I was supposed to do this about a week and a half ago, but my kids messed everything up. They’re back from their four-day stint with my folks (insert crying emoticon here), and very needy with wanting attention and to do things and go places and eat. It’s all very taxing, which is why my blog has taken a backseat. Not that it should. I know my blog is more important than my kids, but you know what they say – the squeaky wheel gets the grease and my blog is very, very quite. It’s gonna need to speak up if it’s going to compete with the kids because they never shut the hell up.
Anyway, this post is supposed to be about answering some writerly questions and introducing you to other great bloggers you should be reading if you know what’s good for you. Last week (or the week before – who can keep track anymore) Middletini asked me to be part of a blog tour that she was asked to be a part of by Herd Management who was asked to be a part of by Foxy Wine Pocket who was asked to be part of by somebody else. Thats how the internet works. I met Middletini at Blog U, but I didn’t know how much I loved her until I started reading her blog. I know, I’m an idiot. Kathleen is a lawyer and single mom of two who started blogging as a way of preventing losing her mind as she headed into her 40’s and her life hadn’t turned out as planned. Who hasn’t been there? As an added bonus she starts each post off with a suggested cocktail (that’s a lot of cocktails, people – you might even qualify for a bar tending license after this) because, as she says, she’s less offensive when you’ve been drinking. But don’t let her fool you. She’s very sweet and not at all offensive. To see what I mean check out a few of my favorite posts like Elmo Ruined Everything, which is about how Elmo caused her divorce (sorta), and I Can’t Explain it Either because it’s funny and it has a truly fantastic Vine video of a guy in tighty whiteys and black socks dancing.
Now is the time in the program where I have to answer some questions about writing. Strangely, they all had the same answer. I tried to expand on it a little bit so they wouldn’t be so boring.
What Am I Working On?
What amn’t I working on? Keeping this relentless blog afloat, getting two rather unmotivated kids to pass grade school, going viral, moving my whole life, getting along with Facebook who can be a real jerk sometimes, learning how to edit photos, possibly opening a little shop on Zazzle (I need an assistant) and keeping up with the Kardashian (actually I’m not. Even though they are on the cover of every magazine I really don’t know who is who over there because there’s a whole bunch of them, and they all basically have the same name. The only one I really know is Kim and that she’s getting married again after her two second first marriage and wanted to have the wedding at Versailles, which was just too perfect, but the French shot them down because The French have good taste and some common sense, and that’s just one more reasons to love that country.), oh, and, writing a book. Which I might note, I just finished the book proposal on, which was taking up an inordinate amount of my time (read: all my time because I became obsessed because I have a problem). I’ve been quiet on that front because I don’t like to talk about myself, which is kind of ironic because I have this blog. And, also because I’m kind of superstitious, and I don’t want to jinx myself, which I might have just done by writing this.
How Does Your Work Differ from Others of its Genre?
Who the hell knows?
Maybe it’s that often times there’s a seriousness behind the humor. I like to laugh and see the humor in everything, but many times my jokes are about things I struggle with. There’s a real person under here, you know, with feelings.
I also like to keep it clean. For the most part. In real life I can curse with the best of them, but I don’t really think obscenities have much of a place in writing. Think of books. How many are stuffed with profanities? If profanities are used, it should be done sparingly for real affect. I find a lot of vulgarity online, which isn’t my thing.
Why Do I Write/Create What I Do?
Who the hell knows?
Honestly, I started my blog because a very smart friend told me to. I didn’t want to, but I did because I take direction well. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing or who the hell would read it because I was totally anonymous, but I found it to be somewhat liberating. It helped me to cope with the tremendous demands of being a mother and a woman in this world. Especially the newly invented, totally crazy, overly involved parenting that for some reason became the norm just as women were supposed to be getting more liberated.
