“OK, SO LIKE… WHATEVER”

CampNaNo word count = 24,930 out of a goal of 25,000

I’d like to take a moment to thank… myself for setting a reasonable goal. I’ve got about a third of a strong story that definitely wants to become my next book. I can feel it struggling to get out of my brain and out into the world for others to judge and criticize.

Little book-to-be, I hope I can give you the time and attention you need to become fully realized. But if it doesn’t happen in the next two months, rest assured that there is another CampNaNo in July and I’d be happy to work with you again then.

Until then, let’s crank out 70 words of angsty teen dialogue and call it a month.

Love, Eda

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Ill-defined Fun

In the spirit of John Cougar Mellencamp–because I can’t seem to get away from him lately–here’s a little story about Where I’m supposed to be right now, Why I’m not there, and How come I ain’t never goin’ back.

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When my son was six months old, I took him to Mommy and Me swim classes at a local gym with a small pool and weekday classes. “This’ll be fun!” I told my husband, who is anti-bodies of water and his submergence in them. And for 6 weeks, it was! We had a great instructor who sang songs and provided graduated steps for infant water integration and who I trusted enough to float my son around for 45 seconds.

So we signed up for a second class! “Oh, this’ll be so fun!” I told my little bundle of joy who took to the water like a reverse amphibian. But it was not. There was a new instructor who said to me on the very first day, “I’ve never worked with babies before. Let’s see how it goes!”

Oh. Oh no. No, no. You have no experience with babies and your best reassurance is “let’s see how it goes?” It did not go well for many reasons. But the reason I demanded a refund on my non-refundable class was that this woman encouraged us all to swim to the deep end holding our infants. Mmm… no, danger. “Don’t worry,” she said, “I’ll just swim behind you in case something happens.” No.

Oh but that was years ago. So when I got an email advertising a Mommy’s Night Yoga course, I thought, “Oh, this could be fun!” But then I got a phone call while I was out with my husband this afternoon. He joked, “It’s the gym saying the class is cancelled.” Haha, three hours from start time? No way. YES way. Yes, they cancelled class three hours before it started after I planned my damn day around this thing.

Yes, they gave us a refund and offered me 1 free yoga class at the exact time my son has karate class tomorrow morning. Which is 1 day after the event they cancelled. Which was for busy moms who can’t find a moment to themselves. So… like, logically, said moms might need more than a 19 hour planning window.

In conclusion, this place needs to lose my email address like they’ve lost my trust.

I would like to thank my husband for taking the children out tonight so Mommy could at least get some writing time. You don’t dangle a kid-free evening in front of a stressed out mom and then YOINK it away like so much cartoon sandwich. It’s cruel.

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Zen and the Art of Parenting a 3-Year-Old

“Buddy are you going to put this puzzle away or not?!” I yell.

“I never will,” my son says like I’ve just asked him to join the Dark Side.

“Why not?” Yes, I realize that I’m the grownup and he’s the child and this is the wrong question. However…

“Because it’s a party,” he says for the millionth time. It’s his new excuse for not doing things. Because it’s a party.

And I try to get mad. Or I try to be reasonable. Sometimes I even put on my mommy pants and lay down the law…

After I laugh. Because that’s the best excuse I’ve heard for doing whatever the crap you want whenever the crap you want to.

Because it’s a party, man. Chillax.

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My Sweet Horror Muse

My child has been telling me accidental horror stories lately and obviously I am keeping track of them so I can use them later. For his therapy.

Just kidding, I’m totally going to write short stories based on them.

What else do you do when your son tells you that his big sister was eaten by a vampire clam?

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Is this a Vampire Clam Massacre or is that my new band’s name?

 

P.S. He doesn’t HAVE a big sister. Quite possibly because she was eaten by a vampire clam.

P.P.S. Yes, thank you, I am aware of the euphemistic implications… and planning to use them in my short story.

I just love it when a WIP comes together

Fourteen days left to write, so says the CampNaNoWriMo page, and I am less than 10,000 words from my goal. Woo!

