Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When A Day Turns Into A Year

Sooo...yeah. I've been gone for more than a week. I didn't mean to ignore you all. Some stuff has come up over the last week and a half that has completely thrown me for a loop, and I have had no capacity for creative thought AT ALL.

Not to get all Terminator on you, but I'll be back. I'm hoping by next Monday, but I'm not even sure about that at the moment. Mommy's taking her Blogger hat off for a bit, to enjoy my family, to help my friends, and to recoup a little bit.

In the meantime, y'all stay out of trouble. And by all means, IF ANYONE GETS PREGNANT/MARRIED/GETS A BOOK DEAL YOU BETTER TWEET ABOUT IT!



Friday, March 11, 2011

If A Tree Falls In The Forest

This morning started off in an ordinary way -- making breakfast, watching cartoons, getting kids dressed for school...the regular mom routine. It wasn't until I dropped my oldest off at school at 9:30 that I turned on the radio and heard about the devastation in Japan caused by an earthquake, and subsequent tsunami. I was completely shocked. I'm still in shock.

We go about our lives sometimes, completely unaware that there is a world full of other people out there, and that a great number of them are suffering. I remember feeling a similar way when 9/11 happened. I was in London, England, and had just spent a beautiful morning walking through the Museum of London, completely unaware of the tragedy that was unfolding back home. 

Except this time it's not my homeland, it's someone else's.

My prayers are with the Japanese people, and anyone else affected by these natural disasters. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This Is Why I Write

I read author Kiersten White's post yesterday about the publishing industry and how there are no shortcuts to getting to the top (and by top, I mean published). Now, I likened this post to a high school senior taking a new freshman under his/her wing and offering them a how-not-to-get-your-a**-kicked talk (even though I'd probably have to be on my knees in order for Kiersten herself to put me under her wing, because I am nearly six feet tall, and she is, well...not).

As you will see by her post today, not everyone understood her intentions, so she goes in a little deeper and explains her meaning (and, recognizing that her subject matter is rather heavy, offers a bit of lightness via Flight of the Conchords at the end, which is hilarious). This is my favorite excerpt from today's post:

"If you are trying to get published because you love writing, never lose sight of the why.  Don't get so focused on having a book that you lose the reasons you write those manuscripts in the first place.  Writing is amazing.  The best writers I know write because without writing they would be lost.  They write because of the sheer giddy joy of creation.  They write because they genuinely, unabashedly love telling stories.  They stick it out through the frustrations of drafting and the agonies of edits because they are deeply committed to what they are doing.  They move forward from rejection and failure because to quit writing is unfathomable, even if some days it feels like they would be far saner if they just gave up.  They perfect their craft because it's important to them that what they are writing and expressing is written and expressed in the best possible way." ~ Kiersten White (NY Times bestselling author of Paranormalcy and Supernaturally, out this August)

This is why I write. Thanks, Kiersten, for taking us all under your little wing. ;)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Taking The Mommy Hat Off

Being a mother is an incredible blessing, but it certainly doesn't come without challenges (many of which you can read on this very blog!). However, I have seen one too many news stories lately of mothers doing horrifying things to their children: abuse, abandonment, sometimes even death. It absolutely breaks my heart. Whether these acts are being carried out by frustration, desperation, mental illness, or a combination of the three, I can't help but think that they could've been avoided.

After I had my second son, I went through a bout with postpartum depression. At first, I didn't want to admit what I was feeling because I thought I would be judged. Christians don't suffer from depression, they've just lost their joy in Jesus! Someone put it to me this way: If you have a cold, you go to the doctor and get medicine to feel better. Well, your brain has a cold. So what are you going to do? That took some of the stigma out of it for me. I finally went to my doctor and he prescribed a low-dose anti-depressant that helped within days. I'm not saying drugs are for everyone, but I do want to take some of the shame out of admitting that we moms might need a little more help sometimes. I've since been able to wean myself off and feel better than ever.

There are seasons in our lives that are very busy, and more often than not, our needs will take the backseat to our children's/spouse's. But please, moms, take the time to care for yourself, too. It's okay to take the mommy hat off sometimes (but for goodness sake, remember to put it back on!). Schedule that doctor's appointment that you've been putting off; scrounge up some spare change and go have a manicure. Ask your spouse to give you some time away, and if he can't do it, find a babysitter who can. Can't afford a babysitter? Join or start a co-op with some friends, where you take turns watching each other's children. If all else fails, then by all means, put on a cartoon, lock yourself in the pantry, and eat that last cupcake that you were saving for your kid - trust me, you need it more than he does. 

All that to say, we moms have a tough job. There is no shame in admitting it, out loud. Tell a friend, tell your doctor, tell God. Just don't hold it all inside.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Favorite Things

It's Fun Friday, kids! So today I wanted to share one of my favorite things with you (like Oprah, except I'm too poor to actually give anything away, but if I could...YOU'D GET A CAR and YOU'D GET A CAR and YOU'D GET A CAR! Hee hee.). I mean, besides pancakes. And fountain drinks. And pretzel M&M's. Oh, and my children's laughter. Yes. That too. (Mom of the Year!)

This book, right here:
Something Borrowed, by the lovely Emily Giffin spurred me on to finishing my novel when I really didn't want to go any further. I had started it, and then fell into a rut. Then I read this book (and then ALL of her books), and it inspired me so much that I got back to writing again. And now... it's been made into a movie! Squee! I know I'm going to LOVE this movie (hello, John Krasinski from The Office! LOVE!). The only thing that stinks is that I have to wait until May to see it :( Here's the trailer:

 Happy Weekend! What's one of your favorite things?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

It is only appropriate on this Writer Wednesday to pay homage to the one and only...Dr. Seuss. 

Many of my favorite books as a kid were Dr. Seuss ones, and I find that even as an adult, his books still have meaning. For instance, Oh, The Places You'll Go! speaks to my life as a writer in an almost prophetic way, particularly the "waiting room" portion. That is exactly what I feel like in my writing journey -- waiting for the phone to ring, for a yes or a no -- how does he know so much about me?! 

Take a moment and listen to this reading of Oh, The Places You'll Go! (read by the talented John Lithgow) and tell me which part you identify with most as a writer. Are you one of the high flyers? Or are you in a slump? Or, like me, are you in the waiting place?