Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Falling behind

I have not been doing a very good job of writing for the past week. Part of the problem is that I have been stalling. I'm working on rewriting a mystery story, and I know I need to add a bit more misdirection into it--but since it's already pretty tightly knit, that's a massive undertaking. So I think about it for a while, and write a little and then allow myself to get distracted by something else. I'm hoping that making this confession to you will shame me into getting my butt in gear.

The other part of the problem is that I have been very distracted lately, by the prospect of trying to sell our house and buying a different one. We've done some preliminary talking with our realtor, I've done a lot of scrutinizing of school districts, and we will hopefully be moving forward soon (possibly soon enough to take advantage of the tax credits, while they still exist.)

And while that's a pretty good excuse----------it's still just an excuse. After all, once things get moving, I'll be distracted by packing up personal effects to stage our home to its best advantage. And then with keeping our house in decent shape for viewings despite the pint-sized tornado that lives here. And then with looking at potential homes to buy, and scrutinizing them from all angles. Then our house will sell and we'll purchase another one, and we'll be distracted by a move (a massive undertaking at any time, but even more so with a toddler--we are going to turn his little world upside down and he probably won't like it!) And since we might look at foreclosures and bank-owned properties, there might be some work to do. And then there's unpacking (it took us three months last time, and that was BEFORE we had a kid!) And by then it'll be the growing season and I might have to modify/add landscaping to the new house. And then... and then... and then.................

There will always be distractions. If I'm going to make any money at this, I have to be persistent, no matter where I am in my life. As my husband points out, even if I only write for 15 minutes each day, that's still something. If I write for each of the remaining days in February, I will have averaged about half of the days of the month. I'm hoping to do that, and in March I hope to be greater than 50%.

No one's going to make me do this but me. I must keep slogging through the slush!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Looking at the World with the Wonder of a Child

My parents sent me the link to this song a little while ago. It's a very simple tune, and beautiful, and it had an impact on me all out of proportion to its simplicity.
Little Hand by Sovra

I think part of the reason this had such a profound effect on me was that I had only just come out of a black hole of parenting frustration a few weeks before I heard it. This song served as a reminder of the joy that comes with each simple spontaneous hug from my toddler, of the laugh that lights up my heart, and of how refreshing it is to look at the world with the wonder of a small child--and see how incredible the world really is.

It's good to pause from time to time and take mental snapshots of this stage in my son's life. It'll be nice to remember, when he's a surly teenager, that when he was a toddler I thought everything about him was cute, from the sound of his feet running across the floor to his tiny shadow cast on the pavement. When I have to punish him for breaking curfew, I'll be able to remember the way he followed me everywhere and protested if I left his sight. When he's full of adolescent angst and doesn't want my sympathy, I'll have the memory of rocking him before a nap, with him holding onto his bear, unsuccessfully trying to keep his eyes open, content and comforted in my arms.

There are so many little details to attend to when raising a small child--diapers, food, cleaning up messes, baths, taking walks, running errands, play dates--and everything takes so much longer with a child in tow, that we can easily forget to pause and enjoy our lives. As Ferris Bueller says in my husband's favorite movie, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." And there really is nothing like this time.

I might even add this song to my repertoire of lullabies--although not until I can get through the whole thing without crying first!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Slush Pile

I was asked recently (hi Mom!) what a slush pile was, so for the uninitiated:

Slush pile:
noun, informal.
a collection of unsolicited manuscripts submitted to a publisher. (dictionary.com)

This got me wondering why it's called a slush pile, so I did a little digging on the etymology (not entomology!) of the slush pile. (It's amazing the bizarre results you can get when you google the wrong thing. I really wasn't looking for information on people trying to publish books on insects, or on how a certain variety of Scolytid beetle larvae can look like slush when floating in the tree sap that nourishes them. Yuck!)

