Without further adieu, the winner of Melissa Walker's Lovestruck Summer (which came out yesterday, squee! Totally going out to buy that this weekend or maybe tomorrow!) is Steph Su from blogger! Steph, I know I have your addy somewhere but if you can send it to me again at stephanie at stephaniekuehnert dot com, I'd really appreciate it.
The new winner of Sarah Quigley's TMI is Erika Lynn from blogger. Erika, please email me at the addy above to claim your prize!
So today, since this Sunday is Mother's Day, I wanted to honor the woman who rocks my world more than any other.... MY MOM!
Seriously, this is the woman who has influenced me more than any writer, musician, artist.... more than anyone. If I can just be half the woman she is, I know I'll have lived a pretty damn good life.
Like all mother/daughter pairs, we've had our ups and downs. In fifth grade, my mom felt like my worst enemy. It seemed like she was always holding me back. I was trying so hard to be "cool" and fit in with the popular crowd that year and my mom would not buy me the clothes I wanted or let me run as free as those kids did or let me get a perm or a thousand other things. I distinctly remember an argument in the stairwell of our house where I got so pissed at her that I threw my hairbrush at her and when she threw it back, not even hitting me, mind you, I screamed something along the lines of "I hate you and I'm calling child services on you because I don't want you to be my mother!" Of course, I didn't, but now I want to say, "Mom, I'm sooooooooo sorry and THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!" Because of her rules and her unwillingness to buy me overpriced outfits at the Gap, I stayed true to myself, the dork, the weirdo, and I became who I am today.
I'm sure that moment was tough and there were plenty more tough times. When I was dating the boy that was no good for me sophomore year of high school and she KNEW he was no good, and he got kicked out of his house, she convinced my dad to let him stay with us because as she told me later, "If you were in my house, I could protect you. I was scared to death you would run away with him."
Then there was the unhappy first year of college. Me drunkdialing my mom, crying about how unhappy I was, sharing my latest plan of action: "I'm gonna drop out and move to New Orleans and be a stripper." Yeah, I definitely put her through all seven levels of hell. But she stood by me patiently. When I determined that dropping out of college really was what was best for me at that moment (though no, I did not move to New Orleans and become a stripper), she went along with it and promised me that if I went back by the time I turned 21 that she would absolutely help me pay for it.
Another good mom trick, setting that deadline totally worked. By 21, I was sick of drinking and partying and did want to be serious about life. And she was there. Even though "serious" meant getting a creative writing degree, which might never amount to anything, she stood by me. She let me live in her house while I went to school. She told me over and over again not to give up on my dream of writing because she knew it was the one thing that had gotten me through all the rough patches over the year. She believed in me, was my number one cheerleader and I'm so happy I didn't let her down.
That's us a the book release party for my first novel, I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE, the book I dedicated to her.
And since it is the book I dedicate to her, it is the book my mom requested that I give away this week if you leave a comment after reading my interview with her. Mom and I will both sign it :)
I think another reason why it's fitting that I interviewed her this week is because she is a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse (talk about a rock star job, saving babies!) and it is National Nurses' Week. So Happy Nurses' Week, Happy Mother's Day and without further adieu, meet my mom, Nancy Napp, total f'ing rock star!
Q: Tell us about why you became a nurse. Obviously there are a lot of hard parts about your job, but what do you enjoy most and what keeps you motivated after all these years to keep nursing?
Mom (Nancy): I became a nurse because I always wanted to be a nurse! I don't know why I wanted to be-- I just did! I have been a nurse for 35 years. I love the babies. I think being a parent is the most important job in life, and I love helping the parents. And I have great friends at work!
Q: Who where the women who inspired you in your youth and who inspires you today?
Mom (Nancy): When I was growing up, there were fewer women who were "career" or professional women. In real life, I admired the women who were my teachers, and also mother's, too. In the books I read, I wanted to be Cherry Ames. She was a nurse who could do anything and could go anywhere. That's where boundaries for women lifted for me.
Now I admire my sisters and friends who are good moms and good wives and good at their jobs, too. And I admire Dr. Heidelise Als who taught us a better way to care for NICU babies.
Q: As a NICU nurse and a mom, you probably have a wealth of knowledge about being a good mom. What's your best piece of advice for parents?
Mom (Nancy): My best advice is make time to enjoy your kids. They are the most interesting and exciting people that you know!
Q: I'm sure there are some slackers out there who haven't planned Mother's Day for their moms yet so what is the best way to honor your mom on Mother's Day?
Mom (Nancy): Call your mom! Visit her. Do something for her or with her that she would like. Don't forget Mother's Day!
Q: What's the first album you bought and concert you attended?
Mom (Nancy): My first album was either Beatles or Beach Boys. I loved seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and would have loved to see them at Comiskey Park. However, I didn't attend a concert until I could drive. The first one I remember is taking my sister to Cat Stevens at the Auditorium Theater, which is acoustically perfect. He sounded great!
Q: Please dish about your biggest rock star moment. It could be a highlight in your careeer, when you met someone famous, or just when you got the rock star treatment.
Mom (Nancy): In the 70s, there were many bars and small clubs on Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park. They were nice intimate settings. My friends and I saw Tom Scott and the LA Express at one of those bars. It was right after they played back up for Joni Mitchell on her album. To me, they were gods! And it was a small setting and we were up close! I loved it!
I totally did not know that was going to be my mom's rock star moment. I expected other stories that I'd heard before-- I wasn't familar with this story. But she told me she wanted to tell me something new and she wanted to show me who her rock gods were, not guys with guitars like mine, but guys with saxophones :)
I thought it was awesome of her to share and like I said, she is the biggest rock star in the world to me.
So together, we are giving out a signed copy of I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment, maybe about how awesome your mom is or what you are doing for Mother's Day and remember to check back next week to see if you've won. My featured woman will be Danielle Joseph, author of Shrinking Violet!!!