What does one buy her husband to make up for the general craziness of the writing/blogging/freelancing life putting the sex life on the back burner when Important Things Are Happening that Must Be Attended to Right This Minute? I’m thinking the man-equivalent to Something Shiny and Sparkly.

Don’t say a Ferrari. I’m freelancing. That Writer-Speak for “Looks Good On Paper Only” with “Fucking Broke” understood to be the most accepted translation. Besides, it’s not like I came home smelling like another man’s cologne or something. That, my friends, would require what normal people tend to refer to as “Free Time”.  I have been told this “Free Time” is something one can only find outside of The Internet and requires the separation, if only temporary, mind you, of self and laptop. Always interesting, this learning about the habits of the Non-Writer.

The other night, after a frantic nod to, um, Quality Time, (and a “Was That Good For You? Yes? Good!,” exchange as I bolted out of the room and into my email to reply to a revision request from my editor, I realized I’m married to a saint. I mean, I knew that before Oh Husband Whom I Know is Reading These Words, but sometimes, the little Aha! Moments tend to jump out and say You Have No Idea How Difficult You Are to Live With Sometimes and Why is Pinterest Giving His Penis a Complex?

Let’s discuss, shall we? Or would it be easier to just get a calendar and a Sharpie and circle the other days of the month indicating:

  • Deadlines
  • Twitter parties
  • Sherlock
  • That blog post I REALLY need to write about that thing that just went viral that I’ll go to my grave swearing a tiny part of me wasn’t convinced my brilliant response would go viral, too
  • General stabbiness because ten different bloggers TOLD me I’m a much better writer than that two-bit hack that went viral only because she got lucky (after I asked them, of course)
  • My fictional characters in that novel I’m writing just acted out the next scene inside my head I have to write RIGHT now or I lose it all
  • The kid drove me nuts all day
  • PINTEREST
  • Live-tweeting Downton Abby
  • I got in a phone fight with his mom
  • I got in a phone fight with my mom
  • We’re out of chocolate
  • We’re out of wine
  • We’re out of chocolate-flavored wine
  • The hours I need to comb through blog archives in search of THE PERFECT PIECE of literary wit to submit to –
  • A) Listen To Your Mother
  • B) Blogher Voices of the Year
  • That Facebook quiz I need to take to figure out what character I’m most like in Harry Potter, which leads me to the one about what kind of French cheese I am
  • The dishes in the sink that aren’t gonna do themselves
  • The fifteenth online book launch party this month for yet another friend I can’t let down
  • The twitter argument I have to finish with this idiot who has no fucking clue who they’re messing with
  • The planets are out of alignment
  • Mercury is in retrograde …. Again
  • File another invoice while secretly cursing the chick with the 300 Sandwiches and the book deal
  • I’m busy buying 19 more URL’s for ideas I’ll never get to…just in case
  • Frantic text conversations with the online friends I’ve yet to meet in person discussing Important Things like how many pairs of shoes to pack for that conference none of us have actually purchased tickets for yet
  • My 1,000 word goal for the day is still 989 words short
  • The NEED to Google my blog Alexa rank RIGHT NOW even though I still have no idea what it means
  • Which, obviously, is to be followed up by checking my Klout score
  • *Googling “Does Klout Matter to People who don’t think in 140?
  • I haven’t yet taken 30 selfies from different angles, narrowed it down to the perfect one, and thought up a witty caption for that #365feministselfie thing and posted it EVERYWHERE before I even THINK of getting naked
  • That important email I’m waiting for that will show up right now if I keep hitting refresh
  • The conference call I’m waiting on in east coast time with everybody else in west coast time
  • The kid drove me nuts all day & we’re out of chocolate-flavored wine
  • The writing and scheduling of next week’s blog posts
  • When I was frisky while he was at work and I was home alone and I took care of it myself already because I was being proactive and really should be congratulated for thinking ahead to free up my night to …
  • Pick any of the above

Damn. Poor guy puts up with a lot, doesn’t he?

We writers are a special bunch. And the people who are nuts enough to love us deserve their own reality shows, I think. Because when we make it big? That’s when we make it up to them and they can proudly tell the world they knew marrying the crazy lady would totally pay off in the end.

Just let me finish up this chapter so I can write this blog post and hit Publish because dammit, this one’s gonna go viral.

I just know it.

 

Jan 122014
 

Sometimes, the blogosphere has to come second. While this space has served me well in allowing me to get the Instant Gratification fix so important to my sanity, the deadlines take precedence. I thought about blogging every day that I couldn’t. And that’s something, at least.

This past week was one of the crazier ones. Three deadlines — two for Latina and one for a new writing partnership I’ll be announcing soon. I homeschool and the girl-child has an extra-curricular activity every. single. day. of. the week. Plus the cooking of the meals and the trying to make sure we have something clean to wear … and the bed time routine and the MAMAIAMTHIRSTYINEEDTOGOPOTTYCANIHAVEMOREWATERPLEASEITHINKTHERE’SAMONSTERUNDERMYBED business usually means I’m sitting down to write around 10 p.m. or so. And then I write, email me work off to my editors, and if I’m still able to blink beyond the sleep and focus 0n the screen before me, that’s when I open a new word doc I’m working on….

