I Don’t Have Time for Anything, Except Maybe Writing
I realize that my blogging frequency has gone a bit stale. Free time has been in short supply and when it is, I’d rather spend what little writing time I have writing fiction that few people read but I make a bit of money on, than on blog posts that few people read and I get no money on. “MONETIZE YOUR BLOG, REBECCA!”, you might be screaming. To that, I say, “Nobody comes here regularly but to read my Grown-Ass V.C. Andrews Reviews that I never have the time to write anymore, and I doubt any of my handful of devoted V.C. Andrews fans would stick around to read them if they were choked to death with Adsense ads.
Anyway, here I am today to tell you all about how hard part-time working mom life is, even though I’m actually riding a pretty good emotional high at the moment, it might just be the tail end of it before the true Christmas dread finally settles in.
Happy 16th Retail Christmas Season to Me
I actually went into this “holiday season” kinda upbeat because I planned on dressing all holiday goth and things were going well, even when the Christmas music started playing the moment after the “Moment of Silence” was over on Remembrance Day. I kid, of course. Mariah Carey doesn’t truly start belting it until November 12th, but I digress. Once again, the holiday soundtrack at work ended up being the exact same holiday soundtrack as last year at work and after 15 years of retail I’m virtually numb to all but WHAM’S “Last Christmas”, because it’s truly the only Christmas song that actually gives me any joy these days.
Things were going okay until what they call an “atmospheric river” moved over British Columbia and literally took out every highway leading out of Vancouver. That took me out for a couple of nights because I obviously had to doomscroll my way back into a sense of anxiety on Twitter. It went well, you know. Instead of getting too doomer about it, I did write a romantic gothic poem about dying in a flash flood:
The rain pelted the cabin.— Rebecca Jones-Howe (@rjoneshowe) November 16, 2021
The ground grew muddy,
The river roared.
Its waters swelled.
a candle shed light
on your puckish smile.
"Isn't this nice?" you said,
opening a can of offal.
"I get to share my last meal
with you."#crowcalls @QuillandCrow
#Momlife is Worse Now
I’m fortunate enough to have parents who look after my son so I can work for 5 hours a day and then they pick up my daughter and I spend the late afternoon with my kids while I sometimes try to make dinner? My kids literally only eat chicken fingers these days so I throw a bunch of those in the air fryer and was doing pretty good at cooking keto dinners until the aforementioned closed highways made everyone panic buy all the fucking produce and I ran out of cauliflower to replace all my rice and pasta with.
As a result, my diabetes is under worse control.
Not to mention that my daughter is 6 and likes to do stuff like Perler Beads and friendship bracelets and paper dolls and my son is 2 and likes to destroy all the things she likes to make. I hate it. I hate the screaming. It’s cute when they play nice but they only do that for like 5-minute allotments and my patience when my blood sugar is fucked is only SO HIGH.
And I get it. I know that I’ll miss these times when they’re older. I try to savour what I can, which is why I’m rarely blogging here, is because I’ve learned that trying to do literally anything on the computer when the kids are at home (like right now), makes my heart race and my anxiety build and my blood pressure probably skyrocket and I really just fucking wish I was back on keto because it really fixed all those things before ALL THE FUCKING PANIC BUYERS CLEANED OUT THE DAMN PRODUCE DEPARTMENT.
Some days I fare pretty well. Other days, I might have a small breakdown that my husband has to pull me out of but that’s just real shit, honestly. Young children are hard and frustrating and sometimes I wish I could get a break but that won’t happen until they’re teenagers and they hate me. I literally cannot wait for that day, because right now I’m at the “school forgets to let you know that “Superhero Day” is coming and your kid tells you that it’s “Superhero Day” the literal day before “Superhero Day” and I have to spend my glorious night of watching the Olympic Curling Trials making a very last minute Cardcaptor Sakura costume” stage.
It’s Okay, There’s Writing to be Done
After I put the kids to bed, I usually get just one sole hour to writing time. If I have a day off the next day, then I get two hours, and honestly, most nights it feels like I get nothing done. That being said, I’m shocked at what I’ve achieved to write this year with this whole routine.
I’ve written several short stories this year and managed to juggle them with nearly 2/3rds of my edit of The View From the Basment. I’ve also come to the realization that drinking never helps me write, so I never drink on weekdays anymore. Just non-caffienated tea. Or, while I was sick last week, this strangely delicious hot ginger ale beverage.
It’s Also Okay, There’s EVEN MORE Writing to Do
I realized this year that I also have enough fiction to publish not one, but TWO new short story collections. IN all the hubbub of the novel, I really lost sight of my short fiction. I missed writing it. I enjoyed writing my old Patreon stories in 2020, but this year, it was the whole process of writing “Woman of the White Cottage” for Quill and Crow Publishing House this year that awoke something primal in me. Cassandra kept asking me for moreand more work and I just couldn’t stop.
It’s funny, because I never really thought of my work as any real genre until I started writing for them. Gothic just suits so much of what I write, and it has really helped me embrace the genre not just with my writing, but also with my reading. I’ve amassed QUITE the collection of absolutely trashy gothic paperbacks from the 60s-80s and it’s become this new part of my life that I never really thought I would allow myself to embrace before. I mean, I was already reading V.C. Andrews, but this new gothic trash is just the icing on that cake.
I’m upset that I couldn’t write something for Q&C’s most recent anthology, and I haven’t appeared in the last two issues of The Crow’s Quill because I had to prioritize my novel, but I’ll be back in January with some new work. In 2022, I also plan on putting together a short story collection of gothic short fiction.
I also have almost enough fiction to put together another collection of transgressive neo/noir stories centered around men’s issues that’ I’m hoping to find a publishing for next year, so I’m actually looking quite new to having some new fiction in the world soon.
At Last, New Fiction!
Speaking of Patreon stories, I did also find a home for the best story of the bunch, “Modern Ruins”. It appeared in the new anthology, LOST CONTACT, from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing. And the book came out today, so please please please go and buy yourself a copy.
“Modern Ruins” is my dead mall story, inspired greatly by Dan Bell’s “Dead Mall Series”. You can obviously check out the moodboard for more details on the story, but it was inspired a lot by my daily family life experiences, some of which I mentioned in this blog. It was also inspired by the early days of college when I met my husband. I even reference an album from this nostaglic post in there. Life is a real grind sometimes and I appreciate that I can be a writer and put so much of my angst on a page to live instead of in my head. The greatest joy is also being able to publish that angst and get paid for my angst and have people read and understand it and maybe also find comfort from it too.
Anway, please go buy the anthology. Read my story. Support my work. And best of all, support a small press this holiday season, because without their support, I wouldn’t have this kind of space to express myself: