As part of their What’s Up Wednesday feature, Elodie Nowodazkij, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, Erin Funk, and Jaime Morrow will be hosting a summer-long initiative called Ready. Set. Write! Participants will share weekly, monthly, or overall goals in the “What I’m Writing” section of the weekly posts.
What I’m Writing
I’m pretty proud and pleased that I only took a few days to write Chapter 54 of Justine Grown Up. I did want to get back to work on my current WIP quickly, but I also knew I needed it done by the weekend so I could have excerpts for my Saturday and Sunday bloghops. The total length was only 2,427 words, which is on par with my shorter chapters in JGU.
It was also a test of showing restraint, not only in length, but also in showing off my knowledge. I absolutely didn’t want any of it to come across as some huge, shameless pile of fanwank. 15-20 years ago, I had that problem when anachronistically forcing in references to some of my favourite bands. Now I just wrote what needed to be written, conveying basic information and Irene and Amelia’s personal reactions. There’s a line it’s just not professional or mature to cross when you’re writing about a real-life interest, even when it’s an actual, natural part of a storyline.
If you want, you can read a little excerpt here.
In my current WIP, Journey Through a Dark Forest, I’m up to Chapter 56 and about 456,000 words. I really hate to have to make six innocent children suffer with whooping cough, but it’s the first and most effective way I could think of to bond them all together as a family. This disease can last for at least three months, which allows plenty of time for Damir to finally warm to his natural father. (I’m not even going to get into the anti-science, historical revisionist propaganda that’s been helping to bring back diseases that were almost eradicated in the West! Parents of 1940 would’ve given anything for their kids to be spared things like measles, mumps, and diphtheria, instead of patting themselves on the back and gushing about the wonders of natural immunity and evils of “Big Pharma.”)
What I’m Reading
I breezed through Elaine Tyler May’s America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation in a few days. It was a really fascinating social study of attitudes towards the Pill over time, how women today view it, how it was developed and tested, the changes in the Pill over the past 50 years, attitudes towards birth control in general, other contraceptives, male birth control pills, the disconnect between the Vatican’s view and most American Catholics, and how the sexual double standard about birth control, pregnancy, and sex gradually lessened.
What Inspires Me
Camp just ended, which is always a bittersweet time. As a friend and fellow counselor was saying to me, watching all these kids helps you to realise how you want to raise your own future kids. For example, a lot of the kids bring really healthy lunches, and even want healthy food for snacks, like raisins and peppers. There are also the areas I know I want to steer any future children away from, like delayed toilet-training, too-old thumb-sucking, and lack of discipline and boundaries at home. I’m not going to give any specific examples, though I love all these kids!
Hashem (God) must have a twisted sense of humour, since I had issues including oppositional defiance as a young child, and in the past three summers, I’ve dealt with that very issue in a few campers. Now I know how the shoe feels on the other foot, how frustrated and aggravated I made my parents and teachers all those years ago!
What Else I’ve Been Up To
Sunday morning was my favourite spin instructor’s farewell class. He’s moving to Florida full-time, but he’s definitely not retiring just yet. His wife invited us to come to a class at his new gym if we’re ever in their new neck of the woods, and said he might be coming back in September to guest teach. His farewell class was one of his all-time BEST! Every single second was made of pure awesomeness.
Still no kitchen to work with. Again, please keep in mind that I’m the one with a more liberal view on kosher standards and realised this needed taken care of from the jump. It really doesn’t seem in the spirit of a kosher lifestyle to starve yourself and really still be eating most of your meals in non-kosher kitchens and restaurants just to do everything perfectly to the letter of the law, no matter how long of a delay. You have to live your life realistically, without undue hardship.
I lost one of my marbles while babysitting two of the older girls after camp when it rolled under a locked door. The very next day, my notice I’d left on the door was waiting for me in the office with the little marble taped to it. There really still are some amazingly nice people in this world!