Monday, February 14, 2011

Very Superstitious

First, Happy Valentine's Day, lovebirds. I'm looking forward to reading all those lovey blogfest posts~

In the meantime, anybody out there superstitious about your writing? Like those baseball players who don't change their socks because they think it helps them make home runs or something?

I don't keep up with baseball, so that's probably mixed up. I'm also not superstitious... but I am nervous as our little family faces some enormous changes in the coming months.

Most of you know I'm no spring chicken. I'm not fresh out of college, MFA clad, sitting down to write the Great American Novel.

Nope. For some reason unknown to me, I sat down at the computer in September 2009 and started writing. And it was very much like Forrest Gump starting that run. You know, the second run--where he ran coast to coast after Jenny left again?

In 18 months I wrote four complete books, 45,000 words of a third, 15,000 words of two more, and sketched out the storylines for two more.

My hair grew long, I stopped shaving and cleaning the house regularly. When I needed to go, I went.

I also dropped out of many of my pre-writing social and school-related activities. I basically became a hermit.

And for a while, I kept waiting to start having seizures or passing out or something like that. You know, signs that it really was a Brain Tumor a'la that Awakenings film or something.

I mean, seriously. There was no explanation for me suddenly behaving this way. OK, sure, my MOM always said I'd write a book. But pfft. What does she know?

I did always want to be a writer, but I never thought I could write a whole book. I was thinking more like news articles or magazine columns, which I did for many years.

Suddenly, here I was writing like some kind of maniac, with ideas appearing everywhere I turned. And people seemed to like it. (That part was really cool.)

Well, now everything's about to change--we're moving 800 miles due north, we've got to sell a house, buy another, find schools, meet parents, reconnect with folks we haven't seen regularly in seven years, rediscover a city JRM and I knew as single adults and then very new parents... NOW as parents of two little ladies who are trusting us when we say this isn't going to screw up what until now has been a pretty sweet existence for them.

The only life they've ever known has been 30 minutes from the beach in a tiny town where they know everybody and everybody knows and looks out for them. Laura's told me on two separate occasions her teacher has said the following to her:
  1. "You make me smile." And
  2. "You're my sunshine."
Wow. The fear that grips me at not being able to find that for them again is almost as big as the fear that this writing thing I love will simply stop.

I don't know what started it. And as I've told my friends here who complain about my new absentee lifestyle, I have to keep going with it. I don't know when it's going to disappear.

So what to do? Hope and pray for the best?

Have any of you gone through significant life changes since starting your writing journey and made it through, creativity intact?

In other news, any encouraging words for this mommy who's shaking in her boots that she's wrecking her daughters' Mayberry childhood?

Have a lovely Valentine's and great week, reader-friends! Til Thursday~ <3


Jessica Bell said...

Oh my gosh, this is making me cry. I'm so sorry you have to go through all of this. I really am. I wish I could jump through my screen and give you a huge hug.

Words of encouagement: Children ARE resilient. They might complain, they might hate you and the new house and the new school with a passion. But it will NOT take long for them to find something that they love about their new home. Believe me. I remember very very well as a child being switched from Aust to Greece, and back to Aust again, over and over. And every time I hated the day I had to leave. But then, I'd get there and I wouldn't want to leave the new place either. They'll BE FINE :o) XOXO

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Oh, sweetie, I'm all teary. I'm sure 800 miles seems like a mountain, but somehow...when the hindsight hits you about two years from now--it will all make sense. If you moved a bit more north, we could hang out!!

Thinking of you and please keep us (me) informed. We'll chat. Heart to u on the Valentine's Day.

Cruella Collett said...

I realize I am very much out of the blog loop as I have absolutely no idea what has happened here. Hope you're all okay, and that you'll eventually be able to look back at this as an opportunity you grasped, and that turned out for the best for all of you. Kids generally don't want to move - as they generally don't know what they are moving towards, while they know what they are leaving. Same thing often goes for adults, even if we are more capable of imagining what the new place will be like.

I agree with Jessica, though, more often than not kids end up liking, if not loving, their new home.

As for you, the writer, I can't say for sure. I've never been allowed (or rather, I've never allowed myself) to get so caught up in the writing bug that I forget everything else. I should very much like to do it some day. In the meantime I can only stand by and observe that despite the many twists and turns shaking up my life so that a writing habit, for instance, seems impossible, I never lose the feeling that I am a writer. And that makes me confident that I will get back to it - and more - I will one day allow myself to forget everything else and just write. I hope to be a Gump someday too :)

Good luck with all the transitions - both physical and otherwise, and keep the spirit up. *hugs*

Vicki Rocho said...

