Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Being a Writing Mother

Is being a writing mother THAT much different than being just a writer? I dunno... how many writers deal with leaking breastmilk during interviews... phone interviews, thank goodness. How many have promised their children all sorts of wonderful rewards if they will Just Be Quiet?

Now that there are two wee gobblers in my life, it seems like I've shifted down and grabbed a lower gear to power through some of the tough times. No longer can I cruise through my days, getting the writing done as it happens.

Nope. The effort now is focused. Centered. Driven.

I make a list every morning. I cross things off and celebrate. I drink more coffee. I take fewer breaks.

My breaks are enforced by my daughter - when she needs to eat, I take a break and nurse her. When she is not sleeping, I'm with her. When she is sleeping, I sit in front of my computer with my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard. The List is at my left elbow.

My prayers now include asking the good Lord to make my interview subjects call me back during nap times.

But there's just no better life. How could I not be a writer or a mother. They're just what I am.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Moving. Again.

I shall be out of contact for a couple of days.

Moving sucks.

Moving in the RAIN sucks times two.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Parenting Prayer

I heard this prayer recently and it really resonated with me. Thought I'd share:

Dear Lord,

Thank you for this child that I call mine; not my possession but my sacred charge. Teach me patience and humility so that the best I now may flow in his being. Let me always remember, parental love is my natural instinct but my child's love must ever be deserved and earned; That for love I must give love, That for understanding I must give understanding, That for respect, I must give respect; That, as I was the giver of life, so must I be the giver always. Help me to share my child with life and not to clutch at him for my own sake. Give me courage to do my share to make this world a better place for all children and my own.

Amen.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Check out Blue Bird Blogs!

The wonderful designer who created the beauty that is GoodApple is having a contest for a blog re-design. Click here!

She is very easy to work with and I swear she's an intuitive because it only took her one try to get a great design on this blog and my other blog.

Go! Enter!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My Son - Mr. Sensitive

I was watching one of the 9/11 tribute videos today and bawling. (I tried to put the YouTube link up here and was having difficulties)

I'm a proponent of bawling. It's cleansing and nourishing all at once. As I mentioned in a previous post, sadness is surrender. And sometimes you have to just surrender yourself to the feelings you have in order to fully explore, develop, digest and move on with them.

My son was playing a game in the same room as me and he heard the sad sounding music. He apparently knows already that I'm a bawl-baby. Without looking up he said "Mommy, are you sad?"

He came over to me and looked at me with such deep concern in his eyes. He needed to understand why I was sad.

I explained that I was just watching a sad movie and he suggested that we find a funny one on the computer and watch that one and then I'd be happy again.

He wears his heart right there out on his sleeve, he's so transparent that I want to wrap him up in bubblewrap to keep him from being damaged.

Please, big world, be nice to my little boy while he's out there.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Shocking!

I have this friend. I'm going to call her.... 'Teri Readall' ... and she reads a lot... more than I can. And luckily we have similar reading styles so we can swap books back and forth.

She also happens to be my person*.

She revealed a shocking secret to me today. Shock.ing.

When she starts reading a book, she reads one or two chapters first... then she (brace yourself) reads the last chapter.

I know. I KNOW.

My response was along the lines of "What? Why? Why? What does that fulfill in you... what burning desire does that meet for you?"

Basically, she explained, she wants to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If the ending is good then she will excitedly devour the book to get to the end. (If it doesn't, then she'll still read it, but at not near the blistering pace.)

I just could NOT do this... not that my eyes don't sometimes wander ahead every once in a while... but, 'Teri Readall' has very rarely lead me wrong. And yet... this ONE thing, I just don't think I could do.

*Extra-special secret reference.

Link of the Day: Indexed

I love people who take a unique idea and run with it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The National (Writing For) Free Press

Several times this year (four) I've been spammed by The National Free Press. This is a web site that basically asks writers to write opinion pieces simply for the joy of doing so. I've asked all four times they've spammed me (their emails are disguised as invitations to write for them and as far as I'm concerned if you are asking me to donate my time for free, you are soliciting something from me... unrequested. That's spam) I've politely requested to be removed from their database.

This does not sit well with their publisher who feels the absolute burning desire to respond to my request for removal with absolute indignation that *I* a *writer* would dare to NOT support them.

Apparently he can feed his family on good intentions. I cannot.

He says out of "20,000 emails that have gone out across the country", I'm the "only one" to "have a problem with" the web site and the publication.

Right. I surfed over to their forum and found a whopping 37 posts. Yeah, the other 19,999 are so enthralled with the site that they are burning up the forum. Not to mention the obvious spelling mistakes, even on the front page of the site. Sad, sad, sad.

But the publisher feels he must let me know he's a Very Important Person with "many" of his publications "stored comfortably in the National Library of Canada". Ooooh... colour me impressed. And, he assures me, he has "connections".

Then he obviously used his incredible powers of research to Google me (snort) and didn't find ANY of my articles. Shall I tell him that I got married last year so 3/4 of my articles are in my previous name? Nah...

Buddy, look at life beyond the internet. My articles are actually published *in print*. He tried to find me on CBC's web site and couldn't... because he's was at the wrong web site.

He critiques my credentials - mentioning that I have no experience writing about free speech. Oh, I see... I have to have experience writing ABOUT free speech to be included on his site? Well, gee, I guess I fall short.

He throws in a little bit about how "no one has ever heard of me"... and fails to realize that I don't write so that people will "hear about me"... I write to make money. It's my job.

And he tipped his hand to being a very poor researcher. Here's a tip (for free!), if you are going to say you "know" something to be a fact... make sure you actually know it and aren't guessing.

Poor, poor, small-minded man.

The only thing that makes me mad is that I was almost late picking up the kindergartener. I've now wasted far too much time on The National (Writing For) Free Press.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My Midwife

I adore this picture. This is my midwife Diane holding my daughter on our last home visit.

Her passion for her work is simply unparalleled.

We should all be doing the work we love. Posted by Picasa

My Helper - The Strong Willed Child

M. has become the best big brother. He constantly wants to hold E. or entertain her. While I check my email in the morning, he usually eats his breakfast and talks to his little sister.

Here they are last week having a little sibling bonding time.

His behaviour lately suggests that he's feeling the strain of no longer being the centre of attention. He's not acting out towards E. in any way... but he's acting out. Blatant disobedience and major limit testing. I may have to go back and re-read the book "Parenting the Strong Willed Child" because this boy has a will of steel.

Just like mama. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 04, 2006

I survived!

Have you ever stressed yourself out over something - an event or a committment - and then when it came time to deliver it was way less stressful and not nearly as hard as you'd imagined? That's what I did recently.

I'd been hired by CBC Country Canada to do the reining commentary for the World Equestrian Games. There was a host (Nancy) who I'd be sitting with and together we would provide the colour commentary for the reining runs at the Games. It wasn't live, but live to tape. In other words, we sat in a little room with headsets on and gave commentary on the runs.

See... here I am.

Well... I'd psyched myself up for this task. I was wringing my hands, I was losing sleep... I'd wake up in the middle of the night (my two-week old daughter helped with that) and fret about what I DIDN'T know about the sport. Would I flub up and say something was a 2 pt penalty when it was a 1 pt penalty? Would I forget to mention an important rule? Because the sport is so new on the international scene, I don't know what some of the competitors look like or much about them...

But I did my reseach and had rider bios for all 21 countries represented at the Games. I had copious amounts of notes. I had my rule book.

And I was SO overprepared.

The commentary was FUN! It was like sitting down and having a coffee with another horse person and talking horses.

BUT... and I'm kicking myself... I think I did make one rule-related mistake. I said something was against the rules and it turns out that it's not.

Here's the funny part... a trainer I worked for told me specifically that it was against the rules and I bet... I just BET that it was so I would not do it. It's not a major thing, it's a crutch that some riders use to pretend their horse is more broke than it actually is. He didn't want me doing it so he told me it was against the rules.

And I've thought this for almost 8 years now!

Oh well, hopefully I didn't state it as blatantly as I keep remembering myself doing.

I got very positive feedback from several people - most importantly the production crew.

But when I got home, I happened to open the wrong email first and I got some very negative feedback. I'm not disregarding it totally... but I so wanted to refute what they said. I wanted to ask if they realized that it's tough to stick your neck out and know that you aren't going to be perfect. That there are people out there that don't like you and will likely say bad things about you. But you do it anyway.

Funny, but several days before I left I stumbled across a quote that confounded me a little bit. I wasn't entirely sure if I understood it fully. Now I do:

"He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch."

*Jean Luc Godard