If you hadn’t noticed by now, I’m not generally a fan of the “Hallmark” holidays. But I have to admit, Mother’s Day can be kind of nice. Today is extra nice on several levels. One, after a spectacularly crappy week, it’s a better day. Friday showed a glimmer of light, yesterday showed promise, and today is a good day. I hope all of you are feeling the same.
Husband read the note I left on the chalkboard, and gave me a couple of much needed and much appreciated gifts. Both boys were in touch with me yesterday, to be sure they didn’t forget to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day.
Flower Child had a rough week, and so did I. There’s the obvious–if she isn’t doing well I’m nervous and holding my breath, my brain hurts with all the coulda-woulda-shouldas and general foot stomping unfairness of life. But she’s smiling and perky now, working on her art and a vision of love.
And then of course, there’s revision hell, which grew to include query writing hell. You know that little voice in your head that whispers, who the fuck are you kidding? You can’t pull off a traditional romance, that’s for woman who are sweetness and light and roses; not women who hope for sleep, a new alarm clock, and money to get their legs waxed. Not for women who were told their last romance was well written, good characters, but just a little too far off the beaten path.
The way I see it, I enjoy writing. Even with an eye towards success and publication, it’s important for me to enjoy it. Not every last aspect, but overall, it should be pleasurable, like Mama-ing. You should be able to weather the difficult or boring parts and stay strong throughout, knowing there will be release, relief, and an ability to hold onto the good days and moments of pure love, so you don’t actually run away or give up when the next hard part comes along. At the moment, no one is paying me for writing any more than I’m being paid for the Mom gig, so the motivation and reward has to come from the act of doing, and hope for eventual external validation. As a Mom, that external validation will (hopefully) include a positive, healthy relationship with adult kiddos. As a writer, the external validation will (hopefully) include a dollar and a contract.
Between internal angst, hammering out query thoughts at the writer’s forum, and pushing through, I’ve come to realize I need to shift the focus of my manuscript, a little. Basically, still the same story, but ultimately not a romance. I’ll keep the strong romantic elements, but focus on my heroine and her challenges and obstacles outside of the relationship. I still want it to be a fun read, this isn’t meant to be a navel gazing allegory on the ills of society (I’ve got my lit fic short stories for that, along with an unfinished manuscript that may or may not ever be completed), but this feels better.
I hope everyone is having a day of peace, or beauty, or whatever it is that lets you feel tomorrow might be okay.
Photos from time in Central Park last weekend with Flower Child.
And one more, a super bonus surprise sent to me from Nerd Child, delivered yesterday afternoon.