Hey fellow mommies!! *waving*
I have to confess something. After I met the fab Emily McKay at RWA National this year, and she invited me to guest blog over here, I responded with, “What would I have to offer to a blog about children? My kids are grown—sort of. That drama is over—sort of. They are 22 and 17.” Emily said, “That’s perfect! Tell us about mommy-ness at that stage.” Okay, she might not have used the word “mommy-ness”, but it was a few months ago so bear with me. J
So as I sit down to write this, I’m thinking, Holy crap, how many stops do I pull out? Because I could scare the heck out of you with some of my teen tales. But hey…we’ve all been teenagers. You know what’s coming.
And you know what? It’s great research. Cheap…well, maybe not cheap. But all I have to do is show up in my kitchen or living room with one of them, and typically I’ll get a good page of blackmail writing ideas out of it.
Our family is a merged one. My husband came with a 13 yr old son, and I came with an 8 yr old daughter, and we never did the yours/mine thing with them. They’re ours, both of them, in all their twisted up glory. They are both great kids, but know how to rip our hearts out. We say our son was invaded by aliens at age 16, because he no longer acted like or resembled the sweet sensitive boy he once was. I’ll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say he created some problems for himself that will forever follow him. He came out the other side, however, and is now an adult with that kind heart again.
My daughter was watching all those years, and while she hasn’t made the same choices, she has her own special touch. Because we are soooooo much alike. When she and I are good, it’s like phenomenally good. We click, we finish each other’s sentences, we share the inside jokes and have the same snarky humor. We can be the best of friends. But when we clash, we clash. Because we have the same trigger buttons that make each other crazy, and her being a freakishly opinionated 25 year old activist in a teenager’s body doesn’t always work to her benefit. She C A N N O T shut up if she feels strongly about something. And that strong feeling gets her TV-less or phone-less or car-less way more often than it should. My husband says she gets diarrhea of the mouth. And that about sums it up.
I miss the days sometimes when that Scooby Doo lunch kit was her biggest worry.
I like to think that raising teenagers gave me my books. Because I couldn’t possibly know so much about sullen, snarky, moody, frustrating teenagers without my kids. My first book, THE REASON IS YOU, spotlights the main character’s daughter, Riley. Riley is sixteen, mouthy, eye-rolling, and way too opinionated. She’s also funny, beautiful, witty, and loves with all her heart. My daughter read it and was like, “We’ve had these same conversations! Oh my God, this is me!”
Yep. Riley came honestly.
And in my second book that comes out Nov 6th, BEFORE AND EVER SINCE, the main character has a twenty-two year old daughter named Cassidy that pulls so much from both my kids that it’s hard to even separate her. My son’s quick hysterical wit and ability to fire up in 1.5 seconds is playing into the character of an eighteen year old son in my current work in progress. My daughter is going into the Navy next summer, so maybe that empty nest journey will show up in a book one day. Or maybe her journey from Hoarder to military bed corners! It’s all fair game!
So as you cuddle your children and enjoy every second of their goods and bads, always console yourself with one indisputable fact.
It’s all writing material. J
Thank you for having me, ladies! I enjoyed it!
Sharla Lovelace is the National Bestselling author of THE REASON IS YOU, BEFORE AND EVER SINCE, and the e-novella JUST ONE DAY. Being a Texas girl through and through, she’s proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her family, an old lady dog, and an aviary full of cockatiels.
Sharla is available by Skype for book club meetings and chats, and loves connecting with her readers! See her website www.sharlalovelace.com for book discussion questions, events, and to sign up for her monthly newsletter.
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