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Debra Broughton

People generally fall into two camps - the easily impressed, who are just grateful that they know someone who calls themself an artist or writer, and the cynical, who only want to know how much you sold that short story for and why your novel isn't out there.

Thankfully, I have a number of friends in a third category - though not writers they are accepting and supportive.


reb, obviously i struck a chord with you. however, your little anecdote here has nothing to do with what i was saying to you a few weeks ago. also, you are easily offended and basically incapable of taking a little criticism, which is why i became so offensive on your blog.

here's the truth: i was merely giving you a little friendly advice directly from my experiences as a poet and parent. when my son was about gideon's age, i neglected him because i too was busy tapping away at my poetry. he would come into my office, play with my mouse and i did my best to shoo him away and put him in front of the television, hence we didn't have a very good relationship after that, and i had to work hard to repair the damage.

of course, my situation was different because i was working full time and trying to cobble together some existence as poet as well. then we had a second child and i swore i wouldn't do what i did to my first child, that my children would only be small for about 5 or 10 years, that they would be the important years where our relationship would be established and nurtured.

so my advice to you is still the same; stay with your child as much as you can. for christ's sake, he's not even two. if you can't even devote four years of your life to your child, what was the point in having him? (devotion, however, doesn't mean you have spend twenty-four seven with the kid, but he should certainly be your primary work at this time because you can afford it, whereas so many of us cannot, and why bother even letting yourself be open to the kind of harsh criticism i laid on you before.)

by the time gideon's ten, he'll pretty much be on his way, and hopefully it's a way that will always include you, his poet momma. and maybe when you're some gibbering old blue-haired banshee, and have squandered all your money writing and self-publishing, gideon won't think back to the days when his momma just couldn't deal with him all the time, because she had more important work to do.

and let me reiterate one thing, i'm not in any way miserable about my life, that i'm in no way even remotely jealous of what you're doing. i don't have a lick of envy in me. i regret nothing, not even fucking with you a few weeks ago, because, trust me, i was laughing the whole time. i still am. i guess we're both assholes.

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