I’ve been thinking a lot about my support systems of late. Both personal and writing. Mostly because Mr. Nina is spending his weeks 2 hours north of me and I’m alone so much of the time. All I can say is … thank goodness for the Internet!!
I was once asked what the most difficult part of my writing journey has been and by far it had to be the period time when I was alone before I found other writers to share my celebrations and disappointments. My family has been a steadfast cornerstone of my career, believing in me even when I stumbled. I love them for that, but they don’t really understand the kick-in-the-gut feeling of getting a rejection, tumbling sales or the inability to find your writing mojo. Only another writer totally comprehends how difficult this stay-at-home-I’m-having-an-amazing-time-making-things-up-and-killing-bad-guys writing career can be.
I can’t let today go by without telling everyone how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful mom. She raised 5 children (each of us a year apart … you do the math … FIVE teenagers! And she survived!) She’s been wonderful as I’ve become a mom. She hangs back until we ask for advice and then gently shares her wisdom. Mom lives far away from me and though we don’t talk on the phone very often, I think about her every day.
But 28 years ago when I married Mr. Nina another wonderful mom came into my life. I’m so fortunate to have someone else who loves me unconditionally, supports and encourages. I truly am doubly blessed.
Though my life is in complete turmoil, these two women have stepped forward to do what they can to bring order to the chaos. They both bring me to tears every day and I don’t think they realize how much their love and support has meant over the past few months as the bottom tumbled out of our world.
I also have three beautiful children, one love-sick son-in-law whom I adore and a cute-as-a-button-never-stops-running grandson.
I have a trunk full of all the cards and little goodies my children made for me when they were little and though it is in storage at the moment, the memories never fade. Little Boy Blue (who’s now 22) made me a hand pressed in plaster that hangs from a pretty ribbon. Beautiful Girl (now 24) made me a clay mask of her face in second grade and painted it all kinds of whimsical colors. Baby Girl (who’s now a mom) weaved a yarn thingy that fits just perfectly over my body moisture bottles that sit on my bureau. There are countless gifts of weaved baskets, clay pots, and a wooden treasure chest … all gifts my children made and gave to me on Mother’s Day. They are more precious to me than all my fine jewelry.
Now that they’re older, my children give me gifts of words. Hallmark cards scrawled with a little note at the end, loving words from the heart that make me cry. Every. Time.
And despite all the other #%@^ of my life … all these things I hold onto ever so dearly and realize how truly blessed I am. I know many of my blog readers have moms looking down on them from heaven. The reminder that everyone’s days are number makes me appreciate the small gesture of love even more.
If you’re a mom … Happy Mother’s Day. And I hope this day finds you counting your blessings as well.
But here I am. And I’m loving it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard … really hard. But there’s nothing like the kick-in-the-pants feeling of joy you get when a book has your name on it. Even more when readers email to tell you how much they love your story.
Wellll, okay, some people.
There are members of my family who just can’t wrap their heads around the sexuality of my books. Mostly I don’t care. It is what it is. But my new print book Dangerous Affairs has been edited down from an erotic suspense to what I call a “sexy” romantic suspense. I’m very proud of the book. I worked really hard to get it out into the world.
Of course there’s one member of my family who wanted to read it. (Mistake #1 … I should have talked her out of it.) Even after I offered to get her a copy, she insisted she wanted to buy it. (Mistake #2) I didn’t really tell her anything about the book and exactly what “less sex” meant (Mistake #3). So of course when I saw her this past weekend she had to give me a critique. The conversation went something like this: (I’ll use MIL for the family member to keep her identity hidden 😉 )
MIL says, “speaking of books I have a little critique.”
Forcing a smile, Nina sweetly replies “oh, you read my book?”
“Do you have any idea how expensive it is?”
With an eyeroll behind MIL’s back, Nina happily says, “it has to do with distribution channels. It’s as low as I can get it.”
“Well, most people can’t pay that much with shipping and all … can’t you do free shipping?”
“That’s Amazon, not me. But thanks for supporting me. What’s for dinner?”
“Well, I had a few other things I wanted to share with you. You messed up some facts.”
I did lots of research, what did I miss?, Nina thinks.
MIL turns, hand on hip, “withdrawal is not a form of birth control. You shouldn’t let people think it is.”
“It’s a story.”
“And that paranormal stuff. You told me it was one woman and one man”
“It is. And there’s nothing paranormal…”
“There were people everwhere doing things! That’s not normal, it’s paranormal.”
“No, that would be vampires, ghosts and werewolves, these are contemporary stories.”
“Well whatever. I just know everyone seemed to be having sex with everyone. Though the second story seemed like it had a good mystery.”
“They’re all mysteries.”
“I wouldn’t know, I couldn’t read them all the way through. There was too much paranormal sex.”
ARRRRRRG! Like I said. Most of the time I can let this stuff go. But then she went on to say there can’t possibly be a market for those kind of books (again with this discussion) and why can’t I use my writing talent to write something she would enjoy. It’s just getting old, ya know? I’m proud of my stories. I have readers who enjoy them. I wish this unidentified family member would stop trying to “enjoy” my books.
So I’m curious, do you get grief for writing/reading romance? Does it get to you or do you just let it go? Do you have a couple of one liners that get the point across to your critics?
