Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"Stay at Home" Mom - Yeah, Right

Ever since my husband started his new job I have been super focused on being, for the first time ever, a stay-at-home-mom who is not working or going to school. It's very different from anything I've done before. It requires an incredible amount of discipline so that I don't end up like this:

But I don't have a job! I could do whatever I want! I could read all day, or look at Pinterest, or watch movies, or Netflix!

Except, I can't, because it turns out there's a lot of other stuff that needs to be done. Fixing breakfast, lunch, and supper for four people. Washing dishes and doing a ton of laundry. Cleaning the house. Taking the kids to school. Picking them up from school. Taking them to the library to play on the computers (and check out a ton of books too, of course), or to the beach to watch the boats and look for seals, or to the park to play tennis (not real tennis, just attempting to hit the ball to each other over the net), or Frisbee. These are things I do pretty much every day. Oh, and I started volunteering at the kids' school library for five hours a week or so. Shelf reading and dusting books to my heart's content.

Doing all this stuff has been a lot of fun and kept me very busy, but I've also been reading lots of information on how to be a freelance writer. I've been reading so much stuff that I've hardly had time to write, and that's actually getting really old. There are still several resources to get through, but I've decided maybe I'll spend a little less time cleaning the house so that I can spend more time stringing words into sentences and paragraphs. After all, I do have my priorities. Ah, words! I have missed you!

While I haven't been reading fiction quite as much as I was, I'm still getting through four or five books a month. The last three I particularly enjoyed: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, Harvest by Jim Crace, and The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman.  The first is a vampire book, but it's a well-written YA vampire book that you should definitely read if you like YA or vampires. If you're thinking that vampires are over, please put that thought on hold and just read this one more because it is way better than most of the ones you already read. Harvest is on the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, and it was dark and creepy in a subtle way. The language and tone are powerful, and I pictured Walter Thirsk as Mr. Bates, which made me love him as a character more than I was supposed to, I think. The Gravity of Birds is a literary novel that has three main characters. You know how sometimes, when the author switches from one character to another, it takes a couple of pages to get into the new character after each switch? This wasn't like that. Each one was relevant and interesting and moved the plot forward. I gave this one five stars because I was enthralled by the story and couldn't read fast enough, and then there were twists! Right at the end! Oh, my stars! I'm a na├»ve reader and try not to think ahead or figure out the story, but I think this one may surprise even the most astute reader. So go read it!