The Write Timing

My voyage toward publication

#momlife July 12, 2016

There’s a funny little hashtag out there that I’m currently enjoying with every ounce of my stretch-marked, hip-widened, pony-tailed mom being.  #momlife  is the go-to when a mom experiences one of those moments that only a fellow mom can fully appreciate.  The moments where you look around and think, Where is another adult with whom I can share an eye roll?  After yesterday’s heartstring pulling story about the birth of my sweet baby boy, the “beauty” part of my story, I thought it would be a perfect day to talk about the “beast” part.  The part that makes me sigh.  The part that sometimes makes me huff (in an exasperated, but not too loud voice so as to keep the children relatively calm), “Come on, life!”  They are the #momlife moments.  And this one’s a doozy.



#momlife moment #1:


I’m trying to get back in shape after the birth of Baby Phillips #2 (Nathan, who we fondly refer to as “Nate Dogg,” because: Class of ’99).  I’m training for a 5K, which to many of you, may sound like a silly thing for which to feel the need to train.  But those of you who know me personally, know that I am no runner.  I have never been a runner.  My non-running days go all the way back to elementary school when I would feign illness to skip out on running the mile in PE (sorry Mr. Lebeda).  But even though I have a long relationship with hating running, I always think it seems fun when I see families post about doing 5Ks and fun runs together.  I want to be able to do that for Olivia and Nathan, not just wait at the end with a sign.  So I’m training.  (Which, by the way, I’m using the Couch to 5K app and absolutely love it!)


When I’m in workout mode, I prefer to do my exercising in the morning.  I have always been a morning person, plus, I like starting my day with a workout.  It immediately makes me feel like I accomplished something that day, and then I can’t spend the entire day coming up with excuses for why I can’t work out later.  One of the joys of being a nursing mother is that you wake up with a very heavy chest.  Especially if (knock on wood), your child is doing a good job of sleeping.  So I can’t exactly workout before feeding Nate.  I have to feed him, sometimes pump, get dressed, and then finally head out the door to work out.  I have to try to time it so I can be showered and ready around the time my husband leaves for work in case our daughter decides to wake up early.  He leaves for work at 6:30, which gives me a fairly small window of exercising opportunity.  Do I use this as a excuse not to work out?  No.  Well, mostly no.  Okay, it may be half and half.


One day, about a month ago, I didn’t get up to work out.  However, I knew it was going to be a lovely day and I needed a loaf of bread for dinner.  We happen to live about a mile from Great Harvest, so I thought, what a perfect idea!  I’ll put my darling dears in the stroller and we’ll walk to get some bread.  The walk was as lovely as I thought it would be (with the exception of GH opening about 8 minutes late, which totally messed up my timing, but I digress).  We got a loaf of dakota and a loaf of apricot almond (both were a-mazing), I threw them in the bottom of the stroller, looked online to figure out how to recline a sleeping Olivia’s seat, and we headed for home.


While it was a lovely day, it was still a summer day, which in Nebraska meant humidity.  By the time we got home, we were all a bit sweaty, particularly me.  And it was time for Nate to eat.  I used to love to nurse Olivia in the bathtub, so I thought, okay, we can all just take a bath!  That night was bath night anyway.  I was sure I could save us some time by bathing them with me in the afternoon and my husband would be so impressed with my time management skills!  So I ran the water, got everyone undressed, and we all hopped in the tub.


Image courtesy of Pexels. My bathroom is far less luxurious.

It was marvelous.  Olivia played and “helped” wash her brother’s hair.  Nate ate like a champ.  When everyone’s fingers and toes had adequately pruned, I thought it was about time for us to get out.  This was the part I hadn’t quite planned.  I thought, maybe if I just wait an extra five minutes, my husband would get home and could take the baby while I dried off and got Olivia ready.


As always, my children had other plans.


Olivia stood up from the bubbles she was blowing.  She looked at me with her beautiful blue eyes and proceeded to pee in the water.


“Livvy!”  I exclaimed, “Did you just go potty?”


“Uh huh.”


Since we want to potty train in the near future, I was careful about my response.  “It’s okay to go potty.  But next time, tell mommy and we can sit on the potty chair.”


She gave me an olibgatory “uh huh” and then sat back down to play.  Ew.  Probably time to get out.


I was just about to stand up with Nate when I looked down at my precious boy.  He looked back at me with adoring eyes and sent forth a giant poo from his adorable bottom.  All three of us were now immersed in poop and pee water.


