Thursday, July 13, 2006

Poolside Guilt & Dryer Rambling

So, it’s a lazy, lazy day here in my life, and I have to admit, as I’m sitting by the pool watching the lifeguards making sure my children don’t drown, I’m feeling some summer guilt.

I feel guilty because I know Hubby is working his tail off in the city today, as he does every single day, getting up at 5 a.m. while I snuggle deeper under the covers and mumble about the alarm clock being so damn loud. Then, I fall back asleep until one of the darlings get hungry enough to come find me buried under the covers and sixteen pillows to ask for me to pour them a bowl of cereal.

I feel guilty that I don’t have to get up and go to a job; that I don’t have to provide for our family; that my only responsibility today is to take the kids to swim lessons and to keep them safe and happy, to make sure they are having the greatest summer ever. I feel guilty that I can sit here and type this as I enjoy the cool breeze under this canopy and if I choose to, I can get up and hop into the pool, or ask my kiddies to come spray my feet with some water. I feel guilty that I should be doing something productive, like cleaning out closets, or doing laundry (story on that later in this post), or planning meals for the week, defrosting meats, and stirring pots full of sauce, putting fresh ingredients into casserole dishes in order to freeze them so my family can have some healthy meals.

I feel guilty that I’m sitting here laughing my ass off at Karyn’s book, Save Karyn, and I feel lucky though to be reading it, and it is cracking me up and I so want to call her up and say, “Let’s be friends because you seem so cool!” and even though I never knew about her when she was cyber-panhandling for money, I would have surely sent her twenty bucks just because she seems like such a nice person, and so far, in reading her story, I can totally see how she got sucked into debt being a new resident of NYC. But, maybe she didn’t need those new sandals and that cute coral top. I can’t wait to find out what happens between her and Brad, Potentially Gay Brad, as she calls him.

And I feel guilty that I can sit here and write my new novel that is swirling around in my head, tentatively titled, STUCK, about a high school senior who is having trouble in his relationship. Yep, a YA. I have been reading quite a few Young Adult novels lately, including the incredible, incredible novels by Ellen Hopkins,

Crank, and Burned. If you’re looking for some thought-provoking reading, definitely check these two out.

I am feeling guilty that first thing in the morning, I want to run over to my computer, to see if anybody has read/commented on MM. I feel guilty that I want to tell my cyber friends all about my life when my husband doesn’t even know I’m working on my next novel, and it’s not that he wouldn’t care. He would. He is extremely supportive of this quest of mine to become a published author, and I think though, deep down he would like it to happen already so we can get this part over with.

I have spent the last four years and two months off and on, admittedly more off than on as I was busy raising the squirts, but that was/is my priority – my babies. And now that my book-baby has been rewritten, revised, edited, cut-to-shreds, I have sent it out there in the great big world, and now it’s like that poem: If you love something, set it free, if a rejection comes back, send it back out to find someone who will love it just as much as I have grown to love the words from my novel.

And as much as I have researched, and as much as I know about the publishing industry, and as much as I’ve heard that many people who break into publishing don’t do it with their first manuscript, I just so don’t want to fall into that category. For me, I love my first book. I may tire of it someday, but it is still my first, just like a first love, or your first child, or your first marriage (ha, just trying to be funny here!), it is something to be especially cherished, and one day, I might look back at it, and go, “Oh my gosh, I did not write this pile of crap,” for now, it is my pile of crap that I want to send out into the world. I hope I have set it free into the right hands of someone who will be just as passionate about it as I am.

So, enough of the soapbox, and speaking of soap, let’s talk laundry. I should be feeling extremely guilty about the fact that I’m pooling it today and dirty laundry sits piled high in every room in our house, but there’s a glitch in the laundry plans in our home.

The freaking dryer is having a funeral.

It has died. No more heat, baby. A cold dryer is like a warm freezer. Ha. Nice thought there. It ain’t workin’. And while I have been secretly kicking it and its companion, the washing machine for the past year, in hopes it would have a quiet serene death, now that it’s gone I’m kinda sad. Sad, on the one hand because we just spent a ton of money on vacation, and I know we don’t have the funds to buy a new dryer, which, of course, would involve buying the matching washer, because that would be like tearing a hole in the sole of one shoe and only going out and buying one replacement shoe. Just not an option. And, I think the best washer/dryer options out there these days are the front loaders, and our teeny-tiny laundry room is so small it will not accommodate the new versions of the front loaders. So, in order to get front loaders, we would need to expand the laundry room, which we have gotten quotes for, but right now, it’s not in the budget. I suppose I can always wash my clothes at home and take the wet slop over to the local Dry-N-Drink to get the job done.

