Monday, March 21, 2016

Always Incremental: How Dieting and Writing a Novel Are Alike

Mmm cream puffs... what diet? Photo © Pixabay
My Sunday morning ritual is to go to a Weight Watchers meeting and then write my young adult fantasy novel at a coffee shop. For the first time, it struck me that the process of losing weight and writing are alike. Both are incremental, and no one really notices until you're done.

At my Weight Watchers meeting, a lot of the meeting is pop psychology about how to stay motivated and keep on track. I figure that applies equally well to writing.

For Weight Watchers, I've lost 10 pounds and still have 25 more pounds to go to reach that elusive pre-baby weight.

For my novel, I've written 4,000 words and still have 51,000 more words to go to reach a standard length for the genre.

Starting out on a new diet or a new writing project is always exciting - this time, it's going to be different! I'm always pumped up and full of enthusiasm, but sometimes I get carried away.

I daydream about being a size two, not just a svelte size 10. My debut novel gets turned into the next "Hunger Games" franchise, not just gets published in the first place.

The long slog in the middle is where I usually give up because setbacks happen, and then I end up questioning the wisdom of the whole endeavor, whether it's a diet or a novel.

But this time I'm trying to stick with it, aided by an inspirational quote cribbed from my last Weight Watcher's meeting.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
-- Thomas Edison
Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

12 Dancing Princesses Need to Be Grounded

Princess, you're grounded! Photo © Pixabay
I saved some of my favorite books from my childhood for my children, including a collection of Grimm's Fairy Tales. When I reread the "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," I realized it was the first time I had read the tale as a mom.

Reaction as a little girl: "Oooh, sneaking out and dancing all night sounds like fun!"
Reaction as a mom: "Those princesses need to be grounded, STAT!"

If you're not familiar with the fairy tale, a King has 12 beautiful daughters who manage to sneak out and dance all night long in a castle underground. The King offers marriage to any man who can successfully stalk the princesses and figure out what they're up to all night.

Because you know those princesses are not just sneaking out and dancing... you're going to end up with 12 princesses on "16 and Pregnant." I don't care how many shoes they go through, that doesn't prove they're dancing.

And where is their mother, the Queen, in the story? Is she just exhausted from popping out a dozen girls? Is her last name Duggar?

Last, but not least, the youngest princess gets stuck marrying her stalker. This is just a horrible story all around.

Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.

Monday, March 7, 2016

#SharetheLoad Encourages Husbands to Share Chores


I just watched this ad after folding two loads of laundry, so it definitely hit a nerve. Ariel India created a television ad that encourages husbands to share the load for household chores, but I think the campaign applies to U.S. households as well.

The problem in my household is that my husband does some fuzzy math and thinks that he is doing half the work. When we were first married without children, he would do his laundry and I would do my laundry. So that was a 50-50 split.

However, now that we have two children, he still does his laundry. But now I do my laundry and the laundry for both children. So he now does 25% of the laundry, and I do 75%. However, he still feels like he is doing his fair share. He's still doing his own laundry, so that's 50%, right?

No,  not with two kids that manage to go through at least two outfits a day. Not to mention the mass of dirty towels that piles up after bath time. Sometimes I look at the huge pile of laundry to fold and feel like the miller's daughter in Rumpelstiltskin, trying in vain to spin straw into gold.

Don't worry, we have fought about this before, so I am not turning to my blog to air our dirty laundry (no pun intended!)

What do you think? Does your husband #sharetheload of laundry and household chores?

Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.