Jennifer DeCuir – Life as A Mauthor

jd1I was told, when I was given my blog date, the theme of the month was “What I’m Reading”. But I’m not just a writer. I’m a busy mom of two. One of them is in kindergarten and I swear I have more homework than he does, because I am responsible for keeping his reading log. And he’s five. He doesn’t read. Which means that I am the one reading to him. And I’m guessing blog readers aren’t looking for titles like Pete the Cat Plays Ball or Curious George goes to the Library, or my personal favorite, Everyone Poops (okay, not my personal favorite, but my son sneaks it into the pile at every opportunity).

Instead of telling you about the book I am currently reading, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about the glamorous life of a ‘mauthor’ – a mother author or author mother. I am blessed to be able to stay at home while my husband earns the real paycheck, because most authors are not in the Nora Roberts’ tax bracket, am I right? This means I write in my pjs while juggling loads of laundry, tossing the slobbery squeaky toy for the dog and trying to sneak in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy on the DVR while the kids aren’t home. It means long hours alone.

As I mentioned earlier, my youngest started all-day kindergarten this fall. I was so excited to have the extra writing time that I felt I had to give back to the school in some small way. I decided to volunteer in my kids’ classrooms. Remember, I’m used to bumming around in pajamas and fuzzy slippers. But this was an opportunity to get out of the house, to dress up and be a real adult. I got to wear makeup!

So I got ready to volunteer for my first day in my daughter’s fourth grade classroom. I put on my striped sweater dress and some brand new black leggings. I dug out my fancy boots. I spent extra time on my makeup and hair. I got to school and signed in at the front desk, waving to the secretaries and heading off to work with these adorable fourth graders. I was going to make my daughter proud. I got to her classroom and her teacher sat me at a little table, handed me a pair of scissors and a bag of supplies from Michaels. Two minutes after arriving for my first volunteer assignment in the classroom, I was covered in white dust, as I cut plaster tape into one inch strips for the masks they would be making the following week. The glamorous life of a mauthor.

My next stop was the kindergarten classroom. I was expecting to do more cutting, or making copies or perhaps a little filing. Instead, my son’s teacher announced to the class that they were lucky to have an author with them today. I nearly cried. All of a sudden I had 24 little faces staring in awe, like I was some kind of celebrity. She asked them who would like to work with me on their journals. Every hand shot up. My son was literally vibrating, his grin huge. It was so much fun to work with these kids, each one teaching me something new and amazing about the writing process, and about how they all viewed life so differently.

Maybe I won’t get quite so dressed up for volunteer day next week. Maybe it isn’t as 9781440581236glamorous as I had originally thought. But it’s still a chance to get away from my writing desk, talk to people face to face and gain valuable writing fodder for future projects. And I get to see my kiddos in a different environment – heck, they get to see me in a different environment – completely out of my element. And that’s probably a very good thing. This is going to be a fun school year for this mauthor.

How about you? Anyone else go to work in their pajamas? Long for the chance to get out and mingle with people, just so you get to talk to a live person and not your cat or dog? Talk the ear off the washing machine repairman, just because you can? Any other mauthors out there? Leave a comment and give a virtual wave. :-)

Jennifer DeCuir writes small town contemporary romances while wrangling two kids, a husband, and three neurotic pets. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she can never get enough sunshine or caffeine. Her Scallop Shores series, published by Crimson Romance, is based on her hometown of York, Maine. When she isn’t writing or reading, she is probably adding to her obsessively huge yarn stash and wondering what gifts she’s going to crochet for Christmas this year.

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Comments

Jennifer DeCuir – Life as A Mauthor — 18 Comments

  1. “Kindergarten” and “glamorous” aren’t exactly two words that go together well in the same sentence, are they? 😉 But maybe one of your next books could feature a frazzled kindergarten teacher who gets whisked away by a handsome millionaire playboy to Paris or something… Give kindergarten teachers everywhere something to fantasize about! :)

  2. I LOVE that new word: mauther! I need to remember that…

    I don’t go to work in my pajamas because the day job won’t allow it, and I gotta confess that working with ‘adults’ doesn’t necessarily mean people behave maturely. LOL Still, we all have our lives to lead in our own way, and in the end authors stick with authors. So, that said, I wish you MUCH LUCK with the book (all of them, in fact!) Your interview was fun to read.

  3. Great post, Jennifer, but it’s not just mauthors who wear pjs to write. My best time to write is in the morning, so I cruise to my desk in the morning in my pjs and slippers with a cup of coffee and get to work. Congrats on volunteering at your kids’ school. My sister taught for years and always welcomed another pair of hands.

  4. I remember waaaaay back to volunteering at my daughters’ schools. It was fun, and I got to know their little friends. And no, I am not in the same tax bracket as Nora Roberts. Sadly.

    Thanks for being our guest today!

  5. Great post, Jennifer. I can just see you all dressed up and covered in plaster. I’m a retired teacher and it’s true that volunteers are so incredibly important to the classroom. Congrats on your latest release and best wishes for enormous sales!

  6. Love the post, Jennifer. Unfortunately, my grandchildren are growing up, and I’m still not a mauthor. Or maybe I am, just not in pajamas! Thanks for volunteering–as a teacher, I know how hard the classroom can be–and continued success with your writing!

  7. Great post…your humour is alive and well! Know all about writing in PJ’s and volunteering in school, trying to squeeze under the tiny desk next to a little person. Altho’ the volunteering bit is in the very distant past. Congrats on your latest release.

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