You Cry When You Can’t Make It Happen

Ugh, gross, no, yuck!

And that’s where WIPs normally go to die.

I reread all 1700 words I wrote yesterday and hate about 70% of them. Because I’m pantsing, I have no idea what I’m writing about, no plot, no direction, no real sense of character outside of the scene I’ve written and I’m just… all… BLECH about it all.

Today’s the day I have to decide to keep chugging along, knowing that I can edit later or even just scrap the whole thing once it’s done and chalk it up to a writing exercise that ultimately helps me understand the importance of planning as long as I complete the word count challenge.

OR I can start something new. Right now*.

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*And by “right now”, of course I mean once both of my children are otherwise occupied and not… crying that Halloween is over and/or they need to poop and can’t. My life is so glamorous.

 

UPDATE: I’ve started something new. I look forward to the dip in my Nano graph. It should add some visual interest to an otherwise boring trajectory.

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What to Do With a Full Vessel

Either my son’s pediatrician is just as awful as I think she is or this is a brand new thing baby doctors do but I just barely passed my postpartum quiz at my daughter’s check-up yesterday. Regardless, my son’s pediatrician is awful. I’m negotiating a switch to the new guy. But that’s besides the point.

The point is that I would not at all have passed the quiz after my son was born. I think I’m surviving a little better this time around because my daughter’s birth was very well medicated and not in the least bit difficult. My son’s birth? I think they call it Acute Stress Disorder. It can happen when a child rocket ships out of your undercarriage before you’re full aware you’re in labor. Apparently.

I’m also less afraid of breaking my daughter since I know now how resilient babies are. I’m less afraid of taking her out in public or putting her in a car seat or, you know, her not getting enough food or not breathing unless I’m watching her. It really is easier the second time around.

And yet…

My mental health is still touch and go. I told my daughter’s pedi that it was probably just a fun mix of not enough sleep and desperately needing to go back to work–entirely true, by the way–but there’s definitely more to it than that. I’m just not willing to launch into it with my kid’s doc while he’s shining a flash light in her eyeballs with my husband barely containing my son’s hissy fit right behind us. Not exactly a good time to talk about me.

But when is it? This is what I’m discovering about being a mom of two: there isn’t really any time for me. Sometimes it feels very much like there is no more me. To quote my own book, because I’m conceited like that,

“Does it matter what I want or am I just a vessel for the wants of others?”

Toddlers have limited compassion. Not none but very… very limited. I was told last night that I couldn’t be sad because he was sad because only one person can be sad at a time? And if it’s a toddler, everyone else can suck it. At least until the next episode of Vampirina starts.

I have my own postpartum checkup in a few weeks and that, perhaps, will be Me Time. I will chat with my own doc and see if I pass her quiz. Could be I go back to work before then and find meaning in my life. Could be that I get caught up in whatever WIP I’ve got for NaNoWriMo and don’t have time for non-essential thoughts. Could be I hide under a chair until someone lures me out with coffee and a muffin. Who can tell?

Until then, let me give myself some insight, again from my own book:

“Maybe we are all a vessel for the wants of others, regardless of whether we provide for those wants. Conflict arises when we deny the wants of others. Conflict WITH others anyway. Conflict with ourselves arises when all we do is provide for the wants of others. There needs to be a balance.”

Yeah, the me who wrote that only had the one child. Stupid past me. You’ll learn.

 

Oh The Places They’ll Stick

When my son was younger, he would substitute any word he didn’t know with “hmm.” He’d say things like, “Cat have nose and mouth and hmm and eyes.” He would point to the thing he called, “hmm,” and I would give him the word. It was a pretty good system.

Now that he’s a bit older and FAR more verbose, he prefers to make up his own words. Just now, for example, when I suggested he put the LEGO Star Wars sticker on himself rather than me–we’re working on boundaries and consent–he told me he couldn’t.

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because,” he whined, “it too wingy wongy woooompy!”

Oh. Right. That CAN be a problem sometimes.

I’m glad he feels confident enough in his language skills to try his hand at neology. It’s a favorite past time of mine as well. But dude, I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about half the time. All I can say for sure is that I don’t want any more freaking stickers on me.

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I find them on me in the shower sometimes.

My Realtor is Trying to Destroy Me

How else would you explain his lack of proper notice of showings? It was bad enough when he called 30 minutes ahead that time but this time? No call? Just strangers showing up at my door demanding entrance?! What the sweet hell?

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Actual son not pictured.

Let me set the scene: Monday, 2pm, my toddler has just fallen asleep after a day long struggle to get him to rest after a fitful night and a cranktastic morning. He’s on the living room floor, on his little Mickey Couch, all snuggled up and snoring. The lights are off, the toys are scattered everywhere and the Light Classical Music station is playing at the lowest volume on TV. I’m on the couch, half-asleep taking a Buzzfeed quiz to determine how extra I am based on my guacamole preferences.

THE DOORBELL RINGS. It rings again. There’s pounding knocking. It rings AGAIN!