At any rate, I largely came up blank. But I did find this website:
where someone, far more well-versed than I in etymology, recently delved into this same question. I learned two new words from this: semaphorist (One who manages or operates a semaphore. Semaphore: a system of signaling, esp. a system by which a special flag is held in each hand and various positions of the arms indicate specific letters, numbers, etc.) and inchoate (1. not yet completed or fully developed; rudimentary. 2. just begun; incipient. 3. not organized; lacking order.)(also dictionary.com) At any rate, it makes for amusing reading, and his theories work as well as any.

I hadn't really thought too hard about the derogatory nature of the term before; though I did always picture someone wading through all the illiterate work before being wowed by my magnificent story (though the being wowed part hasn't seemed to happen yet...) Well, I just need to keep slogging through, because once my cover letter has a credit or two on it, I imagine I'll have more sway. Perhaps then I can graduate to snow or ice. (Or would graduating go the other way? Would I graduate to water? Ice water? Hmm....)

I think that's going to be my motto:
Keep slogging through the slush!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Call a Hazmat Team!

It was bound to happen sooner or later.  But of course it would happen today, just to prevent me from getting back on track.  What I refer to is the fact that my son's nap has been getting later and later in the day, sometimes as much as 40 minutes later than I intend.  This is throwing our whole evening schedule off track and pushing dinner back to an unacceptable hour.  So today I really pushed to keep us on schedule.  Toddler fed, diaper changed, sleepsack on, drapes drawn... we're sitting down for a lullaby before naptime.  The time:  2:02.  Perfect!

Barely one phrase into the song, there's a large movement starting over my left shoulder and streaking toward the floor.  My son had grabbed onto the lamp without my noticing and pulled it over.  I loudly shout a word I try never to say in earshot of my son, and as I realize that I have no chance of catching the lamp the thought in the forefront of my mind is "there are three CFL bulbs in there, they contain MERCURY, they require special clean-up, I don't know what that clean-up is, they're going to BREAK!"  The moment ends with a crash as one of the bulbs shatters all over the carpet.

Well, great.  I set my son in the only handy, contained space available--his crib--and go about collecting plastic bags for the debris, paper towels to wipe down surfaces, and Banshee Baby's nemesis:  the vacuum cleaner.  Banshee Baby makes his appearance as I set about removing the evidence from his bedroom.  Broken glass picked up, floor vacuumed, all flat surfaces in immediate area wiped down with damp paper towels, throw rugs vacuumed and removed for more cleaning later.  My son actually does quite well:  after he calms down, he doesn't even seem particularly afraid of the vacuum cleaner, so maybe he's moved beyond that.  All clean-up supplies removed from bedroom:  we're done, right?

Wrong.  As I go to pick him up, I see a piece of glass IN his crib.  The crib he's been sitting in for the last twenty minutes.  Oh joy.  Sleepsack removed and replaced, hands wiped down, sheets changed, teddy bear vacuumed (never thought I'd string those words together!), blanket removed and replaced.  The teddy bear is probably fine--there was only the one piece of glass I found in the crib, probably it was an isolated bounce.  Finally, I'm ready to sing to my child and put him to bed.  I close his door at 2:40--as far behind as we've ever been.

The next thing I do is put his sheets in the washer.  Then I get online and pull up information on cleaning up broken CFLs.  Activate overactive imagination and initiate panic sequence.

The first step:  evacuate and ventilate room for 15 minutes.  Oops.  We both stayed in there while I cleaned.  Child is now sleeping in closed room that was never ventilated.  My child is going to get ADHD and it's all my fault.  Tiptoe to bedroom door and quietly open it partway to help ventilate.  Take deep, steadying breaths.

Another step:  dispose of any clothing or bedding that came into direct contact with glass or mercury powder.  Do no place in washing machine as mercury could contaminate washer.  It is a fact that I have already started the washing machine.  My developmentally normal child is going to develop autism because of contaminated bedding and clothing.

It is also a fact that I am probably not going to dispose of the sheets or the sleepsack.  I'm definately not going to dispose of the bear.  Repeat to self:  "There was one piece of glass in the crib.  It was a fluke.  He'll be okay."

