And fanfiction writers will inherit the industry…

I spent so much time working on the blog post over at my “professional” blog, and I know I’ve got a couple writers who read over here, and I want to get as many thoughts on this one as I can — especially from non-fanfiction writers.

But the other night, all at once, I realized: Fanfiction writers will inherit the industry.

We’re prepared for e-publishing — hell, we are BUILT for e-publishing.

Tell your friends.

More details on my HOSTILE TAKEOVER OF THE INTERNET later. <3

Have a good weekend!

I Want Your Favorite Breastfeeding Story!

Nursing the Baby 1
Originally uploaded by ashes_poland

It came up on Twitter today that apparently nursing a 2-year-old is “disgusting.” Sure, I responded — the breast is best, young adults are sadly uninformed, etc, but I want to take this further.

I want to share our best and favorite breastfeeding stories. If you’re comfortable nursing in public, post your favorite breastfeeding picture; the other there is the only good one I’ve gotten to date; it was about an hour ago. And hell, this is my son sleepily nursing after a nap.

My best nursing in public moment was by far this past April; I took my son, a couple friends, and my sister up to Lee’s Summit for the Jim Butcher book signing. It ran pretty late — I think we left a little after 10PM — and towards the end of the night I had him all nestled tight in his K’Tan. We were about 12 people back from Mr. Butcher, and I realize that Miles needs to nurse.

Miles is in the upright, facing in hold, and I pop my breast out and let him nurse. My friend Josh is amazed that looking right at me he can hardly tell I’m nursing at all. Miles is happily nursing, resting his little head against my chest — and all I can think is, “PLEASE don’t let me still be nursing when I meet this awesome author. What a story that would make later — ‘This chick was nursing while I signed her book!’”

In retrospect, BFG if I had been, but luckily Miles finished while there were still four or so people before us.

What’s your favorite nursing story? What did you do?

Best Husband Ever

Andy has been great the past week and a half; he understands that working late has been sucking quite a lot for me, and has been letting me sleep in for as much as I can before he leaves for work (usually between 8 – 9:30AM). He’s been letting me out of the house while he watches Miles so that I can be as productive as possible.

But this morning, all that was small cakes when he came in before he left for work to say, “It’s time to get up, sweetie. Miles has a fresh diaper, and I already fed him breakfast. I’ve got a load of dishes in the dishwasher, and your coffee is just about done brewing.”

All I can say is, Dear Husband, I’m so glad that we survived the various insanities of our young and early relationship to make it to this most awesome moment as married adults. I love you, And not just because you make a pretty mean cup of joe, despite not being a coffee drinker yourself.

Normalizing Breastfeeding

My first brush with nursing in public was not after I had a child — nor did it involve my mother. I was 15, almost 16, and my stepdad was telling us about how he had been reprimanded by his boss for inconveniencing a nursing mother.

Before we vilify my stepdad here, let me spell out the details: he was managing a kind of small restaurant on base when we were living in Japan. The place was full that night, and there were two families next to each other: one with a couple young children, and the mother with her husband and nursling. The parents of the young children complained about the woman breastfeeding, and my stepdad had to step in to try to placate all his customers. I believe he asked her if she could cover up, or if she would like to be seated at a different table. This was 7 or so years ago — the details are fuzzy.

While he wasn’t in trouble, the whole thing ended with a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

I’ll admit, at the time I fell somewhere between, “It’s natural, she shouldn’t have to go else where!” and “Well, it’s not that inconvenient to step aside…” Now, as a mother who has tried to nurse a newborn in a small bathroom stall, I fall pretty squarely into the first. But I got to thinking about this.

I grew up in a very open household; we didn’t have a lot of taboos. But breastfeeding was one of things that my mother kept private — my only memory of my mother breastfeeding is her excusing herself to my grandmother’s guest room and emphatically telling us to stay out. I never thought about it again; she didn’t breastfeed my little brother for more than a couple weeks.

After I was a mother myself we got to talking about it, and she admitted that she found breastfeeding painful, and she breastfed less with each child.

It wasn’t until I was 14 that I met an openly breastfeeding mother. Kalynn is a dear friend of mine, and she breastfed her son Kohlmyn for 18 months. She was open about breastfeeding in front of whoever happened to be there, and would gladly talk about it if I had any questions. She didn’t draw attention to it either, though — it was just a natural thing that she did.

In retrospect, it was this example of breastfeeding that made it seem like a normal, comfortable thing to do. I never really thought about it, but I knew that someday I wanted to breastfeed. When I was pregnant I was pretty blasé — I would breastfeed “if it worked,” but wouldn’t sweat it if it didn’t — and here I am, almost 18 months later, adamant about what breastfeeding can (and should!) be to the world at large.

And I realized this: my success with breastfeeding had everything to do with seeing it as normal. I’m not the first person to say this, nor am I the most qualified who has, but it seems to me that the best thing we can do to help more mothers breastfeed in the future is to make breastfeeding normal for our daughters. The more girls that grow up understanding that their breasts are not just toys, the more women who will realize the power they have to nourish their child after birth.

So keep it going on, breastfeeding moms: lets never let the world forget that we’re doing something perfectly normal.

Ever-Evasive Inspiration

It’s been a long time since I’ve been caught up in the act of writing — long enough that I forgot what that exact moment feels like when the idea starts to form in your head, the image perfect, the scene so absolutely there if you can just touch it

Honestly, it’d been long enough since I’d felt so perfectly inspired that I was wondering if it was ever going to happen again — maybe I’d lost it, spent too much time ignoring my writing after all.

It gives me the chills, goosebumps all over, and makes me twitchy — I have to keep moving, keep active, as if I’m moving the thing slowly from the back of my mind to the forefront by sheer motion alone.  It’s also almost random.  In this case, I had the idea during one song on my playlist.  I jotted down the line, and came back to it when I  was done working.

Another song came on, and there it was — the exact tempo of the movement, of the action, the perfect mood — I just had to make it all come together with words.

And fuck, words are the easy part at that point.