musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the month “October, 2009”

Friday 2

I’ve been sick for two weeks, not terribly, but it’s wearing me down. Kids have been sick, mil, Honey. Even had a trip to the ER with Baby C. I cancelled our overscheduled weekend and am currently up in the air about Trick or Treating.

Nano starts in 2 days, and I still haven’t finished edits on book one. and I feel crappy and for two days I was just plain old useless…

Ok, I will stop whining now.

Here’s a poem I wrote the other day because I love Fall:

the whole of the world
is right there
in the green to gold to red
of a single autumn leaf

Have a lovely and spirited All Hallows Eve.

Thursday threes

Three days to Nanowrimo. Three kids for Halloween in two days. Two on the neighborhood loot journey, one to scare the the trick or treaters at home.

S has decided to be a classic cartoon criminal, complete with black and white striped shirt and swag bag with sharpie’d dollar sign. Should have seen what it took to find a black and white striped shirt…..

Honey’s old nickname and costume of preference is El Diablo, so Baby C is going to be a little devil. Really, she is anyway of late, we’re just dressing her for the part. Horns and all.

Another year, I’ll get all woo-woo on you with my love of the Day of the Dead, All Hallows, Halloween, Samhain, and everything of the Crossroads. This year I’m too busy wrapping up book one edits in prep for book two in Nanowrimo.



Four days to Nanowrimo and part of me wants to run screaming. The other part is happy to have found a face to face writing group that is focused on children’s literature. Who knew I lived among likemindeds? And one of them has signed up for the November torture device. So they are crazy like me, too.

How inspiring!


5 days to Nanowrimo and I have just registered the impact of: on Nov. 1, I have 5, count ’em loud, 5 scheduled obligations, each lasting between 1.5- 3 hours, throughout the day and evening and out of the house. And two are potlucks.

I am not quitting before I even get started. This is a sign from the Universe of what a kick in the pants I need to give myself.

Okay, who is joining me? For Nanowrimo, that is, not for kicking me in the pants.


Write a 50K word novel in 30 days. Come on, I dare you. All the cool writers are doing it.

November 1st. It’s only 3.3 double spaced pages per day in 12-point Times New Roman.
PS: I am still supposedly attempting to edit my first novel in the week prior to starting the second in Nanowrimo. Wish me luck, still on hiatus, still in the mayhem, too – sick kids, me, week of editing was hijacked due to scheduling difficulties…


I must listen to my creative instincts, which have been gathering, and take this week to write the part of my children’s novel manuscript, that up until now has eluded me. All the research I did over the summer has finally digested and I feel the story coming on. The combination of the conversations on CC last week and my creative juices bubbling reached a crucial convergence.

At least that’s what the voices in my head are telling me as I post this. 😉

see you when I’m done!

photo credit is unknown but I will gladly credit it to the it’s creator if anyone knows.

Holy smokestacks of mom blogging controversy

The venerable Liz Hum of may have finally and appropriately settled the uproar.

My take on what has been going on at Creative Construction this week is that the reason we are even there is to figure out amongst ourselves how to negotiate our way through our lives and live them creatively as well as in the process maybe inspire, or console or give each other tips on how to do so when some of us may otherwise be pulling out our hair in a moment of drudgerous mayhem. And maybe together, we can find our way closer to the joys that feed us from our children, to our partners, to our arts. I like to think of us as a matriarchal tribe, who rather than beating our laundry out on rocks together by a river, are conversing on the internet because that is how we do it in the 21st Century. This is how we commiserate, negotiate, commune, get it off our chest, so that we can move forward.

After all, that’s life. Saaaaan-yo!

Poem for an Autumn Day

I should not be wandering the house aimlessly
When there is so much to do
And the toddler is napping.
But I don’t know where to start.
I’m too tired from cuddling
the little fusspot with the stuffy nose.
The fourteen year old is sick, too.
But I made him go to school today
Because yesterday, he lay listlessly,
chanted a mantra of
I’m booooored. Soooo bored.
Til I couldn’t take it anymore.
Then the middle child,
The one who presents
Very differently when he’s sick
Came home and announced
What a good day he had.
My immediate thought –
He must be coming down with it, too.

I wander aimlessly, wanting to write,
Looking at the spots on the kitchen floor,
The dog and cat hair collecting along the baseboards
And turn around to the room I won’t see them in,
Nor the dishes.

I look at the computer
And distinctly feel I cannot write.
I have no brain.
What is this stiff ache along the back of my neck
Moving up into my ears?

I can’t get sick.
They all need me.
The laundry needs me.
The baseboards need me.
The baby, the preteen, the teen
All need me.

I can’t get sick.
The writing needs me.
But I wander aimlessly,
My face feeling flush.
Maybe I’ll go walk the dog.

Or maybe I’ll just sit back down.
Through the window,
The sky is grey.
The leaves flutter in the wind.
The world is awash in lesser hues,
As the strong rains
Approach from the west
Just out of reach.

Ah fall….

I took these at dusk last night. First I forgot to set the camera for no flash, but I kind of like the contrast and it makes the leaves stand out better.

No, it’s not as brilliant as when I lived the majority of my life in New England, but here in the Coastal Plains of Virginia, I look for it in every little way I can. I am beginning to appreciate that autumn starts later and lasts longer here, too. Our first Thanksgiving, Honey wore shorts, and I didn’t wear a sweater. Seemed like blasphemy then.
Now I find it’s subtler beauties in little moments like this one. No, not a flaming tree full of yellow or red, but the slow dying of the leaves fluttering individually from the tree. A birch in my old Massachusetts town would be long bare by now. Not this one. And it’s mine. This is home now.

to write in the midst of it all

Creative Construction is a great site for mothers who are trying to juggle being an artist of any form with being a mother and the demands of working or SAHMing or wherever you are on that spectrum. It has been instrumental for me in getting started back to writing anything again after a huge dry spell period in which I had a myriad of other things going on. I realized that what I needed to do regardless of being in the midst of – you guessed it – Life, that what I needed more than anything was to write.

First I read and commented on others’ posts . Then I started posting some blogs periodically there, then I found my way back to a huge old project, which is now a completed first draft of a middle reader novel with a scientific hole in the middle. Then I started writing this blog, because I was drained re: the novel, but recognized I still very much needed to stay in the habit of writing. I seriously suggest that if you feel even the slightest notion to be creative in the midst of everything, to go there, to do it, to let go of the things in life that will be there anyway regardless of whether or not you take an hour for yourself, or even ten minutes, and do what you love.

I am now feeling like I could go back in and take a look at what is missing and try to at least hobble something together out of the void, with all my little research materials. And what I don’t know, I can fake well enough that I can send this out to agents, etc and if I get a contract out of it, I can ask for assistance from contacts they may have to clarify what I would like to have in better detail. I think I can do that now. It’s been a good couple of months since I closed the last chapter and sent it out to a couple of trusted readers. They’ve returned it well-marked, but also with kudos that I wrote a good story that really should see print, and not just because they are friends of mine, but because they are serious readers and know a good story when they see it.

So, as soon as C goes down for her nap, and I get that next batch of laundry in, and something resembling a meal in front of me, I will creak open the slightly rusty manuscript and give it a go.

What is your dream of what you want to be doing outside of your daily norm? If you still don’t know…hang out over at CC for a while. You will likely find it there.

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