Darkness Seeking Light and other stories

When people ask what I do, I say I'm a homemaker and a writer; I keep the house clean and maintain a blog. And if the person keeps watching me with an obvious "And...?" I might explain that I've written a book and have just begun to seek publication.

It's taken me two years to come up with a decent way to explain how a woman with no job and no children can fill up her time. Whether or not people actually think this, I've usually heard their "Oh, that's nice" followed by a silent "How many soap operas do you watch?!"

Answer: none. We don't have a TV, and I've never even been on the Hulu site.

This week, I haven't even opened my Google Reader. I spent my first five minutes on my Facebook news feed since Monday, at 11:30 last night. I've worked on my novel, on a manuscript critique, on a friend's wedding program, on this blog, on laundry and cooking and grocery shopping and running writers' group.... Apart from evening events and a family visit on Monday, it's taken me my week, from alarm clock to nearly falling asleep on the couch. I haven't even read a book since finishing Howl's Moving Castle on Sunday afternoon.

I am beat, but it was a good week.

Oddly enough, the one form of entertainment I've kept is Twitter. Thanks to Tweetdeck, it takes me less than half an hour in any given day to keep up with my friends and #JuNoWriMo. Of course, I never would have thought that of all social media, Twitter would be my companion of choice.

* * *

Thanks to Twitter, I've been somewhat up on the big scandal of the week: the WSJ article attacking the darkness in YA fiction, and the tsunami-sized response. And I feel like my own response to all that would take weeks to write and fill several blog posts. For now, suffice it to say that while I thought both Ms. Gurdon and Sherman Alexie had some good points, neither of them really even tried to be charitable, and neither touched on the real underlying problems.

I don't have weeks to write a thesis on darkness in young adult literature right now. But here's what I try to do in my own writing, because it's what I've found in the books that have healed and helped save me. Mr. Pond sent several of us a long quote from George MacDonald's Wee Sir Gibbie this morning, which aimed squarely at that key point. I hope he won't mind me re-posting this sentence:
"It is the noble, not the failure from the noble, that is the true human; and if I must show the failure, let it ever be with an eye to the final possible, yea, imperative, success."

* * *

Maia's to-do list this week:
  • Tuesday:
    • Wake up at five AM, throw toys on Lou, keep him awake for two hours.
    • Rip up a leaf on the peace lily.
  • Wednesday:
    • Wake up at five AM, bat metal toy around wood floor.
    • When mean old Jenna takes away toy and hides it under her pillow, throw sock around bed.
    • When mean old Jenna takes away sock and hides it under her pillow, wait till she's gone back to sleep and then pounce on her suddenly.
    • Rip up a leaf on the peace lily.
  • Thursday:
    • Rip up a leaf on the peace lily.
  • Friday:
    • Jump up on stool, see if peace lily can be dumped upside down between the bookshelves. Make sure it's watered first.

The last trick proved wholly successful. It made quite a crash. The plant survived, but I've got a lot of mud to scrub off the wall and out of the carpet.

* * *

Writers' link of the week: Kate Hart on being Erudite and reading Dorothea Brande's Becoming a Writer. Maybe I ought to read that book. Of course, I'm always talking about reading writing books, and I never do it. Shame on me.

* * *

Music of the week: My e-friends Eric and Carrie Pazdziora, together with harmonizer Jenna Satterthwaite (whose last name is practically as cool as mine), have started a band! I absolutely must give them a shout-out, along with a summons to Bellingham, WA. Harry and the Potters is playing at Mt. Baker Theater soon—why shouldn't Thornfield do the same someday?

Also, props on the mega-wonderful name. It makes me think of Jane Eyre, which is always a good thing.

* * *

Funny of the week: Worth a snork. Although I've become a Firefox convert, and use IE only for checking one gmail address when the others are already open in Firefox and Chrome.

* * *

JuNoWriMo Tally
Week 1 hours: 10
Week 2 hours: 2 and counting

All right, I admit it. I killed an hour on the internet this morning. It's hard not to do after a long week, and when I'm trying to come up with a Friday post. But it also means I now have a very busy evening.

Happy weekend, everyone!


  1. You've had a busy week! Nice job on your JuNo progress, and thanks for sharing that quote about nobility. I think that's an absolutely perfect, concise response to the WSJ article!

  2. Thank you so much, Shallee! Your constant encouragement is helpful. :) And I felt exactly the same way about the nobility quote.

  3. I can completely relate to the "what do you Do though?" part of this! I'm really not sure how much time I'm supposed to have each day, but I can't imagine trying to write, and throw, and be at all involved in keeping up our house, And have a Real Job..but people have such a hard time understanding work that doesn't involve bustling around. It's one reason I rarely go salons, hair-stylists always ask about my life, and always seem so disappointed with the answer that I end up making up a life and then feeling guilty, and afraid to go back, in case I get the same stylist and she remembers more than I do about the life I invented. :)

  4. Masha, that's one of the funniest comments I've ever gotten!

    If you ever put up an Etsy shop for your pottery, or something like that, let me know. :)


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