Mother – Feeling On Your Own?

Emotions of Motherhood

There are many emotions associated with motherhood, in all stages. However, this is directed towards those women just getting started at being a mother. There is the baby, or the twins of course and there is you.

Where did everybody go?

What happens to you? Due to the lifestyle changes mentioned elsewhere in related articles, for some mothers, the biggest difficulties are going without work and feeling as if their friends vanish – or worse, like the new mother is now treated as if she does not exist. It can be very emotionally painful despite great joy over being a mother and even with the loving support of relatives – including a husband.

This problem is not insurmountable, but it can be a hum dinger when not psychologically prepared. If you go without work, then all the social relationships that went with it, vanish. You, the new mother, won’t miss any of the people who you didn’t like very much but will notice the difference. Without your own pay, learning to share money with your husband – if you hadn’t done it already, becomes vitally important to your and your baby’s survival. Kudos to you if you have wisely and sensibly married well and have an awesome personal life and are not running into this problem.

The truth is that a lot of women do, and the fact is, that it happened to me as well. I had not predicted it and did not know how to handle it. It was not that bad, but if I can help you as you adjust to being a mother, then I will be glad I wrote this.

Other Mothers

A lot of people drop out of your life once you become a mother. It may feel and be unfair. It might not trouble you half the time but then when you have a free afternoon and discover that you can’t afford to go anywhere unless your husband pays for you – you may feel stuck. Maybe you used to have money from your job. Maybe you do have money because you worked that out with your husband but then none of your former friends are available.

It is true, that for most new mothers, you have to find at least some other new mothers to socialize with.

Getting Out of the House

It is possible that you might work out a way to have a part time job that gets you out of the house while you spend most of the time with your baby. Mother and baby and mother and toddler groups abound – especially if you have the good fortune of living in the city, or in the residential part of the city or have a car and gas money.

Your New Life

Despite the challenge, most likely with time, you will adjust to being a mother. Some women find this to be so easy they don’t need to read this article. Others really need to read this article to know they are not alone in how they really feel even if and when overjoyed rather than sad about being a new mother.

For many women, it does involve just accepting that a lot of people won’t include you much for some years. You will probably be socially pressured to befriend women with a baby the same age as yours. It can be disturbing but often it works very well because you can talk about everything that matters while that is really how it is. I had one good friend who had a baby my age when I did and it helped a lot. Obviously, most women don’t automatically feel like best friends just because another woman has a baby the same age, but it can really work.

You and the baby can have a wonderful and rewarding relationship. The reality may not always live up to your own ideals about babies and mothers. A good family life can become a wonderful bastion of support and love. Feelings of being overwhelmed, as long as they do not occur too often are also normal.

You may feel very much like you are still you. For me, personally, retaining my sense of identity with my prematernal self was a big deal. I have met other women who told me their identity changed but they were happy with it that way. So, maybe you will feel like a whole new person – the flower blossoms on the bush and there is little resemblance to the previous stage of life.

You can learn to find ways to socialize, but that is easier if you live where there are people and it may help a lot if you have money, but there are ways to do it even when you don’t.

Motherhood is a ‘rest of life’ relationship, at least in most cases. Your baby will only be a baby for a year. You can remind yourself to enjoy what you love about it and fear not, your baby will outgrow whatever you don’t like about it. In all my life I have heard of only 1 exception to that; there was one girl who lived in the baby stage of development for 21 years. Don’t worry, that won’t happen to you.

Take heart, once you get the hang of being a mother, you probably wouldn’t want it any other way ever again, and you will be able to work and have friends and get your way at least some of the time even as you raise your baby. Be responsible and don’t give up.

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How to write characters in fiction

Fiction Writing

Fiction writing is actually a broad category and can apply to TV, radio shows, short fiction, novellas, and of course novels. Plays and screenplays both also involve creating characters. In this article we will take a quick look at what is involved in creating good characters in your work of fiction.

Characterisation

When any of us read excellent fiction, the characters always stand out. Once you look, you will notice that they have enough depth to hold our interest, but are really held together by being exemplars of just a handful of traits. From a personal perspective, I find this easy to relate to because of how much I create my own images or senses of what other real people are like in a similar manner. I know there is greater depth and more detail to each of us, but often a few things are enough.

