Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mommyhood, Artemis Style...

So I've joined the world of mommyhood, in my own strange little way. We've been nursing a very young kitten the last two weeks. When I say 'young' I mean he was about 8 days old when the farm's handyman found him in the bed of his pick-up truck. This after he'd driven fifty miles through thunderstorms, high winds and hail... yeah, the kitten's a tough one all right. Like any good 80's born girls, we immediately name him Mad Max Rockatansky.

My sister, code name Fenris, had Max for the first few days. Fenris has already raised one cat from just a few days old to adult, and I'm terrified of breaking tiny living things with my Ox-like strength, so she took the first shift. Then Fenris's own baby, Walelu, decided she needed more attention, and got sick in an effort to displace Max from his throne of adorableness. So yours truly has taken over motherhood of the kitten road warrior. Even now he's snoozing on my lap, wedged sideways under the computer so that I have to obsessively wiggle it every two minutes 'just to be sure' he can breath okay... yeah, I'd be one of 'those' moms... the kind who goes in at 2 am and pokes the baby just to see it squirm... But it's been fun. And I am utterly in love with the little guy of course. He's impossible not to adore. Here are some pictures, just to prove it.

See, I wasn't lying. Cutest. Thing. Ever.

Notice the notebook in the background of the one picture, pen sticking out of it. I'm writing... just slowly... around all the cuteness...

Between feeding and everything else that goes with little tiny taters like Mad Max Rockatansky, I've been working on short stories and editing Thornbriar. It's been really hard to resist jumping right to writing a query letter... but I've been a very good girl, and only just started loosely structuring a letter at the end of last week. I've also been working on a couple of WIPs, and have been feeling like I'm getting some good things done with my writing. That said, I'll feel better once I'm querying again. I always feel like I'm stuck in an epic fantasy novel, preparing for a quest whenever I set out to query. But I get antsy until I'm actually on the query road. I'm happiest in the thick of it, rejections and all.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Writing is an Extreme Sport...

So I created a new sport last week. It's called babygate stairboarding. Seriously. I 'housesat' all last week because the rest of the fam was out of town. Aaaaand an alarm clock which was not MY alarm clock, was left with the alarm set... a sure recipe for utter chaos. I'm upstairs, so at first when I woke up and got out of bed, everything seemed normal. But when I went to the bathroom at the top of the stairs, I heard 'the alarm' which sounded like a horrible 'the world is ending, jump ship now' alarm. It also sounded like the security alarm going off and since I'd JUST woken up, never mind the lack of coffee, I panicked.

Anyone who's read my blog for any length of time knows that I'm terrified of fire too, and that doesn't help when there's random alarms going off. SO, I made to run down the stairs, managed to run directly into the baby gate at the top, rather than getting it out of my way. Because I have long finger-toes, my foot got caught up in the wire of the baby gate and I ended up jerking it out of my hand, flipping it flat, with my big, finger-toed foot square on it. And down the stairs we went. To my credit, I stayed upright, surfing the baby gate (have I mentioned that I was wearing a tank top and underwear, I mean really, could it get more epic?) all the way down to where the stairs turn right. It was at that point that the baby gate called it quits. I, of course, continued onward, rolling out into the living room and splattering Round-Headed Cat (she's, well, very round, and subsequently the last to run/first to suffer during episodes of chaos) before I fetched up against a recliner. I was totally uninjured, beyond a little carpet burn, and so was Round-Headed Cat... although she seemed a little more circular and less spherical for an hour or two. And when my head stopped spinning, I realized that the entire thing was WAY FUN. I mean, yeah, it wasn't so good for the old ticker, not at the top of the stairs headed down anyway. But I actually considered the fact that my sled was sitting on the porch, and I was sorely tempted to try another run using it instead of the baby gate... but I didn't. Really, I'm not sure Round-Headed Cat could stand much more excitement, not before breakfast.

Now that I've blathered, I'll get to the point of how writing is an extreme sport. Of course, if you're a writer, you've already probably recognized the whole babygate stairboarding connection. Writing a book is EXACTLY the same, albeit, you normally intend to write a book, unlike my ill-fated trip down the stairs. But you don't always intend to write a book. In fact (just like in my case with the stairboarding) sometimes you were all involved trying to do something entirely unrelated and apart from writing, but shazaam! Suddenly you're on this wild uncontrolled ride and you're not sure what you're doing or how you're doing it, or just how it's going to turn out. And when it's over with, even though you've got a dozen new grey hairs and you'd sell a kidney for some advil, you just can't help looking back at what happened and thinking 'what if we build a really big wooden badger?' and before you know it, you're at the top of the stairs, looking at a blank page again. And I can promise you, even if the next run ends with busted knees and scraped knuckles, no laughter and gut-wrenching defeat, you're going to show up at the top of those stairs again eventually. Because writing is an extreme sport. If everyone did it, it wouldn't be writing. So carry on fellow extreme writers! Fill the world with your attempts at stairboarding and resolve to never turn away from the precipice of 'what if' but instead, to always get a running start before leaping off of it!