I’m going crazy. I mean it, really. I’m going out of my damned mind.
You see, for the past three days, I’ve been working on a blog entry about this whole mid-life crisis thing, trying to put into words what’s been going through my head. And I can’t get the damned thing written. Cassie keeps jumping around the bedroom, pestering me as I write. Michael is getting ready for work and keeps asking me questions like, what are my plans for lunch? All the while, Sam keeps popping on and off the breast. She’s nursing. She’s done. Nope, she’s nursing again. On second thought, she’s done. But wait, maybe just a few more minutes. Nope, we’re off again. On second thought, let’s beat on mommy’s breast and scream because we want more milk. By the way honey, what are your plans for lunch today? Mommy, I want my Barbie doll. Fix my Barbie now. Helen, did you remember to call the eye doctor? By the way, I’m going to karate class tonight, so you’ll be home alone again with the kids all evening. Mommy, fix my doll! Mommy, I want ponytails. Do my ponytails! We’re eating again, no we’re done. Wait, let’s spit up all over Mommy and blow out our diaper while we’re at it. Mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy–
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Ah ah ah aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Pasoidhdfhfojnadpo fifgiupqos8seety lwi454y b-9sdfdhg lksjxhisd sfboai sddfhoa pd8f7 hkl hasdf h@#$@ $*@#@%&@*^%!!!
I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me. I’m just feeling a little stir crazy today. Don’t know why.
Oh hell with that. I know exactly why. I’m trapped in the damned house scheduling play dates, fixing Barbies and nursing babies all frikkin’ day. It’s no wonder my head feels like it’s going to split in half while my eyeballs pop out of the sockets and I do my best Linda Blair impersonation out on the front lawn. And when the men with the funny white jackets come to take me away, ladies and gentlemen, you’ll know why too.
The whole mommy thing is just driving me up the damned wall right now. I’ve been trying for three days to write about how I want to be an artist and how I crave having a little time each day to sit and draw. But it’s gotten worse than that. As I’ve looked at the problem, I realize it’s a lot bigger than me just wanting to sit and draw. Way bigger than that.
I want to be famous, damn it.
I want to have acheived some massive success with my art, but since I haven’t been doing any serious work on it since I was thirteen, I’m kind of screwed on this point. So what I’d really like to do is turn back the clock, go back to when I was thirteen, give myself a good hard slap and say, “Pick up the stupid pencil and start drawing now! Otherwise, you’re going to wake up one morning when you’re thirty-seven and realize you’ve got two kids, a house to clean and a husband who wants to know what your plans are for lunch, but you don’t have a portfolio or a cool artist job or even a fine arts degree. Hell, you’ll be lucky if you can even find a 2B pencil anywhere in the house!”
Of course, my thirteen-year-old self will more than likely just slap me back and tell me to kiss off. What do thirteen-year-olds know anyway, huh?
I need to do what I did after Cassie was born. Back then, the midlife crisis was writing. I was desperate to write. I had dabbled in it a bit for a few years, but had never really applied myself. Sure, I had a 20,000 word novella sitting on the hard drive, but I couldn’t publish the dang thing (too long for magazines, too short for publishers, at least back then before the advent of e-publishing). I also had two erotic short stories that I’d managed to sell. But that was about it. So at the age of 34, I sat in the glider nursing Cassie and ranted about wanting to write. Fortunately for me, I actually got off my ass and did something about it. I spent the first year of her life writing a truly horrible trashy gay novel (yes, you read that right) in a three-ring binder. I still have it too, all five hundred hand-written pages. I had planned to transcribe the whole thing into the computer, but never could get around to that. Taking care of an infant just kept me a little too busy. But at least I was writing. When Cassie was almost a year old and I had a little more time, I decided to take things a step further. Writing porn in a notebook wasn’t enough. I needed to write complete stories on the computer and get them out where people could see them. That meant finding a writers’ group.
This part was tricky. I needed a group that I could participate in at my own pace. I couldn’t read and critique ten or more stories a week. I could handle one or two. I also couldn’t manage to make any weekly meetings. I was either in karate class in the evenings and on Saturdays and so wouldn’t be available, or else I was home taking care of the baby while Michael went to class and I didn’t even want to think of taking a baby to an hours-long meeting of a writers group. So that meant the writers group had to be online. Finally, I wanted a writers group that would consider reading erotica, because that was one of the things I enjoyed writing (remember, I’d handwritten 500 pages of trashy gay porn at that point).
Well, after a lot of searching on the internet, I found one group that fit the bill – the Erotica Readers And Writers Association. Erotica was the only genre they handled, but I decided that I could handle that starting out. I could branch into science fiction, fantasy and horror later on, once I’d established good work habits and a regular writing schedule.
Two years later, I’m still on the ERWA. In fact, I work for them as a feature editor for the website. I’ve written yet another gay trashy novel, this time on the computer, and I’m actually sending the manuscript out to publishers because guess what? There’s a viable market for that sort of thing these days. As a writer, I’m happy. The work is slow, but steady. I’ve garnered a few publications and a little money over the last two years. And I’m looking at doing bigger and better things in the years to come. I’m set. I know where I’m going with my writing.
Now I just need to do the same thing with my art.
I’ll talk about that tomorrow, maybe. Sam’s finally popped off the breast and is snoozing and Cassie has yet another play date to attend in fifteen minutes. It’s time for the lunatic to go back to being a mommy until the next time she can slip out to play.