On Being a Mother

Daughter number one was born with her eyes wide open. And I had hope that she would see all there was to see. But, somehow, her vision was blurred and she perceived life as something that owed her. I’m not sure when that happened; I think it was the week she returned from her first time away at college and she made the observation that we had changed. I countered with the argument that it wasn’t we who had changed, but herself. So, there’s that.

Daughter number two was born with eyes squeezed shut and a wail emitting from her mouth. She knew life would not be easy and she proved it by making sure it wasn’t. She was our greatest challenge and, I have to say, she rose to it like a boss. Three sons later, one destroyed marriage later, and a willingness to take on two extra children later, she’s still certain that life won’t be easy. And I have to agree.

Daughter number three was born with eyes wide open and a wail emitting from her mouth. She knew she had to pay attention, but still keep fighting for her place in the world. She had no qualms about who she was or where she was going. Sure, there were stumbles along the way, but she kept her eyes on the prize and soldiered through. She’s doing okay, but needs to keep working toward that elusive goal she has in mind.

So… There’s that.

I’m giggling gleefully over here!

So, I was sitting here on my sofa, catching up on all the television shows I’ve missed the past few manic weeks. Normally, I would fast-forward through the commercials — and I had every intention of doing so — but something caught my eye.

It seems everything these days is “artisan”: artisan beers, artisan cheeses, even artisan ice cream, for Pete’s sake!

Well. If there’s a bandwagon for this artisan thing, I’m on it, people! Introducing my new and improved marketing strategy:

These are not Indie Books! These are, in fact, ARTISAN books! Hand-crafted from the finest weird stuff ever to come out of my head!

finger pointing to right CLICK HERE finger pointing to left

FOR ARTISAN BOOKS AT NON-ARTISAN PRICES!

The Gentle Man Feb 2015 The Loyal Man Feb 2015 TMMFrontCoverCSp

Pardon my snark…

A few weeks ago, I was told that I had no business criticizing something that I wasn’t familiar with. I had to agree, and so I took up the challenge to read Fifty Shades of Grey and report back. I only made it to chapter twelve before my brain threatened to go on a shutdown strike and I had to cease.

One major criticism I had was the writing is abysmal. After enduring almost three hours of E.L. James shoving the English language through a meat grinder, I think I’m justified in that opinion. I also can no longer use the word “inner”.

Let’s look at the protagonist. Anastasia Steele is so unrealistically naive and sheltered, I wonder how she managed to get through four years of college without curling into a permanent fetal position and going catatonic at the horrors she would have witnessed for the first time. Unless, of course, she was attending a university peopled entirely by asexual teetotalers.

Never had an email address? In this day and age, it’s pretty much mandatory that all students get on their college’s email system, not to mention that a great deal of coursework is now on-line.

Never kissed someone? Never held hands? And yet, in the next chapter, she’s apparently an instant master of fellatio. Millions of people bought into this character and suspended their disbelieve, hoisting it into the stratosphere where it expired from lack of oxygen.

Then there’s the rape scene, perpetuating the myth that most women fantasize about being brutally taken like that. Perpetuated, of course, by people (and some are, indeed, woman) who have never actually been brutally taken like that.

“You’re just jealous,” said an acquaintance of mine after reading the rant I posted on facebook. Of COURSE I’m jealous! I’d be up to my neck in denial if I claimed I wasn’t. Here’s a woman who slapped together three books with cardboard characters and aggressively bad writing and she’s rolling in riches now! Meanwhile, I labor over every damned adjective and phrase, agonize over every character, obsess about Oxford commas and dangling participles, and can only gaze at a best-selling list from afar.

So, yeah. I am jealous and I am dismayed. I’m also sorely tempted to throw everything I know about grammar, and character and plot development, out the window and slap together a few two-dimensional tomes of my own.

In which I am bereft…

So! I published the third book, at last! And now I feel… kind of… adrift. I’m supposed to be working on fifteen stories for an anthology, but I kind of feel like I just kicked one of my kids out of the nest and maybe I should give myself time to mourn.

Seems kind of silly, but that’s where I’m at right now.

I also have to take a deep breath and plunge into the promotional circus.

There’s a hopeful little fairy deep in my soul who wishes people would just come flocking to my books by themselves. You know, the overnight success thing? The small bit of rationality in me says that totally won’t happen. One can dream, though, right?

What I do want to is keep writing.

So, pity party over, onward and upward. Back to the keyboard I go!