Time for me to dust off the old blog. It used to be that everyone I knew had a blog, and little by little, the links no longer work. I get fewer feed updates, and as the, like, two people who subscribe to my blog know, there haven’t been many posts by me lately, either. In fact, several months ago I decided to copy my entire old Blurty online journal into a Word document for posterity’s sake, but the domain no longer worked! I was distraught that the record of five years of my life (2003-2008) had been eliminated! I was able to find a good portion of it in cached records, but not all. Luckily, I also kept a journal during that time, but there wasn’t a lot of overlap between the two.
I suppose a blog is a good way to record my thoughts. Four years ago, I wrote a post about being described as a blogger. Obviously, due to the shortage of posts between now and then, we can all concur that I am not, in fact, a blogger. I’m more of a scribbler, really. I like the term “scribbler,” because sometimes, the best I can do to write something down is scribble, though I prefer typing to handwriting something.
My dad recently went to a conference where he met the poet, Kay Ryan. He asked her to sign one of her collections for me.
(in case you can’t read the scribbles, it says
“For Jordan, another scribbler!
Best wishes, Kay Ryan, 2016)
I was a bit surprised and perplexed by this gift. How does this former Poet Laureate consider me a fellow scribbler? Sure, I enjoy writing and would like to pursue it seriously, but it’s weird having someone else address me as such. I’m positive my dad exaggerated my literary prowess.
Over the last few months, I’ve embarked on the journey to becoming a scribbler, a real scribbler. As much as I enjoy being a mom, I’ve felt a real need to become a scribbling mom. It reminds me of an impression I felt at the end of a long trip I took nearly four years ago.
“I was telling James about how I identify myself so much as a mother. My whole life revolves around my children and I love that. However, sometimes I feel like I’ve lost my independent self, like all I am is a mom. Sometimes when I go out by myself to run an errand or whatever, I feel insecure without my kids, almost empty. But after 2 weeks without them, I could start to see that I existed as a human being, a woman, a wife–separate from my identity as a mother. It’s not that I no longer had my kids, but that I was more than just a mom. Not sure if that makes sense…”
When I got home from that trip, I re-immersed myself in a writing project that I started…oh, in 2010. I finished my first novel during the summer of 2012, which was mostly based on personal experience with a bit a fiction thrown in for good measure. I half-heartedly queried a couple of publishers, but didn’t expect it to go anywhere.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2013. James gave me an idea of a way to broaden the story I had written, but mostly, I totally scrapped it. I came up with a new idea and my brainstorm turned into a brain-hurricane. I could hardly contain all of the plot details and character traits that streamed out of me. And then life happened. A vacation here, an illness there, months passed.
And then Fall 2013 came, and I thought, “Hey, now E is going to Kindergarten. I can finally work on my book.” Then I remembered that I had a 3-year-old at home.
Then Fall 2014 came, and I thought, “Hey, now M is going to preschool and E will be in first grade. I can finally work on my book.” Then I remembered that I had an infant at home.
Then Fall 2015 came, and I thought, “Hey, now M is going to transitional kindergarten and E will be in second grade and S is no longer nursing. In fact, she takes longer naps than my other toddlers did. I can finally work on my book.” So I did for a while. And then we embarked on the long, complicated process of moving.
There were spurts of time between these years that I focused on working on the book, but inevitably, life would creep in and distract me. I oscillated between writer’s block and writer’s overflow. But once we settled into our new house, I started writing again in January of this year.
And BOOM! It was magic. I completely changed the point of view throughout my partially completed story, which at the time was about 38,000 words. When I finished my first draft in February, it was around 87,000 words. I recently finished my second draft, which is around 95,000 words. I’ve guilted my family and a couple of friends into reading it. And although I have rough outlines for the next two books in the trilogy, I’ve got to reach the next step, which means polishing my novel and readying it to be queried.
And since I can now more confidently call myself a scribbler, I want to document this journey. I plan to write more about my querying strategies next time (which I promise won’t be in a matter of months).