The Fate of the Furious Mom Protagonist

Yes, I am still on a writing break because yes I am still pregnant, caring for a toddler all day and packing everything in my house for an impending move.

HOWEVER…

I need to talk about this:

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Don’t worry, they don’t fight it out for Dom. The writers solve the problem for them.

My husband and I saw Fate of the Furious this weekend while my in-laws watched my son. It was the first date we’ve had that didn’t involve grocery shopping AND there was dinner involved. Magical stuff.

We also both love the Fast and Furious franchise, he for the cars and the action, me for the kickass women and the action and I guess the cars too… a little. They are nice cars.

SPOILERS WITHIN. BE FOREWARNED. YOU KNOW, BECAUSE FAST AND FURIOUS IS KNOWN FOR IT’S MIND-BLOWING, M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN TWISTS AND TOTAL LACK OF OBVIOUS FORESHADOWING. ANYWAY… SPOILERS.

So Dom has a kid, huh? Never would have guessed (from that scene in the bedroom where they talk about kids)! But it’s with another woman?! Who has been kidnapped?! But, but… he just got Letty back and SHE wanted a kid and how are they going to Three’s Company meets The Brady Bunch their way out of this?!?!

Well, kids, Dom is all about family, right? More specifically, he’s all about found family. It helps when his BFF/homoerotic man friend marries his sister but even the people with no relation to him–blood, law, or otherwise–are part of his family. So it’s possible, right? Elena and the kid, Letty and Dom, all the other car-loving freaks, all One Big Happy Adventure-Having Family? I mean, if they can accept Statham after all the crap he’s pulled, then certainly, CERTAINLY they can find a place for both Letty AND Elena, right?

No. False. And not because Letty can’t handle it. She doesn’t even get the chance. Because the writers decided on the easiest possible route to the happiest possible ending: Kill the Bio Mom. Save the nuclear family. Who needs bio moms anyway?

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*Not an exaggeration.

And do they mourn Elena when they reunite at their NYC rooftop cookout that everyone else attends? Nope. Gone and forgotten. Movin’ on without even a nod to the woman who gestated, birthed and cared for this child while Dom was off driving cars through skyscrapers in Dubai* or whatever.

Did I mention I’m pregnant? And that cartoons make me cry? So I lost my shiz a little when they killed Elena. I mean, obviously, I would have gotten up and stormed out if they had killed the child because NO! NO! YOU DON’T DO THAT! But as the mom in the audience identifying with the mom on the screen, yeah, I had a hard time with Elena’s death.

LITTLE DID I KNOW that that would not be the worst part of my evening.

When we got to my in-law’s house to pick up our toddler, I found out that my mother-in-law had taken it upon herself to start potty training my child. Naturally, I lost my damn mind and let loose a fiery tirade at my husband about overstepping boundaries and children learning things in their own time instead of competing with other children in the family for grandparent bragging rights and laziness in parenting and childhood trauma, etc., etc. And while I don’t feel like anything I said wasn’t true and I have little intention of ever apologizing, it did take me a good ole cry and reflect the next day to figure out why I had reacting So Very Strongly.

Because that kind of action kills the biomom. It assumes that a child can be taught anything by anyone and as long as said child has a mom surrogate–a grandmother or stepmother or badass stunt car driving mentor–the mom isn’t necessary.

And this isn’t to say that a child can’t learn and thrive with a surrogate! That doesn’t even mean it needs to be a woman!! I have several gentleman friends who have adopted or fostered children with their husbands and those children are indeed doing very well. I know children who were adopted by grandparents or aunts and uncles because their bioparents either weren’t fit to raise them or were no longer living. A child with loving caretakers is a child with the potential to thrive. That’s not what this is about.

This is about negating a present, loving, capable mother for the sake of someone else’s story line.

In Fate of the Furious, it was about killing off Elena so Dom could have his uncomplicated happy ending. In my life, it was about my mother-in-law being the big damn hero by potty training my reluctant son so her sister-in-law would stop bragging so damn much about her own grandchildren (here’s another spoiler: my aunt-in-law will never stop bragging about her own grandchildren and my son will never be as wonderful and amazing and brilliant as her grandkids, not ever, no way and the fact that my mother-in-law still falls for this Grandparent Games baiting nonsense has everything to do with HER sense of self and insecurities and nothing whatsoever to do with my parenting skills or my child’s well-being).

