Escapism is Often the Purpose

Through no recent effort of my own, I have managed to sell another copy of Like Two Opposite Things this week and while I genuinely appreciate every single sale, I have to admit that the royalties are nothing to the comment I received from a friend recently.

She said she reread the book as a stress-reliever. She wanted to escape to a simpler world where the conflicts were less intense and the ending was realistically happy.

Truth: that’s exactly why I WROTE the book. Because *I* wanted to escape to a simpler world and a happier ending.

One of the reviews I received said that nothing much happened at the beginning of the story. And maybe I spent a little too much time world-building and expositionizing and whatnot (although I disagree) but for better or worse, it really was done on purpose.

The best part of reading stories like Harry Potter–FOR ME–is escaping into a fantasy world. But I don’t want to battle demons and save my friends so much as I want to live in a castle and go to Charms class. Maybe it doesn’t make for quite as exciting a story but I would gladly read 20 or 30 or 40 thousand pages of just daily life in the castle and student gossip and complaining about Muggle Studies homework.

My life is exciting and stressful enough most of the time. I just want to be somewhere woodsy with my best friend fretting about boys (and/or girls) while we canoe away the morning with nothing pressing to distract us from the business of a blissful boring life.

And, I mean… if you feel the same, feel free to buy my book:

ltot-book-cover Like Two Opposite Things

Spend a couple of weekends with a bunch of 15-year-olds in a campground in the 90s whose biggest concerns are love and sex and relationships.

Mom Vacation at Target in 10

Moving is not going well. Let’s just say I currently live in my in-laws’ attic because some bureaucrat has decided to take a longer long weekend holiday instead of signing the one piece of paper I need to buy my home. Yes, it should have been signed months ago but the man building my house didn’t send it then. He sent it yesterday. And it’s too nice out today to sign papers that let people buy the houses they are contracted to buy tomorrow after having already sold the house they were living in yesterday to someone else.

So I live in my in-laws’ attic and only see a computer two or three times a week when I get to go to work.

My boss just asked me, as I projected colorful mucus from my nose holes on this my 8th day of being ill, why I don’t just go home. What home, bossman? The one I don’t own anymore? The one I don’t own yet? Or the one where no one will tell me where anything is or how to get things done, where I don’t have a key or know the alarm code and I’m not supposed to be feeding myself or leaving without making plans for someone to let me back in?

Oh Target? You meant why don’t I go to Target? Why not indeed. Target, here I come.

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Get It In, Get Yourself Out, Go Camping

Our move date has been pushed up a few days so the scramble to pack is in full effect.

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I did start writing something new but now my laptop is packed somewhere? I think? And between giant work projects and spending all my free time wrapping things in paper and pretending that’s enough to protect them from getting broken, I’m pretty busy.

I hear the next Camp NaNoWriMo is in July? Here’s hoping I can make it!

The Only Girls I Want are Gilmores

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In this role, she has brown hair.

 

I don’t get a lot of “free time” so I don’t like to waste it.

And no, it’s not fair to watch the first 10 minutes of something (or read the first 20 pages or listen to the first song) but again, I don’t like to waste time, especially on something that makes me roll my eyes a couple dozen times before I even know what the thing’s about.

10 minutes of Girlboss was enough. The only good thing that happened is that an old lady straight up smacked this girl in the face. This girl–played by the girl who always plays an obnoxious, pouty, self-absorbed brat–needs a slap in the face. Every day. Until this obnoxious stereotype of all millennials being obnoxious, pouty, self-absorbed brats goes away. Because the majority of millennials I know are real people with actual personalities and problems and accomplishments and goals and setbacks and perspectives other than this very limited one.

I guess I will go clean the bathroom now instead of enjoying a little coffee and Netflix before the kid comes home from his grandparents’ house. Thanks for wasting my free time on this garbage today, Netflix.

How about more Gilmore Girls, less crap I could watch on cable TV.

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.

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.