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Archive for the ‘Writing Life’ Category

Now that I’ve wasted a perfectly good hour re-reading some of my old blog posts I remember that I really like blogging enough to make time for it.  It’s fun and it’s probably not toooo much of a time suck if I’m strict with myself.

So, I’m going to stick with it for now.  Yay!

Time to get brainstorming.

🙂

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Adam John, content on Mom's lap at the computer.

My latest distraction and the answer to, “Are you still doing your blog?” 

Alas, mostly no. 

I sit on this fence so much.  Do I have time to blog?  I don’t know.  I would like to.  On the other hand, here’s little number eight.

He was 9lbs even at birth.  He is 12.5lbs at four months.  He’s not much for putting on weight.  The pediatrician offered to donate some fat for him but that’s not allowed.  I, however, am encouraged to give to the cause.

Now that Mr. Adam is below the 10th percentile for weight I get to hold him almost all day long.  The good doctor told me to feed him eight to ten times a day.  With the exception of a six-hour rest at night and two two-hour naps a day  that means I cannot waiver on offering him sustenance every two hours.

But wait, there’s more!  He’s sensitive to cow’s milk AND soy and he’s justifiably disgusted by hypoallergenic formulas.  (They taste like paint thinner if you ask me.)  Nutramigen made him break out anyway.  So there’s only one milk truck for Adam and her name begins with E. 

Will I be blogging more?  Maybe.  I have another entry started.

Stay tuned to see if I finish…

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I guess today the answer is to blog.

I’ve been spending some time thinking about where I want to go with this.  Do I publish whatever it is I write on my little-read/unpaid blog or do I spend time trying to publish my writing for pay?  Ultimately, I think the answer is both.

It looks like my last blog post was in March and honestly, I’m shocked to see that I still have people checking in here and there.  Wow, hi!

Since then I’ve been, you know, pregnant.  That’s a lot of work.  I’ve also been a slave to the phenomenon that is youth baseball.  We had four boys playing on five different teams this year.  It was fun!  It was oh so much fun!  The only thing I can say to that is I’m eternally grateful it wasn’t four girls dancing in five different dance troupes.  I think that would have killed me.

And lest you find yourself wondering why five baseball teams should be a burden, let me assure you there was more.  There was also girl’s JV tennis, flute lessons and all of the stuff that comes with the end of the school year–art fairs, very cute preschool plays, field trips, concerts, recitals and mommy guilt.  I’m afraid to say I’ve continued to fail at getting 1,000 lap-hours of reading in for my preschoolers.  I’ve also asked my big kids to babysit too much.

*sigh*

Basically, I barely had time to think.  And I needed to think for many reasons, not the least of which was to figure out where I’m going with this writing thing.

I also barely had time to eat, which means I was subsisting on PB&J and that, it turns out, makes me into a very, very low-energy pregnant woman.  When it was finally time for school to get out and about time for me to take my one-hour glucose test I started eating much more sensibly and voila!  I had a normal amount of pregnant-lady energy again.  I also had a lot less back pain, which I find surprising.  I still failed the one-hour glucose test though.  I find out tomorrow if I passed the three-hour test.  I hesitate to hazard a guess.

Nevertheless, all of that is behind us now.  The kids opted out of summer baseball and I opted out of signing them up for any other summer activities.  That has left us with six weeks of blessed boredom.  So far we’ve managed to fill this boredom with three pool parties (two of our own and one elsewhere), gardening, yard work and long neglected household projects.  Each day feels freer when one of those household project suckers gets checked off the list.

Today will apparently be a day for moving bedrooms around in anticipation of the little one’s September arrival.  I think I may even begin the job of painting Marie’s new girly bedroom.

The next several weeks of boredom will include a trip to the White Mountains, more painting and decorating newly reconfigured bedrooms, more neglected household projects, lots of summer reading, hopefully lots of writing, some crocheting of the new baby’s crib-blanket-from-Mom, waiting for crayons to go on sale for 20-cents a box at WalMart and getting the back-to-school shopping/scavenging through hand-me-downs under control.

All in all it leaves me wondering how all you people with zero to three children manage to make it through a single day without dying of boredom.  Really, how do you DO it?!

At any rate, back to the thinking about writing thing.  It seems to me I can both blog and write for profit.  Lots of people do it, right?  I can at least try.  (I say try because it’s not exactly the golden age of writing for profit at the moment right now, is it?)

For the past little bit I’ve been working on getting some fiction going.  I took a creative writing workshop a few years ago and I think I was pretty successful.  The instructor encouraged me to enter some contests and maybe I’ll do that again.  The idea of forging ahead on my own is a little scary though.  Finding out what’s buried in my head is a little scary too.  It’s always so dark.  We’ll see where it goes.

This morning I started working on some personal essays too.  That was easier though it’s where I get stuck on the idea of separating professional work from blogging.  For now I’m going to give it a try and see how it shakes out.  There’s lots from our daily life that can find a home here.

So, here’s to beginning again.  We’ll see how long I can keep it going!

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If touching another person with your feet until you drive them out of their ever lovin’ mind were an Olympic event, I’d have six qualifiers and more than one medalist right here in my own home.

If Willy Wonka invented a bottomless box of cereal with companion endless pile of bowls and spoons, I’d be buying.

