It’s Friday, yay! Throw your hands in the air–well, not if you’re at work.
Here’s what you missed this week chez moi:
Not a Night Mother | Role/Reboot
I feel like I am confessing a great sin when I admit: I am not a good night mother. At the end of a work-at-home day as a mostly full-time writer and editor, and the constant tiny demands of the household, my patience and coping skills splinter apart at night.
Night is the time when I need to pause the full-bore level of mommy performance, to loosen the tether between my son and me just a little, for his hands to stop their grasping, to turn down the talking, to enter the silence of my own mind. Every call that follows me down the hall after I leave him (after the bedtime ritual of reading books and singing songs and talking about our day) feels like prickly Velcro at the back of a sweater.
Letting Out the Shitty First Draft
…In the moment between perfect idea generation and shitty first drafting, all your big hopes and dreams crash and burn.
And your ego lies anyway; it’s like a tough love coach that goads to you to produce more and work a little harder because, if left to your own devices, you might just stay there on the floor, picking cat hair off the old Hershey’s kiss you found while you were down there.
So this is my reminder to you, coming from one who is going through it herself, who has been here more times than I can count: You just have to pull yourself up off the floor, dust yourself off, and write that crap anyway.
Because only words written, even shitty ones, can become stories. And only finished stories can become books…
Surrogate Daughter at Full Grown People
Children give love the way the sun gives light—without reserve, daily, radiant. Unless it’s beaten or broken or shamed out of them. Children see the world with awe and love. Sometimes in the midst of a grumpy rushing morning, my six-year-old son will stop and notice a simple thing—a puddle looks like a frog or the cloud like an anvil, and my heart will tumble downhill at how much beauty I fail to see. I saw it once, too, though; I remember the dust motes streaming through slivers of light in my godparents’ New York apartment when I was about his age. Only, I didn’t think of it as dust, but particles of separate universes escaped from the books they stacked nearly to the ceilings, a tower where Rapunzel would never have been bored, with reading material for ages and Chinese food delivered at any hour.
Can I really remember such specifics from these early years? But I do—wooden floors that shined with a rare light. A red velvet couch, decorative buttons bulging off the taut fabric like the teats of a nursing bitch. Magazine pages, glossy and spilling open their stinky perfumed pages with half dead models in painful contortions that equaled beauty.
My godparents were mythical creatures—Gayle commanding us from her perch in the chair, or on the book-laden bed—small as a child, with an old cancerous bite scooped from her side, but a Goddess in her power. “Bring me those Malomars,” she’d command Jeff. “I’m hungry.” And he’d scurry off on his sinewy calves, a man-servant to do her bidding. Sometimes I imagined her holding a scepter of snakes entwining, a tiny clay urn of poison hidden around her neck. And Jeff, his mind a hoarded library of facts and verses, his super power in memory, recitation and detail, Shakespeare and Elliott, Baldwin and Foster Wallace, a shield woven of words to keep him safe from the world.
Great Gifts for Writers:
Two for Twenty.
I’ve got a wonderful special on books right now. Choose any two of my books for $20 (plus a flat shipping fee). You can select two writing guides, two novels, or any combo therein. Visit HERE to order, and request personalization. If the link is wonky, just send me an email to: jordanwritelife (at) gmail (dot) com.
A Writer’s Retreat:
Looking for the perfect gift for the writer in your life? Consider what every writer wants most of all–more time to write! Purchase a Writer Path retreat before prices go up in January, 2015.
From Friday May 1st through Sunday May 3rd, this all-inclusive plot & scene writing retreat includes food, lodging and writing program in the gorgeous Santa Cruz Mountains. www.WriterPath.com