Monday, October 20, 2008

Throwing in the Mother Towel

"The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love"

That's what I've heard tell about motherhood. However, it had to have been written by a man. And here's why: NO MAN WOULD WANT THE JOB.

From Morning Sickness to being Sick That They Are Not Home By Morning, motherhood is enough to make you blow your brains out on a daily basis. I ask myself: Why me? What did I do wrong? Why is this happening? Why are my kids making me crazy? Why do they not listen unless I am a screaming, frothing at the mouth lunatic?

I have tried to lead by example. I speak respectfully (90% of the time) to my kids even when angry to the point of putting my head through the wall. I knock before entering their rooms. I never open their mail. So is it kid-nature to be whining, moaning, eye-rolling disrespecting globs of human tissue? Well, is it?

I don't know. Maybe I'm just getting old. Maybe my long fuse got shortened when I received my AARP membership card. I don't know. I do know that I talked back to my parents -- I do remember that quite clearly. I also remember I knew my limits -- and if I went past them, was unceremoniously reminded with a smack on the rear end.

I smacked Erin on the rear yesterday. You'd think I'd taken her to the town square, hog tied her and provided the rotten fruit and vegetables for the townsfolk to pitch at her. HUMILIATION, I'm telling you. HUMILIATION. The pain. The torture. And then....AND THEN....I took away her cell phone. How could I? If she comes home after school today and isn't "found dead in a corner", well, it'll be my lucky day.


All I know is that I want to throw in the "mother" towel. I've done it for 19.5 years (including being pregnant). Can't I take a vacation?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Writing According to Lara

Oh, now, don't be thinkin' that you are gonna get some good advice on how to write, how to get a literary agent, or how to get published. Naw. That's on someone else's site who knows what they're doing.

I know why you've come here. You come to commiserate with the bottom of the literary heap, or get a confidence boost as to how far you've come in comparison. I know it, you know it. Let's just get past it, shall we?

No, Batman, I don't know what I'm doing. I see all these people on NaNoWriMo ( with synapses, outlines, notes, research, story boards ... and I think to myself....WHY? I mean why can't I just write and write and write for 30 days, see what I have, keep the good stuff, pitch the bad and fill in the missing pieces? But only if I wanna?

When I was a kid, I wrote and wrote and wrote everyday without NaNo! I had no idea where I was going, what I was doing. I wrote during study hall, I wrote instead of eating at lunch, I wrote when I got home. Then I got up and wrote some more. Did I write for anyone in particular? No. At the time, the only thing I wanted to write about was hockey (Anne will tell you there was a Barnabas Collins/vampire fascination, but let's not complicate my trip down memory lane, ok?) Specifically, the Chicago BlackHawks Hockey Team. ALL MEN! Phil Russell and Dale Talon and Keith Magnuson and Darcy Rota and Danny O'Shea. All I needed to do was create a couple of 20 year old women and I was off to the races. Well, a PG sort of off to the races. But it was hot to me and every 100 handwritten pages or so, I wrote something that sounded like real people having a real conversation in a real place that I created. It was heaven.

So this is how I will approach NaNo for this year. I shall not worry about tomorrow. I will just write and hope I can remember that childhood enthusiasm that sustained me day after day, week after week, month after month, now that I'm older....but perhaps not as wise.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I've gone and done it. Signed up for NaNoWriMo. 50,000 written words in one month. 1 me, 2 jobs, 2 kids, 3 cats, 1 house and 50,000 words.

Of course it IS Anne's birthday month, so time out for the celebration is necessary by taking a lovely Amtrak train to Springfield and drowning ourselves in Abe-lore. This time we are going to make it to the Lincoln Library before it closes. Two years in a row we've tried and 2 years in a row we've failed. The third is a charm.

I have also told myself that I am painfully missing participation in the Thursday Thirteen meme -- so I must add that on the list of to-do's. You know that "exercising" is on that list as well, but somehow never gets accomplished.

I'm gonna work on that.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ultimate Manilow

Last Friday, I was lucky enough to meet someone I've admired for a long time -- Barry Manilow. He was gracious, warm, genuine. Just the way I thought he would be. It was a meet and greet before his Las Vegas show and and I was really a nervous wreck. But his staff was extremely patient and kind and the second I saw him smile and extend a handshake, I knew I wouldn't at least throw up on his shoes.

Afterwards, I sat in the front row of his new show and enjoyed it completely. I know there are people who go to his concerts and can tell you what he sang, how he sang it, what he wore and how he wore it, what he said and how he said it. Frankly, I have no clue....just like I have no clue what I said when I was standing in front of him. All I know is that I sang and cheered and stood and clapped and laughed. I came away happy. I came away happy after I shook his hand and I came away happy after his show.

And really.....what more could we possibly want from anyone??

Thanks again Barry......I know you've made so many people happy. With your time and your talent. It really is magic.