Filed under: Writing
Friday, February 13th, 2015 • No Comments on My Debut at Mommyish
I’m very happy to have had my first piece published at Mommyish last week. In “Why I Stopped Saying ‘Someday’ When It Came to Having Kids” (which I’d originally titled the shorter, and perhaps too-poetic, “Someday’s Mother”), I wrote about my non-traditional path to motherhood. The interesting (to me) story-behind-the-story is that I’d originally pitched a different essay entirely. But in my brief bio I mentioned I’d been married for almost twenty-five years and had two sons, ages three and five. The editor at Mommyish was intrigued by that and asked if I’d be willing to write about why we waited so long to have kids. And so… this essay was born. Here’s a snippet:
I turned forty in 2007. We had been married for seventeen years and people had long since stopped asking when we were going to have kids. We still said, “Someday when we have kids,” but the articles and statistics about conceiving after thirty-five were concerning. “Someday” was slipping away from me. I was on birth control and it was unlikely we’d have another accidental pregnancy. I needed to commit to the idea if it was ever going to happen. I threw out my birth control pills at the end of 2007 and read up on getting pregnant at my age. The articles scared me. I was worried about my eggs—did I have any left? Were they viable? Were they old, dusty, scrambled
(Read more: http://www.mommyish.com/2015/02/06/stopped-saying-someday-came-kids/#ixzz3RepAg0UD)
With the exception of a big typo (“basil” instead of “basal”), I’m really pleased with how this piece turned out. Despite trying to maintain a “don’t read the comments” policy, the comments have been amazing. It’s rewarding to be able to cross over from fiction to nonfiction and back again. I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing a lot of zig-zagging this year.
Saturday, January 31st, 2015 • No Comments on January: Month in Review
I don’t get to Starbucks as often as I used to when I had a babysitter and a real work schedule, but they still love me.
January is not my favorite month. The post-holiday letdown is compounded with cold days, long nights, dreary weather (rain, snow or both) and nothing to look forward to. I had my ups and downs this month (with the downs including illness for both kids, stitches in the chin for the youngest kid and the winter blues and a lingering cold for me), but overall it’s been a better month than I could have hoped for.
Professionally, I wrote some words and made some sales. By the numbers:
I had about 26 writing/editing work hours. Those are out-of-the-house-all-alone hours! About 10 hours of that was used on admin– proofreading galleys, emailing acceptances and rejections for two forthcoming anthologies, responding to other work-related emails, researching markets, etc. Considering my typical work week with childcare used to be about 25-30 hours in a week, it’s been quite an adjustment the last few months. But I’m adjusting!
I wrote about 11k (7k of that was a horror story!). Most of that writing was done at Starbucks, but I did spend a few hours writing at home after the boys were in bed or busy playing, and I even managed to write 1k at Starbucks with my youngest in tow (I’m grateful for iPads and Angry Birds). It’s much harder to concentrated when the kids are awake (and the interruptions are frequent), but I can sometimes manage it if I know what I’m going to write.
I submitted 3 essays and 1 short story. I’m happy to have sent some pieces out into the world, but I hope to be working on longer projects in the coming months. Instant gratification is awesome, though, and essays and short stories sustain me during the times when my writing hours are sparse.
I sold 2 essays and cracked two new markets. I’m pleased to say my first essays for Mommyish and On Parenting at The Washington Post will appear soon! I supposed it makes sense that I’m writing parenting pieces now that I’m home full-time and steeped in all things maternal. Links to come.
The rest of my January hours were spent with family and friends– managing children’s schedules and health, catching a couple of movies (Mockingjay Part 1 and Inherent Vice), reading (I enjoyed Easy Death by Daniel Boyd and I’m currently reading Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King), hosting one dinner party and visiting the city parks when the weather permitted. We had one snow day with no accumulation, but the boys enjoyed the less-than-an-inch of white stuff before it melted.
These are days of contemplation and planning– of looking forward but being in no hurry for the months to pass. Spring will be here soon enough. Until then, there is much to look forward to, including our first big family trip next month. We’re going to Walt Disney World and I’m excited about introducing the boys to Mickey Mouse (and finding the WDW Starbucks, of course). So all in all, though I could’ve done without the ER visit for the three-year-old (he’s fine, but sheesh, these kids!) and the colds and viruses that seem to plague us now that big brother is in school part-time, January has been a fine month.
Onward to February…
Friday, January 9th, 2015 • No Comments on The House Where 2015 Lives
Nine days into the new year and I’ve submitted three essays (and already had one rejected). Granted, one of those essays was drafted before January 1, but still. Three essays! No child care! That’s something.
I’m still waiting for 2015 to reveal itself to me. I can see its shape in the distance, like a house seen through a thick veil of fog. I can make out its shape (it’s large and formidable, yet still welcoming), but I can’t see the details. What will this year bring? What is waiting up ahead?
After six solid years of editing eighteen erotica/erotic romance anthologies, I find myself on an unexpected hiatus. I have gotten ahead of myself these past couple of years, curating anthologies at a rate faster than they could be released. So now I have seven books in the queue to be published, three of which don’t even have publication dates yet. And so as I wait for those releases, I’m considering what to work on, what direction to go. There are many paths on the way to that house in the distance, and I’m still feeling my way through the fog.
I’ve been focusing on erotica/erotic romance since 2000, and I find myself casting about for something… different. Something new. Something challenging. Not that the genre where I’ve made my home for the past fourteen years doesn’t still offer challenges. Oh, but it does. And I have ideas for stories and novellas and books floating around in my head (and jotted down on paper and tucked away in files…) But I feel as if 2015 may be the year without erotica. How’s that for a theme?
I can’t say for sure, as I don’t yet know what the year holds, but my interest in essay writing (and the long list of publications I’m interested in) suggests I’ll be taking a break from the sexy stuff for a little while. (In my writing, I mean!) I started writing a horror story over the weekend and felt that slightly terrifying feeling that comes with writing something new and unfamiliar.
I cut my teeth on horror, back in the day (way back in the day), but I didn’t have a talent for writing it. Of course, that was my late teens and early twenties, when I didn’t have a talent for much of any kind of writing. And so now, with twenty-plus years of writing experience, I’m revisiting that old stomping ground. The fear and uncertainty are there, yes, but there’s also a kind of excitement to it. And that’s what keeps me writing after all these years– that giddy feeling of creating something out of nothing, of telling a story that only lives in my head and maybe (hopefully) finding a home for it in the world.
And so, the house where 2015 lives is still hidden in the fog, but there are candles in the windows and smoke puffing in the chimney. And there are stories to tell on the path between here and there.