Life changes will make your writing richer. You may not notice it at first, but all experience adds something and the big ones definitely change things.

Laura Pauling said...

I haven't gone through anything that major. But I wouldn't put the stress on yourself to try and keep a busy writing schedule while trying to move. But even 30 minutes a day can make a difference! I hope we hear more about the move. I'd be a tiny bit scared to. But great things could also be in store!

DEZMOND said...

Hope you're having a romantic Valentines Day, Leigh ;)

Tracy said...

My situation is different than yours, but when I finally got myself settled in and writing on a regular basis it was because I'd been laid off from my job and was having a hell of a time finding gainful employment. Writing was my way to calm the nerves.

So when I started back to work full-time last May, I was afraid the whirl of real life was going to pull me away from it too. It didn't.

Granted, I don't have six hours a day to devote to my writing anymore, but I've still managed to keep myself on a schedule of writing and editing. You may have to grow accustomed to a slower pace, but you can still do it!

Tracy said...

WEll, my dear, you are about to embark upon a journey that will no doubt change your life but will also instill in you AND your girls that change can be good! We moved in '08 to NC from son was a fourth grader and did NOT want to move...all the fears and insecurities accompanied us as did our belongings. We not only endured but we becamse closer as a family and found new qualities in each that prepared us for this new life.
You will be fine, not without bumps and brusies, but you will find a new 'normal' and settle into a life that you didn't know you were capable of having!
Look upon it as an adventure and enjoy the ride!

Carolyn Abiad said...

What they said! - Yes, it takes some adjustment, but the important things always work out - kids find new friends, you find some great new neighbors, and well...I can't say from experience about the writing, but I know talent just doesn't just disappear!

Matthew MacNish said...

Not since I've started writing. But, before that, my life went through more catastrophic changes than the earth during the last ice age.

All I can say is that everything happens for a reason. As long as you have your family around you, and your love for each other is intact, you should do fine.

Not to minimize your worries.

Happy VD LTM!

vic caswell said...

we moved several times when i was a kid, and i loved it. my sister hated it. the difference was that i saw the move as a chance for an adventure, new beginnings, new things to learn... by sister kept looking back and missing what she left. if we had to move now, i would make sure my kids had the addresses (or parent's emails) of all their friends so they could keep in touch- but then i would emphasize what a great adventure a new move can be. i would try to get them excited by all the newness- a new place to live, new friends, a new park to hang out at, specific things to that city that are different from the ones they already know. maybe find some movies or books where the mc is a new kid and has a blast of adventures with their new friends. that kind of thing.
but i wouldn't worry about wrecking your kids' lives. that isn't something you are doing. you are enriching their lives with experiences that will make them, you, and your husband grow. and you are providing for them as best as you can- which speaks tons about the love you have. kids can sense your nervousness- and while it's right and natural to be nervous, it is also right and natural to be excited- make sure the kids are sensing that too. afterall, you spoke of the huge change that came to your life when the writing bugs started crawling under your skin- and that turned out to have wonderful results... i'm sure that many wonderful things will come of this huge change too! :)

Old Kitty said...

LTM!!!!!! I don't know what to say!! Except you are a brilliant mum, a great woman, a fab writer and you are completely in love with your daughters and so they will survive this upheaval with your around!! Yes they will!!!!

Big, big, big hugs and lots of more hugs!! Take care and good luck and Happy Valentines!! xx

Colene Murphy said...

You will be great. I bet, when you get there, so much recognition will just come rushing back to you! It was difficult for me to leave that area, BUT what helped was the fact that I knew it was meant to be and that everything would work out for the best. It's a very comforting thought. And it's true! I miss the coast every day, but here is home and I'm happy. I know that will happen for you too!

Summer Ross said...


As fellow mother I will tell you your children trust you, and they love you. Kids are resilient creatures and their ability to adapt is unique. Give lots of hugs and kisses during the changes. Be supportive of their fears. Everything will be fine!

As far as creativity- well look at it this way- when things became hard for all those classic authors- what did they do? they used those hard times to write- it gave them inspiration just as these changes will give you inspiration. Trust yourself and your ability.

It might get crazy and it might get hard- but in the end you will have so much more writing material.

LTM said...