I decided to go easy on myself this year, what with the abundance of responsibility the real world has heaped on my tiny shoulders, and shoot for 25,000 words written. It’s a reasonable goal and I’m happy with my progress. More than half-way there with two weeks left to go? That’s a nice place to be.

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And you know how much I love to see that graph line go up uP UP!

 

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No offense to the OG A-TEAM but I love me some Liam Neeson.

Butterfly Affect

Here’s the problem with writing a sequel: You really need to remember what happened in the first book.

I’m currently RE-READING the first book AS I’m writing its sequel and I’m having trouble keeping up. With myself. My past self. My past self had more time and brain power and less children and more coffee.

Damn you, past self.

So my CampNaNo project has stalled out, waiting for me to finish reading what I wrote so I can write what I will write so past me and present me are prepared for future me’s horrible editor’s notes that say things like:

“Are you the same person who wrote the first book because NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE!”

It’s a time-travel issue. Obviously. I’m just messing with the space-time continuum and screwing myself over in the process.

Here, (current) me, read this and get back to (future) me:

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Not too long ago and partially in this very chair, I wrote a book that I can hardly remember now but somehow think I can write a sequel to. 

Get in Your Chair and Keep Going

I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt because ok, yes, Roseanne Connor probably would vote for… you know… And she would absolutely not apologize for it no matter how horrible that choice turned out to be. And she would make Jackie apologize TO HER for her decision.

That’s who the character is: a stubborn, loudmouthed, take-no-prisoners, sorry-not-sorry, working class, conservative, uneducated caricature. We don’t want to hang out with her and be her friend! We want to watch her yell at people. That’s the appeal.

But… I don’t know. There’s something amiss in TV land and it’s rubbing me the wrong way.

Oh right, it was the chair episode. She lost me on the chair episode. And by “lost” I mean kicked me in the crotch and told me to nut up because children can only be controlled by verbal and/or physical assault.

That, and the actress’s chit chat with the offender in chief is what sealed the deal for me. Ooohhhh, so this isn’t a joke. This is the bullshit she’s putting out into the world as her actual truth. She’s actually saying that being an abusive bigot is A-OK in her book and giving more abusive bigots an excuse to continue to hurt others. I see. Yesssss, I see now.

I was trying to compare it to the Adam is a bi-sexual man episode of Jane the Virgin (“Jane the Heteronormative”) and how that kinda rubbed me the wrong way too. Jane takes no issue with female bisexuality but male bisexuality is gross and weird? Mmm… that’s not… ok for such a liberal and progressive show. Oh but wait… as the story arc wore on, it became clear that the Jane character was exposing a set of beliefs that are fairly common and then examining them as a way to open the door for a future story line about Petra being bisexual and I’m not 100% pleased with how it all went but at least the dialogue continued.

In Roseanne, the dialogue seems to stop with Roseanne. I kept waiting for Darlene to prove her parents wrong. To show that compassion and trust (to a certain extent. mistakes were made, Darlene) in child-rearing can result in compassionate and trustworthy children would have reconciled some of the crappy things Roseanne and Dan said and did to their own children.

But it didn’t happen. Children are stupid and can’t be trusted and it’s perfectly ok to abuse them if that keeps them in line. The end.

That’s it. It’s all just excused. And let’s not pretend for a second that it’s ok to get into the shower with someone without their permission. EVERYTHING about that episode was bullshit and it that was just it for me. I’m done. Delete that recording, DVR, because I don’t want to watch this garbage anymore.

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File this under things that are not effective or appropriate parenting, marked “How not to teach kids about bodies and boundaries”

Like Roxanne Gay wrote in her NYTime Opinion piece,

I’ve been thinking about how nothing will change if we keep consuming problematic pop culture without demanding anything better.

She also said that shows like this are normalizing these behaviors. I don’t think I need to justify, at this point, my opinion about anyone trying to #MAGA with bigotry and anti-intellectualism. But from a parenting perspective, this kind of old school “family values” 50s throwback, child-controlling, abusive behavior apologism is intolerable.

I’ll stick with Jane.

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Children are magical, even when they are driving you freaking nutballs. Calling them bitches and attempting to drown them doesn’t change that.