Mommy, You’ve Been Gone Too Much

“Mommy, you’ve been gone too much. You’ve been gone Every. Single. Night.”

Ugh. Rip my heart out and stomp on it, why don’t you? Yes, those were the words over Cheerios this morning of my Pre-K Little Man, who wishes his name were Anakin even though he has never seen the Star Wars movies, and thinks I should NOT go to the Cher concert with my sister- and mother-in-law tonight.

“I know, buddy, I’ve been busy this past week and gone a lot. But we got to spend all day yesterday for Mother’s Day, remember?”

“I guess. But you’re never here.” [Insert the mechanical squishing sound of my heart trying to force itself through an industrial shredder]

“Well, sweetie, it’s just tonight, and I’ll see you again in the morning. And I have writing group tomorrow, but that will be at our house so you will see me then, too.”

He crosses his arms. “It’s not fair. I don’t think you should go.”

“I know, honey, but we already have the tickets.”

“You could just, like, throw the tickets away.”

“Well, the tickets were kind of expensive. Besides, that wouldn’t be nice to Grandma and Aunt Anna. I promised them I would go.” Plus, it’s Cher.

“It would be nice to me.”

Touché, Anakin. Touché.


Me with the ladies of the Dunwoody book club. Nice people, mildly creepy picture.
Me (white pants) with the ladies of a Dunwoody book club. We’re working on a remake of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.

Aside from that healthy dose of motherly guilt that I plan to return in spades when he forgets to call home someday, it’s been a pretty great week for the writer me. Last week I got to hang out with a really fun book club in Dunwoody, Georgia; we had a lively discussion about The Marriage Pact and the characters in it.

I love all the differing opinions people have about Marci and Jake, and even about Doug. There’s something fun about a main character who is as flawed as Marci is at the opening of TMP. We know she’s immature, we know she’s headed the wrong direction, but will she get it figured out? And maybe it’s easy in a romance novel to look to our handsome hero Jake to rescue her (and Jake sure tries), but can any of us really be rescued from a mess of our own creation? I’m afraid it’s not that simple, lovies. But the struggle is worthwhile!

This weekend I also got to attend my first writing conference, The Atlanta Writers conference. I highly recommend it for my local writer friends who want to spend several hours hanging out with Our Kind. Writers are sort of a different breed, and it’s important to periodically be among those who speak our weird little language and can spend hours obsessing over the construction of a single sentence.

I had a great experience at the conference and was able to get some face time with wonderful industry professionals who’ve forgotten more about books than I will ever know. I also want to give a little shout out to the amazing George Weinstein, who spends months organizing the conference and then makes it all look smooth and easy. George’s books are beautiful and critically acclaimed – check them out! And Chris Negron, another fantastic author who does tons of work behind the scenes to make sure the conference schedules are well-oiled down to the minute. That sentence was a fragment. Writers are awesome.

Okay, enough gushing! I hope you all had wonderful Mother’s Day, or that you got a chance to do something that would make your mom proud, or embarrassed, or at least make her get that look on her face she gets when she doesn’t know what to say. My boys gave me princess stuff (which obviously I must love because I’m the only female in the house), puzzles, and took me out to a Braves game. There I indulged in a hot dog with a delicious glutenous bun, a beer that forced us to take out a second mortgage, and sunshine that turned only my knees pink. (I forgot to put sunscreen on my legs until too late). We swept the Cubs; Anakin got a ball from bullpen coach Eddie Perez; and I got a whole day with my guys without so much as touching my laptop. Heavenly.

And, by the way, if you would like me to come hang out with your book club sometime, you can find information on that here.


I’m M.J. (Manda) Pullen, an author and mom in the Atlanta, Georgia area. I blog about writing, publishing, motherhood, health, psychology and whatever else strikes me in the moment. I absolutely promise that I will be at home for storytime on Wednesday night.

If you enjoyed this entry, please follow along or join my Inner Circle monthly email list. At the end of each month I do random drawings with various prizes for list subscribers, the friends who refer them, and everyone who comments on the blogs. Good luck with that!

My current roster of books includes The Marriage Pact series, a trilogy of Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction novels. You can find them for all eBook formats and in paperback here.

MJ Pullen

M.J. Pullen is a distracted writer and the mom of two boys in Roswell, Georgia, where she is absolutely late for something important right now. Her books include quirky romantic comedies and playful women's fiction. She blogs erratically with writing advice, random observations, and reflections on raising very loud kids and dogs. Join her Distracted Readers newsletter list for updates, free content, giveaways and more.

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