so I will. I pick my books by their covers. Regardless of the saying "Never judge a book by it's cover" I still do. I think we all do. We must confess, no matter how hard we try, a vibrant, well done up cover draws us more than just a simple one. This doesn't mean the content of the simple covered book isn't worthy. There are several examples out there that contradict this, but in today's society, in this busy, busy world, the cover just can't be simple anymore. It has to grab ya. Do you agree?

The second is the blurb, the book description. It has to be a draw in too. The average length to a book blurb/description is 200 words in length. That isn't a lot.  Book Cover Cafe goes over this more for you writers here. Two hundred words to draw a reader in with. That is quite a task for the author. For the reader, if it doesn't capture us, we move on. If it does, well we then go to the first page.

The first page. The third and final player in our decision. A friend of mine shared with me that if the first few sentences to that first page doesn't capture the reader, they move on. That readers today will only give a book thirty seconds of their time and if it doesn't interest them, they will look for another.  Was this really true? I thought on it and then I researched.

 You only get one chance to make a first impression—and that one chance with a reader lasts only minutes. -Writer's Digest, Chuck Sambanchino, Jessica Regel. (Click the link to read more.)

So maybe my friend was onto something.I didn't find anything on that thirty seconds, but I don't doubt it isn't true. What I did find does go along with what my friend said. Found in a discussion on Goodreads,I found readers on average do make their decision on sticking with the book on those  first and second chapters. If they aren't captured within those first pages, they ditch the book.

Why these authors?

Why do we pick our particular author? (I'll go singular.)

To find an author we love and then stay dedicated to them, we must first find them.  We try them out. See if we like their work and then decide if we'll stick around for the next read. Deciding on keeping the author pretty much goes on how we like their first book, their second and so on. Is there a time when we stop liking our author? I say yes. If I am disappointed in my author's books, this would persuade me to want to "ditch" my author. I haven't experienced this yet thankfully, but I can assume this does happen. Of course I had to research this and you will never guess what I found... This isn't necessarily so. On another general discussion on Goodreads, I found this topic- Authors you keep reading even though you have no idea why. You can't get anymore specific than that!

 I'm sure there are more discussions like this, but I felt sharing this one was enough. So...maybe not all readers abandon their authors by one or two or even three bad reads. What do yo think?

Why do we pick the books we do?

We've already gone over how we choose our books in the first question, I know this. This question, at least in my mind, is wanting a more specific answer beyond picking the book. Perhaps I should have asked Why do we read the genres we do?  That would be better, but it wouldn't involve why we pick other genres. If we do. Do we? And if so, why?  Curiosity? By accident? We see a great cover, read the blurb. Like it. Go to the first chapter, get drawn in, buy the book and only after, realize it was a sci-fi. So are we now a fan of sci-fi?  This made me think. Do readers try other genres? And if they do, do they stick with them? Here's what I found:

Does writing in different genres turn off readers?  Author Toby Neal shares an author's perspective on this.  " Most readers will "try" a favorite author's book in a different genre, but if they don't like it, they won't buy another."  Click the link above to read what else she says about this.

What genres do you refuse to read ( and why should you shouldn't refuse to read them.)  Novelist Mike Duran shares his two bits on what he thinks about readers sticking to one genre and why they should try another. " Good writing is good writing, no matter what genre it is." and " Reading different genres makes it possible to discover authors and styles you would have never encountered." Stood out to me.  To read more of his tips on genre consideration, just click the link above.

7 Different Types of Readers : Which do you write for?  Along with these two articles, this one came to my attention. Something I just had to share. Something for authors and readers. What type of reader are you? or What type of reader are you writing for?

Fantasy Writer Victoria Grefer shares seven different types:
1. Readers who focus on character.
2. Readers who care more about what happens than who the people involved are.
3. Readers who want to know what happens in a book before they read.
4. Readers whose experience is ruined if they hear spoilers.
5. Readers who skip or skim passages.
6. Readers who feel panicky if they skip anything.
7. Readers who always finish a book.

She helps authors figure out who they are writing for and asks readers which reader they are. For me, I am the reader who focuses on character. I like my characters and their character. I love connecting with my characters. Forming that bond. I'm a fan of series, but would never turn away a solitaire. So...what type of reader are you?

Thanks for the drop by.Share your thoughts. Give some feedback. Or just say hello. I love comments and appreciate the time you take to leave them. If you enjoyed my share, don't forget to follow me. Take care!