Why Today Can Be The Best Day You Ever Had

Nearly every day I put my son to bed and then his two older sisters. My wife handles our three month old. And almost every evening my daughter Clara asks me the same question.

“Daddy, what are we going to do in the morning?”

I’ve had many answers to this question. Occasionally, they morph into a fictional story but lately I’ve been answering it this way – “Well, tomorrow can be anything you want to make it”, which usually produces a frown and furrowed eyebrows which mean she’s either confused or unsatisfied with my answer. So I try the excitement angle.

“Tomorrow is open honey,” I say. “You can do anything you want! It can be the best day of your life!” Her eyes sparkle and she smiles.


Somewhere along the way we grown ups can lose our enthusiasm and sense of adventure. Part of the reason can be the responsibilities we have but I think it is because we have beaten paths in our lives that are familiar, comfortable, and easy.

It’s much easier to sit at home and browse my iphone than it is to get up and go browse the books at the local library. We prevent our kids from jumping in puddles or building a tent in the living room with the couch cushions because they create messes and as adults we’ve learned that messes make our lives difficult, regardless of the joy they can bring.

There are days I can be a curmudgeon. I can easily revert to cranky and ornery. These are the beaten paths I’ve plodded in my few years.

But as I told my daughter, each day can be new. Each day can be the best day we’ve ever had. But, in order for them to be so, we must ignore these familiar ways we traverse every day. We must search for activities that bring about joy and restoration to our soul.

I hope you are active today. That you take a hike. You play with molding clay or dust off your guitar or maybe even do something as simple as take a different road on your commute.

Whatever you do, do something different and do something that brings joy.

Parent Writer – On Writing with Kids

An Actual Parent-Writer
An Actual Parent-Writer

Being a parent is like being a Navy Seal. You get little sleep. You are called at any moment, day or night. Though exhausted and pushed to the limits of human endurance, you somehow make it through. Then comes the next day.

Having the dream of publication and the responsibility of raising children can be like spitting in the wind at times. Your days are filled with the greatest joys and most difficult challenges. I’ve tried to write at night and in the morning only to be thwarted by the cutest little girls and happiest little boy in the world.

Many times I’ve rose early, take a sip of my black coffee, smile and sat down at the computer then – “Daddy! I woke up!” calls my 2 year old Clara. Then her sister June gets up and the fun begins.

I love writing, but I gladly set it aside any time I can for my children.

How do I get anything done? I take one night a week to write to go and write for a few hours with my writers group, after the kids are down.  Also, I usually have some time before work or before I got to bed a few days each week. I believe it was Madeleine L’Engle who talked about writing in the cracks of life. As parents who write, we do what we can and keep going, building the habit now, rather than waiting for the time when we’re on a more consistent schedule.

Writing with kids is never easy. But parenting is my first love. Besides, I get to see the world through their eyes and am inspired to be a better person, and better parent. I want to try harder at things, to be a good example, to be disciplined and soft, loving, and kind. Living life is the best way to find inspiration for my work. There is no better way to live life than to share it with those we love.

Love your kids today writers.



A New Joy and A New Challenge

On July 30th 2013, my son was born. I cannot believe how amazing my wife was through the process (Once again! Seriously, you amaze me). Now my son is home, healthy, and destroying sleeping patterns but that is to be expected. Newborns do that to their parents.

As you might expect, having a child changes a lot of things. It also causes parents to reflect on the direction of their life, finances, and the future of their family. I began to think things like; where do I want to live in five years? Am I satisfied with my career? Am I satisfied with how I parent, treat my wife, and write? I hope I can never say I have done enough and continue to dig deeper.

Cute, isn't he?
Cute, isn’t he?

As this is a blog about writing, I wish to speak to that today. When my first daughter was born nearly four years ago I was blindsided by the joy of parenting. I barely wrote for recreation, but I did keep a journal for her every day for the first year of her life. I did not get back to writing for about ten months. For my second daughter I wrote in a journal as well, and got back to it after about six months. Now, for the third child, I want to make a change. I want to keep at it. No interruptions.

The reason for this declaration is not because my son is less important. It is not because I wish to put my own dreams in front of my children and my wife. The reason is that change will always come in life. Roadblocks, new joys, and redirections will come in various forms. That is something I cannot change. What I can strive for is to continue to write despite what life may bring.

How about you?

What excuse do you have in your pocket to pull out and show your novel or writing friends?

What is stopping you today? Got that in your mind? Good. Now, how can you get around it? How can you create space and time to do what you love? Let me know in the comments section below.

Write 500 words today.



Busy Writer? 10 Ways to Squeeze in Writing Time.

Before kids, I wrote every Saturday morning from 5:30am until 9am. It was beautiful. I had enough time to finish a chapter, or, well, enough time to finish anything really.

That time is gone but my kids are a blessing. I’d never trade one for the other. And my life is so much fuller now, allowing me to draw from these deeper experiences and use them as fuel to write better novels and short stories.

Below is a list of several ways to keep your writing going when you schedule gets busy. I’ve used them all and I hope you find this list helpful.

  1. During Lunch Break – You can write on your iphone or android phone. If a library is close by head there or simply bring a pad of paper and write by hand.
  2. While in the Waiting Room – If you have meetings with a client or have a dentist or doctor’s appointment be sure to bring something to write with.
  3. While Preparing Dinner – There are times when I might have to wait for the water to boil, the sauce to simmer, and the dishes are done. This means I need to be present but not actively preparing a meal. Have your notebook ready for these spare minutes.
  4. Right Before Bed – Instead of reading 20 pages of a book, write one or two  pages of your own.
  5. Early Early Morning – Like 4:30. Yes I know. Yikes. But you love this remember?
  6. During Nap Time – If you are a stay at home dad/mom, and still have this time, use it while you can.
  7. During Breakfast – Some people read the newspaper during breakfast or read a novel, you can work on yours.
  8. As the Kids Play – This sounds like terrible parenting, but our kids do need to learn to live without us hovering over them, right? So, if they are playing quietly, get a few sentences down during the peace before rushing to the housecleaning, work projects, etc..
  9. Be there 15-20 Minutes Early – Wherever there may be: grocery store, work, meeting, etc.. This is different than the waiting room tip as you have created this space and are not waiting on someone else. Imagine using them both together. Is that 40-50 minutes??
  10. In Between Commercials – If you wind down by watching television try to get a few paragraphs in the 17 minutes of commercials during that hour long show.

These are not fool proof or the only way to do it, but I hope you found them helpful or at least made you think of how you can use those lost minutes to work on your novel.

Do you have any other suggestions? Please post them in the comment section below.