So, apparently there’s this thing among bloggers where they “tag” each other on their blogs and get each other to answer a series of questions. It’s like a chain letter, except that you not only answer it, you make other people read it, too! When my (Jac’s) friend Jenn at youpinspireme.ca tagged me to do one of these, I considered just ignoring her. But then I remembered that she has been VERY helpful to me in starting up this blog and figuring out twitter and reminding me of the difference between a web host and a website builder, and I’m worried that if I ignore her, she’ll start to ignore me. But more importantly, I found that I really ENJOYED reading her answers. I got to know my friend Jenn a little better, and that was nice! I decided to do it, and I also recruited Juli to answer the questions too, so if you like this, you’ll be doubly happy. And if you don’t, you can be annoyed with BOTH of us, which is just the way I like it.
1. What am I working on?
Jac: I’m working on being more patient. I’m working on complaining less. I’m working on finding time to exercise. But for my blog I’m working on not having so much fun with it (and with social media in general) that I totally lose touch with the rest of my life. So I guess you could say that I’m working on maintaining eye contact with my family members and keeping a handle on my laundry pile.
Juli: In all seriousness, I am currently working on a poem about pee on the bathroom floor, and how I long for the day that my bathroom is pee-free. I am also working on a large cup-o-candies that my husband brought me from a late-night run to 7-eleven. And if you were wondering, the answer is yes. They are delicious.
2. How Does My Work Differ from Others of the Genre?
Jac: There are actually quite a few blogs like ours out there, but the fact that Juli and I have each other makes this one different. We really “get” each other’s sense of humour and parenting style, even (and especially) in online chats, and it’s been fun to share ideas with each other and to share our conversations with our Bloopies. What also sets us apart, I think, is the line we try to walk between honesty and complaining. Mostly, we make fun of ourselves and each other a lot, which we think is funny, even if no one else does.
Juli: I like to think that we keep it light, fun and funny at TwoFunMoms. There are heavy (and heady) opinions all over the interweb; lots of comparisons, lots of information, and lots of choices presented for parents to make, which I think often have us all feeling overwhelmed, and guilty, because we are SO ready to believe that we’re doing it all wrong. I think we need a break, a laugh-break, in the midst of the day’s craziness, and that’s what Jac and I try to put out there. The BEST compliment I have ever received about the blog, which I think sums up exactly what we are trying to do, was given to me by another parent, who has two very small children. She said that she would read our blog posts in the midst of her day’s chaos, and it helped to lighten her mood right there, in the moment, even with both children melting down around her. The idea that we could give parents a solidarity break—a “you’re not alone” when they are feeling SO alone, is exactly why I want to do this. Also it’s fun, and helps me to get the chaos out of my own system. Very cathartic.
3. How do I Write / Create What I Do?
Jac: When I have an idea, I have to write it down immediately. I just word-vomit it all out onto a computer, or a journal page, or a napkin … usually in point form. Then when I get the chance, I write it out in big-people sentences. When it comes time to publish it, I “edit” it approximately 97 times until I’m happy with it. I sometimes don’t think I’m actually a writer; I’m just an editor of my own words.
Oh, and I also think about what I should write when I’m supposed to be doing other things. The other day I got off the freeway at the wrong exit because I was thinking too much. I hope they don’t start handing out tickets for that!
Juli: Usually when the thing that I am drawing inspiration from is happening, in real time (my kid said something hilarious, or is peeing all over the bathroom floor—stuff like that), I grab my phone and quickly write a word or a sentence (whatever I have time for, before pee is tracked onto the carpet, for example) that will help me remember that moment, to conjure up the feelings and frustrations and humour of that moment, later, when the kids are in bed and I actually have time to write about it.
4. How Does Your Writing / Creative Process Work?
Jac: I mostly write with a computer on my lap, on the couch, when I should be in bed. Then, when it’s finished, Juli edits my work for me, which is SO helpful, and then I save what I’ve done until it’s time to post it online.
As far as pictures for the blog are concerned, I take pictures with my iPhone, or my regular old digital camera, and we generally have a no-filter, no-photo-shop style around here. This blog is about finding the hilarious in the mundane, and presenting life as it is. I kind of feel like if people think, “Wow, what a gorgeous picture!” they might not notice that the kid in the picture has her finger up her nose. Plus, photo editing takes time and talent, and I’m much more worried about the word editing.
Juli: I sit on the couch with my husband (you know, “quality time”), and write, and snack, and watch a show, and play a candy-match game, and then write some more. Eventually I will fall asleep, and at that point, the writing is done for the night. When my turn to post is coming up (usually a day or two before), I will send the post to Jac, so she can add what I like to call her “Jacqueline Sparkle,” meaning she edits all of the grammar mistakes and “proper” writing particulars that she is so good at seeing, and makes suggestions for ways to improve the post. I am free to accept or reject these suggestions, but usually they are great and I keep them—we have discovered that we are of one mind about many things, such as what is funny and what is not so funny (but maybe SEEMED funny to me, very late at night). After she sends it back to me I make my final edit, and then try to think of a picture that sums up the spirit of the post, and a caption for that picture. Then I post, sit back, and wait for all of the accolades to roll in … from Jac’s family members. (Just kidding. But they are wonderful! So encouraging!) (Jac here. This is usually true. But also, my mom only likes us on Facebook because she forgot to log out one time when I was over there so I “liked” us on her behalf. I wonder if she’s noticed yet.)
Now that we’ve answered, we’re supposed to nominate three other bloggers to do this, too. Because of how it’s a chain letter blog tour, remember? I nominate:
– Louise Chapman at talknerdytomeblog.com. Louise and I played football together (really!), and it was awesome. She writes a blog that got her nominated for the VancouverMom.ca top 30 Ultimate Blogger competition. And she was a runner up! So she’s basically famous, and you should check out her blog!
– Kara Overton at karathenovel.blogspot.ca, a fellow mommy blogger I “met” on twitter. I love her blog. She is totally honest and vulnerable, and she is definitely a capital-w Writer; her posts are so beautifully written, personal and universal at the same time. I hope she answers these questions so I can get to “know” her better.
– Amanda Arneill at focusingonmiracles.com. Amanda is a cousin of a friend of mine, and she started her blog to record their family’s journey with her daughter’s rare heart condition. She has continued to do this as her daughter has gotten older, and now she recently had another baby that her readers (like me!) can watch grow up. Amanda may not have time to answer these questions anytime soon, but maybe she’ll be relieved that this gives her something positive to blog about, because having a new baby and a two-year-old at the same time can make you want to write negative things. I should know.