September 13, 2011

On productive weeks, and why I'll never win Mother of the Year

Two entirely different topics, neither enough to merit its own post, so....mash-up!


Last week was one of my most productive writing weeks in a while, which is weird considering I was fighting a terrible case of writer's block.  (The block stems, I think, because I'm trying to write from a guy's point of view for the first time, and even though I know how I want him to sound, I can't get the words quite right.)

Anyway, I'm not focused on numbers as much as I was during the challenge, but still, I pay attention.

Most of my word count came from my 9/11 posts.  I literally sat down one evening and, determined to write something, I suddenly banged out well over 3,000 words worth of memories in under an hour and a half.  Literally, I wrote and wrote furiously, and when I was done, I had this mass of words that needed editing but that I was dying to post. I liked it.

So then I edited and edited furiously, and came up with two posts that I thought were pretty good.  And then, the post that I wrote last, the one that came at 3:00 in the morning between September 10th and 11th and barely edited and was strictly my reflections on the day, was by far the best thing I've written in ages.

So maybe I'm an narcissist? I write best and most when I'm writing about myself? Sigh.


I've also decided that I am an unsympathetic mother when it comes to childhood fears.

OK, that sounds even worse on my computer screen than it does in my head.  But hear me out here.

I grew up on some of the scariest movies ever made. I remember the first time I saw Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I was maybe five, and we had borrowed a VCR from my dad's friend, and I watched the whole movie with a slack jaw and my hand intertwined with my father's.  At the end, when the Nazi's face melted, an indelible image was imprinted on my brain. I've never been able to forget it, and I've had nightmares about it ever since. 

I don't remember the first time I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street or the original Dracula and The Mummy. Those were just a part of me. But I do remember a nightmare in which my dog was a vampire, standing at an altar while my friend Alicia, wearing mummy-like rags, officiated at his funeral.  Plus, I remember feeling relieved that if Freddy Krueger came down through the ceiling to attack me in my room, he'd reach my brother first. He had the top bunk.

So, when Zoe, who has seen nothing worse than some pirate skulls in The Goonies, tells me she's afraid to go into her room alone in the middle of a sunny day, I find it pretty hard to believe.  I wind up incredulous and unsympathetic.  "Oh come on," I say.  "For real? You're just pretending."

It's almost like I want to say, "You're afraid of your room? Come on, I can give you something to be scared of!"  (Let me give you something to cry about!)

Because with my infinite knowledge of horror movies, clearly I can scare the pants off her. 

Don't worry, I won't do that. And I'll keep trying to not dismiss her fears.

But really? Come ON.  It was sunny in there!!  Nothing bad happens in the sunshine, right?  (Or does it? Bwaaa haaa haaa...) 


So that's me. A narcissistic, unsympathetic horror movie fan.  Yeah. 


Jen said...

I see your "nothing bad happens in the sunshine" and raise you an "otherwise bright and sunny Tuesday"...


"So maybe I'm a narcissist? I write best and most when I'm writing about myself? Sigh." ~> Maybe it's narcissism. Or maybe it's the voice you've been using the longest. You don't need to figure out (so much) how you want YOU to sound. That's one huge block removed.

(Which, by the way. I will help you write from a guy's point of view since this is your first time through: write him like you would write any other character. Then go back and remove any exclamation points, and add some internal monologue about boobs. Problem solved. =P )

Leah said...

Wow - good point about the sunny Tuesday, Jen!! Well done!

w_layne_h said...

kids are just weenies... nothing you did wrong. :)

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