Archive for the 'How Moms Rest' Category

Ten More Almost-free Things I Love About Summer

Working shorter hours along with the rest of the industry

Local water parks and pools

Getting on top of my to-do list

Chatting with friends about priorities

Hubby taking daughter to fun library programming while I finish work


Having time to upgrade all of my class workbooks

Cheap airfares

Reorganizing my office

Doing nothing

This was the first ten…

Sun tea

The beach

Lying in bed or on the couch reading a great book

Taking morning walks with a walking buddy

Walking the dogs in a big open field at sunset

Purging old reading materials to make space for the new

Finally getting my buns to the physical therapist (and other overdue appts.)

Supporting my husband’s desire to get into film acting

Hearing about my former students’ successes

Day trips


Dear Writer Mamas (July/August Issue Starts Here),

I’m getting pretty good at this slowing down stuff.

Of course, I realize that my “slowed down” work schedule is busier than some people’s “high gear” schedule.

For example, today I worked on planning the 2009-2010 Northwest Author Series, while supervising a sleepover, taking the dogs on their walks, and otherwise holding down the fort while my husband is away for a few days at yearbook camp.

Tomorrow, I’ll get up, drop my daughter for an early playdate, go for a powerwalk with my walking buddy, take care of the dogs, and then host #platformchat, the new Twitterchat I started.

Did you catch that?

Twitterchat I started…? Does that sound like slowing down to you? (You can learn more about #platformchat here.)

How about planning for the Third Annual Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway?

Getting excited about Cindy Hudson and Kristin Bair O’Keeffe’s book launches?

Overseeing three e-zines?

Switching rooms for my office?

Planning my daughter’s fall activities?

Selling a pile of stuff on Craigslist?

Scheduling fall appearances?

Am I fooling anybody? Besides myself, I mean.

My husband claims that I am such a good multi-tasker, I sometimes make him feel slow. (He’s not.) I don’t do it on purpose. Of course I don’t. I’ve always been a quick-minded, somewhat impatient, foot-in-my-mouth-can’t stop-the-words-from-tumbling-out kind of person.

No, I may never slow down to other peoples’ paces. But I’m slowing down for me and that’s going to have to be good enough.

And when fall arrives, after all of this “rest,” look out! I just might be unstoppable.

Happy summering, mamas!

Christina Katz
Publisher & Editor

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10 Almost Free Things I Love About Summer

Sun tea

The beach

Lying in bed or on the couch reading a great book

Taking morning walks with a walking buddy

Walking the dogs in a big open field at sunset

Purging old reading materials to make space for the new

Finally getting my buns to the physical therapist (and other overdue appts.)

Supporting my husband’s desire to get into film acting

Hearing about my former students’ successes

Day trips

Writer Mama Giving in 2008

With the holiday season upon us, I’ve been thinking a lot about giving, specifically all that I’ve been blessed to give back to the writer mama community in 2008. If you know me, you know that I am a big believer in karma, the principle that underscores the idea that as you sow, so shall you reap.

In 2008, I gave:

  • Almost $1200 in scholarships for my Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff Class.
  • 30 books by other authors, one magazine subscription, and three gift baskets in partnership with others during the Writer Mama Back to School Giveaway (not to mention shipping costs).
  • Well over 30 copies of my own books during the giveaway and throughout the year (not to mention shipping costs).
  • Several free coaching sessions.
  • Dozens of hours for the Northwest Author Series and giveaways in conjunction with my publisher, Writer’s Digest Books.
  • Hundreds of posts on this blog.
  • About 70 hours managing the details of The Writer Mama e-zine.
  • About a dozen interviews to others for their publications.
  • And several hundred dollars in professional gifts.

Of course, this isn’t everything. This is mostly just the stuff I didn’t have to do. The things I wanted to do.

In writing this list, I realize that I really gave a lot more than I was aware of as I was doing it. That’s because I love what I do, including the work that pays: writing, teaching and speaking. But I confess, sometimes the giving is the happiest part.

Occasionally, I’ve had to say “no” to people in the heat of a really busy moment or a pending big deadline. No matter that we all need to say no sometimes, I’ve found that no one ever likes to hear it.

Perhaps I need to cut down on how much I’m giving? I hope not.

On one or two occasions I may have stretched myself a little too thin. Certainly I’ve wished I could have been on top of every detail every time, but I haven’t been able to be that perfect.

When I look back over what I gave away, on my own and in conjunction with others, I realize that I gave…a lot. And, as always, the same way I do everything, I did it imperfectly.

Today is my birthday…and I’m getting older

Yup. It’s true. Send me some wrinkle cream!

And it’s not just me. Celebrities who are the same age as me are starting to look older too.

