Archives for category: writing

I need to write. I find my mind is tattered and unfocused, or obsessively focused upon unimportant matters. And though I rarely have time to shower, or to plan, or to knit, or to do anything that I consider *mine* these days, I need to commit to something for me.

And writing is for me.

I have been sneaking in small amounts of fiction writing, often at midnight or so, pencil in hand and headlamp on as C slumbers next to me. But when I say small, I mean *small* — paragraphs, sometimes just a sentence or two, before the thought of the night wakings and eventual morning waking bring my hand to the headlamp’s on/off switch.

I am going back to school. I’m not sure what it will look like, but I am going back. I hope that the actual teaching excites me more than the decision itself does.

But a vow — at least one entry a week. I can do that. Really, I can.

It’s been awhile. I blame the NaNoWriMo stuff. Here’s a chart of my writing, words per day:

It’s been a lot, especially because it’s been a busy month. Elinor’s waking up every three hours or so at night (she finally went four hours last night!), we went to visit Jo, Peyton, and Harper in Albuquerque, and daylight savings time is not fun at all with babies. Plus El got her first tooth, and I’m sure the next one is working its way up. And have I ever mentioned that my baby hates to nap?

All this to say that finding the time to write 1667 words a day is kind of difficult., especially with that napping /sleeping situation.

Tonight El was pretty tired, but I knew Chad would be home within a half hour …. So I delayed bedtime, playing with her on the changing table, reading two books, etc. He came home, he loved her and she loved him, and then I nursed her to sleep, per our usual routine. She went down in 25 minutes, not bad — but then she was up.

And so I went upstairs and rocked her. She wasn’t interested in more milk; she was interested in telling me everything about the world. For 25 more minutes, we rocked and she talked. She’s at the “ba ba ba ya ah ma da” stage. She just talked, and I rocked, and she talked, and I rocked, and then she finally finally fell asleep.

Often I am a little frustrated when she won’t go down. But tonight was special, I guess, because I just listened to her talk and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else, doing anything else, in the whole world.

It was nice procrastination for NaNoWriMo, too.

I’ve been grumpy a good portion of the last two weeks. Elinor has been less grumpy than I have been; I don’t understand how a little baby can survive on less sleep than a 31-year-old mom.

I think the following is a universal parent experience: you listen to parent educators warn you about never shaking the baby, and you turn to your partner with eyebrows raised, certain that you will never even think about doing such a thing. But there comes a day when the baby has made a whiny, grumbling, high-pitched noise nearly continuously for most of the day, indicative of extreme fatigue, and you will do everything in your power to help the baby sleep, but sleep will not come, and you yourself will wish to make such a noise, and instead you will cry out in frustration and make your baby cry, and then you will comfort said babe, and then the babe will whine again, and you will set the babe down in her crib and walk away because you have an overwhelming urge to shake that baby and make her tell you what she needs and wants.

Because all you want to do is provide her with what she needs and wants.

But after leaving the baby in her crib for five minutes, and praying to God that she will sleep, and calling your sister in Albuquerque, and whining to her, and then going back to the baby, and walking with her, and bouncing her on your lap while shielding her from the computer screen as you desperately search for emails that remind you that you are an intelligent, functioning adult, only to read about what you consider to be a corporate takeover of the school board election, you feel your blood boiling in your capillaries. And you call your friend Erin who still gets to vote in Denver, ruing your decision to live in the ‘burbs, to lecture her on who she should vote for, and you rant and work yourself into a relative frenzy over the school board election, and as your rant subsides you realize that, though irked and dismayed by the school board election, you are really just exhausted, and very very very tired of that whining noise that your baby is making.

That was last Tuesday.

Since then, life has been a little better. It is good to rant, and to have many people graciously willing to listen to your rants. But yesterday, though Elinor was in a fantastic mood, she wasn’t sleeping again. And instead of obsessing over the school board election (results are in; corporations win, again), instead you obsess over whether or not you will have to go back to work so that your husband will not have to work those corporate hours for a corporate law firm anymore. And you spend too much time cruising CANPO’s job postings as your baby bounces in her bouncy swing, and you are now dismayed that, though possessing a MEd, five years experience in a classroom, and many competent life skills, on paper you are not qualified for most jobs. And teaching takes up as much time as a corporate law job, and your baby should have at least one parent around for dinner time consistently, and you are worried that you have wasted your life.

And then your friend Janice sends you a link to NaNoWriMo (, and as you rant to your mom about not being qualified for 9-5 jobs that pay more than teaching, she tells you to write, and when your husband comes home, grumpy from his corporate day, he tells you to write. And you want to yell at all of them, but instead you finally get the baby down again at 11, and instead of curling up next to your husband’s lovely furnace-y and sleepy body, you sit down, sign up for National Novel Writing Month, and write two pages of what you are sure will be a crap novel.

At least you didn’t shake the baby.

I have, slowly and surely, been archiving all of my old diaryland entries. Realize, please, that I have had a blog since 2000. That’s more than ten years of blogging, and most of that was blogging through the last two years of college and into my early twenties — which means life upheaval in many ways, and the remnants of teenage angst, and indecision, and (did I mention this?) upheaval.

I haven’t gotten to read all of the entries — just copy and paste, old open-apple-c, open-apple-v, even though my lovely new mac doesn’t have open-apple anymore, just command — but I’ve perused them, and noticed words, and ideas, and names.

Delving into the you you once were is heady business. If I knew then what I know now ….

It’s also precious, though. In the more than 300 pages of blog entries (single-spaced, 12-point, aieee — and I still have two and a half more years to archive) I keep thinking about when I will let Elinor read them. Probably not until she’s in high school. I curse liberally, and the angst is painful at times. I’d also like to explain to her what was going on in my life at those times. Perhaps I’ll annotate what were often cryptic entries. Do I really want to do that?

But my emotional life, during those highly crazy times, is all there. Significant portions of my mind are there. And even if Elinor pooh-poohs them, as any self-respecting teenager should, I guess, I am still glad that I have a record of my life like that. It’s uneven, and it’s definitely over-written at times and cryptic and it tries to straddle that fuzzy line between private and public in a weird manner, but it is truly all the mes that I once was, and I am glad I have some record of that, spotty as that record might be.

I have GOT to stop staying awake so late. Pictures of Elinor tomorrow, I promise.

At MDPL camp Friday, the wonderful 6th grade girls thought Elinor should make her own art. “She can be a writer AND an illustrator!”

So they produced paper and markers, and — well, you can see the process.

Unsure about all of these teenagers.

The paper is produced.

Marker in hand -- and hand in Zelda's hand.

Piece de resistance!

The artist contemplating her tools.

Oh, poor Elinor. She is doomed to a literary life with a momma like me.