Sunday, July 27, 2008
News Flash
Getting home at 2:30 AM is not nearly as fun as it used to be. I've been in a fog all day.

Friday, July 25, 2008
Rather than write a duplicate post, I'll just say that I've updated my author site.


Thursday, July 24, 2008
Stress: Defined
In one of the stories I'm working on, there's a father who attempts suicide and a mother who explains it to her children by saying that potential is a burden.

I feel very burdened at the moment. Not helped by the fact that there's an full-page article of me out in my Alma Mater's quarterly newspaper - in which I'm touted as being a somewhat successful writer.

It's a small school, what can I say?

I feel pressure to write more, write better, write longer. Yes, longer. I am again beginning to attempt a novel. A different novel, one that I'm excited about, which is good. But it's certainly more mainstream than literary, per say, and I feel a certain guilt, as though by writing such a novel I would be dumbing down to appeal to a larger audience.

But, considering that literary short stories hardly pay the bills (unless you are Alice Munro), perhaps it's time to attempt something with a larger appeal. Something frivolous enough to be an airplane read, or the book that the women in your office pass between cubicles as they each take turns reading it.

As always, most of the stress I'm feeling is monetary. We're contemplating moving elsewhere, as housing prices are much less in other parts of the country. We're contemplating trying for baby number 3, which means we'll need a larger house, which means we'll either need more money, or a less expensive place to buy.

Or, I could get back to work on that frivolous best seller and we could be set for a little while.

Work is something I am disconnecting myself from lately. It's a source of stress, and more expense in gas than it makes up for in compensation. The only reason I have not yet given my notice is that I have already made travel plans using the wonderful discount that I get at this particular brand of hotel. After seven years of extremely discounted hotel rooms, it's hard to give it up.

They also insist on my coming in on Saturday night, which is poor timing, as we had planned a double date to an arena football game on Saturday night. So I am stressed about that.

Mostly, I'm letting stress itself stress me out. And that is never good.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008
There is much going on lately. Travels (and returns) - Car problems (and resolutions) - Stress (and more stress) - Planning (and daydreaming.)

But there are also reminders of grace and joy. There is the buzz of hopefulness and curiosity. We are walking around with thought bubbles, the constant chatter in our minds of what-if? and why not?

Yet none of this is conducive to writing. The pit in my stomach, the nervous energy, the daydreams - distractions, all.

I have not written a clear sentence in weeks.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Not to get political...but does this really matter?

What's next? One candidate leads another in a poll of people who watch Lost versus people who don't? Or people who twirl their spaghetti versus those who cut it?


Monday, July 07, 2008
I may have ADD

These are some of the assorted thoughts pinging around in my brain at ten to midnight when I should be sleeping and not, well, blogging.

I can't believe I listened to the entire Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch song "Good Vibrations" while driving to work this morning.

I can't believe that I think I might have enjoyed it.

Check Duotrope

Of course I enjoyed Good Vibrations. I was a tween/teen in the 90's, living near Boston.


Man, Marky Mark really worked his career pretty well - from underwear advertisements to leading man in Hollywood.


Why am I still thinking about Marky Mark?

Blueberries would be perfection...but only if they're on sale (and there are at least two that look slightly under ripe in the container. I like them tart.)

Do I like the name Sunday Rose?

Does it matter?


My hair is purple (unfortunate self dye job) and frizzing out in the humidity.


Why didn't I spend more time on the treadmill this afternoon?


I wonder if anythings been updated at Duotrope.


I wonder if my submissions have been lost - or if I'm just never going to hear back from a certain few places.

Birds. Migration. I should hurry up and finish Birds in Fall so that I can stop staying up late to read.

Who am I kidding. Then I'll just be online instead.

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Sunday, July 06, 2008
For convenience with our work and social schedules for this weekend, my husband and I dropped our kids off with my parents on Friday night. We tucked them into bed before the fireworks started and then drove home as kidless parents.

We've been without our kids before. Several times. We've even left the country without them in tow. But there was something so utterly lonely about getting back to our house that night and not having any sleeping children to unbuckle and carry in.

And rather than sleeping late the next morning and enjoying the rare silence of a kid free house, I found myself rather depressed about the whole thing. I went to the grocery store without having anyone to help me push the carriage or begging to play with the car keys or my sunglasses. I stopped at a gas station and didn't have voices chirping from the backseat the car is huuungry and there were no moon faces smiling at my through the back windshield as I pumped.

Rather than accomplishing great things with all that freedom I had, I was bored, fell asleep on top of my blankets and woke up still a little sad to be alone.

We went childless to a cook-out last night. It was nice to not be chasing after mischievous little ones and to not have to accommodate bed times and picky appetites. But still, I missed them. A couple of our friends brought their adorable 9-month old with them. She was cherubic and well behaved, with only one minor scream-fest.

During those few minutes of fussiness, a younger woman walked through the house, passing us on her way to the kitchen. She said, as a joke I can only presume, Now there's birth control - to no one in particular.

(Rude, much?)

This got my friend (the mother of the beautiful baby girl) and I talking about how it is impossible to put into words how having a child changes you, changes your perception of the world, of others, of life, of yourself.

Before having children, would I have been so different in thinking that a squirming, screaming, teething baby was a nuisance and a downer at a party? Yet now, my heart strings were pulled and I felt nothing but motherly compassion for the poor baby and empathy for the mother attempting to soothe her.

The world is different after having kids. You know, my friend said, I actually feel a little sad for my husband and I before we had our daughter - how we didn't even know what we were missing out on.

It's a strange way to put it, but I feel the same way. Coming home with only my husband on that Friday night felt, well, empty. And though having children has easily been the most challenging (and frustrating and exhausting) thing I could have ever imagined - it's easily the best thing ever we've ever done. We laugh more now than before we had kids (which I never would have thought possible) - I've written more (and better) since having kids - I've earned my master's and done all of my publishing since they were born.

And though I often come here to vent about them being distractions to my writing process, the truth is they're my inspiration.

And so last night, I felt a little sad for that woman who made the comment when she heard the baby crying. That there's this whole huge world that's not yet visible to her. Of course, I'm not saying that having children is the key to opening one's eyes to a greater awareness or that giving birth somehow unlocks the door to a land of great understanding.

But, I know I have been changed by motherhood. In all good ways. And for that, I am thankful.

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