It’s been a few months since the last interview with myself and since I’m bored (you know, with the surplus of spare time that I just so happen to be imagining right now), I decided it’s time for another. Inquiring minds (and my legions of adoring fans) want to know.

(Wait, what do you mean I don’t have legions of fans? You mean it’s more like two? And my BFF Mel and The Husband do not count? I’m just going to pretend that I didn’t hear you say that. Moving on…)

So here’s the (already familiar) drill: We pretend I’m already a famous lit star and that this interview is one of many I’ve been dodging for months because I am *that* busy writing my billionth book and packing for a cruise to celebrate my gazillion dollar advance.

(My fantasy. My rules. And that means no pissing on my parade.)

Last time I was interviewed by the highly respected and totally made up Trashy Brainless Magazine. This time in a blatant attempt to get a boatload of new followers for my new twitter account dedicated to Me-the-author (as opposed to Me-the-write-mama), I think I’ll have @aspiringmama get the deets from @baby_fphat on her life, her book, and why being a writer is probably the single remaining factor standing between her me, us and a padded room.

Fascinating stuff, yes?

(Also a rule if you want to play in my head…you must agree. Or at least pretend to and humor me.)

@Aspiringmama: That was a really long-winded and self-serving intro. Which one of us is going to claim responsibility for it? Please say it’s you.

@baby_fphat: No way, princess. The blog is called Aspiring Mama, remember? This is all you. Consider this me, not taking one for the team.

AM: Damn it. I knew I wasn’t going to like you.

BF: Are my feelings supposed to be hurt? Never mind. Don’t answer that. More importantly, are you going to bother actually interviewing me? Because I have shit to do. And arguing with myself is not on my to-do list today.

AM: Well aren’t we the prima donna.

BF: Well, yes…we are. First question?

AM: Because I can’t spell it correctly, I’ll just say “too-shay.” Fine. First question. You’re new to twitter. Why should people follow you?

BF: Because I’m funnier than you. And because my account name matches the book name. That’s one. And two. Next question?

AM: Whatever. You opened the door so I’m just walking in. Have you finished the damned book yet?

BF: No, I haven’t. Genius takes time. And I can’t write any faster than the Gods allow my ass to shrink. That’s the beauty and pain of writing a memoir in real time as I live the experience. Be patient. I’m trying to be.

AM: Right. So, what have been the highlights of the 17 completed chapters? And how in God’s name did you manage to squeeze 17 chapters out of 11 pounds lost in seven months?

BF: I’m just that good. No, seriously, I am. Ok, ok, really seriously…I dived into writing Baby F(Ph)at with the intention of lighting a very public fire under my own ass in an attempt to motivate myself to lose the weight I’ve been holding on to since I squeezed Buttercup outta my hoo-ha. But I didn’t stop to consider that my PCOS and Insulin Resistance were going to be major players in that little scenario and it’s been a lot of trial and error. I can’t fix the outside until I attend to the inside and I’ve finally figured that out.

I think.

Besides, I’m pretty sure that a lot of women will relate to the fact that I didn’t just wish myself skinny(er). I’ve had to work hard at losing the little bit I’ve managed to so far, and I’ll have to work harder to lose the rest. My readers will be cheering me on.

AM: And I’m glad those therapy sessions have addressed that self-esteem issue you were having.

BF: *grinning* thank you.

AM: Snark and manners. I like it. What other character flaws should I be aware of?

BF: I’m late. For everything. Ever vacationed in a time-share at Mexican resort and get pissed because nothing ever started when it was supposed to? Yeah. I didn’t get pissed because I’m running on the same internal clock those Cancun and Mexican Riviera resort employees are. I think the scientific term is “Mexican time.” The Husband has learned to deal.

Oh, and I second-guess everything. There’s a rule The Husband likes to call “The Menu.” No matter what it is I’m looking to buy, shoes, a laptop, a new bra, or dinner at a restaurant, the minute I say, “I think I’ll try that…” is when The Husband Takes The Menu away. Because if he doesn’t and I have enough time to say, “You know? This sounds good instead…” I always end up pissy and moping because  realize I should have gone with my first choice. I think it’s a medical condition.

