Meet My Irresponsible Muse

do-you-ever-think-about-all-of-the-really-nice-drunk-girls-youve-met-in-bathrooms-and-wonder-how-they-are-doing-i-miss-you-all-d4d8d

My Muse is definitely a drunk girl in a bathroom.

What incredible inconvenience, my mystery muse, to give me an idea whose time has come just in time for me to have NO TIME for writing! I’m already juggling enough, my muse! How can you just slap a story across my face and expect me to comply?! Don’t you see those IKEA boxes full of children’s furniture sitting on my nursery floor? Can’t you tell my mommy brain is in full effect? Don’t you see my struggling to get up into my cafe table desk chair? Why? Why now?!

 

So good news, I have a great idea for my next book!

Bad news, I’m like… SO pregnant and so busy and so distracted that I don’t think it’ll happen any time soon.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a preorder on my last new book so… cool! Thanks, Mom. Or ladyfriend. Or… stranger?! Regardless, you won’t be disappointed. Lay Her Ghosts to Rest is the best thing I’ve written so far and I’m super proud of it. Tell your friends! Make them order it too. Momma’s going on maternity leave soon and needs some residual income, if only enough to buy a few more ice creams before the summer ends.

 

article-2732898-20be9c8200000578-710_634x584

Cheeky preview of my next new thing. 

I Like to Tell Stories

One of my toddler’s frequent declarations lately is, “So much fun take tings apart an put them togethah.”

“I’m glad you like your toys, bud,” I say as he yanks all the face parts off a potato head for the 15th time in a row.

But he’s got a point. When you find something you love to do, something that makes sense to you and provides you with a certain amount of satisfaction even in repetition, it is so! much! fun!

Mommy says, “So much fun, writing stories, ripping them apart, and then putting them back together.” Even when I complain about editing, it’s still part of an overall process I really enjoy.

71004-08_2

Although… I can say that now because I’m pretty much done.

Details to follow! A new book! About ghosts and self-care and workplace issues and feminism! Oooooohhhhh!

Hobbies are Self-Care Too

I was doing some light reading yesterday in the doctor’s office because my appointment never starts more than 40 minutes late and I only have so much battery power on crappy hospital Wifi when I came across a chapter dedicated 100% to my procrastination. It said*, “Eda, the only thing stopping you from editing your WIP is you.”

*I could be paraphrasing. Maybe.

And while that isn’t all the way true, because I also have things like household chores, chasing a toddler, being pregnant, and working two jobs to contend with, I feel like maybe some of those times when I’m scrolling through Facebook searching for articles that confirm the downfall of the Empire or taking my third “Which pizza topping defines your archetype” quiz on Buzzfeed, I maybe could be editing instead.

I’m not even at the boring part of editing. I’m reading through to make sure it makes sense. I’m reading “for enjoyment” (and continuity). I’m not even proofreading, man. You’d think I could get through it quicker.

It’s a little bit procrastination, a lot of distraction, and a fair amount of guilt holding me back. There ARE, in fact, other things I should be doing. But if I care about this project, I need to make time for it. Writing and self-publishing is a hobby and I’m content with it remaining so but it’s one that keeps me sane so yeah, I need to make time for it too.

0935df8f69f8c267f4521d6c86a3c7de

I’m Too Busy Being a Wonder Woman to See Wonder Woman

As the sane world goes mad for the new Wonder Woman movie and Facebook posts from media sources as well as my friends laud the film, hoping and wishing that it’ll change the world, I’m here just… working and raising my kid and getting kicked in all sorts of unpleasant places by my own little wonder women-to-be.

I haven’t seen Wonder Woman. I haven’t had the time. Between moving and working and my primary baby sitters (my in-laws) having a wide and colorful variety of health issues, I haven’t been able to find one night or day to spend watching a movie that I desperately, achingly, paradigm-shiftingly want to see.

So when I do finally get to see it, it better not disappoint.

Meanwhile, as I deftly maneuver all the obstacles of daily living, nurture my son so hardcore that he actually said, “Mommy, me have big heart for you,” the other day, and try not to sprain an eyeball rolling them over whatever new physical discomfort is being used as an excuse to go to the ER instead of babysitting my child, I am HARDLY AT ALL feeling like the wonder woman that logically, I know I am.

Yeah, I looked it up on the internet which, these days, is tantamount to exhaustive scientific research, and there are lots of pregnant ladies getting kicked in the cervix so no, I’m not alone in my discomfort. But I’m willing to guess that a good chunk of those ladies don’t have quite the active job requirements I do and aren’t as miserable at having to sit them out as I am. I now run my after-school program from a folding chair. I have to stop myself from getting up to demonstrate. I have to enlist my students to remind me that chair-teaching now is better than bed rest later because at least for now, I’m present. I’m vocal. I’m helping. I’m working and earning that cashy cash I’ll need later when I can’t work at all.

But I’m super bummed to be sitting still so often.

I want to ride horses into battle in armor that shows off arms toned by a life of physical domination and general awesomeness. I want to be able to lift a sword without saying, “Ooof!” and grabbing at the stabby stab hurts of round ligament pain. I want to be a princess-turned-general too, you know!