If what I really wanted when Todd and I started our family was servants, I blew it.  I could have hired a houseful of armless flunkies and gotten better service.

If Britney needed to use my guest bathroom on any given day she would most definitely choose to wear shoes.  (Is there any chance you could make working on your aim a priority guys?)

And, despite the fact that my children are home for the summer doing all of their sometimes adorable but frequently nerve-wracking childreny things, that I lose The Great Battle of the Messy House daily, that I’m ridiculously busy with trying to revive some sort of career while maintaining all of the usual mom-of-seven duties, that my pockets are feeling remarkably liberated during their temporary stint in the cash-free zone (Glass half-full and all that!), I’m at least as happy as I’ve ever been and decidedly more so than a great many other times in my life.

Ahhh!

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About Rejection

The bad news is About-dot-com hired some other unbelievably talented and highly experienced stay-at-home-mother to be the guide on their new stay-at-home-mother channel. (Did I tell you I applied for a job there?) The good news is the baseboards behind my desk have never been so free of dried coffee and footprints.

Upon discovering the absolutely no good, horrible, rotten rejection of my first attempt at freelancing in, oh, ten years, I steeled myself and set to work doing what every good freelancer must do when taking it on the chin. I called my mother to whine. I yelled at Todd and told him I wished God would strike him dumb so I didn’t have to listen to him anymore. (He found that greatly amusing. He responded by teaching the kids how to make unsympathetic faces when I throw temper tantrums.) Then, I filled a bucket with hot water and went out of my mind scrubbing walls, banisters, stairs, EVERYTHING in my office.  I limited myself to fifteen minutes of obsessive cleaning but boy, it sure smells nice in here.

Enough with my childish behavior, though, back to About and their big mistake.

Despite my inclination toward logical, unemotional reactions and true humility, I can’t for the life of me figure out how anyone could have found someone more qualified than I am to guide stay-at-home-moms around the World Wide Web.  Sure they have a stated policy of giving preference to published writers who’ve written on the subjects they’ll be guide for.  And no, I’ve never published a parenting article of any kind ever but, come on! I have SEVEN children for crying out loud!

I’ve spent the last thirteen years *at home* being abused by the small, irrational creatures I’ve personally created. Besides, I have a wonderfully engaging writing style and a truly winning personality (if you discount my tendency to make old people hate me without even trying). Shouldn’t that qualify me for something other than a free lifetime supply of Zoloft?

You know I’m not bitter, (no, never, not me) but how much you wanna bet the person they hired has two-ish kids and quit her job six months ago?  Then again, it will probably freak me out more if I check back in a few weeks and find they’ve hired someone with really good experience, credits and talent.   I don’t like being all flippy so even though they’ve probably chosen someone perfect, I’m going to root for the first scenario so I can indulge my snark and maybe hang onto a bit of the self-confidence I started with.  It will definitely be easier if I can look and think, “I can do that and I can do it better,” than “Wow. She’s good. How can I compete?”

Maybe I won’t look.

So, yeah, whatever. Moving on. This morning: my first rejection. This afternoon: work on my next horribly crushing defeat.

On the bright side, I got some pretty letterhead, envelopes and business cards yesterday. Todd printed everything for free so I have to use it up before I can go back to bed and curl up into the fetal position. At least the rejection letters will come in lovely, professional-looking SASEs.

Wait!  You had three reams printed on purpose didn’t you, Todd?

Sly. Very sly.

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Part Deux!

 

Right now you’re probably wondering, “What in the heck is she doing trying to launch anything other than a stomp rocket?”  Good question!  The fact of the matter is all the stomp rockets are stuck on the roof and the ladder’s no good.

 

Running around to children’s activities isn’t enough stimulation for someone who used to have a brain.  Yes, that’s right, a brain.  It might not be obvious to those who’ve bumped into me on days when I’ve forgotten to comb my hair or who’ve overheard me snapping out of my sleep-deprived haze to mutter, “Wait, who did I lose?!” but I used to have a mind like a steel trap.  I did!  I could crunch numbers like Will Hunting.  I could speed read like JFK.  I could outthink The Scarecrow.  Now, not so much.

 

Since turning to the bottle could have really terrible consequences I’ve decided to choose another course that will probably just embarrass the low-calorie sports drinks out my children.  I’ll take up the pen mouse and keyboard!

 

Here (and hopefully, eventually elsewhere) I’ll write about what I know: effective home organization, flawless interior design, savvy personal investments, computer information systems, nuclear physics, and raising seven distinctly different, ever-active kids in a chaotic household and world.

 

You know, whatever.

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Although, that isn’t officially true because I was published for the first time almost eleven years ago.  And after that I was in print for a good seven years but that gig was so much on the down-low that the public library in the city where I wrote doesn’t even archive the local publication that bought my work.  Then there was some newsletter work…

 

So, whatever.  I’m not exactly fledgling but what I did before wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do in the long run so I’ll amend the title to, “The First One:  In Which I Declare Myself To Be Really and Truly Launching a Freelance Writing Enterprise I Want to Write For That Will Actually Pay Me More Than I Made Delivering The Clinton Daily Item When I Was Thirteen.”

 

Phew!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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