Mommy Monday and the glory of ONE

I am frequently asked “When are you gonna have another one?” when I am seen walking with my 5 year old daughter. Do I want one? Want is a strong word. Do I feel the biological pull of my uterus to create more offspring? Yes. But after this weekend when I took a road trip with my kid and my 8 year old niece to visit my mother in law in Pennsylvania, I was reminded why one can be more than enough.

I adore my niece but when the two of them get together, EVERYTHING is a pissing contest. And I see it with the other families around me as well. I can’t imagine throwing 2 or MORE kids in the back seat to spent 6 hours driving, keeping them all entertained (we don’t have a DVD player in the car so books, books, and more books), fed, and clean for the duration of the trip. For me, it’s hard enough with just the one!

Now I understand why I’m an only child. XD

This is not to say if I found myself suddenly pregnant again, I wouldn’t keep it, but in a perfect world, one is good. I still have so much I want to do with my own life that I can’t imagine putting it off any longer. Best to be happy with the one healthy, happy kid I’ve got. πŸ™‚

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Mommy Monday – Lazy family update

This weekend was just me and the kiddo. It was kinda surreal to be honest. o_o The Hubbz went to visit his mother out of state to see how she’s doing. The news on that front is she’s dong as well as she can with stage 3 lung cancer. We’ll be going to see her all together next weekend.

But, yes; an entire weekend alone with my kid was strange. But I learned some things:

1. Dominos online ordering? You are faster than I thought and thank you for saving my ass on the Friday night I worked late and forgot to defrost anything.

2. Kiddo loves cucumber rolls. Very awesome. XD

3. Not having a car was a pain but saved my ass because since regular errands took so long, me and kiddo had quality time during the walks.

Addendum to #3? Lugging 3 cases of bottled water in a shopping cart is a pain in the ass… =_=

4. One kid is enough to entertain. My decision to stop at one (if I can help it) was very, very wise.

But it was cool hanging out with just me and the munchkin. I got no writing done but still; a lot of fun. πŸ˜‰

Let’s all share! Or not… Picking my battles.

I got a flyer in my kid’s folder inviting parents to come share their holiday traditions. I didn’t even have to read the whole thing in order to decide there was no way in hell I was doing that even if I was free from work to do so.

Why? This is why. And so is this.

I have no intention of turning my kid’s pre-k into a religious battle ground and making school miserable for her. Granted, in all likelihood, nothing would come of me going there and saying what the Solstice means to me but if I’m gonna throw down for my religion, it’s not gonna be there.

You may think me cowardly for not using this as a teaching opportunity or something like that, but I pick my battles carefully. When someone asks me what my pentacle means, I tell them exactly what it means. If another parent has a problem with me rolling up to the school with all my pentacles on, it’s on them, not me. I remove them for NO ONE. But it’s not MY school, it’s my daughter’s. I teach her my traditions but I feel it’s not the right place to get such a discussion started.

Mommy Monday, Word Goal Update, and An Announcement

I am glad to say that I’ve been doing pretty decently with my word goals. I didn’t write for the holiday but I believe I’ve more than made up for it over the next few days.

I have discovered the joys of having a kid in school because on my days off, I can walk her to school (walking is great inspiration for me and my #1 writer’s block weapon), write till it’s time to pick her up, and have time to play around with her once she gets home. It’s a win/win! Mommy gets to write and my daughter gets a happy mommy. ^_^

I am in a zone here which also translates into a fervent desire to brush up on my writing skills. I’ve gotten great reviews on what I’ve finished so far, but I feel I need to keep refining my style in order to keep from becoming stagnant. As I’ve alluded to here and here, I will need to be writing a wider range of materials. Needless to say, I took that offer to write for my friend’s new company. It’s gonnaΒ  be awesome to work with someone who loves and respects my work but will also kick my ass and expect the best.

And who is this mysterious person? Not really a shocker. I’ve been a fan and friend of Ragdoll Comics for some time (some NWS images there, it’s a horror comic). This doesn’t mean my stories won’t be available anymore or that EVERYTHING I write will be turned into a comic. What will probably happen is my stories will be available in illustrated and non-illustrated editions. You pick whatever you like. ^_^

I am very excited for this and I hope for the best! 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. >_<

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

Vacation Day One

I’m off till Thursday for the combination of my daughter’s birthday and Litha (Summer Solstice). I spend ALL DAY yesterday doing laundry so I wouldn’t have to spend my entire vacation doing it and could maybe get caught up on my writing. Funny thing: I get more writing done when I have to go to work than when I’m home all day. It’s just too much distraction chasing my daughter around all day and finding ways to keep her entertained.

And I’m thinking of having another kid?! I must be out of my mind!!!

Anyways, today’s plan is to accompany my mother to the doctor. Depending on when we get out, I may take the kid to the park or just go home and write while she naps. I have no idea. @_@ Watch, I’ll end up cleaning the floors instead of writing. >_<

Bit of a break

Isn’t is always the way when circumstances arise that you get a break from your kids you just turn around and miss the hell outta them instead of getting any real work done? Ah well… :/

I always have to think about juggling time with my daughter and time to write or draw. These days, it’s been a matter of sacrificing the regular updates which isn’t such a bad thing. I’d rather not have the whole story on the site anymore but fill the side with short fiction, most of which hasn’t been written yet. My foolproof list so far for finding ways to keep working has so far been:

1: Make that time sacred. Almost like a ritual. Every night, kiddo gets a story, I get a bit of workout time and a shower (limit of 30 minutes on the workouts), then I settle in with my pen and a notebook for an hour. No matter what. Any more than that is gratis.

2: Be easy on yourself. Not every day is gonna be perfect. Beds will be wet, nightmares will be had, creative juices won’t flow and you’ll spend that hour staring at the wall instead of creating.

The most important?
3: Anything counts. Journal entries, ideas, quotes, even blog posts. It all contributes to the greater good: Honing your craft and sharpening your ability. Every single word counts.

So go out there, write a poetic shopping list, quote your favorite gum commercial, just write and write anything you can. Eventually, you’ll have everything you need.