Friday, January 15, 2016


excellent playmates.

I am the queen
and you are the king;
you say sit here
and I sit.

And in class
my little girl
does not want to write

So I say:
I will not look
and then I feign surprise;
she is so delighted
we do it again for the next one.

cook breakfast
enforce rules
read stories
make UP stories
wipe away tears
sing you to sleep
and when you are gone

they weep
and weep
and weep.

Aunties do not keep their babies.
We always send them home.
We know our limits

When you are mine
I am all yours
but always you must go
always I must be a wanderer

Always I have no home
when there is no small soul to anchor it

Thursday, January 7, 2016


It is much easier to write about successes than failures. *sigh*

But-- in the interest of not leaving you hanging-- I thought I would mention: the novel draft I finished last summer turns out to be something I can't bring myself to revise as yet. I keep saying that it's because it is so horrible that I can't bring myself to look at it, but that is only partly true. The other part is that I'm genuinely not sure I can fix it, and the thought of first teaching myself how to fix it, and then doing so, is kind of exhausting.

I remember one Sunday last summer, after I'd gotten in a 3,000-word-day the day before. Such a hot day! I took refuge in a basement hallway, where it so happened that instead of being a shirker, I was able to be a helper. Our ward's Elder's Quorum President and Relief Society President (if memory serves) were using baby wipes (supplied by the EQP; our RSP is single) to wet the edges of envelopes which contained invitations to the ward barbecue being held later that week. As we worked, I talked about how I had always sort of seen marriage as something that would take enormous amounts of work, and at times be very frustrating, but that the end result could be incredibly rewarding. The EQP agreed, and of course I always like it when people agree with me. But-- I went on-- the part I was not expecting was how eerily well my relationship with writing would fit this description: lots of hard work, occasionally very frustrating, worth it in the end.

All of which is to say that I've recently re-committed to my relationship to serious writing. To me, this means writing with intent to publish, and doing so every day. The decision makes me feel flail-y, and vulnerable, and terrified-- and also hopeful, and strong, and alive. I still have no idea how to fix that stupid novel; I still feel like my focus is basically nonexistent (am I a fiction writer or nonfiction? Focus on children or on grownups? Long-form or short form? And the questions go on...). But: it's the year of living dangerously, as it were. How many rejection letters can I collect? Can I make enough money from publication to buy a lunch out? Could I make more? It's time to find out. (*sigh*)