Monday, November 12, 2018

Hmm. Now why don't she write?

Yeah. It's been a bit.

Here's why.


I had it.

I'm still recovering.

I spent a week sick. I went to the doctor who sent me to the hospital for nearly another week. I came home and was barely able to move for falling asleep.

It's hard to explain how it feels to be so weak. How it feels to tell my daughter that mommy can't right now and needs to nap. The fear in her eyes as she saw me in the hospital. I'm still not back at 100%, I'd say I was about back to 70%.

What else is going on.

My oldest niece got married.
The less said the better.
The ceremony was beautiful. The reception was not.
And I'm looking at my oldest niece and wondering what became of the little girl I adored. In her place is this bridezilla who managed to hand out emotional gut-punches at her wedding the way I handed out Milky-ways on halloween.

Since then I invited her to Thanksgiving to try to set a new tone to our relationship. I have since been ghosted. No answer. No response to my many queries. So I'm assuming she and her new husband won't be here. After a long talk with my husband I realized that I don't miss the person I just saw--I miss the one who I watched grow.  And to be honest, I'll be missing her father, mother, and sister--my youngest niece who has a good head on her shoulders, kindness in abundance, and a boyfriend who appreciates both--more than I will miss the older one. But family shifts are like earthquakes and they aren't fun.

More later--the 70% is almost up.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Where I rage

"They weren't killed with guns but with hate. Well now I have hate!"
--Maria, West Side Story.

I forgive the author of my #MeToo moment because he changed. He changed into someone who could never do that again. But the person has changed and this jerk didn't.

I was the same age as Dr. Ford.

So when Senator Collins said that she didn't believe her and voted this prick bastard onto the Supreme Court. I raged.

I am still raging.

An open letter to Senator Collins,

I hope they haunt you.
The women who will die because of your vote.
Not only the women who will die when Roe is overturned.
Not only them.

But the woman who was raped and was told, by you, by your vote that if she comes forward no one will believe her.
Some will die inside as they hide away from the world.
Some will die because you have given people the idea that rape is somehow a woman's fault and they will commit suicide.
Some will die because they don't go to the hospital because you told them they will not be believed.    You told them that they will be laughed at. Not only that but it is all right that they are laughed at. I hope those women haunt you.

I hope you see their faces, white, brown, Asian, when you try to fall asleep and you can't.
I hope you hear their screams in your nightmares.
I hope you don't sleep.

I hope you know that because of you, that part of them have died.
I hope you get that.
I hope you suffer with this choice.

Moreover I hope you do not retire in 2020 and you get voted out on your ass.

I hope you don't suffer alone.
I wish the same on Senators Flake, Graham, and Grassley. I would wish it on McConnell but I don't believe he has a soul to be tormented.

I believe you do. And I hope you do. I hope you live a long life so you see what your actions have wrought. I hope you feel remorse then.

Until then, I hope you suffer as we are suffering now.

Monday, October 1, 2018

I'm still here

Shit--not since August?

I've been writing.

A lot.

I got a new idea and I'm 10,000 words into the novel.

I'm revising the other novel.

And I don't always have time to do what I want to do with writing.

I'm also tutoring. More in another post. I'm job hunting and trying to find something full-time or at least part time to help us with the bills.

My daughter started first grade.
My father is 91.
My niece is getting married. Yep. To him. In a month.

I'm disgusted by what is going on in the senate and seriously considering looking for a job in another country to move us to that other country. Even as I meet new people as part of my child's school community and set down more roots. I am scared.

And that's about it. We're all caught up.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Writer's Digest Conference 2018--things that I learned


What a weekend I had!

I went to the Writer's Digest Conference.
I was surrounded by writers.
I was surrounded by people who create.
I saw someone having a spirited conversation with herself. She saw me staring at her and she said, "I'm having a disagreement with my main character." and walked off.
I totally understand this.

I learned that other writers are not my competition. Nor am I theirs.
I don't read just one writer in any genre. Why should I assume my readers will? There is room for all of us on the bookshelf. (and if there isn't--we just build more shelves.)

I learned that if you are a female writer, you are not given as many chances to succeed as a male writer. Not nice--but it seems to be true. Women are more likely to be told to stop writing where men are told to write something else. (It was a fantastic discussion after one of the breakout sessions.)

I learned that there are many different opinions about writing a character who is not your race and culture. All of the opinions are valid. For myself, I know I could never write a story like The Hate You Give or Children of Blood and Bone. I couldn't.

That being said, no one else could write the story I'm writing with Shawn, a young black man as one of the ensemble characters, because I know Shawn. I hear his voice in my head clearly and I can't change his race or one thing about him. I will be getting (more) sensitivity reads, but he is who he is.

If we limit ourselves to what we know, we don't grow. Not as authors, not as readers. That being said there is a fine line between admiration and appropriation. Staying on one side of the line is safer. But don't bust through the line like a winning runner breaking through the tape. That isn't winning. The best line about this came in one session--"You can do it--just don't fuck it up."

