Battling Mister Blank Screen

I hate staring at a blank screen.

I hate staring at all computer screens, blank or busy. The blank screen is far too bright. It leads me down the wide, destructive road of twisty internet searches in search of…nothing, and it keeps me up past my normal bedtime.

Blank screen

Photo Credit: channah

For my writer-mind, blank computer screens are the worst. Blank computer screens are the antithesis of natural writing. They are abysmal, glaring eyesores which constantly remind me of  my lack of creativity, my lack of ability, and my lack of all the other “—ivity” words which I can’t recall at the moment because this computer has me up past my normal bedtime.

What is my normal bedtime? I don’t even know. This crazy computer screen has scrambled my brain.

To battle these technological stupors, I often turn to my small notebook.

blank screen

Photo Credit: christgr


The pages in my small notebook are a gentle shade of tan, easy on the eyes and gentle on the mind. Ideas abound in my small notebook. Even the physical act of writing, pen to paper, quiets my scatty tendencies and centers me. Yet at times I still get stumped, and when I do, I engage in this series of writing prompts:

My Battle Plan Against Mister Blank Screen
  1. “I want to write a (story, article, scene) about….” (write about this for 5 minutes)
  2. “The topic that interests me the most is…” (write for 5 more minutes)
  3. “Ten points that I could cover in this (story, article, scene) are…” (write for 10 minutes)
  4. Take the most interesting point from number 3 and write on it for five minutes. Repeat for the second and third most interesting points for five minutes each.
  5. In this (scene, article) the central dramatic conflict/argument is…. (write for 5 minutes)
  6. In this (scene, article) the central dramatic conflict/argument is resolved when…. (write for 5 minutes)

After this, I usually have a something nice and messy and meaty written in my small notebook. Something which I can now type all over that annoying, blank computer screen.

So there you go Mister Blank Screen. This writer has beaten you once again.

Simple Ways Parents Can Nurture Their Creativity

Nurturing your creativity takes time and attention, but as I’ve found out, it doesn’t take as much time as I had originally figured.

Thirty minutes a day can do wonders for a creative person. It can create a proverbial garden of inspiration.

Creative Life

In thirty minutes, you can:

Write a full page of your book (that’s about 250 words)

Edit a half a page.

Knit three rows of your latest project.

Sketch a part of a drawing.

Practice a couple of songs.

Go for a walk. (Daily walks are the best for clearing your brain and getting those creative juices flowing.)

Draft a blog post.

I used to thing I needed long, uninterrupted stretches of time to nurture my creativity. Well, my lifestyle doesn’t always allow me such luxuries. In fact, that last time I have a long, uninterrupted time to do anything was when I had an unexpected 11 hour layover at the Atlanta airport. (After getting over the grumpies about my layover, I didn’t think twice about getting to work on my latest project!)

Times When Busy Parents Can Nurture their Creativity

Before the children get up

While the children are eating.

When the children are busy playing.


Right before you go to bed.

This tiny snatches of time add up, but when we are in the midst of our days it can often seem like the exact opposite.

Time for you: Do you long to pursue a passion? Have you learned to snatch up minutes to nurture your creative life?

Guest Blogging at The Writer’s Alley

Hey y’all! I’m guest blogging at The Writer’s Alley today. Hop on over and say “hello”

My Review of Quilts of Love by Amber Stockton

New From Quilts of Love || A Grand Design

A-Grand-Design-sm A getaway on a charming island may be just what Alyssa needs—if only she can let go of her past.

When Alyssa Denham, a single career woman, wins a fun getaway for two on Mackinac Island where her grandmother lives, she gives her carefree best friend a call. Together, they tour the old shops and hidden treasures of the quaint island while helping Alyssa’s grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest gains them entrance into the homes of many longtime residents of the island, parts of the city that are otherwise off limits to tourists.

As the quilt’s story takes shape, Alyssa gains amazing insight into her grandmother’s life . . . and attracts the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa’s fractured heart—and bring healing to her entire family?

About Amber

Amber Stockton is an award‑winning author, a national speaker, and a direct‑sales brand partner with Nerium International. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, and an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie. Three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards. Find out why readers love her by visiting her website

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed stepping onto Mackinac Island with Alyssa and Libby. This was a fun book with a hint of mystery, a hint of history and some romance tossed in too. The characters are well written, the story was intriguing and there was just the right amount of humorous flirtation between the main character and her love interest.

Wedding Dress Dreams…Let’s Talk About It

  Wedding Dress

Let’s Talk About It…

How much did you (would you) spend on your wedding dress?

I spent zero. A very generous family member offered to pay for my dress as a wedding gift. (So of course, I picked the most expensive dress I could find!)

Okay, it wasn’t THE most expensive dress I could find. (I do have some sort of moral compass.) But I did choose a pretty pricey dress, a two thousand dollar pricey dress. I picked out this huge, fluffy, Disney Princess contraption of a wedding gown from Macy’s. It was beautiful but carrying around all that extra fabric left me tired and cranky by the end of the day.

Back then, if I had to pay for the dress myself, I would’ve spent the same amount or more. Weddings are special and we want them to be unforgettable.

However my 2014, thirty-five-year-old-with-two-small-children-and-a-budget self balks at spending that kind of money on a wedding dress. That kind of cash could be used on a couple of months of groceries and gas!

When the reality of day-to-day living sets in (especially for young moms who are in a constant care giving mode), it’s easy to forget there was once a time when spending thousands of dollars on this one day event was an investment well spent. After all, you are marrying the man you love.

So every so often, I’ll “splurge” by buying a cute outfit at Kohl’s or Target…from the sale rack…and marked down at least 50 percent.

It’s not very extravagant or dreamy, but it’s extravagant and dreamy enough for this thirty-five-year-old-with-two-small-children-and-a-budget.

Let’s talk about it: How much did you (would you) spend on your wedding dress?