I choose biking over riding underground whenever possible. But even though it’s so much more pleasant, I rarely bike for pleasure. Although teaching my kids to bike was pure pleasure.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
BFA in studio art, my concentration was ceramic sculpture. You know, something useful with high paying employment opportunities.
I have worked as a designer/artist for 30 years. I began writing seven years ago while my father was dying. He was sick for a long time and I was commuting back and forth to Boston to see him. It was such a crazy time, I needed some kind of portable outlet; I turned to writing. He died and I ended up with a novel. I sent it out and it got rejected down the line. So I wrote another. Sent that out which also got rejected. And for the first time in my life I stopped making work altogether. Complete artistic shut down with no end in sight, which was terrifying and horrible. I applied to MFA programs in the hopes that being back in school in a structured environment would reignite the furnace. Luckily it has, but it’s been a humbling experience.
- Need to finalize plans for my mother’s move from the house she’s lived in for the past 60 years to a senior retirement community. It’s been a challenging process getting her to commit to the move and figuring out how to pay for it.
- Need to sign my older son up for an SAT prep class. I’ve kind of dropped the ball and need to make sure I get on top of it. (It costs $800 and I’ve been stalling.)
- My younger son has to do 50 hours of community service for school and I have yet to find a place for him to volunteer and it’s already November! He wants to work with animals but can’t volunteer in shelters because he’s not 18. Any suggestions?
- Start flossing. (But that’s been every month’s priority for years.)
- Lose 5 pounds. (But that’s been every month’s priority for years.) (And now it’s more like 10.)
- Be nicer to my mother over Thanksgiving. (But that’s been every Thanksgiving’s priority for years.)
I have to be alone. Can’t do the cafe thing because I work through most of it out loud. To hear how the sentences sound and particularly the dialog. Although the idea of being a crazy old lady in the middle of some hipster communal table talking to herself is very appealing. Maybe I’ll try it.
I’m interested in deep dives of any kind: the science of something, the brutality of addiction, the love of dogs… whatever. As long as the story goes all the way in.
Jesus, David Sedaris, Flannery O’Conner, Pipi Longstocking, Fahreda Mazar Spyropoulos, Mark Twain, Alice Neel, Frida Kahlo, Sanford Kaplan, Leon Scheepers
(Probably lasagna because you can make it in advance. With these people around the table I don’t want to miss anything by having to be in the kitchen.)
Being a mom has informed, distracted and inspired everything, not just the writing. I’m terrified they’ll think I’m a failure or a hack. I want them to be proud of me. And I want them to see me making brave choices in the hopes that they’ll make their own brave choices. They’re pulling away, as teenagers do, which is nervous making, exciting and heartbreaking. But that pulling away has left space for me to write. Having kids is a complicated endeavor, difficult to do well. Like writing.
That delete is just a tap away.
Right you are, Roanne. How right you are. Thank you.