Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Emotional Rollercoasters & Sensitive Writers

by Julie Coulter Bellon

Someone once told me that writers are more sensitive than average people and feel things more deeply. I don’t know if that’s true, but after this week, I’m starting to believe that it could be true. It’s definitely been a rollercoaster of emotion for me.

I celebrated my twentieth wedding anniversary this week. I am married to one of the most romantic men on earth, and since I am nine months pregnant and not feeling the greatest, he brought everything home to make it the perfect anniversary---my favorite dinner from one of my favorite restaurants, a dozen roses---everything that I could have wanted, he thought of bringing. It was the perfect “date” at home and I loved it. Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe it’s been twenty years already. We’re still in love, I still get butterflies when I look at him, and I’m so grateful to be married to him.

However, that same day, our oldest son moved away from home to go to college. He is totally ready, and I am so proud of him and all that he’s accomplished, but I am going to miss him terribly. He is one of my best friends and I can talk to him about anything. If I needed an errand done, he would do it. If I was really stressed out, he always noticed and did nice things for me like make dinner or take care of the other children so I could lie down. It has especially been nice as I'm finishing out the last part of this pregnancy. It's been so hectic around my house with trying to get all my kids ready to go back to school while I am nine months pregnant and very uncomfortable so having his help was priceless. Of course the hardest thing for me was saying goodbye to him, but the thing that started my tears in earnest was watching through my own tears as my five year old son said goodbye to his oldest brother. He was trying to be so brave, then he finally broke down into tears as he ran out in the yard to wave goodbye one more time as his brother drove away. It still makes me weepy to think about it.

I also got to witness my youngest son’s first day at kindergarten. Talk about a milestone week! He was feeling pretty grown up as we met his teacher and found his desk. I smiled back at him as he proudly showed me what was in his desk already, but inside I was thinking how strange it would be not to have him at home with me. Everyone seems to be growing up so fast when I want time to stand still for just a moment. Yet, at the same time, I’m thrilled to see how ready the kids are to meet new challenges and start a new chapter in their lives.

You may have guessed, and I think I also mentioned, that this week finds me still here, nine months pregnant, obviously able to blog because I am not in the hospital with my baby. I feel a teeny bit cranky about that. But I used those cranky feelings for a good cause. I have been rewriting my villain for my current work in progress. You could say that I’ve been making him a little more villainously cranky which is quite cathartic actually. No one messes with him this week, because if someone disses my villain, this week? Then, yeah, look out, they’re going to be sorry. This author is taking no prisoners.

So you can see how a sensitive writer could deeply feel the emotions of change, especially when there is an entire gamut to be felt in one short week. But, as I look back, I can see that everything I’ve felt this week is sort of like the elements of a good story---one I would want to read. I had a little romance, I had something to make me weepy, yet proud, I felt happy when something was accomplished and a new chapter begun, and I definitely was feeling the cranky villain. He’s not evil per se. Maybe he’s just misunderstood. Or he’s had a crazy week of rollercoaster emotion. Ooh, maybe this is some sort of sign that I should make him a writer. You know, since writers just feel things so deeply. Hmmm……


At 8/21/2008 11:46 AM, Blogger hcrecord said...

First I have to say thank you for turning me onto this blog. I've loved reading it the last couple of weeks. Second, as a mother, I feel your pain. Or joy. Or longing. Or pride. Or every emotion that being a mother entails. (Which is pretty much all of them) You have the best and hardest job in the world. I know that phrase is trite, but it's true. When I met you at your signing I called you superwoman. I stand by it! Writing books and raising children. You are an inspiration. Good luck with the baby and remember, no pregnancy has ever lasted forever! : )

At 8/21/2008 12:05 PM, Blogger Stephanie Humphreys said...

I'm trying to imagine how bad a villain written in August by a nine month pregnant woman would be. It gives me the willies just thinking about it.

At 8/21/2008 12:47 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

There's something in this that gives me hope that maybe I'm meant to be a writer after all. Nothing typifies my life more than my tendency to feel things too deeply!

At 8/21/2008 12:59 PM, Blogger David G. Woolley said...

So Julie:

How scary is a villain with odd food cravings, fits of vomiting, flashes of irritability, back pains, stomach spasms, immobility, inflexibility, an increased appetite, and narcissist fretting over his figure?

Maybe you should wait a month or two before you go back and rewrite the villain. Once you’re holding that newborn child in your arms and contemplating the kind of challenges he will face in the next twenty years you'll have more villainesque inspiration than morning sickness.

What could possibly be more villainous? Maybe a letter from your freshman requesting more money?

Thanks for the blog today.

Join author David G. Woolley at his Top of the Morning Blog or his Promised Land Website.

At 8/21/2008 2:11 PM, Blogger Melanie J said...

Feeling things too deeply makes the highs better, anyway. What a great bunch of blessings you have!

At 8/21/2008 3:26 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

Hmmm, make the villain a writer - I like it.

How many Stephen King novels have a protagonist that's a writer? At least 3 off the top of my head. But as the villain? You might be first.

Hope you have a good (and soon!) end to your travails. Jon don't know nothing about birthing no baby!

At 8/21/2008 3:51 PM, Blogger Pat said...

You've got "babies" coming and going all over the place this week - no wonder you're emotional.
One of mine flew the coop again this week, and though I'm breathing a little easier because of the extra space at home, I'm facing them possibly leaving the state again in a few short months.
It's one thing for them to leave the house, but it's another when they go so far away I can't run and see them when I want to.
...So, I'm feeling your pain.

"Villainizing" does sound like good therapy for what you're going through. Go for it!

At 8/22/2008 11:07 AM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

I just have to say thank you all for your comments, and Heather I'm so glad you checked out the blog!

David, Stephanie, and Jon you make me laugh. Thank you for that!

Kimberly, you were definitely meant to be a writer!

Melanie, Heather, and Pat thank you so much for your kind words. I needed all of that! You are sweet to me!

At 8/22/2008 3:01 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Julie, I cannot believe all the changes and transitions your family is going through all at once, and you seem to be handling it beautifully! Congratulations on 20 years, sending one kid off to college, and one to kindergarten, and to hopefully having that baby SOON. I miss you, and hopefully I will get to see you soon too.

At 8/24/2008 11:39 AM, Blogger Josi said...

I never made it the full 9 months of a pregnancy, although a freind pointed out that 40 weeks is actually closer to 10 months--but anyway, I never made it that far and I can't imagine doing it amid kids leaving for college, other kids going back to school, an anniversary, rewrites, and this blasted heat. Hat's off too you, lady, and I wish you lots of prostiglandulins (sp) to get that delivery started.

At 8/24/2008 7:49 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

"to miss him terribly"

Indeed. I miss my oldest at college still.


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