Blogging From The Heart

On July 30, I was nominated by Gina Stoneheart at her blog, Dawning on a New Day , for a “Blogging From the Heart Blog Tour”. I met Gina more than a year ago, and I am very grateful that I did. She has so much going on in her life, but yet has time (and the great personality) to be such a good friend and support to me and so many others. Gina recently finished a draft of her first novel. She is holding it close to her heart right now, but as soon as she says that I can see it, I will grab the chance. I am that excited to read her book!

Gina asked me to partake in this blog at a time when I am still struggling to get ahold of my writing again (if I ever had it in the first place!). My father died on Christmas Eve, and even though it’s been more than 7 months since he passed, this year has not been very productive for me in terms of writing or creativity. I owe some wonderful, patient authors some book reviews, and I know that I should be writing, but I feel a bit frozen and disconnected from the creative process. I am hoping that blogs like this and the kindness of wonderful people like Gina will help me get back on path to finish at least what I promised authors and to feeling more productive again.

What am I working on?
My second children’s book in the Nico and Tugger Tale series just entered production, so I have been dealing with the non-writing process of that. I have been toying with beginning to write book three, but my brain isn’t there yet. I also have been thinking of starting a novel, but I can’t figure out what I would like to write about (I guess that could be a slight problem). I know I would like it to have some humor to it, but (in my opinion) humor is very difficult to write. I would love to write something about my family, but I think that could anger a few people (if they can figure out that I am using them as references!).

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
The two main characters (Nico and Tugger) in my children’s book series each have the opportunity to tell the story from his point of view. I hope that this helps allow children to realize that there is always more than one side to a story.

One of the many reasons that I am holding back from a novel is that, well, I can’t think of anything all that novel to put on paper. I think sometimes I set myself up, though. Instead of just starting to write and shaping whatever that is into a better mess, I think it’s got to be perfect (or pretty close to it) on the first run. Sometimes I really hate being a Virgo…

Why do I write/create what I do?
There are so many answers to this, but I think the bottom line is that I love to read, which always made me want to translate that into telling my own stories. Also, my dad used to swear that I was born talking, so I guess it makes sense that I want to be a storyteller.

Specific to the Nico and Tugger Tale series, I started writing those books because I found that once I brought a second dog into my home, I was watching two children with fur. They still both vie to be the one that sits by me, they fight over toys and the dog beds, they play with each other, and they rely on each other when one is unsure of something. I felt like I was watching fur versions of my sister and me. I thought kids could relate to the dogs, and through the book readings I have done, I have found that to be true. Kids will say things like, “My sister does that to me,” or, “I don’t like when my brother touches my toys.” Of course, I also hear about their pets!

Besides writing, the next things I am looking to “create” are wood plaques. When my father passed away, he left me his wood-burning materials so that I could carry on his legacy of creating plaques for friends and family members. Every person who received one from him was touched, and I look forward to being able to carry on that tradition for him. The first time that I burn a finger, I know I will hear his voice in my head saying, “I told you that you would burn yourself. This won’t keep your hands pretty, you know.”

How does my writing/creating process work?
Even at this age, well past all my English and writing classes, my writing process is a bit all over the place. I start off with an idea, and I usually think I know how it’s going to end. I try to write (sometimes by hand) an outline, but quickly am overcome with some idea that I just have to get down on paper right then, which then triggers something else (even another idea for a different book), and it snowballs to the point that I usually don’t go back to my outline. Or if I do, I laugh at what I had there. I would like to be more disciplined, but I tend to let my characters go with the flow (kind of like how I am rambling now).

I also handwrite a lot, so I keep notebooks that are filled with my chicken scratch (the teachers of my Catholic grammar school would be so disappointed in trying to read those notes). Once I type the draft, I print it and edit it on paper. I usually do this over and over and over and over again. And then again and perhaps again. I still like to see things on paper—I find that I find more to fix that way, and I usually keep a copy in my work bag or purse, so I can pull it out at random times to reread what I wrote. I also have a few friends who are kind enough to look (and look and look) at my writing.

In addition, I interviewed the characters (my dogs, Nico and Tugger) for the second book. I found that to be an interesting tool, and I definitely would do that again.

In terms of blogging, I type everything first into Word and edit it and edit it. Then, I will paste that into my website’s template and edit it and edit it and edit it until I am satisfied. Once I hit the “publish” button, I start to think of other things I could have or should have said. Does that mean I am a writer?!

Coming up next in the tour
P.J. LaRue is married and has a Russian Blue cat named Sasha. P.J.’s favorite vacations include hiking to waterfalls. P.J. published After “I Do!” A Marriage Map this year, which she hopes will help couples have happy and successful marriages. In it, she discusses the three strikes she and her husband had against them when they married: her past as the child of an alcoholic parent; the fact that she was a child of divorced parents; and finally, that they were quite young when they married. P.J. also writes a children’s book series called The Mystic Princesses. She loves to travel and plans to take the Mystic Princesses to different locales in future books. She wants to pass the love of travel to young girls, the knowledge that they can solve their own problems, teach child safety and environmental consciousness in her books.

P.J.’s post can be found at  www.Words-With-Women.com.

Cat Michaels started writing stories in fourth grade and hasn’t stopped since. She earned an an M.S. degree in special education from the University of Kansas. Cat builds on her teaching experiences to write illustrated chapter books for young readers of all abilities to develop imagination and critical thinking skills. Watercolor illustrations by Irene A. Jahns help bring the stories to life. Cat’s books, Sweet T and the North Wind and Finding Fuzzy: a You-Decide Tale of a Lost Friend, can be found on Amazon and ordered from local bookstores.

