Today’s Mantra – I will NOT go crazy.

Today is one of those Monday’s where there aren’t enough hours in the day for thinking, let alone work, chores and kids.

For example – every time I sit down at my desk to ‘work’ my daughter yells at me from her computer, ‘Mom, you have to come see this!’ My son won’t do anything that requires clean hands, and seems to think that three layers of dirt on each finger is not sufficient enough. One of the dogs decided to be clever and managed to open the fish good container. I found the container (partially chewed) and the lid (decorated with teeth marks). Where all those fish flakes went – only tomorrow will tell, when all three dogs have had a chance to poo. Lovely.

I keep repeating in my mind today:

I will not go crazy.

I will not go crazy.

I will not go crazy.

I will not go crazy.

It seems to be working so far. But I’ve not finished with laundry yet, and I’d be willing to bet there’s at least one load of clean clothes the kids managed to stuff back into the dirty hamper because they were too lazy to put them away. Or ANOTHER pair of chewed up pants, socks or underwear that the puppy thought needed extra holes for ventilation.

And if my daughter loses her Social Studies workbook one more time this week, I might start slamming my head against the wall. To the beat of this…

Surviving the final proofing stage…

I’m married with two kids, three dogs and a cat. My house is never quiet or clean for more than five minutes. Schedules are hard to make and even harder to keep. Writing is something I do when time permits or when my children manage to stop fighting long enough to sit down and watch a movie. I’m used to fitting my work time around my crazy life, but when it comes down to doing the last proof of a book just before release, crazy takes on a whole new meaning.

The Dry Lands has met with the editor and three beta readers. And now it is back with me to finalize the version that will be released to the world. It’s inevitable that there will be something I will want to fix five minutes after hitting ‘publish’ on Amazon, but I’m doing my best to ensure my readers get a top quality book, yet the universe must align a bit neater than usual for this to happen by February 4th.

Monday has arrived. After waking up early to shower, I’ll feed my kids and homeschool them till lunch. There will be many times throughout the morning when I will put the puppy in check and demand she remove my shoelaces from her mouth. I’ll step on at least three of my son’s Matchbox cars, using long-forgotten muscles in my body to defy gravity (isn’t it amazing how such a little thing can bring you down?!). Surely my daughter will leave a pencil on the couch for one of us to sit on. Because this seems to happen weekly.

For everything I will be doing tomorrow – all before noon – there will be a constantly playing loop in my head of conversations between Hutch and A’ris, and the King and Kern. I’ll see images of Ernoth in the peanut butter and jelly spread at lunch. I’ll freeze at some point and ponder the plot twists and action scenes and wonder if they are good enough and my kids will wonder if I’ve had a seizure as I stare off into space.

Then Quite Time will arrive. The children will be fed, happy and ready to lounge in front of the TV for a bit while I go back to reading the last half of The Dry Lands. By the time dinner needs to be made, I’ll be close to freaking out because I won’t know if I’m spelling the word ‘the’ correctly. This happens every time I get to the end. My writer friends know what I mean.

Tuesday will be a repeat of Monday, with one exception – I’ll be finishing the book. So I can enter a place called ‘Formatting Hell’ by Wednesday. If you’ve never been there before, I suggest SPF 100 and a full bottle of your favorite wine, a healthy supply of chocolate and an empty house. Your mouth might let out more expletives than actual breaths of air, so having children around is just not advisable. I’ve done this before though, so I’ve got this. But I’m not promising I won’t lose my cool and give my computer a good lashing before the week is up.

The final proof is like a delicate flower garden. It must be tended, watered, weeded, and given the kind of attention that parents give newborns. Without this love and care, the final proof will not be the best possible version of the story it can be. I’ve my latex-free gardening gloves on, my sunhat and sunscreen. There’s a giant watering can at my feet and I plan on tending these flowers till the garden is a perfectly glorious mess. And then – I’ll share the bounty with you all.

If you don’t see much of me this week, you know what I’m doing. And I do hope that you are just as excited for release day as I am! Now. Back to work, I go.

Happy Week, Everyone!

Writer Problems

So I might be wrong, but I think it’s totally acceptable to sprout horns and fangs and a colorful vocabulary this week, however, my family doesn’t agree. They prefer me the way I was before I made a vow to finish this damn book by Friday. Yeah, this Friday.

I don’t know – I think the spindly mounts on my head and my excessively pointy cuspids are quite possibly growing on me. I think I could rock this look. True, the foul language I use with the girl in the mirror who simply isn’t finding enough quiet time to write and my ever increasing lack of patience for all things breathing in this house is a bit of a downer.

You’d think in order to keep the monster at bay, my children would avoid my desk like the plague when they see me sitting at it. But noooooo…that’s the best time to start rough-housing and giving each other bloody lips. Or when they decide to redecorate their room by tossing everything they own onto the floor, which of COURSE soon makes its way into the hallway, where it is waiting for me to pass by on a bathroom break. Twice today I’ve discovered, after stumbling into one of the concrete walls, that it is indeed attached to the floor. It doesn’t require my help supporting it. The kids don’t get this so they keep creating obstacle courses for me to suffer through just to PROVE the wall is where it needs to be – and looks much better withOUT my face plastered on it.

When the hubby gets home – it’s straight into the back of the house I go for some peace and quiet and oh…wait…there’s no WiFi back there, which means I can’t bring up the internet for much needed research references while I write. So that sucks. I guess I’ll have to lock THEM up in the back of the house. Actually, that might work for me. I’ll even be nice enough to provide them with some water.

If you hear about the crazy writer woman from San Diego that went off the deep end this weekend because she didn’t finish her book, uh, it wasn’t me. Of course it wasn’t me. You shouldn’t believe everything you see on the news, you know! Unless it’s about aliens.

Three days with a boy…

While the hubby is off with the nine-year old at Comic Con, I’m left alone with our four-year old son all day, for day two of three. Normally he has his older sister to play with (and fight with) so it’s solely up to me to find things to occupy his time. Things of the male-brain variety. So today we are going to see Turbo, the movie about the racing snail. There will be some buttery popcorn in our near future.

And as I type this, I looked up to see my daughter’s shoes on the fireplace mantel. Because, of course, where else would her shoes belong? I’ll have to stop at the store and pick up ice cream, so I can bribe the boy to help me with chores later. Obviously, we’ll need to start in the living room.

Writing will be squeezed in at some point today. Maybe at night, when it’s dark and the boy crashes. And I have wine. Lots and lots of wine. I might even write with my feet propped up. How’s that for ending the week?

 

Happy Friday, everyone!

Why the Blog Makeover?

Yes, as you have noticed by now – the blog has had a makeover recently! Why, you might ask? Well, I loved the old look – really, I did. It was perfect for ME. Which was sort of the problem. I use this blog for personal posts, sure, but it’s also used for all my work-related, writing-related updates and adventures too. So, I got the itch to make the page a bit more professional.

I’m not really the professional type. I walk around the house barefoot or in flip-flops, usually with my hair left down to air dry or pulled back. Most days I don’t wear makeup or care if there are stains on my shirt. I’m with my kids all day, doing school work, chores, laundry or writing. Being professional is not a part of the work description here. But online? Well, I felt it was time to spruce things up a tad and at the very least…pretend I have a professional bone in my body.

If you were in love with the last look as much as I was, I apologize for changing it on you. I do hope you enjoy the cleaner style of the blog now, and don’t worry – I’ll spruce it up to keep it from getting boring. 😉

 

Happy Monday!