Blog Business & E-book Winner

I have a few pieces of blog business to announce, but I’m sure you are most interested in knowing the winner of the e-book “Nuturing Creativity: A Guide for Busy Moms” by Renee Tougas. If you didn’t win or didn’t notice the drawing, I highly recommend that you buy the e-book from Renee.  It’s only $3.00, and Renee offers a lot of practical advice for busy moms on how they can work creative pursuits into their everyday lives while rearing children.  She gave me a lot of food for thought, and I plan to go back through her book at some point because it’s very inspiring, and I don’t want to forget her advice.  (Click here to purchase the e-book.)

I’m also going to write a little more on exactly how I organize and make time for my writing and other projects in a future blog post, and if you scroll down, I’m listing some other “blog post goals” too!

Without further ado:

  • Okay, so I know you have already seen the winner of the drawing in the photo.  This afternoon my son volunteered to cut out all your names from the paper I typed them on.  He meticulously folded them and put them into a basket (the two-year-old added a few bits of his own paper too), and then he drew one name:  sherilynorton!  Congratulations, Sherilyn!  Renee will be sending you your copy shortly.
  • My second order of business is to let you know that I created a Mama of Letters Facebook page, and I have also been adding my blog posts to my Google+ account.  I had been reluctant to create the Facebook page or do anything with Google+ for a long time because I just don’t have time for more social networking.  I know a lot of people don’t like it if you’re not “social” or join in conversations.  The only place I post regularly is Twitter, and even there I’m off and on because as a busy mom, I have to sort my priorities – I’m sure you understand.  Though I love connecting with other people – in real life and online, I have to tip the scale to my family and my personal pursuits.  Having said that, I know an enormous amount of people use Facebook and Google+, and it’s really no trouble for me to simply add my posts to it.   At this time I can’t commit to more than that, but in the future who knows?  If you use one of these mediums and don’t mind someone who is “anti-social” I will appreciate you liking my Facebook page or adding me to your group on Google+.
  • When you write regularly like I do, it’s amazing to notice that new ideas keep surfacing.  This is a blessing, yet it can also overwhelm me if I start to think I have to do it all right now.  I stopped thinking in terms of right nowa while back and instead, I make lists, lists, lists.  Since I have a good working list of what I want to write for my columns and blog, I thought I’d share some of them with you.  I hope some of this will interest you and you’ll come back to read it:
  • Finally, despite the ideas spinning in my head that I want to get down on paper, I am considering taking a blog vacation in May. We’ll have family visiting us at that time, and I have other writing and photography projects that I need to work on, so I may take 2 or even 4 weeks off this blog.  I find that sometimes it helps to just focus on something in a planned period of time instead of trying to do everything at once.  I’m sure blog advisors might tell me this isn’t good for my blog, but as I mentioned before, I have to sort my priorities, and I’m sure those who already enjoy my blog (I hope you do) will understand.

Thanks to everyone who have subscribed to my blog.  You really inspire me to keep going, and I hope you find some of the information I post here helpful.

I do too much. I don’t do enough.


Top left – My latest photography job.

Top right – Taken on an excursion to the beautiful University of Georgia campus.

Bottom left – My budding gardener (pun intended).

Bottom right – A typewriter similar to what Margaret Mitchell would have used while writing a weekly column at the Atlanta Journal.  Since I’m reading Gone with the Wind, and this year is the book’s 75th anniversary, I visited the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta for their celebration event.  And it was a topic of one of my weekly columns, but unfortunately, they did not post it online, so I can’t share it with you.


Sometimes I get overwhelmed when I think about all the personal goals that I have for myself:

~ Create a loving home. A house full of laughter and love, though not often clean or organized. Love is abundant, and at least there’s more laughter than otherwise.  Healthy meals? Well, my standards have sunk on that one, but we try. A garden that gives us pleasure. Yes, we get pleasure from gardening, even if it’s got weeds too.  Our yard is a work in progress.  Just like the house.  Just like our lives.  

~ Homeschool my children.  Teach them their letters and numbers.  Teach them to read.  Teach them how to be happy, healthy citizens in this crazy world.  Find more people to hang out with.  Take them places.  Play at home.  Yes, just go play.

~ Continue to work on my newspaper column.  Contribute to my family’s livelihood. Write ahead of myself.  Think of more topics.  Slow down and chose my words carefully.

~ Promote a part-time photography business.  Contribute to my family’s livelihood.  Market. Focus. Market. Photograph more.  Oh, the endless projects I have in mind. Photograph for pleasure.  Photograph for money.  Photograph because I love the tiny details and the light.  Oh, the light.  I am in love with my husband, my children and Light.

Those are just the main goals.  There’s always other, little goals popping up too.  Finish reading Gone with the Wind. Wipe the yogurt off his fingers and then take the milk cup back to the refrigerator.  Bathroom, shoes, then go outside.  Check e-mail to see if play date is happening tomorrow.  Read that book about the history of photography.  Work on a blog post.  Learn more about flash sync.  Do the laundry.  Fold the laundry.  Mop the kitchen floor.  Write those interview questions.  Look for new pants at Target.  Work on the Wildlife Habitat Project with four-year-old.  WHAT are we getting Daddy for Father’s Day?!

If I think about it all at once, I start to lose my cool.  Sometimes I do lose my cool.  Sometimes I get cranky with the kids.  Other times I ignore all the goals and live in the moment, and that’s what I try to do.  I think I’m pretty good at it.  Well, maybe not.  It depends on the day.

All I can do is work on one step at a time.  I may not have an organized house, but I have an organized “to do” list.  I use the desktop application “To Do Queue.” It allows me to keep a separate list for all my crazy goals.  And I just do what I can, when I can. Obviously, some things have more priority, like daily life and my newspaper column.  Those things just gotta get done.  Then I work on other stuff.  I have finally let the outcome go.  I don’t know if I can achieve all my goals, but if there’s one thing my children have taught me it’s that none of that is important.

What’s important is just learning A and then B and then C.  Keep learning.  Keep doing.  Keep going.  In that, I am happy.