Just Write

Today’s post is inspired by Just Write, an initiative of Heather of the Extraordinary Ordinary, in which bloggers are encouraged to participate in “an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments.”

My latest review for Red Letter Reads is up; you can find it here. I gave the book, If You Could Be Mine, an A. The other reviewers didn’t like it as much. It’s funny how I am typically more generous in my reviews than others. Perhaps I have loved books too long to disparage someone’s hard work? Or perhaps I just know how hard it is to get a book published and want so much for the authors to succeed? It’s so rare for me to give up on a book; even when I dislike one, I normally push through to the end. Except for anything by Salman Rushdie. His books I really dislike. And, the Life of Pi. I couldn’t finish that one–though I still have my copy of it. Someday I’ll return to it.

I’m reading The Emperor of All Maladies right now. It’s great–full of science and history and personal interest–but it’s a commitment. I want to focus on every word–no skimming through a paragraph. At certain points in the book, I’m stopped by the beauty of the descriptions and the writing; who knew cancer could be so elegant. Next up after that one will finally be Lean In and then a book about the US food supply. I’m going to aim for something restorative or silly afterward. I’ll need “dessert” after all of those “main courses.”

***

G said something mean to a person at school last week. It was one of those comments that a four-year-old like her might say innocently–and I am sure that’s how she meant it–but it was still hurtful.

While trying to get to the bottom of why she did it, we had a “chat” before bed. Anyone with a small child knows that getting kids to share after a long day, and in a way that is actually meaningful, is challenging. The conversation quickly dissolved; when pressed, she assessed she might be in trouble and tried to put on the charm. Interestingly, it was her brother who lost patience.

“My heart is melting because you said this, G!” R exclaimed, flapping his arms to emphasize his point.

I had to bite my lip from cracking a smile. He was adorable. There’s something affirming about your parenting style when your kids step in to teach one another or, in this case, explain the consequences of poor choices. I’m not sure G got it, though, as she just laughed at his arms flapping. But I did. I saw him changing from my small baby to a person all his own.  I was proud, and a little bit sad. But mostly proud.

***

I’m taking a class at Grub Street this week. I am excited–and super nervous. I have been wanting to take a class there for the longest time, but couldn’t rally myself to make the transition from the person on their mailing list to a student in one of their terrific writing courses. Then two things happened.

First, I went to BlogHer’13 (read more about my experience here, here, here, and here). I met many lovely bloggers, and I also met AMAZING writers. That’s what excited me most about that conference: hearing people talk about writing, celebrating the achievements of my fellow writers, and being immersed in a community where words matter. It inspired me to think differently–and more seriously–about my writing.

Second, I bumped into the mother of a friend of G’s during lunch one day, and, after sharing surprise at finding one another in our small corner of Boston, I realized that not only did she work at Grub Street but that Grub Street is a block away from my office. Coincidence? Or, the universe pushing me to register?

I chose the universe.

So, wish me luck in my first professional writing course.

***

“Mama, what are you doing?”

“I’m writing, baby.”

“No, Mommy, you’re blogging.”

4 Comments
  1. August 27, 2013
    • August 28, 2013
  2. August 27, 2013
    • August 28, 2013