Most of the actual clean-up steps I more-or-less got right.  It says I should ventilate the room the next few times I vacuum.  Should I not let him play on the floor of his own bedroom anymore?  Is he going to get ugly sores on his hands and feet and have developmental delays if I let him?  Force self to close all open internet windows on CFLs.  Tell self to stop panicking.

Remind self that a cousin's child broke a CFL lamp in our house several years ago at Thanksgiving, before we ever knew they contained mercury.  Nothing noticable ever happened to us.  "But," says the nagging doubt, "you and your husband are adults.  Your son is young, growing, and his brilliant mind is in a state of massive development."  Tell nagging doubts to get stuffed.  Remind self that the then three-year-old who knocked the lamp over doesn't seem to have any developmental problems.

At least next time (and I have no doubt that there will be a next time) I know what I'm supposed to do about the dang bulbs.  I probably won't forget in a hurry. These things are supposed to be environmentally friendly--but do they have any warnings about not using near small children who are liable to break them?

Do I ever get to stop worrying about him?  I know the answer to this, and I accepted it as part of becoming a parent.  But I wish I could evict my overactive imagination when this sort of thing happens.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Sometime last week, my husband told me of a conversation he'd had at work regarding how much money people spend on Valentine's Day. We typically keep things cheap and simple at our house: candy and a bunch of children's Valentine's cards hidden throughout the house, for example. We especially have to keep things cheaper now, since we're living on one income. I guess some of his coworkers tend to spend a lot, so I asked my husband whether he'd told his coworkers that he was getting me a Lexus with a bow on top. Well, look at what I got for Valentine's Day!

(I realize I'm wearing this same shirt in my "Introducing Me" photo.  No, it's not the only shirt I own.  Really!  I just wore it because it's red, for Valentine's Day!)

My husband can be quite the romantic. Since he sometimes wakes up early and can't get back to sleep, I wondered yesterday morning whether he'd meant to get up early or if he just couldn't sleep anymore. But my question was answered as he came into the room while I was stretching and easing my way out of bed, laden with a tray table and a full breakfast of French toast, fruit, and juice. Ooh, yum! I got breakfast in bed, complete with the color comics, while he fed and entertained the kiddo. It was very relaxing, and a nice break to hear the occasional cry of "No, no, please don't do that!" and not have to deal with the discipline (or mess) of whatever it was our son had done. (And no, I didn't get any syrup on the sheets.)

He also gave me a massage later on in the day, and some candy.

For my part, I made my husband a batch of his favorite cookies, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip, and "our son" gave him a box of chocolate covered cherries. I usually only make those cookies during October and November (they're so good, we'd blow up like balloons if we had them all the time), but I thought they would make a nice, unexpected treat. And they were not an easy thing to make during an apparent pumpkin shortage! I hadn't expected that quick trip to the grocery store to turn into an all-over-town hunt! And they wound up being Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip, because I realized too late that we were out of chocolate chips--but at least I caught myself before I added the peanut butter swirl chips, since I wanted our son to be able to eat them too!

All in all, we had an excellent day--full of simple gestures of affection. Creativity and ingenuity can work wonders, and I'd definitely take them over a piece of expensive jewelry any day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Five writing points

I don't subscribe to Writer's Digestanymore, because I found it to be a little too general for me (I really need to subscribe to Locus)--but I got this poignant list from a copy a few years ago:
  1. Writing is hard. Though if it were easy, we wouldn't love it so much.
  2. Writers only need three things: an idea, a writing utensil and a deadline.
  3. Editors are your friends, not your enemies. Your enemies are dangling modifiers.
  4. Stephen King says he writes every day except for his birthday and Christmas. He's lying. He writes on both those days too.
  5. Read, read, read. The more you do, the better your writing will be.
I agree very much with point #1. And it's also interesting how the hard parts are not necessarily what people would expect. For me, the hardest things to write are the transition scenes. It's relatively easy to write scenes in which action takes places, since the action (and conflict!) drives you forward. But when I need to write a transition, I often get stuck. This is one of the main reasons why I stall (my desk needs to be organized!) or even stop writing for a while. Getting a character from point A to point B (in any sense) can be an extremely hard balance. You don't want to suddenly change gears and jar your reader, but you also want to avoid the tedium of "he walked down the street, paused to look in a window, turned right, walked around a garbage pail, picked up a penny off the street, said 'hi' to someone he passed..." And orchestrating things so that your character will believably arrive at just the right moment can be difficult as well.

