Nov 28 2012

Young Adult Author Panel!

Gennifer, myself (plus an extra chin) and Lenore!


Well, despite me randomly having an extra chin in this picture, the panel went great!  Lenore and Gennifer answered a whole host of my diabolical (not really) questions and gave informed and educated answers, and then we all read from our books (there was a sneak peek of Landry Park in there.)

Now off to drafting Book Two once more.  I’ve sent the boys off to war, so there’s no making out right now.  Maybe some wandering in gardens?

Nov 27 2012

Come See Gennifer Albin, Lenore Appelhans and myself!

Come see us!  The panel is called DRAMA AND DYSTOPIA, but since neither Crewel nor Level Two fit easily into that category, it’s more like DRAMA AND SPECULATIVE FICTION.  But that didn’t have the same ring to it, and also didn’t fit onto the promotional handouts.

7:00 p.m.

Central Resource Library,

Overland Park, KS

Mar 1 2012




I have an agent!

And yes, it is the Dream Agent I did the Revise and Resubmit for.

While I wouldn’t recommend an R&R as way to maintain sanity, I’m beyond grateful that it worked out.  Mollie Glick of Foundry Media liked my revision enough to offer to represent me, and I — duh — said yes!  I first heard of Mollie when she flew out to Kansas City to convince Gennifer Albin to choose her as an agent.  It was so above and beyond anything I’ve ever heard of an agent doing, that I decided whenever I was ready to query, that lady was going to be at the top of my list.  And when she asked for an R&R, I decided that I would do it for a couple reasons: number one, her insights for revision would make Landry Park a better book, and number two, I knew that if she was willing to invest that much energy into talking with me about the book, then she would invest a ton more if she ever represented me.

So, yes.  I have an agent and (fingers crossed) submissions will happen soon.  Hopefully within a few months, Professor Farnsworth will have more news to announce to you all.

Aug 18 2011

WrAHMing it up

I’m part of an open WrAHM group on Facebook, started by my critique partner and play-date friend, Gennifer Albin.  A WrAHM is a woman who does certain things (not in any certain order):

Gestates offspring
Births offspring
Keeps offspring alive by feeding and keeping them away from outlets
Feels guilty about any time she spends writing, talking about writing, thinking about writing or writing about writing and not thinking about offspring.

Gennifer Albin has already posted several great and honest posts about the life of a WrAHM, so I won’t pretend to add much to it save for my own experience. (links)

A WrAHM is the same thing as a SAHM, with the impossible schedule of a WAHM, plus the guilt of a Working Mom-ahm.  Got all that?  Now say it ten times fast.

What I mean is, I think each lifestyle has pros and cons.  Time away from kids vs too much time with kids (oh, it’s possible.)  Using your degree to better the world vs using your second grade language arts to teach a toddler what a W looks like with ketchup on a plate.  Missing some crazily beautiful moments vs being there the first time your toddler hugs his little sister voluntarily.

But writing at home is kind of a tricky combination.  I manage to slip out a couple days a week to work part-time, but for the most part, I’m at home, being Mom to two kids under three from seven in the morning until nine or ten at night.  If there’s a lull, I might be able to get on Facebook or check my email, but for the most part, the laptop stays shut until both kids are asleep.  About once a week, I’m able to muster some sort of manic energy and work on my novel at this time.  The rest of the time, I drag a book into the shower and read for fifteen minutes.  (Yes, I read in the shower.  Don’t you?)

Then I fall asleep.

About twice a week, my dad or a friend watches the kids for a couple hours so that I can write when the sun is up and not at the expense of my sleep.  I try not to feel guilty imposing on people close to me for free babysitting, but it’s hard.  Babysitting isn’t easy, and what am I doing really?  Typing words?  That maybe aren’t that good?

One thing I miss about being Student Mom is the black and white-ness of it.  I had a job to do–read books by old, dead, white guys and write papers about them.  I had to write the papers.  I had to go to class.  By doing so, I fulfilled my duty as a Jayhawk and earned a walk down a hill in a black robe.

But writing a novel?  I don’t have to do that.  I won’t earn anything by it (not yet, at least.)  Is it the same thing as asking someone to babysit so that I can knit?  Or read Entertainment Weekly?  Maybe, but maybe not.  Most writers will tell you that it’s hard not to write.  Ideas and characters and narratives hover around you like a golden corona of inspiration–or a swarm of mosquitoes.  The swarm won’t stop.  Even if your fingers aren’t set to the keys, your brain is still writing, still dreaming and drafting and not stopping, even when you’re supposed to be de-gunking the high chair of smashed bananas.

Luckily, the people closest to me know this about me, and have accepted it.

The corona/swarm creates its own guilt, though.  Sometimes I find it hard to focus on the more mundane tasks of the day, like diaper changes and giving baths.  I’m anxious to get those things done, get those kids to bed so that I can start putting my ideas into the computer, but then after they’re asleep, I wish I would have been more patient, more engaged.  The mundane tasks are some of the most important, and it won’t be long before I’ll be completely irrelevant to my children’s hygiene and entertainment and lives overall.  And then I’ll cry.

Working from home, especially in a creative job, is a tricky balance.  On one hand, I’m a decently educated (okay, at a state university, but what the heck), decently literate woman who loves to write.  On the other, I’m a lady who knows how to use a breast-pump and who has Goodnight Moon memorized.  I want to enjoy both parts of my life with equal engagement and not spend summer wishing it were winter and vice versa.

From what I understand, balance gets even more difficult once the work earns real money and has Real World Deadlines and Concerns.  Then you can’t tip the scales more towards the kids because People Out There Expect Things From You.

I don’t have any advice and wise words about WrAHMing or WAHMing or any sort of mommying really.  I’m hoping at some point I’ll figure it out, and at some point I’ll have a this heroic moment of doing everything and doing it well.

But until then, I’m glad I have my other WrAHMing friends.