If you’ve ever given birth, you’ve probably heard the old saw that women forget the pain of childbirth. The concept is simple. A new mother forgets because, if she remembered the contractions and the pushing and the panting, she’d never do it again.
What I remember about childbirth is sitting on the edge of my bed chanting to myself, “Don’t forget. Don’t do this again.” Continue reading “Why Writing is Like Childbirth”
I am writing this on Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, the day in my childhood that meant spending all day wearing a princess costume and scrapping like a prize fighter for cheap throws at a parade.
Good times, those were.
The next day began Lent, the 40 days of reflection and sacrifice that, for me as a child, meant no chocolate until the Easter Bunny came. After six weeks of deprivation, I was so desperate for a hit, I chomped the ears off an innocent rabbit while it was still warm from my Easter basket.
I’ve moved away from places that have carnival though I still wear three strings of beads (purple, green, gold) on Mardi Gras day. And while I no longer observe Lent in the traditional give-up-something way, old habits are hard to break. I still do some kind of reflection, and sometimes I do a project, like 40 Days of Book Praise. That was fun
I’ve decided I’m not crazy about deprivation but I can get behind action. So, for the next 40 days, I am going to act on an area of my writing life I have neglected: submitting.
My vow for the next 40 days is to submit one piece of writing, or send a query, or fill out a writing-related app, per day. I have a backlog of pieces waiting for a home, and I need to supercharge my efforts so my little writing orphans can make it out into the world.
One submissiony thing a day. For 40 days. I’ll be so busy submitting, I won’t even worry about the chances of rejection.
What is your take? Is sacrifice or action your kind of thing? Or a combination? And who wants to join me in doing 1 writing thing – your choice – per day, for the next 40 days?
For 40 days, I chose books by and about women from my personal book shelf and wrote brief reviews with a plot summary, plus why it was a good reading choice for women.
Below is a full list of the 40 books I reviewed. Each includes a short description–a log line–to tell each title’s genre and capture what it is about.
40 Days of Book Praise – Reading List Continue reading “40 Days of Book Praise – Reading List”
For 40 days, I am choosing a book from my personal book shelves. It will be a book that is insightful, intriguing, or illuminating about women. I will write why I think this book is a positive one and worth a read. This isn’t advertising for me or to promote any of my friends. It’s simply praise for good books.
Day 3 – The Dearly Departed by Elinor Lipman
I own a stack of Elinor Lipman’s novels and love her wry portrayals of sisters, daughters, friends, and lovers across a range of ages, careers, and life experiences. Elinor’s writing style is warm-hearted and witty, but her stories address life and love with as much pathos as humor.
Why is The Dearly Departed a good read for women? In it, the sudden – and somewhat odd – death of her mother makes Sunny Batten return to King George, New Hampshire. Sunny’s recollections of the one-stop-sign town are mixed. She was both outstanding and an outcast as the girl who broke the glass ceiling of the all male high school golf team. Returning home with her grudges still intact, Sunny discovers that her old tormentors have matured into nice people. Is it possible that growing up in King George wasn’t quite as awful as she remembers it? She also discovers that her mother’s involvement in the town’s theater group made her a better actress than Sunny ever suspected. With a new vision of her past, Sunny plans her mother’s funeral aided by the chief of police. Joey Loach was a goofball in high school and maybe he still lives with his own mother, but now he’s solicitous, gallant…pretty cute.
The Dearly Departed is light-hearted in tone, but Sunny’s return to her roots allows her–and the reader–to think about longtime hurts from a mature perspective. It shows a daughter who begins to view her mother as a woman: a person engaged in her own life, pursuing her own interests, with desires and admirers. When did you stop thinking of your mother as Mom and began to regard her as a woman?