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So this is this "FML" you speak of... - saladinahmed
So this is this "FML" you speak of...
Guys, I need a hug. Preferably one filled with done to-do lists, lucrative freelance work, and novel wordcount.

The past year and a half has been filled with wonderful things. Becoming a father to two amazing little human beings. Getting an awesome agent. Selling a trilogy to my #1 most-hoped-for publisher. Award nominations. Short story sales. Translations and podcasts of my work. Fun conventions. You've heard me blabber about these things here, and, form a distance,  it might seem to be all roses and rainbow-farting unicorns.

But it's also been a brutal year and a half on several fronts. The pregnancy was a complicated one. The kids had various non-major but still tough health problems. Even on the best days, caring for them is viciously exhausting. Dayjob-ish work has been scarce. We made a massively stressful move halfway across the country to a place where teaching work is even scarcer. There have been tax and student debt  headaches that I won't even get into. I've had to turn down awesome anthology invites, and even had to flake on one I'd accepted.

We put the twins in daycare part-time when we got to Michigan, and just last week moved them to full-time, at least theoretically. But daycare has brought with it gobs of other-kid germs, and Malcolm and Naima have spent a good part of the last two months sick. My wife is the chief breadwinner, which makes me the first line of childcare. I've thus been in a state of perpetually dropping everything else in order to take care of the kids.

So now Book II is massively behind (though I'm still hoping to keep it on schedule enough that we'll hit the planned pub dates of a new book each February). I can't even find the time to get my finances in order, or to properly *look* for part-time teaching or freelance work, much less *do* said work. One of my freelance jobs is still waaaaaay behind on paying me, and I desperately need the loot for con travel season.  And our new home is a bit of a shambles because neither my wife nor I  have any time or energy to get the place in order. And of course, all of this kid & money & house stress isn't exactly doing wonders for our marriage...

Ok. End whinewhinewhine transmission. There are lots of folks in way worse straits than I am, of course. Mostly, I just needed to let it all out. I guess it's been officially letted...
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daveamongus From: daveamongus Date: May 5th, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sounds rough dude, but I have every confidence you can find your way through. All that stuff, piled together, is massively stressful, but the daycare germ incubation thing tapers off sooner than later, and the kids will likely get less care-intensive even on sick days as they get older. Even the difference between 12 and 18 months can be a big change there...
saladinahmed From: saladinahmed Date: May 5th, 2011 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, man. That's good to hear.
shweta_narayan From: shweta_narayan Date: May 5th, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can only dream of done to-do lists, earnings, and wordcount of any sort at the moment, but I can offer hugs...
saladinahmed From: saladinahmed Date: May 5th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hug happily accepted. I've been off LJ and may have missed an answer to this, but will you be at WisCon?

Good luck w/ the Nebs, BTW!
From: vixyish Date: May 5th, 2011 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you don't mind a hug from someone you really don't know at all...

saladinahmed From: saladinahmed Date: May 5th, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll take what I can get at this point :P

apintrix From: apintrix Date: May 5th, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Having been sick a lot this past year, I know the way that illness (your own or a dependant's) can just suck away All The Time and leave you behind on deadlines, despairing, and exhausted. It's the pits! I hope the viral onslaught ebbs soon. Whine all you want, & hang in there.
saladinahmed From: saladinahmed Date: May 5th, 2011 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Whine all you want"


But thanks :)
dawtheminstrel From: dawtheminstrel Date: May 5th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been where you are, only with one child instead of two, and I don't know how you managed to crawl to the computer to write this entry. I found it was possible to do two things at once -- take care of the kid and write my dissertation, for instance. But three would have been beyond me-- take care of kids, write a novel, and work, for instance. So IMHO, you're in superman territory now.

All I can say is, it gets easier.

I once heard Cory Doctorow say he writes first thing in the morning and his goal is one page. He thinks about it at other times, of course, and if he gets more than one done, that's fine. But one is enough to make progress if he does it every day. I thought that was eminently sane.