I look outside and see two cars in my driveway that don’t belong to anyone I know, not the one FedEx truck I actually expect to see. Three people are standing outside my door when I open it and one of them says, “We’re here for the showing at 2.”

Um… no you’re freaking not.

I ask them to wait while I call my realtor. He gives me an old man song and dance about how the showing is tomorrow at 2. Tuesday at 2. He’s sure because he had to go to New Hampshire tomorrow but postponed to show them our house at 2.

By the way, he didn’t notify us about Tuesday at 2 either.

I go back and say, “There’s been a mistake.” She assures me it was not hers. I tell her I’m not letting her in my house right now. My son’s asleep, the house is a mess, and I am very angry with my realtor. But the people who came to see it, the people who have been trying to get an appointment but haven’t been able to yet are PISSED and want to come in now. I say no. I say reschedule. They sigh and storm off but agree.

What the sweet hell?

I have never bitchslapped an old man. But I will. I will if it happens again.

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Tame That Toystravaganza!

Buckets, buckets, buckets! That’s how I deal with the toystravaganza in my living room, in case anyone was wondering. I buy buckets.

And yes, I have tried organizing the buckets by theme or color or shape or character set and it doesn’t matter. The kid likes to dump out buckets. So my system of organization goes like this:

This gray bucket is for all the things near the gray bucket.

This white bucket is for all the things near the white bucket.

There’s a red bucket over here. It’s pretty big so it’ll hold the stuff near it PLUS some stuff from over there that doesn’t fit in the gray and white buckets.

These buckets are the trash/recycling cans. This is where I put all of the paper/cardboard bits of crap the kid often finds more exciting than the toys themselves. I let him play with them for a little while, sure. But then they find their way into these buckets and thereafter LEAVE the play area.

And that’s my genius system. I should put it on Pinterest. That’s what you do, right?

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Can I Call This Post “I Climaxed Too Soon”?

I mentioned in my last post the SheShouldRun.org Incubator which, by the way, I’m finding to be enormously helpful in finding my own strengths and ways for me to take on more of a leadership role in my work and life RIGHT NOW, even without running for office. I also mentioned how it’s helping me discover more about the character of my main WIP, a story I am having all sorts of trouble finishing.

Thank you writing prompts, I’ve found the reason why:

8342270705d0e6ce4441738ddcf2c0e3Almost all of the 56,000 words I’ve written so far have been Rising Action. I thought I had written a climax but it only addresses half of the conflict, the personal portion. It doesn’t address the social part of the conflict at all!

And here I am trying to END the story. Silly.

So now I’m in this weird place where I know there’s a ton more to be written and I have a bit of an idea of what’s going to happen but I haven’t really set up an adequate amount of foreshadowing, so there’s also a whole bunch of editing I’ll have to do, and now that NaNoWriMo is over, I don’t have quite the motivation to keep up with my word count.

Also, my son is transitioning to afternoon naps so writing time is now dubious and not entirely guaranteed every day.

Meanwhile, I’ve got this completed first draft on hold from October which I’d rather be working on.

So… maybe… it wouldn’t hurt if I took a break from my Nano WIP and went back to the completed story? NaNoWriMo isn’t even looking for a “revision promise” until January. And I’m the boss of me.

Friends, fellow writers, people who have expressed interest in reading this WIP, here is my official notice of project switching. I’m going back to my campground/coming of age story. Starting………. NOW.

 

 

Show and Tell and Throw and Spell

I’m a fan of writing prompts on Twitter and more recently on Facebook and try to play every day. Friday, however, is FRIDARE day and that’s usually a pretty good time. Today’s FriDare is Show vs. Tell:

 

In playing this week, I realized how at odds my speech patterns and my writing have become since having my son. Kiddo is not a big word-user just yet but he does understand… evvverything. Especially the things I do not want him to understand. I frequently find myself reminding my husband of this before he goes off and says something he shouldn’t. Like that there’s ice cream in the freezer. Because the kid KNOWS ice cream. He LIKES ice cream. And now he knows we have some and HE WANTSSSS IT! Good job, Daddy.

So here I am talking to my son in simple details:

Where is the red truck? Is that the red truck? Here it is! Here is the red truck!

And then trying to write:

A red plastic streak catches my eye and I duck instinctively, knowing it’s aimed at my head. That truck, that damned red truck and it’s impressive aerodynamics flies from tiny fist to cushioned couch in an arc over my huddled body. I’ve avoided one potential injury today.

Telling my son:

You look sad. Are you sad? Are you sad because Mommy took the red truck? You can be sad. But you can’t throw the red truck at Mommy.

Showing my audience:

His bottom lip trembled pathetically, his eyes filling with tears. His stomping fit looked like an Irish jig and I bit my tongue to keep from laughing.

 

prob-solver-articleMy whole day is Tell vs Show! And avoiding flying objects. And NOT mentioning anything about…. i-c-e  c-r-e-a-m in the freezer. Shh!