Damn, it’s been a long time since we chatted. That’s mostly my fault. I kind of abandoned you, and I feel bad about that. Especially because of the reason—the dreaded ‘B’ word.
Yup, I’ve been busy. Too busy to write or catch up over a cup of coffee or even think about anything but the Kickstarter for my husband’s and my comic book storage solution, the Comic Boox Box. I talked about it here. Every moment I wasn’t working my day job I was project managing the shit out of our Kickstarter campaign. And about two weeks before we were supposed to launch, we got some devastating news that made us hit the brakes with a squeal, leaving skid marks like those at the Indy 500—or my father-in-law’s underpanties on almost any given day.
And then I plummeted into this weird no-man’s land of, “What the hell do I do now?” You know, kind of like what happens to Bridezillas once their weddings are over and they have to actually do the marriage thing.
Anyone who’s been reading my blog for a while knows that I battled postpartum depression and anxiety after my daughter was born thirteen years ago. I’ve written about it on this blog, directly or indirectly, a few times:
The thing you probably don’t know is that a couple years ago I wrote a long-form creative nonfiction piece (originally around 4,500 words) about that experience. I’ve submitted it a few places; all have been rejected except for the one that I’m currently waiting to hear back on. It’s for an anthology from the HerStories Project called Mothering Through the Darkness. I’ll know by March 15th if they accepted it. I hope so. I really do.
Regardless, those six weeks after my daughter was born, and the week or two leading up to her birthday almost every year until she was nine years old, will stay with me forever. I’ve thought all along that that’s a bad thing—that the constant hitting myself over the head with my failings as a mother is a penance I’ll have to pay for the rest of my life. But now, thirteen years later and four years after my last bout—the one that sent me as far to the edge of grief and guilt as the first—I see the good in it.
I love a good “what an awesome 2014 and can’t wait for 2015” post like everyone else. There’s something about humans collectively stopping to mentally review the past year and project their “coming attractions,” the best bits of how we all hope the next twelve months will play out. There are very few times when we can feel this kind of connected moment among the billions of people on our Earth.
Some of us have clever and magical ways to capture and/or reflect on the significant points of the year:
But here’s what I’m proposing: How about instead of trying to stuff in a year’s worth of moments into one night, no matter how ceremonious and celebratory, we spend a couple of seconds reveling in each significant or simple moment…as it’s happening?
How about if we take a few minutes at the end of each day, maybe just before we drift off to sleep, and instead of running through the lists of everything we have to do the next day, we acknowledge the beauty of what we experienced within the past hours of our waking lives?
How about if we force ourselves to find a single shiny needle of gratitude in the shit-coated haystack of our day?
Earlier this year, I joined a fabulous writing group called Tuesday Night Ink, which is made up of some kick-ass talented writers. The group follows the Amherst Writers & Artists’ method, which is pretty simple: “Every person is a writer, and every writer deserves a safe environment in which to experiment, learn, and develop craft.”
I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have your writerly confidence polished and spit-shined during these sessions, instead of rubbed raw and spit upon, which is how some writing/critique groups do things. Don’t get me wrong—critical, constructive criticism has its place; I’ve had my share and hope to have more because when done correctly, a writer who is open to it can flourish. But there’s nothing like entering what one of the members calls that “sacred space.” It makes putting your writing out there that much easier.
Along with the generous gift of these writers’ time and attention to each others’ words, two of them also gave me a shiny, new title: Nonfiction Editor of 3Elements Review. These two members are the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor of 3Elements, and they flattered me when they asked me to join their staff not too long ago. Here’s proof of the honor they’ve bestowed on me, and where you can also see their lovely photos and read their bios.
That thing that streaked by faster than my dog running toward the sound of a banana being peeled.
Yeah, that was November. Did you miss it too?
If you’re a writer/author, you probably empathize given the craziness that is National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo (if you chose to participate).
If you’re not a writer but you’re in the U.S., then the last week or two of the month was probably a blur for you too, with preparing to stuff your face and then actually stuffing your face—and giving thanks, of course.
So now that the month is over and I’m back to blogging (only to prepare for another break in a couple of months…more on that in a future blog post), I thought it was a good time to take a look back at what happened in the month of Thanksgiving.