Tag Archives: responsibility



I’ll be sure to get on that as soon as nobody needs me and I have nothing else I have to do.

These aren’t all my experiences, but they’re all pretty common experiences, especially for women, I think. Don’t be selfish, don’t be selfish. Always put others first. Don’t ask for things. Take care of your siblings, take care of your children, take care of your parents. There’s no time for caretaker burnout because everyone depends on you. You never get to be the selfish one.

But that’s exactly what you have to allow yourself to be, or so I’m told.

Immature Behavior


You can’t take Molly and suck on a pacifier! You’re 68. But I guess if you haven’t grown up by now, it’s never going to happen.

Everyone over the age of 27 has realized the great secret of adulthood, which is that growing up doesn’t exist. You just get increasing amounts of responsibility piled on your head until you no longer have the time or energy or connections necessary for enjoying opportunities to have fun. That doesn’t mean you stop wanting fun. You just start to believe that fun is too difficult to obtain, and then you stop noticing opportunities for fun because you can’t get your head up above the responsibility. Plus, if you do manage to have fun, people tell you to grow up. The older you get, the more taboo it becomes to let on that you’re still having fun. Other grown-up people who have succumbed to the pressure disapprove of your happiness.

But truthfully, you can have more fun as an adult. And, let’s admit it, we’re all immature on the inside.



Revenge of the Helicopter Kids

Listen, you don't know my parents like I do. My parents are better than those other parents and they deserve special treatment.

Listen, you don’t know my parents like I do. My parents are better than those other parents and they deserve special treatment.

If you, like me, have 150 Facebook friends with school age children, you’ve probably seen a bunch of photographs in the last couple weeks featuring kids in new clothing and various attitudes of excitement or embarrassment holding signs proclaiming “First Day of Kindergarten,” or some similar sentiment. Well, my cousin posted a picture of herself hugging her 5-year-old with a caption explaining that she was probably the worst mother in the world because she wasn’t going to make him hold an adorable sign before he went off to school, and that the child would probably be scarred for life because of this moral failure.

So that’s where this comes from. But it comes from other things, too, like the Boy once again losing his Kindle privileges because he was watching YouTube when he was supposed to be doing homework. I’ve been thinking along similar themes, how we hold our kids to higher standards than we hold ourselves, and most of us would find ourselves without smartphones if some higher power took them away when we used them to screw around on the Internet instead of work.

My feelings on helicopter parents are well-documented. OK, there are worse things you could do to your kids, but when we’re talking about good intentions gone wrong, wrapping your kids in bubble wrap and protecting them from every possible bump the universe might have to offer while arguing with teachers, coaches, and other experts on particular aspects of childhood why your kid is better than other kids and deserves to be treated differently is a terrific way to raise a completely helpless and ineffective human being. How long do you plan on doing this, I wonder? When I taught at the college level I heard of parents trying to advocate for their kids, and a couple kids told me their parents were going to call me, but my standard response was that I wasn’t going to talk to their mommies and daddies because they were grownups and responsible for their own behavior. Legally, I wasn’t supposed to discuss their grades with their parents either.

Still, my supervisor assured us that parents would call anyway. From the kids, I heard firsthand that their overbearing parents didn’t prepare them for life after high school. They didn’t know when to go to bed without being told; they didn’t know when to get up. All their lives they’d been told they were the best, and suddenly it turned out that they were just like everyone else. And, having never been allowed to fail, they didn’t know how to succeed on a level playing field.

Seriously, moms and dads, back off! Your kid should be given more responsibility every year so that they have actual adult experience when they are 18. They should be allowed to fail, over and over, so that they learn about consequences and how to make better decisions. They should be taught not to throw a fit when they don’t get everything they believe they deserve. Otherwise, they are going to be mightily disappointed when college spits them out into the real world and they don’t get every job and raise and promotion they think the world owes them.

However, if any children would like to argue that I deserve something more than I’ve achieved in life, I would welcome the effort.

Dragon Comics 75

Nothing like a little vacation from reality to make you appreciate vacations from reality.

Nothing like a little vacation from reality to make you appreciate vacations from reality.

I love having a family, but it’s not really possible to get very much done when they’re around. People want feeding, chauffeuring, cuddling, that sort of thing. Art, for me, is an extended and quiet process. It requires long chunks of time in which to think and feel before creation even begins, and then it wants no interruption as the new work unspools.

That’s why I take writing retreats once or twice a year, sometimes with other writers, and sometimes alone. I only use the computer for work-related tasks, avoid all social media, and spend every minute I’m not writing doing something inspiring: cooking, reading, hiking. Talking about writing. It helps keep me sane. I always set a lot of rules and a lot of goals, and I usually do pretty well with both. It’s a special, sacred space and I wish I could enter into it more often.

But having a family to come home to is a beautiful thing. Even though I sometimes miss having days on end filled with nothing but writing and quiet, I would miss my family more if I didn’t have them. the The kids will be able to take care of themselves someday. Not sure about The Man, though.

Dragon Comics 54

And we’re back! In retrospect, I guess I meant to come back on Monday, but for some reason I thought I had planned to pick up on Wednesday, so here we are.

When the muse sings, you better shut up and listen.

When the muse sings, you better shut up and listen.

My intention was to draw 5 or 6 comics over my break, but of course, I got sick on Christmas Eve and lost most of that week. At least there are 4 finished. Comic back to the comic after take a week off was sort of surreal. It was necessary to remind myself that yes, I can do this.

Inspiration for short fiction sort of comes at your head all the time. I probably write 2 dozens stories in my mind every week. None of them get written down, or even remembered, most of the time, but stories are everywhere. There are characters; there are situations. With the comic, the characters and situations are, by my own parameters, basically the same, but there have to be a million ways to get to the punchline, even if we always start in more or less the same place.

Pebber nodder is a kind of delicious Danish spice cookie, sort of along the lines of gingerbread, but usually smaller than cookies we eat in America (at least in my experience; I am not an expert on Danish desserts) and typically served (I believe) for Christmas. The real life owl is of Danish extraction, but I don’t know her feelings on pebber nodder. We did not eat cookies in the desert over the holiday, although I have hung out in the desert with the owl, without cookies.

The owl, the fox, and the rabbit are my real life writing group, and we do like to go away together to write in a new place. It’s a good form of inspiration, but of course you can’t depend on retreat for inspiration. You have to be able to create in your natural habitat as well.