Erghhhh...

A cow says, "moo."  A sheep says, "baa."
One tired mommy says, "blah, blah, blah."

Has it ever taken you so long to finish a story that it feels like you've been through 17 revisions and you're only on the first draft?  But every time I put it away and say, "forget it!", this stupid rooster pops up in my brain and does something very amusing.

Happy Harry Potter HBP Release Day!

I'm a huge Potterphile.  Somewhere between the moment when J.K. Rowling plopped me down in the middle of Privet Drive to meet a lonely little boy to sobbing as a young man walked into a forest (not-so) alone, I fell in love with the characters in those books.  Truly, deeply care about them.

She started the writing process for Harry Potter in 1990.  I was 12.  I'm not even sure if Daniel Radcliffe was born at that point.  Wow.

Wanna Connect with Young'uns?

Apparently, don't bother with Twitter.  (Although interestingly enough, I discovered this article as a Tweet from @claycarmichael)

How to Instill a Love of Reading in Your Child

Step 1:  Read to him before naps and bedtime (and when he'll sit still for longer than three minutes).  Check.

Step 2:  Assemble several of his favorite books into a handy basket beside the nursery rocker.  Check.

Step 3:  Encourage him to explore and pick up books at his leisure.  Check.

Step 4:  Walk out of the room for 20 seconds to put the bath toys up and race back into room in panic mode when he begins shrieking.  Check.

Step 5:  Dig said child out of book pile and kiss the boo-boo where the corner of Cha-Cha Chimps scratched him from neck to navel.  Check.

Step 6:  Pray that he is not forever traumatized from book avalanche incident.  Check.

Thankful

I'm thankful for a husband who gives me a little kiss before handing me the tell-tale SASE.  He smiles and says, "Tough skin, remember?"  I smile and say, "Yep."

I'm also thankful that Hubbykins is a great marketer, and if/when I do get published, he will have a marketing plan in full swing pronto.  Case in point:

Me:  Hubbykins, I want to write children's books.
Hubbykins:  Have you checked to see if your domain name is available?

Baby Steps

My graduate degree is in counseling and marriage and family studies.  I'm no longer practicing, but I find that it does still color the way I view the world, my family, parenting.  One thing I've been thinking a lot about lately is boundaries.  Besides the obvious safety ones ("Touch not the electrical outlet!"), I'm attempting to establish some emotional ones with the Pea.  Obviously, at this age, hovering between the Piagetian stages of "trust vs. mistrust" and "autonomy vs. shame and doubt", those boundaries are in their simplest stage ("No, Mommy closes the door while she poops.")  And the fact that I'm still nursing severely limits how well he will accept said boundaries.  If my primary source of nutrition could up and walk out of the room, I'd be fairly clingy as well.

I've also been pondering boundaries which need to be set with my writing.  Examples:  The laptop must be switched off by x o'clock lest I wake up the next morning a zombie.  "No, picture book, I will not focus on how I'm going to introduce the asaparagus earlier on in the story while my pastor is speaking."  And, of course, there's the obvious emotional boundaries involved with developing that writer's thick skin.

It's just that sometimes, the writing seems more demanding than a toddler.

What about you Writing Mamas out there?  How have you tackled boundaries in your life?

A Slight Quibble

Editorial Anonymous (whose blog I love) wrote a post last night about her annoyance with the term "pre-published writer".  Oops!  Guilty as charged.  I can see her point.  In my own case, I use the term because "writer-pursuing-publication-of-her-work-on-an-active-basis" just doesn't have quite the same ring.  And "unpublished writer" makes me feel all Eeyorish inside.

My quibble is in comparing the term pre-published to pre-med or pre-law.  Something like 80% of my freshman class started out "pre-med" (which ISN'T a major, by the way).  Heck, I even started out pre-med (then I realized I would wither inside at the responsiblity of having another human's life in my hands).  You can ace all the pre-reqs, secure all the recommendations, blow the top off the MCATs.  All of this does not slap "Doctor" in front of your name.  By calling yourself "pre-med", all you are really doing is saying, "Hey, world, I intend to become a physician."  Which is all I really was trying to do by calling myself "pre-published."

Of course, I'm not the one who has to sift through piles and piles of awful manuscripts.  That would be a little bit like the hiring committee at the Mayo Clinic looking through piles of applications from people who took nothing but art classes and feel that their appreciation for the human form qualifies them to skip medical school and start their practice.  And MAYBE today will be the day that they discover the one application from the guy who was top of his class at Johns Hopkins.

I love a blog spot that Verla Kay shared recently.  It hit the nail right on the head for me in terms of setting goals.  I have no control over when (or whether) I am published.  But I do have control over how many times I have a manuscript critiqued, how many conferences I attend, how much time I spend actually writing.


That being said, I'm going to stop saying "pre-published" immediately if it annoys editors.


On a side note, my big pet peeve is the term "aspiring writer" (which I've also been guilty of in the past).  Nope, you're either writing or not writing.  "Do or do not...there is no try."  --Yoda.

Tweeting

Am I the only person who is completely overwhelmed by Twitter?  It's like It IS umpteen conversations going on at once.  What's the etiquette?  Is it rude to re-tweet if you don't really know the person IRL?  Is it okay to tweet someone you don't really know but just started following?  (I'm @naptimewriter, by the way).

Oi.  Just when I got Facebook figured out...

Please Step On the Platform

"Platform" seems to be a hot topic recently.  And for a pre-published writer like myself (don't you just love this term?  So hopeful!), it's a bit depressing.  I understand publishers' reasoning on this.  In this stinky economy, I wouldn't want to take a gamble on a complete unknown either.  But if you're like me, a busy mom who writes in her spare (ha!) time, what do you do?  Other than despair and tear your submissions up to make bird nests and papier-mache hats?

But, then, it occurred to me.  Maybe "mom" IS my platform.  Who are buying the books for their kids?  Moms!

So are you unknown?  Go ahead, leave a comment.  There...you're one step up on your platform.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from "Say Anything"...
Diane Court:  Nobody knew me before tonight.
Lloyd Dobler:  They knew of you. Now they know you.


And, now, I have to go hunt down whatever object is leaving this funky smell in my dining room.