I know, I really have no excuse for dropping out of the blogosphere. Though I was on vacation last week, I totally could have uploaded some posts and didn’t manage to get that done. I’m hanging my head in shame.
And to top it off, I see Facebook and Twitter drawing so much attention, I think fewer and fewer people are finding time to peruse blogs. And I have to admit, since I hang out there a lot I’m kind of finding it hard to find interesting things to chat about.
But just as an update, we were in the process of buying a house and ran into a huge glitch. That’s after waiting 4 months for the bank to make a deal with the sellers who are upside down with their mortgage. Now this. I hate giving up on this house as it really fits our needs AND we’ve been putting money out to get things done that won’t be reimbursed to us if it all falls through. So yeah, that kind of is taking some of my time.
And all three of our children are going through MAJOR transitions. We continue to support them with hand holding and love. Lots of love. But seriously, with all of this swirling around me I’m trying to figure out what weird karma I may have sent out into the universe to have all of this happening at the same time.
Fortunately, this week I have a book release and I’m really looking forward to WEDNESDAY!
So how are things in your corner of the world? Any advice as to how to handle the craziness that is my life would be greatly appreciated.
Because I’m in the middle of packing my house I’ve decided to run an oldy but goodie Thursday Thirteen that originally ran in April 2008. But I STILL love Erma and her quotes never get old …
Erma Bombeck (1927-1996), I love the woman. She was a magician with the written word. With a couple quick strokes of her pen she could have me crying or laughing. So I decided to find 13 of my favorite quotes (and I had a hard time whittling it down to 13). Some of these things she said, some she wrote in her books. If you’ve never read one of her books … treat yourself. My favorite has to be “The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank”.
So here’s what I’ve come up with …
1. Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.
2. Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
3. It is fast approaching the point where I don’t want to elect anyone stupid enough to want the job. (on the US presidency)
4. Mothers have to remember what food each child likes or dislikes, which one is allergic to penicillin and hamster fur, who gets carsick and who isn’t kidding when he stands outside the bathroom door and tells you what’s going to happen if he doesn’t get in right away. It’s tough. If they all have the same hair color they tend to run together.
5. My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch on fire or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one cares. Why should you?
6. All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with white carpet is one of them.
7. I don’t know why no one ever thought to paste a label on the toilet-tissue spindle giving 1-2-3 directions for replacing the tissue on it. Then everyone in the house would know what Mama knows.
8. There is nothing more miserable in the world than to arrive in paradise and look like your passport photo.
9. People shop for a bathing suit with more care than they do a husband or wife. The rules are the same. Look for something you’ll feel comfortable wearing. Allow for room to grow.
10. I remember buying a set of black plastic dishes once, after I saw an ad on television where they actually put a blowtorch to them and they emerged unscathed. Exactly one week after I bought them, one of the kids brought a dinner plate to me with a large crack in it. When I asked what happened to it, he said it hit a tree. I don’t want to talk about it.
11. I never leaf through a copy of National Geographic without realizing how lucky we are to live in a society where it is traditional to wear clothes.
12. Everyone is guilty at one time or another of throwing out questions that beg to be ignored, but mothers seem to have a market on the supply. “Do you want a spanking or do you want to go to bed?” Don’t you want to save some of the pizza for your brother?” Wasn’t there any change?”
13. Have you any idea how many children it takes to turn off one light in the kitchen? Three. It takes one to say, “What light?” and two more to say, “I didn’t turn it on.”
Thanks for stopping by and I’m sorry I’m not here to chat with you. This weekend is the monthly meeting of the Maine romance writers, a chapter of RWA. Awesome group of ladies (and one gent)! But they meet so very far away from me. I literally have to take the whole weekend to go to the meeting. But I lubs them a lot. So it is sooo worth it. And this month I get to meet one of the other authors at Liquid Silver Books, Elaina Huntley. w00t! w00t! I am beyond excited.
And beautiful girl is coming up from college and meeting us at her grandmother’s house. Yay! I haven’t seen her since June! She’ll be getting lots of TLC this weekend.
Monday is another interview with a fabulous author and editor at Wild Rose Press. So come on back and check out what’s going on the beginning of the week!
I don’t know how many people are swinging by to check out my short story, Test Drive. It’s nearly finished … and I don’t mean to disappoint, but this week my “test drive” is going to Massachusetts to see Pretty Girl!
If you’re reading this on Saturday, DH and I are winding our way through western Massachusetts enjoying the mountains and a wonderful (and impromptu) visit with our eldest daughter. (See, we figured out this is the last available summer weekend before she goes back to her RA job at the University in August … that’s soooo sad our summer is that booked!)
It’s so hard when they move out. Seems we always have to go to her. She rarely finds time to make it home to northern Maine. (And if you’re wondering how I’m still posting my blog when I’m not near a computer … well that’s advanced magic … and you’re security clearance isn’t high enough for me to share it with you! LOL!)
If you’re reading this on Sunday, I’m spending the day at a butterfly garden and tonight we’re staying at a wonderful bed and breakfast! I love road trips! (I’m ignoring the gas bills …)
Next week should bring the conclusion of Test Drive and save poor Margo from the wretched predicament she’s found herself in!
Stop by the beginning of the week … when the magic posting continues. Mwahahahaha …