Failure, False Starts and Wednesday

Photo: This was the view outside of my kitchen window yesterday. I sent it in response to Zeudytigre’s lovely tweet of the first dandelions in her garden. Massachusetts is just a cold, sad place right now.


You know me to (generally) be an optimist.

But today? Today is a half-empty kind of day. Actually, a totally empty kind of day.

That’s right, dear reader, my typical Millennial over-the-top whimsical optimism is depleted.


Tomorrow? We might be cool.

But today? Today? Today I’m done.

There are workmen in my house today, finishing the last little bits of electrical work that have to be done. That is all well and good, as we’re down to the last little itty bitty tasks, but then again, the intrusion means an interruption to routine, dust all over the place, footprints all over the place… I just established my “standard of clean” for this house and poof, in a day, it’s gone. Mind you, my dear sweet mother-in-law (the one who gave me the mop for Christmas, bless her little stone heart) will be here on Saturday.

More importantly, I’m feeling a little discouraged because we’ve started potty training in earnest and it has been slow going to say the least. I don’t feel like a failure often, but every time I have to change Ursa Major’s Easy Ups (after sitting on the potty for 15 minutes having produced no… product…) I just feel a little  deflated. He’ll sit there all day and do nothing. He’ll sit with Daddy and do something but then for some reason, I’m the one stuck changing icky Easy Ups. Thank God it’s school vacation week, so I didn’t have to deal with trying to get him on the potty AND get us out the door for preschool… but next week is going to be a monster. And for what? I don’t think we’re doing this right. At all. And I already know that I just have no patience for it. Did I mention that Ursa Major is the most stubborn person I know? Even more stubborn than his father, who is now the second most stubborn person I know.

Ursa Minor has decided that sleeping through the night isn’t his thing anymore. He woke up three times last night for no reason, and The Husband and I alternated going in to soothe him. Of course, he settled in for a deep sleep around 7am, just in time for me to get my day started. I was going to get up at 5:30 this morning to write, but couldn’t because I was too busy consoling a 21-month old.

And since we’re on the topic of writing…

I sent my short story to Lightspeed last week. My first submission ever. I was feeling really awesome about having done that, though this last 6 weeks really has been consumed with creating that story. In the end, after getting feedback from my group, I came to a conclusion: I’m a Literary Fiction kind of girl. I’m hanging out with these genre writers (sci fic, fantasy, horror) who write a particular way and enjoy a particular structure, but that’s not really how I write. I do enjoy reading genre fiction from time to time, but I mostly read literary fiction and I write in a literary fashion. What does all that mean? Well, I’m still looking forward to my hearty rejection from Lightspeed, first and foremost. Second, I’m probably not going to waste my time writing for genre markets anymore.

And then there is the worst news of all. Remember that novel I wrote in November?

Yeah, it’s awful. I mean, I knew it was going to be awful, but that was ok, because I was going to edit it. But no, it’s awful. It’s embarrassing. There are few parts that are salvageable. I might as well have wasted the entirety of November scratching my behind. I figured out that my novel was a wreck just before I submitted my short story to Lightspeed, but now that I have nothing else to do but think about editing this novel, I can’t be in denial any longer. I really need to burn this thing down and start over from Word Zero. So, my Worthy Challenge has hit a bit of a major, major set back. Fatal? I’m refuse to say die.

I know, I know… I wrote something nice and profound on Monday (the response has been a little overwhelming. 367 hits on Monday, another 100 yesterday, and thank you to the many who commented! and here I am today just a complete mess. I’ll tell you, I think that the weather has finally gotten to me. We got another 8 inches of snow yesterday. There is snow falling outside of my window right now (and we weren’t even supposed to get anything today). Something around 3 feet of snow covers my entire life right now. I’m so depressed. To make it worse, the weathermen keep reminding us that Spring “is a month away” and the 10 day forecast has 50s tomorrow and Friday but 20’s all next week.


20s means another week in this house. Just in this house. With two babies who are just as bored as I am. I’m dying for some natural Vitamin D, a sweet breeze, and endless blue skies. And a playground… because I’d love to see my boys go use their energy doing something other than drive me bonkers.

I will do my best to find some sort of better mood between now and Friday. I’m going to make it a point to try to get a picture of one of the foxes who live under my barn. I’ve seen, I believe, two different foxes, but I cannot be certain. They have been quite industrious in the snow. There are, also, two rabbits. The rabbits concern me much more than the foxes, as I’m never going to be able to plant anything as long as they are around. Do foxes eat rabbit? Does anyone know? I’ll pray for a lunch date if they do.

See you Friday for Quiet (Optimistic) Thoughts.



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Sorry friend!! Potty training is the WORST. One thing that worked for one of my kids is the timer. It was a last resort. I put him in underwear (no pull-ups) I gave him the timer (max 1 hr. limit) and let HIM set it. Most of the time, he would turn it to around 20 minutes…sometimes he would go all the way to an hour. When it went off, we sat on the potty. I also let him drink a lot of Sprite and juice (something he normally doesn’t get) so that he would pee more than normal. Let me tell you, the timer thing was like a miracle. It was something about letting him have the control. Maybe it will work for you?

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      I must say, if I could afford it, I would spend stupid money to pay someone to do this for me. This is, hands down, the most annoying thing I’ve had to deal with as a parent so far. More annoying than the late night feedings, more annoying than the throwing up when boys are upset, more annoying than the awkward mom-talk on the playground. I. Hate. Potty Training. With a passion. I hate it.

      I will try your timer method. I really like that idea. I’ll do anything to make something happen. Let me try that tomorrow and see if we have any success. And maybe he’ll get a little extra apple juice tomorrow to help make him go… Thank you for the tip!

  2. Miriam Joy says:

    Ugh, it’s awful when you read something through and that sense of failure just settles through your bones and turns all your blood into sludge and ‘How did I ever think this would work out?’ becomes the number 1 thought in your head. I can very much sympathise. I hope you figure out what to do with the novel.

    But nothing is ever useless. Because a) terrible writing is practice for better writing, b) terrible novels can be fodder for better novels, and c) you can always steal sentences and dialogue and minor characters.

    One of my very first novels was a complete disaster, absolutely terrible, but last year I wrote a totally new book based on the concept of that first one and it wasn’t too bad, actually. Okay, so it might make it kinda tricky to hit your publishing goal, but that doesn’t mean it’s a lifelong disaster, so don’t panic! 🙂

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      Thanks, Miriam! My writing group said a lot of what you said, and then they were like “YOU SHOULD JUST ART HARDER!!!” And I was like, “waaaaahhhh!”

      I’m not panicking yet, but I’ll tell you, this was a blog that has shaken me a little bit. I have ideas and now I’m afraid to try them. I look at my calendar and then my perfectionist side kicks in: “Would you even WANT to create such a work so quickly? Obviously, writing a novel with so little time left will just produce more crap. That would be embarrassing and useless. That’s not what you want to put out there, right?”

      I’m going to spend this weekend shaking it off and then get back on the horse like whoa on Monday.

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