Ugly Duckling Song

by Ash on March 18, 2011

Call it fate, kismet, coincidence, nothing, whatever you believe, but when The Red Dress Club ladies provided this week’s prompt, it felt as if they handed me a sign – write about a time when you took a detour. Where had you intended to go and where did you end up?

A fiction piece crossed my mind at first. I even dug into the old files to find a short story I wrote some time ago, but while clicking around (I really need to come up with a better labeling system), I instead located a letter meant for a friend. The one who passed away this past January.


It was dated June 3, 2005, just before her first stem cell treatment. Just before my grandfather passed away. Just before I found out I was pregnant. Just after she gave me a gentle earful about screwing around with my time. In the letter, among other things, I promised her I would quit. But then the above mentioned events occurred, I never mailed it, and the promise remained dormant, then forgotten, as I struggled with my new son.

In 2008, a writer friend suggested that I start a blog about PKU, to reach out to other families, but when your son is 1 in 15,000, there aren’t too many people caring about low protein and phe, so instead I started my first blog about whatever. It felt good to take the ole girl out of the barn. I made incredible friends, lots of incredible friends (See bloglist. No really, read these people.) I felt less isolated, started using my brain. It was fun, but under a pseudo. By 2010 though, I was ready to come out of the closet.

And get back to fiction.

Which brings me here.

Assessing my blog.

And how I’m spending time these days.

Yeah. It’s one of those posts.

See, my blog is my detour. A nice one for sure, with fantastic scenery consisting of your words and stories. Words and stories and people whom I’ve cherished and adored along this unexpected journey.

But now it’s time to get back on track.

The track of trying to make some money from my writing.

I know. I’m delusional. Pretend like I’m a preschooler and just say “you can do it.”

I don’t expect to sell a novel, though one day that would rock, but my indulging in this hobby has become selfish. If I’m completely honest, it’s been somewhat selfish the whole way through. And if dating the same man for six years before getting married taught me anything it’s no one is buying the cow when the milk is flowing for free.

Sorry Mom.

I’ll be around. I’ll Twitter for sure, but fair warning or here’s relief, the blog posts will be few and far between. It kills me to do that, yet I know I’ll never get to the final destination if I don’t stop lollygaggin’ here.

Forgive me.

And send me your Twitter @ for Pete’s sake!

P.S. Update from Tuesday’s post – I’m not surprised that you guys are already donors. But I am majorly bummed I didn’t manage to scare up one more for Taylor’s Gift, so along with the giftcard for one of you guys, I’m also donating $20 to Taylor’s site in order to support their voice.

Drumroll please – Random name generator (Oldest’s hand in a bowl) chose Terri at Terri’s Little Corner! Congratulations Terri – you’re the new lucky owner of a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble. Send me your address to ashatshades(at)gmail(dot)com. I pinky swear not to stalk, Google Earth or pass it along.

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica March 18, 2011 at 7:28 am

While I completely understand this post I’m disappointed I won’t get to read your words as often any more.
Glad you are taking the detour you need and I wish you lots of luck. If you ever need someone to read something, I’ll be here, wishing you were still posting so that I could read your talent more often.


tulpen March 18, 2011 at 7:48 am

I’ve been opting for long walks, playing with my kids, and reading books over blogging lately.

If I thought I could make money at it, well… that might sway me back, let me know when you discover the secret ok?


Leighann March 18, 2011 at 7:56 am

Your words will be missed.
Good luck to you in this new endeavor. You will do great!!


Ratz March 18, 2011 at 8:10 am

I have this same weird feeling. Blogging was a great outlet for putting my writer self there and escaping from so many things… but now I want to get back to this real world and do something. I understand your decision and completely support it… “you can do it,” 😉


Crystal March 18, 2011 at 9:09 am

You know….my blog for me is selfish too. Very much so. I started it with hopes of supplimenting our income (ok…I just really wanted some extra spending $$) but now it’s my selfish indulgence. Right now it’s ok…but I can see how it is holding you back from your original and greater goal. Very insightful of you!! Stopping from the RDC.


Sherri March 18, 2011 at 9:10 am

Wow, I wasn’t expecting that take on the prompt! I totally understand where you’re coming from and Ash, you have some awesome writerly (??) talent there. Go out there and do what you want, but we sure hope to still see you around!

You especially can’t give up Twitter. You are always so funny there.


Theresa Sonoda March 18, 2011 at 10:12 am

Oh gosh. I love your posts, Ash, but I so understand. For many reasons, to include unemployment, I’ve had to force myself to do less blogging as well. I’m looking for paying gigs, and I have a couple (yeah me!) but I ain’t getting rich any time soon. Wishing you all the best in your writing mission. Don’t give up. Don’t retreat. (I thought that was a little more grown up than You Can Do It). But really, You Can Do It!!!
Hugs and Godspeed. And thanks for the cool mention and gift card. How Awesome!


Veronica March 18, 2011 at 10:28 am

Yes, you can do it!

I feel this, in so many ways..

Good luck!


Ilana @ mommyshorts March 18, 2011 at 10:52 am

Well, this is my first time here so I’m sad to hear you are leaving. Best of luck with getting paid for what you like to do best. No one can blame you for that and nothing would be better.

@mommyshorts on twitter


Ilana @ mommyshorts March 18, 2011 at 10:53 am

Just realized it’s totally not my first time here. Oops. Even sadder.


Kir March 18, 2011 at 11:43 am

of course you can do it!!!! And while I’ll miss the words here, maybe I’ll see them in the bookstore soon. GOOD LUCK my friend.

