19 June 2008

Blushing over here, already.

Thank you to everyone who had such nice things about my (essay? piece of quasi-fiction? mini-memoir?) yesterday. All through that day, I found myself wanting to share it, and wishing I had my camera. And then, Tuesday, regretting that I didn't have my camera so that I couldn't share that day with all of you.

And then I realized that I've come to rely too heavily on that damn camera. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I have it...but I started this blog because I love words, and I want to share the words in my head and my heart. I don't need a camera for that.

Maybe my writer's heart is finally healing from all that shit I went through three years ago. That would be nice.

Actually, I've been obsessed with writing lately (surprise!). This is actually what got me thinking -- I've been wanting to write children's books (nothing new there) but particularly picture books (very new!), and I'd like to somehow write picture books that would show a style of parenting more like what I'm doing instead of what a child sees in most picture books; something that would reflect the life that (I hope) she will have growing up. A world of breastfed babies and toddlers, a world with slings and wraps instead of strollers, a world where Mama makes baby food instead of buying it off a shelf in the store. But I don't know how to include that sort of thing in a story without being didactic, without being the illustrator and -- uh -- I can't draw. Not to save my life.

But the ideas I'm being drawn to -- a photoproject of breastfeeding mothers. Who aren't just breastfeeding newborns. A project that says that boobs aren't just for sex. A book of positive birth stories -- ones that include situations like mine, where I *did* end up needing an emergency c-section, one that only the most hardcore jerks say was caused by doctor distress. (Dudes. She pooped her water and they had to suction out her lungs. She was in distress). The anti-"A Baby Story". Where someone tells mothers who "aren't dilating" to get up an walk around for a minute. Let gravity help you, for pity's sake.

Would you be interested in any of these things? Let me know.

Meanwhile, my lesson-from-God today came from a very unexpected source. There are a lot of "semi-transients" in my town; folks who do have homes, if you call rat-ridden slum efficiency apartments "homes", and the "semi" coming from the fact that they don't always remember where their homes are. One of these guys I've known for years. He's the kind of guy who, if I didn't know him, and saw him in a place I was unfamiliar with, I might cross the street to get away from him. He's a bulky sort of man, and his clothes are stained, and his hair is unkempt. I passed him as I was walking in from where I was parked, and then we ended up at the same coffee shop this morning. I got an iced mocha; he got an iced coffee. And he was standing in front of the straws. I asked him to hand me one, saying I didn't want to lean over his coffee.

He smiled at me, handed me one, and said "That's what neighbors are for."

He's very very right. Thanks for the reminder.

I feel like light today.


Joansie said...

I read your blog today with much interest as I, also, have wanted to write children's books using my photography.

You have a way with words so I say..."Go For It Girl". I think you'd be great at writing a weekly column in the Burlington Free Press..ala Chris Bojhalian (sp?) style with houmor and focused on topics for mothers and kids.

Can I be your first cheerleader?

Harriet said...

Well I must say then if your feeling inspired to write books and want to use your photography as well then look at a book called "The Family of Man" by Edward Steichen. Although there aren't many words in it, with most of them being contained within famous quotes, the pictures are absolutely inspiring!

And I would love to read more of your writing...

Shan said...

Great ideas. There's definitely a need. The illustrator is the problem, of course...I've been thinking about that issue myself as I have a few book plans too.

I love your lesson from God today.

AlisonH said...

The day will come, bookwise.

Re your neighbor at the coffeeshop--beautiful. Thank you.