Category Archives: parenting

Mean Mommy & Comfort Zones

My kid is at a “Try it to see if you like it!” class at the local immersion Spanish immersion preschool.

I thought I was going to get the tour before the class, but it’s after. So, I sat around for a while, then the kids split off to do crafts and activities and stuff. The teacher was all, “Well, you can stay or…” I was all, “Uhhhh…” I waited another minute, then I left. I hadn’t eaten lunch yet and blah blah blah.

So, I left my kid there without saying goodbye. I feel terrible about it. But she’s there with her peers and the women teaching the school are so nice. And I know it’s going to be a rough transition anyway. They said it was going to be a 2-4 month transition for her to be used to the class.

Anyway. I left her.

It’s so hard for her to be out of her comfort zone. And it’s hard for me to push her out of her comfort zone.

Which makes me think about comfort zones in general. This is what makes it so hard to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. We’re both playing the mommy role and the 4-year-old with strangers speaking another language role. No wonder we get so complacent.

So, I’m sitting here crying, feeling terrible, but I know this is good for her. Her little brain is so plastic, she’ll pick up another language really quick. And god knows she needs some playmates her own age. Kids she sees more frequently than once a week at Kindermusik. So. I know she needs this. But. Always that but.

I need to push myself out of these comfort zones. I have to start querying books. I have to revise these books until they’re ready for public consumption.

I know I left my kid in a safe place, with kind, competent teachers and I’m a bawling mess. Pushing myself to do more is going to be hard. But, I know, once she’s been there for a little while, she’s going to love it. I know once I’ve reached a new normal, I’m going to love it too. It might take some tears, it might take some exquisitely uncomfortable moments, but, I’m going to do it.

She loved it. When I was talking to the director after, my kid was, “Sign me up!” I don’t know where she learned “sign me up!” but she said it and we did. She went back today and she was so superduper excited to go in.

I guess I don’t have any excuses anymore. Here’s to climbing over my own boundaries.

Best Laid Plans

I finally woke up at 5:30 this morning after struggling mightily for the last week and a half. I went to bed early last night, set two alarms, programmed the coffee maker, everything.

I sat down at my desk with a hot cuppa, ready to pick up where I left off and… creak. The Entropy Machine’s door opened and out she came dragging a blanket.

I told her as long as the music was playing, I was working. Now I’m trying to bust out this blog post while she plays jungle gym all over me. It’s pretty hard to argue with “Momma, I love you!” whispered with steamy little toddler breath in my ear. She and her dad are both warm people. I, unfortunately, am always cold. So this means all her little whispers in my ear fog the shit out of my head. 😀

Downside, my writing morning was interrupted. Upside, a squirmy little toddler is climbing on me demanding hugs. Can’t argue with that. 🙂 Time to feed the chaos.

Productivity Update

I’ve been waking up early the last couple days. I’m a little surprised at how much I enjoy it actually. I’ll sit down, transcribe what I wrote yesterday, then do a little bullet journal updating work, then begin to write.

I’ll turn on Mozart’s Requiem (the version by the Academy of St Martin in the fields and Sir Neville Marriner) and get into the writing.

All this time when I would scoff and say, No, I’m a night time writer. I need to be awake in the middle of the night to be productive and do my work. I suppose it’s still the middle of the night, just first thing in the morning instead of last thing at night. 😀

The bullet journal has been helping too. I’ve set up a couple little trackers for things and I love marking things off.

I think this is going to be the first month I hit 50k words. I’m feeling it. I’m finding a space to work in my life. It’s a switch getting used to writing in the morning, but it’s going to work. I’m pretty happy to find a way for this all to work!


Camp NaNoWriMo sent a little “Hello! Camp is next month!” email. I thought that would be a perfect moment to look at a half-finished project to finish next month. I open up the Scrivener file and discover I have almost 60k words written on it. Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 7.18.31 AMI don’t think this story has another 50k words.

Part of me is a little shocked that I would just leave ~60k words dangling in the breeze like this. The rest of me is, “Well, you haven’t published any of your other scribbles, so why does it matter?”

I think I’m going to end up writing the end of The Defiant Canary and finishing The Embezzling Oma for Camp. The Embezzling Oma only Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 7.24.11 AMhas ~20k words, so there is plenty of story left to write. It’s my first foray into suspense, so it’s been fun. I’ve been having a hard time getting into the heads of the baddies. I don’t know if it’s my autism brain or what, but there are some rules and they just shouldn’t be broken (who the hell kills people?!). So, I have a hell of a time working through their motivations and what they’re doing.

At an RWA chapter function a few months ago, I was scolded for having so many manuscripts that need revision and pubbing. Heh, now I almost have two more to add to the stack.

