Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Virtual Life

The main reason I hate Virginia isn't the stinking cold, or the income tax, or all the harassment before the election. The main thing I hate about Virginia is the not having friends here part.

As most of you know, it takes me a long time to get close to people. Most of my friends now I knew for years before we actually became friends. There are, of course, a few shining exceptions, people I just clicked with automatically. Thank goodness for the internet, so I can keep up with everyone. Between the blog, e-mail, myspace, and facebook I've been able to keep up with everyone who matters. Unfortunately, that's all I seem to have right now.

And the one thing I hate about being a stay at home mom is the lack of contact with the outside world. There are no outlets to meet people. No coworkers to get to know, no classmates to go out to lunch with after lecture. Even at the playground, you might chat for a few moments, but that other mom is focused on her kid (as are you) and most likely already has a life and friends so the stranger in the park isn't a priority for befriending.

And then there' s the women at church. Don't get me wrong, I love church, but when people at church are nice to me, I'm always wondering if they are nice because they're interested in me as a person or if they're being nice because they are supposed to be nice. I don't want to be someone's pity friend. I have wonderful friendship qualities, I'm loyal, I'm funny, I listen well. I am not pity-friend material!

I think I'm going to have to take a class or join a book club or something just to get some adult interaction besides Faiyaz. And with anyone I meet in that kind of setting, if they try to befriend me at least I'll know it's not out of pity.

Other than that, I'm doing great. The new book is chugging along. Anjali is smart and fun. Nadira is growing so fast it makes me want to cry. Soon I'm going to be packing up the 0-3 month sized clothes, she's getting too long for them. It feels like she's growing up faster than Anjali did. I think that's because my time is divided between the two.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Sorry for the title, but if the desire to write is an itch, then doesn't it follow that the act of writing is then scratching?

I feel on fire. I didn't get to write this weekend, poor Fai had to work, but yesterday and today have been good. I successfully coordinated the nap times of the girls, and last night I sat up till almost midnight working. I'm writing hot and it's coming out good!

I'm finishing off a collection of essays on writing, then I'm going to force myself to finish King's "On Writing" (the beginning didn't really interest me) then I'm going to reread "Letters to a Young Poet" and then "The Power of Myth". Basically I'm emerging myself in everything that makes me want to write more. I've also got out my Rumi poems, and I might be watching "Little Women" soon.

I'm living it, and breathing it, and eating it. Life is going on around me and I'm in that too. I'm snuggling Nadira and I'm reading to Anjali. I'm keeping the house {relatively} clean and I'm doing the errands like salting the sidewalk and going to the post office. I'm alive and functioning and on fire with words. When I'm not writing I'm planning. I think I'm on the verge of what Julianna Baggot once told me. She told me her writing process is interuption. In one of her classes at FSU, she commented that if a writer said they were going to India for a year, their friends would say "wow, what a great book you'll get out of that" but when a writer has kids, other writers look at that as something that will somehow detract from their writing. Julia is relatively successful as a commercial writer, a literary writer, and also as a children's writer. She's one of my role models, she wrote her first two novels as a stay at home mom while her husband worked as a lawyer. Now they live off of her writing. They have four kids. I love that.

So there's my obsession. Whether or not it's publishable is yet to be seen. My goal is a first draft by April 1st. April is national write a book month. I'm turning it into my edit a book month.

"Woman is a ray of God.
She is not that earthly beloved:
she is creative, not created."

One day I will go outside and read Rumi at the top of my lungs completely naked. That is how good poetry should be read.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cliff Jumping Dog and a New Itch

I've been waiting for Fai to put pics on the computer, but they'll just have to come later.

Monday Fai thought he had an ear infection, so he called out of work and made a doctor's appoint. The doctor couldn't see him until after four, so we had the whole day together. It was unusually warm, it made it up to 68. So we loaded up the kids and the dog and headed to the State park near our house. Because we are in a Honda Accord at the moment, Langston (the dog) had to ride in the floorboard between my legs.

I put Nadira in her sling, and we went down one of the walking trails. The park was desserted except by the river where people were fishing. So once we were well down the trail, we let Langston off his leash. He looked like a horse galloping through the leaves and the undergrowth. Then we came to a deep ravine. A sign said it was from where the railroad had cut a path through a big hill. The railroad was long gone, and what was left was an almost verticle drop of at least fifty feet. We followed the path along the edge up to a sort of look out point from which we could see the river. As we started back, Langston walked right along the edge. And then he fell. We rushed over to see Langston calmly walking on the bottom. He saw us, wagged his tail, and ran up the steep wall. We were amazed. We walked on, Langston still near the edge. Suddenly he just jumped off. In this area, however, the wall of the cliff was clay. Before it had some stuff growing on it and trees and leaves and things to get a foothold on. Now it was just clay. Langston tried to scramble up for close to half an hour. He'd start up, chunks of clay flying off behind him, and then slide back to the bottom. Finally he followed me back to an area with footholds, and he made it up.

It was a wonderful, beautiful day, the kind in which nothing mattered but being together. It was a two mile walk. We also played at the playground and walked along the Potomac.

That writing itch, it's back. Still no publisher for the first book, but I've almost finished my character sketches for my new book. Three more to go. Then I'll do my outline, then my working outline, then I'll start writing! It's hard now with two kids and Faiyaz on a somewhat regular work schedule, but I'm sneaking in a minute or two here and there. If Fai gets done everything he needs to at work today, he's going to take over with the kids all tomorrow, after church on Sunday, and all Monday for me to get a jump-start on my first draft. I'll only have to stop to eat and feed Nadira. He offered to give her bottles, but then I'd still be stopping to pump, so I might as well feed her, right? Well, that's if he gets everything done. If he doesn't, then he'll have to go to work tomorrow and all, and it'll just be me and the girls. Either way, I'll find the time. This book is going to be YA, a genre I didn't think I'd write in, but I've got a good idea and I think it'll be fun to write. Just doing the character sketches has been a blast. And my sister, who is turning 15 this month, has agreed to read it when I'm done, so I'll get the opinion of my target audience. :) So we'll see how this goes. I love this writing itch! This all-consuming desire to get it down and get it down just right.

So that's all. I'm now planning a bungy-jumping trip for Langston, he liked cliff diving so much I'm sure he'd love it!