Saturday, October 26, 2013

Meanderings of a Sleep-Deprived Writer

I miss my blog.
For real. If I were to have blogged regularly at all in the last... I don't know how how long, it probably would have included some of the following:
 
-The crazy interesting stuff I've been studying for my books.
-How writing blows my ever-living mind. Probably every other day, I think to myself "Holy crap, that's amazing!"
-My kids are all growing and doing neat things.
-My husband and his ten irons in the fire... He claims he would stop working so hard if I'd just make some money as an author, but I don't believe him. I do know that part of it is that we have a passive-aggressive competition to see who can work the longest with the least amount of sleep.
-Williston is this crazy fun and interesting place to live.
-Crap keeps knocking on our door and wanting to stay awhile.
-How I'd like to sit down. Read a book. Stare out of a window. Sew something. Expand my hobby base.
-How the most important thing I've learned in this very LONG process of editing/writing is how much TIME people waste. How TIME is the most precious commodity people have. And they WASTE it. And how that makes me more upset than probably anything else the most often.

I. Need. More.Time.

There is a serious lack of sleep around this house already that I can't possibly squeeze in one more project, brain waves for a clever blog post, or playgroups and church activities. By lack of sleep, think 4-6 hour nights every night, usually 6 nights a week. It's been like this for several months now. Believe it or not, I'm actually used to the routine of no sleep. I never thought I'd say that.

Trying to bring my first book to publication is kind of like pregnancy. I can't manage much more than keeping people alive. I'm tired. I'm on and off my writer's high. One minute I think I'm like C.S. Lewis or Mark Twain and the next minute I'm like that piece of trash novelist that nobody will ever want to read. It's a brutal fight every day. But I'm persevering. The only reason I push through is because I made a promise that I would get this thing off the ground by the end of the year. I don't break promises, ya'll. Unless I forget. That's happened. Otherwise, I'm on it like Blue Bonnet. And for months now, I have definitely been on it. And it's looking good. I think. I hope. My gosh, for my own health, I MUST get my first book published so I can stop this madwoman writing spree. I'm pretty sure I've knocked a couple years off my life.

Excuse me while I go knock off a few more.



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Superpowers

Beya, who is 6, has been dealing with a girl in her class that doesn't like her for no apparent reason. The girl ridicules Beya whenever she sees an opening, excludes her whenever possible, and generally acts nasty toward Beya in particular. So we've been advising her to be extra super nice to the girl. We come up with scenarios and tell Beya how she should respond. So every day Beya has tried to win the girl over with kindness. Just yesterday Beya asked the girl if she could be her friend and the girl responded, "No, I already have enough friends."

So far the plan isn't working very well.

But my Beya is a trooper, and if there's one thing she can't handle, it's someone not liking her. Today she complimented the girl's outfit. At least the girl said, "Thank you."


I explained to Beya that people who behave that way are usually sad inside and the only way to help them is to just love them. Well Beya knows how to love and she has been determined to bring happiness into this girl's life so she can be happier inside. She even prays for her every night. It's been a couple weeks now, and she doesn't seem to be making headway with the girl.

I've been amazed, truly, that someone could actually dislike Beya for any amount of time. I don't say this as her mother. I say this as someone who is continually floored by the goodness that just oozes from Beya's every pore. I tell her constantly that I want to be like her when I grow up. And it's true. Brad always tells her, "Beya, you are the nicest person in the universe." She inspires the both of us. She was born just wanting to serve people.

My plight has now become how to help Beya understand why it's not working and why people would choose the wrong anyway despite love being lavished on them. Heavy, right? I explained that when you are super good at something, people tend to dislike you for it. I told her Dad works super hard and people hate him for it. Mom tries to be super compassionate and people always think I'm condescending and therefore don't like me. And Beya is out-of-this world nice and people are going to make that the thing they don't like about her. I also told her Jesus healed people and loved them but they hated him for it. I honestly didn't think she would entirely grasp the concept enough to really draw the direct parallels to her own life, but she did. And it ended in tears. "I never knew that!" she cried. Life was definitely NOT what she expected and she suddenly realized how very hard it was going to be to be herself. I mean she was genuinely and deeply troubled by it.

"I just want to be unique!" she cried. I admit, I was blinking in astonishment when she said that. I hadn't been saying anything about being herself and being an individual and what that means in the scope of things, but yet she articulated it internally anyway and it's been coming out in her actions.

"I know you do," I replied. "But you can't make people like you. You have to accept that you can't make people be your friend."

"I don't want to make them be my friend," she said. "I just want them to feel the love I have for them."

She is SIX and the girl brings me to tears. And, uh, my daughter apparently already has her own metaphysics she's been working out.

This isn't the first time her world has been upended this way and every time it is, I'm blown away by how easily she grasps things that even adults fail to get. She reasons through it all, always, always considering things through the lens of love and completely getting that people are not like her. She doesn't expect them to be. Every time I give her advice, she carries through and tries SO hard. Whenever I have a serious conversation with her, I get schooled on how to interact with her. She is WISE beyond her years. She blows me away.

But it did get me thinking. Like I said, I never thought someone could not like Beya. I told her being nice is her superpower and she should never let it go. We all have superpowers--and power is what they are. Yet our power is the thing people hate the most, even and especially when we use it to help others. And somehow my daughter knows this. Tomorrow I'm pretty sure she's going to have all the secrets of the universe worked out. I'll let you know how that goes.