Friday, June 5, 2009

Do yourself a favor, and watch a sports movie.

It doesn't matter what sports movie it is, watch it. Field of Dreams. Hoosiers. Chariots of Fire. We are Marshall. Miracle.

I am usually lukewarm about watching sweaty guys bang into each other on tv (being there is good), regardless of if it's over a puck, a baseball, a volleyball, etc.- but drastic measures must be taken. There is a feeling that has been bringing me down. Unemployment rates. Companies going under- (that one's personal; it happened to us when hubby worked in the mortgage industry). Foreclosures. Food prices going up. With a family of six, the grocery budget has seen way more than 'slight increase'.

I understand that times are tough- but I think it's a good thing.

Keep telling yourself that, Kelly.

What I mean is...We can be more, do more. Sometimes it takes a catalyst to let it out.

An email about a real man (sans pants) driving through our neighborhood reached me today. It's the last day of school, and he chooses to cast this shadow over summer by throwing his perversion in our faces? I am ticked.

My kids are semi-free range. They walk home in a big, happy(mostly) gang from school. They play outside for hours with limited interruption from me; going from our backyard to the many neighbor's backyards, calling when they are invited inside a friends' house.

What am I going to do? I will emphasize that they stay in backyards, not frontyards, and they know where to go for help. But I still feel scared.

I drove down to the back entrance of the school, waiting on the neighborhood road for them to walk by, telling myself I was there because of the light (very light) drizzle. But they never came. I checked the neighborhood pool (party going on, thought they might have wandered over, but they hadn't. Not surprised; they always come straight home.), called the office to see if Emma had a migraine and was in the office, but no.

Finally I drove to our locked home, and Isaac was on the front porch crying, Emma on the back. A mom-friend (who has driven them home before) had given them a lift. I just hadn't see them in their car, and they hadn't see me in mine.

So, where has caution gotten us? I feel scared, and the kids are crying.

This is where comes in: 'sports pep talks'. Or this gets you to Chariots of Fire.
We can do it. It's tough. We can still do it.

I truly believe that as individuals and a society we have a chance to do something beautiful with our lives.

I will take the spotty bananas and turn them into banana bread, made with whole wheat flour of course. I will allow the kids to play outside; put their helmets on them and let them ride their bikes.

Every sentence I type, I am straining myself, in a good way: Does it make sense? Is this the best way I can say that? Is that what I want to say?

I literally have to fight the resistance in my brain to keep thinking about it. I have to force my self to write, write, write.

On an agent Nathan Bransford's blog he urges us to bring our A-game, and warns that everybody, every genre, is hurting. He also says it's not impossible, just harder.

As an already compulsive editer (not editor), I don't like to hear that. How will I ever finish if it has to be totally perfect?

It's equivalent to saying, "I'm moving to LA, and going to star in the next Batman movie." Getting published is an equally shaky longshot. Who knows what publishing houses will be looking for? Who knows what other people are writing?

And part of me says, "Who cares?"

I will write because I have a story, and I love it. I need it to be written, even if it doesn't get me a house on the Lake (people in Columbia will know I mean Lake Murray) with the gobs of money from royalty checks (it's such a pain to have to endorse all of these things. My hand hurts!)

I am better for having written it. I am more confident of my ability to finish what I started. I am more sure that what I think and feel is real and important.

Anyone up for a run on the beach?


  1. I'm afraid it doesn't get better as they get older, either. My daughter is 23 and everytime I hear about a crime against a young woman, I want to call her make sure she is not listening to her Ipod as she's walking to her car after work . . . I have a mother's list of horrors that is at least ten pages. I've finally learned to turn her over to God, but oh my, it's so easy to want to take control again.

    Good for you, Kelly, I love your attitude.

  2. I think maybe you worry a little bit too much. It isn't harder to get published, it's easier. Every genre is hurting, and money can't be wasted on hopeless writing.

    That just clears the playing field.

    If you send your manuscripts properly formatted, on white paper, with black ink and a standard font you're already ahead of thousands of people. If you submit your work to a critique circle before you send it out, you've jumped even farther ahead.

    If you really want to get ahead and you're already a pretty experienced writer (meaning you know how to complete a novel) buying and reading "How to write the Breakout Novel" by Donald Maass will get you even farther ahead.

    Every little thing you do puts you ahead of the pack.

  3. Thanks Uninvoked. I'll put that book at the top of my list- top 5, anyway:) I don't think it's just the publishing world that makes me hyper-editive, it's part of me wanting something that I send out to be understood. I like perfection as an ideal.