Critics & Control Freaks—Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 9.17.35 AM

I confess. I am normally uptight, controlling and neurotic but after the recent death of my grandmother who raised me? Where I might have been a five seven twelve, I was suddenly a fifty (on a scale of ten). I felt flung to the winds and adrift. I was out of control and that is not a feeling I enjoy.

Monday, I was really tired so I wasn’t up to taking Spawn to summer camp where he normally goes for a few hours so Mommy can work.

And so it begins….

Kids have a really honest and refreshing way of getting right to the point.

For instance. Recently we went out to dinner at a nice Mediterranean restaurant. I stand up and Spawn (Age 6) suddenly looks up at me aghast as if he is seeing me for the first time and loudly proclaims.

“Mommy! Your boobs are HUGE!”

Thanks kid, just thanks.

And the table of men nearby had to be scraped off the floor laughing.

Unlike friends and family, kids don’t sugar coat anything and we are wise to listen. Additionally beyond what children say, it is what they DO that can give us the most to learn.

Back to being too lazy to take Spawn to camp. I am busy uploading my guest post and trying to dig out of the mountain of emails that were left unchecked while I lay in bed for a week.

My left eye already had a permanent twitch from the piles of laundry to do, the stacks of dishes and all the work that lay ahead. I was super busy self-flagellating about how I was such a royal jerk for not getting edits back to students yet and how I was a selfish jerk for taking a week and a half to get my head on straight after my grandmother’s death.

Selfish Kristen! Horrible Kristen!

Spawn? What better time to decide to build a FORT? And right next to where Mommy is working so she can enjoy it!

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.06.21 AM

Okay.

At this point in time I was all right. Writing professionally is akin to being a war correspondent, especially for anyone with small kids and pets. No big deal. I am cool. I got this. I survived the Blueberry Yogurt Fiasco of 2014 and the Projectile Vomit Debacle of 2015. I’ve blogged while sustaining heavy NERF fire.

I totally got this.

Spawn THEN decides he is lonely in his fort and wants Johnny Cat in there with him.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.07.36 AM

At first he is wrestling with the cat (over my computer—where else?). I stop and say…

“You cannot force a cat to go anywhere. Let me get you a cat trap (pictured above). Set this baby inside and you will have a cat in less than 3 minutes.” Proof I am a genius (pictured below).

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.35.48 AM

Enter….Johnny Cat.

I keep writing and this fort just starts to grow…

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.07.52 AM

And grow….

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.08.04 AM

And OH DEAR GOD IT IS THE BORG!

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED….

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.08.17 AM

By noon I am pretty much pushed out of my work area because I didn’t want to be assimilated along with two nursing pillows, Thanksgiving pumpkin decorations and pretty much every worldly possession Spawn has.

My OCD is going wild by now (actually my CDO because why is this NOT in alphabetical order as it should be?).

SO ME!

SO ME!

I’ve always been transparent with you guys because I want you to know that you are not alone. Most of us struggle. We beat ourselves up that we are not good enough that we should be trying harder, that we should be doing more. When we do write, we are our own worst critics and can edit the magic right out of a story with our insecurity.

Every level has its insecurities and challenges. When we are new, we feel guilty for writing because we aren’t yet “real” writers and so we are totally selfish jerks for writing because it isn’t as if we are published *rolls eyes*.

But how do we ever become successfully published unless we write a BOOK? Then once we do publish the pressure only grows. Now we need more books and this book didn’t do as well as that book and OH GOD! I HIT #1…but can I ever do it again? Am I a one-hit wonder?

Am I Tarzan Boy Writer?

I have a bad habit of setting myself up to fail no matter what I do. If I spend a day cleaning the house, then I suck because I didn’t get any writing done. If I write, then I am a terrible housekeeper. If I hire a cleaning service, then I am being wasteful with money.

Hey I warned y’all I was a neurotic in the beginning😛 .

Then Spawn comes along with this fort. My first instincts are to beat myself up because the house is a mess. But the sheer joy he is having building this thing is infectious. I am a fixer and a problem solver (I.e. the Cat Traps) and have no idea how my own mother didn’t murder me as a child.

When I was four I got a Spirograph for Christmas and two packages of typing paper—regular and legal size. So what did I do? I created art and went door to door selling. Five cents for the regular, ten cents for the legal and a dollar for the stack and a promise to never bother you again until the next time.

