Okay so enough with the heart felt advice and altruistic junk, let’s get back to me and my career. I’ve been reviewed in the August Issue of Ebony so let’s all do a happy dance about that one. In addition to that I’m going to be/have been interviewed by a few more Bay Area publications and the articles will be published within the next month or two. One of those publications is a parenting magazine of sorts and among other things they asked me how being a mom has influenced my writing. I am one of three women who will be featured in this article and from looking at the work of these other interview subjects my guess is that they are going to answer that question by saying that being a parent has made them more empathetic, caring and observant people and that is reflected in their writing—or something poignant like that. Unfortunately I can’t really say the same thing. It’s not that being a parent hasn’t changed me, of course it has. But I think it’s hard to read my book and see evidence of those changes. The odd thing is that Sophie’s disinterest in becoming a parent was directly inspired by my being a parent. Allow me to explain.
I love being a mom. There are times when I look at my son and am literally overcome with feelings of love and affection. As excited as I was to be reviewed in Cosmo, Ebony and the like I was equally excited when I saw my son ride his bike without the training wheels. However that doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when I long for the days when I could schedule a brow waxing without first checking the availability of a babysitter. One of my best friends is about to have her second child which she is thrilled about. Yet when we talk on the phone we constantly reminisce about the time when we went to Berkeley to see Nirvana in concert (Lenny Kravitz opened). Or there was the time when we were driving to Ocean Beach and then at the last minute changed our minds and kept driving down Highway One until we reached San Luis Obispo (a mere 5 hours later) and partied all night with a couple of Eddie Vedder look-a-likes that we picked up at some random bar. No question about it, those were fun times. It is because I miss those years that I have chosen not to give Sophie children. She can accept a last minute invitation to a gallery opening without a second thought. She can tootle around North Beach and Telegraph Hill all day without once asking the person by her side if he needs to use the potty. I live vicariously through her and delight in her free, unencumbered existence. And then when I’m done writing I return to my son and I’m filled with those darned feeling of love again. I live a double life and I love every moment of it—well okay, I don’t love it as much when I’m in my third edit checking for missing commas or when I’m trying to brush my son’s teeth while he’s having a melt down, but 85% of the time I’m pretty happy.
So has being a highly involved mom influenced my writing? Absolutely. It’s inspired me to write about a protagonist who is determined to remain childless. That probably doesn’t sound very maternal but for me it works.
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