By comparison, my writing is less meditative. It's more, I don't know, shout-y.
To parse out the subtleties of our writing styles, Callie invited me to participate in a blog tour of writers discussing their writing process. So if you've ever wondered how the sausage was made, folks, here goes:
1. What am I working on?
Besides this post? Well, my blog is still in its infancy -- not quite 2 months old. I only post twice per week, but I'm working on new posts constantly. As a blog groupie myself, I get very offended when a blogger posts erratically. I need to know that there will be posts waiting for me on Monday and Wednesday, for instance, so that I can plan when to put the batteries back in my kid's musical toys. I can only stomach the Baby Mozart Hellraiser Music Cube while I'm buried in a good blog. With that in mind, I try to post on the regular (emphasis on "try"). I also try to write longer, meatier posts -- something readers can lose themselves in while the Baby Mozart Hellraiser Music Cube opens a portal to the underworld.
Welcome to the Bundle is pretty lowbrow most of the time, and I'm okay with that. Poop stories are kind of my jam, which is helpful when you're the mom of a toddler. But I also try to find time to coddle my uppity, authoress side too. I'm working on a piece of creative nonfiction about the summer after I graduated from college, when I worked on an archaeological dig in the high desert of Arizona. It's still what I would call a humor piece, but I steer clear of mentioning bodily fluids, so it's pretty classy. Except for the part where a guy at a bus stop tries to buy an hour of "my time" with a six pack of beer. That part is just pure filth.
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Okay, it's about to get confessional, you guys. You've been reading this blog, thinking I'm just a salt-of-the-earth mama with aspirations of selling out her kid for Internet fame. But the truth is (deep breath) I write poetry. I actually have an MFA in poetry. It's not that I don't want to sell my kid out for Internet fame, because I really, really do. It's just that I also like rhyming couplets and rousing sestinas and metaphors. Oh god, the metaphors. Fact: I'm not really telling you how to make sausage; I'm using a metaphor.
Stop judging me!
It took me years before I came out of the closet as a humorist, but I can't quit you, poetry. So, if you look closely, every once in a paragraph or two, you'll find that I lapse into language that aspires to rise above the poop/puke/pee-pee story I've been telling.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Ugh. Fine. I also just like telling stories, okay? I like that story telling is a communal act, that really good story telling is a game you play with your audience. You need to decipher where the funny bones are, where the soft spots are, and when to hit them and in what order. It's a pretty violent game, but if you play it right, you'll get in a few good belly laughs before anyone bleeds out.
4. How does my writing process work?
I work part-time and I also have a toddler and a dog and aspirations of resuming an adult relationship with my husband. (An "adult relationship," by the way, means having conversations about the news or about work, not about how Mum Mums taste pretty good dipped in hummus. (Mum Mums, by the way, taste pretty good dipped in hummus.)) Occasionally, I'll pick up a freelance writing or editing gig. I stay busy. My writing process is less a process than a mad scramble.
Sometimes I set my alarm for 5 a.m. I throw on my super-sexy grey velour robe, creep down to the kitchen, make some coffee, and tap out a few paragraphs on my laptop before the kid wakes at 6:30. Sometimes I try to write while Pork Chop is napping. More often, I write after my son has gone to bed, while Shelby whips up dinner.
I keep a notebook on my nightstand, but I found that if I wait until I crawl into bed to write, then I just write about how tired I am or about how I need to be a more disciplined writer. And no one wants to read a story about how I meant to write for an hour but instead fell asleep on the couch while my husband watched Sabado Gigante on Univision. Although, I probably should write a story about my husband's obsession with Sabado Gigante and its amazing mix of near-nudity, awkward product placement, and little people.
The truth is, if I think about my writing, I won't write. I worry that my writing won't be funny or moving or relevant or syntactically coherent. I write before I can talk myself out of it. I write by the seat of my pants. I'm basically having a blackout right now. It's like Zen psychosis.
And that's it, folks. That's the "process." Maybe one day I'll be one of those respectable types who goes to the gym and writes for 2 hours every day (cough, cough, Callie Feyen, cough), but in the meantime, I've made peace with being respectable-curious. I'm one of those types who begrudgingly hunkers down in her cold, dark kitchen; who slugs coffee; who prays her kid will sleep for 30 more minutes; who writes and writes and writes against her own better judgement.