Thursday, 23 August 2007

Writer Mode vs. Mom Mode

Today I had a difficult time getting my brain into writer mode. Every time I sat down for a few moments to write something, life got in the way. I had the best intentions, but sometimes I just have to put away the writer side of me so I can get other things accomplished.

This morning I went into the garden to see if any tomatoes were ripe and ended up harvesting all the beets. As this wasn't a planned part of my day, I immediately had to scratch several hours of computer time so I could preserve them. I thought I would take the easy way and freeze them, but I started thinking of pickled beets in the middle of winter and ended up pickling and canning them instead. They sure are pretty in the jars, and I can't wait to eat them in a few months.

In the afternoon I turned my mother's brain from feeding my family to torturing them, or allowing them to torture me-I can't always tell the difference. I had to take my oldest daughter to the dentist to get a tooth pulled. (One of her baby teeth just refuses to fall out and she can't get her braces on until the adult one grows in. See, tooth-pulling and is all about making them miserable). She has never had any real dental work done, so I thought she might have a nervous breakdown right there in the waiting room.

Of course the dentist was a walk in the park compared to the next task of finding my son a pair of jeans for school. For a kid who doesn't care how he looks, he is awfully picky about jeans. We found several different pairs and none of them fit quite right, (he is too tall and skinny). The attitude just about pushed me over the edge, though. You would have thought I was applying thumb screws to the kid.

It was all worth it in the end when the two girls and I stood in line at the check out while my son lurked in the mall. Standing behind us was an older lady who commented on how pretty my girls are. Of course, I love to hear that and I agree completely. But the day's torture was all worth it when she declared that she thought we were sisters out shopping together because I certainly wasn't old enough to be their mother, and she could tell where they got their good looks from. Okay, I'm not sure how sincere she really was, but I'll take what I can get.

Just like writing, I'll take what I can get. And those torture sessions with the kids; they are all just fodder for stories anyway. So now I need to decide, do I make the 13 year-old who needs an attitude adjustment the victim or the villain in my next story?


Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

An interesting dilemma. Many years ago, when I was writing screenplays full time, I worked at the Excelsior Hotel in downtown Provo. You will find in the screenplay The Right Arm an unusually large number of deaths . . . oh yeah, I actually named the characters after the stupid people.

But see, you can't do that with your kids. You can, however, use their behavior as inspiration for the bad guy, or color for the good guy. That would make your good guy really interesting.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

So much inspiration comes from my family, it is good it all mushes together and they don't recognize themselves.

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