Sometimes when I see them, I comment to my husband, “Wow. [So-and-so] is looking really old.”

And then I pause and think, UH-OH.

But it really doesn’t matter…cuz I’m happy.

Besides, my daughter thinks Daddy is OLDER than me. (Shhh. He’s actually younger. Like John + Yoko younger.)

These are the little fibs we let our children tell us to ease the woes of aging…for now.

And I have some good role models. I’m happy to report that Robert Downey Jr. (one of my faves) is not getting older…he’s just getting better.

I second that emotion.

And for my birthday, I’d like you to friend me on Facebook.

What? You are not on Facebook yet?


Come on! All the cool (old) kids are doing it!

You’ll find me at:

I know people…who know people…who…

Over the years, I have gotten to know a LOT of writers. I’m going to update my Rolodex next week and I am already scared by the sheer volume of people I need to input to my database. Tonight, standing in front of my book shelf, cracking open titles and scanning for signed copies, I was amazed at how many I have. How many books I have by authors I personally know.

How did this happen? When did this happen? I mean, it’s a little spooky.

I know an author on the opposite coast, who recently found out that her first book is going out of print. (This is not the first time I’ve known an author this has happened to and it’s always a bummer, though she’s handling it well. AND she has two books coming out in the next two years, so take that!)

I know an author on this coast, who is dealing with some serious permission hurdles between her and the publication of her first book. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

I “know” (from blogging) an author on the opposite coast, who just made the NYT Bestseller List for the first time. How freaking cool is that?

I know another author, again on this coast, who is happily starting to draft her first book. I’ll tell more soon.

I know a soon to be author in another country who doesn’t know which book deal is going to become official first.

I mean, I’m not sure if anyone knows it, but I am a very lucky girl! I am surrounded literally and virtually by a glowing tribe of success stories.

How did this happen?

And I’m just talking about what’s going on today. I mean, who knows how many authors I will know by this time next year or in five or ten years. I can’t imagine.

I guess I practice what I preach. Slow and steady wins the race and helps you meet really cool authors and all that.

But seriously, it just hit me, like tonight. Boom.

I think I am having belated success syndrome. When you have a book coming out, you are working so hard for so long that it’s easy to kind of lose perspective. And then one day, there it is, book two, and you kind of take it for granted, maybe like a second child.

And today I realized that I am a two-time author. Holy crap! I have TWO books and I like them both.

I like them a lot. And they are SOOOO different.


Someone tell me how it happened.

Of course, in the moring, sitting at this desk again, I will remember.

I won’t be able to avoid remembering.

It will all be waiting for me bright and early. Let’s go. Chug that coffee and get to work!

But now, in the late hours, it seems pretty cool. It seems like a miracle of some sort.

THIS must be how tales of publishing success become so crazy-romanticized.

Those authors must be up late at night, starry-eyed, and writing them down for the press.

Like they were the immaculate conception or something. Like the books just wrote themselves.

Show me an author who says that. Seriously, C’mere. I dare ya.

But don’t be fooled. It’s all good ol’ fashioned hard work. Nothing more. Nothing less. 🙂

Oh yeah…and it helps to know people.

A Few Good Perks: How to Feel Good Right This Minute

1. Don’t know where to pitch that nasty used ink cartridge? How about in a plastic mailer that you can pick up at any Petsmart store? Just toss them in until you fill the mailer and then drop in the mail for instant good karma. Your trash helps save the lives of homeless pets. (Like the one living with in my office who is about to have kittens. There’s more where she came from!)

2. Change your screensaver image to suit your mood. In one week alone, I’ve had daisys, dandelions, an orange rose, a pink dalia, some kind of underwater plant, and an unfurling green leaf. Why am I changing it on a daily basis? Because when I have a lot of work, the change in scenery gives my senses a lift.

3. Hop in the tub or sprawl in bed or head to the local cafe with this month’s issue of Writer’s Digest Magazine. It’s a good read. And stop saying, “I could’ve written that!” and pitch editor, Maria Schneider, instead. Guidelines are here. (And congratulations to a familiar face—Melissa Hart! She wrote well on a topic that we can probably all relate to…but you’ll have to read it to find out what it is.)

4. Now quick, turn right around after taking in all that inspiration and do something brilliant. Come on, you’ve got a lot of great ideas. If you don’t know what to do with them, pick up my book Writer Mama. I’ll walk you through it. That’s what I do, when I need guidance. Yup. I read my own book. Why not? It works!

5. When all else fails and you are slumping over at your desk try any of these: Hang out with a child, go on an artist date, order something absurdly caloric at Starbucks, take a walk in the sun, rain or whatever, or call a writer friend. Any of these always works.

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