The deadline issue (point #2), otherwise known as being motivated to write, has been something I've been working hard on lately. My latest strategy (in addition to this blog, which is requiring me to stay in the game) has been to mark a "W" on my calendar on each day that I've spent time on a story. I'm also writing down things like "started new story," and "finished rewrite of story," as well as submission information. It gives me a visual marker of my progress. The first few days of February were spent getting this blog live, but I'm hoping to have Ws on most days from here on out. Just like in point #4.

Isn't it funny how sometimes critiques of your work (point #3) can feel like personal attacks? They're not, but they can feel that way. That's one of the hard parts about writing--realizing that people might have important things to say about your work, even if you don't like what they have to say. Actually, I did get a personal attack in the form of a critique once, in a writing class, and I never found out who it was from--someone who thought I was too hard on his (it looked like male handwriting) story, from the context. But I digress. Since I am primarily my own editor these days, and have no pressing deadlines, I leave a story alone for about a month (now writing reminder notes on my handy calendar mentioned in #2) before going back to edit. This helps me get some distance so I can look at it with fresh eyes and see what doesn't work.

For #4, see #2. I'd like to write everyday. My son and my house don't seem to want to let me, though.

Finding time to read (point #5) as a parent can be just as hard as finding time to write. Some days, you just can't do both. I actually have a lot to say on this topic, but I was already planning on making another blog post on this in the near future, so I will postpone until then. Especially since my son has awakened and I shouldn't leave him alone in his room for any longer. Hopefully I can prevent Banshee Baby from making another appearance!

Monday, February 8, 2010


It looks as though I set up this blog just in time to record a critical and bittersweet moment in the mother/child relationship: weaning. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of last week, my son
refused to latch for more than half-a-second, and fussed as I attempted--so on Sunday I didn't even try. My son no longer wants my nourishment! My son is weaned.

To be honest, I'm surprised he went as long as he did, and this blow wasn't as big as it could've been, because I've been prepared for it for weeks.

We started weaning on his first birthday (Happy Birthday Son! Less Milk!) although he had been ready for at least a month prior. According to my husband, at one time or another I had declared that each of his nursing sessions (except for the first) was going to be THE FIRST TO GO! This was because he had become highly distractible: he would nurse for two minutes, hear something, unlatch with a yank to investigate, relatch for a minute, unlatch with another yank to investigate something else, relatch... The only reason I didn't start weaning earlier was that I didn't want to buy formula for such a short period of time. Sure, I probably could've given him whole milk before his first birthday without turning him into a mutant--but hey, he's my first child and I was trying to do things as recommended by the experts!

We dropped from four nursings each day to one in less than a month. It was the morning session that continued after the rest were no more than a memory--and the one he continued for comfort more than anything else. In fact, I was continually surprised that he kept it up day after day--he even extended the amount of time he spent nursing in the morning.

At numerous times over the last two-and-a-half months, he would suddenly decrease the time he spent at the breast, and each time he did, I would get a little tearful and say "it's probably almost over now." I would cuddle him (as much as an energetic toddler would allow) and think back on the rocky start we had with nursing, and reflect on the End of an Era. But the next morning he always wanted more, so I followed his lead. There were times I marveled that there could possibly be anything left and wondered whether he was using me as a pacifier--although the occasional dribble of white in the corner of his mouth said otherwise.

