What my daughter gave me time to write tonight

I keep trying to squeeze in some writing here and there. For example, when I put 10 month-old (already?!) Pringles in the high chair, I tap out a few paragraphs if I can focus. The result is many half-finished drafts on various subjects. Baby led weaning (BLW) is all the rage in the Mommy Community, so I’m trying it, but also doing some old-fashioned feeding. I can sometimes drop some finger foods onto her tray and work, but more frequently she wants my undivided attention in a game of spoon tug-o-war. She’s more tolerant of me reading than writing.

I finished Jenny Lawson’s book “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” last week and enjoyed it as much as I thought I would. She is what I love: a hilarious, talented, original writer. Her bizarre rural childhood triggered bad feelings for me, so I had to deal with that. To me, her dad was not quirky. He was scary, abusive, and mentally unstable.

I don’t think I could write about my family while everyone is still alive. Anne Lamott wrote on Twitter the other day, “Write like your parents are already dead,” and I found that so freeing. “What if my mom/dad reads this?” is a thought that can be death to creativity. It has been a big week for family shit, but I’m not writing about it here. Can you imagine? Think of all that goes down in your family, including in-laws. We don’t have any “wake the kids up in the middle of the night with dead squirrel puppets” in our family, but we have scary, abusive, and mentally unstable covered.

Whenever my father got another series, he always called his mom, a single parent, to tell her the great news. “It’s not another one of those damned sitcoms, is it?” was her inevitable response. Of course it was. Those “damned sitcoms” were what my father wrote. It was never good enough for his mom, though. She really liked that Angela Lansberry. Why couldn’t he do a show like “Murder She Wrote”? Now THAT was a quality show, she insisted. But this is the same woman who told me my short story was crap. I was eight.

Just like I stay until the end credits of a movie out of respect for the people who made the film, I read the acknowledgements in a book. I was surprised to see Lawson thanked Heather (Dooce) Armstrong. I didn’t know they knew each other, so I did a bit of internet research and got my mind blown.

At Blog Her 2008, Jenny Lawson pulled a stunt that got her noticed in a big way. I was completely unaware. At that time, I was not even part of the blogging world and had never heard of either one of them. I still haven’t gathered all the information I need to fully understand this event and its significance. Suffice it to say that I feel let down. Even the so-called misfits are playing the game. Do a Google search and you’ll find everything you need to know about the drunk Bloggess Dooce showdown. Even Jon Armstrong Blurbomatted about it. He felt the need to defend his wife. Read what he wrote here http://blurbomat.com/2008/08/06/thoughts-on-blogher-08/ . Jon writing about Heather with love and admiration hurts a bit, as do the comments where readers praise them and their strong marriage. He wrote a few months back that he’d been “doing it wrong” for years http://youtu.be/fKkZhubwt04.  Apparently the “Jon Armstrong Method” wasn’t what Dooce wanted, but she kept that to herself. If you believe his implications (as I interpreted them, Ms. Armstrong, don’t sue me). South to drop off, moron.

I was fired up all weekend to write about what he said about women and bloggers, as well as the incident itself, but I don’t have anything new to add. And it’s all old news anyway.

And as for bullying vs criticism, that too is the topic du jour. Whether it’s Anna Viele vs Dooce, The Bloggess vs Dooce, Mrs. Odie vs Kelle Hampton, or GOMI vs Messica What I Wore, none of this is new territory. And I’m bored.

It’s all a big game about money. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, they say, but I wonder if Tiger Woods agrees. Some would say it’s his behavior that hurt his career, but look at Kim Kardashian. The latter is like the patron saint of turning  pee in the face lemons into lemonade.

This is one of those half-finished, half-conceived posts that I wrote in between nursing, rocking, feeding, diapering, and playing with my daughter. You have my permission to half read it.


About Mrs Odie

Friendly Pedant; Humble Genius
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11 Responses to What my daughter gave me time to write tonight

  1. christine says:

    All I can say is that I love your blog and thank you. I will try and email you directly about how refreshing (and funny) you are…you have no idea. It takes a smart woman to put perspective on this mommy blogging industry. Yep, it’s a money making industry now, it’s ugly at times and I’ve seen so much since 2006 – UGH.
    YOU have the talent and I’m sticking with you! THANK YOU!

  2. Meghan2 says:

    I guess I don’t know how to properly use Google, but I attempted to search for info and found nothing useful. So now I am left feeling like I only know half the story.

    • Mrs Odie 2 says:

      The best I can figure it out, Dooce was keynoting and someone asked how it felt to be talked about and she said it was weird, that someone called her a hobbit. You can read Lawson’s post where she said Dooce was awesome, but she couldn’t believe she was real. She was like a mythical creature. Like a hobbit. So Jenny was in the audience and jumps up and says “I called you an awesome mythical hobbit” then went on and on talking very fast then apologized for being drunk. After that, I guess women in the audience created drama. Either Dooce reads comments about herself and doesn’t read carefully, her reader misrepresented what Lawson wrote OR (most likely scenario) Heather and Jenny planned it.

      • Meghan2 says:

        Thank you Mrs. Odie for that concise explanation. I now feel back in the loop, wait I don’t think I was ever in the loop, but I do feel informed now.

        • Mrs Odie 2 says:

          This is only my opinion. I am in no way claiming a conspiracy nor defaming anyone. I am merely suggesting possibilities. Consider it AU Fan Fiction. Do not sue me.

          • Meghan2 says:

            Thank you so much for the disclaimer. In our litigious society I worry that we might need to give disclaimers more often in the future. In this one instance I would be happy to be wrong.

  3. kelly says:

    Even a half-finished, half-conceived post from you is a good read. Thanks.

  4. cng says:

    I agree with Kelly. Your posts about KH and Dooce and your thoughts on bullying/blogging are why I keep coming back to you – I enjoy your perspective and you write well about a topic I find interesting. You may occasionally lament the fact that your KH posts generate the most traffic, but nobody would come back if you weren’t a writer worth reading.

  5. Aryn says:

    The story about your grandmother reminds me of the scenes from the movie Despicable Me where the “bad” guy’s mom would be awful to him when he would draw a picture or invent something when he was growing up. Or when he became a villain and would steal something, it was never good enough for her. I’ve never wanted to strangle an animated character so badly.

  6. Melanie says:

    huh, I was around for that BlogHer drama, and it is partly why I stopped reading Dooce. I read the Bloggess for a little bit, but never really enjoyed her style (and every time I hear about her now, through other links, e.g., Neil Gaiman, it just decreases my interest in her and my respect for the other party). But (!) I never before considered the idea that the two colluded in the whole drama. Hmmm. There’s a recent article in the NYTimes about the Bloggess that directly links her book deal to that drama (someone in the audience who approached her afterwards). Hmmm. It *is* all about the money and the deal. Bah.

  7. Barnmaven says:

    I’m clearly doing this mommyblogging thing wrong. I could shive a git about the money aspect. I stopped routinely checking my inbox for the email from the company that was going to launch me to fortune and fame LONG ago.

    Even though I know its a lot of hands-on, your post makes me nostalgic for those days when they were still in the high chair, learning about food textures and tastes. It seems like they skyrocketed into these big children overnight.

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