In creating characters for fiction, realize that the plot and the characters need to go together. If they don’t, you will get quite a bizarre tale or the story won’t go well because your characters are forced to act out of character much of the time in order to drive the plot forward.

Motives

What motivates your characters? Knowing any major life motive can help create the right kind of person for your story. A character may be most motivated by love or by sexual desire, or by money. One might have an intense personal passion and interest. One could be out for revenge or out to save the world. Of course, the lack of motive or unknown motives can be an intentional means of making a mysterious character.

The life motivations and what is driving the character through the story may be different. For example, one could easily have a sexually motivated life motivated character who is driven by the desire to rescue a damsel in distress while working as a police officer in a mystery novel. One could have an artist, motivated to achieve heights of personal self-expression over all but within the story line is motivated by her romantic desires in a romance novel.

Looks

Especially from the movies and television, people are somewhat conditioned about who we see and what we think. How people present themselves for work life and through other means also influence us. So do personal experience and personal preferences. In this case, personal experience includes other stories we have read or watched as plays or TV or film or even know from songs.

Making characters that look right may well come naturally. If you are a new writer, writer’s groups can be a great place to get feedback about what your own characters are like, including the question of whether or not they look right for the part.

As a writer, you have the choice to be intentionally conventional or intentionally unconventional. In reality, for most writers, leave the unconventional until after your career is established.

Tall dark and handsome still means something, but whether dark obviously means a black man or if it means a white man with dark swarthy hair depends. The characters need to fit the environment and the story line.

Other Traits

Your characters may well have professions. Whenever there is a good job match between a person and their profession, the job is a great way to showcase the identity of the character. A character that does not have a good job fit, and is not well represented by their profession may need to be shown to express that somehow – as a hobby or through volunteer work or some other means, or to have some difficulty with the job. A little dialog in bits and pieces might show the person’s colleagues expressing the ill-fitting nature of the job or that something about the person or situation is peculiar or even wrong.

Other qualities that may not be too difficult to express in written fiction: savvy, fear, courage timidity, enthusiasm, unforgiving, kind, impatient, persistent, inconsistent.

Intimacy

The relationship between characterization and plot is so intimate because what your characters do in response to each event is determined by who they are. As simplistic as it sounds it is that the plot of a story and the characters are interdependent.

Dialog within a story is a great way to give your characters more opportunities to express their identities to the readers while also driving the plot of the story forward.

Any other form of intimacy that occurs within the story can be used to reveal the character of the characters – silly as that sounds.

Of course, the secrecy and uncertainty people have about who other people really are is often used in writing. In many mysteries and thrillers the villain is someone who, on the surface, does not appear to be of the same character that he or she really is. In comic book hero stories, the villain is often open and well known for who he or she really is.

Characteristation

Integral to every written work of art involving people and an active story line are characters. The art of creating and portraying characters through the written word is an important part of being a writer and of every story. Some of it may come naturally, but a lot of it can also be learned. Just remember that your plot and your characters need each other.

To see how I did it in an urban novel, just click on the link : The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead

Germany and the USA

Today is going to be mainly links. Spending time anyplace can go well or badly or a bit of both. It often depends on a variety of factors.

Like so many of you, for whatever reasons I had some online activity. Amongst it all, have been videos. Today I will share the links to a few of these. Thanks to all readers, but also to the folks out there who decided to try making the videos and sharing them with the rest of us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhQpb2N8s_o As it turns out, despite other efforts, the most watched video I have made is this one. In some ways the situation has not improved since then but in some respects it has. My life was not a constant flow of happy happy joy joy back in my native country either. Sometimes I get my way on what matters most to me and only some of the time do I get my way without guilt and without being punished for doing so.

Types of writers continued

Last week one post was about types of writers and some of the types of professional ones.  Like most industries, it all seems the same at first, but the more you learn about it, the less like that it stays. 

Advertising: there are writers who work for advertising agencies.  Some agencies do work with freelancers, others do not.  For people who do not only write, this can be a good match.  You have to like people, creativity and the true nature of advertising.  If helping people is everything to you – this may rapidly decay into mere profiteering.  If you just like to get paid and deal with creative people, you might really like this industry.

Documentation: I didn’t even know about this until I was over 40 years old.  These are corporate positions.  If you already work in a large company with numerous departments – ask around, and you just might find that you can get a spot in the documentation department. 