I learned that for every "rule" you can name a book that successfully breaks the same rule. Which means that I can do--as long as I do it incredibly well.

I learned that stillness is power. On the page between characters  and sitting with agents pitching them. Four out of six want to at least look at my work. Two of them want complete manuscripts. I attribute this to good pitches, and a good story. I also managed to quell my tendency to babble and be still after my pitches--that's when they said--I want to see more.

I also learned I have a lot to do. A lot of writing and growing--but I'm running towards the path--not trudging my way to it. And That has more to do with the people I met there!

Thanks Writers Digest for an amazing conference!

To all who have come here from my twitter link--welcome! So glad to see you! Let's write the next chapter, shall we?

Monday, July 23, 2018

Finishing the hat- Microblog Monday

Yeah, I've been quite for a month.

I had to finish the hat.

My novel which is technically the second in a series but I hope will be published first is finished.

Well except for the rewriting.
And I'll be sending it to agents.
And I had to finish the hat.

I had to hide from my daughter, my husband, my father, my friends.
I hated it. I wanted to go out into the sunlight.
I wanted to hug my daughter--and I did--and then I told her "Go play."
I talked over the story with my husband. I woke in the middle of the night to work on it. I worked on it deep into the dark hours.
My schedule is all fucked up.
I finished it.
I have done more research.
I have to tweak it. I have to get it more ready. I have to edit it.

But the first draft is done.
And it's beautiful. Warts and all. Typos and all. Mistakes that make the editor part of me cringe and all.

People don't understand.
Sondheim, in Sunday in the Park with George understood and put it into words.

Look I made a hat!
Where there never was a hat!

More to come

Monday, June 18, 2018

Children do not belong in cages

When I was little I watched this miniseries called Masada.
If you can find it it is good to watch.
It starred Peter O'Toole and Peter Strauss.

There is a line in it where Peter O' Toole, as Flavius Silva screams "This is not Rome!"

This is not America.

This is not who we are.
This is not who we should be.

Children do not belong in cages.

Children do not belong in concentration camps.

This is not who we are.
Or, I should say, this is not who we should be.

People are saying this is right. If you see a child in a cage and your question is about their immigration status, you have a moral problem.

If you are not calling your representatives and telling them that this is disgusting--then do so now.

I always wondered why I would have done during World War 2. I mean I'm jewish, I would have died. But would I have died fighting?  I don't know.

But I have a daughter who does not look like me. I keep her COC (Certificate of Citizenship) on me at all times when we leave the house. D. keeps her passport card in his wallet. I am scared that someone will say she's not a citizen. I am scared that they might revoke her citizenship.  I am scared.

But this is my daughter. This is my country. I will use my voice.

Will you raise yours?

Oh, and Flint, Michigan still doesn't have clean water.
There is a large percentage of Puerto Rico without power.

Monday, June 4, 2018

What I learned - Microblog Monday

Sorry for the radio silence.

I was trying like crazy to finish my book before the writing conference this weekend.
I didn't.
I'm about 6000 words out--a little more because the conference made me see a glaring error that I did two chapters ago and I have to fix now.

One of the breakout sessions I took was about storytelling--oral and written.

We were to write about times in our life when we needed help.

This is what I wrote.

My goddaughter turned one.

A year after her mother's four-day labor. A year after my eyes caught my husband's as I held her. We went home and cheerily threw out the birth control pills We joyfully went about the business of adding to our family. It would be easy, right, I mean I'd spent so long hearing that it only takes one time. It had been a year full of periods that were always on-time. I wasn't worried-much.

My goddaughter turned three.

Three years of hearing "great news!" from my friends until we were the only ones of our group who wanted a chid and were without. Three years of worry and once a month depression. Two years after sitting in a doctor's office answering aseptic intimate questions and hormone shots that made me question my sanity and reason for living.

My goddaughter turned six.

A year after we started the process to "Just Adopt." Social worker--a lovely one who would become our advocate--came to our house to decide if we were worthy to parent. We had to ask our friends to write us recommendations. We had to ask other people to help us become parents. No one else seemed to have this trouble. I had been losing friends who told me horrible things. Some forever.

My goddaughter turned eight.

No one invites us to baby showers anymore--nor should they. Mother's Day has become a landmine of epic proportions. After waiting to adopt for three years and realizing it could be another three we decide to try IVF. It doesn't work.

My goddaughter turned ten.

People tell us to get out of the line for China. We say no--that's where she is.  We've been waiting for five years, We see ourselves getting closer. But the wait is still so long. We renew our paperwork and pray.

My goddaughter turned thirteen.

She joyfully swings my daughter in her arms. My goddaughter laughed and my beautiful little girl giggles the way only a one-year-old can with her whole body.  After the laughter my daughter reaches for me.
My goddaughter gives me boxes of her old clothes, that her mother saved for me. Her mother, my heart-sister never doubted that we would watch our two children playing together.
Our child lights up our world and, even today, I don't know that the joy would be as much without the struggle and the help.