An Ode to Mom

I have about 7,000 things to write about, and my series on race will continue after this break post.

Relationships with your parents are complicated to say the least. There’s this sense of gratefulness they gave you life. Then everyone’s had those feelings of, “Oh, I’m this way because my parents screwed me up with the way they raised me!” My parents did a good job, but like all parents they had their flaws. I’m sure my kids will say the same thing about me. Being a parent is a thankless job in a lot of ways. There’s a lot of pain and guilt (maybe that’s because I’m Catholic Lite). But being a parent is also amazingly wonderful. It’s great to see a child you raise grow and flourish.

My mom told my dad to read my blogs on race. “It’s wonderful,” she said, “and all about you. Like Lauren didn’t even have a mom.” Thanks for the guilt-trip, Mom.

I’m sorry, Mom, that I didn’t mention you. You were a constant in my life. Always there. Making delicious dinners–except that nasty chipped ham, talking to me about the birds and bees, and guiding me throughout my life. I remember when I’d come home from nights out you would come up to my room just to talk to me. Those are some of my best memories, of just the two of us. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without your guidance and influence.

And I just really wanted to give you props, because on December 12th, I saw all your hard work for Doug Jones come to fruition. You worked so hard on that campaign. I’m impressed by your persistence, faithfulness, and your ability to push yourself and work hard for something/someone you believe in. You taught me persistence and follow-through pays off. You taught me how to “just do,” even though I’m still working on that. You’re a strong woman and an inspirational person in my life.

I love you Mom.

Mom

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Persistence in the Face of Fear

Hey Lovely Readers! I’m fessing up as a slacker once again. With this short and busy week, I feel like I’ve been behind the 8-ball. But before I get to the point of this post, I don’t want you to slack and miss the opportunity to get The Devil Within for 99 cents! The sale ends on October 17th, so there’s not a lot of time! If you like Southern literature and coming-of-age novels with some grit then you’ll like this book.

The Devil Within Cover

Enough of my shameless plugs. Now back to slacking. Over the weekend, I started writing a new piece. Yeah, I know. I was supposed to stick to rural Alabama and Anna Kate. But I was stuck–seriously stuck. And then I wrote a short for the class I’m taking through University of Iowa (Go DUCKS!), and it begged to be expanded. And people in the class really liked it. And as a writer, I seek to serve my readers.

I also ran a lot this weekend, and when I run I think. And sometimes I overthink. As we all know from the post that’s circulating around Facebook, overthinking is a sign of being a creative genius (or so some article says, and I’d like to believe that over just thinking I’m nuts). Overthinking can also cause some issues. My thought process revolved around solving problems in both books when I ran, but pretty soon it turned into: Why am I writing? Does anyone even want to read my books? Why does it have to be so hard to land an agent? Will I ever finish editing Little Birdhouses? Can I even write a query letter? Is it worth it? And fifty thousand other rhetorical questions I could throw out of you. Rhetorical questions are a no-no in writing too, but if you know me you know I LOVE to break the rules.

Every writer questions themselves and what they’re doing and whether it matters. They want to hide behind a rock in the face of fear. Instead of facing the wolf, they’d rather curl up in their bed and be eaten. Do the brave thing and write the words, because if you don’t you’re going to be more unhappy than if you do. If you’re a writer then you have to write for sanity. If you’re a writer then you have a driving force and you need to write. If you’re a writer, I’m here to tell you DON’T GIVE UP! I have thoughts that my writing sucks and no one wants to read it. Everyone has those thoughts. Taking this online class has boosted my confidence as a writer ten-fold. I’ve received such great and positive feedback on my work. It’s nice to receive that after receiving tons of rejections for agents, because at least I know if I keep trying I will some day make it.

And what does making it even mean? It means making writing a priority in my life every day, editing my stuff, putting it out there and making a few bucks. Sure, I’d like to be rolling in the dough like Stephen King, but I know it’s not realistic. Maybe some day–we can all hope to dream. But the important thing is: Don’t give up! Don’t give into the fear. If you give into fear you’ll never know how far you can go (I even wrote a blog post about that not so long ago).

Now, if you want this same post with more colorful language go read Chuck Wendig’s post over at Terrible Minds. He knows what he’s talking about.

And I promise I’ll stop slacking (maybe). And I’ll write a blog post tomorrow morning before I succumb to fear in the Maze of Terror (that’s another story).

What do you do when you’re slacking or procrastinating (in anything, not just writing) and how do you get back to the task at hand? I play Civilization or binge watch Netflix.


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