And in all the stress of being an adult I’d forgotten this. This thing called fun. Fun is not neat and tidy. Fun is chaotic. No fun IS chaos.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 9.19.08 AM

As the Spawn Fort was growing I just kept telling myself that he only is a little boy once. In a few years he will be off with friends and Mommy may no longer be his best friend and I will miss the Tinker Toys underfoot. I will miss the mess. I will crave this chaos.

GAME ON!

Spawn Fort 1.0 was a structural disaster (because I refused to butt in) and was reclaimed by nature overnight. Spawn was distressed, but fortunately, Mommy was an expert fort builder in her day and after he asked for my help?

I bring you….

Spawn Fort 2.0—A.K.A. SUPER FORT

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.11.00 AM

Super Fort is three times the size with a nice padded sleeping area and several storage lockers (under chairs) for NERF weapons. It has two “secret” entrances and more head room. Additionally, one cannot have intruders thinking they can just pillage whatever they like from your fort while you are away, so Spawn Fort 2.0 is equipped with a state of the art Storm Trooper Security System. It won’t hit anyone so you don’t have to worry about being sued, but the warning shots will at least scare them away.

Want to see a little boy explode with joy? Show him how to build a proper fort and think to guard it with a Storm Trooper.

So Spawn is happy and then he kinda freaks out that it isn’t finished. We forgot the cat traps!

Me: Honey, Super Fort IS a cat trap…

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.12.10 AM

To date every stitch of furniture including a lamp/table has been assimilated into Super Fort….which now sports a Hot Wheels racetrack that leads to the fireplace and I am strangely okay with that. One of my writer friends said it best in a Facebook comment….

One day…all the forts built by childhood will be but dust in a memory. Your reaction is the only way that memory is fairy dust.

 ~ Michael Gray

And he was right. The grandmother who raised me, the one I lost? All that is left of her is the fairy dust of blanket forts and coloring books and a million Barbie shoes and I miss her very, very much.

In the end? Embrace fun. Embrace some chaos and for the love of all that is chocolate cut yourself some slack and lighten the hell up! (So y’all know, I am yelling that at myself).

What are your thoughts? Are you a control freak too? Are you too hard on yourself? Do you set yourself up to fail no matter what? Do you maybe need to create some fairy dust?

I LOVE hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of JULY, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

Check out NEW classes below! 

Upcoming Classes

All W.A.N.A. classes are on-line and all you need is an internet connection. Recordings are included in the class price.

We are doing ANOTHER round of Battle of the First Pages!!! August 5th

The first time we did this we had some tech issues doing this new format and we’ve since worked those out, but for now I am still keeping the price low ($25) until we get this streamlined to my tastes.

LIMITED SEATS. This is an open workshop where each person will submit his or her first page of the manuscript for critique. I will read the page aloud and “gong” where I would have stopped reading and explain why. This is an interactive workshop designed to see what works or what doesn’t. Are you ready to test your page in the fire?

Hooking the Reader—Your First Five Pages August 12th

The first five pages are the most essential part of the novel, your single most powerful selling tool. It’s how you will hook agents, editors and readers. This class will cover the most common blunders and also teach you how to hook hard and hook early. This class is 90 minutes long, 60 minutes of instruction and 30 minutes for Q&A.

Your First Five Pages Gold Level

This includes the webinar and a detailed critique your first five pages.

Your First Five Pages Platinum Level

This includes the webinar and a detailed critique of your first twenty pages.

Bullies & Baddies—Understanding the Antagonist August 19th

All fiction must have a core antagonist. The antagonist is the reason for the story problem, but the term “antagonist” can be highly confusing. Without a proper grasp of how to use antagonists, the plot can become a wandering nightmare for the author and the reader.

This class will help you understand how to create solid story problems (even those writing literary fiction) and then give you the skills to layer conflict internally and externally.

Bullies & Baddies—Understanding the Antagonist Gold

This is a personal workshop to make sure you have a clear story problem. And, if you don’t? I’ll help you create one and tell the story you want to tell. This is done by phone/virtual classroom and by appointment. Expect to block off at least a couple hours.

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

  1. #1 by Simon on July 20, 2016 - 10:05 am

    I am control freak, but I keep it under control and can force myself to chill. But when I see things being done badly my eye does twitch – probably in the same way as yours did when you saw the laundry.

