Hard as it is for me to believe, it’s been almost a year since I started this blog. I got it up and running last July, when all three of my kids were at various sleepover camps or daycamps for a week. I called it my week of “writing” because although I’d hoped to write a lot that week, that’s not what happened. Instead I discovered how utterly complicated it is to start up a self-hosted blog.
So I’m trying again. Having a week to write is a bit paralyzing. Where to start? What to work on? I have a handful of essays that I need to throw back out to the rejection merry-go-round. Those need cover letters, as well as rewriting and re-formatting, depending on the publication. It’s time-consuming. I have an essay I’ve been working on, about helping H with his junior term paper for English, that I’d like to finish. I have my workshop to prepare for the HSC homeschooling conference in Sacramento in August. And while that isn’t writing, per se, the topic of the workshop, Nurturing Young Writers, is just what I’m focusing on with my book idea.
A few of you have asked me about that book. I haven’t gotten to the actual writing yet, but I’ve been taking pages and pages of notes, and playing with ideas for format. It’s a writing conundrum: you don’t want to start before you have an idea where you’re going, but you don’t want to wait too long to start either, because so much unfolds during the writing process.
I’m also considering how I might share bits of book draft here with you, as I work on it. When I’ve written here about my kids’ experiences with writing and reading, I’ve gotten the most interesting, curious, discussion-provoking comments. It seems that many of you like to discuss this stuff!
In the meanwhile, I’m here alone, writing. Which is unthinkably wonderful. But I do miss my kids.
Mr. T is attending a day camp this week, up in the redwoods. It’s an old-fashioned hike, build-stick-forts, and sing-camp-songs kind of camp, not one of those schoolish-classes-held-in-the-summer-months-under-the-guise-of-a-camp kind of camps. He comes home looking like this:
Tired and dirty. Which is a good day of camp, in my book.
Lulu is at a sleep-away camp with her cousin for a week. I miss her every morning when I don’t get my usual good morning, Mama hug, and when the kitchen is quiet because she isn’t following me around, telling me her plans a handful of times each day. But we’ll be picking her up on Saturday. Not too far off.
H, though. He’s gone for a month. How did I agree to that? On Saturday, Chris and I drove him down to southern California, to Cal Arts in Valencia. He’s attending Inner Spark, which is a summer school for the arts, for high-school-aged kids. He got accepted into the film program, and it seems like an incredible opportunity. Which, of course, is why I agreed to let them have my kid for a month. (If you live in California, and have a teen especially interested in the arts–music, theater, dance, creative writing, visual arts, animation or filmmaking–do check out the program. It’s partially funded by the state of California, so the tuition is reasonable, and what they offer seems quite amazing. I’ll have to share some of H’s experiences here in another post. A friend of a friend whose daughters attended said it “changed their lives.”)
Knowing H will be gone so long makes me miss him so much it hurts. And I mean that literally. When I walk by his room I feel a small hollowness inside. It’s especially hard because this seems like a trial run for a little more than a year from now, when he’ll be leaving for college. How did his childhood go so fast?
I suppose the hollow feeling comes from part of my heart being in Valencia.
But in the meanwhile, we can talk on the phone, and email, and we’ve even set up Skype for videochats, so his little brother can grace him with goofy faces. And in between, I’m here alone, writing. Which reminds me that I should sign off now, and get to some of those plans…