Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Traditions

My favorite holiday tradition is the advent chain I make for my kids. I cut twenty-four pieces of construction paper, write a holiday activity on each one, and then staple them together into a chain. Each morning the kids take turns tearing off a piece of the chain and that's our activity for the day.

Weekdays are pretty busy around here, so I keep the activities short: do a treasure hunt, read the nativity story together, or put candy canes on the Christmas tree. Weekends we can do more time-consuming activities like making Christmas cookies or having a family game day. We've been doing this since my kids were little. I figured they'd get tired of it eventually, but now they're teenagers and they're still excited to pull off the chain every morning.

What traditions do you share with your family during the holiday season - whichever holiday you celebrate?

I'm going to take the rest of the year off blogging to spend time with my kids over their break from school, so happy holidays to you all! See you in January!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

An Outline is Born

Over the past few weeks, I've been outlining my new idea and shaping it into a story.

I started by identifying the different layers and subplots and then making an outline of each one on my computer. When I was happy with the outlines, I printed them out, cut them into pieces, and arranged each event in chronological order.

Then, when I had them arranged how I wanted them, I made a color-coded chart. I use a different color for each plotline so I can trace each plot and make sure I have a good mix of the different storylines. I just finished this last night and I'm glad to have it done - it was a lot of work getting to this point! This is just a starting point and it will evolve from here, but at least I've got a basic game plan.

Whew! So that's how I develop my outline. How about you? Are you a plotter or a pantser? If you're a plotter, does your outline or your method look anything like mine? And what have you been working on this past week?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Baby Faces Blogfest

Trisha at WORD + STUFF is hosting the Baby Faces blogfest today, where we're supposed to post a picture of ourself as a baby. This was taken right after I started being able to sit up on my own. My mom said I was really proud of myself, hence the big smile.

Someone gave me this picture a few years ago. My sister and I were trying to figure out who it was (our mother was able to identify it, though I was already pretty sure it was me), and my sister at first thought it was my aunt but then said this baby was too "funny looking" to be my aunt. I was highly offended! I think I'm pretty adorable, actually. :)

Do you keep any baby pictures of yourself? Being the youngest of five kids, I'm always pretty excited when I find one of me (especially one where my older siblings aren't making me scream or cry!)

Don't forget to stop by Trisha's for the list of other participants!