Thursday, August 16, 2012

Writers Who Happen to be Mothers, Who Happen to be Wives.


To those of you actively writing; to those of you whose inside voices do not turn off; to those of you with a book stuck just this side of your fingertips, a story inside trying to find its way out, leaking into dreams and a few waking hours...

...this question is for you.

Do you treat your talent like a job?  Do you consider yourself a "work from home" parent?  If so, do you arrange for childcare while you write?

My novel is not a matter of "if," but a matter of "when."  It's there.  Actually, there are more than one.  They are there.  Lurking.  Building.  Planning.  Scheming.

But I don't have the time.  I literally cannot peel an extra hour out of my day to write.  I don't watch television.  I can blog because I can pick up and leave off wherever I feel.  I cannot do that when I write.  I can't stop and go.  I can't keep one ear open for what the kids are up to.  Stopping (when it's not my idea) rips my guts out.

Ask my husband.  He's seen the frustration when he's come into the kitchen in the morning to ask me a question before he leaves for work.

Or maybe it was at night; I can't remember.

Because everything else disappears.

I'm considering a few mornings of childcare:  not for me, mind you, but for the tyke.  I'm wondering if I'm alone here.  If I'm taking myself too seriously.

When it's all said and done, however, and the first novel is finally on paper, it will have been worth it, right?

I'd love to treat writing like a job.  I'd love to be able to block off four or five hours a day to simply WRITE.  You have no idea what I could accomplish:  I know this.

So how do you do it?  What's your secret?  Do you write like it's your job?  Childcare?  Phone off the hook?  Wires snipped in the doorbell?

Do you hang a sign that says, "Out for lunch, be back" whatever time, and then set the hands on the little paper clock?

Or do you wing it?

OR ... (just going out on a limb, here) .. are you like me, keeping your novel inside, longing for the chance to write?  The dream always just out of reach because you're so busy with, well, life?

Comments?  Questions?  I'd love to hear them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


(Sometimes overhauling the blog just doesn't cut it.

I'm out of practice, but that changes now.)

I'm tired of living for the future.  I'm tired of "growing out my hair."  I cringe at thinking about the ten pounds I'm "going to lose."  I'm finished with imagining how life will be "when the baby starts daycare," or what the yard will look like "once I finish the front garden."

Yes, it's great to have goals, but don't we end up skimming over the now because we're so worried about the then?

Caleb took his first dive off the couch yesterday, which resulted in his first trip to the emergency room.  I'd love to be romantic and say, "I'll never forget the sound his head made when it hit the tile," but I probably will forget it, just like we forget the pain of, oh, childbirth.  Or leg-waxing.

Did he learn anything from it?  No.  At just over 18 months, he's oblivious to the whole "cause and effect" thing.  Even if he could remember, he'd probably choose to learn that the emergency room is where they look you over and then give you a delicious cherry popsicle to make sure you're not going to vomit before your mom pays a huge deductible and they send you home with nary a bottle of Advil.

He sure did like that $250 popsicle.

As I drove home with the two boys, I found myself muttering, "I cannot wait until we're out of this stage.  I cannot wait until life settles down again and everything doesn't have to be so beep beep babyproofed.  I can't wait until he can do things safely on his own."  And then I caught the eye of my soon-to-be third grader in the rearview mirror.  The one who used to need me to help him tie his shoes.  The one who didn't know how to write his name or use scissors or cut his waffles.

And I realized I don't want to speed anything up at all.

I got home and Facebooked about the ordeal, and then I went straight to CafePress and made (and ordered) myself a t-shirt that sums up the whole mess.

I'll be wearing it with pride.

Let's face it:  there are two kinds of parents in this world.  There are the kind that seem to shoot rainbows out of their arses when they so much as glimpse a curly golden lock of their child's hair.  Smelling baby powder or diaper rash ointment makes them euphoric.  They blog about "sensory projects" and "craft days."  They pin everything cute.  They--quite possibly--hand-make their children's clothes.

They are an enigma.

Me?  I keep it real.  I have wiped a nose with my finger and then wiped my finger on the cuff of my pants.  I have used my own spit to wipe oozing blood from a scratch.  I've caught my children licking the dirty silverware in the dishwasher.

Aidan still has an irrational hatred of grapes from the time I busted him with the refrigerator door open, eating some nasty, long-forgotten red grapes that were setting up a colony in the vegetable bin.

Rainbows do not shoot out of my arse at anything, except perhaps my husband coming home with Chipotle and Starbucks.

But I do love these boys.

Parenting:  f*** yeah!

Cherstin, out.