I started it as a place to be real, honest and empowering for other women, which sadly is lacking in the outside world. We are fed a lot of nonsense, as women and even more so as mothers, by society, and I found it not only demoralizing but diminishing and sexist. My blog runs counter to that. I wanted my writing to say to women and mothers, everything you’re feeling is natural and normal and O.K. because it’s hard work raising kids and not all “5 Fantastic Crafts You’ll Love Making With Your Kids” (because I don’t even like making one craft with my kids) or “8 Vegetables Your Kids Will Love,” (because, no, they won’t). We can’t seem to get that validation anywhere in society, and I can’t help but feel it’s a vast right wing conspiracy.
Ok, I’m kidding about that last bit, but I do feel like society benefits from perpetuating a fallacy that deifies motherhood and condemns any human behavior or emotion women experience that isn’t completely euphoric regarding her kids. And, I say motherhood because if it was parenthood, the same rigid and oppressive societal perceptions would be cast upon fathers as well, wouldn’t it?
How Does Your Writing/Creating Process Work?
What process? I sit in front of my computer and type. Sometimes I something good comes out. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I have to trash everything. Sometimes I actually like my writing, which is a huge relief.
Now, for the fun part. I’m gonna introduce you to some of my favorite peeps. Let’s start with Tracy from Orange and Silver (Because Life Almost Never Rhymes). I know it’s a bit of an unusual title, and it should really say Orange is the New Silver, but Tracy calls herself the Queen of Caustic, and for that you have to love her. I do. Here’s what she had to say about herself:
I have kids, a husband, a dog, and a full time job (and I volunteer for shit because I am completely insane, and because I’m an idiot who reads “volunteers needed” emails from the school when I’ve been drinking). I’m an only child who is now the mother of four children (11 year old boy, 9 year old twin boys, 7 year old girl). This is the parenting equivalent of growing up with a cherished pet rock, and as an adult adopting two lions, a zebra, and a penguin. I have no idea what I’m doing, and if we end every day with all four of them alive, I call it a win. I blog about whatever occurs to me when I sit down at the computer, which could be anything from a description of how my kids fight (in case you don’t get enough exposure to that shit with your own kids), to things that piss me off on a daily basis (I’m impatient with stupidity and cluelessness). I swear a lot. I am VERY susceptible to ear worms. I like wine.
Do you see now why I love her? I think she’s me. I, too, volunteer because I get suckered in, AND I write whatever occurs to me when I sit at my computer. In fact, I can’t write if I’m not at my computer. The first post I read of Tracy’s was Come to the Carnival (You Can Take My Place) and I immediately knew – based on the title and description – she was me. In fact I’d written a very similar post about my kids’ school carnival. Then she wrote This Post Contains A LOT of TMI: You Have been Warned, which is hysterical and which I’d totally do. It’s eery
Another one of my favorite peeps is Stacey Hatton from Nurse Mommy Laughs. She’s a former pediatric RN, mom of two and humorist. You can read her crazy antics on her blog, Nurse Mommy Laughs or on Facebook or Twitter. She is also a featured columnist for The Kansas City Star newspaper, published in numerous parenting and health magazines, and recognized by the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. Her humor essays can be found in her best-selling book, “I Just Want to Pee Alone” and “My Funny Major Medical.”
See why I like her? She’s fancy. And funny. My favorites by Stacey are Remind Me Why We Teach Children to Read about the time her kindergartener took it upon herself to text one of Stacey’s business associates about her real feelings on bacon, which is always a good time. Then there’s That’s Not a Drinking Fountain, Francois in which she challenges everyone to “just mention a bidet at your next party and see how much of a crowd you draw. Talk about an audience on the edge of their seats!” Finally, well not finally but finally for right now, enjoy Life Lessons from Roller Skating Camp in which she asks, “Who knew such treasures could be found in a Kansas City roller rink?”
I was suppose to include three bloggers but this post is long enough and the other blogger never got back to me. Here’s a hint Normal Level of Crazy, check your g-mail!
You have some serious reading to do, people, so you better get to it.
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