Last summer, I blogged so much I barely had time for other writing projects.
Blogging can be addictive. The lure of instant feedback was so powerful, the challenge of 100, 000 word projects so overwhelming, that last year I over-blogged and under-wrote.
Yup, let’s all say it together: New-bie!
This year I found Larry Brooks’ Story Engineering. Storytellers, you should read this. It’s accessible, wise, and instantly applicable.
It’s the reason that, this fall, I have the opposite problem.
I’m too busy writing to blog.
I’m too busy writing to even read.
Every sunny day of the last four weeks, I stop the housework at 11 am, grab my sunscreen and sunglasses, and head for our back deck. My girls play next to me as I pull up my folding chair and open a book.
For five minutes or sixty, this is how I celebrate summer: escape.
I admit, I’m hard on my beach reads. They have to be good. Really good. Awkward language, cardboard characters, and anytime I’m told rather than shown loses my attention and sends me running for the next
good better read.
Last Tuesday I pulled my six-year-old girl out of school.
I’ve agonized over the decision for weeks. Many of you know that I intended to wait. I wanted her to finish grade one with her friends. I wanted her to have four more months with the fabulous woman she’s been blessed with for a teacher. I wanted the transition to be gentle.
None of that happened.
Out of respect for Noelle’s privacy, I won’t share details here. But my girl begged me to let her learn at home. And once I’d shared her concerns with a couple of close psychologist friends, I realized it didn’t matter if her request fit my plans. Pulling her now was what we had to do.
The next day BC teachers voted to strike.
My childhood aspirations didn’t include motherhood.
No, that’s not accurate. My plans included motherhood.
But that was just it. I thought I would do all of these really great things, and tuck my children in there somewhere, like something you check off a to-do list.
Is that such a terrible idea? First-time parents – particularly those career-oriented individuals who’ve waited to start a family – might understand what I mean. Actors bring their children to movie sets. Lawyers spend their lunches at playgrounds. Doctors build offices next to their houses and see their children between patients.
Surely I could manage that, right?
I am not a has-been. I am a will be. – Lauren Bacall
I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions.
I used to be. I used to wish each year for the proverbial fifteen-pound-weight loss. I used to dream of flawless skin. I used to lust after better clothes or easier-to-manage hair.
But that’s all those things really turned out to be – wishes, dreams, and jealousies.
Some years, I was extra-determined. I had a plan. The plan would work. I would get what I wanted. And everyone else would look at me and say, hey, look at you!
Except the plan never worked. All the things you have to do in order to be skinnier and look better require powerful, long-term, daily-accessible motivation.
And what I look like on the outside was just never enough motivation. Read more
I’m not funny. What I am is brave. – Lucille Ball
I admit, one of my favorite movies is Mean Girls.
If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s an awfully disturbing insight into the adolescent (and perhaps lingering into the adult) female psyche.
Saturday Night Live alum Tina Fey developed the movie’s fictional script from Rosalind Wiseman’s non-fiction book, Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence. Wiseman describes how female social circles are dictated by a clique leader – a Queen Bee. Those who support the clique leader fit in; those who don’t fit her impossible standards, don’t.
In case any of you were wondering, I wasn’t Queen Bee in high school.
Yeah, you can stop choking on your food now.
No matter how I tried, cool seemed to elude me.
Sound familiar to anyone? Read more
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. – H.P. Lovecraft
Life was trickling along happily this summer.
And then September came.
September is a cruel month, for kids and moms. The shopping, planning, early mornings, and fights over what to wear (I think that’s a girl thing), shocks us all out of the lazy, hazy days of summer.
September was even more cruel this year, since summer didn’t start until August 3rd, or so, and peaked just after Labour Day.
But a week into Grade One, we heard Noelle had – miraculously – gotten a spot at the fine arts school, a place I just knew would be right for her, a place I thought it would take years to get her into.
She started her new school in Level 2 reading. A week and a half later, she was in Level 5.
Right now, she’s reading Amelia Bedelia to us at bedtime.
So when this mid-September school change hump was past, I started to get comfortable. I started to think, this is it. I started to believe my life – and Noelle’s, and David’s, and even little Elliana’s – would be light years better.
David is snickering right now, because just this morning we argued over the meaning of the phrase ‘light year.’ Read more