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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Three things

First thing. I wandered back into denial about my dad being dead.  Just been hanging in a place where I’ve been comfortably numb.  Now while I did cry at every holiday-related event from Halloween through New Year’s, it was not a loud, unattractive sobbing, but simply a weeping (most of the time).  I lost it a bit at the youth group retreat because the giant bear in the lobby had the same ribbon that I had picked for my father’s Christmas decoration at the cemetery.  And we had to drive through the scene of his accident on the sixth month-iversary to get home.  But I was in a car with my son, his friend, and my pastor, so I kept it quiet and muffled.  Then tonight at the annual meeting at church I really read the annual reports.  There in the pastor’s report, the funerals he presided over.  And my dad’s name in black and white. Huge ugly sobbing crying all the way home (like the littlest piggy).  Thankfully, the boys went with Hubby to Poppop’s house after the meeting so they didn’t see or hear me crying about Bearpaw.

Second thing. Ahhhhhhhhhh…that’s me exhaling.  I quit my job three weeks ago and started my new job the very next week.  Such a wonderful difference.  I truly miss the people from department at my old job and the pirates, but ahhhhhhhhhhhh.  I spend my days now working with words and it is lovely.  It is quiet.  It is focused.  There’s a snack table.  Hubby made banana bread the other day for the table and it was gone by 11am.  Someone brought in bagels this morning. And there are Girl Scout cookies everywhere.  And I work with words all day.  I can get my geek on and it’s cool, because everyone is doing the same.

Third thing.  I wrote a post for my blog.  And it feels so good to be writing again.  I haven’t enjoyed writing for about a year.  I missed it and I was angry about that.  But by the time I got home each night I didn’t have any freakin’ energy.  My blood pressure was up, I’ve got about 60 pounds to lose, and I was just angry all the time when I got home from work.  I barely had time and energy for real interactions with my family.  I certainly didn’t want to write anything down.  And now I do.

Three things.

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Adopted #3 Son asked me recently why I don’t write a book or a story. I don’t think he intended it as an explicit challenge, but perhaps an ulterior motive did exist to kick me in the ass to do something more productive with my copious free time. I chewed it over for a couple of days. I write this blog…when time and life permits. And isn’t that bullshit. If I wanted to, I would find the time every day to write a new post. Am I such a slacker? Yep. And here I am, owning up to it.

Still, writing a book, a story. Could I do it? Don’t know. But this evening I started a free write to try it. It was fun. I don’t know if I could sustain the topic I wrote about this evening, but I have to start somewhere and see how it goes. Here’s the problem…and this is often the problem with writing a post. I feel an unbelievable amount of pressure to not have errors since I run a writing lab. So this evening, I gave myself permission to do what I tell the students to do-WRITE. Don’t edit, revise, etc. Just WRITE. And I had fun writing. We’ll see where it goes. We’ll see if I can be as dedicated as Uncle Stevie and write every day.

But will I be letting Tom Hanks down? In Nothing in Common, he says to the students on the tour…”I love advertising. It’s what I do. I don’t have the Great American Novel hidden in my desk drawer….” Or am I more like Kevin Bacon in She’s Having a Baby…in advertising but really writing a book? I suppose since I run a writing lab, writing in my spare time isn’t wrong. It’s not a cheat. It is what I do.

Perhaps, just perhaps, that’s what I’ve been looking for. The missing thing. Maybe I’m a writer who forgot to write? This will be fun to watch. And write about. And I’m not even going to proofread this post. I’m just gonna let it stand. I simply wrote.

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Last night during dinner, I asked my youngest about school.  He quickly shared that he had to write a story but he was not sure how because he missed most of writing when he went to speech.   I asked him what he did remember about the story.  He said it needed to have a middle, a beginning, and an end.  I asked if it was possibly a story with a beginning, middle, and end to which he replied, “Yes, that’s it!”

Well, older brother could no longer contain himself.  He had to chime in with his two cents.  He proudly declared that he writes stories with FIVE paragraphs.  He asked his brother if he was going to start his story with a “grabber-you know, to grab your audience’s attention?”  I calmly reminded him that his brother is in first grade and at the moment, the class was focusing on beginning, middle, and end.

My oldest son then asked, with attitude oozing and dripping from his entire being, if I even know what a grabber is and how to use it in a story.

