Friday, January 25, 2013

Writing Projects

I have three different writing projects I'm working on right now and I am enjoying myself immensely.

You know those scenes in detective shows where the genius detective looks at the crime scene and he can just "see" how it all fits together and then wows and amazes the police force?

That's how I feel sometimes when I'm revising my writing and the writing of others. Like it's all a Rubik's cube and I'm one of those people who can see all the answers.

My primary project I'm working on is my Song of Three Manuscript. I was a little stuck for a while, but then I purchased fancy pens, highlighters, post-its, and a cute 3-ring binder to put the hard copy in. Then I tentatively opened the binder and started highlighting- I was soon in a happy rhythm!

My second project is actually a book that my father wrote on preaching. He is an incredibly gifted preacher and he teaches preaching classes at the Baptist Seminary. He finished the book a few years ago and now that I am all into revising, I asked him if I could have a go at it. SO MUCH FUN! More highlighting, paragraph moving, and frantic note-writing!

My third project is also for my father. I interviewed my paternal grandmother at Christmas about my father's birth. He was an Rh Factor baby in a time when that was a potential death sentence for a baby and possibly the mother. His survival was a miracle and for his 60th birthday this year, I am going to write it all out for him.

Can you relate to this? When you write or revise, do you sometimes hear the angels singing and your heart pitter-pattering joyously? Or do you think I'm a little crazy?

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Do you know what the worst part of being a new parent is?


I wasn’t a fearful person before I had Bennett. I always figured that the worst that could happen to me would be dying, and if I died, there would be some sad people, sure, and I wouldn’t want to be them, but I would have lived my life well and would have had no regrets. I would wake up in heaven and be with Jesus and all would be well.

Now I have a new worst fear: That Bennett will die and that it will be ALL MY FAULT. Every time I hear about a parent whose kid died in some terrible, preventable way (which has been a lot this week, for some reason), I just know I’m going to be next. At night, I wake up and stare at him while he sleeps just to make sure he is still breathing. Having his car seat turned away from me makes me crazy because I can’t see his face; I just have to believe that I really did strap him in there and put him in safely before I started driving. I have actually pulled over and stopped the car to double-check that he is breathing.

I have read too many articles on the internet from/about moms whose babies died and it just makes me crazy. I just KNOW I will be the mom who lets furniture fall on her baby or leaves him in the car or drives over him in the driveway or puts his car seat on the top of the shopping cart, or (and this makes me super-crazy) something I haven’t even thought of!

And it’s only going to get worse. Eventually, Bennett will go to kindergarten, then elementary school, then middle school, then HIGH SCHOOL. Now I have to worry about shooters coming into his school and traumatizing or killing him. Can’t I just keep him in a giant crate?

My husband in his infinite wisdom reminds me that we don’t actually KNOW anyone who had a child die, so it’s probably quite rare. In fact, the vast majority of us live to adulthood, so the odds are in Bennett’s favor. Somehow it seems like if I can just worry about him enough, nothing bad will happen to him, as if the power of my worry could change the world. It’s illogical and crazy, but then, so is parenting. When do you stop worrying about your child dying? I am concerned that the answer is NEVER.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

We've Got Each Udder...

In high school I was a chorus member in the musical, "Damn Yankees." One scene takes place in "Limbo," a purgatory sort of place where Lola and Joe are banished after they displease "Mr. Applegate" (AKA Lucifer).

Our "Limbo" was not this cool.
As a chorus member, my job was to lurch around in a sort of depressing Congo line leaning on other chorus members as fog swirled around us and the stage was illuminated in red light. It was supposed to be sort of other-worldly, but that effect might have been lost by our cast's inability not to cough and sputter every time we breathed in the fog and our inability to be cool about having to lean against people of the opposite gender. We probably looked less like these cavalier doomed souls wandering through purgatory and more like tuberculosis ridden zombies with a terror of cooties.

Cast Member 1: (whispers)Stop touching me!

Cast Member 2: You stop touching me!
*cough cough*

Cast Member 3: (whispers)The director says we all have to touch each other. But get off my foot!
*cough cough cough*

While we lurched around, Joe and Lola sang a song called, "Two Lost Souls," which contains the brilliant rhymes, "fussin' and us'n" and of course, "rudder, and each udder."

Whenever I think of the word, "Limbo," it reminds me of "Damn Yankees." 

 I'm in Limbo right now. But not necessarily in a bad way. Since Bennett was born 6 months ago, my husband and I have been living in my parent's house while he goes to work during the day and builds our house an hour away during the evenings. This literally leaves me home alone all day with the baby.

On the weekends, we stay in the trailer on our family property and Bennett and I go back and forth between my in-laws house (which is warm and spacious, but not private and has no internet), and the trailer (which is private and has internet, but is cold, grimy, and cramped). 

I love Bennett- he is a lovely baby and I am so grateful for the chance to stay home with him. But I do feel like I'm in Limbo. It's not my house, so even though I'm very welcome with my parents, I can't really do things the way I would do them in my house. I have made friends with other local mommies and have been to MANY playdates- but I don't want to get too attached because once the house is done, I'll be gone. Plus, we are constantly moving back and forth. I dread the weekends because of all the stuff we have to transport back and forth in addition to just the stress of transporting the baby.

My church is an hour away so I can't really get involved there, either. .

I live in a sort of homeless, jobless, baby-loving world.

The good thing is, I have creative energy flowing from my finger-tips. I have everything I ever wanted as far as time and energy are concerned.

So I am trying to use as much time as I can to read and to write and to study writing and to bake and of course, to play with Bennett. It's really a very nice sort of Limbo to be in.

As the song goes, " We ain't fussin'- cuz we got "us'n."
Really? How do lyrics like that even see the light of day?