Over the last two weeks, though, he hasn't been nursing for more than 5-7 minutes total, so I knew that the end really had to be near. And I was right.

I celebrated on Saturday by having a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, and on Sunday by having an omelet for breakfast (both confirmed or suspected allergy foods I've been avoiding for months now.) I also had alcohol on Sunday for the football game--although I would've done that anyway. It will also be nice to have more time in the mornings--though I'm not sure when I'll check Facebook anymore. So it's not all sad. But there's no denying that a big part of parenthood is over with this child.  *sigh*  *tear*

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Journey

Learning how to be both a writer and a parent has been an interesting challenge for me, and is one I am continually adapting. During the last few months of my pregnancy and the first few months after my son's birth, I did no writing. I was too preoccupied and too busy--which I imagine is quite common. It wasn't until my son was about four months old that I felt I had enough of a handle on the daily demands of being a parent to be creative again (having been able to get a full night's sleep for over a month by that point probably helped.) In fact, as I became more and more comfortable with my new role in life, I felt a resurgence of inspiration. I began to use naptime as creative time.

Then came one of those parenting curveballs--my son went on a nap strike. Every time I tried to put him in his own crib for a nap (awake but drowsy, something we'd been doing just fine for some time) he would cry a LOT, working himself up into a frenzy. His screams were so loud and so piercing that he made creativity and even coherent thought an impossible venture. He would easily fall asleep in my arms or while nursing, but otherwise he behaved like the opposite of those baby dolls: whenever I laid him down, his eyes would pop open. I was unable to get any time to myself and I began to feel rather desperate.

So I adapted: I learned to nurse at the keyboard. Until that time, I used to spend the six or so nursings each day on the rocking chair in his room, reading to him from Michael Crichton, Connie Willis, or a parenting magazine. With my new system, I would sit with a boppy propped on the arms of my office chair and a stuffed hippopotamus elevating the side with his head. In this way, I was able to reclaim some creative time each day and take advantage of the times when he fell asleep while nursing--after carefully unlatching him I could go back to my work. I was productive and he got some rest. Score one for Mommy!

This worked for a while, until my husband and some friends introduced me to Facebook. Oh my, how easily I was distracted! Suddenly I was using my computer time to check on friends and play Vampire Wars. Even after I managed to get my son to take naps in his own crib again, my momentum had been broken.

It took a while and a great deal of self-discipline, but eventually I got better at managing my time. I still use Facebook, but it's not the all-consuming thing it was when it was new. I got my stories back out into the slush piles and once again began rewriting old works and penning new ones.

The turning of the weather this past fall really helped me get back on track. Something about cool weather and low sunlight makes me want to sit at my laptop, perhaps with a mug of tea or hot chocolate at my elbow, and lose myself in a tale. It probably also helped that the yard went into hibernation, so there was no yard work crying to be done and no garden tempting me outside (just snow to be shoveled.)

What will I do in the spring, when the outdoors beckon once again? Well, I have one grand (and somewhat far-fetched) plan to get a little yard work done before my son wakes up, so I will be able to stay indoors while he naps during the heat of the day. (Those of you who know me can laugh hysterically now. I promise I won't be offended.)

My other plan is far more likely to succeed because my son loves being outdoors. Anytime we go outside, he is eager to explore everything. So I figure that I ought to be able to turn him loose in the backyard and get some gardening done, thereby getting work done during his waking hours. In fact, I'm looking forward to watching him explore the yard and teaching him about the outside world. It should be fun.

And I'll still have naptime to spend by myself at my computer. Or so I hope!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ups and downs, and up again

It's amazing how quickly you can go back and forth from being in awe of your kids to being angry with them. I was very happy with my son earlier today, and was doing my best to store away a memory forever--the memory of the first time he actually crawled into my lap while I was reading him a book. Usually he's all over the place while I'm reading, and I wasn't sure why he was climbing over my legs until he came to rest in my lap. It was so cute and cuddly, and I was so happy that he wanted to sit there while I read to him. And he did it with two separate books!

