Strapping m’ big girl boots on

Oh, where did October go? Thanksgiving and Hallowe’en, Board meetings, Tinfoilman Triathalons, visiting with friends, overtime.

Busy month.

I’ve been working during this month, writing. A confluence of factors came and gently lifted all my “OMG MUST FIND WORK AND JUSTIFY MY EXISTENCE” panic out of my hands, in mid- to late- September. To whit:

  1. A work-from-home contract started many years back was revived for completion.
  2. Tate’s gradual entry was so very gradual that school wasn’t really in place until the first week of October.
  3. John had much overtime.
  4. John’s job covers our financial needs.
  5. Our daycare space was filled by another.
  6. My brother and sister separately told me to chuck my resume and get to work.
  7. My sister gave me three assignments in short order, all of which stretched me different ways.
  8. A writer friend suggested we have weekly writing dates, which are working very well for both of us.

So every day, I’ve been writing. If people ask what I do, I now say “Writer” – because that’s what I do with my days. Perhaps not so oddly, no one demands I produce a CV, or asks how successful I am in order to prove the phrase. It appears I’ve got room to be a wildly unsuccessful writer – people are  impressed that I’ve written a couple of unpublished novels.

Those novels could be written entirely of run on sentences with pauses for orgasm. It doesn’t matter. It seems that if the publishing world is tricky, just-having-done is enough for the dinner party.

A friend pointed out: “Well, it’s not as if you’re claiming to be a surgeon and removing people’s spleens.” Although frankly, would they ask for my CV? Probably not.

A world of opportunity, y’all.

The term has given me sudden lexical authority; I have been asked a few times whether the word someone’s using is what they mean. This is dangerous. Writing is a different skill than speaking. In speaking, I cock it up regularly. I almost always say ‘Tate’ when I mean ‘Ripley’ – and vice versa, which doesn’t make much sense – and am often reduced to pointing and snapping at objects while trying to find their nouns. “You know, the thing on top of the other thing? The hot thing that cooks? Pan! Pan. On Stove.”

So you can’t trust me to have a good synonym for “niblet” on hand. ‘Course, you can’t trust all doctors with spleens, either.

I had two different short stories almost published the past month (in the top wait-list position, oh hurray) and it sounds, from the feedback I’m receiving, that I’m often rising up these days to the top of the pile. So my own slow progress is happening. Learning is happening.

The notes my mom-in-law got me on my novel (I do have the Best of the Mother-in-Laws) were really helpful for my writing overall. They put their finger straight to a weakness I have struggled with, and they gave me a clear, concise direction for the solve.  My writing disassociates from the concrete when either I or my characters become vexed. Interestingly, I didn’t suffer this problem as much in the first novel – but it was less personal, that first novel, than this second one.

Also, I’ve been figuring out the freelancing gig, so have been thinking of *audience* in a new way. Not “market”, which as a focus tangles me up and makes me stumble, but audience – a person or a group of people I’m writing for. I just wrote a piece specifically for my sister to perform, and it was the cold drink on a hot day that I needed to refresh myself – making something useful for people who love it. Yay!

When my days were Up To Chin in Children, the words all got bent by the gravity of that work.  That was my context. It would have been hard to write for my sister, to escape that gravity.


Now I have to start editing the novel. This post is in part marking this second run through, which will be a more serious edit than I’ve undertaken before. It’s also a tinge procrastinatory, because this is a more serious edit than I’ve undertaken before.

Strapping my boots on. Getting to work.





  1. Go on, then, write and be happy!

  2. I’m doing a little happy dance reading this!

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