“Under Pressure” Pencil. 2000. (I covered up a section to avoid identifying a person.)
Being a mother is stressful. So is being a wife. And being a woman in general. I try so hard to be good at my many jobs and wear many hats, but most of the time I feel like I’m juggling and the joke’s on me because I can’t juggle. I put a lot of pressure on myself.
I’ve wanted to be married and be a mom for as long as I can remember. When I was in high school, I dreamed of falling in love, getting married, and having children right away. I couldn’t imagine not having children soon after getting married because I didn’t think I would be able to maintain enough conversation with a guy who would choose to be with me. I was so clueless. It sounds silly now because my favorite person to talk to is my husband, and only about half of our conversations are about our children.Continue reading
Fear. It can be crippling. It can also change as we age. What’s your biggest fear right now at this moment? Will you have the same answer tomorrow?
When I was little, my biggest fear was abandonment. After my father passed away, my mother remarried the man who would end up raising me and shaping my life in ways I didn’t know were possible at the time. I was only four, which is how old my daughter is now. I didn’t understand everything that had happened. I just had a fuzzy memory of my mother holding me over the side of my father’s hospital bed and telling me to say goodbye. I hadn’t said anything; I’d just waved. Waving instead of speaking is something my daughter does sometimes when she’s apprehensive about something. She’s afraid of the dark and worries when she thinks I am mad at her.
Not long after my mother and stepfather got married, I began having a recurring nightmare. I think I was about six when it began and it happened several times during the next few years. I dreamt about having to go hunting with my stepfather, just the two of us. In the dream, he made me stand under the water in a creek so that he could stand on my shoulders and look for deer through his binoculars. When I couldn’t hold my breath any longer, I pushed him off my shoulders, and he fell into the water and hit his head on the rocks. He wouldn’t wake up. At that point, I would always wake up crying. Pretty twisted for a kid’s dream, huh?
Humble beginnings: I have mentioned before that I started writing novels when I was 13. I hand-wrote them in pencil on notebook paper. (I have scanned them and saved them digitally now in addition to keeping the originals.) Between the ages of 13-15 (or 18 if you count the typing of the last novel) I wrote 7 book-length stories: Night and Day, When Does Life Begin?, Four Hearts, Jordan’s Sister, Just Taylor, One Shot, and Caroline’s Lighthouse.
As I look back at all of the stories, the first two are only salvageable if I part them out for dialogue or characters for other stories. (A polite way to say they are total crap and I watched way too much 90210 and Melrose Place-shows I was way too young to be watching-while writing them.) The third has a sweet story line, but needs a ton of work. The next three, however, have potential. Of those, two of them are about the same characters and will be combined for my next novel rewrite, Jordan’s Sister, which will be combined with Just Taylor. The story has been churning in my head and will be vastly different from the original draft, but will pull from a lot of the angst I captured at 14 to provide depth to the characters, who will be in their 20s in the rewrite. I estimate one year to complete the rewrite on that one. After that, I will work on One Shot and see what happens after that.Continue reading