I gently asked him if he remembered that my job is managing a writing lab at a university.  He quickly remembered and acquiesced that I might, in fact, understand the concept of a grabber.  I then told him I hope one day he graduates from the “classic five paragraph essay” because there are so many wonderful ways to write.

It was another rough night for the oldest son.  My youngest received the lion’s share of my time.  We brainstormed some ideas for his story.  He says he doesn’t finish his writing at school because he spends all his time thinking of what to write.  Now he has a plan for the story and he decorated his list with Sponge Bob stickers so I know he was pleased with it.  But this took most of the evening because I wanted him to enjoy the process.  We didn’t rush.  We brainstormed at the speed of a six-year-old.

Eight-year-old was crushed.  The evening was not centered around him.  This has been happening more often and he’s having some trouble with this adjustment of the Mom-time.  Once they were tucked into bed, I called my oldest son out under the guise that he needed to put something in his backpack.  I hoped that would be a boring enough request that my youngest would stay in bed.  Nope, he wandered down the hall about 8 steps behind his big bro.  I shooed him back to bed and called my oldest over for a good old-fashioned Brady Bunch talk.

I asked him why he had been so angry with me all night and he fessed up that he didn’t like so much time going to his brother.  I explained that it wasn’t that I love him any less, but that it was a shift to balance the time between the two of them.  We had a great talk and a lot of hugs.  Then his younger brother came down the hall again.  We three cuddled for a while on the couch and talked about random and wonderful things.  Once they were tucked into bed again, they happily drifted off to sleep.

Yeah, I know a few things.  But with each passing day they think I know less and less.

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Our youngest son loves zombies and mummies and creatures of all sorts.  I’m not sure why he developed an interest in creatures.  I do enjoy the monsters from literature and simply Halloween and ghoulies in general so perhaps he got it from me.  I think I know when his love of the macabre began-the year he would only wear a jack o’ lantern shirt.  Trust me, I look forward to the years of deep discussion and dissection of Uncle Stevie’s books with my youngest son.

Tonight we reviewed the report card.  He did very well. The one area that needs some effort is writing.  But wait…I manage a writing lab, how could this be?   He is my second child and communication has always been more physical for him since his brother is “Verbal” Kint.  Our youngest usually managed to get a word in edgewise by whaling his brother at the opportune moment.  We’ve broken both of their habits.  The oldest has come to realize that his baby brother can, in fact, speak and express his desires, needs, and thoughts.  Our youngest now knows to say excuse me, although more often than not, he simply screams his bother’s, oops, I mean, brother’s name to get his attention.  Baby steps, remember.

So how do I inspire my physical, kinesthetic child to write?  I started by asking him how he feels about writing.  Doesn’t like it.  Why not?  I don’t get enough time.  What do you do with the time you have?  I have to think about what to write and by the time I think of something, time’s up.

We’re creating a “writing ideas” folder for him to bring to school.  Pictures of stuff he likes, places he thinks are interesting, and a list of things to write about to help him come up with ideas.  We talked about how he can write his list of ideas any way he wants to because he can always rearrange the ideas later.  I also told him I know he does his best and that’s what he needs to do.

Then I asked him if he knows how smart he is.  His brother is smart.  There’s no other way to say it, the kid is bright.  I took out some library books today to learn about evolutionary theology to help him as he moves toward accepting Jesus as his savior and getting baptized.  He needs to reconcile the fact that, and I quote, “When Adam would have been made doesn’t line up chronologically with the arrival of the first Homo sapiens.”  That is a big shadow to stand in every day of your life.  So I asked our youngest how smart he is.  He wasn’t sure.

I’ll tell you, this kid is smart too.  He is so mechanically inclined it blows my mind away.  He can design things in his mind and execute them exactly the same way.  He doesn’t need to sketch it out-it’s simply there.  He ponders and comes out with declarations that you don’t expect from a six-year-old and his street smarts are equal to his book smarts.  He watches and observes his older brother and learns from him.  He needs to see this about himself.

I decided to connect this conversation about his “smarts” to his love of zombies.  My hubby likes to chase after them for their “BRAINS”.  I told our youngest he has brains he hasn’t even used yet.  I told him zombies would love his brains.  He smiled from one ear to the other.  Tonight, he spent 30 minutes reading before bed.  He seems very excited about the writing ideas folder.  Ah, zombies inspiring great writing.

What brains do you have that you haven’t used yet?

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