Writers in documentation departments are less likely to have journalism or communications degrees than the people working in TV, newspaper staff, magazine staff and ad. agencies.  They are more likely to have a technical skill such as engineer and want to write.

Grant proposal writers:  These people may or may not admit that they are even writers depending on how they got there and how they really feel about it.  They do write, but normally they make their money writing proposals for an organization to get grants.  There are a few specialist freelancers who write grant proposals.  This is another one of those weird little jobs that one might not have thought of when one think “writers”.

There are more than just these.  Hope this helps those wondering what “writers” means in terms of job titles.

How Interactive is Blogging? Answering machine level? 2013

First, I’d like to thank both the women who clicked on like or sent me their feedback.  A lot of it was the system doing it – a cyber version of kids being more likely to interact with each other because they attend the same school.  I noticed it, and appreciate it. 

In all honesty, I am not that sure how the blogs spread or how most people use blogs.  I have blogged on this personal & pro level and have blogged for pay – for businesses who paid me.  The joke there is that they paid me to keep my mouth shut – all I mean by that, is that I ghostwrote it without a byline.   Because of all that, I am aware that there is more than one kind of blog reader and that people also read them for various purposes. 

As the title suggests, I wonder how interactive blogging is.  It is not like real time chat, but thanks to events like those described in the first paragraph, it at least as interactive and letters or letters-to-the-editor or maybe, like when people leave messages on answering machines.  That can be good and helpful or bizarre means for giving someone the run around.   I guess, I’m old enough that I feel like I should compare it to some kind of interaction or level of interactivity but it is not only generational. 

Anyone interested could blog a response or leave a comment and then we would have more of a discussion about this.

Authors as fans – Sept. 2013

Recently I was reminded of fame and fandom.  There are powerful people who are famous, some end up infamous and others remain known in a way that is not viewed as famous or infamous or as ‘no one’. 

There are ways of being popular or well known that seem to involve relating to others in a special way, a way known as ‘famous’.    Mass scale adulation, total strangers wanting one’s autograph for reasons other than ‘you owe me & promise to pay’, one’s image and name being for use by the media and around.  Sometimes it is fun and nurtures a giant ego: everyone loves me, and my life is great: I get to be HAPPY!!  Hurray!

Other times it is not so great.  Prince Harry visits his gran – Her Majesty for the first time after nude photos from losing strip poker turn up so freely that even I have seen them and I am just some middle aged American woman writer in a German village: talk about having access to information that is none of my business, but wow.  Mainly, it shows that Harry is a good looking man and a good sport, even when he loses?   That’s just one example.  Other examples could be waking up on a bad hair day, feeling small and wanting to be left alone or with someone who really loves one and is kind only to be confronted by reporters or no reporters but media images of oneself and a rant article about how great or how horrible this person is.  Publications one had no control over whatsoever. 

Even so, most authors are human enough to be fans of some people and their work.   I know I’ve been a fan of other authors, bands, movie stars – there are even clerics and spiritual teachers of whom I’m a big fan.

Heck, lots of people like to have pet dogs, because they feel that dogs make good fans. 

Some people say men are like dogs and women are like cats.  That is a rough way of saying that women love it when men act like devoted fans, even though it is annoying when they just seem to want to hump anything – even if it doesn’t move.

Tilling has begun: Yes, this is different from Mall Neon Light Glare

Many of you have had shopping mall experiences and found that at least once, you felt overwhelmed by the abundance of bright colored lights and noise and shiny rotating trinkets for sale in shop windows. 

Some of you have paid significant sums of money to spend a week somewhere there isn’t an overwhelming abundance of shopping malls. 

There are people who feel ‘in touch with nature’ and people who get uncomfortable about too much ‘naturalness’ because it so closely resembles either baby feces stuff or barbarians or what soldiers are like after having been heavily used in actual war.  All I am really getting at is that I noticed that back in March was still before the farmers started tilling.  Well, that has really changed.  The clocks have been moved ahead.  There is tons more daylight now: it seems like it happened quickly and now dawn arrives at 5am and sunset is out to 9pm shaking off the withdraw-shock of how it feels when it is dark from 3pm to 9am the next day or something hideous and excessive like that.  The country is ‘snapping out of it’ again, and the farmers are actually tilling the local fields …Actually, last week they did a lot of it.