Tuesday, April 23, 2013

That Show I'm Going to Be In

The outpouring of support from friends and family for making Oklahoma City's inaugural Listen to Your Mother Show has been tremendous.

Still, a lot of people have never heard of it.

Ann Imig, the head momma herself talks about it here:

It's an easy concept that creates a beautiful and authentic experience.

As I sat in a hair salon with foil in my hair and showed YouTube videos of past performances from my iPad, I realized that that was the true essence of the show. Women hanging out and sharing stories.

Two of our directors were in the Northwest Arkansas show last year.

Proceed with caution: After you watch the videos, you may have the compulsion to share them with others.

Heather Davis talks about unmentionables hair accessories.

Misti Prior talks about pretending to be Mother Teresa.

Today, the website introduced moi

Here's a teaser that shows the rest of our cast.  Hint: I'm the toothless one.

10% of proceeds benefits Infant Crisis Services in OKC. We're also accepting diaper donations at the door. Tickets are still available. You can order yours here.

Bring some Huggies and someone to hug. It's going to be that kind of afternoon.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stress Awareness Day

When it comes to being organized, I'm like one of those sad contestants on a reality show who can't sing/dance/live in reality. No one needs to tell me I can't carry a tune in a bucket, but I sometimes have delusions of grandeur when it comes to organizational skills.

I can happily spend hours in The Container Store...and not buy a thing. Pinterest has sucked hours of my life providing ideas to better manage my time.  Some of the first magazine articles I ever read were how to be organized and maximize efficiency, and I still buy magazines if one article tempts me with a clever way to get my life in order.

But life isn't easier. 

Because no matter how many lists I make, or calendars I color code, or bags I pack carefully, someone (Garrett) will forget to drop off soccer shoes and clean socks with the child.  And someone will demand to be lugged around the house (Alexandra).  And someone will suddenly become incapable of going into a room by himself and grabbing his stuff (Max). And I add plenty to my own misery as well. "The best laid plans of mice and men...."

Chaos causes me stress.

I once had a ceremony on my piano.  I used this method of relaxation from the time I was in sixth grade until my piano had too many hands on it.

Since then, I've experimented. Exercise is calming, but that's one more thing to schedule.  I've fed the stress with an old favorite: brownies and milk. Then I evolved to red wine and Hershey's kisses. I sometimes enjoy tea and a scone (or four). Nothing works well.

Recently, I discovered the best method to de-stress doesn't involve fancy highlighters or  exercise equipment or even a musical instrument.

I breathe.

In. Out. In. Out.


Sometimes I forget, but the body has a way of reminding me.

In. Out. In. Out.

Don't you feel better already?

If breathing doesn't relax you, bloggers are sharing ideas on how to take away the stress over at Oklahoma Women Bloggers.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Can I get a rubber eraser app?

My kids are obsessed with technology. They play on the computer. They play on the iPhone. They play on the iPad.  The simplest pieces of plastic transform into pretend electronic gadgets.

Kids. How do they get these ideas?

According to Kelly McDonald, three marriage deal breakers of the 1960s were
1.  different race
2.  different religion
3.  inability to provide financially

Today marriage deal breakers are
1. lack of hygiene
2. talking about exes
3. constantly on phone or other mobile device.

Garret teased me that I'd be out of the running for marriage because of the last one.

What?  Me?

He wasn't kidding.
Would they make the cut in 2013?
I'm a part-time work-at-home mom.  I get the pleasure of being with my kids several days a week. But I still get emails from work.  And I check the messages. I also am a writer, and doing so involves computers. But it's not just work that occupies my techy-time. I make grocery lists. I take pictures.  I research recipes and child-friendly projects, and...and...

...they don't know that. They just see me with my hands wrapped around a hunk of technology.

McDonald mentioned that Generation Z, which apparently doesn't even encompass my little ones (there's no name for them yet), has fewer verbal skills than previous generations.


