Archive | February 2014

The Most Interesting People I Know…

I’ve met a lot of interesting people in my life. Heroes, criminals, writers, college dropouts, and self-made millionaires. But by far, the most interesting people I know actually live in my house, and are under the age of ten.

I was adopted, so for all of my life, there was nobody that looked like me, sounded like me, or resembled me in any way. That is… until my two precocious little boys came a long. Suddenly, I was surrounded by two little people who mirrored my husband and I, both in appearance, personality, and behavior. It was uncanny and miraculous, and I was instantly in love.

What has truly been amazing about this journey of motherhood, has been how interesting I find them. Sometimes I feel like a mad scientist or a child psychologist stalking my little experiments, watching them change and grow. Seeing them develop from tiny dependent babies to funny and intelligent little boys has been all-consuming, so much more than I ever imagined.

My oldest son, Jack, is like my husband in many ways. And because I understand him, my depth of understanding has also grown for my husband. The “baby”, Charlie, is most like me so I understand how infuriating my stubbornness can be. The beautiful pattern of our family is woven by common threads, as well our own dynamic personalities. I am often mesmerized by how truly amazing it all is.

I could listen to my children talk all day. And right now, they love to talk to me. They can’t wait to share things and tell me what is on their minds. They share every idea, hope and thought with me and I can’t get enough of it! I truly love watching their minds work, thoughts formulate, and theories about life develop.

I love how much they rely on my husband and I to help create their core beliefs. But it’s always fun to watch how they take what they’ve learned and run with it. Whether it’s the answers to the big questions or the little ones, it feels like a privilege to witness them evolve and grow.

Jack recently realized that he has the ability to “choose” the big things in his life. Up until then, he believed that his course was set by us. It never occurred to him that he could do something different than what his Dad and I decided. This revelation that he could actually decide, didn’t change much for him. But his mind opened up just a little bit more on that day. With his newfound epiphany he edged slightly away from my little boy, to a wiser one.

I read somewhere that if you listen to your children when they are small, they will come to you when they are bigger. I’ve become a better listener, and what I’ve found is that I’m actually very interested. Whether it is their plan for their world in Minecraft, or what they are doing in school, or which wrestler is making his return debut-I hang onto their every word. And I listen. Always.

They are so interesting. Their passion, reflection, thoughts, beliefs, and ideas. They are a gift wrapped up in a beautiful little package borne of innocence, goodness, and discovery. All of which are gone way too quickly. I don’t remember thinking and imagining so sweetly. Those days are long gone for me, but when I see them in my children I find so much joy and happiness.

Charlie still believes in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, even though Jack has spilled the beans on countless occasions. But Jack still thinks that his dad and I are the best people in the world, and they both still love to cuddle with us every chance they get.

I am anxious to see what they will become. I can’t wait to watch and listen to them grow, though I am not in a hurry for them to do so. And I can’t believe that I made such beautiful children and that they can mesmerize me so completely.

I hope that as a mother, this complete interest in them early in their lives will open the door to more important moments when they are older. The conversations that will be needed when they are struggling with life and with themselves.

I don’t see myself ever losing interest in them, but I’m a realist and I know that there will be times-maybe even years when it will have to be from afar. But I hope they will always know that they will remain the most interesting people in my life.

And I hope against hope, that they will feel just a smidgen of that for me. ❤

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Shiny Objects…

So, I’m working on my third book. And it’s going painfully slow.

Painfully.

I decided that the story was getting too dark. I decided that I need my main character to experience a little more love in her life. So now I need to go back and add it. The love that is. The truth is… I love dark stories. I always have. The twistier and uglier, the better. I think that’s why I loved mythology when I was a girl. Mythology rarely had the Happily Ever After and I was good with that, even at a young age.

My first two books were dark. Sad, ugly, tragic, and dark. I actually wrote about people killing and being killed, which surprised me because I didn’t plan it that way. It just happened because that’s where the story went. That is the beauty of writing, at least for me. Something comes out of nothing and then the unexpected happens. Magic.

But I’m having a hard time getting to a point in the story that makes me feel like I have finally made progress. I’m at least, if not more than halfway into the first draft. Once the draft is done, I tell myself that I’ll feel more resolved but chances are that I won’t. Since I’ve been writing again there is a consistent sense of things being undone. I feel more sane and there is a lot less chaos in my head, but I definitely feel a lack of completion in my daily life.

The fact is, I’m just busy. With a full time career that has full time responsibilities, a beautiful but active family, two dogs, parents who aren’t in the best of health, and a brain that won’t settle down… it’s hard to find the time to write. Even now, I’m blogging when I should be trying to figure out why my characters love each other so much. But I am writing and the exercise of writing and creating is what gives me peace, helps me breathe, and quiets the noise in my head. It always has. But moments like this don’t come every day.

