Friday, June 26, 2009

As Things Manifest...

An update is in order. A couple of weeks ago, I sent my book to a publisher in Oklahoma for consideration. They publish my friend Elysabeth's young adult novels, so she's put in a good word for me. In April I submitted some poetry to the Petigru Review, the literary journal of the SC Writer's Workshop. I'm still waiting to hear if anything will be selected for that, and they should be announcing results soon. I feel like I should submit more things more often, but it's actually really time consuming, and the wait to hear yay or nay is excruciating.

I'm still doing research for my next novel. Mostly I've been researching folk medicine, which is really interesting. I've also been researching authentic Cherokee women's name, but am not having a whole lot of success. Sometimes I'll find the English translation of a woman's name, but not the actual spelling or pronunciation of the word in Cherokee. Not really helpful when you want to call a character by their name and not its English translation. I wish that my linguistics professor at UNC-Charlotte was still alive, since his area of study was Native American languages. Unfortunately, he died unexpectedly this year, which seems to be a trend lately.

This was not a good week for me to watch "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." I loved the movie, but I cried through the entire second half. I can't even put into words what depressed me so profoundly, except to say that I wish when I'd been in my teens and twenties, I had the brain and the life experience of a sixty year old. Oh the crap I might have avoided. Oh the fun I might've had.

Lately, I've started feeling "mature." I won't say "old," because 32 isn't exactly old per se. But it is experienced, and a few steps beyond youthful. I've seen pictures of myself recently and thought I actually looked like someone's mother. It's a depressing thought. Time has marched on. And I find myself more and more living through and for my children.

And oddly enough, I can hardly remember what it was like not being someone's mother. It has taken over my being completely. Once upon a time, I was a Snow White-watching toddler who dreamed that "Someday My Prince [Would] Come." And then I was a boy-crazy teenager, and a romantic young-adult, and every single solitary second of my life was spent wondering who Mr. Right was. I know this about myself, and I want to give myself a retrospective slap upside the head. I want to slap myself because now I'm a mom to two boys.

It was an innocent remark, really. Nicole told me that after they were back in Australia, Mackenzie was talking about Sam. She told her mother that her heart was broken, (Here I'm thinking "Awwww. How sweet and romantic...") and that Sam's must be too.

Insert that cheezy record-scratch sound effect, and my brain, imagining cartoon bluebirds, wedding-gown sewing mice, and beautifully-drawn Disney heroines all colliding into each other as my happy little world grinds violently to a halt.

Internally, I become, for the briefest of seconds, the manifestation of Maleficent, "Mistress of Evil," as she morphed into a fire-spewing dragon. "Excuse me? His heart is what? Broken, you say? (insert evil laugh) His heart is most certainly not broken. Not over the likes of you! (more evil laughter)"

It was an oddly visceral reaction. But moms are charged with helping their boys grow up and unnecessary distractions (like cute little blonds) must be avoided at all costs. I wouldn't be surprised if almost every mother of boys feels this way. And when you feel it, you know, you have left your youth behind and are now full-bore in Mom mode. A scary proposition.

4 comments:

  1. I love the sound of your new novel. I graduated from app state don't know if I mentioned that. :) There's a good book on app. folk medicine or beliefs I should say but I can't remember what it is called. Have you read any of the foxfire books? They are good. There's also a Cherokee herbal book by Garrett that is interesting. Good luck with getting published I think it will happen!

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  2. all good things...

    you'll hear back, i know it's excruciating...

    as to romanticizing little boys, one day they become big boys. i can't believe my oldest has a girlfriend. and i am trying to get him to invite her over, pry, i think protectively, but also in the have you made a move yet, kiddo...it's weird.

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  3. I like hearing the perspective from a mother of boys. As a mom of girls I worry what kinds of experiences they're going to encounter with boys. Let's lock them all up until they're 21 ok.

    We've rented Benjamin Button so now I just need to tear myself away from the computer to watch it.

    And yes being a mom seems to overtake everything. It affects any choice you make. I'm looking for jobs now but must consider the cost of daycare and time spent commuting.

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  4. I am new to freelance writing for magazines and I too share your frustration for waiting. So often I just want to pick up the phone and call the editor (not that you ever get through to them) and ask where they are at with my submissions. I wish I had more patience!

    Good luck!

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