They text. They Facebook. They Instant Message. They don't talk on the phone.

Am I contributing to the death of the spoken language?

I don't want my children to think of me with my nose in a gadget. I want them to think of me looking in their eyes, singing songs, playing piano, 

building cardboard spaceships, reading books,

playing sports, 
and picking "flowers."

I want them to remember that I loved them enough to model love and companionship and... verbal skills.

Now, more than ever, I'm making a conscious effort to go back to the basics. Like a rubber eraser. Maybe I'll start by writing notes on paper.  

Technology is a good thing.  But so are the basics. Face to face. You and me, baby.

My friend Lisa Marotta has a call to action on this topic.  I'm not ready for the power grid to go down completely, but I do plan to power off more often.
Oklahoma Women Bloggers handed out virtual rubber erasers this week. Skedaddle on over to see what other bloggers are erasing.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cheer for Your Team

I'm not very good at the preschool athletic mentality. 
1.  Every kid is not the Most Valuable Player.
2.  Each game should have a winner and a loser.

That's life. 

Don't get me wrong. Winning isn't everything, but losing doesn't mean hanging up your sneakers, either.  When you fall, brush yourself off, quit your crying, and get back in the game. It's important to always do your personal best because your only real competition is yourself.

I was a cheerleader--the kind that believed more in the job than the uniform.  I disdain the "spirit leaders" who leave when rain or sleet falls from the sky. If the team can still play, then they can still cheer.

12th grade: front and center in a parka in the pouring rain

After a few adult beverages, I'm willing to dance my high school's fight song.

Go Bulldogs!

Last month,  I put my dormant cheer skills to use and cheered myself on through my own special version of March Madness.

Here are the rules: If a writing opportunity presented itself, I must enter the competition.

Even if I doubted my abilities--especially so--I must take action. With failure comes wisdom. With wisdom comes success.

Want to know how the brackets turned out?

I submitted my essays to two Listen to Your Mother shows.  Instead of submitting to one show, I embraced March Madness and submitted to two.

Two! Two! We want two!

And, well, you know how that turned out. Read about it here and here.

Gooooo team!

Then, I tried Brenda Drake's agent contest.  My cheerleader was still asleep when I dragged myself out of bed to submit early in the morning.  Right before I pushed send on my carefully written entry of my novel's first 250 words and 35-word pitch, I doubted myself.  I changed the pitch.

I did not make the next round.

That's all right. That's okay. We're gonna win another day!

Then another opportunity presented itself. Mini Vaughn, one of the slush zombies for the contest, volunteered to critique the pitches on her blog Dirty Silly Things.  I thought, "Oh my. I can't put myself out there and face rejection again. It's so public. She even says something about spanking us and making it hurt."  *Blushes* 

My cheerleader gave me a high-kick in the butt.  

Be aggressive! B-E Aggressive! B-E- A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E! Be aggressive! B-E aggressive!

Because she was an obnoxiously perky, insistent little inner cheerleader, I not only sent the rejected logline, but I also submitted the one I'd planned to send. If I was going to get a smackdown, I might as well really feel the pain, right?

The critique wasn't painful at all. She thought the original pitch was "fantastic." Lesson learned.  My biggest opponent is self-doubt. 

Defense! (clap, clap) Defense! (clap, clap)

Over the month, I had a couple of contest triumphs and forfeited one opportunity. The point is that I put myself in the game.

I'm gearing up for submitting my freshly revised novel to agents. I've listened to agents who seemed excited about the story but rejected it. I've rewritten the novel and improved my game. 

First (clap) and ten! Go! Fight! Win!

Why compete? Because someone has to win.  Why can't it be me?  Or you?

  Dribble it! Pass it! (clap) We want a basket!

Have you stepped outside your comfort zone lately? What would you like to achieve?  

Go for it!

Listen to your personal cheerleader and take the challenge. Let me know what it is.

I'm already waggling my spirit fingers for you.