Mixing Pregnancy and Writing a Book? Can It Work?

Answer: for me, no.

I’ve been trying to work out a plot for Feed 2. Or Feed 2.0

Feed, an Addendum.

Feed, the Followup.

FEED THE REVOLUTION.

Also working on a name. Because Feed 2 is lame. Suggestions welcome.

The problem is that I’m to the point in this pregnancy where I can’t sit comfortably. I’m worse than Jabba the Hut right now, as in, I have to sit at an angle in a normal chair just so I’m not crunching my stomach up into my esophagus.

jabba the hut
This is how I look when sitting. Notice the huge bulge just beneath Jabba’s fat rolls. We’re like twins. Our bellies even match colorwise. I feel like I’ve made this joke before, but I never tire of it.

Here’s something you never think about until you experience pregnancy yourself — the huge bulge in your torso is NOT flexible . . . you know, like how fat is? So pregnant women are not obese. Fat moves around and changes shape like some kind of amazing product that hasn’t been invented yet, but if it were, it would totally revolutionize important things like couches and beds and bird’s nests and whatnot.

If you need to bend over to pick up a toy car that you just stepped on because you didn’t see it (limited visibility due to huge stomach) or to clean up cat vomit or whatever totally normal items you often have to pick up off the carpet, your belly shifts all your internal organs up into your chestal region, where you nearly 1) stop your heart; 2) break your rib cage; 3) annihilate your lungs; 4) burn your esophagus with the heat of ten suns that comes from your natural stomach acid. Normally stomach acid is an awesome thing because it aids in digestion and other life-saving techniques known only to wise medical doctors, shamans, and nutritionists. The usual.

But right now, I curse stomach acid with the strength of one hundred ripped gladiators from the Roman gladiator era. They can raise their swords to my stomach acid right now, and I really wish they would. Currently, I sound like a smoker in both my husky, dry voice and persistent cough. People love thinking that a very pregnant woman is a smoker. You should see the glares I get . . .

But hey! The cough comes from kicks from the baby and the shortness of breath and raspy voice come from stomach acid spurting up into my throat.

Where was I going with this? I got off on a whining tangent….

Oh yeah. I can hardly be expected to sit and plot out a book. I’m trying. But my thoughts persistently wander forward in time to the joy I’ll feel the day the baby is healthy and on the outside of me.

How can I think about things like, “What would be really awesome? I mean, as this chapter ends, what would be freaking thrilling to read next, if I were a reader? A sudden betrayal! A knife in the back! A twist! That would rock!” Thoughts like those are interrupted by a baby foot in my rib. Yeah, who could have ever conceived of propagating the race like this?! Babies in bodies!! I mean, why not do it the way kangaroos do it? That would be so much easier!

But no. It’s like nature felt that the best way to further the species would be to torture women for almost a year. I hate you nature…

I have moments where I can really visualize the story, but I’m not usually in a position where I can write it out. It’s usually when I’m driving in a daze or showering or laying in bed, unable to sleep (and move), and therefore not in a literal position to get it out on paper, so to speak. Moving quickly is not one of the strengths of an extremely pregnant woman.

maternity_running_skirt
Damn. But I doubt this is even a REAL pregnant woman.

I know it’s weird that I can manage a blog post here and there and music reviews this pregnant, but they don’t require a marathon of daydreaming, or whatever you want to label plotting. Writing a book is more like that and less of a jaunt into someone else’s artistic work and what makes it good.

The worst case scenario will be that I have the baby and don’t care to write books, like, ever again.

Oh my hell! WHY WOULD THAT HAPPEN?

And why did I even imagine it for a second? Total idiot, here.

Breathe. Breathe.

It’s fine. It’s fine. That won’t happen.

I’m soooooo not superstitious. This is all going to be OK.

Who here thinks “400 Lux” is a better song that “Royals”? Raise your hand! Yeah!

And Beck’s “Heart is a Drum”! Total save. Everything’s going to be OK. Yeah. Really OK. Follow the drum, dude.

June Baby

If you’re wondering where I’ve been, I’ll tell you. I’ve been off being a hero. No, a saint. A real unselfish creature.

Except all the times when I’m grumpy and ornery and selfish…

Anyway, sometime in June, we’re expecting a new arrival. Oh man. I sound like some kind of 1950s ad, avoiding the insinuation that I had sex and am, *gasp* pregnant!

But really, yeah, a baby. A baby girl. So as some people might understand, pregnancy is no leisurely stroll through the park. It’s total misery. For me anyway, which is why I’m a saint. Because EVERY woman who goes through pregnancy is a saint. I honestly have no idea how some ladies do this four or five times.

And I’d like to punch those ladies who have easy pregnancies. What’s the deal with that? Some weird fluke of evolution? Because I’ll tell you, it’s not like that for me. No. During the first trimester I basically want to kill myself. I can barely eat. Everything stinks. I get a little crazy and I hate everyone.

Second trimester is a bit better, but still a nightmare because clothes don’t fit and I start to look like a swollen beast. And I’m still moody.

