The Friday Five!

1. I’m writing this from the playroom, crammed into a corner, with all of our belongings piled up all around me. Which is pretty much the way things have been since Tuesday, when our painters arrived to redo the entire downstairs. It is just CRAZY around here. Between that chaos, the dogs, my kid and trying to do my own work, I am beyond frazzled. On the upside, though, the color looks REALLY good and I know it’s going to be worth it, when it’s all said and done. Which will be…oh, dear, I can’t even think about it. Someday?

2. It’s going to be wicked, crazy hot here today and for the next few days. Like, heat index of 110 hot. This is making me anxious. I mean, I am used to hot weather, being from NC. I can handle humidity. But a hundred and TEN? Really? I see a lot of trips to the frozen food section in our collective future. And maybe watching some movies set in the winter. While sitting in a the baby pool, full of ice. Okay, I feel better already. *shivers*

3. Today, I am taking my kid for a haircut. If you’ve ever seen a picture of her—and I try not to post many, and those I do without showing her face–you know she has crazy, Shirley Temple-style ringlets. In the summer, they get even wilder, often attaining more of a finger-in-a-light-socket look. Her hair doesn’t grow down as much as OUT and cutting it seems to me more like pruning a hedge than anything else. That said, I don’t have the confidence to do it myself, although I have been tempted at times. I’d think, “How hard can it be? A snip here, another there, done.” Then I remember my former neighbor, a stay at home dad who had the same thought about HIS daughter’s hair and decided to give it a quick trim while his wife was at work. He cut the bangs STRAIGHT across and SO SHORT that his wife didn’t speak to him for days. All I could think of was when I cut MY own bangs last, back in college. BIG MISTAKE. People: cutting hair is not as easy as it looks. Just ask my twenty year old self, who spent MONTHS tugging at her forehead, trying to make the hair grow faster there. Live and learn.

4. I have a new sign on my office wall, proclaiming one of my rules for this room:

In all honesty, this sign is more for me than anyone else. Firstly because I’m really the only one who is ever over here, other than when entire house is being torn apart. And secondly, because when other people ARE here they tend to be nice, because I don’t have mean friends. (If you do, they probably AREN’T actually your friends. Just an aside. As well as a lesson it took me awhile to learn, myself.) The meanest voice in this room, really, is the one in my head when I’m writing. If you write, or do anything creative alone, you know what I’m talking about. It’s that one that sneers and says “You suck, have no talent, this is the book that will finally show everyone you are a TOTAL fraud,” among other things. Anne Lamott calles it KFUCKD radio, if I remember correctly: it’s always on. I can tune mine out, usually, but during the middles of rough drafts, the ends of revisions and pretty much ANY time in the six months leading up to pub date, it gets LOUD. Will this sign help? Maybe not. But it’s pretty to look at and can’t hurt. So it stays.

5. Finally, a remembrance. Deborah Brodie, who my editor on my book DREAMLAND, passed away this week. She was my fourth editor, and we only did one book together, but I admired her so much for her wit, intelligence and very keen eye. DREAMLAND is my darkest and most emotional book, at least for me personally, and in a less qualified person’s hands it might have ended up being a much more sensationalistic story. I am so, so glad I had Deborah to walk through it with me. I’m proud of that book, and the work we did together, and feel grateful for both. She will be missed.

Stay cool, everyone! Have a good weekend….