Pagan Blog Project – “R” for “Reconciliation”

Keeping with last entry’s letter, I’ve also been thinking a lot about reconciliation. Particularly since the dealings with my mother’s estate are very nearly done. Over the last year, I’ve learned some sooper seekret things about Ma that I honestly feel would have brought us closer as mother and daughter. I think I will carry my resentment towards losing that connection with her for the rest of my life. There’s no way I can straight up yell at her for it (unless anybody knows a good medium).

However, I have reconciled with the why’s and how’s of her secrets. I’m a thirty something in the year 2012; having grown up in the 80’s and 90’s and not having to deal with much discrimination. Ma grew up with darker skin than mine in the 1950’s. You don’t come up a poor, Black, feminist in that time without developing a thick skin and a chip on your shoulder.

I wish she could have reconciled all that anger and self-deception before she died. I’m sure sure she would have been happier. Ma always worried I would end up “like her,” someone who thought of nothing but work and responsibility at the expense of all else. But it was that determination which helped me have an easier time of coming to terms with the myriad of feelings a parent’s death will bring you. She made me strong. For that, I am grateful.

Pagan Blog Post – “Q” for “Queen”

As in “Queen of Heaven

I am a big fan of the old gods. I believe they are closer to a more primal spiritual experience; the nearly nameless ones who represent the comos in their most pure form.

Gee, can you tell I read Clan of the Cave Bear once? But really, that’s the sort of connection to The Queen or The Goddess I most enjoy. I find I most often send please to the formless Great Mother for help, to The Queen for strength, and to The Goddess for wisdom. Though Their many names may escape me, it is Their essence I usually seek.

When I think of trying to be more like a Queen, I think of a woman of honor, patience, and humility. Someone who doesn’t need the last word, takes the high road, and keeps their home and family safe. I think of a provider, a nurturer, a disciplinarian, and a fighter. I have tried to be all these things when I need to be them but I try to keep myself realistic; no woman can really do it all. We are sadly only human and the flesh is weak. The Queen also needs to nap.

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 – Homework Time!

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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

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“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!!

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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

Thoughts on my short hair

Ma never wanted me to cut my hair, even in mourning. I know she wouldn’t like me cutting it for her, even though the cut makes me look like I’m more clone than daughter. o_O

Thing is, I kinda like it like this.

I didn’t think I would like it. I thought I would burn it straight till it grew out enough to gel down to my head but here’s the thing: It looks GOOD short and curly despite me looking in the mirror and seeing Ma.

It’s still me. I’ve always been me.

I miss her but I hope she doesn’t mind if I keep my hair short for awhile. I miss the long hair (mainly when I brush my neck because that hurts like hell), and I’ll let it grow back eventually. But I’m happy this way. πŸ™‚

I love you Ma. But I gotta be me; every crazy assed bit of it. XD


Goodbye Hair…

Every time I’ve cut my hair, there has been loss. The first time was like cutting a leash: My parents couldn’t tell me what I would do with my own body anymore. I lost the dependance of childhood.

The second time was when I lose my Granny. I cut it to my chin, the shortest length I’ve ever had it, to show the depth of my loss. She was a parent. I grieved deeply.

The third was after I had my daughter. I lost my “Maiden” status when I gave birth – which nearly killed me. I was a Mom. That time I only cut it below my chin, as it was a beginning for me as well. I love my daughter and she was worth every drop of blood I spilled to bring her in to this world.

Now, I have lost my Mother.

So, I give it to her. I love her enough that she can have it.

Hopefully, I never have to cut my hair again.