In the midst of a whirlwind week, I got to be Mom again.
The call came just as I was about to head to bed at 7:45 on Wednesday. Three days and I was wiped out.
“Mom, I’m sick.”
She didn’t ask me to go riding to the rescue, but there was something in her voice. So, off I went to check this “sick kid” out.
Not sure if it was food poisoning or just a bug, but she was sick, sick, sick. When I got to her place one look and I knew she couldn’t stay there alone, so she came home with me.
When I left the house, I could barely keep my eyes open. But once she was home with me, things changed. For the first time in a long time, my baby girl needed me. So I held her and rocked her and told her it would be okay. And it was.
Today she’s back to normal. I’m glad she’s not sick anymore, but it was kind of nice being that Mom again.
When DD moved to Huntsville to go to school, I spent weeks staring at the ceiling in my bedroom worrying about her.
What a difference three years makes.
Then, I looked at her and saw a kid. Today, I see a young woman.
She moved home after a year, and I was thrilled.
In February she moved out, and I was thrilled. 🙂
The first thing she did when moving home was get a job at the local Starbucks. She was promoted to shift manager this month.
She’s always marched to the beat of a different drum. You can see that in all the blog posts over the years. She’s an artist and an only child and, I’ll admit it, I spoiled her. We both paid the price for that, but it all worked out okay.
I’m so proud of the young woman I see today. She’s still finding her way, but I don’t spend hours staring at the ceiling worrying these days. It’s not that the worry isn’t there. It’s more I know she’s grown into a responsible person who makes solid choices.
I’m proud of her, and I can’t wait to see the future holds.
Yes Mom. We’re going to see Harry Potter.
No Mom. We’re not going to hell.
Yes Mom, I do believe it’s one of the best series ever written and no I don’t believe in Hogwarts, Dumbledore or Harry. But I do like to pretend, even though I’m quickly moving in on middle age.
Imagination. Is. Not. A. Bad. Thing.
And if I really want to go there:
Harry Potter is the ultimate story of good vs. evil. Think Star Wars meets King Arthur meets Narnia. Most biblical scholars say there are definite allegorical references throughout the books. Good vs. evil is a staple of fairy tales from the beginning of time. Remember how schools across the nation banned Cinderella for her anti-stepmother ideology and we laughed at the idiocy?
And while we’re at it. Rock and Roll will not damn your soul.
PS: the movie was awesome. Best so far. But still nowhere near as good as the book. I wanna write like Rowling!
As I sit here watching Survivor 1 after watching Brat Camp I’ve come to a realization…ta da….I watch way too much television.
That’s got to change if I’m going to get anything written this school year. I don’t know what I’m going to give up, but something’s gotta go. A bunch of somethings. 😦
I read too much. I really hate those words, but they’re true. I’m going to limit my reading to Y time from now on. It’s going to be tough, but it’s got to be done.
On a different note, I left The Pregnancy Test at my grandma’s on accident and my mom read it. (Shock! My mom quit reading anything but inspirational a long time ago)
Anyway she read it and loved it. YAY Susan Gable. Well done.
She’s also reading Deborah Smith and has asked for my keepers. Not a problem. I’ve got them all.
And finally, Paula G from eHarlequin sold to INtrigue today. Woo Hoo!!!!
DD’s gone to camp. She’s not having fun. DH says it’s all my fault.
See DD and I hang out a lot together.
It’s not like we’re best friends; I’m definitely Mom.
But I teach at her school. She’s in my program. We just do a lot of the same stuff, including write.
Dh says I’ve kept her too close to my side. 😦
I’ve never thought of that as being a bad thing.
Now I’m having one of those God, I hope I haven’t messed up my kid’s brain moments.
Motherhood is sooooo not easy.
DD took off for summer camp this week. I don’t know why I’m so bummed about it. She’ll have a good time. I’ll have peace and quiet. What’s not to be excited about?
My website is up and running. www. marybethlee.com
It was exciting to put together but super time-consuming. I don’t have info about my books on it. For now my thought is the people who need the info have the info. Once I get The Call, that’ll change. 🙂
I stayed with my mom for her final steroid shot in her back. (ICK!) She told everyone I was going to be famous one day. I love my mom. She has absolute faith in me. I hope I have that same kind of faith in my daughter. I don’t right now. I’m always worried about whether she’ll make the grade, have fun, develop people skills. You name it, I worry. (See first paragraph of today’s blog)
I want that to change.