You know who else pulls this crap? Disney. Disney kills off biomoms like it was no big thing. Star Wars. Children’s cartoons. Those freaking annoying teen shows where all of the adults are stupid and inept? They kill off moms for convenience too and replace them with stepmoms and surrogates that may be somewhat capable but probably not. They may be kind and caring, but probably not. And sometimes, maybe, the loss of the biomom is some sort of catalyst for the main character’s plot, but often it’s just a convenient device.

Either way, the biomom dies to serve someone else’s story.

Well, let me tell YOU something! I HAVE MY OWN DAMN STORY! And I refuse to be killed off literally or figuratively for the convenience of anyone else.

I … am not Elena. I am not cowering in a corner with a gun to my head saying, “PLEASE, JUST SAVE OUR SON!” before dying tragically while Charlize Theron accidentally strangles my child with her ill-conceived white lady dreadlocks.

Oh no. I am Jason Freaking Statham kicking some malcontent in the throat before shooting his associate in the balls while shielding my adorable little love nugget as he listens to the Chipmunks on comically large headphones. THAT is the kind of mother I am, bitches. And I will be potty training my own child when he is GODDAMN GOOD AND READY.

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When I’m not pregnant, I can kick higher than that. For now, it’s strictly ball crunchers and knee disjointers and you better HOPE you ain’t tryin’ to hurt MY babies.

I made a joke recently to a lady friend that I would start writing children’s books as soon as my kids were old enough to give coherent feedback. Now I’m starting to think the best children’s book I could write would be “Mommy has a life, too, you had better RESPECT that.”

Look for it on Amazon.

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The Logic of Courtesy

If you would like to enter a small space from a larger space and other people are trying to exit the smaller space to the larger space, it makes more sense to let the people exit the smaller space before you enter the smaller space because it makes space in the smaller space for you.

 

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“I’d be happy to help you out, Ma’am.”

 

Also, I’m pregnant, jerk. Let me off the damn elevator before you push past me to get in. Next time, I hit EVERY FLOOR BUTTON just to slow you down.

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Frankly, sir, it’s what you deserve.

It Has Been Done

Aaaand… I’m finished. The first draft of my 2016 NaNoWriMo story is now complete at a total of 67,613 words, about 5048 of which were written during Camp NaNoWriMo this month which, since I reset my Camp goal to 5,000 words, makes me a winner.

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Ok, yes, sure, the ending is total crap and will probably be rewritten but it’s an ending. That ends. The story has ended which means I am DONE! I AM DONE! Wooooo!

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Thank you Camp NaNoWriMo for the love and the hugs and the motivation, for a great cabin full of funny fiesty fellows, and for letting me set my word count so low.

I’d also like to thank my office on Sundays for being very quiet and boring because it helped me write SO MUCH MORE than I can at home.

And my son for napping today. Because he doesn’t always anymore and it puts me at a huge disadvantage when it comes to racking up wordcount.

Editing will happen. Beta reading will happen. There will be a ton of rewrites and some head pounding and some self-doubt but that’s for another day. Today, we get to feel like this:

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For the Love of Knuckles

That’s it. I’ve had enough. There is nothing to convince me of the logic of short-spouted sinks in public restrooms as I scrape my tiny knuckles against in the inside back of the basin just to rinse my damn hands.

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DISCLAIMER: This is not a bathroom I use. I do not know this bathroom. This is a model bathroom from a sink/hardware sales site.

Could we just… like, recognize that no one is filling up this sink to do dishes or wash hair or whatever other reason someone might conceive of the make the spout that short? How do large-handed people use these if I have so much trouble? Don’t you want me to clean my hands? Don’t you want me to stop the spread of germs? Just… please… make this make sense to me.

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Where the crafty people at? Because I do not have time to make a bunch of these.

Smashing the Balls of Responsibility

I’m not the kind of person who accidentally drops the ball when things get a little tense. I choose the ball that means the least to me and I throw it furiously at the wall, delighting in the sound it makes as it shatters into a million pieces.

Hahaha! SMASH! That’s what you get, ball! Stop being a distraction from more important things!