AM: Fascinating. So we’re crazy?

BF: You decide. I just interviewed myself again.

 

I’ve become a lot of things in my life.

A student. A bratty teenager. A blushing bride. A journalist. An aspiring writer (on my own terms).

But becoming a mother is the one that has finally shown me what my parents meant when they sighed and said, “You aren’t going to understand until you have your own.”

I get it now. I do.

Like any parent, I’d do anything for my child. And what follows here is a guest post by Juliette Terzieff about an ever-growing number of moms and dads willing to do the same for a world of children suffering from rare diseases. I’ll be wearing jeans on Feb. 28. Will you?

***

Most mothers will do anything to protect their child’s best interests and help them succeed. It’s part of being a mom – a reflection of that overwhelming, all-encompassing love that we feel for our tiny mini-mes.

So I guess it’s hardly a surprise that battalions of mothers (and fathers!) out there have joined together to support the campaign effort to raise awareness about Rare Disease Day, February 28. The slogan for this year’s campaign is “Hope – It’s in your genes.”

These parents are simultaneously just moms and dads like any of us, and amazing individuals willing to step forward and try to make a difference. They, and the campaign, deserve our support.

The campaign is simple, as campaign organizers explain:

“[an]occasion to inform or remind people that rare diseases need to be paid special attention to, because:

The lack of specific health policies and the scarcity of expertise translate into delayed appropriate diagnosis and difficulty of access to care.

Rare diseases are life-threatening or chronically debilitating diseases with a low prevalence and a high level of complexity. Patients with very rare diseases and their families are particularly isolated and vulnerable ….

The rare disease patient is the orphan of health systems, often without diagnosis, without treatment, without research, therefore without reason to hope.”

While it may sound like an oxymoron thousands of rare diseases affect tens of millions of people around the world – 30 million in the U.S. alone.

The Global Genes Project is helping to drive the campaign with information and ways to get involved found here.

There are several easy ways to get involved:

  1. Wear jeans and/or a denim ribbon on Feb. 28 to show your support.
  2. Follow campaign supporters/leaders like @GlobalGenes @RareDiseases @RareDiseaseDay and @CRDNetwork on Twitter – and Retweet their campaign messages.
  3. If you are on Twitter, Tweet out to your followers on Rare Disease Day and trend #raredisease and #blog4rare
  4. If you are a Facebook user, get involved, become a fan of the Global Genes Project here.
  5. Blog about Rare Disease Day like mom @sneakpeekatme did on her blog “Sneak Peek” – Then send a link to your blog to another mother-activist @supercatcalhoun who is publishing a running directory of Rare Disease Day blogs.
  6. And, of course, follow me @SpecTeams and come join the #specialteams – a community for parents, caregivers and supporters of ill or special needs children – for more information, support and opportunities on efforts like Rare Disease Day.

This post originally appeared on Juliette Terzieff’s website.

 

Remember this post? If you’re not in the mood to click on the link, let me just summarize for you and say that it’s the one where I finally admitted defeat and canceled the weekly #famwritechat where parent writers could support each other in our goals to keep our wits about us, the kids fed and accounted for, our spouses and partners happy, and our creative selves satisfied.

It was a great idea in theory but I just didn’t have the time to commit to a proper execution. That, and the fact that mom and dad writers alike are already slammed with one too many obligations, so another appointment to add to the list made for some pretty quiet parties.

Instead, Twitter Pimp Queen @Jeannevb has suggested the use of a hash tag. I like #famwriting. Yes, there already is an  #amwriting hash tag in place and it’s frequently used by a great mix of talented people. But because I’m always chasing my own tail and generally going crazy with family shhhtuff, I jump at any free moment I am gifted for a chance to write.

I’m thinking there are other parent-writers in the same position, whether it be when the kids are napping, before they’ve woken up, while they’re at school, or while you’re hiding in the bathroom with the netbook feigning an upset stomach for five minutes alone to think through a scene.