Anyway, kids are actually tired of the pool. We’ve been here since 11:30 and it’s now quarter to four. It’s time to go home and attempt my wifely motherly duties.

Thanks for listening to my guilty confessions. I know I sound whiny, but I’m feeling kinda whiny. Sorry.

12 comments:

monique said...

Mommy guilt. It plagues us all at some point. I feel the same way. Esp because I am morbidly depressed despite hubby coming home soon, and I feel guilty that I have absolutely no ambition anymore - to get a job or take a shower even :)

So all this to say, it's ok. You're kids will be forever grateful that you spent your days with them, enjoying those lazy moments by the pool. My son cries when I talk about working and not being able to take him to swimming lessons during the day. You're a great mom! Enjoy it!

domestic_valerie said...

oh manic! front load washers rock...i wish i had the matching dryer, but fubds prevented the set at the moment.

i hope your "summer guilt" passes soon. you're doing your job, and doing it well. the kids are happy and alive! but i know what you mean, this is the first summer i have not had a job, or classes, or both and i feel bad when i spend all day just watching the baby sleep and eat...and ask hubby to bring pizza home for dinner. oh well...they're only small once.;)

Andie said...

I think you are a fabulous mom from what I read....

oh, and this may be light in your tunnel... your dryer may not be dead. you may just need to replace the heating element. Happened to us a few years ago, and it worked like a charm!!!
It's alot cheaper than a new dryer. :)

Anonymous said...

maybe with Save Karyn's success in publishing, it is worth networking and having her submit your novel to her reps.

Caryn said...

I'm loving these YA book recommendations. I read a Sarah Dressen book a few days ago (sadly, a different one from what you recommended, since that one wasn't at our library) and I loved it. Will definitely be trying more. I'm considering a move to YA, too. It would fit in nicely with my upcoming lifestyle change.

Enjoy those afternoons by the pool--you know your kids are! As for the dead dryer, that sucks. Good luck with it. Here's hoping it's just the heating element, as another commenter said.

TTQ said...

Sing the blues when you can girl cause nobody know yours like you know your own.

Manic Mom said...

Thanks for the washer/dryer suggestions guys. Not sure what we're going to do but I like the fact that I don't have to do laundry for a couple days!

LOL.

Anon--I am not sure who Karyn's agent is but I am about 99 percent sure I've probably already queried her. And I really do the networking (aka in my case, STALKING) of authors because I truly love their work and admire what they do and learn from their trials and successes. I put myself out there and have been able to meet some great authors, and yeah, it's a great networking opportunity, but I don't think I would ever flat-out ask an author to throw in a good word for me... however, if any authors thought I was deserving enough... KIDDING, JUST KIDDING! : )

Melanie Lynne Hauser said...

Well, do not feel guilty for being able to enjoy the summer with your kids. Enjoy that and feel lucky, because one day they'll be too big for this, and they'll be all over the country while you're stuck at home looking at baby books - oh wait. That's me.

Anyway - don't feel guilty. You have a great life & a wonderful family and you've been doing good work with your writing.

Eileen said...

Are you going to be at RWA National? I could introduce you to my agent...

Swishy said...

You have a job! Those kids aren't taking care of themselves! And, HELLO! I don't think 40 Weeks wrote and revised and queried itself either!

I don't want to be one of those "I put my first manuscript in the drawer" people, either. I KNOW a lot of people say that, but my fingers are crossed that I'll get lucky, so I TOTALLY understand that. I'm still convinced we're going to get published and do our book tour together. Oh, the wild blog stories we'll have then!!!

Ramblin Rose said...

Manic,

We all have faith in you! Your book will be published sooner than later.. We love your blog.. so well love your book!! Hang in there!!

As for mommy guilt we all experience it, your kids will appreciate you for doing those great things with them..

We all go thru mommy guilt!! :)

Rr
ps. have you thought of putting a list of people's contacts and all your blogger mates can hound them down.. to publish your book!!

Karyn said...

I am writng a YA book right now too!!!!!!!!! And of course I would help you and/or refer you to my agent. Let's email later this week.

PS - I did need those new sandals and that cute coral top at the time.