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May 2007
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July 2007

Active Listening? Not so much.

So I'm reading my first parenting book. Which is a trip in and of itself. When Matt was in grad school he discovered Dr. Thomas Gordon, author of Teacher Effectiveness Training and after hearing all these wonderful things about Dr. Gordon's philosophies and teachings, I made a mental note for "someday" to check out his Parent Effectiveness Training when the time came to give a shit about being an effective parent. Which turns out to be nowish.

At first it seems like it mostly just applies to toddlers and older kids but then I spot the chapter about infants. Really? When Matt comes to bed I tell him I've got this book and I'd like to practice this part that applies to infants.

Me: Okay. I'm the infant and you're the parent trying to respond to me.

Matt: funny look from the unsuspecting Matt.

Me: i start mimicking loud, crying baby noises. Lucy gets a little freaked out and paces around the bed. Matt's eyes widen and he reflexively leans over and clamps his hand hard over my mouth. I'm laughing so hard I'm crying and can barely spit these words out.

Me: "No. That is not part of the active listening model. Again."
Matt: "I am going to remind you how funny you thought this was when the real baby is crying!"

Ten Till Closing

It turns out the only person I really needed to convince I'm a "real" writer is myself. Imagine that. I finished my newest story today and decided on the title Ten Till Closing. It fits perfectly into my Talking to Strangers book where the theme is about the connections and impacts interacting with strangers can have on all of us. I so appreciate those of you willing to read it and give me some feedback. I'm curious about your impressions as well as specifically what you think of the ending - too obvious?

Gotta love Wikipedia. I needed more examples of names for shades of green for the story and voila.

In other writing news, I'm actively working toward launching my Nathalie's Notes freelance writing businesses so if you know anyone looking for a pen for hire ... today one of the jobs I found is someone needing an article translated from Czech to English. Yeah, that happens every day. I'm waiting to hear back on that and a few others and feeling a bit more hopeful that I haven't started my descent into madness.

New Story

Except for the peeing every seven minutes, I almost forgot I was pregnant today! I pretty much got all of the upstairs (minus my office of course) all boxed up. I had a lot I wanted to do today but decided to start the day with writing a story that came to me at 2:30 in the morning, triggered by a conversation with my recently widowed neighbor. It's about loneliness and racism and it's odd the way it connected in my head but it makes sense to me on paper. I could hardly believe I wrote the whole thing in one sitting. I think it has something to do with setting my intention and getting my butt in the chair to get to work without making excuses. One of my favorite things about seeing the world as a writer is that everything is noteworthy and you never know what will spark the next story. It's in a very early draft but my goal is to polish it by week's end and get some feedback on it and pitch it next week. If you're into reading it and giving me your opinion, let me know and I'll email it. The working title is "It must be Mexican Day" or "Ten Till Closing." I'm not completely decided yet. It'll be part of my short story collection Talking to Strangers.

An exercise in flexibility and patience

The lame fact that my last post was May 3oth serves as a good indication of the "coping mode" I've been in for the last month. I'm nearly finished with work and am making good progress getting things packed up to move around here. So, after a refreshing meltdown, I'm ready to get myself back in balance. My intention is to start posting regularly again - so please don't wait a month before your next visit. I'm excited to be starting what I can only think of as a new phase in my life, both as a working writer and as a mother. I have no idea how it's all going to be but I'm curious and ready for the new adventure. Hell, I don't even know where we're going to be living in a month but I'm trying to think of all of this as an exercise in flexibility and patience.