In Blog

Today, my plan was to write. Actually, you know, on a novel. I waited until the sitter came, took a breather to read and reset for a little bit (still on Franzen’s FREEDOM, which is amazing) then settled in at my desk. I always allow myself about five minutes of web surfing before I buckle down, so I popped over to my Facebook page, which I’ve been sort of avoiding for a few weeks. The inbox: PACKED. Replies: woefully late. Miss Manners: would not be happy. So I dove in. And now…well, now it’s an hour later and I haven’t written anything but emails and lists and responses. How did this HAPPEN?

I used to be very productive. I swear! I wrote every single day when I had a book in progress and still managed to stay on top of everything. But now with Twitter to update, and Facebook messages to reply to, and the blog, and the website, and lions and tigers and bears….oh, my.

*takes deep breath*

There is a way to balance all this. I know it! Toddler, husband, dogs, building company (that’s my other job, doing books for my husband’s business) extended family, the upcoming tour, feeding the continually ravenous birds in my yard, cooking dinner, doing laundry, finding assorted lost plastic action figures, and all the rest. Oh, and writing. WRITING! Of course. I’m just not exactly sure what that solution is, right now. I think I will sleep on it and wait for a solution to present itself. Although..that’s what I have been doing. Huh. Oh well, at least I am optimistic.

And why is that? Well, partially because it’s warming up here. In fact, my daughter and I planted pansies this week, which is a certain way to make it FEEL like Spring even if it isn’t quite yet. I used to be really into gardening, actually: I was the one who handled all the beds, and poured over seed packets, and drew diagrams of what I would plant and when. But then we moved here, and I planted all this stuff, and the deer annihilated EVERYTHING. I was totally bereft and discouraged. My husband got interested in conifers and trees (which the deer won’t eat—usually) and I left the garden to him. Now, though, we have this deer fence, and a big plot that is just for me and Sasha to work together. Hooray! I am thinking daisies, coneflowers and black-eyed Susans for sure. Veronica Speedwell also, one of my favorites (I wanted to name my daughter that, actually, but was soundly voted down). Zinnias from seed, maybe mixed with some cosmos. When we went to buy plants, though, I found the toddler had other ideas.

First, she wants everything pink. (Disclaimer: she has never even SEEN any princess TV or movies, I swear to you. This just happened.) What was not pink had no flowers at all. In fact, she wanted cacti. Oh, and ferns. And a fountain made up of two small, big-eyed children, peering over to look at some assembled birds. Lord help me.

I know, I know. This is our project, together! I have to not micromanage. If she wants Venus Flytraps (sigh) then she can have them. ON HER SIDE. See, though, this is just like the whole Facebook/Twitter/Blog/Life balance thing. It can’t be done quickly, or cleanly. The days of everything lined up and labeled neatly in my life are OVER—if they ever even existed—so I need to stop yearning for them.

The best I can hope for, and what I SHOULD want, is a mix of both worlds. A day of writing, followed by a day of catch-up. A plot of zinnias, bordered by strange succulents. A successful book tour this spring and summer, followed by a fall where (hopefully) my next novel will be waiting patiently for me. You can learn a lot from the garden: that’s something the deer couldn’t take away from me. Instead of spinning in my brain, trying to work things out, I probably should just step outside. Get some dirt under my nails, dig up some worms. Can’t hurt, regardless.

That said, I will not have a creepy children fountain in my yard. There, I draw the line.

Have a good night, everyone!