I work from home and sometimes things can be a little too quiet. I used to listen to music, but have, over the past few months, started leaving the television on. Usually, I just let a show like Friends or Felicity run in the background, but around the time that the calendar changed over to December I started playing Christmas movies. I love Christmas movies, the cheesier the better. Except for Love, Actually. I don’t know what it is about that one, but I just don’t like it. But turn on The Holiday and I’ll watch it over and over.
I disappointed my boss on Tuesday. It’s a new feeling, and not one I like. I knew I disappointed him because I could feel him watching me, wanting me to do something, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to.
We were at PubCon, sitting at a table in the exhibit hall when a woman came up to us and asked us if any of us would like to be interviewed on camera talking about digital marketing. Right away, my boss volunteered me, but I shook my head.
I was angry. He knows I’m terrified of speaking in front of people. Being filmed is even worse. And yet he volunteered me. On the spot, just like that. No preparation.
The woman looked excited, told me they couldn’t get any women to participate. I didn’t look at my boss as I shook my head and declined her offer. I could feel him watching me, disappointed.
It kind of feels like I’ve been letting down a lot of people lately, myself included.
This was the toughest week in every way possible. I know you’re not supposed to wish time away, but I’m glad this week is coming to an end. I just want to put it behind me.
Four weeks until Maui. I can’t put into words how much I need this mini-vacation.
Two things that I really wanted to happen this week didn’t happen. 1–I didn’t sit down and outline my next novel and 2–I didn’t take part in day in the life. The fact that both these things didn’t happen won’t kill me but it does disappoint me. A girlfriend recently told me that I’m “military-like” — meaning, I set a deadline, a goal, etc, and I complete it. I laughed when she said that because, honestly, I’m the queen of setting deadlines and sitting back as they whoosh on by. But I know what she was referring to (me finishing my novel before my October 15th deadline). So, in this case, yeah, I guess she’s right.
This coming week I’m going to schedule time to outline. And I’m going to get it done. And I’ll do a day in the life, too.
I wish I didn’t have such a bad memory, because sometimes my kid says the funniest things and I can’t write them down (like when I’m driving). On Friday he told me, “sometimes grandpa kisses me and these sharp things prick me, like his moo-stash” and then he scrunched up his face and wiggled his fingers over top of his lips. Kids really do say the craziest things.
I’ve never been great when it comes to makeup. I’ve stuck with the basics for a long time–under eye concealer, mascara, bronzer and a little eyebrow filler if the mood strikes me. I’ve been trying to step outside of my comfort zone and try some new things. I bought this yesterday, which I’m excited to try out.
1 Whole30 really isn’t all that difficult as long as you plan ahead. For example, I pretty much always have plenty of these on hand for emergency snacks (only the compliant ones, of course) and stock the fridge with these and these for lunches. I made this for dinner on Wednesday night and it was delicious.
2 I don’t know how it all happened this way but my goodness I’ve been reading some incredible books over the past couple weeks, with more coming up. Let’s review. First, I got an ARC of A Little Too Late—devoured. Then, I finished reading The Ghostwriter—one of the best books I’ve read this year. After finishing The Ghostwriter on Friday night, I opened my iPad to see I’d gotten an ARC of The Fortunate Ones, which I’m over halfway through reading already. Tomorrow, Move The Stars releases—be still my reading heart. And then, Kandi Steiner’s new novel, On The Way To You releases November 16th. Heaven, people. Reading heaven.
3 I’m nearly done editing my second draft of Someone In The Way, and then it’s off to my editor for the final pass. Then, I’m going to get formatting it and start distributing some early ARCs. This is the fun part, friends.
As I sit down to write this week, I can’t help but notice how completely different things feel. It could have something to do with the fact that, one week into my Whole30, I’ve got more energy during the day than ever. But I’m guessing that it has more to do with the fact that on Wednesday night, four days before my deadline, I finished my Someone In The Way draft.
If you don’t know, I first had the idea to re-write Finding Lily back in March. Towards the end of April, I sat down and got to work. I struggled and struggled with re-writing that book (it was only a novella of 30k) for months and months. I even gave up at one point and started working on a new project.
But then… then I discovered this book, and I sat down and outlined that novel scene by scene. Then I got to work. A month and a half later, I have a completely new draft that is in great shape.
Finishing something that I started in April has had an incredible effect on me. I haven’t stopped smiling for days. I’m sleeping better. I don’t feel guilty every time I open up a book to read. I feel… accomplished.
And I absolutely cannot wait to share this book with the world.
How do I say anything, really, when a terrifying thing happened in town this week. You all know the story by now: a 64-year-old man hammered out two windows on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay and opened fire into a concert crowd below. He killed almost 60 people and injured well over 500. I am so fortunate to not know anyone who was hurt, and my heart goes out to all those who have. I can’t imagine the pain they must be experiencing.
How do I say anything, really, about how much writing I got done this week, or about sneaking in a sushi dinner date with my husband, or talk about all the adorable stories my son has been telling us this week.
It never fails that I feel completely out of control on Monday’s. There’s always too much to do and not enough time. But Tuesday’s… on Tuesday’s I kick ass. On Tuesday’s I work diligently, find time to write, spend time with my boys, and manage, even, to cook a mean eggplant parmesan for dinner.
Self-care matters. I never feel quite so like myself when my nails are freshly trimmed and painted black.
My son is smack in the middle of that age where they’re old enough to know when they’re doing something wrong, but not quite old enough to understand real discipline. My aunt was a grade school teacher for years, and then a principal (she is now retired) and about two weeks ago we were discussing my problems with disciplining my son. She suggested we try a rewards system. Sticker charts work for a lot of kids, but that wouldn’t allow us to take something away to discourage negative behavior. My aunt mentioned popsicle sticks in a jar.
We didn’t use popsicle sticks, but the idea is the same. When he does something positive, like eat his whole meal (this is a problem) or put away his toys, he gets a clip that he attaches to a string where he can see it. If he behaves poorly, we take a clip away. When he gets ten clips on the string, we give him a hot wheels car (only $.94 each–totally worth it).
So far it’s worked wonders. Let’s hope that continues.
I was invited somewhere recently—a big event on a holiday I’m not so much a fan of. I thought about coming up with an excuse not to go, but then I realized how silly that would be. So I told my friend the truth. I told her it’s not my kind of thing and we’d rather stay close to home and keep things simple.
My friend replied, “I knew you were going to say that.”
At first, I laughed. But then, slowly, it came to me: am I really that predictable?
I came back from Brian Head feeling like a whole new person. The time away from the city, the fresh air, the feeling that comes along with writing 10,100 words in just over two days—I can’t put a price on it. It was just what I needed.