Third trimester I want to kill myself again. By this time, I haven’t felt like myself for ALMOST A YEAR. I want to punch my husband half the time and there are moments when if he comes NEAR me at all, I might claw his face off. Especially if he’s eaten something like garlic recently. And I take that personally, usually. Because he KNOWS things smell stronger than normal and there he goes engaging in some type of passive aggressive war where he eats garlic! Why!? (Not rational, I know. Pregnancy-induced irrationality, that’s my excuse).

During the entire pregnancy I have extreme ligament pain (WTF? Seriously. It’s like I pulled a muscle in my groin the entire time!) and that dysgeusia thing where there’s constantly a bad taste in my mouth–metal or something worse depending on what I’ve eaten (cardboard, if I ate some Cheerios because I crave them constantly). That’s a real fun one. Imagine, if you will and you’ve never been pregnant, not being able to eat certain things because of bad aftertastes. Murder. Pure murder.

Yes. I know. First world problem. I should just be thankful I’m not forced to boil grass for nutrients. That sounds kind of good right now. Boiled grass. Or just grass chopped up with some olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. I could go for that right now. Throw in maybe a couple of grape tomatoes and chopped avocado and you’ve got yourself a stew (salad, but I couldn’t resist the Carl Weathers reference).

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 9.09.19 PM

So. That’s why I call myself a hero and a saint. Because I was stupid enough to think that pregnancy once more was a good idea. Sure, sure. The minute I see the baby, I’ll think it was all worth it. But right now, my life has been on hold since the first second I got sick during the first trimester.

I haven’t been able to focus, let alone write. In fact, I suspended sales of Boat Made of Bone because I got so slammed by reviewers that I figure it must suck ass. But can I tell? No. Because my brain is scrambled by pregnancy hormones. So thank you, pregnancy.

And yes, it’s harder than crap to not feel immense amounts of pressure to perform. I watch other indie-writers shooting up the charts and developing their followings and whatnot and I cringe in frustration. I can barely manage to deal with being the size of a lopsided whale AND taking care of my almost-3-year-old, let alone sit in a chair (ligament pain!) and brainstorm the plot to a super interesting book where robots evolve into guardians of the humans against swarms of zombies. I hate that book already. I hate zombies. And robots would never deserve to be mere guardians of humans. I’m not going to write it.

That’s what I mean! I can’t plot while pregnant. It’s impossible. Because the only thing that matters is getting through this shit-time. Once I have my body back…hold on world. Just you hold on. I will rain blood and destruction down upon your heads and the heads of your children.

Wait. That sounded like a curse…

What I really mean is that I’ll be myself again. I’ll be able to eat. I’ll be able to move. I’ll be able to get out of a sitting or laying position without my pelvic floor being crushed into the equivalent of a fine-grain salt, and then I’ll be able to sleep and my husband will smell good to me again and patience will be restored and when my son does something ridiculous like throwing a roll of toilet paper into the toilet, I’ll be able to laugh (inwardly) and move on. Kids! I’ll say. Aren’t they cute?

Right now things aren’t super cute. Because it’s usually a major mess that I can barely bend over to clean up.

Crap. I hate being pregnant.

But still. My son is totally adorable. I just wish I could ENJOY it a tad more.

Anyway, I just wanted to update everyone. Feel free to suggest girl names in the comments. I’m really struggling with names. I’m the worst at picking names.

 

p.s. Once the babe is born, I’ll launch full speed into Feed 2. That is, if the plot I’ve come up with isn’t total crap. I won’t know till I’m not pregnant any more.

What the Hell Is My Blog, Anyway?

Confession. I still don’t know what I want my blog to be. If you knew me, you’d know that I’m notorious for being indecisive. The problem is that I have too much passion. Some days I want my blog to be a spot for me to assist fellow indie-authors and help them spread the word about their cover reveals and book releases. Other days I want to write confessional posts like this one.

Or I want to post an awesome song or playlist I’ve discovered or made for my current book. Like today. I’m going to post a playlist and maybe a couple songs from it.

If you stick around a while with me, I can promise you that you’ll get the full effect of my indecision in the form of whimsical posts, news related posts, and cover reveals. Possibly some drawings (literal drawings and giveaways, BOTH . . . why not BOTH?), music reviews, and other fun shiz.

Sometimes I say shiz. Sometimes I say shit. That’s just a function of my indecision (should I be upstanding or real? Should I be classy or fun? Why not both?).

Why not both?
My life encapsulated in a MEME.

 

So, regarding music. When I write a novel, I tend to listen to specific music–dream pop, chillwave, aggressive rock, etc–that helps me visualize a scene. Eventually I move past certain songs and can’t listen to them anymore EXCEPT when I’m working on that scene. Other times the song translates to later scenes and works for other places in the book with a similar feel.

Later, during editing, I generally have to find new music because I can no longer listen to those first songs. They’re overdone. And I need to feel something new or different when I’m revising.

