Yes, I call myself a writer

Over the past few days I have unintentionally initiated quite the debate on my facebook page. The cynicism, sarcasm and disbelief over the healthcare debate I have posted in my status has riled up my sister-in-law (out of four kids, she’s the only one who doesn’t have the liberal views of her siblings, including, thankfully, my husband) and a former Sunday School/Bible School (boy)friend. But I have also gotten thank yous and Amens! from high school classmates and current friends.

I am not a political person. I never read the paper and the news is usually background noise to me, but once in a while my ears perk up. When I believe injustice is occurring (opposition to same sex marriage) or people are making insane accusations (Obama is a Muslim), I get really miffed.

However, I’m not a debater. Conflict makes me uncomfortable. Rightly or wrongly, I’m not a fighter. I can’t think on my feet, I think with my pen (keyboard). And I think with my heart.

I have many things I want to say in response to the comments that were made on my facebook page. But today’s not the day. I only have two precious hours to sit in the air-conditioned bookstore and just write before I have to pick up Tator.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about when all that “other stuff” was on my mind and I wanted it off. And then I clicked on my google reader and saw this:

Call yourself a writer?

Why, yes, I do. Gotta read this one, thought I. And then at the bottom of the post I saw this:

I’m tagging Blues of a Waxwing, J. Lucy Muses, Motherhood: The Final Frontier, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Em and This Is Worthwhile but feel free to do it even if you weren’t tagged.

I’ve been tagged. Love it! And incidentally, I’ve been tagged by the one person who makes me feel inferior when it comes to “reporting” opinion on the news of the day. Noble Savage is a journalist by trade. She know her stuff and she’s not afraid to tell it like she sees it. She is one of the reasons I’m not quite up to telling it like I see it today (maybe tomorrow after I’ve a chance to think with my mind and my heart). So, thank you NS for the following meme.

Which words do you use too much in your writing?

Actually, just, and really.

What’s your favourite piece of writing by you?

For its honesty and the response it drew, this one. For its silliness, this one. For the therapy of telling a painful story, this one. And for my mommy world in all its glory, this one.

What blog post do you wish you’d written?

Due to my constant inability to keep up with all the blogs I’ve already bookmarked and my fear of falling in love with more if I follow too many links, there aren’t too many options for this answer. I’d have to say pretty much anything by Noble Savage (did I mention how much I admire her informed rants?) and this honest description of normal, womanly, motherly despair and the self-prescribed solution by Lia Mack.

Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn’t written?

I do regret how much time writing this blog has taken from my family and any “real” writing (for possible publication). I do regret how some posts are not examples of my greatest writing, but I don’t regret any particular posts.

How has your writing made a difference? What do you consider your most important piece of writing?

I don’t have a large following *yet* so I don’t know that I’ve made that much of an impact on the world at this point. But although no one has told me my writing has made a difference to them I have had positive response to a few of my posts. The one with the greatest response was this one asking mothers to keep talking so we can stop judging ourselves. I believe this to be so important.

This blog has made a difference to a friend of mine. She also started writing one only to discover it is therapeutic and that she, too wants to be a Writer. That makes me cry!

Name three favourite words

Debit or credit

…And three words you’re not so keen on

I’m soaked, mama! (at 2am)

Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?

In the world of writing I have a number: Julia Cameron, Barbara Kingsolver, Madeleine L’Engle, Anais Nin. In my new career of teaching journal-writing, it is Kathleen Adams.

What’s your writing ambition?

Immediate: To write everyday. Near Future: To be published in Brain, Child. Long Term: To make a living as a freelance writer and teacher.

What is the best compliment you’ve ever gotten about your writing?

That I am inspiring.

The rules:
If you have time to do this meme, then please link to my original, then link to three to five other bloggers and pass it on, asking them to answer your questions and link to you. You can add, remove or change one question as you go. You absolutely do not have to be what you may think of as a “published” or “successful” writer to respond to this meme, I hope people can take the time to reflect on what their blogging has brought them and how it has been useful to others.

I tag: Raising Smart Girls, Heidi’s Notes from Vermont, and Slightly Irrational


I am not an island

I have a confession to make.

I’m lonely.

Last night I was checking the traffic to my blog and followed one visitor’s referral link back to a blog I didn’t recognize. At first I was confused why a link to my blog would be here. Then I began to put it together and realized it was the website of a couple with whom we were friends in Mississippi. I finally found the link to my blog along with this introduction: “A friend that used to live in MS has a blog about her new life in Vermont, a move back home for her. They are cool people and we miss them a lot but I guess they’ve moved on to better things.” (Thanks, Tim… you’re cool people yourself!) He goes on to say that although he does miss his home state, as long as he has friends, “you’ve got the most perfect place on earth.”

That’s hard to hear.

I haven’t acknowlegded (in this forum) something very important about our 3 years in Mississippi: Friends.

For the first time in my life when I planned a party I had a list of guests, guests who showed up, who stayed late and with whom we had laughs, tears (not at the party, thankfully), and meaningful conversations. With these same friends we had lunch and drinks out on the town, shared Thanksgiving dinner, and threw baby showers and children’s birthday parties.

