Wow, from a fellow former ... ok, WIP ... flake, this from @KristenLambTX & #WANACon Mama, is spot on.
Yes, I'm working through that perpetual starter behavior and truly-in-a-meaningful-way-with-a-specific-goal finishing my novel, Bluebirds, in order to pitch it at the Chicago Writers Conference in September 2013. There, I've said it out loud! It's right across the lake. Flights, hotels, finances won't stand in my way [sometimes they still do--when it's that or groceries*]. The only thing that could stand in my way is me. Afraid to fail, afraid to succeed, only my own personal brand of paralysis will keep me from achieving this goal, if I let it. And I won't.
With amazing mentors like Kristen and so many other authors & friends on Twitter, on Facebook, and in *real life* ... the cautiously optimistic among my posse ... with my wonderful business coach, Nancy Kaye, and my PR guide, AlissaSheftic.com, the lovely ladies in the daytime writers group at the Box Factory, with my monumentally hopeful and supportive husband, and with "Grampa Willie" making his feathery appearance from time to time, I cannot fail.
Like a breathing thing, Bluebirds has taken flight, and it simply must be. A starter no more. I'm growing up, and a finisher I will be.
Here's a back cover blurb about Bluebirds:
"Author Lynette Bower, six years into a battle with infertility, is wrestling with the idea of adoption versus continuing to fight her body to do what it's supposed to do. Her husband wants her to stop all infertility treatments and pursue adopting an Asian baby. We meet her preparing to receive her third and final in vitro procedure. A chance meeting with a NICU nurse, who appears (and just as quickly disappears) suspiciously old-fashioned, puts her on a path to meet a terminally ill little boy who will change the course of her life and the way she looks at it forever."
I hope that entices you to follow along!
Here's how you can:
My Wordpress blog site, which I will use as an about me author page (51%: Women and the Future of Politics is due out this spring!) and where I will reblog pertinent writing information can be found here.
Where it all began, and where I will provide occasional updates in the comments, my post about Gramps and the bluebirds: bit.ly/WCSnOL
Kristen is very generously picking a winner a month to receive a critique from her of the first 20 pages of a novel, a query letter or synopsis, and I wish like heck that included a copy of her book, We Are Not Alone. It's definitely on my purchasing wish list! And I definitely hope to win an opportunity for her to take a look at Bluebirds.
I wish you all happy writing, and especially, happy FINISHING!!
[*UPDATE 09/25/13: I should be getting ready for the conference this weekend, but alas, finances have indeed prevented me from registering. I'M NOT FLAKING OUT! I took a First Five Pages class with Kristen recently, am participating in writers groups at the Box Factory for the Arts in my new writers studio, and working diligently on completing and perfecting my story. It'll be even readier next year!]
An army of supporters waits with them, each of us going about our own lives. I am writing this post, because I agreed to do it, and because there is nothing more beautiful than a woman mothering through her pain. There is nothing more beautiful than a wife who is there for her husband for all the moments before and all the ones after a traitorous piece of her is cut away. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who comforts and cries with and prays with her children and reassures them, even as she reassures herself, that everything will be OK.
I was still living in California when my first close friend underwent the same surgery, double, that my friend today must endure; must survive; must press on through for all the days that follow. I can’t fathom what might be beautiful about those days in between—only perhaps the other side. After the scars begin to fade, and the hair grows, and the beauty and blessing of mothering lives once again in her children’s classrooms, reading and making crafts, and checking papers, instead of mired in each moments’ survival.
My job will be to find ways to help make some of those days beautiful for my friend and her family, even as I continue to be the mom, the wife, the writer and businesswoman I’ve come to expect myself to be.
Now that I’m back home where I belong, the beauty of my dear friends, all of us different ages, but with children the same age; changed on the surface and deep inside though we have in two short years, is that we’re still here. Even if we can’t comprehend the choices, or fully appreciate the experience without having had it ourselves, we’re still here and we’re still friends. We still have each other's backs, and we still hold one another's families in our hearts and in our care when one of us is down.