@Laura--I know that's very good advice. And I'm focusing on taking such an approach and not letting myself get overwhelmed. :o) Thanks~

@Summer--Thanks, girl. I know it's all material, right? I was actually thinking about that yesterday. Have a great V'day~ :o)

Unknown said...

I moved from Canada to Mexico and thought that my writing would dry up like a prune but it didn't. In fact, I've been able to write more because I've had more time. I hope your move goes well.

Angela said...

Focus on your move and then let the words flow. You can always write, no matter where you are, even if you can't devote as much time to it as you once did. Little projects rock!

Patti Struble said...

I don't know that making it intact is part of the contract. We jumped ship last summer; moved 650 miles. Our son just finished middle school & our daughter was running into senior year. But, you know what, we all integrated, embraced & acknowledged that it was all worth it.
We are a much happier, grounded bunch. And that, is always a good thing. Besides, together no matter the whether!! Enjoy it to the fullest.

Lydia Kang said...

What a big change! I made a major move a few years before I began writing, and it was terrifying. Now the kids have adjusted as have I, and we are all happier for it.
The writing will still be there when the dust settles. I'm sure of it!

Hart Johnson said...

I think in the short term you have to PLAN on a disruption. All that checking out schools, selling house, buying house stuff... But look at it this way. Right now you are having to WORK a lot, yes? So maybe ease the 'making life' into the work spot in the short term, and still write SOME, and then when things get settled and there is less investigation, you can fit the writing in THERe, too.

My only transitions HAVEN'T been me since I really started writing, but when they happen, I find I turn to the writing even MORE and immerse myself deeper into freakdom.

You'll do it! You and the girls won't go until school is out, yes? But you can start work once JRM is working?

Ella said...

I know you can do this, I have done it! I too did the Forest Gump run with art...and I stopped cleaning the house, I mean FROG and it piled up and was noticed. I admire all your hard work; I was 40, the last time I moved, it was a pain in the ass, but I love the quaint area I live in now. I loved the before, but the after is now my favor. It will take time and adjustments, but this is an adventure, a new chapter in your life! I am holding your hand...
Happy Valentine's Day~

Tara said...

I grew up in one city - one house. Only moved out when I got married (about 10 miles from my home). 6 years ago hubby and I decided to pack it up and move. We picked NC out of the blue (because we are from S. FL, we figured we would freeze to death any farther north ;) ). Our kids were only 2 1/2, so they didn't really understand, and I didn't have to worry about school at that point. Anway, it was the best thing I've ever done. I am so happy here!

As a fellow writer hermit, I wish you all the best.

PK HREZO said...

I laughed out loud reading your Forrest Gump analogy. That's exactly how it was with me too. I always knew I'd be a writer, but I hadn't really been writing til one day in 2007 I started writing a story and haven't stopped writing since. (not the same story of course) :p
But it was like opening the floodgates and I haven't been able to turn off the creativity.. not that it's a bad thing, but time is not my friend. I have to steal the precious writing moments in the wee hours of the morn or night, or I don't get them. And I've become a hermit too. The funny thing is that I don't really care. I'm happier writing than doing much else. It's like I've finally found my niche and I don't really need much else other than my fam.

I think your girls are gonna be just fine. Change is good, and it will make them stronger more versatile beings. I was born and raised in the same town and I always wanted to move when I was a kid. Their horizons will be broadened and they'll make new friends. Don't feel bad. Be tough, be brave and show those girls what you're made of. Life is full of changes, disappointments, and obstacles ... sheilding your kids from such things won't help them to grow.

I was wondering where you'd been. you will be a busy lady. Wishing you all the best ... and keep us posted. :)

Patti said...

Sometimes things happen for reasons that we can't even conceive of until years later. I hope it doesn't take that long.

That happened to me. I wondered why we had even moved to a certain place, but the answer became clear years later.

Good luck.

Shannon said...

Jess has it right - Children ARE resilient. Don't worry. This is the adventure of a lifetime for them. Think of it that way and it will be.

I moved around a bit as a child (Dad's job, divorce etc.) and it gave me the confidence to move across the country (a couple of times) as an adult.

As far as the writing thing goes, I think it's a lot like herpes. Once you have the bug, you'll never be rid of it. Not that I have herpes or know anyone with the disease. Just sayin'. ;)

Hang in there, suga. Everything's gonna work out just fine.

Jennie Bailey said...

