End of Summer and Why I Shun Playdates

Ahh, the joy of back to school. I am blessed that my child is at the age where she’s excited to go back to school because she gets to see all of her friends again. To be honest, she hasn’t seen much of her friends over the summer. Partly because they’re busy too and partly because I shun playdates like a mofo.

Why? Am I some sort of antisocial malcontent who hates spending time with other people?

Well, partly. >D Give me a good book and a glass of wine any night but that’s not why the demon seed hasn’t seen much of her friends in a setting outside of camp or the daycare.

Reason #1 is that I’m a single working mother. I don’t have a lot of time to be schlepping my kid all over creation just to see her friends. A lot of her friends mom’s work at home or part time so it’s not easy when I get out of work when our respective offspring should be eating dinner already.

Reason #2 is (and this is the most important) is that I’m a single working mother. What little spare time I have I want to spend it with my kid!Β Sorry to disappoint fellow parents but I don’t think real quality time is spent running errands and doing chores. It’s awesome that your kid wants to play with my kid but aside from rushing her to eat, get clean, get to whoever’s watching her, rushing home, rush to eat, get clean, and get to sleep, I’d like to play with her!Β Β Damnit, I made her so I should get first dibs!

So, with the first Saturday I’m not working looming ahead and about a dozen or so invites from various parents to come see them on Labor Day weekend, I have holed up like a crazy person hiding from the Black Plague. It’s MY weekend, for gods’ sakes; the LAST weekend. And I aim to make it count. πŸ˜‰

You all can play with her when I’m done with her.

 

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Happy Mother’s Day!

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Happy “All I Really Want As A Gift Is A Nap” Day to my fellow mom’s! πŸ˜€ My kid (and by proxy her father) got me these lovely gifts. The card has a recorded (slightly garbled) message from the kiddo saying how she’ll love me forever no matter where I am; which is so sweet that I think it rotted out a tooth. πŸ™‚

Today will be a (hopefully) fun filled day with my 2.5 foot reason for living on this earth. We’ll have lunch, walk around, and if she’s well behaved; she’ll get ice cream.

I can do without the high temperature but I sure am glad the weather is nice.

Friday Update…

This week has been strange and stressful. I’ve been writing but not nearly as much as I’d hoped cause with everything that’s been going on, I come home and fall into bed. But the good news is things are looking up. A friend of mine who went to the hospital is recovering well and the legal stuff dealing with Ma is really almost over. I’d give it another 60-90 days and only emotional crap will be left to deal with. I finished two reviews for Otakus and Geeks and I have another on deck.

I’m off today so I am taking this chance to just chill out and relax so my muse can get back to work. Stay well, everyone!

Pagan Blog Project: “F” for “Forgiveness”

I’ve posted about forgiveness before but a lot has happened since then and I’ve had a recent update.

As things progress on the processing of my Ma’s will, the lawyer who wrote it was finally found. Turns out the way it was worded did NOT mean Ma thought was some sort of an empty headed ninny who could be manipulated by her husband into leaving her child homeless. It was meant to go into a trust to protect me in case of divorce.

To be fair, the will was drafted during a time when me and my husband were having MAJOR problems and divorce was very likely. Since then, we have grown so much as a couple and as individuals that our marriage is much stronger. Part of this had to do with Ma’s sickness and eventual death. We really had to support each other during that time. Mainly, it was about growing the hell up. For the both of us.

Knowing this was such a weight off my shoulders. Ma saw what a good man my husband became and always knew her daughter had a good head on her shoulders. (“Sane,” no. “Good,” yes.) But life happens and she wanted a fail-safe to protect her daughter. So, for that I forgive her. I let go of my angerΒ  and move on towards healing.

Happy November! And a new round of calls…

Yes, I’m still trying to make sure we get Ma’s business all closed up so I spent my morning nursing a chocolate hangover and calling about her missing pension payments.