My last post was about needing a vacation. But truly, I know that I can’t take a vacation from my own mind, only from some of the rigors of life. I’m always questioning how I can finish the next book, and with each one it becomes increasingly more difficult. But I do know that I need to be more disciplined in my writing. Writing instead of Facebooking tweeting, and daydreaming about writing. I need to just hunker down, “clear the mechanism” (For Love of the Game), and write, even if it stinks. I can work out the bugs after the first draft is done, after my editor and awesome pre-readers get done hacking it up.

Sometimes I am frustrated because I feel that there are so many stories to tell, yet not enough hours in the day to tell them in. When I began my first book, I told myself that I would feel like a writer after it was done. Then it became, after the second book is finished. Now it feels like, after the third book is finished, I may finally feel like a writer.

But who knows? Maybe I will never feel complete again. Maybe that is what compels me to write, this inward sense that there is so much more to write about. I’m hoping that after I finish this third book, that I will be able to take a little teensy weensy break before I write the third book in the Eva series. The overall 3rd Book, tentatively titled Run to You, was meant to give me a break from the heaviness of the Eva series. This was supposed to be my easy novel. As it turns out, it has actually become my most difficult in many ways. Now that my main character wants more love, it’s proven to be more challenging. But being more challenged it great!

So I gotta go now and try to bang out some more of this story. That is unless another shiny object comes floating by…

A Beach Calls…

I need a vacation.

Wait… I NEED a vacation.

No, wait… I NEED a VACATION!!!!!

The last time I went away was to NYC with the crazy, fun women in my family. It was a blast, but it was during a difficult time in my life. My mind was mostly in Manhatten, but never too far from where I was trying to escape. That’s the funny thing about “getting away.” When you’re on a vacation, you never can truly get away from yourself, or the things that plague you. They always seem to find you no matter where you are.

But as life ebbs and flows, and that time has now passed… I realize that it’s been awhile since I’ve had a proper vacation. I need the kind of vacation where I can close my eyes, clear my mind, lie in the sun, and listen to the sound of crashing waves for about six hours. Normally I would be concerned about the fact that I’m even close to being swimsuit-worthy. But I don’t even care about that. I just need some blue sky and some clear water, with zero obligations, even just for a day.

Or two.

It’s been a long time. Too long to have escaped the grind of daily life and adult responsibilities. I watch my children play sometimes and I love how carefree and relaxed they get to be. There is nothing in the world that they need to be concerned about… at least, not yet. I know that they are lucky. A lot of children have adult concerns when they shouldn’t. But children should just be kids-happy and free. They shouldn’t be burdened by the heaviness a lifetime weighs upon us.

I remember the days when I had no one to worry about, but me. They went so fast without me even realizing it. And now I am a grown up with adult problems and responsibilities. I’m a mother, wife, boss, writer, and daughter. Finding the time to clear my mind is difficult because it’s always racing from one role or thought, directly to the next. But that is who I am. I’ve never been able to relax. I’ve always been a high energy, high strung, multiple hat-wearing kind of girl.

As ironic as it may seem, I do find my zen in my family. They are my beach in many ways. They calm and center me almost as much as I imagine the waves of the bluest ocean, would do. They also toss me around like those waves, but I love every wonderful moment of it. I feel so amazingly fortunate to have to have my husband and children. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Their presence gives me purpose and peace.

I also find peace in writing. In telling a story, or blogging, or imagining an idea. I love the entire process of creating something out of nothing. It calms my mind and cleans out the dust in the corners in ways that I don’t understand. But being at peace is one thing, while relaxing completely, is another.

Truth be told, I would love to learn exactly how to relax. My entire life, I’ve never been able to. I know that is what a beach and the sound of crashing waves would do for me right now. I know that I deserve it, I’ve worked hard for it, and I need it. I’ve been hearing a beach call my name for many months now. It’s beckoning me to sit by her blue water, dig my feet into her soft warm sand, and do nothing but breathe.

Breathe.

So, until I get there, I’m going to take a moment every day to imagine the sun on my face. I’m going to imagine that feeling you get after a full day of warm, sweet nothingness. And I’m going to wish myself there, very soon.

Very, very soon.

Leaving Eva Excerpt

Leaving Eva, Page 112

Adam turned away. It was becoming a familiar scene between them, angry and repetitive. The frustration was ongoing and palpable in every encounter, to the point that they were beginning to avoid one another. They were watching TV in seperate rooms, reading the newspaper in silence, and finding reasons to not spend time together. They started slipping farther and farther apart without realizing it, more out of apathy than anger.

Now he was angry, and he had every right to be this time. But she fought him as she always did. Even when he was right, she fought. It drove him crazy that she wouldn’t just admit when she was wrong. It was as though she had something to prove all of the time, and if was becoming harder and harder to be married to her. He was tired of the constant battles. Is everyone’s marriage this hard all of the time?! Dammit!