So here’s the deal: if you wanna play you call the time, the shots, and how often you feel like tweeting about your writing/family craziness. Whenever. Wherever.

Consider it an open house invitation.

Hope to see you there.

 

I’ve been staring at my computer monitor for an hour now, but I can’t say I’ve gotten anything productive done. The Husband went to bed at 5:30 p.m. (pesky midnight schedule has him on a totally different planet than the rest of us in the house) and Buttercup passed out on our hour-long walk this evening.

Little girl was tired, toIMG00382-20100223-1951o. I got her out of the stroller, out of her jacket, and upstairs to bed without her waking up.

Long story short? I was free to do whatever I wanted by 8:30 p.m.

Short story long? It’s 10:11 and I finally stopped drooling over purses on Piperlime, ended my gchat with Juliette because she has to go to bed, and decided I better get blogging so I can force myself to write chapter 16 tonight. The goal is strictly quantity. Quality can kiss my ass until I’ve gotten beyond the blinking cursor on a blank page.

Anyhoo, it occurred to me that my problem is that I am nowhere near used to the concept of Time to Myself. Normally my writing time is sandwiched in between getting Buttercup in bed (which is a production and takes for-effing-ever) and The Husband out of bed at 9 p.m. so he can be out the door for work at 11 p.m. And after cleaning up the kitchen from making his dinner and meal for his lunch cooler, I can finally sit my ass down about midnight to work on that Getting Famous thing.

But Buttercup was a breeze tonight. And The Husband is off tonight, so he’s sleeping in till midnight. And because he thinks I need more sleep, he’s going to kick me off the computer at about 12:30 so I can maybe get eight hours in for once.

He actually told me last night that I need to figure out how to handle things a bit better so I can get my writing done earlier so I  can sleep more. I understand that he meant this in a way that expressed his concern for me burning myself out by staying up until 3 a.m. and then waking up with Buttercup at 8:30, but I just looked at him and blinked.

Because really, there was absolutely no response to that. Except for maybe, “Oh? We hired a maid, housekeeper, and a nanny? Or are you sniffing glue again?”

 

There’s good news.

And then there’s bad news.

And since it’s only Tuesday, I’ll start with the good. And that, my friends, is that I’m getting on the right track, losing some weight, and just finished chapter 18 of my book. *Cue the marching band and confetti!*

The bad? Chapter 16 is turning me into a cliched writer because 1) my muse has decided to toy with me and 2) I’m this close to claiming asylum on Writer’s Block Island.

If you’ve seen the small portions I’ve posted here and here on my blog, you know that I’m writing Baby F(Ph)at in present tense. And the reason I’m doing that is because I’m writing as I live my experiences. It can’t get any more real than that, folks. And up until about a week ago, I was doing fine in my quest to stick to writing in sequential order. If something happened while I was writing chapter 6 that I thought would be great for chapter 7, I’d take as many notes as I could for cues when I got to it. No way was I going to try and work on tomorrow while today was still a reality.

It kept things neat and nice. Then I effed up. I finished chapter 15 and then I finished chapter 16. Then I had a conversation with my writing pal, Juliette, and realized that I completely skipped over a rather important segment that would explain a lot in 16. So I played Musical Chapters. Fifteen stayed where it was, 16 became 17, and then somehow 18 got written and I still haven’t worked my way back.

I know what I’m writing about in 16, mind you. I just can’t seem to pause reality long enough so I can devote the time necessary to writing it without missing out on the now I need for my book.

The problem with writing a memoir in real time is that every single moment I am living jumps into my head to immediately push the most recent experience (like typing the letter “r” ) out of the way to make room for the newest (like typing a that letter “r”.) It’s a pretty bad way of trying to explain that once the sun has risen on the next day and a new set of possibilities, my Present-Tense-Brain is going to be hard to convince that it’s allowed to backtrack to write about yesterday as if it was still today.

***

This would be one of those moments where I wonder why I couldn’t have just written the memoir after the fact. You know, like normal people.

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