Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
We all survived Harry Potter Camp. It was the girls' first attempt at a sleepaway camp and I would not be exaggerating if I said it caused us all some anxiety. Back in March, when I signed Eva and Lola up for this week-long YMCA-sponsored camp, it was easy to be excited. The girls were thrilled at the prospect of getting to immerse themselves in all things Harry Potter for a week - trying their hand at quidditch, potion-making, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and escaping from Azkaban. Bubba and I could hardly contain our glee at the idea of getting an entire week at home without having to arrange for a babysitter if we wanted to go to the movies or dinner. I vowed not to cook or do dishes for the entire week and told Bubba if he scheduled a business trip I would wring his neck like a Thanksgiving turkey.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
My girls have reached the "musical" stage of their childhood. Eve got to go see "Oliver!" last year with her class and she came home singing all of the songs and begged me to get the music. Lola's music teacher taught them most of the songs from "The Sound of Music" last year and she went around singing them until I thought I'd throw up. Repetition aside (or maybe repetition-inspired), I decided to expand their repertoire by finding some more musical soundtracks to introduce them to.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Pro-Life Politicians More Concerned With Controlling Women's Health and Forcing Their Own Morality Than Anything Else.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
For those of you who don't know about Michelle O'Neil, let me introduce you. She is a beautiful soul, mother of two children, wife to a darling man, and brilliant writer. She is many more things than that, but I'll let you find her blog if you so desire. The purpose of this particular post is to draw your attention to her new book. She has written a deeply touching, funny memoir that anyone who enjoys memoir ought to read. Just in case you're looking for a book to wind down the dog days of summer, I suggest you head right to Amazon via the link above and buy this book.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
"All this time believing love meant someone's leaving..." Edie Carey in Easy Now from her album Bring the Sea
Friday, August 12, 2011
Elizabeth Aquino, a fellow blogger, lit a fire under my butt today with her blog post. You can read her post by clicking on her name, or I can give you the Cliff Notes version. Open-minded, open-hearted person that she is, she occasionally checks out blog posts from folks whose political leanings are vastly different from her own. In doing so recently, she came across one blogger who presented the notion that individuals who rely on social assistance for food, money, healthcare, etc. ought to be ashamed to do so as well as humble and thankful for the assistance. There was clearly some judgment about whether certain individuals deserve public assistance or if it is simply an enormous scam that a large portion of the population is taking advantage of.
Monday, August 08, 2011
Family is such fertile ground. I feel as though, even though the same crops are grown there over and over again, generation by generation, there is enough rotation to keep the soil rich enough to produce hearty stock.
Monday, August 01, 2011
I was helping out a friend. And, if I’m being totally honest, I have to say I was intrigued. I can’t imagine being able to justify hiring a Life Coach, either to myself or Bubba. It seems like such a frivolous, privileged thing to do, and my life is pretty damn good. But the notion that someone could look at my life objectively and help me figure out where to go from here is pretty tempting. I am a person who likes a road map. Give me some expectations and I will deliver the goods. Give me some vague idea of a goal and trust me to figure out the details by myself and I’m scared. What if I don’t do it right? What if I make a mistake along the way? What if I waste precious time mucking about and learning things other people already know?
So when my yoga instructor announced that she needed to complete ten hours of Life Coaching in order to get her certification, I leaped at the chance. You know, to help her out and all….
At our first meeting she explained that she was there to help me with whatever I wanted – solidifying career objectives, clarifying personal relationships, creating emotional health, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, etc. And so I began by talking about what is nearest and dearest to my heart – writing. I talked about my need to create balance in my life so that I can have time to write consistently in the midst of parenting and managing the household. I talked about my first book project and how the research and writing lit me absolutely on fire but the agent-querying/selling/marketing portion gave me the creeps.
It took her all of five minutes to break it down. She asked some insightful questions, many of which I have answered before for prospective agents and publishers. She wanted to know why I wrote the book and what my ultimate goal was for it. I explained that I write primarily to create dialogue around difficult issues. My purpose is to offer the reader a perspective that seems unique at first but becomes universal. I want to get people thinking about their own lives and how they relate to others and prompt them to talk to others about those situations. Being able to make money is so far down the list of priorities (Bubba is cringing right now, poor guy). It makes me feel almost dirty to look at creative ways to convince people that they ought to pay me to write like this.
I know that money is how we express worth in this culture and, if I’m being pragmatic, I spend a lot of my valuable time writing and thinking about writing and engaging in dialogue with others. The thing is, doing so is part of what makes my life so full. I believe that, in this currency of worth, I deserve to be paid for my time and efforts. It is just that asking for that feels skeevy. I was the girl who felt bad hawking Girl Scout Cookies to my neighbors. I felt as though I was intruding on their lives in order to make money (even if the money didn’t necessarily go to me, personally). If they came to me and asked, I’d gladly sell them as many boxes as they wanted. But going to them always made me wonder if they truly wanted the cookies or if they felt coerced. This could be part and parcel of the fact that I have a tremendously difficult time saying no to little entrepreneurs attempting to sell me things.
In any case, Jen was able to re-frame the entire situation for me. She fully accepted my discomfort with “selling” the book to an agent or publisher. She asked how committed I was to “sharing” my work with the world and I assured her I was. I fervently believe that this subject is one that desperately needs the spotlight of dialogue in American society and would be thrilled if my book could help spark that.
“What if you changed the focus from ‘selling’ to ‘sharing’?”
It took a moment to sink in, but when it did, it was like a drop of food coloring in a glass of water. The notion spread out and filled up the space. Yeah. In effect, selling my manuscript would achieve the goal of sharing the message. If I hone in on my desire to spread the word and see selling the book as a means to that end, it suddenly feels much less smarmy. And even, dare I say it, exciting.
I’m so glad I could help her out.