    The thing is at the moment my own spawn is taking up so much time in my spare time (apart from time spent cutting grass and doing other jobs) that I’m getting zero writing time in. It’s distressing and I’m having to force myself to chill. Hearing you coping with spawn in your way is encouraging and I need to take a page out of your book!🙂

  2. #2 by Heather McLoud on July 20, 2016 - 10:08 am

    Thank you. Thank you for a most accurate and humorous description of some of my own reasons to beat myself up. Somehow what looks deadly serious when I apply it to myself looks a little silly when I see someone else wearing the same shade of control freak. Great mirror. Oh–and you were NOT “too lazy” to take Spawn to camp. You were rightfully exhausted and it turned out the Universe wanted you to have him around because building forts is a sovereign remedy. Lastly (but not leastly)–I am sorry for your loss.

  3. #3 by ratherearnestpainter on July 20, 2016 - 10:12 am

    I don’t know that I am a control freak, but I think that my brother put it best when told me that I have a tendency to be afraid to succeed. (He was also speaking about himself, but in the past tense because he’s vastly successful now.) So, I’m writing a novel. All of the voices tell me that novels are so yesterday; there are already too many writers; all the good ideas are taken, you’ll never be successful so why even try now get back to work and punch the clock like a good drone.

    A psychologist warned me once that we need to let all of our internal voices have their say, otherwise they’ll cause trouble. (And boy, have they caused trouble.) So, while they are screaming at me in a panic because I’m trying something different, I let them. Typically, the closer I get to success the louder and more panic-stricken they become.

    That’s why I listen to music while working, even if I’m writing. (While writing I listen to instrumental music.) And, I find the time when I can listen to the voice that has the good ideas. (Usually when I’m driving.)

    Thank you and take care of yourself. I’m very sorry for your loss. I hope that you were able to relax a little bit in that time you took off; I hope that your internal voices let you get a little of the rest you desperately need. If not, you might be due for another break soon. Just make arrangements with your internal voices ahead of time. Sometimes they can be reasonable.

  4. #4 by illuminatedliteration on July 20, 2016 - 10:16 am

    I am so sorry for the loss of your grandmother. I hope writing helps your pain, that’s my go-to when my heart is hurting.
    Your post made me laugh, and tear up (an envious talent). I’m going to think of your words today as I hold my one-year-old son and when I’m writing while he is napping. I’m so incredibly happy I found your blog.

  5. #5 by Foster Haskell on July 20, 2016 - 10:21 am

    I beat myself up enough to get into the hospital and use my writer’s skills to explain how it happened.

    • #6 by ratherearnestpainter on July 20, 2016 - 11:21 am

      They’re bound to start noticing a pattern of abuse. You might consider using different clinics.

  6. #7 by Kit Dunsmore on July 20, 2016 - 10:25 am

    I love that you embraced the fort building and just went with it.

    Whenever I see the words “control freak”, I think of Joss Whedon who says, “I’m not a control freak, I’m a control enthusiast.”

    Condolences on your loss. Our loved ones leave us behind. We may get used to it, but we never stop missing them.

  7. #8 by Trish on July 20, 2016 - 10:38 am

    Recovering Control Freak here. Letting go is so much easier, even if there are claw marks on whatever I’m letting go of. I SO needed this blog today Kristen about beating ourselves up – especially, for me, for not writing. My inner critic hasn’t shut up for 3 days. I loved your blog and you are crazy ass funny. Humor has always been a lifeline for me, even when moving through grief. And grief is like an emotional intensive care unit. We need to take care of ourselves. May Spawn and the cat help you heal. 🙂

  8. #9 by Angela Gonzalez on July 20, 2016 - 10:42 am

    I totally hear you. Thanks for the reminder to have fun. I loved this part, “Fun is not neat and tidy. Fun is chaotic. No fun IS chaos.” This control freak thanks you!

  9. #10 by Cathy F. on July 20, 2016 - 10:43 am

    I’m so sorry about your grandmother, Kristen. You do need time to process after such a blow, and it’s going to hit you again and again in waves. Just let it. Let the tears come.

    And for all that is holy, please don’t beat yourself up over the editing pages! Look at it this way… I was never going to be able to do anything with them this month anyway. Heh. I’m going off to see my now 26-year-old spawn, to admire the life he’s building for himself 2500 miles from home. I was feeling guilty and beating myself up over not writing in this time, what with this family thing and that family thing… and now that I might have had time? Going on a trip.