My friends, my posse, still forgive clumsily chosen words; we still vote for and cheer one another on, hold each other up and help each other succeed. We still give the benefit of doubt in most cases, and accept apologies when offered. We hope for only the best in life for our friends, and we’re there to help them survive, overcome and learn from the all too common snag, or plod through a monumentally difficult time.
And through two years in California I made new and equally beautiful friends that now span the country, and who will remain so forever. And through this process of releasing my inner author and sharing my soul with *the world*, I’ve made a myriad more friends across tundra and oceans.
Whether an instant of soaring brilliance, or in the worst of life’s moments—even if it’s spent unproductively, staring at a blank page, and praying like I’ve never prayed before, for mercy, for deft hands, for beauty and grace, and for another day to hug my friend, gently, or just to be there if she can’t stand my touch, even if it’s not a particularly beautiful day—there is no place I would rather be than among these beautiful women who became my friends through a MOMS Club playgroup. We’ve seen children born and children married, and we’ve watched our brood of fifteen kids grow through everything in between.
This week reminds me what is beautiful about being a woman that has nothing to do with weight or height or skin or hair or breasts; and none of it is more striking than the beauty of women friends.
[And what a difference 48 hours makes. Update: my friend came through her surgery bravely and valiantly, and so did her family, and so did I. Amazingly, she came home the next day. She is where she belongs, recovering with her family and friends surrounding her. And my first friend gave us all hope when she received news recently, as her hair begins to grow back, that her doctor considers her in remission. On to the next step: Fight like a Girl, my beautiful friends! Fight like a Girl!]
Thank you to August McLaughlin for inviting me to participate in her second annual Beauty of a Woman Blog Fest. Please check out what are sure to be more fantastic posts over on August's page, where she'll be linking up a bunch of us to celebrate the beauty of women tomorrow, February 22, 2013.
This post that I wrote quite feverishly the afternoon that I was waiting to hear about my friend's surgery absolutely suits the spirit of @HeatheroftheEO 's #JustWrite exercise over at Extraordinary Ordinary. It's all about capturing moments. Happy ones, heart wrenching ones, poignantly beautiful ones...those that give you pause, that make you notice life and appreciate all it has to offer, the good and the bad. It's one of the best writing exercises I've participated in, and I highly recommend it. Be sure to follow the directions, because that's what makes it ROCK so beautifully.
He won't be nine much longer, this boy of mine who almost wasn't. And nine is pretty terrific, and tough, all at the same time.
The past couple weeks have brought us to a crossroads with school work, in this, his first year of real grades. This semester isn't going to look good. But today? Today was great!
He burst into my arms the moment he reached the car. I knew it was an exceptionally good day, because I'd received an email from his teacher. "Mom! I got to get off addition for Math Center and do multiplication and I PASSED!" Yes, my fourth grader was stuck on the same (still) addition sheet for WEEKS, unable to finish the last three problems in the arbitrary two minutes. My boy who has a little hitch in his brain body connection and who lets stuff get to him, like timed tests, like boys who are bullies, like girls who are "over" him because sometimes he gets stuck and he just "can't" get it.
This is the same boy who is teaching others in his class to do long division, because that he gets. Long division, he loves. Multiplication, today, he loves. Addition, not so much. Ever.
This is the same boy I reminded today how his teacher last year believed in him, and genuinely liked him, and who thought he was an amazing kid. His teacher this year believes in him, genuinely likes him, and thinks he is an amazing kid. I reminded my boy today that he has an amazing brain that is going to do amazing things someday; a brain that is already doing amazing things like long division.
He looked away, and swiped at his eyes. He swiped at his eyes again, and then rubbed them vigorously.
"Buddy? What's the matter?"
"Sometimes I'm just so happy I have tears."
I swiped at my own eyes, so I could see the road before us, "You make me so happy that I have tears, too."
Author|Award-Winning Essayist|Freelance CommercialWriter|GANE
Kim was selected as a BlogHer '13 Voices of the Year Honoree in the Op Ed category for this post, an excerpt of which has been adapted for inclusion in the book, 51%: Women and the Future of Politics, to be released late 2014. Visit her Wordpress About page to see her CV.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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