I taught at Detroit College of Business (now called something else I don't remember and a crappy place to work) and GMI (now called Kettering in Flint--a good place to work but a long haul). And I TA'd at Wayne State, which is also ok. I'm good friends with the person who supervises the comp program at Eastern. Is that useful? Email me if so.
fjm From: fjm Date: May 5th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was going to say something similar. I tell my students to set manageable goals, a goal that can *always* be reached. Then you always have a moment of satisfaction and that encourages one to continue. Failing at goals leads to losing heart.

Small goals. 300 words a day?
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saladinahmed From: saladinahmed Date: May 5th, 2011 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
::manly man hug::
(Deleted comment)
tithenai From: tithenai Date: May 5th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Wishing you all the best, hon.
saladinahmed From: saladinahmed Date: May 5th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, you. Can't wait to hang at WisCon.
rosefox From: rosefox Date: May 5th, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

It's hard, but you'll get through. I've just been making plans for the Romance Writers of America conference and am reminded that the vast majority of the writers there are stay-at-home parents who managed to write and sell books while taking care of kids and spouses. It is doable, and you can do it.

Hang in there.
saladinahmed From: saladinahmed Date: May 5th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
"the vast majority of the writers there are stay-at-home parents who managed to write and sell books while taking care of kids"

Thanks, Rose. That's precisely what I need to hear again, even if I already know it...
maryvictoria From: maryvictoria Date: May 5th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Much, much, much sympathy. Writing is hard enough. Writing while taking care of kids, let alone twins, is even harder (I knows whereof I speaks.) Writing to deadlines, while trying to juggle kids, a big move and freelance jobs, just sounds like going to hell in one of those pink nylon 70's handbaskets people attached to girls' bikes. :(

I wish I was around to offer babysitting and sympathy... but for what it's worth, on the other side of the world, it DOES get better.
saladinahmed From: saladinahmed Date: May 5th, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I realize it's horribly problematic that I keep hearing the music for those "It gets better" videos in my head, but...
al_zorra From: al_zorra Date: May 5th, 2011 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
You get the hug, several of them.

Am there, do that, though sans the children -- but we're older and thus with energy loss too.

It will get better for you though, certainly. For one the thing, the kids get older too, and get sick less often. That's a huge help.

Best to you and yours, always.

Love, c.
saladinahmed From: saladinahmed Date: May 5th, 2011 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, c.
marthawells From: marthawells Date: May 5th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
big *hugs* I have friends who had twins, so I've seen a little bit of how much work that is.
saladinahmed From: saladinahmed Date: May 5th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thankee! Am I going to see you at Wis or World Cons?
asakiyume From: asakiyume Date: May 5th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
It really will get better.

But this part right now, ughhh, yes. Hard.

Good wishes on all fronts.
saladinahmed From: saladinahmed Date: May 5th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, FF. Hope you're well...
From: ex_triciasu Date: May 5th, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
You don't know me either, but here's a *HUG*

I've been through the small-children-no-money-writing thing, not in precisely the same way, but boy do I know what you mean about send them to childcare and then pay the price in germs. It's not in the disclosure manual about kids. And caring for little people is draining in ways that are hard to even grasp.

I think it's very reasonable to be feeling overwrought, and I hope you will reach out for support wherever and whenever you can get it. On the writing, I don't know what to say except that you have much empathy from me. It is tough, it is hard, but if you can just keep picking yourself up and doing what you can do, you'll get there. I hope your publisher and agent will be supportive, because your career is just getting started and you are an investment. If they are, that's half the battle. OK, at least 25% of the battle *g*

Sending good energy your way.
saladinahmed From: saladinahmed Date: May 5th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm lucky enough to have both a supportive agent and a supportive publisher, on pretty much every level.

Thanks for the positive energy!
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saladinahmed From: saladinahmed Date: May 5th, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hug accepted and appreciated!

Good luck with carving out your own time...
pantryslut From: pantryslut Date: May 5th, 2011 09:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hugs, comrade. Icon just for you.
saladinahmed From: saladinahmed Date: May 5th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! But now I really want a popsicle...
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