Friends became the norm. Now we don’t have them. And I thought I was OK.

But I’m not.

My days are running into each other with no anticipation of fun. The little screen on my phone never lights up with just a first name. I have no other woman to gripe to, no other mom to sympathize with. No one to meet at the coffee shop.

I keep in touch with close friends in various parts of the country, and even in England where I grew up, but I never knew just how vital it is to have friends right on your door step until they weren’t there anymore.

Tick Tock, The Clock Won’t Stop

This is just uncalled for.

On the eve of my 36th birthday I found, not one, not two, but three gray hairs peeking out from under my otherwise auburn mass (not Auburn, Massachusetts… hehe, I’m so funny). How does that happen? One day you have none and the next you have three pigmentally-challenged hairs. Do they suddenly grow or do regular hairs turn gray? I suppose I could look this up on wikipedia but I can’t be bothered with that right now. I’m more concerned with why this would happen on this day of all days.

Tonight at midnight I begin the downward slide to 40. I am beginning my 37th year with three holes in my head from whence I yanked the offending follicles. Am I supposed to read something into this? That the time has come for me to face that I am no longer a young woman?

You see, I have this thing about age. I always assume (completely illogically) that if someone is in a high position of power or reached a stage in their career that puts Director or President or CEO by their name, that they must be old(er). I even think anyone who has children – of any age – must be beyond me in years. I can never quite wrap my head around age.

At my new job I am reorganizing the personnel files. It was with shock that I discovered on a list only two or three 1970’s birthdates. Other than the really old ‘uns – born in the 50’s and 60’s -the majority of my co-workers were wailing in their cribs when I was Karma Chameleon-ing to Boy George.

Who do they see when they say hello to me from the hallway? Someone who stays home every night -even Fridays and holidays – who is dosing off at 8PM and gets buzzed on one glass of wine? Someone who will never again zip a pair of jeans without first folding in the baby belly, and who didn’t like the 80’s styles the first time around. I AM one of the older ones to them.

But aren’t the 30’s are supposed to be the best years of a women’s life? (No? It’s the 40’s? According to Oprah, it’s the 50’s… ???)

Yes, tonight for the first time in my life I believe I am having trouble with a birthday. Planning our 20th high school reunion and realizing this year’s seniors were born the year I graduated certainly doesn’t help.

So, Happy B00-Hoo To Me.

(I still want cake.)

The many hats of me

I need a haircut. The shaggy, steel wool mop that haloes my head is reflected in the screen of my laptop as I sit on the deck this glorious late summer morning.

I also need to finish organizing the new office which until 3 days ago was the kids room. Boxes of books, old files, and decades-old computer stuff, retained “just in case” (or rather “just too lazy”) were crammed away in a closet. Now, due to the room rearrangements, they have resurfaced and are demanding my attention. I need to make curtains for the new kids’ room. I need to hang out the laundry that’s slowly rotting in the washer. I need to put away the clothes that have been sitting in a basket for a month. I need to empty the dishwasher. I need to put two years worth of photos in the kid’s albums. I need to listen to another session of my journal workshop instructor training. I need to dig through the heap of shoes on my closet floor and take half of them to Salvation Army (so I can justify buying more). I need to be brainstorming article ideas and getting out queries. I need to pay the bills…

I need to not be sitting here writing this blog.

Ever since I began this blog-ourney I have neglected everything else around me. I send my husband to bed with a “I’ll be there soon,” and then not show up for another 2 hours. I don’t even give the TV my full, undivided attention. And next week I start work. I wonder how I can possibly divide a 24 hour day into so many increments. I feel writing this blog is important (I’m not sure exactly why yet) and I don’t want to give it up. But, really, how does one wear so many hats?

The Mom Hat: The shabby one with the unidentifiable stains. It has a big brim and droops in various places. It’s worn out and really needs to be replaced but no other hat will ever fit quite as well.

The Wife Hat: The one most often forgotten in the closet even though it is nice-looking and can be fun to wear. It should be worn more frequently.

The Housewife Hat: This one’s dusty; hard to get clean. It’s very large and kind of overwhelms the wearer. It gets in the way of other more agreeable hats.

The Administrative Hat: The one decorated with numbers and letters. It’s an annoying but essential little hat worn for protection of one’s assets.

The Employee Hat: This one’s new and very smart. It is a good one to wear in public due to it’s professional appearance and lack of accouterments.

The Writer/Artist Hat: The one with a veil behind which one can hide. This hat fits the wearer well and is the preferred one in the selection, but other more practical hats are usually (or should be) worn instead. It is very colorful but does have some ink stains.

The Single Gal Hat: Rarely worn, or ownership even acknowledged. It is bright, stylish, shapely and attractive. If worn more often it could revitalize that which is dull, monotonous, and all together too blah.

I really do need a hair cut… maybe then I can cram two (or three) hats on my head at once.