Thursday, May 19, 2016

A bit of a derailment on the train

The legendary Horseshoe Curve in Altoona, PA

I'm on the train again this morning heading across Pennsylvania. It's a beautiful sunny day and I'm looking forward to another writers' conference. I've been on faculty for 4 conferences in the last 6 weeks and, while I'm looking forward to it, I'm also looking forward to a break. I'm not scheduled for another conference until early August.

For the Pennwriters Conference in Lancaster, I will be teaching 3 workshops -- The Business of Writing, From Blog to Book, and my popular Fictional Characters Anonymous. If you're somewhat local to Pittsburgh, I would love to present one of my workshops to your writers' group. Contact me for a list of my presentations. I also enjoy delivering talks about green living, particularly the ones based on my book, Vinegar Fridays.

My intention for this trip was to work on my book, Lincoln and Laura Celebrate Earth Day (available soon on, but I was sidetracked for awhile by another passenger who discovered I was a writer. She, too, was an aspiring writer and for over an hour, we shared stories about writing and tossed about names familiar to both of us. 

Life's like that sometimes, isn't it? We have our plans made and then something or someone derails them. I will admit, at first I was annoyed. People pick my brain about writing all.the.time. I wanted to be alone and ... gasp ... actually write. But is it so bad to step away from our plans and actually connect with people from time to time? Of course, it's not. The way I see it is that God has gifted me with the talents I have -- talents to write, to teach, to communicate. And I have to be ready to share those talents in numerous ways. I want to share those talents. This morning, that meant my plans had to be derailed (pun intended) for awhile. Big deal.

Another shot of the Horseshoe Curve

What about you mamas out there? Or you dads? Do you get impatient and frustrated when your children (young or old) distract you from your plans? Do you snap at them for disturbing you when you're in the middle of working? Do they get the feeling that your computer is more important to you than they are? Or your phone or tablet? Is what you are doing ever more important than your child when they want to talk to you? 

I admit, this is one area (and there are many) where I failed my children horribly. And I will always regret it. For more of the story, click here.

Now, I'm not saying your children should have free rein to interrupt you whenever they feel like it. There must be boundaries, particularly if you work from home. But I am asking you to evaluate the boundaries and your priorities. After all, I don't want you to have to live with the kind of guilt I live with. Because nothing, and I mean nothing, is as important to me as my family. And I'm sure you feel the same.

But for now, I think it's time to get back to work on my children's book. After all, deadlines are deadlines. 


  1. I have a toddler who loves to climb all over me and play when I'm trying to get work done. Itcan get frustrating. I try to pause in those moments and be present and thankful that I have little bundle of joy, and remind myself that the day will come when she will no longer want to play with me. I try to cherish our time together as much as possible and work when she is sleeping.


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