Short Update on le Manuscript

Because I’m obsessing about it in my diary so often, I may as well share some of that obsession here. What’s a little obsession between friends? (Update format adapted from Maggie’s blog.)

What’s going well:

  1. Writing new scenes. It’s a breeze at this point because I know the characters so well, I don’t have to think about what they’d say or do in any given situation.
  2. Um, that’s all.

Three Things I’m having trouble with:

  1. Word count. Perplexing, because I’ve never had trouble with lengthy books before.
  2. Once I write those new scenes, I have to insert them into the story in a way that a) makes sense and b) flows.
  3. Making time for writing. I could handle 1 & 2 if I had more time. It’ll happen. I just have to be patient for 24 more days.

The Importance of a Day Off

I love my kid with all my heart AND I also truly believe the adage, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

Because I’m really struggling.

Like, a lot.

It helps to make fun of it, find the humor in the situation, but the truth of it all is that this Summer of the No Naps is completely maddening. It’s hard to restructure my routine, especially my writing routine, around this no-napping thing.

So yesterday Husband took Z to his parents’ house for the day. I went out to lunch with a fellow English-nerd friend (she wore these AWESOME earrings decorated with colons and semi-colons). Then I bought six diary books at Borders (a little excessive, even for me, but this IS my favorite brand of blank book, and I don’t know where else to get them, and I don’t know how much longer Borders will be there). Then I had iced tea at a nifty little cafe downtown, and stopped for a nice chat with another friend and critique partner before heading home to write.

I wasted time when I got home. Too much time. It’s what happens when I’m not in the habit of putting my booty in the chair and working on the manuscript. But my friend Seven and I made a pact to write for at least one hour every evening, and that pact should give me the forward momentum I need to get through the remaining 33 days until preschool starts.

So let’s do this. I have some blank books to fill with new manuscripts as soon as I finish revising this one!

Writer’s Group

One of my favorite Z stories is how she asked me to play picnic with her one morning. She’d arranged all the plastic and wooden “food” on a blanket on the floor, and she’d enlisted a plastic Lego box for a little table. So I came in and sat down on the floor, thinking I was doing her a huge favor, taking time from cleaning to be a part of this picnic.

I said, “Okay, here I am! I’m ready for the picnic!”

She picked up a throw pillow, set it on her lap, and pretended to type. Then she said, “Just a minute, I have to do something on my computer.”

Color me sheepish.

Our "computers." They never get viruses or need updates. In fact, the green one still works after Z's diaper leaked on it, although it is a bit lumpy from the washing machine.

Another time, I was rushing to get a plate of vegetables together to bring to a potluck/schmooze for SCBWI. Z informed me that she was going to her own writer’s group, and she was bringing marshmallows.

And today, she asked me if I wanted to go to writer’s group with her. Of course I said yes. So I had to get in our “car” (the couch) and let her drive us there (after closing the car doors and buckling up our safety belts first). Then we got out. She gave me a throw pillow, and took one for herself, and we “typed.” I asked her what she was writing, and she said, “How are you, Boo BOO!” She asked me what I was writing, and I told her I was writing about Owly Fowly (Owly Fowly is a character we made up together, who features in many of our stories).

Then we got back into our car, buckled up and closed the doors, and Z drove us home.

Someday, maybe we’ll be in a real writer’s group together. But for now, this is real enough.

Welcome Home!

Z liked our time in the mountains so much, she decided to sneak some Bug House gravel home with us in her “cooking” bag (see above). (Sidenote: the Bug House is the screened-in building everyone hangs out in. We each have our own sleeping cabins – with bathrooms! a luxury the Hardy Womenfolk insisted upon – but the sleeping cabins are tiny, so the Bug House is the area we can all visit without getting attacked by too many bugs. There was a skink friend, though.)

And the other thing…it never really sunk in, before, that after a vacation, you’ve got to clean your filthy clothes. With one or two people, this isn’t much. With three people, it can get a bit out of hand.

No Mommy-blog is complete without a photograph of Mt. Laundry

The beer bottle is propped up there so you can get an idea of the vastness of Mt. Laundry. Am I folding? No. The sheer vastness of the mountain discourages me from even attempting to scale it. Instead, I think I will go in my bedroom and cry.

Good news: Z’s exhausted, and my parents are here to help distract her & tire her out. Bad news: I’m exhausted, so less likely to make the most of my sanity-time.

The Best News: It was an awesome weekend. Not only did Husband and I go on some hikes together, but I had plenty of visiting time with both sets of our parents, and I had plenty of writing time – even created a rough outline for the sequel to le manuscript. And Z got to do all the things almost-three-year-olds should get to do in the wilderness…go for walks with grandparents, read stories, eat huge breakfasts, search for the skink, watch Mommy have a panic attack over the Giant Red Spider of Doom, then watch her do it over again over the Giant Red Spider of Doom’s Clone BFF.

I have a lot to say about the Giant Red Spider of Doom, but I’ll save it for a day when I don’t have Mt. Laundry staring at me with its x-ray laser vision from the other room.

And the best thing for kids to do in the woods: play in the dirt with sticks and rocks.