Oh girl! I don't even know where to start. I have made several significant changes in my life. Uncomfortable. Maybe not always what everyone else thought was the brightest (but I did!!). But I jumped off and did it. Landed on my feet everytime. I get all the fears that you have. I'm right there with you!! The good news is that Laura will find that again. Or probably even better (and who could have ever imagined that?!?). What do YOU have to do? Hope, pray, do whatever it takes to get yourself through this uncertainty as sanely as possible and then six months later, look back and laugh at how scared you were about everything! I just know it's going to work out. But I also know that me saying that doesn't make a bit of difference in your world. You have two beautiful kidlets, a wonderful husband - a family unit that will get through this together. It may not be a smooth transition, but you'll settle and it will be just fine! Happy V Day! Love love love!!

erica and christy said...

I think the number one thing making your childrens' lives extremely sweet is their mom...and THAT will not change. So they will be fine! And so will your writing. You'll keep doing it. Best of luck with everything. Change can be uncomfortable, but so can new shoes. Eventually you'll break into new patterns. (It's late, I have a head cold making my brain just a bit foggy, and I KNOW that makes now sense. But I'm NOT deleting it.) Just think of all the NEW writing ideas you'll get!!!

Stina said...

I've been through some pretty major life changes (like moving from England to Houston when I was 11 yo), but nothing while I've been writing.

I hope the move goes well for you. I think the best thing is to embrace the change and not worry that it will affect your creativity. As for the 'the writing thing I love will simply stop' part. That will only stop when you no longer love doing it. :)

LTM said...

@PK--glad you liked the FG ref. It really did feel like that--and then people started following me around, and I was like, "I just felt like wri-ting." (It helps w/the accent that we actually LIVE in so.-AL right now. ;o) But I agree that it is the happiest thing I've done so far... (apart from fly stuff.)

But that's an awesome, great comment and super-encouraging. Thank you for that! All these words of encouragement are so meaningful. Thanks, guys~ <3

Unknown said...

Your lovely ladies will be fine. Just make sure you get nice, warm coats for winter.

I know it always takes time to get used to change, but it will happen. And you will love it.

If you are ever feeling especially out of sorts, I will load up the car and make the 5hr trip to see you. :)

Lisa Galek said...

The mom thing is tough! I'm sure they're going to be fine and love their new home as much as their old one (and when they're teenagers, they'll be glad to not be living in a small town where everyone knows their business).

I worry about quitting writing a lot, especially with a new baby on the way. Maybe I won't have time or the desire anymore? Blogging has helped me a lot because it's kept me accountable. People expect me to be writing so I'd better be! Maybe that will help you, too!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

A good writer friend and crit partner recently moved her FIVE kids to Hawaii - that's like, crossing an ocean! Not only did she survive, writing intact, but I think she's flourishing there. So, you just never know.

But I understand your fear about the writing drying up. I had a similar experience - it just started and took over my life! What the ... ? I kept waiting for it to stop. My brother, the real writer in our family, said "ride the wave, while it's hot" and so I did. His waves always petered out, but mine just kept getting stronger. And stronger.

Eventually I stopped waiting for it to stop, and realized I was in for the duration.

Have faith. :)

Anonymous said...

Good luck with your move. Change is good!

I have a favorite sweatshirt I wear when I write. It does get to be a bit smelly after a while. Wifey complains. But I'm concerned if I wash it I'll loose some of my writing mojo. Crazy, I know.

Theresa Milstein said...

Moves are hard on everyone. But children are resilient. And it will prepare them for the other moves they will make in life.

As for you, I'm sure your experiences will only enhance your writing.

Good luck!

Along These Lines ... said...

Nothing like a big move to shake up your life..good luck

Marsha said...

Wow. Sounds like you've got a big leap ahead of you. But while I don't know you, you sound so strong. And you're obviously someone who loves to write. If you love something that much, it will stay with you no matter what.

Marsha said...

Oh oops - this is actually Talli Roland - I'm confusing myself these days! Wrong account!

LTM said...

@Stephen--LOL at your "lucky sweatshirt." I have a hoodie I usually wear. I always seem to be writing when it's cold... HEY! Maybe this move is a good thing after all!!! A breakthrough from Mr. Breakthrough himself! <3

@Nick--thanks, man! :o)

Kittie Howard said...

Whoa! This is a biggie! *takes a deep breath* Hub was in the military. We moved 23 times. As did many others, nothing exceptional about us. Everybody's kids did just fine, honest! They're sturdy little cuties and adapt quickly (save, perhaps, for moves during the senior year.) This is easier said than done, but when one door closes another opens.

About the writing -- there's a story that wants to come out. Go with the flow and let what will be, be. Hugs!