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Tuesday, September 25, 2007


BLP. That's an acronym a friend of mine and I use. It's short for Best Laid Plans. As in, I tried to find time to write today but this or that happened ... BLP.

Well I've had about a week's worth of them.

The kind where, you force yourself to get to bed at a reasonable hour, set your alarm for a bit earlier than usual because, doggone it, you're going to get up early tomorrow and get on top of your workload. Yeah! Because you really need more time to write. Then, in the middle of the night you hear the small, pitiful call "Mama!" You know the one -- the cry of a sick child. Ayep. That was my youngest. With a fever of 103.8. For two days. Then it hovered in the low-grade temp range. For a week.

Of course by then his brother had it.

And then came last Friday night, when, after a week of caring for sick kids and running around like a mad woman buying medicines and cooking chicken soup, I joyfully hit the sheets early. I was soooo tired. I woke up at four a.m. with my head spinning and though whoa-- how much did I have to drink last night, anyway? Then I realized... not a drop. It felt like a hangover but was much worse. Cut to mom spending the weekend on the couch running a similar fever. (Which really freaks my family out, btw. They stand there, staring at me with that "what do we do now?" expression. Who will cook our food? Launder our clothes? Tell us when it's time for bed? How can we function if mom is sick???)

Well the kids are on the mend. My oldest went back to school today. I'm still sniffling and coughing, but my throat isn't quite as sore today and there's real hope I might actually get some sleep tonight (as long as I prop myself up on pillows and take some Benadryl). But the dh seems to be coming down with it. Still, the thought of both kids being back to school tomorrow cheers me. So even if the Big Kid Himself is home sick, I should have at least a bit of mental health time, and I plan to spend it writing. After all I have a WIP to finish.

But isn't it funny, just when I got back into the swing of things -- just when I was excited again, that this happened. And to think I was actually looking forward to school starting up again!

That's a BLP if ever I saw one.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I’ve never been much for setting goals—I always either reach too high or want to accomplish too much and wind up disappointing myself.

But the month of September, along with juggling a heavier-than-I’ve-ever-seen-it workload, I’ve devoted to my WIP. I also promised myself that those six hours of quiet time each week while my youngest is in preschool, would be devoted to writing and nothing else. Sure by the time I’ve walked the dog and commuted back and forth to take/pick up my son, it’s more like an hour and fifteen minutes to myself, rather than two, but I’ve made good use of it. This week alone I’ve managed to add some sixty pages to my WIP and revise another thirty. Not bad.

So my goal for September is to keep on keepin’ on and see how far I can get with this.

Wish me luck!

Do you set goals for your writing? What do you do when you don’t meet them – beat yourself up, cut yourself some slack or just keep pushing?

PS you gotta love that picture. Sigh. Puts me in mind of the hero in The Model Man, my soon to be released Last Rose selection from The Wild Rose Press.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Quiet Again

The dog paces restlessly around the room, the sound of his toenails unnaturally loud on the hardwood floor. He takes one more reconnoiter around the house before finally coming to confront me with a “What did you do with my kids?” expression, then flops down at my feet, chin on his paws, eyes as dark as chocolate syrup watching my every move.

The cuckoo clock chimes ten a.m. and we both jump; the ice maker in the fridge dumps out another tray of frozen cubes, the sound echoing in the otherwise empty house. I flip on the TV for company but can’t quite bear to leave Nickelodeon on, it makes me miss the kids too much, so I settle for The Weather Channel to provide some background noise. Another hour and fifteen minutes and I’ll pick my youngest up, but it’s more than four hours til the oldest is done for the day. For the umpteenth time I wonder what they’re doing, and think back to this morning.

I stood outside the school with the kids all lined up and waiting as my oldest son waited to go inside. He seemed happy, relaxed, chatting with friends. I’m always amazed at the ease with which the boys and girls from his class mix, happy to see one another and talk. When I was his age we were in separate lines and rarely talked to the opposite sex. But this one has a new hair cut to show off and someone else has pictures of a new puppy, and they mingle easily. A little girl I’ve never even seen before asks Colton if he knows her brother Max, he is in Colton’s preschool class. Colton, feeling shy, hugs my leg and peeks out from behind me, but finally nods his head yes. Wyatt barely seems to notice I’m there and I’m sure in another few days I’ll be told not to walk him to the door anymore, that he can do it himself. Still, as the line begins filing toward the doors, he breaks free for one quick hug and tolerates a kiss without complaint. Colton and I wave until he is out of sight, then head for home. The sky is hazy and it’s already getting hot; in the back of my mind I wonder if Wyatt will be too warm in that shirt and those shorts and make a mental note to change Colton’s outfit before he heads to preschool.

He’s not going, he tells me as we walk toward home. Nope. School is dumb and he is definitely not going (yes, he says definitely. The curse of a writer/reader/editor mom, my kids have great vocabularies). I tell him school is for big kids and yes, he’ll be going today. He informs me he doesn’t want to be big, he wants to be little again and in an Oscar-worthy performance, brings tears to his eyes at just the right moment. They shimmer and dance before one lone tear makes its way down a pudgy cheek. Will I stay with him in class today, like I did the other day? No, I say. Miss Erin has some special games for you to play today and you won’t get to play them if mommy is there. Then I pull out the big guns. I remind him of that really cool playground at preschool that he’s been wanting to try out. I’ll bet his class will be going outside to play there today. That answer quiets him as he weighs his options and a short time later, changed into a lighter shirt and shorts, he willingly buckles himself into his car seat and we head for school.

The drop off goes better than expected; never under estimate the power of a woman, even if she’s only four. His best friend Leila is in his class, and at the sight of her – skin tanned brown as a berry, big eyes shining, her curls even longer than they were last time we saw her – Colton quickly forgets his hesitance and makes a bee line for her. I hear her squeak his name in that cute little voice of hers “Co-tin!” They hug and I whisper a quick prayer of thanks, give his teacher a relieved smile and tell Colton I’m leaving now. “Okay,” he says, barely giving me a glance. Whew.

In just a few more minutes I’ll leave to pick him up, I can’t wait to hear how his day went. But for now, the dog and I are keeping one another company while I get some long-neglected work done. It feels kind of good to have this time to myself; not like this summer when the in-laws took the kids for the day, it’s different somehow. I’m watching the clock, knowing I’ll need to pick them up soon, planning lunch and after-school snacks.

But good as it feels… it sure is quiet.

The Struggle is Real Week 8: When Life Hits Back

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