    I have to yell at myself: “TO SEE MY SON!” who I haven’t seen in much too long.

    No more control-freak-me allowed on this trip. Thank you. When I get off the computer and head to the airport in a couple of hours, I leave the control freak behind, and spend my time appreciating the beautiful young man I’ve had the gift of having in my life. Daughter is coming too, so it’ll be great to watch them amuse each other, as they typically do. She’s missed him too.

    Family is what matters. Work can wait.

    • #11 by ratherearnestpainter on July 20, 2016 - 10:52 am

      Will your children recognize you if you leave the control freak behind? Will they wonder what you’ve done with their mother?

  10. #13 by K.B. Owen on July 20, 2016 - 10:51 am

    Wow. I absolutely love this! I have fond memories of my boys building blanket forts.

    • #14 by ratherearnestpainter on July 20, 2016 - 10:53 am

      Am I the only one who never built a fort when he was young? I feel like the universe owes me something here.

  11. #16 by Donna Gwinnell Lambo-Weidner on July 20, 2016 - 10:52 am

    Thanks Kristen. This brought back such fond memories of when my 4 fort builders would drag out every pillow and blanket in the house and drive my grandmother crazy. Unfortunately, she was more of a crabby ogre, but in a good way.❤ for you loss.

  12. #17 by Cynthia Herron on July 20, 2016 - 10:56 am

    Kristen, heartfelt sympathies regarding the loss of your beloved grandmother. Prayers for peace and comfort in the days ahead.

    Our kids are only little for a season. Embrace it and give yourself permission to own it.

    Fantastic, out-of-the-park thoughts today! Thank you.

  13. #18 by 1authorcygnetbrown on July 20, 2016 - 11:02 am

    The death of someone special in our life certainly does create a unique perspective, doesn’t it? I Two years ago I lost Dad and two of my siblings within a six month period. Made me realize that life is short and we need to appreciate the fairy dust when it comes along!

  14. #19 by bethanyk on July 20, 2016 - 11:12 am

    I love the pictures and the humor!!

  15. #20 by Jeannie Hall on July 20, 2016 - 12:06 pm

    Reblogged this on Jeannie Hall Suspense and commented:
    Writing not working today? Go build a fort! 😃

  16. #21 by jessicasblog45 on July 20, 2016 - 12:17 pm

    I’m sorry for loss. My grandmother who raised me died when I was 19. I think distractions can be good thing when you are hurting.

  17. #22 by Jeff Lee on July 20, 2016 - 12:17 pm

    Don’t ever turn your back on your inner child. That’s one of the main things that separate creative folk from mere mortals.

    Don’t ever turn your back on your inner wise-ass, either. Hell, SOMEBODY’s gotta be the floor show.
    Fah-dump-bump-bump. Hey, what a night, what a show, what a crowd.

  18. #23 by Patricia Robertson on July 20, 2016 - 12:38 pm

    Loved your pictures of the fort. I have fond memories of building my own forts when I was a kid.
    Sorry to hear about your grandmother’s death. Cherish those memories!

  19. #24 by ellenchauvet on July 20, 2016 - 12:55 pm

    Reblogged this on Erotic Vampire.

  20. #25 by allensrepositoryofstuff on July 20, 2016 - 2:03 pm

    Still having young children at home is a blessing and curse. Sometimes you want to strangle the little heathens and other times you are bragging to your friends about them. I lost my maternal grandfather 16 years ago, and I miss him every day. This was a man that was more father to me than my biological father, and I miss him every day. It took me several years to come to grips with his death, so don’t beat yourself up over taking a week or so to get your stuff together.

  21. #26 by kdrose1 on July 20, 2016 - 2:33 pm

    Reblogged this on authorkdrose and commented:
    Great Post from Kristen Lamb

  22. #27 by Catherine Johnson on July 20, 2016 - 2:52 pm

    I can’t think of a better cheering up idea than a fort. Sorry about your grandma x

  23. #28 by Ellen Hawley on July 20, 2016 - 3:41 pm

    Great fort. Wonderful cat trap.

  24. #29 by Jinxie G on July 20, 2016 - 3:42 pm

    Oh man, my brother and I built some pretty epic forts back in the day. Neither of us ever had kids to pass on the fort-building gene.

