Wednesday, November 16

Behind the Scenes: Deadlines

I'll never, ever, EVER pass for a soccer mom. But . . . I suppose on the outside of things, my household might appear somewhat normal. You know, for a family with four kids (one moved out), two grandparents living with us, two dogs, a cat, a hedgehog, a ball python . . . and one mom who writes. There is the piano, the tuba, the violin (noise). One Naked Pirate Boy practicing Tae Kwon Do moves. (More noise.) And a LOT of clutter everywhere. Just too many of us in one house.

But whatever passes as "normal" around here (and man, am I using air quotes), disappears when it's deadline time.

In fact, Pirate Boy did not speak until he was two and a half. Not one word. Not mama, nothing. And then suddenly, he spoke in fully articulate sentences. And I'm not sure, but his first words may have been "Mommy has a deadline."

The following things--"normal" things--disappear when I have a deadline.

  • Showers.
  • Showers for Pirate Boy.
  • Clean clothes. For anyone.
  • Any semblance of healthy eating for my children.
  • Any THOUGHT of exercise, taking a walk, heck, I think breathing becomes optional.

The following things APPEAR when I have a deadline.

  • Pizza boxes. Everywhere.
  • Half-drunk cups of coffee. Everywhere.
  • Bedhead hair. I just don't have time to deal with it.
  • Dust bunnies. They breed.
  • Occasional tears, panic attacks, and meltdowns. Mine and Pirate Boy's.

Yeah. Behind most writers, this ugly scene takes place in some way, shape, or form.

So 'fess up. Whether a term paper, a deadline, a big work project . . . what does it look like behind the scenes when your life ceases being "normal"?

Thursday, November 10

What I'm craving: TIME!

This week at TFC, we're talking about what we are craving and while yes, I definitely could go for some cookies like Wendy ALWAYS, what I'm really craving is time! This is what time is always doing to me:

It's flying by and I don't have nearly enough of it. Between writing books, my new staff writing job for ROOKIE magazine, my teaching job, my bartending job, the emails, the blog entries, and the desire to I dunno see my friends and family every once in a while this is how I feel:

When the clocks went back an hour this weekend on a night that I generally work until 3 am, I was so grateful for that extra hour of sleep. I wish I could have the every day! I thought.

It seems like everything I do takes twice as long as I thought it would so I'm constantly scrambling and going if I had five more minutes, one more hour, gah!!!! And sometimes I'm totally my own worst enemy because I get very distracted and end up trolling the internet instead of writing or trying to multi-task which always ends badly. I keep trying to hammer down a routine that would allow me at the very least on the nights that I don't work to have a few hours with my husband and then an hour to read so that I can keep up better with books like Lauren's which sounds totally amazing. It seems like reading time and social time are always suffering.

Does anybody else struggle with this? Do you have any tips on balance or can we get together an lobby to turn the 24 hour day into a 25 hour day which would shorten the year probably by a few days or a week or something (I can't do that math, or I could but it would take a lot of much-needed time!), but we could take those days out of January since it's an unpleasant month anyway. What do you guys think?

Wednesday, November 9

craving cookies!

Congrat's on Lauren's Little Women and Me book launch tomorrow!

What I'm craving today isn't quite as exciting as Lauren's big news but I've been yearning for pumpkin cookies. The way I like 'em is with dark chocolate chips and made with "Lighter Bake" which is a butter substitute made largely from plums. And as luck would have it, my dear mom, who flew in last night to visit and help me out while I go to a SCBWI conf. this weekend and my first-ever girls' trip (my friend Megan and I are heading to Charleston next weekend) is making pumpkin cookies for me. I've lost count how many I've eaten but WOW are they good!

What about you? Anything in particular you're craving today?

Monday, November 7


This week's theme at TFC is "What I'm Craving." I could go on about some cupcake I'd really like to eat, but what I'm really craving today is...readers!

Tomorrow, LITTLE WOMEN AND ME goes on sale. It's about a contemporary teen who time travels into the classic Louisa May Alcott novel. Once there, Emily discovers that she needs to change a major plot point of the book in order to get back out again. What will she do?

Kirkus Reviews calls it "a consistently entertaining read that delivers a genuinely original heroine and frequently hilarious satire."

I hope readers will agree because what I'm really craving these days - shameless admission here! - is a hit.

So how about you? What are you craving these days?

Be well. Don't forget to write.