Pregnancy sucks. Little girl, you get your parts built and come on out. Then we can ride horses into battle together!

6-74493-mm_mommeme33-1406587188

I Like… Graphs

Yeah, I know, I said no more Camping while pregnant back in April but maaan… I need to write some stuff. And Camp gives me structure. And graphs. I like graphs. I just took the CampNaNoWriMo survey for April and that was my one comment. “I like graphs.”

week2b22bgraph

I particularly like it when the graph looks like this.

And while I was there, YES I DID sign up for Camp in July. As with April, I’m a little fuzzy on what I would consider a win this time around. I am, after all, still pregnant–more so, in fact–and I did just move to a new house and I do still have a toddler and 2 jobs to contend with but knowing that I’ll also have a brand new child come November and between the old child and the new child and the 2 jobs, probably less time to write, the timing seems right, right?

Maybe I’ll write a short story. That seems doable.

Meanwhile, I’ve only edited the first 3 1/2 chapters of my last WIP. So there’s a project going places! Like to my beta reader with a comment approximating, “Not edited well, not even proofed at all, but I’d really like to know if anyone would possibly give a poop about this story. Here’s 3 chapters.”

Truth? The story seems interesting. The writing seems overly formal to begin with because I began narrating with the main character’s voice. I’m pretty sure I dropped that along the way. Hence the need to edit.

But, you know, whatever, because CAMP in July! There’s a new story to be told and I’m gonna go ahead and get to going about the business of figuring out what that might be!

(After I go to Target. Obviously. I have a new house to buy crap for.)

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:

elena_ff_1050_591_81_s_c1

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?

gallery_1422906117-furious

*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.

fate-of-furious-e1492995407101

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.

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.

paperwork-is-counterproductive

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.

 

 

Twy Again, Mom

I’m not sure how it happened but I’m relatively sure I did it and that’s why I think I should be able to take credit. My son is now fond of saying, “Whoops, twy again” when things fall down or apart or don’t go his way. How’s that for resilience? I don’t need you, Parenting Magazine. I don’t need no Scary Mommy.

Now, I’m not saying he’s the most mellow toddler in the world and when he’s hungry or tired, it’s full on melt-down time if he drops a crayon or his sock is slightly askew. But when he’s well-fed and well-rested and playing in his own little world with or without me, he’s more likely to say, “Twy again” than he is to freak out when his block tower falls down.

I mean, I think that’s because of me. I remember saying “try again” to him before he started saying it himself. But it wasn’t an intentional parenting strategy. It wasn’t a mantra. It was just my way of distracting him BEFORE a meltdown occurred. Apparently, the kid has internalized that attitude and it’s made for much more chill play time.

So my next step, I guess, is to foster that attitude to include other things: putting clothes on by himself, using the potty, going to preschool, trying new activities, homework, cancer research, astronaut training, running for elected office. You know, all the important stuff.

And as proud as I am of my little can-doer, I have to reserve some of that praise for myself. This “try again” attitude I’ve infected my son with by accident was a long and painful process for me. I’ve never done well with rejection or embarrassment or … just things that seemed really hard. But the reality of life for a woman is that we have to keep trying, keep working, keep pushing if we want the things we want: again, the important stuff like equality and opportunity and equal pay and equal rights and equal representation. If we want to normalize women’s lives and experiences and health and professionalism, we have to keep trying. If we want the world to be a better place for our children, even for those little can-doers who don’t necessarily need our help, we have to keep trying again and again and again.

636009334930840187-1170841191_beyonce-world-war-ii-650

 

Here’s where I SHOUT OUT to all the brave and bold women running for office in the next few years. She Should Run gives me hope for the future and inspiration to be a leader and a role model regardless of political aspiration (or lack thereof). Do your thing, homegirls, and if it doesn’t work out the first run, TRY AGAIN!

What To Do at Camp

I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo hoping it would spark some creative thing in the depths of my brain and getting me writing something new. But the more I hashtag game my current WIP (which was last year’s NaNoWriMo WIP), the more I think it’s worthy of my full attention.

I’m so close to the end! I spent a small chunk of time outlining that B over the weekend and making a list of the things I knew still needed to happen to actually complete the story in a sensical way. I have an idea of how to move forward. I just need to get myself to do it.

And it’s getting a little easier. The kiddo is napping right this second (and I wrote half a page before jumping onto this blog post) and not only am I able to eat actual food in the mornings now, not only can I get myself off the couch and unfurl my tired body, throwing off the cocoon of blankets and oversized sweaters, but I can actually handle coffee again. Well, fake-flavored cappuccino K-cups with foam packets, but it’s caffeine nonetheless and I am starting to feel like a real live person again!

So perhaps instead of jumping into something new, I can spend my Camptime finishing up this WIP and starting on editing. Now seems like the best time anyway while it’s still cold out and before we make any attempt to move houses. I’m also very well aware of the hole I will fall into after the baby is born and survival mode will cut out any writing time.

That’s it, then. FinishThisWIP is where I’m at this Camping season. I’ve already been invited to a cabin full of fiesties who seem like a good time. I’m hoping that interacting with them will help keep me motivated too.

Guess it’s time to change my Camp project, then, eh?