Updated: Apr 3
I love my mother. She is my rock, my sounding board, my friend. My father is my backstage manager, but my mother is the director.
And like all good directors, there are days that I just don't like her. Today is one of those days.
Let me start at the beginning. My mother and I started a challenge in January. We were going to write a book together. I would do a section. Then she would do a selection; then, I would rewrite her section to fit into my next section. So on and so forth. I thought it was a great system.
Her writing is fantastic, just different from mine. Older. Refined. Like a good wine that has just been opened. My writing is spicy. Dark. I am more of a Rum writer.
Sometimes, those two drinks can go well together, but not most of the time. However, a glass of good wine can lead you on a road where you must switch to a rum. That was my mother's writing for me.
Then she quit!
Why? She doesn't like Rum.
My mother started me on my love for books, stories, and research. When did our tastes in literature stray so far from each other? I am more of a Historian or The Thirteenth Tale, while she is a Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Actually, when I think about my mother, that is what I picture. That is my mental picture of her. I have mental images for my father too. It is Angles and Demons. My sister is Twilight. Don't tell them that I told you this.
My mother quit.
She left me to carry on the book by myself. Which is not a great place to be when you had a sounding board- and then it deflated. However, my mother still wanted to write. And she wanted me to provide the ideas. Which, if you have read any of my 'Mother' blogs, you would know that she is on the right track. Her blogs get 57 readers; my blogs get an average of 10. And they are on my website! I didn't want to share this with anyone. Being abandoned by your mother at a pivotal moment in your writing career is heart-breaking. It made me question myself. Could I write without my mommy's help?
I can and have been. And most of the time, I try to keep my mother updated on our characters' lives. I am on Chapter 7. It will be a wonderful pivotal moment in the book- if only I could figure it out. It is sitting on my desktop right now, staring at me on my second screen. I have been stuck on the first sentence since yesterday.
Why since yesterday?
Please, let me tell you!
I explained to my mother the plot line's growth during our Saturday morning Facebook Video call. She tells me that I should put away the book I have spent three months writing and start another book. She recently came across a book- something about coffee and time-traveling in 3 minutes, and she thinks that I should write a book of short stories. She says this would be to my benefit- then I wouldn't have to worry about complicated scenes.
90 days I have put into this book. 90 days of research, papercuts, and exhausting mornings trying to get from point A to point C without missing point B. I think about this book in the shower. I think about this book while making (and sometimes burning) dinner. I have molded the plotline to fit into unforgettable historical moments, and it still has a Starbucks Coffeehouse. And she wants me to write a book on short stories?
It is like talking to Kekoa about my books. At the end of the conversation, you feel exhausted and unworthy. Does she remember the time I fired Kekoa? I should send her that blog again!
I have a lot of short stories. Tons of them! Sitting in a black journal. So many darn short stories. Sometimes I think that my blog on my writing journey is actually a short story. I just really wanted to finish it with a paragraph on getting a novel published. But to have that happen, the novel had to come before the book of short stories. It is a circle of doom.
I have been pondering. I went to my favorite website- Masterclass.com and had my dear friend David Sedaris talk to me. Okay, we are not friends. But I think that if he ever had the chance to meet me, we would share a coffee. David writes editorials (short stories) about his life. And he is famous! And horribly funny!
David says that it is okay to write about your life and your family- he says that I can even include names though he warns that this might not be a good idea. However, I feel safe. We have a whole country in-between us. It's not like they can show up at my doorstep without informing me that they need me to pick them up from the airport. As long as the Canadian border stays closed, I am safe.
So, I am stuck at the first sentence of Chapter 7 of the Raven Society. I really want to finish it. But my mother and David Sedaris have me convinced that maybe I should write short stories.
I don't know where to go. I knew where to go at 4:40 am yesterday when I was at my computer screen finishing Chapter 6 of the Raven Society. By 9:30 am, I was lost. And I blame my mother.
This is the true struggle of writing. Trying to pick out what you need to hear, what you want to hear, and what you need to forget—kind of like life, in a weird Hallmark Original movie sort of way. Maybe my mother was teaching me a lesson in staying on course? Perhaps she was testing my resolve to actually complete a writing project? Maybe she was just messing with my mind? Regardless of her reasoning- she is now in my blogs/ short stories. And I am going to use her real name!
Dear friends, if you are reading this- don't worry. I only have maybe 10 people who will read this- and none of them will tell on me to my mother. I am safe.