    And that video? *dies of the flashback*

  25. #30 by KarlaAkins on July 20, 2016 - 4:02 pm

    My control freakishness ended the day I became the mother of twins with autism. Autism pretty much beats it out of you. And you learn to ride the wave. So glad you took the time to play! Play is just as important as work. And kids will always, always remember how you make them feel.

  26. #31 by Courtney M. Wendleton on July 20, 2016 - 4:05 pm

    Reblogged this on Books and More.

  27. #32 by Penny Taylor on July 20, 2016 - 4:40 pm

    My cousins and I built a log teepee fort back in Kansas. I guess we were about six at the time. After it was all built, we crawled inside (with the spiders and bugs that came with the driftwood from the last flood) and I stuck my head out and asked my Dad (who was supervising this) if he was coming in. Dad got this really strange look on his face. His mouth clamped shut for a moment and then he politely said, “I’ll wait out here.”

    About fifteen years later I was back on that little wooded stretch by my grandparents’ house. I actually found that old teepee fort. And, in an instant, I was thrown back to that day when my dad clamped his mouth shut and said he’d wait outside. The strange look on his face was momentary astonishment. He clamped his mouth shut to keep from laughing. The fort was all of 3 1/3 feet high at most and not that big around. It’s a wonder my cousins and I fit in. Dad certainly wouldn’t have fit. I bet my Dad told that story to his friends for years.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Kristen.

  28. #33 by sharonhughson on July 20, 2016 - 5:21 pm

    A week and a half? I was on Christmas break from my job when my Gram passed (yep. Suckiest Christmas ever and it felt nothing like a break) and I should have taken a few days longer. Grief has no timetable. You are fortunate to be self-employed with clients (I hope) who understand that you wouldn’t be doing them any favors trying to read and edit when your eyes were nearly swollen shut from tears. Good grief!
    Oh the blanket fort days of childhood. We had to build them in our bedrooms because there was NO WAY my mother would have such a disorganized disaster in her living room or dining room. My kids had a bonus room that was basically their playroom and it was home to many multi-room forts in its day. This post brought back memories, made me crack up and tear up. Thanks. This perfectionist is heading out to read Sheila Walsh in the sunshine. Because sometimes…that’s what it takes to restore the mental health necessary for making up (or cleaning up) stories.

  29. #34 by Elizabeth Rose on July 20, 2016 - 6:53 pm

    I am sorry about your grandmother. It is a hard loss, and even harder to be gentle with ourselves and give ourselves the time we need to grieve.

    We were not allowed to build forts in the living room, but we made some really awesome forts in our bedrooms. I remember stripping blankets and sheets off the ed, stealing out to the living room to cart back pillows . . . Some awesome memories.

    My girls are still a little young to build forts, but when they do, I am turning off my OCD (hopefully!) and enjoying building and playing in them with them.

    It’s amazing to me even now how I have come to accept so much more clutter in my life with children. A less than spotless bathroom, and dishes in the sink all to steal a few more minutes with the little ones. Dishes will wait, but memories won’t.

  30. #35 by andfreed on July 20, 2016 - 7:01 pm

    I am very hard on myself and I guess I have to admit to being a bit of a control freak too. So sorry for the loss of your grandmother; my grandmother passed away just over a year ago and I know what a difficult time this must be for you.

  31. #36 by haoconnor on July 20, 2016 - 7:39 pm

    I’ve had my control freak moments, for sure, Kristen, but over time I’ve found they never really got me any closer to my goal. Probably because it’s not the goal of whomever I’m trying to control. Hobbies, deep labor-style breathing, and deliberate nearsightedness have helped me cope a lot and made my life a happier place to be. I wish you many more control-free, lived-in moments! You and your son will both treasure them!

  32. #37 by haoconnor on July 20, 2016 - 7:40 pm

    (Oops, I hit enter before I finished.) Your grandmother would be proud!

  33. #38 by Southpaw, HR Sinclair on July 20, 2016 - 8:42 pm

    Beautiful. Life as it needs to be lived–in a fort with your family…and the cat.

  34. #39 by Deborah Makarios on July 20, 2016 - 9:13 pm

    Love others as you love yourself = love yourself as you love others. So if you wouldn’t lay into a friend for not keeping up with her laundry etc etc when she’d just lost the grandma who raised her, DON’T DO IT TO YOURSELF!!!
    And enjoy that fort. I’m looking at my couch cushions now with a speculative eye.