Just a short while later, I was cleaning up a poopy diaper. I managed to keep his hands out of the mess (that's an issue with us, he's ALWAYS grabbing or scratching himself) and then I was knocking the mess into the toilet--cloth diapers, we have to do that. While I was doing so, he peed on the wall.

I managed not to get mad at him, though I was annoyed at the fact that my hands were full of dirty diaper--because if they hadn't been, I would've sat him on his potty chair. At any rate, after finishing with the diaper I proceeded to mop up the pee--when he dropped his matchbox car of Lightning McQueen into the toilet.

At that point, I yelled and dumped him into his crib until I could finish cleaning up. How many times have we told him not to play with the toilet, and not to put toys in there? Of course, the first thing he actually drops goes into a bowl full of less-than-savory contents! Murphy's Law of Parenting. And, of course, I had nothing better to do this afternoon than clean poop off a matchbox car, with all of its little contours and crevices. And pee out of the bathroom rug (which just got washed two days ago.)

I had to practically hog-tie my hysterical toddler to get a fresh diaper on him, and he screamed while I put him in his sleepsack, gave him his bear, and started singing to and rocking him. I chose a longer song, hoping to get him calmed down first and ready for bed second. He stopped screaming but kept up a kind of continual whine for most of the song. Once it seemed like he might actually hear what I would say to him, I paused in my singing to tell him that I still loved him, even if I got angry; that I would always love him. He stopped whining then, and fell asleep in my arms.

I have to admit, I felt kinda bad at that point. Was he actually worried that maybe I didn't? I'm going to tell myself that it was just a reassurance that he needed to hear. Having a child has taught me a lot about the limits of my own temper, and it's shorter than I'd like. But it's also given me the "wow" moments, like the book reading. And those are the moments that make it all worthwhile.

Even the poop.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I went to the Tattered Cover last night, where Connie Willis answered questions and signed copies of her latest novel, Blackout, which has been in the works for eight years. It was my first trip away from both of my boys that didn't involve the grocery store in ages, and it was excellent to get away. I returned home to discover that Banshee Baby had given his Daddy a hard time and gotten poop all over, but at least I had a relaxing evening.

Connie Willis is one of my favorite science fiction authors. Actually, that's not true. To be honest, I'd have to say that she is my all-time favorite author, science fiction or otherwise. Her plotting is excellent, her timing impeccable, her dialogue snappy, and her humor is wonderful. I can't remember whether I started with The Doomsday Book or the story collection Impossible Things--but it doesn't matter anymore, I've read everything of hers that I can get my hands on. And sometimes it's hard to get your hands on her stuff. Some of her novellas had limited runs, not all of her short stories are in anthologies, and her earliest work can be difficult to track down. But there are lots of books you can get your hands on, and I highly recommend her.

It's always a blast to hear Connie speak. She's very open, talkative, and her sense of humor works in person as well as in print. She is also very well-read and will recommend many books over the course of a talk--and I always find myself wishing I'd thought to take notes. She regaled us with tales of her research, how relieved she is to finally be done, and talked about her writing process. It felt rather good--a validation, I suppose--to know that she gets stuck in some of the same sort of places I do while writing.

In addition to signing my copy of Blackout, Connie was nice enough to sign my copies of several other (okay, seven) of my books. I was amazed at how many of them were not signed yet. I've seen Connie many times before at MileHiCon, the convention where I met my husband, but I guess I'd accumulated a lot since my last visit. I knew I'd be okay bringing them along, though, since Connie is not the sort of person to be stuck-up about rigid rules for book signings. In fact, she has a Christmas story, Adaptation, in which she makes fun of the sort of celebrities who do.  The signing took a little longer than I'd anticipated, and as I returned to my car I hoped that my $28 book would not turn into a $70 book--but thankfully the meter maid did not pay a visit after the meter expired.  Whew!

