Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Son Is Appealing to the Slicing Community

On this last night of the challenge, my oldest son--the one who first read my "iPoetry" last night--has asked me to throw out an appeal to the slicing community. Before I explain, can I just make an observation?

If slicing had not become such a huge part of my life over the past month, he would not be asking.
If I had not come to see myself more as a writer over the past month, I would not have shared my new writing habit with my family.
If my family had not come to see me as someone who writes daily and to become interested in my writing, my son would never have asked me to do this.

So for all that, thank you. Now back to the appeal.

Oldest wants money to replace a broken xBox game--so that he can rejoin his online community. Just now he followed me to the sofa and stared at me thoughtfully as I opened the computer to write my slice.
"How much would you pay me if I do your iPod poem idea only made it really, really challenging?"


"Like, if I did say, a 2 page ballad using only song titles. How much would that be worth? Would you pay me?"

"Are you kidding? Pay you? And a ballad? I mean, a ballad has certain rules--like the rhythms and rhyme and stuff. And it has to tell a story. What about a multi-stanza poem instead--one that tells a story (oh my gosh, he's sucking me in already....can you feel the pull of a desperate adolescent?). A ballad--too hard. The rules are you can only use song title on your own iPod. No other words."

"No, no...I mean a real challenge. I can do it."

We debate for a few minutes, going back and forth about whether he could go add a bunch of stuff to his iPod before starting and could he include his Pandora favorites, which are technically on his iPod. I have to admit that part of me wants to say yes simply because this is a kid who generally resists writing and will tell you he's not good at it--but don't believe him. He actually can write well, especially in the sarcastic humor genre (are you surprised?).

"I don't know....."  I look to my computer screen.

"Ask them," he says, gesturing to my computer.

So, slicers, here it is.
Should I, as a parent and teacher, be willing to pay my son if he does indeed produce a multi-stanza poem or a ballad composed entirely of titles from his iPod playlist (he's leaning over my shoulder, whispering to you, "yes, you should.....")? Oh, and he wants to remind you that he has provided me with material more than once this month (see previous posts).

And know that he's only asking because this challenge has caused not just me, but my family to see me as a writer, and to value this community. We all see this as part of our lives it or not, you've become part of us.


  1. this is from oldest son: desperate adolescent? really? i think you should give me $100 cash money... and new strings for my guitar which i need badly by the way...please?

  2. Do it! Do it! Do it! (Your "oldest" may have texted me and asked for support...although I'd seriously only give him $60.) I'm a cheap skate though, as you know.

  3. As a mother with a son that plays guitar (but not xbox),and who is off to college; I say give him the cash, buy the strings, cherish this time, and keep writing!

  4. Geesh, he is so convincing that I am about to mail him a check myself! If he continues to provide material and encourage you to keep writing, he is earning that game and the guitar strings to boot! (but don't tell him I said all that... instead tell him I said yes to the ballad challenge thing, that way he may realize his brilliance as a writer and I can say I helped him along)

  5. My only question? Is he willing to share this writing? I'd be curious to see what he creates! I still say, go ahead with the challenge! And you will only benefit from allowing such a challenge: you will have so much more material to write about in the future!!!

    Happy writing oldest son! Can't wait to read your creation!

  6. I agree about publishing his challenge - it should be part of any bargain you agree to.

  7. Since this has become a family affair, you should continue to support each other in your writings. But pay???? How much? I'm one for paying for jobs done well, but for grades, no. Will it be a ballad, a job well done? Is this a one time deal? He might even enjoy it and want to have his own blog some day, and as C.Rush said, "I can say I helped him a long." He could just do it as a challenge to himself. You could still post it. No, I wouldn't pay him!!! I don't think he can do it anyway!!!! (Would that work?)

  8. Ah, I'm a hard-nosed post-mother person (a grandma) and we didn't have much extra cash when the kids were growing up, so it wouldn't have even been in the question. The only time my children got money is if they did something that benefitted the family (like the year my son wanted more money for his senior prom so he contracted with my husband to refinish the wood around the jacuzzi). Or my daughter wanted money for something or other, but I do remember her little 7th grade frame dutifully sweeping out the garage to earn her pin money (they all got allowances to allow them to learn how to manage money--this was extra).

    So, using that as an idea--does the way he wants to earn his money (write a ballad) benefit the family? Only you, as the Mom, can make that determination. But we'll all be curious!

    Happy Slicing!

    Elizabeth E.

  9. Love that your writing has become part of family life. Can't wait to see what you decide to do. (And does he get an advance? LOL).

  10. Wow - tough one. I'm glad he's seeing the importance writing has become to you. I'm glad he's willing to try something new, to create. What I find so interesting is the fact that he's appealing to what you like. Our sons are great at that! I've read the above comments. The mother in me says, "Yes go for it, but I need more." I think the poem would need to be published,; that's a given. But, since he realizes that writing is very important for you, he should also do something that will allow YOU more time to write - make supper, do laundry, clean. So, yes he needs to do the poem but to get all the money, he needs to provide you with time. There - from a mom of a 17 year old, that's my hard bargain. MaryHelen