The ball I’ve already chosen, the one reduced to dust in the corner over there? That one is my interest and personal involvement in politics. I can’t keep up with what’s going on in this country any more than I can keep up with professional sports teams. If the hometown heroes win something significant, I’ll say a Yay! and high-five whoever gives a damn. If the team of Cheetos in the White House fails spectacularly in their latest evil-doing, same deal. But otherwise, I’m out.  … Except voting. I always vote.

The next ball is going to be Camp NaNoWriMo but I don’t think I’ll be celebrating that one. Still, of the many planets converging in my universe, that one is BY FAR the least consequential.

Sorry Cabinmates. I’ll miss the time we could have spent bonding.

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Stop This RV, I Want to Get Off

New plan: Finish this effing WIP and then set it aside before it drives me crrrrazy.

Accept that I will not be “winning” Camp this season but neither will I be packing a houseful the day before closing because I was too busy writing to prepare for the inevitable.

Write something else. For fun. Because this used to be fun before I got stuck in the nightmare of this particular story. Maybe something fluffy and romantic where my “prep” work includes staring at pictures of attractive celebrities and yet more attractive interior design to “get ideas” and “flesh out my characters”.

Nap more. Seriously. Because… I’m pregnant. And there is no work more strenuous that building a human being from scratch.

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Yes.

Who decided that camping pregnant was a good idea? Oh, me? I did that? Whoops, my bad.

Camp Comes Last

I’d like to say I took a few days off and now I’m back with a vengeance but it’s probably more accurate to say I’m back with a short-lived, half-hearted grudge. I haven’t written anything other than work-related emails in several days and it’s not looking like I’m going to get much done today either.

But sometimes when you have two jobs, a toddler, are selling your house, buying another and are pregnant, you have to prioritize doctor’s appointments and three hours of signing legal paperwork over your hobbies.

The good news is that, at least in my own head, I’ve resolved the central conflict of my WIP and all I have to do now is make sure that makes it onto the page in a satisfactory way. Then maybe write an epilogue. Then start the editing process which I will inevitably half-ass (what with all the doctor’s appointments, vendor meetings, and house-related shenanigans) before throwing that sucker up on Amazon before kid number two takes over my life. Which is September. So I have until September to completely finish and let go of this story.

You know, as soon as I get three seconds between meetings and appointments to like, breath.

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Me and My MC, learning the lessons

Here’s where I’m having some trouble with Camp:  I don’t know how to set up my project.

Because I’m not starting fresh, I’m finishing up. Because reaching a particular word count isn’t my actual goal but finishing this WIP logically and satisfactorily is. Because I want to finish writing and at least start editing. There’s no, like… button for that kind of goal.

And here’s the exciting part! I may have almost sort of finished the story… in a place that seems a little lazy but might actually be perfect. I won’t know for sure until I edit but there it is. Maybe the ending really is just my MC being like, “Listen, I learned this stuff about life and changed my way of thinking so where normally, I’d be freaking out and making plans to combat the situation just revealed to me, I’m going to chill the frig out, readjust my priorities, and go make out with my boyfriend instead.”

Also, maybe I should write a epilogue. Still, not going to be the 10,000 words (or more) I originally set as my goal. So luckily, I can adjust goals. But still not to “finishing a story and editing the bajesus out of it”.

Camp and NaNo’s stats counter seems more fit to writing something new. Lesson learned.

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Useless Writer Fret Post

More blog posts get written when I need to procrastinate than any other time in the history of ever.

I only wrote like, 290 word so far (which is only impressive if you see my stats from yesterday) and they’re not great but I don’t care. I just want to get them out. I just want to finish this damn story.

Part of me wishes I had started something new for Camp NaNoWriMo because I feel like I could be more excited for a new story with new characters that I don’t know so well yet. But I need to finish this one. I NEED TO. It’s driving me nuts.

Why can’t this woman just resolve her issues and move on? Why does she keep talking to me? Why do more things keep coming up? How far have I actually strayed from the original premise? Should I go back or just keep hiking this path and see where it takes me?

These are the things I’m thinking instead of just writing.

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First Day of Camp

It’s a slow start to the camping season with just 150 words written but every one was written on my phone, in between episodes of Paw Patrol, and all using just the one finger to type. Much like this post.

Motherwriters do what they gotta do, y’all.

Pardon me while I hunt and peck my way to the end of this entry.