The Friday Five!

1. Sometimes, I have no one to blame but myself for chaos. This weekend, and today, are a prime example of this. Did I need to schedule an early morning school visit AND try to drop my dogs at the vet/kennel for surgery/boarding AND head for an out of town wedding, all at the same time? Of course not. Am I trying to do this? Well, yes. It’s working out as well as you’d expect. There’s actually something a bit more manageable about total craziness that is my fault versus, say, the universe’s or someone else’s. There’s a sense of derring-do involved, this feeling that I am challenging MYSELF to a super double-dog-dare. (Ha! Double-dog, two dogs, two surgeries…get it? Oh, what is WRONG with me?) It’s like buckling myself into a roller coaster by choice but still screaming my lungs out: it’s all me. So I’ll just leave you with that image. Me, open-mouthed, screaming. Nice, right?

2. Speaking of chaos, I finally get to share some video proof of the regular, daily kind around here with this video that we shot here at my house back in February. It’s about THE MOON AND MORE, and writing, but also features cameos by my kid, dogs and chickens. It’s a family affair, this kind of hectic. We had so much fun shooting this, but of course now all I can see is that my shirt looks wrinkled and I think I look very JOWLY. (Is that even a word?) But my kid is cute and so is Goose. I just regret that the footage of Frank, our late little rooster, didn’t make the cut. I miss him, but he’s surely terrorizing everyone up at the big chicken run in the sky. You do get a quick glimpse of Foghorn, though, and as usual, he is GLORIOUS.

3. As I said, both of my dogs are getting procedures done today. Coco has to have an ultrasound and possibly a kidneystone removed, and Goose, well…he’s getting what we’ve been referring to politely around here as “the snip.” People, it is time. He’s past six months and we’re not the sort who breed our dogs, plus we’re hearing from the doggy day care/socialization class he attends once a week that he’s been getting a BIT frisky with the other dogs. All of them, male AND female. So in he goes. It’s so stereotypical, but my husband is taking this harder than I am. He keeps sighing and apologizing to the dog, who gets confused because normally we are yelling at him for doing things like chewing the rug, tearing apart the plants on the deck, and barking nonstop for no particular reason. He cannot understand why we are suddenly so solicitous, and I think he’s getting suspicious. See, now I feel bad too. Poor Goosie! But it really is for the best. Spay and neuter your pets! It’s for the good of everyone!

4. This week has been all about re-entry for me, as well as planning for my next tour, which is coming up in June. (Hope to have solid dates/details for you about that next week, fingers crossed!) Between doing promotion for the paperback of WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE and gearing up for the release of THE MOON AND MORE, you’d think that the last thing I’d be stressing out about would be trying to write the NEXT book. Well. Again, I do this to myself. Why oh WHY have I spent much of this week staring at my computer, feeling like a total failure because my book in progress isn’t clicking the way it should be? I’ll tell you: because I can’t catch the hint that I need to just let it rest and come to me in its own time. Truth is, waiting for a book release is really nervewracking. Even if it’s number eleven, as it is in my case. I feel terrified and excited and worried and exhilirated and COMPLETELY out of control, so I do things that make me feel like I have my act together. Like organize drawers, and shop for shoes, and try to write. But if a book isn’t ready to be put down on the page yet, it’s just not ready, even if I think I am. So I’m really just spinning my wheels and putting myself into MORE of a panic, which helps no one. Man, I wish I wasn’t so neurotic. But I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that it is not only part of the job, but a REQUIRED part. Oh, well. For now, I will just try to breathe. That’s all you can do, right?

5. Okay, so now it’s almost 11:30 and everything is done (I think) and we’re in the car setting out for a wedding in the mountains. Earlier this morning I got to do a GREAT school visit at Carrboro High, where I met the most awesome group of girls (and their librarians!):
They’re posing with these great posters that my publisher sent me, which I feel VERY rock star signing for some reason. Although it is not very rock to star realize that you forgot your kid’s Nice Shoes for the wedding you are now en route to. Whoops. I can only hope that’s the worst thing I forgot after this crazy morning. Bring on the weekend!

Have a great one, everyone!