My Own Manuscript Mothering Troubles

8:00 AM

A character mommy must be ready to sacrifice part of her sanity.

Especially when she has a large brood of literary children that insist on growing up faster than what she is ready for.

*hears a crash and yelling from the other room*

Oh no, not again. *scrambles to find the cause of the disturbance*

*Catherine shouts offstage: HEY! What is going on SOI, do me a favor and stop....White Rose PLEASE! I've got this! No, Fair Winds, you may NOT bring that character onstage, now escort him to the stage door, we're about to begin here!* 

*Catherine returns to the stage, a little discomposed.*

My darling friend and fellow manuscript mother Megan Chappie @ The Pen and the Cross created a post about her writerly mother woes, which you can find HERE.

And as a fellow sufferer of writerly mother woes myself, I decided to try her cure for it.

And now let me introduce my brood of manuscripts....

~ The Adult Daughter Threatening to Move Out ~

The White Rose

Besides her brief terrible twos, my biggest girl has been a joy to draft. She is a persistent overachiever who goes through life with a heart-warming smile. She is well-received in public and holds herself well. She dresses with taste, has talents to spare, and loves a good game.  
But alas, all children must spread their wings and she is now testing hers. She used to be a content homebody like all of my other children. But lately, she's been getting restless. She realizes her life isn't really gaining much traction and is crying to branch out on her own. I was close to sending her for an extended visit to the Beta Boarding School, but found through trusted Alphas that she was not ready for such a long journey. She isn't bearing it well, I'm sorry to say. 

~ The Seemingly Innocent Teenage Girl ~

Fair Winds

This girl has her life together. She gets her homework done, she keeps her room clean, she doesn't keep secrets. I would not be surprised if she made honor roll when she graduates. 
The only thing that worries me is the company she keeps. She brings home these really disreputable characters - guys wearing black with multiple piercings and girls with skull bracelets that reek of tobacco smoke. I've even caught some bad language exiting my little girl's mouth, which she was promptly grounded for. 
I can only pray that she finds a decent guy that puts her into better company before she's corrupted forever....   

~ The Sulky and Angsty Pre-Teen Girl ~

Hidden Seeds

They say that pre-teens are prone to mood swings, but this girl hasn't swung to the sunny side in years. If she isn't brooding, she takes things and pitches them...somewhere. I'm lucky my collectibles haven't been totally smashed. Her room is a train-wreck of torn clothes, apple cores, dried plants and defaced books and features a huge Welsh flag on the wall. I think she might have picked a couple of fights with her younger siblings too.  
The other day, I managed to make the suggestion that she get interested into some mythical apples. I think it's the first time I've seen her voluntarily open a book in a long time....

~ The Scrappy Elementary Girl ~ 

From the Cave

She may be buried into her shiny old cellphone, but don't let this girl's current quietness fool you. The minute she opens her mouth, it's nothing but snark. She's a defiant little thing and puts up a heck of a fight if she wants to. She's destined to inherit characters, places and conflict from her sister novel The White Rose and she couldn't be less thrilled to get those hand-me-downs. But once I teach her some sewing tricks, I betcha I'll finally get a smile on her face. 

~ The Mud-Splattered Little Guy ~

Plain and Simple Truth

This little guy has just graduated from the nursery and he's been getting into trouble every since. He won't use his letters. He leaves little muddy prints all over my kitchen. He blasts that toy fire engine's siren until I'm ready to take the batteries out. He especially likes to take all my neat little chapter lists for him and spills his drink all over them. I take great relief when he takes a nap because every time he's awake means extra frazzle to my poor nerves.  

~ The Sleeping Twins ~

"Shattered Chandelier" and "Rose of Culmore"

These two little toddling twins never seem to be separated from each other. They came into being together, they went to sleep together. Their personalities are so different though. You have Chandelier, who's grubby little paws always reach for the nearest electronic device. And then you have Rose, who joyously bangs on her little pot and spoon. 
That is, when the two of them are awake. Chandelier is right now contentedly sucking his thumb and Rose is snuggled with her little blankie in their little crib. I've had them out in the stroller as they sleep and fans have been asking for them to wake up and show more of their adorable tricks.
 But the truth is...I'm not ready for them to wake up just yet. 

~ The Wide-Eyed Baby ~ 

Ancora Spei

This little boy never really talked, never really demanded Mommy's attention except for a few brief weeks when he was drafted for a senior class project. He pays attention especially to the world around him, he barely even glances at the people around him. He will occasionally reach for a little plane or Mommy's rosary like other babies...but those eyes, they never stop drinking in what is around him. 
Will he ever walk or talk? I don't know. I hope he never loses his wonder at the world though.

*Catherine takes deep breath* 

FTC: WE'D like to say something. 

*Catherine's stomach twists*

You do?? 

HS: Yes, we do. How come us older children are left to stay like this while White Rose and Fair Winds get to grow up?
FTC: YEAH! I was born before White Rose was! How come I'm so small??
SC and RC: *start rubbing eyes* 
PST: I was the first baby! Why I--
HS: You were NOT. 
HS: You had your name changed, you don't count. 
AS: *starts reaching for the toy plane in Mom's hand* 
FW: Well, if you would stop fighting with Mom, you would get to grow up like us! 
TWR: Will you all be quiet! I've got to talk to Mom, she has to help me fix my plot! 
HS: There she goes again! Stealing all the attention! When do WE get a turn, Mom?! 

Some day, my little ones....some day....

Scribbingly yours, 


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  1. I love that you describe it as mothering your story...I tend to be a lot less mothering to my characters or my stories. (Considering that I put my characters through extreme torture sometimes or turn them into animals merely for the fun of it...) And that is awesome that The White Rose has grown up some much! :D

  2. OMW, Catherine this post was amazing. X'D X'D

  3. Well, we all hope our books will someday grow up and go forth into the world and all, this was funny!

  4. Oh my gosh this makes me so happy. ALL YOUR CHILDREN ARE SO ADORABLE. May I hold Ancora Spei for awhile?--and if Rose and Chandelier wake up before you're ready, I'll be more than thrilled to babysit.

    (I especially love how the kids are indignant that TWR is growing up first even though she wasn't born first. My own children relate. It's a legitimate issue.)

    But FAIR WINDS. Her description may well have been my favorite. Gotta have a talk with this girl. Hopefully she finds a gent who's both fascinating AND virtuous...

  5. This is hilarious! Manuscripts really are like children.

  6. Oh, my gosh... now I gotta do it. This is too much fun!


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