I’m writing a novel, y’all. I’m pretty sure it’s the one thing I was supposed to be working on all those times I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be working on and now that I’ve figured it out, I’ll sleep when I’m done.

Which brings me to the reason I cracked open the laptop today before the sun set. While my daughter plays quietly in her room and The Husband watches some TV instead of taking down the Christmas tree, I’m here to announce the end of Girl Body Pride. And because the click-throughs no longer matter, I’ll share the reasons behind the why in this space that isn’t going anywhere.

I called it The Final Bow.

 

 

 

photo(65)

This is a hard post to write. It’s surprising how hard it is to find the words, actually, considering that after much soul-searching and late night text message marathons with the friends I’ve made through writing. But then again, I guess knowing what needs to be done  doesn’t make the doing any easier, even with the absolute certainty that I’ve made the right decision.

It’s time to bow down to the many incredible and established voices in the realm of body and self-image discussions.  It’s time to let Girl Body Pride fade into internet oblivion.  While I’ve truly the experience and am grateful to have connected with some of most talented writers I know, I think this is the right thing to do. My role as Latina Magazine’s advice columnist, alongside homeschooling my daughter, my personal blog, and the occasional need to sleep, all have limited the time I am able to responsibly bitching about which celeb mom’s six-week post-partum bikini body is giving us all a complex on this week’s glossy magazine cover. Deadlines that help pay the bills always take priority, as does time with my little girl and husband. Clearly, something had to give. The answer became clear when I realized I was no longer capable of giving 100 percent of my efforts to making this site all I had believed it could be.

If I see you at any conferences this year, you’ll probably receive a business card that lists Girl Body Pride as part of my identity. And that’s perfectly fine with me because I think it always will be. I’m grateful for the words shared on the site by so many wonderfully talented writers and bloggers, thankful for the friends made and connections established, and so very appreciative to you, our readers, for cheering us on along the way.

You’re still beautiful, just the way you are. And you always will be.

 

And that’s that.

 

I’m not cheating. I’m reminiscing.

There’s a difference.

I was curious about the first November for Aspiring Mama. It’s been a while since I’ve looked in the archives, and even then I didn’t go back to the very first few months. In November is 2009, Aspiring Mama was just 4 months old. In the muddlings of a brand new blogger and always writer trying to find my way, this is what I saw…

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a middle-aged mother who was long passed being mistaken for a beautiful young maiden.

This mother had traded in her ability to sing woodland animals into helping her whistle while she worked, her penchant for taming even the most wild of the beasts, and her magical coach and footmen for a humble life with The Man She Loved and a Child for whom she’d give her last breath, along with piles of dirty laundry waiting to be done, dishes that just wouldn’t wash themselves, and an ass that magically expanded at the mere sight of food.

It was a mundane existence, but one filled with its own inspired moments. For the love of the Child could not even compare to the perks her Fairy Godmother once provided. Dreams of princes, beautiful ball gowns, and happily ever afters might have been nice while they lasted, but this mother understood that her place in Reality was one she could take great pride in, even if that place was a precarious one and sure to drive her as insane as her crazy Step-Sister who spent her days in a padded room trying to shove her size 10?s into a size 5 glass slipper.

“Who wears a glass slipper, anyway?” the mother wearily sighed. Forget the mere idiocy of the thought and the smell of nasty foot sweat sure to come part and parcel with wearing the damned things, but if it broke? Good Heavens! How unsafe it would be in her humble home for The Child while she cleaned.

One night, the mother dreamed. She dreamed vibrant colors, swirling images, and magic-filled words. She woke to hear The Child crying for her and tucked her dream away for just one more moment, one more day in the land of Reality, and tended to The Child’s, filling her sweet head with visions of singing mermaids, beautiful princesses, and houses built of candies.

Her own dreams could wait. For just a little while longer.

 

This post originally appeared with the title Once Upon a Time on Aspiring Mama in November of 2009.

 

The funny thing about blogging everyday  vs. blogging when Something Big Brewed Itself Into a Blog Post is that the second version requires far less thought. Maybe I dropped 1,200 words in 30 minutes on whatever soapbox I had climbed on that particular day, but they were 1,200 coherent and dedicated words that freed my brain to concentrate on Everything Else for an extended period of time. Since my work responsibilities have increased I’ve had a few months where blogging once a week was an accomplishment, but that also meant that I only thought about my blog four times in 30 days.

I may have missed some of the fun stuff, but it was also liberating as hell to not be mentally married to Hitting Publish every day.

Because of NaBloPoMo I’m back on the daily What Do I Write About Today bandwagon and I’ll be honest…I like it just about as much as I hate it. I’m capturing bits and pieces of myself on the blog like I used to but I’m also missing out on other things…like sleep. I haven’t been able to stick to my exercise routine for the life of me, either. And I apologize if you happen to think I have time to talk on the phone. That number is for texting only, people. Who has time to talk???