Not to whine but those payments will be what helps pay the mortgage and I need them. I do not make enough money on my own to cover the payments and while Ma was alive, we were splitting them. It’s made the last few months tight but I’ve been managing. I take a lot of overtime and the few stories I’ve been selling have kept me just above freakout level.

But that won’t last forever. :/

I know a lot of people have it worse than me. I’m just complaining a little. :p

In writing news, it’s still short story central for me. But it has shaken something lose for Greenhouse so I’m sure I’ll be getting to that soon. πŸ™‚

Mommy Monday – The woman I hope my daughter NEVER becomes

Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I didn’t go to the last day of Comic Con to spend the day with my daughter. As no good deed goes unpunished, something had to come along and try to ruin it.

I took her to the local McDonald’s because while I loath the food (I feel my arteries being lined with evil) the nostalgia of the Halloween buckets was too much to resist. My husband dropped us off and got himself a coffee to take with him so we girls could hang out. While I sat with Penny waiting for the food, the cashier hit on my husband. No big deal, really. I’m not the jealous type and he certainly loved the ego boost. But he tells me the cashier’s response to “I’m married. That’s my wife and kid over there.” was “Her? But she looks older than you. And you’re so cuuuttee.”

The blow to my self-esteem aside, THIS is what I can’t fucking stand about women. This chick only said I looked old to make herself seem better in the eyes of a man she was obviously not going to get. Putting down the woman he loves is a sure fire way to make YOU look like a bitch, and rightly so.

Why can’t women play to their own strengths rather than put down another woman to make themselves feel better? I don’t want my daughter to feel like she’s going to burst into tears in public, never want to eat again, and want to buy diet pills she KNOWS don’t work just because someone who’s just as insecure as she is felt the need to open her yap.

Ma always said you should try to bring people UP, not put them down. I hope I can instill the same lesson to my daughter. I don’t want her to be on either side of this catastrophe.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some wrinkle cream to apply. >_<

The First Birchbox – My First Impressions

In my attempt to be more involved with girly stuff, I subscribed to Birchbox and today I received my first one. πŸ™‚

My first reaction was it was smaller than I thought it would be but they are only sample sizes after all.

You take off the outer pink box to find this pretty cardboard box. I threw it away before I could decide to “do something with it one day” which turns out to be never and I just have a pile of them…

Everything comes wrapped in pink paper with these cards in it. The big one explains what everything is and the little one asks for feedback. πŸ™‚

I like how it came packaged! It’s pretty and the tissue paper can be recycled or used to pack other gifts (I’ve done that before). Nothing leaked or anything, which I was happy with. It all looks packed with care.

The above swag is (from left to right) foot cream, mascara, a lash card sample, face scrub, and above that is frizz cream. I’ll review them as I use them. πŸ™‚

I think it’ll be fun to slowly try out different things and see what I like.

But today wasn’t all fun and makeup. I was off in exchange for working this Saturday and I spent the morning knitting so I could spend the night writing. I also had a meeting with my accountant to see how Ma’s final business is coming. I’m still having to make calls and annoy people to make sure they give me Ma’s due.Β  Ma did warn me that her union would try to be shady with her pension money so I’m keeping on them to get what we’re owed.

I think it’s times like that which make me upset. Like going to the gyno yesterday and seeing she was my emergency contact or having to explain over and over to Mr or Mrs McCorperate Person that Ma is dead and to give me my fucking money. I feel like a vulture! But Ma wanted me to have that money so I’m gonna make her proud by annoying the ever-loving crap outta them to get it. >D

In other news, I lowered my WiiFit age from 32 to 24. And lost two pounds. πŸ™‚

I believe that’s all the excitement for the day. I will spend the rest of the night trying to finish this short story. This one is just for the lulz, not for an anthology or anything. After that, it’ll be all anthologies and vampires for the rest of the year! πŸ˜€

Mommy Monday – Homework Time!

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I am not ashamed to admit I take advantage of my kid’s homework time to do more writing. And not in the way you think. πŸ˜‰

My kid is only in pre-k so her homework consists of matching the colored word to the appropriate picture of the crayon. But after we practice that? mommy’s turn.