The upside, since I’ve been thinking about writing so much recently, I’ve been working on it more. Like, writing for me is broken down into a couple different parts. The thought work, the writing, the inspiration attacks, the revision, the post-production. Generally, I’ll do my thought work when I’m walking my dogs. Since the hubster has been traveling, I don’t get to walk my dogs for these long, solitary rambles. Instead, it’s walks with the kid and the puppy herd and my brain is focused on keeping them all safe. But that’s beside the point. I’ve been doing the thought work. I’ve been prepping for revision, rereading manuscripts, downloaded ProWritingAid, and finally doing this word monkey work. I’ve been working on getting up early and today I was out of bed by 5:30. As much as I hate to admit it, I think the early morning push is making the difference. So much of my productivity stuff has said the first 30-60 minutes are vitally important and I think they might be right. I’d be lounging in bed, looking over the fun stuff I’ve missed overnight on Facebook and Instagram. But this morning, I was up and at my desk. Maybe not as cozy as my bed, maybe not as amusing as studying the back of my eyelids, but I feel it in my bones. This is where I belong and what I want to do and what I should do.

Anyway. It’s almost 8 and the Entropy Machine will be awake soon. Surprised she’s slept this long. Time to take off my word monkey hat and put the mom hat on.

It’s a start

Well, I’m up before my family and sitting at my writing desk. It isn’t the 5 or 5:30 I had originally planned, but I’m up and sitting here and my family is still all asleep.

I’ve never been the most graceful about waking up early, but I was working at a cafe and I had to be there at 5:30 in the morning. I came to love being awake so early, before the rest of the world. Of course, once I stopped, I went right back to “Wow! Nighttime is so goddamn cool!” And, I’ve taken a bunch of 7:30 classes too. I’ve done it before. I shouldn’t use all my excuses about it being too hard or too early or I’m too tired or whatever. Because I was waiting tables while I was taking a 7:30 chemistry class and did just fine at both. Of course, this was over a decade ago and I didn’t feel so old and creaky then. 😂

So. Here I am. I know I’ve said I’d do it before, but I never followed through. I might not have been up when I was planning, but here I am. I think I need to clean off my writing desk before I can get a whole lot done, but, I think I might just work in my dirty space for now. I can clean later when the Entropy Machine begins bouncing through the house.

Now, to catch up on The Embezzling Oma and see where I need to go and what needs to be written and what to do on it. Because… I think it’s been over a month since I’ve worked on it. It’s been sitting in the same place on my kitchen counter for two weeks. And I’ve been feeling the call, but honestly, by the time the Entropy Machine is down, I just am done. So totally done.

Anyway. I’ve been neglecting things that are important to me. Writing has always been something I have needed to do. I’ve needed an outlet for the thoughts bouncing around in my head, something for the extra cycles in my brain to work on. And instead of lessening my anxiety, it’s been increasing it because I have wanted to do it, I have wanted to sit down and let these ideas in my head come out and play and I didn’t have it in me.

I wonder if my diet and eating better made it easier for me to get up earlier? Maybe. Oh, that’s going great by the way. I’m feeling better, I wouldn’t say looking better yet, but I’m definitely feeling better and it’s easier and easier to make better choices.

Anyway. I knew I needed to get a quick blog post out, but I definitely need to get some scribbling done before the Entropy Machine wakes up.

Here’s to finding time for yourself. Here’s to finding it and doing it and making it happen.

Crash & Burn

I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo and I botched it. Horribly. I’d need to write 5k/day to hit the goal by the end of the month. If I was typing it, that would be possible, but by hand… no way. Actually, I don’t think it would be possible to do it typing either. The Entropy Machine is way too interactive to leave me alone to work in the day and I wouldn’t want to do that to her either, you know?

Which leads me to: I haven’t hit a single word goal this year.  Continue reading Crash & Burn

Finding Time

Or maybe not so much an exercise in finding time as finding mental energy.

My God, toddlers are so much work. I took the kid to the zoo today. We live in Salt Lake City and we’ve had the worst air in the nation. It’s a valley and the nasty air just gets stuck in this soup bowl of shit. It’s so awful. The air cleared up, it was a gorgeous, warm day and we were out in the zoo.

Well, she crashed hard from our zoo adventures. She walks the whole way most of the time. Up and down the hill, back and forth, “Momma momma momma! Come look!” She fell asleep quick. And instead of writing. Instead of being productive, I start half-assing a quickie revision of The Reluctant Veterinarian for my friend as a cheer up present (Hi Heather!) and eating Double Salt Licorice from the Dutch Store (Hi Grampa!).

I knew there would be tradeoffs having a kid. I knew I was going to put so much of everything into her. I knew I’d be up all night. I knew I’d cry. I knew I’d get mad. I didn’t know she was going to zombie pounce on my brains and steal them all.

And I mean, it’s not like what I’m doing is so important. It’s not saving the world, it’s not curing people. But at the same time, the pleasure from reading is far reaching. It’s pleasant to read at the time and pondering on it later is equally pleasant. The pleasure from writing as well, at least for me.

I don’t kow. I’m all rambly tonight. I had to get these little thoughts out from my head. But it comes down to resources, ultimately. Where am I going to focus? I only have so much brain. I know my stories will keep chugging away in my head, until I have the time to write it down and let it come out. But I know my little will only be little for so long. If I put her off, well, she’ll keep chugging too and I can’t just come back to her later. So, I suppose, for now I’ll go to bed with manuscripts under my pillow and days full of the zoo and tea parties and Barbie and My Little Pony to come.

How have you managed to wear all your hats? I don’t know how JK Rowling did it, because even with the hubs home, it feels nearly impossible.