Maybe you saw my new Intergalactic Planetary TARDIS office? And wondered to yourself… um? Why?
Perhaps you, as one of my 15 loyal readers, remember that I spent spring break last year creating a fort of my own in the basement? My quiet spot to write that book I’ve been working on (define “work”) for a year?
Living in the South + a basement + trees = bugs. And despite my bad-assery black widow hunting skills, palmetto bugs make me scream. Elliot kills them for me now– under protest, because; “Mom, they are CLEANER bugs”.
I asked JB–all casual and theoretical– if he’d be willing to move his home office down to the basement. I had his stuff downstairs before he stopped nodding yes.
Which left me back upstairs. With a desk that I didn’t like (it’s now a hutch in the dining room– that’s for another day). I wanted a standing desk– salvaged from an old table leaf and some other spare parts. I needed a chair, but I didn’t want to buy a new one. Oh look–I never did get rid of the crib I repurposed into a lego table that, once I admitted to the failure of my elaborately sorted lego storage system, sat in the basement waiting for death.
And if I ever get around to removing that paper pile off of my once-clean standing desk and sewing the grown up pillows for my new MTV crib (get it? Because I’m a DIY rockstar and it’s a crib? I crack myself up) I’ll post pictures. The DIY process isn’t what this post is about though. Gotcha!
So why DID I need TARDIS?
Have you ever wondered why Mr. Roger’s put on a sweater and changed his shoes at the beginning of every show? A symbolic nod to a shift of persona, of turning into himself into…well, himself. These types of actions are a part of asserting situational control. Notice next time you go to a big meeting– does the speaker lower (or raise) the blinds? Adjust the lights? They are asserting their control over the room.
I need to write. My youngest enters kindergarten in 6 short months and the husband has started dropping hints about all of the ways I might start to earn an income. I like employment; I’ve really enjoyed opportunities that challenge my brain. Being paid for my brain seems like the next logical step.
But I really don’t want to sit in a cube and write TPS reports. Not again.
I’ve written many things that I consider significant, thoughtful efforts– informative op eds on chemical safety; an investigative op ed on dirty NC politics; an entry to the Listen To Your Mother competition (ack! Audition’s this Thursday!); a unique perspective on the Affordable Care Act and a Women’s Healthcare post, both for momsrising;
I’ve, of course, talked about my kids. About why I involve my children in politics; about How to Explain Martin Luther King for Carolina Parent; why I hang my kids’ art up–even in the living room; what it’s like to balance my own issues with raising critically thinking children.
I’ve always found the anti-mothering feminist represents a special brand of ass itchery; an attitude that reached out to attack Michelle Obama recently. I find the constant plague of mothering self-doubt and continual need for reassurance, exhausting. Especially when we get together to talk about how much easier women used to have it– you know, before birth control and legal rights.
I read those posts after I read my fiction. Fiction? Hard.
Last year I won an editing auction. Meaning that Chuck Wendig would read, and then rip apart, 5000 of my words. All I had (have) to do is write them. I have my fingers crossed that there isn’t an expiration date because… cough.
You see, Chuck blogs a lot about how to write. The first book of his I read was an amazon purchase– 250 Things You Should Know About Writing. Then I read his Miriam Black series, Blackbirds, Mockingbird, and the latest– The Cormorant.
Over the course of a year, I wrote an outline and several really rough draft chapters of a novel that I can objectively declare as a 1st class passenger boarding the Sucking the Suck Suckage Train.
It is disappointing to realize your great contribution to literature promises to read as a formulaic, stereotypical, poorly written romance triangle. And in between my pity party and my resulting rally, my state imploded with legislated stupidity demanding both my time and attention.
Do you remember Melvin’s line– “You make me want to be a better man” from As Good As It Gets? Reading the terribleminds posts over the summer made me want to be a better writer.
I had characters, but no content; personalities without prose. Things in my head don’t like to shut up– even fictional things– and I eventually started scribbling lines again. A story formed. One that, if I sit my ass down and write it, bombs the fuck out of the Sucking the Suck Suckage Train.
Internal self-discipline– a huge problem of mine. But it’s one that I can control.
Now I walk through my personal TARDIS to go write. I can symbolically shed the trappings that like to poop on my creativity. Like having to clear the table before forcing children to eat food that I didn’t want to cook and that they don’t want to eat. Or feeding the bearded dragon that literally likes to poop on my things.
And see? 1000 words.