  35. #40 by acflory on July 20, 2016 - 9:19 pm

    My Offspring is almost 30, but I can still remember the forts and the tunnels made of packing boxes and the worlds of the imagination we enjoyed together. I think your grandmother would be proud. -hugs-

  36. #41 by Mais on July 20, 2016 - 9:37 pm

    I loved reading this! I can totally relate. When I was a teenager I was much more of a control freak and was slowly but surely developing OCD. However, I went to NYC for grad school and being out from morning till night on the dirty subways and in the filthy (yet lovely) streets forced me out of my comfort zone and made me a little less obsessive and my compulsiveness died out on it’s own thankfully. I still do horrible things like hold my phone with a tissue if I’m home and my hands are clean…… (Anyone else? 😆)

  37. #42 by Chris on July 20, 2016 - 11:05 pm

    LOVED this, Kristen. As a writer (but worried I’m not yet “real”), a mother of fort-building, mess-making, chaos-creating boys, and a definite control freak, this post made me chuckle with recognition and brought tears (oldest of my monsters is leaving for college soon). Deepest condolences in the loss of your grandma. And keep sprinkling the fairy dust–it sounds like you are doing everything just right. 😊

  38. #43 by staceywilk on July 21, 2016 - 5:26 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. Sending love and prayers. I applaud your fort and taking the time to build it with your son. Time does fly. My once six year-old son is turning 16 on Sunday and my daughter is 14. I can’t believe all that time has gone by. I’m trying to hold onto all the precious moments I can because they’re leaving the nest and soon. (That’s me sounding like the control freak I am. “holding on” You should see my cabinets. Very organized.) And like you, I beat myself up if I choose housekeeping over writing and I feel like a failure because I don’t have the writing career I want yet. Doesn’t matter how many books I’ve published I’m not happy because I don’t sell enough. And when I do finally sell enough? It will be something else. But I will tell you this, take time for yourself. Or fun. ha ha. It keeps us sane. For a little while.

  39. #44 by Amanda Usen on July 21, 2016 - 7:05 am

    Great post! I’ve learned my lesson the hard way, but I’m not sure I’ll ever live down my nickname: “Spirit Crusher.” However, I married the “Thunder King.” He knows how to bring the fun…even to me! The kids will be okay…except…the kid that is most like me…is irritated by thunder. May have screwed that one up.🙂

  40. #45 by Izrael on July 21, 2016 - 8:01 am

    I would like to offer my condolences for the death of your grandmother and my prayers and thoughts goes to you and your family. I burst out laughing just reading from the first part of your post. Children are indeed magical creatures who speak their minds about anything and everything. It is when they are growing up that they come to realize that certain things are not to be said out loud. Other than that. it seems that your child is having lots of fun with his fort. I know how irritating it can get for someone who is a control freak but at times you just have to let go and let him have his fun. That is exactly what you did in that situation. Great job on the expansion of his fort and I am sure that he enjoyed it more than before. Much love.❤

  41. #46 by Rachel Thompson on July 21, 2016 - 9:26 am

    Being a control freak is a learned thing. It’s often acquired via social influences and easy to fall into if you have a natural proclivity for organization. Learning the psychology behind it is not only good for you, it’s good for your writing. Every writer of fiction should learn as much about psychology as is practical–it’s good for your characterizations. When I worked in management it was my job to control everything and having a good understanding of what makes people tick helped greatly in controlling how and why my people proceeded at work. The same applies to made up people. One can learn to be a control freak or reject it: having knowledge of it makes it a choice and less a compulsion.

  42. #47 by conniecockrell on July 21, 2016 - 9:46 am

    My condolences on the loss of your grandmother. Well done on showing Spawn how to build a proper fort. We did that with our daughter. It was a lot of fun and she had a great time with it until she outgrew it and moved on to the next thing.

  43. #48 by JenniferShelby on July 21, 2016 - 11:41 am

    I was going to leave a comment, but I’ve decided to go make a blanket fort with my kid instead

  44. #49 by Gail Kushner on July 21, 2016 - 1:04 pm

    Thank you for the delightful blog post. It’s good to have a sense of humor. And, I’m sorry to hear how much you are missing your grandmother. Keep her photos close. Hope you feel better soon.

