Tag Archives: mona trimble

Little Kid me Would be so Jealous Right Now

When I was a kid, I devoured books. I just couldn’t get enough of them. I loved getting into an author’s head and universe and having an adventure.

I’ve been critiquing a friend’s novel and I think the younger me would have just shit her pants at the privilege. Playing in another author’s world and pointing out flaws or the raddest shit ever and actively helping make a book better? It’s just amazing. I am transported to being a kid and reading Stephen King for the first time. It’s that level of amazement I feel sometimes as I’m critiquing. It’s seeing the world a new way. It’s fun and delightful.

I tend to be a very curious person and ask so many questions. My kid hates it when we’re at the zoo and the keepers are out because I just love to learn so much. “Mom, c’mon!” *hand tug, hand tug* 😀 But being in a dialogue with authors is so much fun. Every question I have, everything that doesn’t make sense, I ask my questions and find out. I like my certainty. And even if something is ambiguous in the story, I’ll ask my little questions and find out.

Anyway. I was making a cup of chai before getting back to my writing session and I realized how rad this all was. I hope your day is just as rad.

Courage

I’m not brave. I mean, it’s pretty obvious. I was that weird, quiet girl hiding behind a book growing up and I’m still that weird, quiet woman. Nothing has really changed. Maybe I’m better at hiding my inner weirdo, but she’s still totally there.

Anyway, there’s this popular little bit of self-help/stoic advice. What’s the worst that could happen and how bad could it really be? For a lot of men, the answer is, I lose my business and things are hard and weird for a while. But for women, the answer is: some man kills me or stalks me or sends me rape and death threats.

And it’s not like this is clear out of left field. It’s not like this is something that hasn’t happened. Women are killed and raped by men all the time.

And the last thing I’d like to do is bring this sort of craziness down on my family.

I know this is very unlikely. But this is one more stumbling block in my way. I can’t not think about this. But I can think about it and work through it and have some contingency plans.

Anyway, this is the thought I’ve been playing with lately. I’m working through my feelings about it and how to deal with it. And I think once I’ve either decided the risk is low enough, I’ll move forward.

I wonder how many of these stumbling blocks are of my own creation? I suppose I’ll find out as I cross them off.

Pupdate

Now that the dogs are feeling better and have figured out what to do with their tongues— Brigadoon especially. “I have no teeth. How do I hold this damn thing in my mouth now?!”— they’re doing their normal dog things. They’re still on pain meds, but they’re seeming super normal and happy again.

Now that they’re feeling normal, I’m feeling better.

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sleepy dogs in sunshine

Now just waiting for my productivity to catch up again 🙂

Mean Mommy & Comfort Zones

My kid is at a “Try it to see if you like it!” class at the local immersion Spanish immersion preschool.

I thought I was going to get the tour before the class, but it’s after. So, I sat around for a while, then the kids split off to do crafts and activities and stuff. The teacher was all, “Well, you can stay or…” I was all, “Uhhhh…” I waited another minute, then I left. I hadn’t eaten lunch yet and blah blah blah.

So, I left my kid there without saying goodbye. I feel terrible about it. But she’s there with her peers and the women teaching the school are so nice. And I know it’s going to be a rough transition anyway. They said it was going to be a 2-4 month transition for her to be used to the class.

Anyway. I left her.

It’s so hard for her to be out of her comfort zone. And it’s hard for me to push her out of her comfort zone.

Which makes me think about comfort zones in general. This is what makes it so hard to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. We’re both playing the mommy role and the 4-year-old with strangers speaking another language role. No wonder we get so complacent.

So, I’m sitting here crying, feeling terrible, but I know this is good for her. Her little brain is so plastic, she’ll pick up another language really quick. And god knows she needs some playmates her own age. Kids she sees more frequently than once a week at Kindermusik. So. I know she needs this. But. Always that but.

I need to push myself out of these comfort zones. I have to start querying books. I have to revise these books until they’re ready for public consumption.

I know I left my kid in a safe place, with kind, competent teachers and I’m a bawling mess. Pushing myself to do more is going to be hard. But, I know, once she’s been there for a little while, she’s going to love it. I know once I’ve reached a new normal, I’m going to love it too. It might take some tears, it might take some exquisitely uncomfortable moments, but, I’m going to do it.

UPDATE:
She loved it. When I was talking to the director after, my kid was, “Sign me up!” I don’t know where she learned “sign me up!” but she said it and we did. She went back today and she was so superduper excited to go in.

I guess I don’t have any excuses anymore. Here’s to climbing over my own boundaries.

On Vulnerability

My friend in my writing group was asking for blog topics the other day and I said, “how about on being brave?”

He wrote a great blog post I totally needed because he’s reading one of my pieces now. (An aside, Bryan Young is crazy talented and you should read his books. Seriously, go do it. Here. Let me help you)

I’m not so sure my main issue is bravery now that I’m thinking about it. I tend to the prickly side. I like to put on my makeup face, wear my armor, and look unapproachable. I skew hedgehog. My spikes? Look how fucking rad they are! But my little pink belly? Fat chance.

It’s vulnerability that scares the bejesus out of me. And that’s the hard part. And it’s been an underlying reason I’ve been hesitant to revise. Because when I revise, I’m one step closer to actually showing people my work. And then they’re one step closer to seeing my novels are poorly executed weird ideas. My jerkbrain tells me this enough already. I don’t need it externally as well.

It’s been a while since I’ve watched this, but it’s good to post:

Friends who love you and tell you how much they love your stuff are important. But so are friends who post 38 comments on your google doc, then message you with, “So, I finished the first chapter. Tell me what you think. Do they help?”

It’s hard and it’s scary, but, it’s a first step. That first step might be a doozy, but I think I survived it.

Truth Bombs

Recently, I told a friend to pull a title from Amazon. I read their book and was a little o_0 over it. The title was pulled and I was both relieved and felt terrible.

My critique partner and I were talking over breakfast the other morning and LuLo came up. It was my first real effort at a novel worth publishing and it did not go through a very stringent vetting process. The ladies in my moms group, who I love and adore, were much too nice about my book and well, it sucked. Like a lot. So, I pulled it. There are so many reasons why it sucked, which I can go into at length, if you’d like, but… Anyway. My critique partner was still much too kind about it and didn’t come out and say it, but I kind of wish she would have.

It’s nice to hear your story is fun. It’s nice to hear it’s well written. But if that’s not true, you are doing the writer a disservice. High five for the cold, hard truth.

The more writing I’m doing, the more work I’m putting into it, the more I want to hear honest critiques. I don’t want to hear it’s good if it’s dog shit. I think I’m coming to a new place in my writing, where I’m feeling brave. Where I can send out queries. Where I can get the feedback I need. I’ve been doing more research on the Dunning-Kruger effect. I think I’m getting better at this and I can judge my own abilities better. Or maybe I’m still as hopelessly hopeless as I was before ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ We report. You decide. heh. or something.

In any case, I feel like I’m taking steps forward. I don’t feel as scared. I’ve written some really terrible stories. And that was that. Nothing bad happened. As far as I know. But, I don’t feel so frightened of sending my books out into the world. I’ve been working through my revision block. And now, this. Things are moving forward and I’m feeling like a new, stronger, braver person.

Revision

I was scribbling in my journal the other day, trying to work through why I hate revision so much. And I think I’ve made some headway.

I’ve rambled a bit about my ~process~ before. I’m a pantser and don’t take kindly to outlines. I fly by landmarks. How I get there? I have no idea. I just know I do. I’m a discovery writer. I like finding out how things work and how they fit together. Continue reading Revision