Where the Hell Have I Been?: An Update

Well, I was doing well for about a month there. Candidness is a hard thing to maintain on a regular basis, especially when I’m trying to balance said candidness between writing and parenting.

Here’s what I was doing while I wasn’t here.

I Was Finishing a Story

I was working on my first short story, which I mentioned here, and submitted it to a crime erotica anthology. I give myself way too much time to be critical when editing my short fiction. Too much of my time ends up spent in my story instead of in reality. Not sure if any writers are the same or if y’all can separate yourself from your work.

I quite like the feeling of “writer high” when I’m working my retail job, but shuffling my fiction brain with this maternity leave mom brain is pretty brutal. Every night awake felt like a major sacrifice. It got to the point with the editing process that I realized that I was changing the same words back and forth with every revision. Eventually, I just formatted the thing and sent it in.

Now I’m just a nervous wreck waiting for a response. Being a writer is such a blast.

I Was Becoming a Better Parent

So I mentioned previously that I wasn’t dealing with much postpartum depression. I’m definitely not “suffering” but I still get the occasional bout of “deadness”, along with the occasional bout of racing thoughts. Some nights I find myself unable to sleep because I get paranoid about people breaking in. Normal stuff, right?

I’ve had to cut back on evening caffeine because it’s been MESSING ME UP at night.

The toughest part about being a parent again isn’t actually having a new baby. I’ll definitely be writing a more detailed post about this, but I’ve been having a hell of a time dealing with my firstborn. She’s going through all the stages right now and sometimes I can’t friggin’ take it. She whines more. She doesn’t understand that I can’t use both hands when I’m breastfeeding. I’m splitting my time between her and the baby. She’s also at that age where she’s asking all the bloody WHY questions and sometimes I just get sick of trying to creatively handle it.

We’ll be watching Incredibles 2 and she’ll ask, “Why are her powers that she can disappear?” I’ll say, “Because those are her powers.” Then she’ll ask, “But why are those her powers?” I’ll say, “Because those are just her powers.” She’ll ask, “But…why?”

BECAUSE THOSE ARE THE POWERS THAT THE WRITERS CHOSE TO BESTOW HER WITH I DON’T KNOW FOR FUCK’S SAKE I HONESTLY CANNOT DO THIS ANYMORE.

I’ve Been (Supposedly) Editing My Novel

I have to laugh because I’ve only just started editing my novel. I do a little every night and end up feeling insanely guilty when I only edit a scene in an hour.

I know it’ll come back. The drive will return.

My husband’s been working like 12 hours days every night and I’ve been trying to give him a chance to rest, so when he finally gets home with the frozen pizza I usually take the kids to have a bath so he can have like 15 minutes to himself. I feel like a single mom with a dude that just lives in my house form time to time and makes me dinner. It sucks. Everything sucks.

I’ve done my best. I’ll get back to writing in short order. I refuse to feel guilty about how long this novel’s been taking me. All my writers are publishing books and getting stories published at pro-pay markets. I’m just trying to get my kid to eat her bloody grilled cheese for dinner.

We’re all in different stages. No guilt. I refuse to feel guilt.

I’ve Been Watching Dan Bell Videos on YouTube

I’m not gonna pretend like I’ve been living it up. I’m exhausted, honestly, and the idea of writing is gruelling. It’s the last thing I want to do at the end of the night.

So yeah, I’ve been binging on Dan Bell videos. Who is Dan Bell, you might ask? He’s a Youtube filmographer primarily known for his short films on dead malls, the videos of which you can watch here.

My obsession started with dead mall stuff, and then I watched the insanely creepy Leakin Park documentaries and his old urban exploration videos and then I needed something lighter so I got into Another Dirty Room (wherein he and some friends explore some nasty motels) and now I’m watching all the ADR live feeds (I’m watching this one right now!)

His content is 100% up my alley and I find his voice really soothing. So if you’re into retro nostalgia, abandoned places, creepy things and a little bit of raunchy humour, you’ll love him too. He’s the most underrated content creator on YouTube.

What Have You Been Doing?

I feel like summer is always that time when you feel like you’re going to have free time and you literally never do. So how have you been? Working like normal? Taking vacations? Going to weddings? I just went to my only summer wedding last weekend and it was quite nice not having the kids for a night.

More about Rebecca

Rebecca is a neo-noir author from Kamloops, British Columbia. Her first collection of gritty short fiction, Vile Men was published by Dark House Press in 2015. She also writes about her writer lifestyle on her personal blog at rebeccajoneshowe.com

2 thoughts on “Where the Hell Have I Been?: An Update

  1. Emily Slaney

    Firstly don’t feel guilty, and do NOT compare yourself to your writing peers (easier said than done, right?) and regarding the “why” questions, you could try phrasing a question in response to get your daughter to think about why she thinks something is the way it is (as in: why do you think she has that power? I don’t know if this will work, but it may be worth a try.) Also sympathy and understanding about the paranoia about home invasion – I had that really bad for a while and was sleeping so little I felt like I was going to go crazy – it’s horrible, thankfully I pulled myself out of it (this was like 20 years ago now, when my daughter was a baby/toddler) although it is still a massive fear for me.
    What have I been doing? Sadly not writing. I’ve just finished In the Woods by Tana French, which was excellent and am going to work through all her other books now. I also discovered a thing called a bullet journal, have you heard of them? They are so creative and arty that they totally appealed to me, so I decided I’d start one of those and record all kinds of stuff that I could look back on in years and feel all nostalgic about. Ha, but in reality I’m still working on the layout of July and July is nearly over for christ sake! Only I don’t want to quick adapt it to August because we did a lot of cool stuff in July that I want to remember. So realistically I will probably get July finished in time for August and then spend all of August trying to create August… I’m such a loser! 😁

    1. Rebecca

      I loved the idea of bullet journaling and tried it last year. It was fun but I also hated having to set things up every month. I got really obsessed with it and wanted to be as good as all the Instagram people were at it. Even when I was keeping things rough and simple (a style that worked for me) I couldn’t find the time to willingly set up the next week on the page. It’s definitely a hobby more than it is “planning. I’m super envious of all the people who can achieve it and have a neat little archive of their lives, though.

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