I Hate Decisions: I Need Help Picking an Author Headshot


I am trying to decide on my new profile picture for my book jacket.  I am seriously thinking about self-publishing and I need to move forward from the whole mine field of thinking an agent is going to be the most important thing for me to get published.  The whole thought of I. Need. An. Agent. To. Validate. My Skills. As. A. Writer.  I am a writer, aren’t I?  This is where you can validate me.  Ha Ha.

Truth be told, I have contacted the agent that is reading my motherhood memoir and I have not heard back from he/she.   Granted, a hurricane is headed towards NYC and my polite check-in via email is the least of his/her concerns, but I would like to know where I stand.  Is it great? Is it bad? Is it marketable? Better yet, is it sell-able?  Does he/she love it ? Does he/she hate it?

I am a curious creature.  I will admit I crave validation.  I was a stand-out athlete in high school and I played soccer in college (Division I — do you hear the horns tooting?)  It strikes me as funny and a little pathetic now how I love validation.  But nothing holds a candle to how I feel when I just do it and write.  It feels good to get all those feelings and thoughts down on paper –or rather squeezed out in a sentence which turns into a paragraph which turns into a page and then it is like skating on a frozen lake you know every corner of…just magic. Let the blade slice into the ice and off you go.

One of my favorite quotes is from guess wh0 — yes, Anne Lamott.

“The great writers keep writing about the cold dark place within, the water under a frozen lake or the secluded, camouflaged hole. The light they shine on this hole, this pit, helps us cut away or step around the brush and brambles; then we can dance around the rim of the abyss, holler into it, measure it, throw rocks in it, and still not fall in. It can no longer swallow us up. And we can get on with things.”

Well, that is what my book is about — the water under the frozen lake of motherhood.  There are some deep cold pockets in that water, just as there are some beautiful snowy, sugar white sparkly — stop you dead in your tracks kind of awe and wonder.  Motherhood, she is one complex braided rope –somedays there are rope burns and somedays this very rope saves me.

I have had time to process how I feel about this over the weekend, as I have not had a response.  The truth is I have to be prepared to put my book out there with or without an agent. I am apprehensive about publishing this book because it is a creative nonfiction account of my personal feelings about motherhood.  There are no quirky characters to hide behind –just this quirky character and my beautiful son (whom I do worry about reading this book later). I did not have an easy go with motherhood.  I have my own issues (which will be discussed in another memoir which I am working on) but I also had to contend with infertility, postpartum depression, intrusive thoughts, nipple scabs, bleeding nipples, anxiety and among other things — the inability to stop farting.  What the heck is up with that? (It should be noted this is under control now)

“There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Anyway, I detailed my journey as I was taking an independent study course I designed in graduate school, in which my primary focus was to intellectually study my emotions and feelings and write about it.  As most of you know, I don’t like to sugar coat things. So this memoir is one big diaper bag full of angst, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, wonder, depression, internal judgement, self-doubt, confidence, miracles,  happiness, joy, amazement, and a whole bunch of diapers, stuffed animals, other mothers, and just about anything that happened to pop up in my feeling mom jack-in-the-box that day.  One thing I discovered as I was writing this memoir was that I was practicing attachment parenting and I didn’t even realize it.  The theme of this memoir is how attachment parenting helped me find my way and the security that I was doing it right.

Here is a piece I recently wrote for APtly Said — Attachment Parenting International’s blog, which I am a regular contributor to.  This piece also talks about my independent study course, Motherhood: The New Frontier.

So, without further ado — can you help me pick a photo to slap on the back of my book?  I’d like to at least look my best as I prepare to get slaughtered by the judgmental moms out there.  It’s brutal in Momville somedays.  I do find that most moms when you have them cornered and there is good coffee on hand, will freely admit to how difficult it is to be a mom.  The juxtaposition of feelings.  The loss of identity.  The loneliness. The boredom. The joy. The stress. The calm. The pain. The smiles. The backbreaking daily labor.  The lulls in-between. The long braided rope, complex and multi-layered.

So I will label the photos I had taken by a professional photographer and if you are willing, write a quick comment on your favorite.  I hate decisions. I will admit the best decision I ever made was to be a mother.

Photo #1

I really like #1.

“Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.” -Erich Fromm

Photo #2

“Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother’s love is not.” -James Joyce

I like this photo because my antique typewriters are showing.  I love those babies of mine.  If they weren’t so heavy, I would put them in a sling and baby-wear them around town.  Just kidding, but kind of serious.

Photo #3

“With what price we pay for the glory of motherhood.” -Isadora Duncan

Photo #4

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”  -Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty

Photo #5

“Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; A mother’s secret hope outlives them all.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes

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7 thoughts on “I Hate Decisions: I Need Help Picking an Author Headshot

  1. I like #1 best. Motherhood is the most mysterious, challenging adventure there is. I’m so glad you’re sharing your journey with us. No doubt, many of us will relate on multiple levels. Keep us posted on the progress of you book (self-published or otherwise).

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  2. Tough. I was going to say #1 but I’m thinking #3, which at first looked a little too staged, but you know on a book cover it’s going to zing. As for motherhood, for the longest time I thought I was the only one who didn’t take “naturally” to being a mother. And on the publishing/self-publishing issue, I’m right there with you too. Got my memoir out there as we speak waiting for a small press to get back to me. Hell, they’d better hurry, I’d like to see my book out there before my hundredth birthday. Have you looked into SheWrites Press? It costs, but you know what, after reading my brains out on self-publishing, I don’t want to screw with it. Good luck!

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    • Thanks Jon. Good insight as a photographer. Thanks.

      Rossandra, Yes I have heard of SheWrites. I have a very inactive account over there where I have not posted in forever. All this pressure to build a platform is exhausting. I love my little blog — it is where I write from my guts. I struggle with trying to write what I expect the platform building gods would want and what I think the publishers, agents, and editors want. Great writing is always about truth — the writer’s truth. Motherhood is so complicated –such a lovely lovely beautiful thing, then when you least expect it — the jack in the box of conflicting emotions gets you.

      I have such compassion for my parents now, especially for my dad. He was bi-polar, an alcoholic (who quit drinking cold turkey but never worked a recovery program), a Korean War veteran (which left him 70% disabled from frostbite and PTSD), had an alcoholic father and a mother who was severely depressed, a child of the Great Depression (the crash happened the year he was born –the very same month), and he was still a beautiful loving man who was tormented from flashbacks of a gruesome war when he was only 18 (he was a member of the Frozen Chosen from Inchon). I wish I could sit with him now and give him a hug. He certainly is a great literary character. He also grew up dirt poor too from Irish immigrants. I have a lot of respect for him and his imperfections.
      Thanks for your comment and honesty — very much appreciated.

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      • Oh, me too, I have so much compassion for my mom. And I soo relate about the blogging thing. Who knows what works. I don’t know when I decided that I just had to try and write from my heart, put it out there, you know and let it go at that. You’re doing a helluva job.

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