My eldest daughter is five feet, nine inches tall, and at age sixteen she’s still growing. I used to be five feet four inches, but apparently I’m shrinking because I measured in at five feet three inches at my last check-up.
She towers over me.
Tall Child, as she is often called, is adopted and therefore shares no genetic ancestry with us. There’s no telling how tall she’ll get, or whether great height runs in her genes, or if she’s an anomaly.
It’s a strange nickname. Some would say it’s not exactly endearment-like.
I understand the concern of well-meaning folks who think I’m being less than kind when calling my daughter “Tall Child” instead of something more cutesy like “sweetie” or “darling.” It’s just a small part of a very large picture that people don’t understand about a child with special needs.
When we brought her home at age six and a half, Tall Child came with a long list of idiosyncrasies that are very hard to describe. One little habit that quickly became very annoying was that every time I looked in her general direction, she’d ask “What?” in a confrontational, almost fearful way. Even if I simply glanced over my shoulder while driving to see if it was safe to change lanes, she’d think I was turning to confront her.
We worked on this, but for years every time I’d call her, she’d respond defensively. She automatically assumed that, if I wanted her attention, it was because I was going to tell her she’d done something wrong.
Then she grew taller than me. It was a great boon, as I no longer had to get out the kitchen stool just to reach the top shelf.
One day, looking up at something I needed, instead of calling her by name, I called “Oh, Tall Child!”
A miracle happened. Instead of calling back “What?” or showing up hunched over, looking suspicious and defensive, she arrived standing tall, and smiling.
She knew what I needed. She knew I needed her.
It became a term of endearment. When she comes up behind me and leans over to give me a hug and say “I love you Mama,” I say “I love you too, Tall Child.” When I’m addressing her for a random reason, I call her Tall Child. When I need her to do something, I call her Tall Child.
One of the upcoming stories in The Cities of Luna is dedicated to Tall Child. The story is called The Day Lorinda Flew and it’s about a young girl with special needs who firmly believes that chickens, now living on the moon, can learn to fly. Many of the idiosyncrasies in this character come from my own Tall Child.
I’ll write more about that later…
The Fourth Round of Words In Eighty Days For the Year
I’ve been doing this a while now. I know what works. However, round three was marked by writing-related work trumping actual-writing work. I need to figure out how to fix that, and work it into my goals.
The daily word count remains the same:
- 1,000 words is an acceptable day
- 2,000 words is a good day
- more than 2,000 words is a great day
This round includes NaNoWriMo. My daily word counts during November will need to be closer to 2k, which is doable.
Editing, promo, and other writing-related activities are all very important. However, they should not trump actual writing. This was my problem in round three.
For this round, I am creating the general rule that writing-related activities can only trump actual-writing half the time. Weekly, that means that four days of writing is still acceptable, but three days of writing doesn’t cut it. With The Cities of Luna coming out with every full moon, I always have promo to do and I regularly have edits. If I’m ramping up my productivity in the hopes of increasing my earnings from writing, I will need to do writing and promo etc. most days.
I’m doing something different for NaNo prep this year. Yes, I made a few meatloaves and put them in the freezer for easy dinners. But I’m not waiting until November to ramp up my wordcounts. I have learned that if I don’t write for a few days, I have a hard time getting back in the groove. I also know that, by the end of NaNo, writing a lot every single day, I’m usually on fire and easily surpassing 2k every day.
This year I’m going to finish up my current short in The Cities of Luna. (It’s about a mermaid on the moon…with our current schedule, it won’t be out for at least six months or so.) Then, I’m going to write an Urban Fantasy novella in three parts, The Beekeeper’s Mother. This story has been in my head a while. I almost decided to do it for NaNo, even though it’s a novella and I’d have to add another project to make it count for NaNo. Then again, that’s kind of against the spirit of NaNo, which is to get a complete novel of 50k written in one month, not a couple of 25k novellas. I’m stretching the rules as it is, because I began Steamship Troopers a couple of years ago. However, I only got to 3k before switching to outline/note-making mode because I needed to figure out the arc for the entire five-book series. Last year’s novel was Night on Bald Mountain, which is the fifth book. Steamship Troopers is the first.
I’m hoping that I can do a lot of good work these last few months of the year. Prep this month, NaNoWriMo next month, and then in December I have some major promo around The Cities of Luna not to mention the holiday season.
Maybe I’ll rest in January.
Who’s doing NaNo this year? What genre?