Tag Archives: writing

dadswork

Cool Dad and I had a great conversation on our way home from the Old Sturbridge Village outdoor museum yesterday about urban homesteading, which is doing things the old-fashioned way and living simply. My fascination with this idea has increased since moving to NYC and learning to live in a small space without many modern conveniences. Heck, before we moved here I didn’t even know how to warm up leftovers on the stove without a microwave! We’re certainly not roughing it by any means, but after doing laundry, dishes, and all family haircuts personally by hand, I feel I can relate just a little bit to those 18th century New Englanders we  learned about at OSV.

If it weren’t for Cool Dad, I’d probably be living in a tiny house lit by candle chandeliers, wearing a little brown dress, and living off of avocados and coconuts from my backyard. (Notice none of these are strenuous outdoor activities.) Okay, and maybe I’d have the internet too. Overall, the self-sufficiency of the early settlers is inspiring!

Meanwhile, my husband would much rather be composing a song or a story than cranking the handle of our Wonderwash. He also says he’d rather our kids do something creative instead of helping me do household tasks the time-consuming way (but think about the moral lessons they’d be learning about hard work!). According to CD, God has extended his grace to people through the invention of electric washers and dryers! By accepting this invention, CD says we can have more time for creative pursuits like music and art.

With the extra free time, I speculated that modern conveniences could also give us more time to serve people in our community. Instead of hours spent doing things myself, I could be (theoretically) doing something that helps our neighbors. But then again, the conveniences of factory-produced goods come at a cost–factory workers are often treated poorly, the environment suffers, and consumers have to pay financially and physically for over-processed food that endangers their health.

Perhaps modern homesteaders can serve their communities by making products for their neighbors so that it’s not just about serving themselves? Just like they did in the old days!

And maybe we can all be partial homesteaders in the realms of life that are particularly meaningful to us? In that case, we WONDER if we should retire the Wonderwash (hehe, couldn’t resist). My passion for healthy and real food is much stronger than my passion for clean laundry. My form of homesteading should probably be something like homeschooling and making healthy snacks for my family and our neighbors while Cool Dad does his literary and musical homesteading to change the world. Get out that quill and ink, CD!

What do you think? Is homesteading in modern times mostly about oneself, or can it be used for the common good? And the big question–would a bit of urban homesteading chores make Cool Baby and Cool Newbie more cool or less cool as adults?

welcome

clinton_laughingLately, I’ve been feeling so unfunny that it’s laughable. It’s a result of this terrible habit that I have of comparison. Since I’m working on a book about our New York adventure, I started to read up on the publishing industry and see what books line up with what we’re trying to do. During that research, I stumbled across comedic memoirs that garnered glowing reviews that exclaimed

“…in hilarious fashion…”
“…a hysterical ride…”
“…this is what it would be like if God told jokes…”

I was intimidated and disheartened. There’s no way that I can compete that kind of talent. I might get a “You’re funny” once a week and most times it’s actually directed toward a taller, funnier guy standing behind me.

So, after a day of moping, God decided to snap me out of it. I was riding the elevator down with my co-worker, who has a bum knee. The elevator stopped and a girl got on. I mentioned to my co-worker that she should rent a wheelchair for an upcoming trip to Washington, DC. She said that she had a cane. After a beat, I replied, “Does it have an eight-ball on top of it?

She laughed, and the new girl held in a guffaw and compressed it into a very amused smile. I still got it.

I left the building with a renewed confidence. I don’t have to compare and compete. There are plenty of laughs to go around. As long as I am true to the mind and voice that God gave me, as well as keep dreaming up pimp-related jokes, then I’ll be alright.

notebooks

A few months ago, I contributed an article to The Creative Revolutionary’s Handbook (now called Ocsplora), a blog started by my friend Nate. The article is called Finally Start Writing Your Screenplay, but as one commenter said

I’ve never had much interest in screenwriting (although I feel like I want to after reading this), but most of what you said applies to any kind of creative effort…

so hopefully the post will be an encouragement to anyone crafting a written work. Check it out and let me know of any ways that you get motivated to write.