This time I couldn’t help it.  I gasped.  I jumped up, careful to hold on tight to my poopy boy.  “Don’t move!” I said to Livvy.  “Stay on that side of the tub.”  I grabbed my own towel, wrapped Nate in it and put my non-rolling baby safely in the very center of our bed.  Knowing he’d be safe and warm, I went and grabbed Olivia out of the water and started the process of drying her off.


I wish I would’ve taken a picture of the aftermath.  The amount of poo in that tub was incredible.  Perhaps the water made it appear to be more than it was.  Or perhaps he had been holding onto it for a while, waiting for the right moment.  But either way, it called for additional bathing.  And a lot of Clorox.


When my husband (finally) did get home, I told him the whole ordeal.  His immediate response was, “You should blog about that.”


So here I am.  Blogging about this very #momlife moment.  Stay tuned for more.  After all – I still have two children under the age of two.  #momlife indeed.


Writing is Like Working Out… June 30, 2011

Filed under: Revision — michellephillips @ 8:26 am
Tags: , , ,

I have to admit, I’m pretty darn pleased with myself.

As the school year drew to a close, I began setting goals for my writing life.  The main one that I settled on was this: Have my WIP revised and ready to be sent to a potential agent by the end of the summer (the beginning of August).  In order to do this on a WIP that tops 170 pages (and frankly, needed some major reworking since it started as a NaNoWriMo novel), I knew that I’d need to schedule in time to write.  Daily, if possible.

Through the past two years, since I’ve decided to “bite the bullet” and begin to pursue publication, I’ve figured out a few things about my writing self.

1.) I am most productive in the morning.

I’ve always been a morning person.  (See footnote for childhood story about this.)  During the school year, though my contract states I need to be at school at 8:30 am, I’m always there around 7:00 am.   I am more motivated in the morning, and I get more accomplished.  I love to see the sun streaming through the windows of my house or my classroom.  It makes me want to work!  So clearly, mornings are the best time for me to write.  I feel so good about myself after I’ve got my writing done for the day!

2.) If I don’t write in the morning, I’ll likely come up with a reason not to write in the afternoon.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to write.  Since 2nd grade, with my first story (published by St. Wenceslaus School in a very official 3-pronged folder) My Cousin Rachel, I have wanted to be a writer.  But that doesn’t mean that I always want to do it.  Maybe it’s just the way I am.  I have a hard time psyching myself up to start things.  When I was younger and in dance class, I never wanted to go, but always had fun once I got there.  I have a hard time starting to write, but enjoy it once I’ve started.  Since I know this about myself (and know that I’ll find an excuse not to write as the day progresses), I write as soon as I can so that I know I’ve gotten it in during the day.

3.) If I get in a pattern, I will force myself to continue that pattern.

If I know that I need to write every morning, I will do it.  If I skip a day, all that I can think about, all day long, is that I’ve let myself down.  (I should’ve written today…  Why didn’t I just do it?  I can’t believe I didn’t write today…  My writing career to doomed… stuff like that.)

This is exactly why I come writing to working out.  I’m often not motivated to work out (not really a fan of sweating…) like I’m sometimes not motivated to write (or revise – ugh).  I love the way I feel all day after working out, just as I love the way I feel after I’ve written.  If I don’t work out in the morning, I guarantee I will find an excuse not to do it later on in the day, just as I will often find an excuse not to write.  (In fact, I more likely to write later in the day than work out.)  And if I get into a pattern of working out, I will force myself to continue that pattern, just as I will force myself to write once I’m in a pattern.

I am pleased to say that this summer, with only a few exceptions (the day after the Michael Buble concert por ejemplo), I have been writing every day.  This has been a blessing for me.  I feel like a writer.  I have an interesting response when people ask me what I’ve been doing this summer.  I’ve scratched and clawed my way out of a big revision-hating hole.  I’m more motivated than ever to make my WIP the best it can be.  I am truly bettering myself as a writer, which in truth, I think is also bettering me as a person.

Now if I can only get back into a working out pattern…

*Childhood Story: This is one my mom’s favorite stories to tell about my sister, Amanda, and I when we were younger.  I was probably in 8th or 9th grade and Amanda was in 6th or 7th.  Now, those of you who don’t know Amanda need to understand that she is silly.  She is super funny, loves to laugh (and make others laugh), and does some crazy things sometimes.  As a young teenager, she really had a way of getting on my nerves.

One morning before school, I was (as a morning person) singing and dancing around the kitchen while Amanda was silently eating her cereal.  After a few minutes of my extreme cheerfulness, Amanda glared at me and said, “Will you stop it Michelle?  You’re so annoying!”  I stopped, look her in the eye, and responded, “Welcome to my world.”


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