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southernsweetea [userpic]

On death and scrap books

February 11th, 2008 (07:23 pm)

current location: office
current mood: nostalgic

In preparation for opening a family biz next Fall (a preschool/daycare) I have been reading a lot of business books lately. A question in one of them gave me pause. It was the book, SMALL BUSINESS, BIG LIFE and the question was: If you knew you only had 24 hours to live, what would you regret not having done?

I know the PC writer answer would probably be: "I'd regret not writing a Pulitzer-prize winning book" or some such thing.  Not so much.  The thought, "Not seeing more of the world" flitted across my mind, for just a brief moment. But the thought that really stuck was, "Not making Zachary a baby album."

Not that Catie's is finished, mind you, and she's almost 5.  But at least I have an album for up to her 1st birthday.  Zachary's I haven't even begun to create, and the child is already 2.

Should I die tomorrow, I would really want him to have a little book he could hold in his hands and know his mommy loved him enough to select those photos and write those words.  That I made a little tribute to him -- his first words, first steps, first years of life.  I would want him to see my handwriting all over the pages.

I actually don't like scrap booking.  Blank white pages worry me.  There are too many possibilities.  And I am a perfectionist.  I actually enjoy ediitng first drafts of scrap books much more than I enjoy creating the durn things in the first place.  I think most of all, I don't like the visual reminder that time is marching on.  I am getting older.  I don't feel it, but I must be, because my children are growing older.  They are no longer chubby fisted babies with wisps of curly hair.  

I didn't hold them enough.

And now they won't let me.  They are too big to fit in my lap, too busy to stop and rest there anyway.  Except for the occasional sweet pit stops made by Zachey, for a book or a hug or a kiss on an "owie."

(The back story here is that the little man just ten minutes ago came bounding into the office.  he wanted to sit on my lap so I let him and you know what?  He pressed some key and all my journalling disappeared.  Yep.  True story.  So this is Draft #2 and he's been banished from the office.  So I'm not all sweet nostalgic momma, right now I'm a little bit fuming momma.)

But I have determined that I need to bite the bullet and pull out the tape runner and the blue gingham paper and stickers and markers and the (ack!) worrisome blank white pages and make the child an album.  I may/may not finish Catie's first.  The truth is, we think we have all the time in the world left.  But we just can't know.  So a scrapbooking I will be here...for a while...hopefully....

southernsweetea [userpic]

On not writing

February 5th, 2008 (03:33 pm)

current location: office
current mood: thoughtful
current song: none

Writing is not a rest on your laurels kind of a thing. I wish it were. I have a story coming out in Highlights next month (well, the April edition.) I am excited about this. But the truth is, that story was written, um, like TWO years ago. What have I done lately?

And I thought I could stop writing and be content, but deep down in the dark corners of my heart I am very restless and a little bit like a ship without an anchor when I am not writing. Of course, I'm never "not writing." It pops up in other ways -- like all these articles I've been writing for the past few months for little community papers like the Meadow Pointe News.

I can't books with my children read without getting ideas and feeling unsettled. I can't even enjoy a good book any longer!

So there it is. You can't run from who you are, I guess. So much for not writing. I guess I have to throw my hat back in the ring.

Oh but I am not looking forward to all the rejection letters again.

southernsweetea [userpic]

American Idol

January 27th, 2007 (07:13 pm)

current mood: contemplative
current song: Had a Bad day

My hubby and I have been watching "American Idol" the past few weeks. The hideous yet often hysterical "audition" shows -- these feature painful moments with either very self-deluded or very attention-hungry would-be contestants.

I am sure that some of those folks simply want their 15 seconds of fame on national TV and don't expect to actually be the next American Idol.

But I think that some of those poor souls truly have NO idea how bad they are. They look SHOCKED when the judges say "that was awful" or "none of your notes were on pitch, not a single one."

These contestants believed in themselves, they have passion, their parents and friends encouraged them...yet still I wonder, "How could they be so clueless?"

Then I wonder (yipes) is it the same way for me and the editors at large NY publishers who read my stuff? Wanting it and believing in myself and having friends and family who love my work isn't enough if I don't have actual TALENT. Are all of my notes off-key? This is a pretty terrible thought. How do I know when to give up and when to keep going?

(Also, anyone know any editors who are more Paula Abdul and less Simon Cowell?)

southernsweetea [userpic]

Hearing voices in my head

January 24th, 2007 (08:47 pm)

I've been working on a YA novel in verse lately. Or rather I should say it has been working on me. I keep hearing the MC in my head. Especially at night as I am starting to drift off to sleep which is TOTALLY annoying, cosnidering I have to either a. turn on the light and jot down the notes or poem or whatever and then I am completely awake or b. I think, "I'll get to that in the morning" but of course by morning I've forgotten it or I'm just plain too busy to write it down anyway and then she (my MC I mean) nags at me all day. I am considering taking a tape recorder to bed with me. Is that just a little weird or what?

southernsweetea [userpic]

What if I am not GOOD enough?

January 9th, 2007 (09:10 pm)

So I have this idea that I am in love with for a YA novel. No, I'm not going to share it with you because you might steal it. let's just say that it is really, really good. I think. But a good idea, even a great idea, isn't good enough. Now I have to actually write the durn thing. Which makes me scared. Because what if I'm not good enough? I mean, what if Mona Lisa strolled into the studio of the guy-next-door-to-Leonardo. I don't know, maybe his name was DiCaprio or something. What if she walked into HIS studio instead and said, "pain tme" and the guy wasn't a bad painter but he also wasn't great. As a writer I think I can do a little bit more than stick figures with words, but I'm also no Leonardo, you know what I'm saying? What if I butcher my source of inspiration, my muse if you will? What if I do a half-baked job? What if, what if, what if...

I know, I know, what you're saying. Write it. Then we'll see. And Leonardo probably made plenty of sketches, right? La Jocund (which is the French title, I don't know "Mona Lisa" in Italian) probably took hima while. it's not as though he went "stroke, stroke, done." Right? Why are we so fraid to mess up the first or secodn or third time we do something? I see it in my son Colby. Sometimes he is so afraid to be wrong he doesn't give himself a chance to be right. or as my DH said the other day while teaching me tennis, "you have to at leats swing at the ball. You'll NEVER hit it if you don't swing."

The problem is that I want to swing but I can't always get my mind and my body to work together in that moment. In the case of writing, is it my creative self at odds sometimes with my mind? I just don't know...

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