All snark and no bite.

My apologies on the absence of posts.  I know I shouldn’t apologize (and usually don’t) because this is my blog and my timeline but I also know I have more than a few new readers.  So Hi!  And welcome.

The girls and I got out of town for a bit and traveled south to see family this weekend.  Not my family, their family.  You know, legally.  That’s beside the point until they can transport themselves; we’re all in this together.  Ella moved her booster seat to the back bench several months ago.  I guess the cupholders and privacy are appealing to a six-year-old.  Which, of course, made Amelia want to go back there too.  The problem lies in that she cannot buckle herself in (she’s in a high-back booster) (but only because the 5-point harness seat expired and I refuse to buy another freaking car seat in my lifetime) so I told her that if Ella is willing to buckle, she can sit where she wants.

Fail.

Ella buckled.  And then they were alternately mean to each other and annoying to me.  Which meant they annoyed me the whole trip.  The only quiet time was for a bit today when Ella read to Amelia for a good half-hour.  I am continually amazed by how well that kid can read.  I mean, she’s not a total anomaly.  It’s not like she’s reading Harry Potter or anything.  We’re talking Alexander and the No Good, Very Bad Day.  And Madeline.  And Owen.  But then that moment was over and it was back to “MAMA!  She’s sticking out her tongue at me!”  “MAMA!  Ella took my Leapster!”  “Wah!  My juice spilled.”

Oh hell.  And these are just two kids.  My parents had three unrestrained hooligans in a single backseat.  I know how much it sucked to ride that way.  Imagine being the driver.  Maybe that’s why carseats were invented: to have an excuse to keep the children from breathing down the driver’s neck.

I didn’t take my computer with us.  That was a deliberate choice.  I know me.  I’ve met me and when boredom strikes, I would spend far too much time hiding behind a screen and not enough time visiting.

I’ve been going back and reading my blog from the beginning, spanning more than three years and hundreds of individual posts.  I can tell when I have new readers because of what is being read and sometimes a post will show up that is years old and forgotten.  I have to check the date and read it just out of curiosity.  I really like all my old Fat Camp posts.  What’s funny is that I haven’t come as far as I had imagined I would and yet, so much further. 

Since Grad school had to be backed up a year (I can’t afford daycare for Amelia while I’m in school as well as the cost of classes and transportation so I need to wait until she’s in kindergarten, Fall of 2012), I am considering my blog in book form.  It seems a shame that posts are getting lost in the mess of our daily lives.  Some of the early ones are just as good as the ones from the last year.  Angst or no, there were some good thoughts and (mostly) well written even if it was in a vodka and nutty bar soaked haze.

Part of me thinks that the “Blog turned into a book” genre has run its course.  And the other part of me thinks that my story might help somebody else. 

The issue becomes this: do I write as a widow?  As a mother?  As a grieving mother?  As a fat girl?  Or am I just another bored housewife that isn’t a wife anymore?  A drain on the economy?  All snark and no guts to bite?

That remains to be seen.  But I’m starting to think that, in my copious free time, I should assemble this mess into something readable. 

I don’t often open myself to dialogue but, what do you think?  Worth the time, even if it just ends up being for me (and someday the littles)?

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12 thoughts on “All snark and no bite.

  1. Absolutely worth your time, Jenn!

    And I think you should write as all of those people….because all of those components make up who you are and tell where you’ve been.

    You are a very unique individual, Jenn. Most have not experienced the tragic losses of two of her family members and have healed as well as you have. You are able to tap into your emotions so precisely and actually formulate words to explain what you’re feeling giving a vivid description that is both heartbreaking & enlightening .

    THAT.IS.AMAZING.

    I can’t even formulate a comment for these posts. You are helping people. Talking about grief and the rawness of it all is eye opening. I feel privledged to “know” you, and I think that a book is a great idea.

  2. My opinion? You should definitely do this. But you do need to be aware of the marketing fact that almost any publisher is going to try to slot you into a particular thing (almost certainly, a Widow). In my view, your book could be so much more than that. Certainly, what you have been through and the fact that you have lost two of your most-loved people has changed you and shaped your writing, but I think your book could–and should–be as multi-faceted and irreducible as the blog.

    I don’t know what I’m suggesting here (because self-publishing is not it!), but I do think it’s worth looking around for a publisher who will market this more subtly than “BOOK FROM A BLOG BY A WIDOW!”

    If that makes any sense.

  3. Your finest bits of writing are right up there with my fav, Anne LaMott. No, I’m not blowing smoke up…it’s true.
    Don’t stop! And yes, I could see lots of these blog posts gathered up into book form.

    • I had to look up who that is. Oddly enough, I have one of her books (the one on writing) on my Goodreads list. Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. I agree, incidentally, with the comparison to Anne Lamott, but with an exception: I find that her writing, especially the more recent stuff, has an element of “holier than thou” to it, which your writing–I don’t think I even need to say so, but you know–does not. She is so adamant that she’s not judging anyone that she ends up judging a lot of people. (I might not think this if I hadn’t heard her read–hard to say.)

    But the same kind of candor, humor, and absolute willingness to face the parts of herself that are difficult or compromised? Yes, I see that in this blog.

    • She isn’t my usual genre but I do have her book on writing on my Goodreads list. Now I think I need to find it at the library to see what you and Kate are talking about. Thanks for your thoughts. I am terrified at the thought of having to assemble and edit 95,000+words into something coherent. This isn’t going to be a fast process but I do appreciate the feedback.

  5. “Bird by Bird” is really good. I also like her book “Operating Instructions,” and while I don’t know what kind of project you have in mind, it’s an interesting model for a book that is composed of journal-type pieces.

  6. I think a book would be fabulous! Your posts are thought provoking, heartbreaking and often laugh-out-loud funny. Its a blog I recommend to others esp people dealing with grief.

  7. Hi Jenn,
    Just to clarify the Lamott comment: The reason I mentioned that author is because in her best moments she makes me pause(like many of your posts) because she wraps humor around tragic events and that makes them all the more powerful. Just when you feel like you’re going to cry she makes you laugh—a kind of a snort/cry/laugh. Lamott humbles herself enough to honestly show her vulnerabilities without sounding pathetic.
    “Traveling Mercies” is my favorite. (Jesus as a little kitty…read it and you’ll see what I mean by that comment)

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