Wildflower day 5: A day in the life

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Woke up late. I knew it was a snow day.

Shoveled the walk before Grandma’s nurse arrived.

Moped in bed. Caught my breath.

Made Sugar lunch. She didn’t want it.

Pouted in bed. Lost a lot of Candy Crush.

Took a shower. Took my measurements. Dismal! Considered weight loss strategies, and how I hate being the girl who considers weight loss strategies. 

Sighed in bed. Read “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

Made dinner. Spaghetti, yet again. It’s snowing and I’m broke so…

Waited for Grandma to remember what she wanted from the kitchen. Corrected and prodded her, though I hated myself for losing my patience.

Found what Grandma wanted in the kitchen. She told me I’d left something in the bathroom. I thought she was losing her words again, but she probably didn’t want to say “panties.”

Got my panties out of the bathroom. Have I mentioned I live with my grandparents?

Tossed laundry in the washer. Worried about getting bleach on the “real clothes” that I put on, thinking they’d give me energy.

Ate in bed: cereal this time.

Put Sugar to bed: rubbed her back as she cried about the field trip.

Did some homework. Feels much like punching a clock, but I have been granted a rent-free grace period to finish. It’s the least I can do, right?

Sat down to blog this.

What’s next? Probably lying in bed unable to sleep.

Wildflower writing challenge

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Let’s get started!

Roses are red and
I won’t get any unless
I buy them myself

I’m single. This sucks. However, I survived my birthday last week and I’ll survive this upcoming day. I usually do something motherly like send cupcakes, so that keeps me busy. Thinking a pedicure is in order too. I’ll also keep affirmations in mind. Paraphrasing from Happy Black Woman, what’s mine is mine. Someone else’s happiness is not taking from my own. There’s enough for everybody.

I might get a little sad about somebody getting an edible arrangement though. Love those things.

Yesterday I Cried: Writing over Winter Break

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Don't look at me! Seriously, I look terrible today.Yesterday, I cried. I wanted to be ALONE. I wanted to WRITE. And I wrote this long-winded draft about the things that were getting in my way, but they boil down to these quotes. Guess which one finally brought me to tears?

  1. “Cincinnati Public Schools are CLOSED.”
  2. “Sorry, we don’t have that in the back, either.”
  3. “You’re cheating! I don’t know how, I just know it!”
  4. “Of course I took a shower! Sniff me!”
  5. “Run the fucking ball!”

My routine is closely connected to the Fiancé’s work hours and Sugar’s school hours. Now I see I haven’t come up with anything for breaks. I am exhausted. I have been wrung dry of all winter break enthusiasm. Please help me. I am at risk of becoming nocturnal. Staying up until my family is asleep is the only way I’ve been able to get any quiet. Nocturnal and college student don’t mix. Nocturnal and attentive parent don’t mix. I’ve been sleeping through SpongeBob marathons most of the weekend.

I have to get myself together. I’m sick of being an aspiring writer. And I’m sick of looking just shy of zombie from the terrible quality sleep I’ve been getting. I woke up like this. People screamed and cried, and I went back inside.

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She had seven children and lived in Cincinnati. Why can’t I be just like her?

I’m disappointed in myself. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin with her kids running around the table. Jack Bickham wrote several books (as well as my favorite how-to book) by putting writing first, literally: getting up to write at 5 am before getting his kids ready and going to work as a journalist. I don’t even have a job. I quit when my RA got severe. but I’m blessed to be able to write. I need to do it every day, even just a little bit. Hell, this blog post is about 300 words. I’m not going to post it until I’ve written my requisite 1k, though.

[Bonus Question: it was 5. Football-related screaming at ten till midnight? I sat here and wept into my hands because punching one’s fiancé is frowned upon.]

I’m not sure I’m writing a romance…

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Everyday with the Facebook statuses...

Don’t you hate a girl whose whole life seems to revolve around her man? Who has nothing else to contribute to any conversation besides what he’s said to her, done for her, or bought for her?

You and me both, and that’s the issue I have with many romances. We get about a page of career talk. A few paragraphs about the aggravating sister and mother whose values clash with those of our protagonist. Maybe we talk about the weather.

Then he shows up. Lightning strikes. The earth moves. Time stops and the very sun dims because it is no match for his dazzling smile and diamond watch. And our lucky protagonist ends up stuck with him somehow, fighting her attraction for some reason, and secretly hoping that someday he’ll love her back.

What does she do in the meantime? Oh, the usual. A lot of lunches with girlfriends where she can talk about him. A few shifts at work where she can drag down productivity and think about him. Ooh, maybe she’ll get fired! More time to spend with him, right? And with all this free time, she can get dressed up and go to a party with him. If all goes well, she’ll be confronted by his bitchy ex, which will dampen her feelings for him, giving us a reason to flip past a silly argument to the makeup sex.

I sound like the worst romance writer ever, don’t I? I don’t even sound like I like romance. I even sound like one of those pretentious individuals who think genre books are beneath them. And I swear I’m not!

I love romance. For the sex, for the fashion, for the fights filled with passion. It is nice to read about those first love experiences. Who doesn’t want to quiver at someone’s touch, to have mind-blowing orgasms and Veuve Cliquot afterward?

The more I think about this, the more I’m convinced that I’m not actually writing a romance. There’s sex, yes. There’s a few conflicts to keep them unsure of one another, and there’s a happily ever after.

There’s also a story arc all about hiring an architect. The backstory is not a few lines about a crazy father or no-good ex. I explore Rey’s issues in detail. I write what I want to read, and I want to read about racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, the usefulness of MFA programs, the difficulty of caring for a sick family member, and the ways we create a narrative for ourselves, picking up identity pieces and discarding what doesn’t fit. I want to talk cognitive dissonance.

This gives me a whole new set of worries, not that I was sick of the old ones or anything. What if I’m just writing a bloated romance? What if romance readers find it too long and women’s fiction fans find it too short? What if, Christ preserve us, I am just a pretentious romance writer? A wannabe novelist swinging too hard and striking out? And what about ask this preliminary research I’ve been doing about marketing a romance? Somebody pour me some Veuve.

I know what I need to do. First, I need to read more. I’ve been downloading romances for the commute, but it’s time to sit down for some focused reading and find out what works and what doesn’t.

That’s where you come in, dear reader. Do you think I’m stressing over nothing? How important is genre distinction? What books should I read if I’m transitioning more to women’s fiction? Please leave a book title in the comments that you think I should read. and whatever else you want to say, of course 🙂

Review: Through the Lens by K.M. Jackson

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In short: buy it!

I liked the characters and their chemistry. It was good to see a woman in a romance whose work wasn’t just a background to her romance, but part of her life. The job of photography is quite interesting. The island and the characters came to life. The hero is handsome and the heroine is pretty and relatable. The love scenes are really good.

The big conflict between the characters didn’t seem as urgent to the heroine as I would have liked, but I did like how sweetly it was resolved.

Apparently, one should disclose these things, so I can tell you I won my copy in a Twitter contest a few months back.

Amazon Link

KM Jackson’s Twitter

Don’t quit your day job

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I always bring my purse with me when I work. I move from building to building, and sometimes I want to hop on the first available bus out. But I’ve learned that “don’t quit your day job” is not an insult to the aspiring author, but an important truth. What’s your day job? Do you ever want to quit? If you did leave, what would you do?