@thekircorner on twitter!!!


Galit Breen March 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm

A bittersweet post, yes? I won’t be sad for you- only excitement that you’re going after your bliss. That’s the essence of a detour done right! So GO YOU!!

@galitbreen :)


erin margolin March 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Oh Ash…I totally relate to this. COMPLETELY.

I applaud you. And I am behind you 100 %.
You do what you need to do—FOR YOU.


quirkyloon March 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I, too, support you!

And you could totally write a book! Your writing has always been intelligent, well-thought out, and well-written!

And… when you hit the mother lode?

Remember your Quirky friends first! hee hee hee

I’m not below begging.

You rock Woman! Totally!


Yuliya March 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm

You do what you need to do….but we’re here for you especially if there’s some writing bits you want us to take a look at for you! (hint participate in those prompts every once in a while, will ya?)



Shell March 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Selfishly, I’m way say b/c I love to read your words.


Michele Renee March 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I can’t quit you.

Darn it.

Now I am going to have to Twitter.


Elaine March 18, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Aw crap. I’m simultaneously SO HAPPY for you but bummed for me, you know? Because your writing rocks. I totally get it though and I think you’ve made a wonderful decision. Please tweet me because I still need to hear from you, k?? xoxo


Renee March 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I will miss reading your words. Though expect I catch you on twitter. Maybe when a stray thought or storyline pops up, you can indulge us.
Good luck and best wishes.

2old2tap on twitter


Nancy C March 18, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I will be there every morning, so the only thing that’s changing is that you’re going to the next level and inspiring me even more. I understand the why and I know you’ll figure out the how.

I look forward to reading your pages, sweets.

Love ya!!


Cheryl @ Mommypants March 18, 2011 at 7:02 pm



Please tell me I will still get to read some of your stuff. Because you know I love reading you and will miss you horribly.

There’s only so much asshat I can take with The Twitter, you know?

Hugs to you, my friend.



Kim March 18, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Good luck with taking your writing to the next level! I read recently that to write you have to write. There’s no way around it. It’s just work. You can definitely do it!


CDG March 18, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Just don’t go all the way away, okay?


Nichole March 18, 2011 at 11:57 pm

There is little that I respect more than self-awareness and dedication to making necessary changes.
Tough changes.
You are amazing, Ash.
And I know you’ll do great things.
Please drop us a little gift from time to time?
Much love…


Mandyland March 19, 2011 at 12:05 am

I’m so very proud of you for following your passion! I think this is a detour that you’ll look back on and discover, to your intense gratification, that it was the right one to take.

You can do it!

You WILL do it!


debbie March 19, 2011 at 9:13 am

We will miss seeing you as often around here but certainly understand that priorities shift. I wish you all the success in the world!


Mad Woman behind the Blog March 19, 2011 at 10:50 am

Wishing you the best of luck and knowing you will find the success/reward you seek.
And so relieved to see you won’t be giving up The Twitter!

BTW my very good friend (and multiple published friend) did quite a bit of writing for hire before switching to only writing novels. Let me know if you want me to send you some info.


mamaface March 19, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Oh, I’m happy for you. But so sad for me!! Keep in touch with all of us; please?


patois March 20, 2011 at 8:43 am

You delusional preschooler, you! No, you’re not. You’re good. And not just “blog” good.


Lee March 21, 2011 at 1:25 am

Dude. Amen. I’m with you every damn step of the way. I’ve been thinking of calling you recently – if we don’t talk then we’re not talking so we just need to try from time to time. You KNOW I support you in this decision and it’s the right one I think. But this space is here and yours and you will use it when you need to and want to…and some people will still be here. It will free you to do many other things I think….it has for me. I have found my peace with my blog finally…..and I think you will too..



Mel March 24, 2011 at 7:59 am

Well, I’ll miss your writing here, but wish you nothing but luck and great sentences writing out in the real world. Yours isn’t the first goodbye for now post I’ve read this week, and I’ve been toying with my own in draft latetly, not quite ready to call it quits, but I understand the push and pull. Maybe it’s the Spring yearning for more…. Anyway, best of luck to you, I’ll follow you on twitter!


Kristy March 24, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I love it though. It is your truth. Very honest post. Well done.


Ericka @ Creative Liar March 29, 2011 at 7:56 pm

I totally get this and have been there, too. Take time for yourself and your writing and bring home the green girl! We all know you can and will! :)


Craig March 31, 2011 at 5:31 pm

You can do it (you said to say that) – still you can – your words are good enough to make money off of. I know people who do make money. I’ve been published a few times – it can happen. But it is work. I remember telling myself that every rejection meant someone read my work. SO Godspeed as you detour from your detour :)

oh – and tweet me :) @CraigBelieves

God Bless and keep you and your family


Angel March 31, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Lady! Just made the time to visit your site and found, ever so appropriately, that this post was made on Shan’s birthday. So, she prods you ever still …

Love your writing. Love that Shan loved your writing. Fingers crossed that she’ll take yours (and mine) through the heavens and onto the desk of someone finally intelligent enough to get it in print. Or, hell, at least in e-type.

Keep me posted! – A


Amanda Hoving April 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I know exactly what you’re going through. Take time. Write. Submit. Sell. Keep us posted. Good luck!


Melissa B. April 3, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Well, hell’s bells! Just when I make a March/April resolution to get better at keeping up, bloggily, of course, you go and get all serious. Seriously, though, good luck in the endeavor. You’re doing something I’m too chicken to undertake. Bravo for stepping into the void! :)


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: