Life with Boys, Motherhood

Back to School is Bittersweet

No, I’m not! I know many parents count down the days until their children are back in school, but I have to say, I am not one of them. I really hate when summer comes to an end.  I love summer. I love the freedom each new day brings whether we will stay at home or go on an adventure. I enjoy my boys and I love when they are home. I know they need school to learn and grow but sometimes I wish I could make time stand still. I have incredible boys and I am going to miss them when they start back to school tomorrow.

Tomorrow is also the end of an era. Sniff. My youngest is going to be in school full time.  It is bittersweet. I am happy for him because he will grow so much this year, but I am feeling a bit melancholy. I no longer will have any little person at home with me. There have been many times over the last fourteen years that I have been home with my children that I have wanted to tear my hair out and run away from the craziness, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I remember feeling overwhelmed with the task of holding my oldest in his car seat as we left the hospital. I thought,”they are really letting me take this baby home? Don’t they know I know nothing?” It was difficult. I had taken classes and looked after children before, but never infants on only on a few hours of sleep. I remember once my son was crying. He had been fed, changed, burped, and snuggled and I couldn’t figure out what he needed. I remember thinking at that point “And I wanted this?” but the truth is I did. I wanted to be a mother. I wanted to look after children.

I’ll be the first one to admit that I haven’t always listened, I’ve yelled, I had my own embarrassing temper tantrums, and I teased my boys when I shouldn’t have. I haven’t been as patient or kind as I could have been (or as my husband who is the Saint of Patience) and there are many times I should have kept my big, fat mouth shut,  but being a mother has been the most rewarding job of my life. I have no “work experience” but I have grown so much as a person as I have watched my little ones grow. They have taught me so much. My oldest has grown into one of my best friends. My other two keep me on my toes. They are smart, articulate, and are always making me laugh.  I am grateful for the hard days and the great days. I am also grateful for the mediocre days.

My Heavenly Father knew I needed these boys to become a better person and I am so grateful he sent them to me.  We may have closed the door on having little children now, but I know my husband and I are excited to enter the new door of having older children and the joy that will come from it. I’ve got four years (just four years!) with my oldest, and I am determined to try to be the kind of mom that my boys need.

 

Uncategorized

Rejection Stinks but I’ve learned Character is Key

I recently sent my first manuscript ever to three different publishing houses. They each rejected the manuscript, but one was very helpful in their feedback. They said, “although your characters are based on real people, the characters are not as well as developed as they could be.”

I am so grateful for their feedback. My characters were not strong enough and this is where I need to improve on. I want my characters to seem as real as possible. Real means with weaknesses and strengths. As a perfectionist, I have a tendency to make my characters “too perfect.” But because they are “perfect” they are boring and not interesting.

I am so glad I have the opportunity now to go through a book I have already read again to help me understand where my characters fail.  It is called “Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint” by Nancy Kress. I am excited to learn where I went wrong and to make my characters stronger in the rejected manuscript and to create amazing characters on my current work in progress.

Kress says, “. . . without believable and interesting characters, you don’t really have fiction at all.  You may have names walking through a plot, but without the essential animation of the character, a historical novel becomes mostly a history text, a mystery becomes a police report, and science fiction becomes a speculative monograph. Character is key.”

I love those words: character is key. I realize that my characters are two dimensional. They are not Anne of Green Gables, Katniss Everdeen, Eowyn of the Riders of Rohan, or Elizabeth Bennett. It is hard to swallow after a year of work, but it also wonderful to know that I can improve my characters. When I make dynamic characters, then my next manuscript will be so much better.

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 9.19.00 AM

Despite my disappointment of publishers not accepting my manuscript, I am excited to learn how to create better characters and I can’t wait to get started.