Thursday, November 15, 2012

Off the grid

Yesterday's post was a slight departure from the mundane of late, and reeked of the old Alison. It was also my first attempt at making the "grid" for an online writing/blogging community called yeah write. I follow a couple of blogs whose authors participate in the weekly writing submission, and have always thought that once that elusive spare time returned, I could spend a day crafting an entry.

We all know that there is no spare time in parenthood, just moments of insomnia when you find yourself doing things like shopping on and scouring for full episodes of a riveting documentaries or programs.

Tuesday night, 1am. All aboard my train of thought:

  • Hmmm, I think instead of posting all of the photos from our recent shoot and providing a long narrative, I'll spend the next couple of weeks selecting 1 or 2 photos and generating a story about how each makes me feel, or what they remind me of.
  • Oh! That one with Miles on the tree is perfect to start with; his hand grasping the bark, looking into the distance, but slightly afraid to let go of the protection of the tree. I could do a great entry on my internal challenge of living with a shy, introverted child. 
  • Whoa. I must find a traditional Ramen noodle house in metro Atlanta. That looks uh-mazing! (Side bar-please do yourself the favor of watching the few episodes of "Mind of a Chef" on Kimchi baby.)
  • I always have good intentions with blogging these days, but I'm taking advantage of the lack of accountability. Regardless of waning readership, I feel like I am missing the opportunity to document life. How do people do it? People like: [fill in the blank with my blog crushes.]
  • Ahhh! Coupon code! How are all the other products except the Seventh Generation dishwasher liquid on sale?
  • What if I just linked up with that yeah write group this week? I mean, you have to swing the bat, right? It's almost 2 am. If a carriage can change back into a pumpkin, anything is possible late at night.
  • Okay, let's do it. 
  • Ew, dehydrated pork shavings.
  • I should probably look over the requirements. Blah blah, 1000 words or less, blah blah...if I read anymore I'll get way too overwhelmed and chicken out.
  • Aaaand...LINK.
And guess what? I got rejected. Wah-wah. But you see, I don't do rejection well, because in my mind it rhymes with utter failure-loser-girl. I didn't have a "so what?" factor, and didn't have a traditional arc in my story with beginning, middle, end. But she liked my writing and said I would be a good fit. Thank goodness I wasn't an English major undergrad at Bates College, #7 in my class, summa cum laude, and feel especially stupid. Yeah, thank goodness. At least I can make the excuse my focus was on South Asian lit and we know that genre doesn't follow traditional arcs. Salman Rushdie anyone?

And guess what times two? I'm totally going to apply to the grid again. If you know me, you know that I don't take "nah, sorry!" lightly.

So we shall see. My goal is to get on the grid before Christmakwanzukah.

In relation to my struggle with Miles being exceptionally shy, I did have to make mention of the fact that part of my own journey of learning to manage my expectations has been guided by his exceptional other caregivers. My mother, his childcare director at Marist, and is current PreK teacher have all provided me perspective and reassurance that it is normal and manageable and that he flourishes at school, has friends, and is a joy to be around. So hermitage/homeschool plans are on


  1. Good for you for trying! Every writer/artist has experienced rejection, and it's the ones who persevere who eventually succeed. As your mother I do worry about your assigning yourself these challenges when a healthier challenge might be to allow yourself to get enough sleep and know you will have time to pursue more creative expression when the children are older (making a new baby and raising two others is creative in itself). There will be time - I promise!

  2. I don't know if I've ever read an entire post about the thought process before writing then the feeling of not making the grid. Thank you for sharing it! Did you read the winners' post today? That could help you for next time. Most of us are not traditional writers by any means, but we are trying to teach a certain structure in our humble corner of the Interwebs, so non-traditional writers can sometimes get tangled in those attempts.

    For the next two weeks, it'll be open submissions, no moderation, FYI. Hope to see you there!