In preparation for her future life as a student, I refer to my writing time (when she’s awake) as my homework. Granted, I can’t do a 15 page stint because she’s only 4 and will demand my attention. But I can usually snack a good 15-20 minutes out of this. In fact, she’ll scold me for not concentrating.

Sadly, this technique does nothing to prevent the cat from jumping into my lap the moment I’m still for 5 minutes… :p

Today’s Mommy Monday is short due to the fact I am anxious to finish this short story. I’ve been going along at a good clip selling 2 stories a month and I bet I can sell more if I have more to sell. πŸ˜‰

When NOT to feel guilty – A Writer Mama’s Discovery

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Sorry, hon. I need to finish this before I can play.”

How many of us women writers with children have had to say this and feel our heart clench at the disappointed frown on our kid’s faces? Oh it totally feels like being kicked in the chest but it’s inevitable. You’ll be on a roll, ideas flowing, pen making the paper smoke cause you are on FIRE, baby!! Lo, and behold! The same child who’s been ignoring you for the last three hours will decide your immediate and total attention MUST be paid or the sky will fall down.

So, what to do?

No really. I’m asking. Because I haven’t a freakin’ clue.

I’ve tried bargaining, I’ve tried explaining, I’ve tried running away and hiding (little buggers always find you) and that last elusive sentence that’s DYIN to come out gets lost in a sea of “BUUUTTTT MOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!!” never to be heard from again.

I tell my daughter that if she wants a happy mom, she’s gotta let me work a little. She doesn’t like it but if I promise to play with her later, she usually lets me off the hook for a little bit.

Every time I make a sale or finish a project, it makes me feel so happy, I run to her and give her a great big hug. She looks up at me and says “Mama, I am so proud of you.” That’s why I don’t feel guilt and why no mom should feel guilty. Because when the work is done, we are happier, better people. Every writer, parent or not, knows the feeling of completing a work. You take a deep breath, your muse gives you an approving nod, the sun is brighter, and you wanna run through the streets with all the happiness. Since I don’t do street running, I hug my kid.

Then I play “He Man.”

How to be a prolific author? But I have a day job!!

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I subscribe to The Writer and the October issue has an article about some authors who are amazingly prolific and their strategies for how they’ve got 50, 90, 100+ novels under their belts. They get up every morning and write for a set number of hours, have tea, coffee, whatever; and then go back to writing for another set number of hours (or words). They do this every day and that is awesome.

I can’t do that.

I ADORE my day job. Quitting my day job is not why I write. I had a guy who owned a publishing company balk at the fact I didn’t want to quit my job (he didn’t want to publish me anyway so the point was moot). I don’t understand why this would be so strange. I have the most awesome job in the world. I have access to all different sources of inspiration; movies, music, television shows, real live people! I don’t have to go on a walk to get rid of my writer’s block, I go to work. Something always shakes loose.

There are books on how to be a mother and a writer but they are geared more towards stay at home moms or bloggers who want to write about motherhood. (I have to admit, my daughter can take an hour to eat a sandwich so sneaking in a few lines while she’s being fussy is great advice) But I don’t see anything on how to keep the house clean, the family fed, your boss happy, and feed your muse so he doesn’t drive you batty!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Lenni! Why don’t YOU write that book!?” IΒ  have no idea what the hell I’m doing and “I don’t sleep” is not good advice. :p

Do I write on my breaks? Yes. I put the kid to bed early and write while on the treadmill (sometimes). I viciously guard my Friday and Saturday nights like a rabid dog so I can write or type as long as I want. I am not ashamed to admit that I’ve barricaded myself in the bathroom just to write one more freaking page without someone whining at me!

And even then, it takes me years to finish a novel. Sad, isn’t it?

So what to do, what to do… @_@

Truth is, I can’t give up either so I work all day, come home, and write. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do. πŸ™‚ I may try and re-institute my “Mommy Monday” posts so I can gripe about it. Aren’t you excited? XD