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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Lame Life

When I started writing in 2011, I had no idea that in six short years I'd be the New York Times best selling author of 600 blog posts, three books, six short collections, and the creator and publisher of five anthologies. It's been a whirlwind of hard work, late nights, emotional highs and lows, and a crap ton of laundry that always gets put off until tomorrow.

In 2011 my kids Gomer and Adolpha were little. They were six and four. The six year old could barely read and the four year old couldn't read at all. They gave me a lot to write about and they inspired me to share the ups and downs of parenting while working full time and trying to do it all.

As the years progressed, they heard rumblings from their friends:
"Your mom swears."
"Your mom isn't normal."
"Your mom tells your secrets."
"Your mom hangs out with strangers on the internet."

This wasn't inaccurate, but it still irritated me. It irritated me that my kids were getting their information third hand from the children of a bunch of nosybodies. I didn't want them to read my parenting books, partly because they weren't appropriate for young children and partly because they would find them boring.

And then one day, Adolpha brought me a picture she had drawn. It was a girl with pink hair and her name was Plum. I asked Adolpha to tell me about Plum and she told me she didn't have a lot of friends and she didn't fit in at school. But she was confused because she liked who she was and she couldn't understand why others didn't like her. I encouraged Adolpha to write Plum's story.

After a few months, no progress had been made on Plum's story. Adolpha had abandoned her, but she was still banging around in my head. Unfortunately when you live with a writer, anything you say can and will be used in a book. I have a rule: you get first crack at your idea, but if you can't get it done, I will get it done. So, I sat down and I started writing the story of Plum Parrish.

I wanted to write a book that my children could read. A book that would inspire them to be themselves and to own their quirks and to be confident in who they are. I wanted to write the book that I needed when I was navigating the halls of middle school and high school. I wanted to write a super funny book that would make my kids laugh out loud and snort their milk. I wanted to write a book with parents who were involved and cared, but just didn't always get it.

Once again, my children inspired my work and I am so grateful to them for that.

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