My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A List of When You Know You're a Mother (as if you wouldn't know)

Well, now, here I am. I've missed a few days, my apologies, and I've missed you, too! I just want to start out with a corny list.
You know you're a mother when... (okay, I hate the beginning because, obviously, if you're a mother, you KNOW you're a mother, but bear with me, okay?)
-Your measuring cups are all in the bag of cat food.
-You open the family size jar of peanut butter and find a spoon in it.
-In your underwear drawer, you find that little army men are hiding behind your bras like little war barricades.
-Your make-up CONSTANTLY appears to have been tampered with (like the eyeshadow all broken up!!!) but no one knows ANYTHING about it, of course.
-Your husband leaves for work in the morning, and his last words are something like, "Hang in there, honey."
-Your purse is full of band-aids, syrup of ipecac, nail clippers, and wipes, but you can't find a lipstick to save your life. That is, until you look in your DAUGHTER's purse.
-You grab for hands when you cross the street, whether your children are with you or not.
-You overexplain everything. For example, when someone asks a simple question, you give them the origin of the word, use it in a sentence, then ask them to say it back to you.
-You find your dog closed up in a cardboard 'house' the kids made for him for which he's entirely ungrateful.

Every one of these things happened to me this morning. Truly. I grabbed a STRANGER's hand to cross the street downtown. Of course, I immediately realized my error and dropped it (for which the women seemed very grateful), but still. And it was a wonderful fog delay. I guess the fog was still in my head.

I've been reading all these books about writer's block. The books are very good except I didn't really have writer's block when I began them, but they've kind of talked me into it. They actually made it seem like a very noble thing to have. I'm not so sure.

So I've been writing on my new novel. It's GREAT fun, but I'm not really writing it in order. That's where the writer's block comes in. I never want to write the next thing. I always seem to be fired up about something else which I know will eventually be the next thing, so it's helpful in the end, I'm sure. The chapter I read in one book last night said it was okay to write out of order and patch it together later, so we'll see. I have to read a later chapter to learn the patch together part, according to what I read last night. The interesting thing about this novel for me is that I'm writing two parallel stories, actually, from the point of view of two different characters. Then I plan to weave it all together. I think it will be cool. I heard Ann Brashares speak at a conference (Don't you HAVE to be a ya author if you have a last name like 'Brashares'?), and she said that's the way she wrote her traveling pants books. BTW, she was SO YOUNG. Don't you hate it when people make you feel like you're washed up at 40? Okay, I know no one can MAKE me feel that. (Hear me, Liz?)

I'm anxiously awaiting my prize (hint, hint, Jody) from Jody's poetry contest. I'm so thrilled to have won something I can add to my next query letter. (ha) But seriously, she gives the best prizes, all from thrift stores. I can't wait to see if I get a coconut head or what.

I mentioned earlier that we had another two hour fog delay today. It was a beautiful thing. Two extra hours with the kiddos in the morning. WE had a leisurely breakfast together, everyone left their rooms clean, lots of family time. Only I wish the school would keep them two extra hours in the afternoon. It seems only fair. And my ED went with my husband to Chapel Hill today where he teaches in the dental school (for Take Your Daughter to Work Day) on occasion. So she had to leave at 6:30 this morning with him as my other kids got the news of a two hour fog delay. I'm sure she's having a ball. Who wouldn't want to spend the day on campus at Carolina? Is there a take your wife to work day? Isn't it funny that our work seems so much like WORK, but our husbands' work seems so fun?

Okay, guys. Gotta run. For all of you with writer's block, here's my professional advice: Just Do It. Ooops, I might get sued. Just WRITE it, or write something. Do you think toll booth collectors get 'collecting block'? Push through it, and remember it's teaching you discipline. It's good for you.


Diane said...

I read somewhere that writing anything, anything at all, counts towards eliminating writer's block. Now that I've accepted this as truth, I don't experience writer's block anymore. Whoever wrote that article graciously gave me permission to count emails as writing and you know I've never had trouble writing those!

Loved today's list, BTW!!

Jody said...

Hey Donna, I put your prize in the mail yesterday. So from now on make sure to say you are an "award-winning writer."

WordWrangler said...

DONNA!! :) You're post made me laugh. Especially the "Your measuring cups are all in the bag of cat food."

Replace "cat" with "dog" and I'm there. All my good bowls end up as dog bowls, too. My hubby found 3 of our good silverware in the back yard this weekend. Apparently, my kids were trying to dig to china OR build a mudhut to live in for the summer.

As for writer's block: My advice? It's the same advice I give to people who are sick...don't google or try to research your symptoms 'cause you'll always find the absolute worse sickness there is. AND never read about writer's block until you're absolutely sure you have it. Otherwise, well, you know what happens. :)

Donna Jones Koppelman said...

Thanks, Word Wrangler. What a great analogy!

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman