Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday, September 8, 2006
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot and humid


“Lake” is today’s poem, by Pixie Pearsey, on Circadian.

And my short story “Muse” (as Cerrdiwen Iris Shea) is up here.


Yesterday was just a cranky-making day.

I am not letting Geek Squad near my computer again. While the guy fixed some things, there are parts that are running worse than they did before. I am NOT happy.

On top of that, Microsoft flashed that problem-and-we-have-to-shut down thing three times. Each time, when I opted to send the error message to Microsoft, it flashed me to their site, which tried to get me to BUY something. When I declined, it crashed my computer.

That is NOT acceptable. Fuck you, Microsoft.

I got most of it up and running, except for one thing it keeps telling me it has to do, but won’t tell me how or where the effing program is. If it doesn’t come up on “Search” or “Run”, how the eff am I supposed to run it?

Just in case, I backed up everything and its siblings just in case the whole thing goes kaplooey again. I don’t need to pay a Geek idler to wipe and rebuild my drive. I can do it my damn self. And so far, thanks to Colin, I muddle through more fixes than they did. And they’re supposed to be the pros.

Artie reassured me that putting in the zipper before I sewed up the sides of the blouse was correct. And another friend, a costumer, said to me, “Honey, I don’t know what damn thing those people doing the directions were smoking, but be glad they DIDN’T share. They are out of their minds.”

So that’s that.

I seem to have hurt my back with the gosh-darned carpet stuff the other day. I’m having spasms off and on. So I’m sitting awhile, resting awhile, sitting awhile, resting awhile. The only time it doesn’t hurt is when I’m sitting in the car. Guess my car has some ergonomic something or other. But I’m not going to sit in the car all the time, am I?

I did the Bridge Pose (yoga) which relieves the spasms – and Elsa curled up under my raised back, put her head on my wrist and went to sleep, happy as can be. I laughed so hard I lost the pose.

Did some good work on Real. It will go over the 100K mark and I have no idea by how much. They’re still at the races in Santa Anita – they’ve yet to go to Hawaii, film in Australia and Berlin, hit Cannes and the Triple Crown and one annoying character has to off herself. And it ain’t gonna happen in 4000 words.

Read my crit partner’s three stories. Man, are they good! I’m so proud of him. He hit the mark every time and went far, far beyond. I had a few suggestions, but they are minor. It’s always a high to read a friend’s good work.

This year, instead of getting the full Writer’s Market, I got the Novel and Short Story Market instead (for 07). I’m finding all sorts of interesting bits and bobs in it. I got some index cards and I’m going to go through it cover to cover, with cards for each piece that needs a home and make some lists. I need to figure out where to send queries for some of the bigger projects that will be ready to submit by the end of the year. Most of the short stories found homes in the last year, except for some new ones which need revision. And some of the old, old ones just need the Home for Early and Never-to-Be-Published Prose. Good practice, but not something to send out into the world.

Backed up with the stuff for PEN. I might just print it out and see if I can get some work done while I am supine instead of upright.

I nearly slapped one of those bitchy suburban housewives silly today. She’s got one six-month old baby, a nanny, a housekeeper, and a rich husband who pays for everything, and she’s telling me that I don’t understand how hard it is to be a wife and mother. Listen, bitch, I handled 10 godchildren ranging in age from toddler age(I think – it was small and it was walking) to 17 years old for three months (when all the parents at once dumped them on me without consulting me first) in a small two bedroom Manhattan apartment ON MY OWN – no husband. The first two months I worked 60 hours a week in the theatre (which means nights, matinees, weekends, day work). SIXTY. I didn’t have a nanny and I didn’t have a housekeeper. NONE of the parents contributed ONE PENNY to their stay. I paid for EVERYTHING (moron). Fed them, bought them clothes when what they had wore out, took them on excursions. Everything. The last month, thank GOD, I packed them into an old-fashioned station wagon with wooden sides that I borrowed and we went to Cape Cod. Where I did everything, again, on MY OWN. Meaning, no other parent figure. The kids had responsibilities to help run the household. Could she function as a single parent to TEN kids? I think not. So unless you’re handling ten kids on your own, shut the fuck up. Because, yes, I do know what it’s like TO DO IT ALONE – not with a husband paying the bills, but ALONE -- and guess what? I can handle it. I wouldn’t choose to do so again, it was one of the hardest things I ever did in my life, but I did it. And I wrote six short stories and two plays that summer, even with all the chaos. All of which were published and/or produced. And you know what? The kids still talk about how it was the best damn summer of their lives.


Plus, I was with a guy for a good chunk of time who had full custody of his five small children. Since I worked nights and weekends (no matinees at that time, just five show weekends) and the guy worked days, I had them most of the time. Once we set the boundaries that I was not the maid cleaning up after them, they couldn’t watch TV all day and they couldn’t whine EVER (the whiner was banished for the rest of the day until Dad came home; no exceptions) – we had fun. I taught the youngest to read. I got in trouble with Dad because the kids and I would go to garage sales and buy up all the old juvenile fiction to which I’m so addicted and read it to each other. They got straight A’s in English and Social Studies – not because I ever did the work FOR them, but I got them excited about sources and people and books, and taught them how to research. We’d take Library trips at least once a week and go to museums and historical sites relevant to what they studied and all kinds of stuff. We got it down to get ready and leave for one of my excursions in less than ten minutes when we decided to go somewhere – including everyone going to the bathroom. Their Dad didn’t like “weird” food, so I introduced them to Chinese and Japanese and Vietnamese and curry and burritos and all kinds of stuff. (Another rule – no McDonald’s, Wendy’s Burger King, or any of that crap). Dad was one of the two major Charles Dickens fans I’ve dated in my life – when he came home and before I left for work, we had time for dinner and then he’d read aloud a chapter of Dickens and I’d put the littlest to bed. Dickens gave Littlest nightmares, so we’d read Paddington Bear or the Frances books before the light went out. Monday was my day off, so I’d sleep in and Dad and the kids would make breakfast and bring it to me in bed before they left for work/school.

I wrote monologues for actress friends at the time, usually with a less than twenty-four hour turnaround time.

We broke up when he cheated on me with a waitress “because she was there”, breaking the non-negotiable fidelity clause to which we’d agreed, but occasionally, I’m still in touch with the kids. One of them is currently backpacking around the world.

So yes, I do know what it’s like to take care of kids, both full time and part time AND hold down a full-time job AND write. There’s a HUGE difference when you don’t have to worry about paying the bills on top of everything else. Chickie with the husband and the staff has a cakewalk.

I’ve CHOSEN not to take that route. Unlike Chickie who married to have a meal ticket and popped out a kid to guarantee alimony when he trades her in for a newer model, I carve my own path.

Thank goodness nothing ever happened to any of the parents while they were still young enough for me to be sole guardian, but if it had, I would have taken it on, or I wouldn’t have agreed to be a godparent in the first place. Thank Goddess I’m an experienced production manager. Because that was one hell of a production that summer. Summer Stock was NOTHING after that.

Still struggling to get back into the voice and the world of “Ris an Abrar”. It’s pushing my comfort zone, hence the resistance, and hence the need to just do it.

Devon


Real -- 96,500 words out of estimated 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
96 / 100
(96.0%)

6 Comments:

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Diane said...

It pisses me off when parents of children whine to me that I don't know what it's like. I'm sure they do have a helluva time and I wouldn't choose it - that's why I didn't - but when you have 3 step-kids and 9 grandkids that aren't yours in the first place, I do believe it's even harder than when they're your own. Aside from the fact you have nothing of theirs to keep them occupied, you also get "you can't say that to me, you're not my mother" - no, but this is MY house and while you're under MY roof you do as I say.

 
At 10:12 AM, Blogger Lara said...

Yeah, if a woman has ONE child and a Nanny and a Housekeeper, she has no right to complain. SLAP HER!

I have THREE young children, no nanny, and NO housekeeper. So I can say it is a challenge. But people like that make me crazy, too.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger Tori Lennox said...

*hugs* on all the crap going on!

As for the trophy wife chick, she's an idiot. I don't have kids or a husband, but I can't imagine saying such a thing.

 
At 12:54 PM, Blogger Melissa Marsh said...

Good grief. If you have a nanny, what do you need to do with your kid? IMO, just having a child and shoving them off to a nanny just because you're rich doesn't make you a parent.

And a housekeeper? What does this woman DO all day, anyway?

At one point in my life, I had a newborn, two young stepsons who were messed up from having a horrendous childhood, and a husband who was barely home more than 24 hours before he was gone for work again. THAT was hard. But I got through it. And I'm proud that I did get through it and started raising those boys on the right path (I hope).

Devon, you amaze me. You have the most no-nonse attitude I've ever seen and an unstoppable drive to do what you need to do in this life. You work hard for what you want and you DESERVE all the good things that come your way!

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger Michelle Miles said...

I can't stand those women that whine about crap like that when they have never lifted a sponge in their life. I don't have a husband, or a maid, or a nanny, or a freaking boyfriend. I don't get manicures or pedicures - I don't even have time to get my hair cut for god's sake. And even though I don't get to write as much as I like, I do manager to get important things done - like editing for the forthcoming book and the chapter newsletter. (I'm so totally late on my personal newsletter gaw!)

It's a juggling act, but it can be done. And I feel better at the end of the day knowning that I did all myself.

 
At 11:41 AM, Blogger Ovation Leader said...

The starter wife you speak of reminds me of the ignorant people who imagined my brain would turn into peanut butter and jelly when I opted out of the corporate world to work from home and be with my kids. So many of them remarked to the effect of, "So you're no working?" that I coined a term for myself and those like me: WAHM (rhymes with mom) Work At Home Mom.

 

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