Maybe with time it will.
I started to write an article today about how rejection was rejection and it didn’t matter if it was positive or a form rejection. it was still a no thanks. But then I changed my mind. My last rejection definitely gave me some direction. I’m not going to spend time deciphering rejection, but I guess there’s definitely a positive spin. And the worst, the rejection of revised requested fulls, well that just sucks. 🙂
Definitely not enough there for an entire article. 🙂
Haven’t written yet today and suddenly see problem with multiple projects. You open Word and wonder what should I work on?
ACK! Summer’s over half over. I don’t have time for that question!
My next villain is going to be a weatherman. I swear!
Day before they were all freakin’ out. Keep your eyes to the sky. Don’t go anywhere without your weather radios on. Major tornado outbreak expected.
Now I’ve grown up around this stuff and I’ve never heard them act like this except ONE time, and that time a tornado ten miles wide nearly wiped out the south side of our town. They still use footage of it to compare to the massive Moore, OK tornado from a few years ago.
Anyway, so we kept the TV on the WeatherChannel. No biggee. DH watches the WeatherChannel like I watch Desperate Housewives. He even has his favorite weathercasters. Right now he likes Jennifer Lopez. I’m not sure if it’s because of her name or the fact that she just might be the only woman on the Weather Channel NOT pregnant. (I don’t know what they put in their water. And yes, I know, Mom, the water doesn’t do it! Hel-lo I’m a romance writer for Pete’s sake.)
So we keep the Weather Channel on and NOTHING happens except it gets hotter than heck out side. Heat Index hit 110. Not fun.
So then yesterday hits and all the weathermen are breathing a huge sigh of relief, no chance for rain. Clear skies, hot temperatures. We dodged the big bullet.
Will someone please explain to me WHY I ended up driving through huge hail, massive winds, horrible rain, and a wall cloud with cloud to ground lightning to get supper to my parents house 15 minutes away? When I left the house there was nothing out there and no one expected anything either.
Some of my earliest memories center on the television. Fame. 21 Jump Street. TGiF. Dallas. Miami Vice.
The one and only time I ever heard my mother cuss was while we were sitting around the TV watching Dallas. Momma looked at Daddy and said, “That Sue Ellen is such a B****”
I was floored. My mother just shrugged and said sometimes you couldn’t describe a person with any other word.
As I got older I definitely understood what she meant, but my nine-year-old brain was just afraid she was going to burn in hell.
I know I waste a lot of time watching TV. I tell myself it’s an exercise in quality writing. I mean anything that can bring out the kind of passion that makes my mother cuss is something special. 🙂 I watch for hooks, for story lines, for characterization. Heck I watch Desperate Housewives for sheer fun. Tonight after DW, I planned on writing. Instead I watched Grey’s Anatomy. I love the show. I excuse watching it by saying the theme is so well developed for each episode, that the characters sparkle, that the writing eclipses a lot of what’s out there.
But then since I watch Survivor and Amazing Race with the zeal of a reality TV addict, I know there’s a good chance I’d watch the show just because.
I know TV’s taking up too much of my time. It’s eating away at my writing schedule and I’m letting it.
So that’s got to change.
You can’t get published if you don’t write. I keep telling myself that while I’m flipping through the 121 cable TV stations I now have.
I need to remember how to put down the remote. I need to remember how to hit the off button. I need to remember the joy of creating my own characters, my own stories, my own themes that run through entire books.
I can’t get back the minutes I lose. They’re gone.
And memories of a great TV show aren’t going to offer a lot of comfort if I still have a load of unpublished manuscripts sitting in my desk and the beginning of a new work on my computer by the end of this school year.
The clock’s ticking. I better get busy.
Back in the day…
Rebellion was my middle name. It wasn’t fun, but I sure did wrap the emotion around my shoulders and shove it in my mother’s face every chance I got. Not my dad’s. Just my mom’s. I don’t know if it’s because I’d heard the stories of my dad’s youth and didn’t want him to relive those days or if it was just because my mom spent more time at home. Probably the latter.
Somehow we made it through those rough teen years.
But for some reason that tug of rebellion stuck with me. I can’t count the number of times my mother’s been on the phone with me, simply discussing, and I’ve turned it into an argument. Usually the topic deals with religion. Sometimes it’s Harry Potter. 🙂
She thinks he’s all about real witchcraft, I think he’s fun and fiction. (Just like the prince in my last book.}
Now that I’m closing in on the upper 30s something’s shifted. I don’t want to debate. I can’t change her mind about the stuff we disagree on and she can’t change mine.
And that’s okay.
There. I said it.
My mother does not have to live and breathe by the word of her eldest. She can have her own opinions, her own beliefs, her own code of conduct.
And just because we’re different doesn’t mean I’m going to burn in Hell. 🙂
What exactly does all this have to do with my writing?
It goes way back. For the last five years I’ve avoided writing an inspirational romance simply because my mother begged me to write one. In my mind, her request was tantamount to embarrassment of my other work. Silly, but then it takes a gal who’s buried her head in books for years a while sometimes to figure out real life.
My new work is an inspirational, but it’s different from most I’ve read. We’ll see where it goes. Today in the shower another idea popped in my brain. Another inspirational. Both are dark, gritty books. But I’m going to have a good time writing them. And then I’m going to go back and write the inspirational I avoided writing for five years just because my 18-yr-old self from long ago kept whispering that I didn’t really want to write a book about God when I wasn’t even sure what I thought about God. Not that I didn’t like Him or appreciate Him, but that I didn’t get Him. Silly me. There was nothing really to get. I just had to accept that He’s there and go on about my business.
I wish I would’ve figured all this out 18 years ago, but I didn’t. Since I can’t change the past, I’m going to let it go.
And tonight when I write, I’m going to say a quick thanks to my mom and God.
I’ll never forget my last true temper tantrum. It was horrible and loud and angry and at the end I got smacked by my mom and a talkin’ to by my grandma.
The smack from my mom wasn’t the last.
The talkin’ to was.
This was the day and age of feathered bangs and bright blue eyeshadow. The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders were my heroes. I wanted to be JUST LIKE THEM, (or maybe, if not them Miss Arkansas or Miss Texas) even though I couldn’t do a cartwheel to save my life and my somersault was, let’s just say, SCARY!
The Oklahoma summer was in full hundred degree plus bloom and my grandma had decided to have a garage sale.
It was my first garage sale.
It was NOT FUN.
And my mom gave me the feathered haircut by putting my hair up in a ponytail and, snip, it was gone.
I don’t remember what set the tantrum off. I don’t remember what was said. But I do remember what happened afterwards. And I’m not talking about the smack. I needed a lot more of those before I was done growing up.
My grandma, the sweetest, kindest, most Godly woman I’ve ever known, sat me down and we had a little talk about anger.
Seems my anger issues weren’t the first she’d seen. She’d had a few herself.
I about died. The only time I ever saw her angry was when she and Grandpa would have their “moments” at the lunch table.
She gave me some advice and even though I didn’t use it right away, I did eventually.
She told me that day that the only way I would ever get past the anger was to work at finding peace every day. She said my mouth was a bad habit. She was right.
The last three years I’ve been reliving the mouth stage, only instead of the one saying the words, I’m getting to hear them. Today I shared my grandmother’s advice with my daughter. Times are different now, and I might ought to use the old smack technique, but I can’t do it. But grandma’s advice was some of the best I’d ever been given. I don’t know why it took me so long to share it with my daughter.
I gave four workshops this weekend at our state journalism conference. In three of those conferences I said something I absolutely believe even though it sounds so exaggerated.
High school journalists are so incredibly important to their campuses. They ARE the voice of their entire student body. They are the record keepers for the year. More and more, we’re seeing student voices quashed. In this day of zero tolerance and random drug testing, rights are taken away from kids on a regular basis and slowly but surely they’re beginning to NOT CARE. What happens next? WHat about when they’re in charge of upholding a constitution they no longer understand? It’s a scary world out there. I’m going to do my part to make sure my students understand the dangers in this type of thinking.
I’m participating in a BIAW this week. Hope it goes well.