Nanowrimo: Writing a Mom

frazzled mom

So for the month of November I am going to be posting sections of my book so hopefully I can edit a little along the way.  As I have previously said on the blog there are 2 main characters, Marnie and Becca.  Becca is a stay at home Mom, army wife with 4 kids.

I want to share with you my introduction to Becca.  As I’ve never been a stay at home Mom can all of you give me some feedback?  I’d really appreciate it.  You can message me if you feel more comfortable.  Don’t worry about offending me.  I’ve got very thick skin.

I haven’t had a chance to go over grammar so this is mainly on character and realism of the scene.

I will also be posting my introductory scene of Marnie probably tomorrow.  Fun!

So here goes, Becca:

Becca introduction

“Sir take a look at the scene?” Spencer says as he shows me the human view screen.  I can see Marnie and Becca.   They both look like they have been run over by a horse.  Tired, haggard, worn out.

Becca is at her home surrounded  by her four kids.  “Mommy,  TJ won’t leave me alone.  He’s bothering me”

“That’s not true.  Julie won’t stop bothering me” says JT

“Ugh.  Would you both stop bothering me!  Geesh.  Could the 2 of you get along for one second!”  Becca says with a hint of sarcasm.

“Mom, I have a book on hold at the library.  Can we go pick it up?” Callie her 8 year old was brilliant but very persistent when she had a request.  “Can we?  Can we?”

“I don’t know.  Cal.  I will try.  Can you go with a friend?  I have to make dinner?”

“Wa, wa, wa, wa”  The baby Addie falls and bangs her head as she crawls into the kitchen.

“Mom, can we go.  Can we go?”

“Callie if you ask me one more time we are never going”

“What.  That’s not fair”  Callie begins to cry and storms off.   Grabbing the baby  Becca tries to calm her and kiss her forehead.

“Poor thing.  Here’s some kisses”

“JT pulled my hair”  Julie yelled pulling at Becca’s skirt.

“Look you go to your room, and you go to your room” pointing at JT and Julie.  “I need you to think of how lucky you are to be a part of a family.  Your father is counting on you to keep our family going while he’s away”

Becca’s husband is in the army and was on the tail end of a service deployment sent to help at Hurricane Teresa in Mississippi.  While grateful that her husband had the chance to serve other people and the country sometimes she wished he could serve her more.  Being a single Mom was hard.

“Look everyone the babysitter is coming and I am going to come in an hour and you are all to be on your best behavior. You’ve got it?”

Seemingly right on cue the phone rings.  “Mom” “JT says.  It’s for you!”

“Hi Mrs.  Richmond it’s Claire and I’ve got a temperature and don’t think I can make it tonight.  I’m sorry”

Becca’s heart sunk “What?  How come you didn’t’ call sooner? Now it will be too late to get anyone else?”

“I’m sorry but I kept hoping I would feel better.  I really am sorry”  Claire says with a cough into the phone.

“That’s Ok.  I hope you feel better.  Take care.  Bye”

“Bye”

Becca didn’t know if she was going to cry or scream.  Tonight was to be her night off.  Her night off to spend with her friend Marnie, her best friend from the time she was 8 years old.  Lately it had seemed like they were living such different lives and they hadn’t seen each other for months.  Something like this would always happen.

As she began to call Marnie’s number Addie pulled at the phone and began to cry.  Babies seemed to know when they were just being held and not the center of attention.  Everything was a mess.  Everyone in the house basically hated her at the moment and her long anticipated relief was going down the tubes it was almost too much.

“Hi Marnie.  I have bad news”

Chapter 3

“Bad news?”  Marnie would like to say she was surprised by Becca’s call but she’d learned to never buy tickets in advance for anything with her best friend.  Reliable was not her middle name.

“You have to be kidding!”

“No.  The babysitter called and she’s sick.  There isn’t time to find anyone else.  The kids are all upset and I have to make dinner.  I’m really sorry”

“This is the 3rd time you have canceled on me.  It’s not easy for me to free up time in my schedule” Marnie begins to say and then changes her tone not wanting to cause a scene “It’s ok.  I understand”

“Let’s keep trying”  Becca said in an exasperated tone.

“Ok.  Love ya”

“Love ya back”

11 thoughts on “Nanowrimo: Writing a Mom

  1. In addition to being a veteran, I’m also a former military wife SAHM. By the time I had 4 kids (aged 8, 5, 2, and under 1), I had the “single mom” thing well in hand, as did the other women who had this many kids in this age range. Moms with this many kids have figured out long ago how to make a household work: Their middle name is of necessity Reliable. The women we knew who had problems adjusting to their role as military wives were the very young ones, who had moved away from their origins for the first time, usually only had one kid, and sometimes one under the belt.

    It’s also unlikely that a military wife in this situation is going to be spending time with a friend from her childhood, because by this time, she has already managed three long-distance transfers (two “out” and one “in”; at this point, mine had been from Maryland to Alaska, to Hawaii, and then to Virginia), and she’s not living anywhere near the people in her past. Military families at this stage of life who don’t accompany their active-duty member on transfers, and who stay in their communities of origin, not only have the single parent thing down pat, but also they have their extended family network in place to help support them.

    The kind of personal and family situation you’re describing here is not that of an active-duty Army member’s wife and family, but that of a woman who’s husband has recently joined the National Guard, and she’s still not used to her Weekend Warrior’s periodic 2-week deployments. But if she is living in her hometown, she still has her extended family support, mentioned above (especially if she has been married long enough to have 4 kids aged 8 and under).

    1. Thank you for the feedback. That’s interesting. I must admit I invented the army wife thing to get rid of the husband because when the women switch places he cant be there. I think the national guard idea may be a better way to go. Thanks!

      1. It’s an interesting premise for a story. You seem to be comfortable with writing dialogue, so with just a bit of factual and psychological tweaking of the back story, the characters’ backgrounds and their current behavior, I think you can pull it off.

      1. It hasn’t been an easy life, but it’s been interesting. We had the sister missionaries over for dinner tonight, and they were flabbergasted to find out that 35 years ago I was a spy, and had been stationed at a government intelligence organization that’s been in the news lately. (No, I don’t have to shoot anybody, now. That statute of limitations has expired.)

        1. I’m not anywhere near par on word count, yet, but that’s how this works for me. It’s kind of like planting ivy: “First you weep…then it will creep…then it will LEAP.”

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