Gears of Writing

The drive down for holiday and the drive back was interspersed with breaks for Costco hot dogs, refilling the petrol tank, pee breaks for everyone and hoping that Pup’s screaming didn’t send all the souls that inhabited The Silver Egg (our tired old ’05 Dodge Grand Caravan) into mental oblivion.

For future reference, Pup is our son of 18 months old, Butterfly is our threenager daughter, and Lightning is our five-year-old son that runs everywhere and can’t sit still for two seconds without some sort of arbitrary motion involved. He doesn’t fidget, it’s just that he needs to burn off the excess energy. Maybe we should somehow link him to the van and then it’ll technically be a hybrid.

As we were driving along, listening to the constant bickering and screaming in the back as if it was a fatalistic orchestra with ‘90’s emo problems, the thought of a blog kept on hopping into my mind. It was discussed on our vacation and it was something for me to chew over. I had been a freelance writer with Postmedia for about a year and a half before financial concerns halved the amount of pages of the publication that I was writing for. The half that was discarded included me, so now I was officially un-self-employed. Which opened up the opportunity of freelance writing somewhere else.

I wrote for Suite101 back in the day for a while before it got a bit ill, as Google changed its mystical algorithms and put the final nails in the coffin of those who sought to be able to write so-called articles about curing cancer with nothing but a piece of cheese and twirling an umbrella three times in the direction of a passing sparrow and then hoped to be paid actual, real money for it. I wrote a bunch of reviews for various computer games and albums and then basically gave up on the whole affair because Mrs. C was getting worried that I was doing way too much work for nothing more than views and a pittance. She was right.

The best first step is to write for yourself, always for yourself. You don’t write for somebody else if it’s going to be a personal blog because otherwise it’ll fall flat on its face, figuratively speaking. Editors of various freelancing places will ask for pitches and for things to be addressed within an article and that’s fine as it’s their magazine. So, step two is don’t mess with the editor, as he or she is correct in all things, even when they call the sky purple.

The sky IS purple. Stop being silly for thinking that it’s some other colour.

I’m my own editor. Win-win. If I really thought that the sky was actually purple, then I would need to check for wet patches on the sofa and see if it would be a good idea to book myself into a home.

Matt and Amber (the lovely people over at suggested something along the lines of a Dad blog. ‘There’s not enough of them,’ said Amber. The rusty gears inside my head started churning away and yes, it would work, if I was truthful. Not honest, as people don’t actually like that. If this was an honest blog then everything would be obscene, the writing would be incoherent, a rant that would go on for 15,000 words and I’d be introduced to a home where I could compare pills with old people all day long.

I’m Not Your Mommy was born from this. Not from comparing pills but from knowing that there is a need for a half-decent Dad blog with half-decent writing where “you’re” is used correctly instead of “your” or, even worse, “ur”.

I’m unemployed. 93% of Canada is unemployed, give or take 85% or a British referendum. I’m a Dad. I don’t know the statistics on this but I do know that to make a Dad blog you have to have at least that qualification in order to be legit. Otherwise you need an Uncle blog or something, or a Second Cousin Twice Removed blog, but we’re heading into the niche areas here.

More to the point, there are plenty of people out there who have recently lost their jobs and now have to somehow co-exist with their nearest and dearest. They didn’t have to before, as the seemingly turgid eight hours a day was basically a holiday camp before they came back to the melodrama that they called ‘home’. This time, they may have to cook, not just get something from the canteen, or A&W. The EI payments will not be able to afford that and a mortgage, golly, no.

I can make a great cup of tea, amazing toast and I’ve just leveled myself up to a Level 1 Cook by Googling how to make perfect scrambled eggs. As you can probably tell, I didn’t like Home Economics, I preferred History instead. If Mrs. C gets herself a job, then our kids won’t survive long on my extremely basic cooking skills. I guess I always wanted to learn how to cook properly and maybe, just maybe, acquire something for it which is vaguely enthusiastic.

It’s not like I don’t have the time…

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