Blackout is part one of a two-volume series involving time travel and the blitz--and I happen to know it has an Eileen in it! All Clearwill be coming out sometime in the fall (I believe she said October.) And she promised us many times last night that it is indeed finished--she said if she gets hit by a bus on her way home from the signing, we'll still get the book later this year. It'll be a while before I get to start this one, since I'm in the middle of reading something else right now, and with my son around, my reading time is limited. And if I put it off for a while, the wait between books won't be as long. I shall certainly share my thoughts on it once I've finished.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Introducing My Son

Now that I've told you a bit about myself, I thought I would introduce my son. After all, as a stay-at-home-parent, he occupies much of my time and my thoughts, and will occupy a great deal of space on this blog.

He is wonderful. He is 15 months old and toddling at top speed all over the house and the neighborhood. His reach increases daily, as do his chances of causing mischief. He is the cutest thing I've ever seen, and he has the most delightful laugh. He is very generous with hugs, and while he is usually on-the-go, he can be snuggly when he's tired. He is extremely energetic. He is curious about everything and is an excellent problem solver. He's a very smart cookie--only don't use that phrase around him or he'll reach toward the top of the cabinets, where we keep the sweets. He learns new things every day, although he is seldom fast enough for his own taste, and gets frustrated when he can't figure things out. He is very stubborn, and wants to do everything himself and in his own way. In short, he is a wonderful child and I am a star-struck Mommy.

My son is also a superhero.

It's true. My son has a super power. His superhero name is Banshee Baby.

Of course, the problem you encounter with 15-month-old superheroes is that they are untrained. They have yet to learn that their powers bear great responsibility. They must learn only to use their powers for good--a lesson that Banshee Baby has resisted. He uses his super lungs not just for the good of humankind, but also when he is excited, when he wants something, when he is upset, when he wants attention, and just when he feels like making noise. Which means that I have to fight his superpower with superpatience. Which brings me to my alter-ego: MOMthra.

I must confess, I didn't complete my super training. My superpatience runs out, particularly when Banshee Baby lets loose one of his loudest eardrum-splitting screams. The ones that cause physical pain as well as bring on early hearing loss. But I do my best, which is all we can expect of anyone.

I shall speak of my son a lot, both of his amazing accomplishments and of my thoughts, successes, and failures as a parent. And, of course, I will tell of the amazing adventures of Banshee Baby and MOMthra.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Introducing Me

Hello! My name is Eileen Rhoadarmer, and I am a writer. I am a writer of stories. I hope to one day be a writer of novels as well. I am a writer of science fiction and other speculative fiction, as well as occasional mainstream or other genres. I am one of the millions of people currently trying to introduce myself to the publishing world. I have been writing (off and on) since childhood, and I have been trying to get published (off and on) for three-and-a-half years. I am a gardener and a scrapbooker. I am occasionally a seamstress. I am a lapsed fencer. I have been an actress, and was once a violinist. I am an avid reader. I am now a blogger. I am also the wife of a wonderful man, and have been for six and a half years. My husband is also a writer, primarily of comedy and of film/video. Lastly, but certainly not least, I am the proud Mommy of an energetic 15-month-old boy. I am a stay-at-home-Mom for my son.

Balancing trying to be a writer while being a parent and pursuing my other interests for the last fifteen months has been an interesting process, as productive time is generally limited to naptime or after bedtime, which is the only chance I have to do other things as well. Life will continue to get more interesting as my son gets older and more aware, sleeps less, and when we eventually give him a sibling. I am creating this blog in the hopes of sharing some insights on balancing writing and parenting, as well as commenting on each topic individually, and sharing the goings-on in my life. I also want to have a website where I can keep track of publications, once they happen, for any interested parties to easily find. (I always hate it when I find a writer I like but can't find a comprehensive list of what they've written.) I hope that people (other than my parents NOT THAT I DON'T LOVE YOU GUYS AND YOUR ATTENTION!!!) will find what I have to say interesting enough to stick around. Let it begin!