My sentiments exactly.
Yesterday, I received the evaluations from my writer in residence gig, as well as a pile o pages of the writing we produced together. If feedback is good, feedback from human beings ages 5 through 12 rocks!
It made me feel like a beater writer.
Cim wos fon. (I believe I’ve seen this etched into a bathroom wall somewhere).
Writing isn’t always boring.
I liked that there was no homework.
She seemed to really know what she was doing.
I really love how Kim came in and taught us when she could have been doing something else.
She helped us feel confident and I think she liked it.
Nothing has changed. I don’t want to be a writer.
And my top fave:
I thngck I am aosom ritr.
Last evening, Chicken Noodle asked for some time with my computer. Having exhausted my abuse of it for the day, I obliged. After all, she’s seven now. From what I’ve seen of her writing she might make better use of the thing than me.
I left her to her craft. Ten minutes of silence. Then wailing.
I returned to my office to see her crumpled in my chair, sobbing with vehemence and anger.
On the screen were these words:
By Libby Mae Findling
A decent start. But now, tears. “The letters are wrong! I don’t know what to do! What are those squiggly lines? Why does my L look that way? What if I don’t know how to spell things? What will it look like when I’m done? What if no one reads it? What if no one likes it?”
Ah, the crux of it. At seven.
Insert here much writerly/motherly cajoling about how what matters is not how it looks, just getting the words down, thinking your own thoughts and recording them, who cares what anyone else thinks, I can’t wait to see what you write, we’ll fix the font later, Mommy will love whatever you write, I’m so proud of you, someone fix me a double vodka martini, etc.
To no consolation. She hurtled playgrum some incomprehensible existential misery at me. I left to make dinner. If it wasn’t too much to bear, or too close to home, I’d have thought she was Hemingway reincarnated, and searched the desk drawers for whiskey and pistols on my way out.
Ten minutes of silence. Then wailing. I returned to the artist’s space.
On the screen was this:
The magic scarf
By Libby Mae Findling
Once upon a time
Modest improvements. But still. “I can’t do it!” she sobbed. “I can’t! It’s too hard! I want you to write it! I’m bad at this! I’ll never be a writer!”
I feel your pain, girlfriend. Been there. Will be there again.
At this point, I called in Captain Daddy for back up. Code 3. Patient agitated, hyperventilating. Possible anxiety attack. He coerced her from the room with firefighter tough love and macaroni and cheese.
At dinner, when it felt safe to venture in again:
“What’s your story about, Noodle?”
“A boy. He’s going to this adventure thing but he trips in this hole and falls into a fuzzy tree. And a baby bird falls out of its nest and he says where am I and then there’s some magic stuff.”
Wow. I want to read that. Stay tuned as I figure out how to nurture a first grader past a wicked case of writer’s block.
Chicken Noodle: That’s not fair! You never let anyone do anything fun! You’re not fair about anything!
Chicken Little: That’s because she’s your mother, Libby.
Last week for spring break, my sis was in Florida, I was in San Diego. Both of us with husbands, kids and grandparents in tow, both of us performing the full vacation-with-family experimental theatre catastrophe. Naturally, we shared our experiences via text message. Here are some of my favorite lines and photos from the week.
Our flight is delayed.
Don’t think this family will be doing that.
Give ’em more cocktails.
Just realized I forgot my running shoes. Guess it’s a eating and drinking only vacation.
Eating and drinking you excel at. Go for it.
How’s your day?
Disney World is a lot like skiing. People are stressing and yelling at their kids and calling it fun.
Huge party in the room next door last night. Husband in shit-ass mood. Noodle on sugar-only crack freak-out diet. Day two baby!!
Crack diets are just so tasty!
Notes from today: grocery shopping with half-drunk grandma and four-minute sex with husband.
Check! Check! And done.
Post getting soaked by Shamu. Done in by Sea World.
Nothing but sanity here.
And now I know I never need to ride a roller coaster again.
Good thing to learn at 40.
Karl says you’re in as my sister wife for his high school reunion.
I just ate at a Japanese restaurant where the “special yum sauce” was ranch.
Legoland penance for last night’s drinking. These rides may cause nausea and dizziness.
Sit with dad and act handicapped.
Won’t be hard. I feel handicapped. And he just offered me codeine.
A little mid-afternoon gift.
And I’ll get a bumper sticker: I did Legoland on drugs.
The only way to travel! Ting!
I am a cynical bitch. Fireworks and cheer are lame.
Watch out for drunk pedestrians.
I wondered where he got off to.
He is here looking hot.
I’ll share him with you.
I get shotgun!
For scenes from the last family vacation we all took together, see My Hawaiian Vacation in Quotes