Thursday, October 22, 2009

Confessions of a novel mommy

retro mom kids are fine Pictures, Images and Photos

I remember holding my first baby.

That little baby was perfect in every way. Fingers and toes and "oh's" she made with her rosebud lips. I fell in love. We all do. Don't we? I was a mommy.

Mommies and Daddies are different than "Parents." I learned that when I signed the papers warning me the shots she was going to get could KILL her and I had to give MY permission and promise not to sue. Alrighty then.

And then there are the report cards and the cupcake bake offs and the endless reams of papers to sign on time with checks attached and driving here or there and making sure the teeth are brushed and the hair is combed and the shirts are pressed and the child doesn't SMELL. Because... the parenting part is the part we show the world. The product. The thing with our personal I DID THIS, stamp.

I'll admit it. Sometimes I'm a better mommy than a parent. For example: I don't like birthday parties. Enough said.

When I write my novels I'm a good mommy. I coddle and caress. I coo, nurture and coax. I revise and redo. I address the crying and weeping tantrums of my WIP. I am decisive and deliberate. I am always able to comfort my words. And then.....

I have to be a parent. Show it to the world. Send it out on it's very first day of school and hope to god it doesn't fart in class or say "GET YOUR FREAKING HANDS OFF MY STUFF" when someone wants to play with it. I hold my breath. Oh, and let's not forget signing the papers. Oh the papers we will sign, right? The decisions and then... the discipline. The notes that come home:

I just didn't connect with your child.
I'm sorry, you child isn't right for my class.
Your child talks to much. Shut her UP!
Maybe you should have your child see a social worker?
I really love your quirky child! But, ummmm.... perhaps she shouldn't mingle with the other students?

Yeah yeah. It's hard. But there is proof that if we sit at the dinner table with our real children at least five time a week, it makes the parenting easier.

SO... If my analogy is a good one, then I can sit with my WIP (Or even, god help me, my FINISHED work...finished is relative right?) at least five times a week, then parenting my novel will be easier too.

Right? Write? Right? What do YOU think?

26 comments:

  1. Fabulous analogy. Right. Write. Right. And Write!!!!
    Karen

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  2. Super appropriate analogy...and I don't like birthday parties either!

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  3. Just wondering, do you have any more control over how your novel develops than you do over how your child develops? Love the post. Thanks.

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  4. I've never been big on the whole "novel as child" analogy. I don't get nearly as attached to my writings as I am to, say, my dogs. I love being in my fictional worlds, watching my characters live out this whole "life" in front of me (and throwing things at them to see what they'll do), but in the end, I'm happy to move on to the next one.

    I think that's because for me, it's the process of discovering the story and characters that I really love. Once it's written, I've already gotten what I need out of it. When I put it out there, some people will like it, some people won't. And that's okay with me. Because I'm busy working on the next one, and enjoying the discovery process all over again.

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  5. Rae: Thanks :) I added your blog to my blogroll

    Karen!: You are always too nice.

    Loretta: I am glad I have another mother in agreement on that!

    Sharon: I've always been holistic about parenting. I feel like I need to help nurture what's already in there... you know? Hairdresser, football player, pole dancer (WHAT?)... I know. Just happy, whole people who enjoy the stories they wander around in. So, I guess... I don't have any more control over one or the other! I think I mommy both the same way! ;) GREAT COMMENT!

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  6. Jaime: I'm coming over to YOUR house. Much better when we can let them go.... those rascals!

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  7. You are a good novel mommie. And yes--I hate birthday parties too!

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  8. You're absolutely write. Lots of nurturing and time required.

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  9. The analogy works beautifully, and that's what hurts too.

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  10. Hahaha! It would be just like my WIP to fart in class. Or to pinch someone...or swear at a teacher.

    Love the analogy! Right, write, right!

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  11. This is a great analogy. I've never really thought that mommies are different than parents. And it applies to writing so well. Cuz sometimes you have to eat your offspring. *wink*

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  12. Great analogy. I think I'm a better mommy than parent too.

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  13. Although I don't have children, I can still understand what you mean about your novel. I had to give up the rights for mine a while ago for a contest, and I was incredibly nervous about what my baby might do when I wasn't around.

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  14. I get this analogy. I just sometimes wish I could adopt out my WIP to someone else. =P

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  15. I pour time into anything that I write. I completely understand where you are coming from!

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  16. I apologize for my abrupt departure. Please see my blog for explaination. thnx

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  17. I love the analogy. I am a sucker for a good analogy :) Parenting the book... yeah. I knooooww! Mine is still having a fit about having to go into the wide world without me. I tell it I will be back to collect it later. But...to no avail. Perhaps we are both still a little scared? :)

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  18. Ok, so this is the third time this week my comments haven't "stuck" on someone's blog. I posted to you earlier that I love the "notes that come home." Brilliant!

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  19. Yes... those notes that come home... sigh. Actually, this helps with perspective because it hurts a little more when its your actual child receiving notes home. Wow. Perspective. I still have it. Who knew? Still, the other notes hurt too, but you don't generally want to go down to the agents office and rip their vocal chords out while saying, "Do you have any idea how special my child is? NO! You don't, you little weasel."

    Maybe that's just me, though.

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  20. The first time I sent something out for consideration, I turned around wrote an essay about how I felt like a mom letting my only child go out in the world for the first time. It's excruciating sometimes. Parent vs. Mom? Fantastic analogy.

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  21. Ha! I'm sorry your child isn't right for my class! Too funny!

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  22. I'm new to your blog today and I just had to say AMEN! It's funny because it's true. It was hard to send my kindergartner to school and it's almost as hard to send my manuscript out into the world.

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  23. Love this post!
    Mine does fart in class. I've caught him! Not sure what to do about the smell...

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  24. I'm a regular deer in headlights on both accounts.

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