Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday's Woman: Stumbling on a Muse

Today’s guest blogger is listed at Circle of Moms as one of the Top 25 Funny Moms of 2012.  However, don’t think you’ll visit Tracy at Scribblesaurus Me and merely find frivolous fun and games.  She’s worked in the law field, which means she’s smart.  Her insightful humor about the ups and downs of parenting will definitely give you a laugh, but her stories will also give an opportunity to contemplate the far-reaching impact of being a stay at home mom.

Tracy - Scribblesaurus Me
When you read Scribblesaurus Me, you’ll find that like her honoree, Tracy is, “. . . down to earth, hilarious . . . genuine.”  The woman she honors today for Wednesday's Woman is a bestselling author, her kindred spirit, and her friend.  I guarantee you'll love and be inspired by this story.  

Thank you, Tracy, for being at Sperk* today.  I am thrilled you are here!

Stumbling on a Muse
by Tracy at Scribblesaurus Me

The Muses in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature, are the goddesses of the inspiration of literature, science and the arts.
In the Beginning

A few years ago my husband and I packed up our home, our 7 month old son and our dog to move 950 miles south to San Francisco. A daunting task filled with trepidation, excitement and more than a little shock. We had gone from receiving an out of the blue job offer to moving in a matter of a few weeks.

Good thing I’m a Gemini.

[Gemini] is seasonally associated with the transition from spring to summer. Because of its association with a change of season, astrologists describe it as a 'mutable sign', describing an instinct and impulse towards change and versatility, and an easy ability to adapt to the demands of the environment.
In other words, a strong Gemini trait is to fearlessly march through life with a ‘try anything’ attitude. I truly believe my personality has gotten me through more than one sketchy situation ;)
At least until I decided to become a mother. Along with the joy, parenting carries huge responsibilities - trying to keep a little person alive while working to get him through life without screwing him up mentally, emotionally or physically. I just knew in my heart my husband would return home from work one day to find me a blubbering mess in the corner with a dirty, poopy, half-starved child in my arms.

I was still so nervous of my new parenting skills and attempting to manage my expectations of myself when I met Jenni.

Learning to Walk

Photo credit: Amy Friedman
Jenni’s daughter and my son attended daycare together and I was always amazed at how laid back and funny she was, regardless of what was happening. There would be kids racing big wheels around on the concrete, flushing red in the summer sun and Jenni would show up with mini-popsicles and an invitation to the pool at pick-up time. Pick up time is when other mothers are ready to collapse!

I soon learned that Jenni, or Jennifer L. Holm, is a New York Times bestselling author and has received three Newbery Honors (at the time of writing she has been on the NYT Top 10 List for Children’s Books for over two weeks!). She also co-creates the Babymouse and the Squish series of graphic novels with her brother Matt. I did not learn this from her – another mom told me about it. Completely indicative of the humility with which she carries herself.

I was floored. This woman is the most down to earth, hilarious, genuine woman you will ever meet. There is not a hoity-toity famous novelist bone in her body.

While her writing accomplishments are certainly to be admired, that’s not why I find her so inspiring. What I really love about Jenni is to watch her parent in a completely playful, heartfelt and relaxed way. From her I have learned to sit down on the floor and chill out with my child, to enter his world of imagination and creativity, even if there are adults around. In Jenni’s house it is perfectly acceptable to go inside and play with the kids for little while as the other adults have laughs and a glass of wine outside.

Having started her family on the east coast, Jenni and her husband packed up their little son and daughter and made the move to California around the same time that my family did. I’m grateful for this luck of timing every time I see her.

Not only does she inspire me every day to be a happier, more thoughtful mother but she does all this while maintaining a successful writing career, friendships, a boatload of travel and a gym membership. I remind myself of that every time I find myself under water just between homework, blogging, writing and that dang twitter! Stop taking up so much time, Twitter!

Breaking into a Run

Jenni has encouraged my blogging, inspired me to work on a book and provided all manner of advice. It’s just who she is. She supports other writers, shows real joy when other authors find success, especially in her genre and is a total closet nerd. We share a secret love of Ezio from Assassin’s Creed.

I’ve always wanted to explore my writing in greater depth but without a sunny Sunday afternoon conversation on my back deck with this woman I’m not sure I’d have crossed that line. Now here I am, drafting an outline and making notes for a book. Regardless of any future success or failure, I will be forever grateful for her encouragement.

Did I mention that Jenni is also a Gemini? Her birthday is actually on the same day as mine.
Maybe she’s my soul mate or muse. Maybe both. 

The nine muses—Clio, Thalia, Erato, Euterpe, Polyhymnia, Calliope, Terpsichore, Urania, Melpomene. I think that’s Jenni on the end with the tablet. Hard to tell ;)

photo credit: Remko van Dokkum cc
photo credit: Trinity via photo pin cc

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, I think Jenni IS both soul mate and muse! She sounds awesome and how incredible is it to find this kind of friendship with another great mom, especially such a talented and inspiring one? Another amazing Wed Woman - awesome post!


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