There’s the job and homeschooling and extra-curricular activities and then sometimes The Husband wants to have sex and instead I’m waving him off because #NaBloPoMo means 30 days of blogging and I Just Need to Link This Post Up Here and Tweet that there and then do a rain dance to increase my chance of comments over here… And before you know it I’m eyes glazed over on Pinterest (because all portals of the Internet lead to Pinterest) and he’s asleep and I owe him a lot of sex right now…

You guys? What’s the hashtag for December? Because if it’s #NaBloBlowMo, he may just forgive me for November.

 

 

Watch your back, Cinderella

1) I hate spiders.

2) If all the Disney Princesses tried to take out Wonder Woman in a fight, I’d put money on Wonder Woman. Hands down.

3) Real shredded coconut “tastes” like paper to me. Shut. Up.

4) When I am out in public here in Maine and make eye contact with another minority, they give me the Nod of Acknowledgment.

5) I always nod back.

6) Strangers can read anything I write. I’m not afraid of you judging me.

7) It took me a long time to get comfortable on my own blog to drop an F bomb. And look at you still reading, you naughty, naughty person, you….

8) It was liberating as hell when it finally happened.

9) Sometimes I have to pretend temporary amnesia when I write here & my column because now that my family knows what I do, the pressure is on, y’all.

10) I swear like a sailor but blush when people say that P word that rhymes with hussy (Hint: smartasses who try leaving comments containing that word will be deleted. Me and my virgin eyes can’t handle it, so don’t try it.)

11) I’m thinking of starting a podcast but am wondering if I have a voice for blogging.

12) I never got  pregnancy/labor amnesia. So we got a new puppy. Since my ovaries hate me I guess I don’t have to worry, anyway.

13) Related? Only people without kids can say that raising a puppy is like having a child. We used to say it all the time. Then we had a child. All I’m saying is rubbing your kid’s nose in their pee spot on the carpet might not work out so well for you, so I’d advise against being stupid.

14) I was 5’1″ when I was 8 years old. My mother is 5,1″, which means I was wearing her pants in the third grade. Which also means I have only grown 5-inches in 27 years. Wow, that’s depressing.

15) My mother brought me home from the hospital in a Christmas stocking.

16) There’s a reason I prayed for a summer baby, y’all.

17) I was left standing on my porch, dressed for the senior year Homecoming dance, with mascara-stained tear tracks in my blush, when I realized the high school friends who had invited me to “go stag” with them never showed to pick me up.

18) I had my first kiss with my first boyfriend at 16 years old.

19) I speak really good Spanish when I’m drunk.

20) I never have time to get drunk.

21) My Spanish usually sucks.

22) My mother dressed me as a clown for Halloween one year and combed my Mexifro out into an afro and sprayed it to look like a wig. She must have done a really good job. I spent the entire Girl Scout party beating Brownies off my head as they all tried to yank my wig off so they could try it on themselves.

23) I hate clowns.

24) I had a reverse boob job when I was 24. The Husband looked like a proud new father when he told his friends that his wife’s former GG’s were now cute and perky DD’s.

25) Eliana fit in one of my old bikini cups when she was born. (Like you wouldn’t have tried?)

26) You know that scene in the original Blade movie where the vampires are in the underground club dancing in wild abandon as the sprinkler system showers them in blood? Yeah…that’s the song The Husband and I were introduced to at our wedding reception.

27) #26 was my idea. The Husband is still grateful.

28) I didn’t know MTV existed until I was 14. i also didn’t realize that our car radio played anything other than Mexican music or oldies stations. My social life? Sucked.

29) I’m the oldest of five girls. The youngest two are 10 and 11 years younger than me, and Mom used to make me wake with the crying babies at night and still go to school the next morning.

30) My mother is an evil genius.

31) I hate it when people refer to how big my daughter is. She’s tall, assholes, not big. Can we talk about how big you are now? Oh right, that’s not polite.

32) Milk makes me sneeze. A lot. Which makes me miss ice cream.

33) Bananas also make me sneeze. Which just makes me weird.

34) This is my third blog. The first two were me trying to write what I thought other people wanted to read.

35) Are you still reading?

36) My goal in life is to make it onto Graham Norton’s couch & the Top Gear track. I’ve got a think for BBC.

37) I typo. A lot. Deal with it.

38) I have ADHD and wish people knew that the condition doesn’t just mean I’m forgetful.

39) I homeschool and wish people didn’t assume that means my child is locked in a closet all day. We at least let her out for five minutes of sunlight every day. Twice on Sundays.

40) I once yelled at my sister for closing the car windows with my fingers in them after I told her to close the window and left my hand there.

41) I met The Husband online when online dating was still something to whisper about.

42) I was the Mexican Princess Searching for her Prince.

43) Chuck it up, people. Chuck it up.

44) I queried 45 agents before I got signed.

45) My agent never saw my query.
46) I’m Latina Magazine’s advice columnist only because I didn’t think I was going to get the job. Think about that one.
47) I write first and think about sharing later.
48) I never self-censor words that need to be written. I decide if they should be shared after. But I always write them.
49) I choked on water once. In a cup. Sitting at the kitchen table. Yes, I am that talented.
50) The End
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