Confession: I didn't want it to rain today. Correction: I wanted it to be sunny in the morning so I wouldn't have to go off to work - the school I'm subbing for was going to have a river day if it was sunny, and they wouldn't need me. I did want it to rain this afternoon and free me from Mom duty. I don't mind so much when it's one thing at a time, but today it's the softball, baseball, track combination that makes my head hurt.
I want to be there for all my kids, I really do. But will someone please explain to me why they schedule all these games right at dinner time? By the time we all get home we are a mass of cranky, hungry, emotional messes. And then I have to figure out what to feed them. Quickly. Before they chew my arm off.
Well, it's raining. So likely my arm will be spared and I'll get the kids fed and some housework done. But my writing will suffer. Because I'm busy being super sub. (Not really, but it sounds good. And if I put my mind to it, I could probably write a few pages in the down time, or when kids are watching movies. If only I wasn't so easily distracted by the fun stuff.)
This week I'm taking care of my neighbor (and friend's) children. You may know that I have 4 of my own, add the three neighbor kids - well you can figure it out. It's a lot of kids. The good part is that the new kids are better behaved than the old kids - and their house (which their mom claims is dirty) is spotlessly clean. Unlike my house, which is not spotlessly clean. By any stretch of the imagination.
Needless to say, I've been spending my time in the clean house. Which is new, not 200 years old, like my house is. 200 years old I mean. Not new.
My house is full of my junk, my kid's junk and my husband's junk. Only my kids and husband would say it's not junk - except for mine. We all agree that mine is junk, even me.
It's hard to write when the house is junky. It's tempting to start throwing things away. I probably should be throwing things away. But the only way to get books written is to sit and write. So the junk will have to wait. And just so I'm not tempted to deal with junk, I think I'll go write in the clean, new house that is neighborless for the time being.
It's Bob Dylan's birthday today. I know this because it's also mine. Happy Birthday to me! No, I'm not going to tell you how old I am. Just think 20 years younger than I look. That would do for me.
It's a work in the garden day. My informally adopted oldest daughter is cleaning my car. My by-birth oldest daughter is still in bed. Older twin is helping cook dinner, younger twin is reading a good book, youngest daughter is doing something secret in her room.
I'm having a baked pancake for breakfast - with fruit. The rest are having chocolate chip pancakes made on the griddle. And bacon. I can smell it. Yum.
After breakfast I'm putting in tomatoes and peppers. Then I'll start the huge job of weeding the flower gardens. Mulching so those dang weeds don't come back. Then I'm building a trellis for the raspberries.
After that, collapsing from exhaustion is on the list.
So this is it! Moonlighting in Vermont's cover art.
I know my last blog was incredibly sulky. I apologize. I've gotten to the point I need to pinch myself. Against the odds, my book is being published. I'm oh so lucky.
Don't get me wrong, I like the stories I tell. I enjoy writing, and hope with judicious editing they will be written well enough that the words don't distract from the story.
Stories are all about words. Words that create the images we see in our minds when we read. But a poor choice of a word can impair our enjoyment of the story. A word, sentence, image, fact (correct or not), can pull the reader completely out of a story. And sometimes, they never go back.
So, for a storyteller, words are the double edged sword. (Clique, I know. But I promised myself that my blog didn't have to be perfect. Write more, worry about it less is my new motto.)
Anyway, you can't have a story without words or images - if it's a visual like a slide show or movie it could be without words - but put in the wrong one, make a false step, and boom, story's over. That's a great deal of pressure. I'm happy to say that it doesn't usually stop me from writing. It does slow down the process of editing though. My vocabulary isn't always up to the task of finding the perfect word, search though I might.
Ms. George has always been easily distracted by books and has a life long love affair with mysteries. Her early influences include Mary Stewart and Agatha Christie. Ms. George began writing at an early age and by age 25 had written her first book, a truly awful novella about a marine biologist. She then wisely took a break from writing.
Ms George has always loved animals and they find their way into her novels on a regular basis. The dogs are often based on her own canine children and their fictional antics are usually rooted in the truth. The incident with the crazy skunk in California Schemin’ (March 2011) is not fictional. For the record, the dogs would rather stink than be washed with peroxide, baking soda or dishwashing soap ever again.
Ms. George is currently living in Central Vermont with her husband, four children, three dogs, and two cats. She once had 28 chickens, all named, none of them especially keen to lay eggs. I'm sorry to tell you that Hermione and Speckles were eaten by coyotes. The rest were given to good homes to avoid any further emotional distress.