To connect with Cat, please visit her website, www.catmichaelswriter.com.

Kirstin Pulioff is a storyteller at heart. Born and raised in Southern California, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to follow her dreams and graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Forest Management. Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in the foothills of Colorado and enjoys being a stay-at-home mom. When she’s not writing an adventure, she is busy living one. Her works include the middle school series that consist of The Escape of Princess Madeline, The Battle for Princess Madeline, and Princess Madeline and the Dragon; the young adult book, Dreamscape: Saving Alex; and the short stories, The Ivory Tower and Boone’s Journey.

Her post and contact information can be found on her website, www.kirstinpulioff.com.

Are there any questions or topics you would like to see authors address on their blogs? Please weigh in and leave a comment!

11 Responses to “Blogging From The Heart”

  1. Murielle Cyr August 10, 2014 10:51 am #

    Wonderful interview, Kimberly. Please remember to take care of yourself before attempting to see to other people’s needs and wants. You need to focus on your inner strength and great new stories will emerge.

    Be well and strong.

    Murielle

    • August 11, 2014 10:10 am #

      Hi, Murielle:

      Thanks for stopping by and your kind words, especially considering that I owe you a book review. Believe me, it is on my list.

      As for inner strength…there are days that I think I have gotten past some of this grief and can feel more like myself, and other days I would prefer to find a nice spot at the shore where I can just hide out! But I guess this is normal-ish. I appreciate the kind words of people like you!

      Thanks again,
      Kim

  2. Barbara Mojica August 10, 2014 10:53 am #

    Love your post…so good to hear from you again!

    I think it is wonderful that you are planning to continue your father’s hobby of creating wood plaques. Such a great way to keep his memory alive.

    On another note, second guessing yourself after you write is such an important part of the writing process. It keeps pushing us to want to do better!

    Sounds like you have a lot of wonderful projects planned….keep trucking!

    • August 11, 2014 10:07 am #

      Hi, Barbara:

      Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words!

      How about third guessing, fourth guessing, and so on? LOL But I agree that it does push us to keep striving to do better!

      Thanks again for stopping by, and I hope all is well with you and Victor!

      Kim

  3. Christa August 12, 2014 2:46 pm #

    Kim, I loved reading this. You have a way with words and I know that when you are ready, your next books (and novel!) will come pouring out. I am proud of you. I didn’t know you are going to carry on your dad’s wood plaque legacy. That’s so awesome. You are one of the strongest people I know!
    The girls and I can’t wait for book two of Nico and Tugger!

    • August 12, 2014 5:28 pm #

      Hi, Christa:

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Thank you so much for all of your support ALL OF THE TIME! You are only one of a few who stayed around after the dust settled from Dad’s death to be a big support for me, and I will always appreciate that and remember it! There are days I definitely do not feel strong at all, but with friends like you, those days are more bearable.

      Dad left me all of his woodworking equipment. I have to teach myself how to do the plaques, and as soon as I do, your girls will be getting them.

      I am happy that you and the girls are excited, but what about John?! LOL

      Love,
      Kim

  4. Cat Michaels August 16, 2014 9:38 am #

    Hey there! Love hearing about your writing journey and especially appreciate your sharing your personal struggle of loss. Ouch.

    Can’t wait for your second Nico & Tigger. All the best and happy tales!

    • August 16, 2014 5:07 pm #

      Hi, Cat:

      Thank you so much for stopping by. I am truly lucky to have met you and for your support.

      Thanks–I can’t wait for it to come out, either! :) And I can’t wait to see what you have in store for your fans!

      Kim

  5. Gina Stoneheart August 18, 2014 10:23 am #

    I loved reading this, Kim. Your spirit radiates through the compassion you convey through a few simple words and the admiration you have towards your writing and father. I’ve said this before and I will say it again.. he is looking down on you and quite proud of all you have accomplished so far. Don’t be too hard on yourself with the length and duration of the mourning for your irreplaceable loss. I almost lost my mother due to sickness and my father was murdered when I was 17. It took me a while to get over my dad being killed and I still have those really rough days.

    I am looking forward to reading and sharing your second children’s book with my friends and family! And don’t push the novel if you aren’t ready yet. Once you start itching, you will know. And don’t ever worry about the creative part. As authors, it comes and goes. This is why I always carry around a journal with me because I never know when an idea is going to strike.

    I would love to see one of your plaques someday! What an adoring tradition to keep within the family. You are one of the sweetest and most kindest friends and authors I know. I can’t tell you how blessed I am to have met you and been able to establish some a wonderful friendship with you. Not to mention the fact that you make me laugh all the time! If and when you do decide to write a novel, I think you should go the comedic route. Seriously, you are hysterical! Besides your talent in writing, your humor is a true gift. To make people laugh is really something special=)

    Sorry this response is so late! We left on the 9th of August and just got back this weekend.

    • August 18, 2014 12:16 pm #

      Hi, Gina:

      Because you wrote such a beautiful message I will forgive you for going on vacation without me… :)

      But seriously, thank you so much for your kind words. You always amaze me in how you know exactly what to say to people to lift them. Does Felix understand how wonderful you are?! If not, I can let him know. ;) I am sorry that you have been through so much in your life, and it’s amazing that you keep such a bright and sunny outlook. Your strength is something (just one of the many) that I admire.

      As soon as anything new (children’s book, plaque, novel) comes along, you will be one of the first that I share it with. I am sure my dad also is looking down and smiling at what a wonderful friend you are to me. I wonder if he has stopped discouraging us to visit the alpaca farm, though…

      Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to visiting your site for more of your wonderful blogs!

      k

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