  45. #50 by Josefa Fernanda del Castillo on July 21, 2016 - 4:21 pm

    When my father died I found consolation watching Wings of Desire by Win Wenders, beautiful movie. Regarding Control freak, comes to my mind a popular sentence among scientists: “An experiment is good as its control” hehe.

  46. #51 by Kayla Jayne on July 21, 2016 - 7:02 pm

    I NEEDED to read this today. I’ve been so caught up in all the work we’re doing on the house and alternating between letting the kids be feral when I’m working (which means I’m essentially ignoring them besides an occasional “Cool dude” when they show me a Lego creation) and being so hung up on how they are behaving, how huge a mess they’re making, and how loud they are that I’ve become unfun this summer. Thank you for sharing this.

  47. #52 by Dwane Knott on July 21, 2016 - 8:58 pm

    I used to be a control freak until the first grandchild was born. He showed me that there are times you have to sit back and let life happen. Now there are seven little (some not so little anymore) ones that remind me life needs a little (lot of) chaos to be worthwhile. As the last of my generation, having lost my parents, two brothers and my sister — seeing their love of life has kept me younger than my years.
    Kristen, my condolences on your loss.

  48. #53 by Suzanne Lucero (@S_Lucero) on July 22, 2016 - 6:20 am

    Yep, I built blanket forts with my kids. I rather miss it, actually. Kids are a wonderful excuse to have fun: build forts; color together; help them play with the toys they got for Christmas.

    (It’s the convincing them to help you clean up afterwards that’s problematic.)😉

  49. #54 by KNew on July 25, 2016 - 9:36 am

    Thank you for saying ALL of this. A mother of two, with a few add ons (neighborhood kids), I’m never satisfied with myself.

    If I’m cleaning I should be playing with the kids, if I’m writing I should be cleaning or cooking or grocery shopping. I’m so hard on myself it’s a wonder how I’ve finished two adult novels and drafted a middle grade.

    This summer I decided to let myself off the hook, do what I want (in the name of research, of course) and in three weeks when the kids start school I’m diving back into work. Though I’ve missed writing for extended periods, I’ve made memories with my kids while they still want to hang out with me. I’m repeating JOB WELL DONE over and over and slaying the guilt with child’s play.

  50. #55 by Nikki Brock on July 26, 2016 - 7:37 pm

    Thanks. I needed this. And it’s true about the fairy dust. My boys are 19 and 24. I am fortunate enough to have them with us for the present, and it’s a gift. Mostly.🙂

    Enjoy.

  51. #56 by danfrostwrites on July 27, 2016 - 5:41 pm

    Kristen Lamb Blog 7-20-16

    Why should anyone with your obvious talent be tormented with commonplace household chores? That’s reserved for talentless women who can’t write and interesting grocery list without misspellings.

    Get a good maid for the housework. House cleaners need job security. Delete dirty dishes and laundry from your mind. They are mundane anchors of “Wanta’ Be a Writer” females who use wrinkle creams and other Walmart products with dishpan hands and horrid nails.

    You need teaching, writing and blog completion time. Allow some time for a manicure, massage, and other cosmetology while you contemplate your next post. Stress is a talent killer.

    Have the nanny bring the child in for the hour or so of that required quality time. A while before the scheduled bedtime usually works. Cut the time short if the child misbehaves.

    Child camp is a great idea. The counselors can text you the hospital discharge time if medical attention was needed. The spouse, the nanny or perhaps Uber can pick the adolescent up. Otherwise, children must not intrude on your writing time.

    Shop at the better stores for fashionable clothing. You must always look your best for branding and promotion. You know you make anything vogue, so flaunt it.

    Please blog more about your delectable food creations. Never cook. That’s for those common women who are getting old and fat now. They married Mr. Right to get away from home.

    Mr. Right is now Mr. Left. Those Wanta Be Writers now write about murder. Mr. Left never reads her stuff but has time to watch those pretty weather forecast girls on TV. He should sleep with one eye open, but he’s to stupid.

    Kristen can’t do anything about the Wanta Be Writers, but Kristen writes so well they’ll sacrifice to the chocolate God to imitate her.

    “Ooom bo, ooom bo; Chocolate God oooo; nano-write- mo;
    Chocolate God O (repeat refrain).”

    “There comes a time when you have to be your own hero. By the way, I’m wearing the smile you gave me.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: