Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Half my book is due to my editors on Friday and I'm endlessly fiddling with it because what? You want to see half of my book in the half-written stage? Why don't you just ask to see my underwear? Or in a bathing suit in the middle of winter after not shaving for a month?
Monday, February 25, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Indifference and mediocrity.
When you watch the news at night, and see the horrors of the war in Afghanistan, or news of fathers and mothers killing their children, what do you do? You hear it, but it doesn’t really affect you. It is only a factoid from TV; just something that happens in this world. How many years now have certain places taken up residence in the vocabulary of newscasters: Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia. What have we as individuals actually done? Is there really anything that we can do?
I made the “mistake” one day of watching one of those World Vision shows. Where the producers seem to have chosen the worst case scenarios and made families look as pitiful as possible. When I realized suddenly, that it was simply a picture of a mother holding her baby son, the same size as my (at the time) 3 month old. Except this boy was 18 months old and dying of hunger.
What is the cure?
They came for the Communists, and I
didn't object - For I wasn't a Communist;
They came for the Socialists, and I
didn't object - For I wasn't a Socialist;
They came for the labor leaders, and I
didn't object - For I wasn't a labor leader;
They came for the Jews, and I
didn't object - For I wasn't a Jew;
Then they came for me - And there
was no one left to object.
Martin Niemoller, German Protestant
Monday, February 11, 2008
Over the weekend I had Minor Meltdown #876.
Bills! Book deadline! Work! Sick baby! Husband/job thing! Indecisiveness!
I couldn't even pinpoint what I was frustrated about. I'd get half-way through a line of criticism and realize I didn't know what I was talking about, or I'd changed my mind. I was trying to make logic out of a yarn of insanity, spit and crazeeee glue.
After Major Man beat a hasty retreat (who wouldn't?) and I calmed down (read: started to feel stupid), I turned to my bible for a little reading. And I picked up a devotional. Then I read a bit in an eNewsletter I get for Christian women. Then I read another devotional-type book.
And I swear on a stack of youknowhats that every single verse I came across said: "Think before you speak. Shut up a lot more." (sic)
Got it. Shutting up more.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Four of us were in the bed last night. It's a good thing it's a King sized bed. After putting the baby and 6yo to bed, I went to have a bath. I came out and the baby's door was open. Hubby had gone in to get her and determined she was too hot, so he left the door open.
Yes, she was too hot. She had a fever.
Cheeks red, nose runny, whole body dry and hot. Yup. Fever. I don't usually take temperatures, I just go with the "radiating heat" method. Is she radiating? Yep.
So I got some water and laid down with her. It took a while, but she went to sleep in the crook of my arm. Then she wanted to lay on top of me, then on her belly on the bed, then in my arm... you get the idea. Eventually she slept. Then hubby came to bed. A little later my son came in... there wasn't much room but he brought his own pillow and blanket and slept at the foot of the bed.
It wasn't a situation that was conducive to mommies and daddies getting much sleep.
At around four it was hubby's turn to rock the baby back to sleep... that lasted a few minutes until she puked on him. Then I took over. Finally she was out. I think she might have slept in until 8 or so. My son was up early saying "it's time to get up now".
Uh, no, it's not...
But he's such a good kid, he just went and played video games in bed while I got a little more sleep.
And since it was Saturday morning... it was my sleep-in day! Major Man got up and took care of the kids and I slept as hard as I could. When I woke up, the baby was already down for her nap. Woot!
Why am I telling you this?
Because I had a plan for today. I was going to forgo the sleep-in and instead sit in my room and write. I had a thing to go to at 1:30 and about 10,000 words to write.
But live intervenes. It always does. And it's important, I think, to do your best to roll with the punches. To know which balls to drop, which to set down, which to keep in the air and which to hold tightly.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
But it never works that way. It is uncomfortable, lumpy and there are holes that the winds of doubt blow through, chilling you to the bone.
I'm not talking about forgiveness of others - I am talking about forgiveness of self.
In some ways it is easier to forgive others than yourself. You can push something aside and with enough will it seems you can forgive it. But with yourself, it's as though you wear glasses tinged with guilt and you see each action as a reflection on your guilt.
So what is forgiveness? It's not something that you can put on, like that old sweater. It's not something you can feel or hold in your hand.
After spending quite a bit of time praying today, I figured a few things out... or rather, God helped me to figure them out.
1. Forgiveness must be received - it's not just given.
2. It is received in your heart and it must be received - God expects you to receive it.
3. God does not want us wandering around this world without receiving forgiveness. "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28)
None of this absolves you from having to face the consequences of any actions here on earth. But it does help to focus you on the eternal rather than the earthly. In many ways it increases the weight of personal responsibility because you know you cannot, should not and will not avoid that personal earthly consequence, but that it does not change your value in the eyes of God.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
- I don't know either.
- I can't stand to be "not busy".
- I have a wonderful support system to pick up the slack.
I think that #3 is the most important one. I have a husband who will watch the kids if I'm at a political meeting or out at a Pampered Chef show or needing some writing time alone. I have a mother who can be counted on to provide childcare (even if she has to rearrange her day) if I really need it.
Whenever someone asks me how I do what I do or what helps me do it, I am usually stuck for answers. So here's my attempt:
Support Groups: I love my online groups. My top three are The Writing Mother, PWAC and Freelance Success.
Time Savers: Grocery delivery service, Chapters Wish List (so I don't overspend!), Blackberry so I know what I have in my inbox before I get home.
Associations: PWAC, WGA, CAFE. (My favorite resources for professional development.)
Great books: Shirley Jump's How To Publish Your Articles, Terry Whalin's Book Proposals That $ell.