Thursday, February 21, 2008

Adolescence. Really they should give parents a drug so we can cope through this stage. My eldest, a 12 year-old, know-it-all boy is on this lovely rollercoaster of a ride and I’m left barely hanging on. We go from having a great time together, sitting on the sofa to him becoming demanding, like mom cut me up an apple. Okay, you’re 12 cut up your own apple or wash it and eat it. Voila a fight develops. I become the worst mom ever.

I’m the only mom he tells me that makes their children do chores. What? All the rest of those moms are nuts, I tell him. You are more than half-way to becoming a man and I’m teaching you life skills. So, yes part of that is learning how to do your own laundry, how to put soap in the washing machine, turn on the dryer and fold your clothes and better yet placed them in those things called drawers. Ughhh!

Someone help me. When I tell him all the things I had to do at his age he says that was the old days. Old days? Honey, I ain’t that old, but dealing with him is certainly aging me. I don’t want my son to go through life with everything handed on a platter for him, I want him to work. I want him to appreciate the things I do for him. How many moms stay home, sacrifice their careers so I can take him to and pick him up from school, come home to home baked cookies or brownies and a hot meal on the table. Yeah, buddy list those off! So we do drive a rusty 12 year-old van. We don’t have an X-box or the latest gadgets of toys and we are scraping by month after month. But we do it. For him, and his other three siblings. And, yes I tell him when they reach his age they too will start doing chores. The ten year old is totally responsible for his pets and thank god does that and has started putting his own clothes away after I fold them, so progress is being made. But the 12 year-old thinks I’m his servant. I’ve had enough. I told him starting tonight he’ll be making his own lunches. You would have thought the world had ended with how he carried on and I part of me was immediately reminded that he may be 12 but he’s still young, still my baby boy at heart, but then I thought “tough love” he’ll be better in the end with this one chore because he’ll learn more about self-reliance.

Plus, I needed at least two more cups of tea to truly deal with him and soooo wasn’t in the mood for theatrics.

Anyone else out there coping with those lovely adolescent years. Feel free to rant. I know it always makes me feel better. And, just because you might rant I’m going to randomly pick a winner today and the lucky person will receive a free electronic copy of Love Me Tender, my second erotic novella published by Ellora’s Cave. So drop me a line and make my day!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Throw all those excuses out the window - set a goal

Goals. Okay now that I wrote that don’t go running and screaming from the screen. I am the first to admit that setting a goal does two things for me. One, it makes me slightly panicky and secondly it gives me a clear idea of what I’m striving for. Now, for those that don’t know me (many of you) I am a serious writer. What???? Yup, you heard me. I write every day. Now, I write most of my stuff on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s because that’s when my three-year old is in daycare. Did I mention I have four children – three of whom are in school? So, I’ve learned to organize and juggle but only two years ago did I learn that I had to set goals for ME!!!

I’m going to capitalize ME because as a MOM I always put my wants, needs and goals on the back burner. Why? Don’t know. But two years ago I realized that wasn’t fair to ME and my family. I am happier when I write. I am also happier when I make my goals.

So as a writer you might wonder how many pages do I write? Well, it can vary but on average I set a goal of 10,000 words a week. If you break that down it’s only 2,000 words, five days a week. For me I have to usually double that number because I only get three full days to write. And for me my full day ends at 2pm when I have to pick up my other children from school. The other trick that works for me is that I try not to watch a lot of TV. Now, lately that hasn’t been a problem because of the writers strike but if I watch TV all night I usually hate myself in the morning for being unproductive. So I try to write at least 1,000 words at night or edit what I wrote during the day.

My other goal for ME this year was to become more physically active. Now that I confess I’m having a harder time with. I’d rather be writing then running, which is the only exercise I like to do, but I decided this week that I’m going to sign up for an exercise course I haven’t tried before in the evening once a week to accomplish this goal. I did join LA Weightless and that has been great for me. Nothing like being accountable for what you eat and I’ve lost 12lbs all ready....very happy about that. I’m not going to worry that it’s taking me a long time to lose the 12lbs because I set a yearly goal of losing 20lbs and I will make it.

I do post my writing goals on my local romance chapter goals loop and I do write my goals down in my computer and print off all the books I plan to write this year. For me having a visual (book title and concept) works for me.

Now, what works for you? Are you able to set goals for YOU this year? Share the tricks of what you’ve found helpful and what hasn’t worked for you. We can all use an inspirational story.