A Monkey Could Figure Out What Publishers Want

I am guest posting over on Tipsy Lit today to close out their Children’s Literature Week. I guess you could say this is my official announcement that I’m writing a book. I know. A blogger, writing a book? It’s unheard of. While in many ways it may seem like a natural step, it doesn’t always feel natural. In fact, it usually feels uncomfortable and frustrating writing and illustrating a book, even before a publisher enters the picture.

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Are You Finished Yet?

The short answer: no, I’m not.

But let me begin with why I have started this blog in the first place. Quite a while ago, it crossed my mind that maybe I should jump on this bandwagon to, if anything, chronicle all the funny, wonderful little moments of my children as they grew. A sort of literary scrapbook. Besides, it kind of tickles me to think I can embarrass my kids in cyberspace. At the time, my daughter was 4 and my son was 1.  I was in “mom of young children” mode: the preschool scene, weekly playdates at the park, cutting grapes in half…you know the drill. Mommyhood was my life. (That’s not to say now that my children are at the ripe old ages of 6 and 3 , I’ve abandoned those things or the mindset. But recent occurrences have changed my inner world a bit, which I will explain in a minute.) However, like so many things I plan on doing, the whole blog idea became just another item on the “I’ll start it tomorrow” list. Well, my tomorrow has finally come.

What prompted me to finally get my backside off the couch in order to plop it down in my desk chair and start typing? A few things, but the most notable was a friend who is working on publishing a book on breastfeeding. She asked if I would contribute a story about my own experiences with it, and after procrastinating an embarrassingly long time, I finally started to compose a piece about my horrifying and hysterical account with a lactation consultant. As I typed, I could feel this energy being created in my body. When all was said and done, I realized how much I missed writing. Since young adulthood, I had always been putting the pen to paper. The frequency slowed once I became a teacher and focused my skills on teaching others to write. Then once I had my kids, I pretty much stopped altogether. But after all this time, I realized I still had something to say.

This reawakening was encouraged by a few more incidents that reminded me that even though my most important job right now is being a mom, the part of me that existed pre-children was still sleeping away inside of me. She is still little groggy, and I think I have caught her hitting the snooze button a few times, but I am hoping this blog will help her drag herself out of bed, have a strong cup of coffee, and regain her former glory. No doubt there will still be talk of kids and juice boxes and “my-son-just-said-this-what-do-I-do,” and maybe even a little poop, but hopefully I will prove to be a more dynamic character and write about the girl who always dreamed of being an author.

Now, back to my title. I had finally made the decision to become a “blogger” (I really hate that term…it sounds like someone throwing up), but the hard part was figuring out what to title it. I can never make things easy on myself and be content with something like “Kelly’s Blog.” Let’s face it; there is no satisfaction unless I completely agonize over something until the muscles in my neck want to strangle the life out of me just so I will stop obsessing. Anyway, I was staring at the computer this afternoon, trying to think of something so I could at least register for the damn blog. My daughter Grace had decided that since I was working, she obviously needed to play computer games right at that instant, after ignoring the other seven hours of the day it sat unattended. “Mom, are you finished YET?” I did not have the heart to tell her that had she not given me a wealth of ideas with that simple question, I most likely would have given up in frustration and let her frolic on Barbie.com.

Are you finished yet? I hear it more than I care to, because usually it denotes that I am falling behind, taking time away from something more important that I should be doing. Like spending time with my family. I hear it from my kids when I have told them I will play with them as soon as I finish putting away some loads of laundry. I hear it from my husband when he is going to bed and I am still in the kitchen trying to mold the perfect Star Wars character out of fondant for a cake I told someone I would make. I heard it from my friends in high school when we would go out to eat and they would be ready to hit the next destination while I was still working on my french fries (earning me the nickname Poke). Whether it is a matter of too much on my plate or just being plain slow, it seems someone is always waiting for me.

So goes my story... License: CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay
So goes my story…

But as I think about it, the question means something else, something very relevant in light of my reawakening. I am not finished yet. Despite being sidetracked, I am not finished chasing my dream of being a writer, even if my greatest works only end up on a blog. I am not finished discovering where life will take me and what new talents and joys will be born. As a teacher, I always told my students that there is never truly a final draft in the world of writing. Revisions can always be made; a composition is never finished. Now get ready for my big epiphany: the same applies to life. So goes my story of being completely undone…