7 Quick-Takes (Vol. 8)

~ ~ 1 ~ ~

I’ve specialized.

It is a recent realization, and just now that feels a great deal like saying I’ve “settled.”

I’m beginning to understand that 50-, or 70- or 80- year old who says they still feel like they’re 20 (or 40).  I feel like I know things.  And on some level I always will.  But I’ve got to realize I’ve gotten beyond being equally wonderful at everything I do.

On one level that should be a good thing– because it illustrates that I have committed to and developed something, that I’m no longer a “jack (Jane) of all trades master of none.”

I see I have a distinct edge in writing over all these other areas, and the (should be) obvious result means I need to expect not to be as good everywhere as I am in my best subject.

But I still feel like that 50-something guy who, from his 45-degree angle of pain, was advising my 30-something husband: “Once you hit 50– don’t try to keep doing it all.”

And I keep thinking, I ought to be able to do all this.

Sorry, Mike, if you’re reading this.  That low-ceilinged room with its mediocre florescent lighting *really* sapped my confidence when it comes to being a good photographer.  I can’t help thinking if I did pictures like I do writing I would have figured out some solution.

~ ~ 2 ~ ~

Finished an absolutely perfect-for-now book this week: The Healer’s Keep.  The reasons I liked it are listed on my reading page.  (If you’re not following the progress of my novel those specific details probably won’t interest you.

I’ll take no offense ;) .

~ ~ 3 ~ ~

We are looking at a record-breaking snowfall in the last 24/36 hours.

I know 9-inches isn’t much compared to what has been happening elsewhere, but Fairbanks is essentially a semi-desert in terms of precipitation, so this is unique for here.

And maybe it counts as unique that there’s no such thing as a “snow day”  here; no days off of school or work because of the snow, even today.   (Though we have had ice days in the past.)

~ ~ 4 ~ ~

I got to hold a little baby last Sunday.

I wondered if I’d get “baby fever” or feel sated in some way, but neither happened.  I got to enjoy a little person, give Mama’s arms a break and was ready to return him when Daddy came to collect.

I was surprised to think it was the first baby I’ve held for long since Elisha was born, and this sort of makes sense; I would have been holding (or resting from holding) him up till now.

~ ~ 5~ ~

My novel wants to grow again, but I’m trying to be very selective about how much I allow.

I told Jay I was uncomfortable with 87,200 jumping so quickly to 96,000 and he blandly observed that “It’s gotten long enough to be a real novel now.”


My background in journalism makes me inherently mistrustful of increasing word-counts.  So this has been an. . . interesting process

I cut more than 1,000 words last night, and felt relieved to do so.  It was growing too fast with all the storylines getting added back in.

That said, I’ve just remembered another section that will (in some form) get added back in.  A useful “misunderstanding” scene (in the RomCom tradition), that is resolved before the end of the scene but creates more problems even as it’ s resolved.

Worth keeping according to my math.

It’s funny, too (at least to me), and I should snatch up anything I can in that department.

~ ~ 6 ~ ~

My home has been maintained in remarkably good order for more than a week now, but I felt very tired yesterday and almost couldn’t do the upkeep.  My own desk area is totally trashed– books and papers piled everywhere– and I’m finding that very draining.

I like having books to hand (there’s a whole shelf six inches from my left elbow), and looking at a cover while I type about the book is only natural, but I have always derived a sense of calm from open spaces and my perfect nook begins to feel too small in this state.

~ ~ 7 ~ ~

This week I’ve talked with the kids about definitions.

  • Like the term help, as in, “Can I help, Mommy?”

We have completely different understandings of that word.

To them it means, What you’re doing looks like more fun than what I’m doing.  I want to do it too.

To me it means I expect to get something useful out of your action (Even if it’s simply a teaching opportunity).


So when they say “I want to help,” and I say, “Great, you can do X,” they might fall apart with, “But I want to do Y!

If it’s not time for Y, or Y is distinctly too complex for the askers, they’re not willing to hear it; and I won’t budge for whining.

  • All their lives I’ve used the phrase Low voice to convey what I want from them audibly.

That is, I don’t just want an “indoor voice,” I want to train them to speak also with a lower pitch.  Well, somewhere along the line our expectations have missed each other, and they’ve stopped hearing the bit about pitch.

And when I’d say quiet, they’d translate that as quiet*er*.  The whole thing was making me nuts, really.

I’m not on the phone much, so when I am, I expect the kids to let me talk and save their non-blood issues till I’m off.  I’ll say quiet, and while they’ll stop shouting at me, they’ll not quit talking.

So finally, today I lined them up, made them keep all eyes on me and I catechized them on the difference between Low voice and Quiet.

Haven’t had opportunity to test it yet (like I said, I’m not on the phone much) but I expect we’ll review today– along with pitch.

It is a bit embarrassing to be constantly reminded that, well, constant reminders are useful.

One theory I have on this is that every time something is repeated or reinforced, it’s digging that synaptic path a bit deeper into its groove, making more and more likely to stick.  I hear (read) this is what happens when a kid is learning to walk: they do the same thing over and over and over until the brain takes over and just does all the complex work so well  the walker no longer remembers how complex the process of upright movement really is.


I am really looking forward to the times when certain elements of behavior are blessedly thoughtless.

For me and the children.

For more 7 Quick Takes visit Jen’s Conversion Diary

Other 7 Quick Takes on Untangling Tales

3 thoughts on “7 Quick-Takes (Vol. 8)

  1. Moms are so awesome.

    When I started griping about what a lame photographer I’d become she instantly affirmed it had everything to do with the lighting and set-up, and nothing to do with my level of ability.

    I just looked at the images from that evening and needed to hear that.

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