This little playlist is a mixture of both:

OFFICIAL PLAYLIST OF ABMOB:

1. “Flickers,” London Grammar (this has been good for editing, and if I was making A Boat Made of Bone into a film, this song would clearly be perfect)

2. “Guilty,” The Bee Gees (inspired the disco skating scene. What? What’s the disco skating scene? Mwah ha ha ha. Read the book!)

3. “The Cold,” ExitMusic (inspired pretty much the whole book. If I was making A Boat Made of Bone into a film, I would personally BEG Aleska Palladino and her man to do the soundtrack. Effing amazing.)

4. “Storms,” ExitMusic (I did a teaser with this song in it. You can listen here)

5. “An Artist’s Song,” Lost in the Trees (inspired a lot of the mythical type scenes in the last half of the book….)

6. “Demons,” The National

7. “I Should Live in Salt,” The National

8. “Tomorrow,” Niki and the Dove

9. “Hysteric” Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs

10. “Wedding Song,” Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs [Holy shiz. This song….kills. IT. AND ME. I love you Karen O.]

11. “Never Again,” Lightning Dust

12. “Atlantis,” Ellie Goulding

13. “Anything Could Happen,” Ellie Goulding

14. “Dream,” The Boxer Rebellion [No, I don’t watch Vampire Diaries. Total accident.]

15.  “New York,” The Boxer Rebellion

16. “You Belong to Me,” The Boxer Rebellion

17. “Amsterdam,” Daughter

18. “Human,” Daughter

19. “Post Script,” Typhoon [Beautiful love song.]

20. “Young Fathers,” Typhoon

21. “Prosthetic Love,” Typhoon

22. “Bravado,” Lorde

23. “Heart Beats,” Hey Marseille [Crap video, good song. If you can ignore the guy’s enormous features taking up the entire picture.]

So, as you can see, this playlist would not fit on an 80 minute blank CD. That’s how I used to create playlists and trust me, it was quite a personal achievement today to overcome the habit of cutting off the playlist at 80 minutes. Remember the good old days when you could totally just buy a blank tape that was 120 minutes long? Yeah! The problem was that they wore out faster . . . because of the thinner magnetic tape.

Right? I don’t know. I might have made that up.

You can also see from this playlist that I have a type of music. It’s not death metal. It’s not hard core. And if you can define it accurately, I’ll give you some . . . chocolate. A firecracker chocolate bar from Chuao. Because that is my new favorite. Also, the definition has to be spot on enough that my immediate response is, “Yep. That just about does it.”

Pretty much I consumed Daughter, The Boxer Rebellion, Lost in the Trees, Exitmusic, and Ellie Goulding in large quantities as I wrote A Boat Made of Bone.

I’m posting a couple of my EXTREME favorites below.

an artist's song

 

 

“An Artist’s Song,” Lost in the Trees

 

Typhoon-White-Lighter_Border-550x550

 

 

“Post Script,” Typhoon

 

yeah-yeah-yeahs-its-blitz-album-art

 

 

“Wedding Song” Yeah Yeah Yeahs [Note, this is not the album cover. I officially loathe the album cover. This is the “Hysteric” cover.]

An Untimely, Horrible Accident, or: Laptops and Water Don’t Mix

Two-year-old
Two-year-old

So I got a little cocky, flew a little too close to the sun (“You let him go to the sun?!!”), and now my Macbook is sitting in front of a fan with the bottom panel removed. Yes, I have no idea if this will work. My main hope is that at the very least, my hard-drive made it. Because then I can still recover the files that WEREN’T uploaded to my Dropbox folder and that haven’t been saved by Time Machine since May 7th.

What happened? I mean, besides the obvious?

Well, I have a two-year-old, see, and I plugged my laptop in and left it for five seconds, and there was this cup of water (one of those BIG cups) that I leave on the bleeping nightstand for the princess cat who won’t just drink out of her water dish, but requires a constant supply of “human” water in order to stay hydrated. And my son, he hasn’t cared to mess with it for about two months.

He’s got this devilish streak, I’m noticing. It’s like there’s a demon just waiting for any kind of electronics and water to be in the same place. Any water. And when it’s available, the whispers flood into my son’s ear. Like, he’s never been too enticed by the toilets (we keep the doors shut and the toilets have those kiddie proofing things on them), but in March when my sister was visiting for my dad’s funeral, my brother-in-law left his iPhone 5 sitting on the arm of the couch for three seconds. And then . . . well, someone else left the bathroom door open because they’re not used to having a toddler around lately. What can I say? The planets aligned. The ingredients combined to make a delicious cocktail of mayhem and destruction.

My son was there and then gone in a flash.

And yes. Yes, he did. My son threw Jason’s phone RIGHT INTO THE TOILET. I felt awful. Horrible.

But my sister has four kids and well, there’s always the bowl of rice trick. Which EVIDENTLY doesn’t work for laptops. It works like magic for iPhones, however.

Anyway, I will not be daunted. My Kickstarter will still launch in a few days and I will still publish my book(s). This year. Sometime. Even if I have to begin working on my ancient Acer laptop. It’s ANCIENT. But neither hell nor high-water will stop me. MARK MY WORDS.

And demons, begone!

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