Friday Five: A Disorganized Week

Every hero has a flaw, and so does every writer with goals to get their hero onto the page. At least that’s what I tell myself when I look back at the week and wonder at all the moments when the writing didn’t happen. The one thing I know about myself and my writing patterns is that I do best with getting to the fiction when my life is running on an even keel, when the patterns of my days are consistent and predictable.

Yeah, I know. Because life is SO often like that.

Still, know oneself, right? I try not to beat myself up about a lag, and I try to give myself a little shake and remind myself that it’s gone on long enough. And I do try to give myself credit for the things, however small, that came along to shake up the routine and that, in their own way, demanded attention and time.

Hence this week’s Friday Five post.

1. Son is playing bass in the high school’s punk-rock production of Julius Caesar. It’s tech week, which means, in general, practice from the time school gets out until 10:00 at night. With a few modifications for the band itself (a bass, a guitar, and drums) which, of course, fluctuate on any given day. But pretty much mean that yours truly is VERY much up past her bedtime.

2. I’m driving the other car this week, seeing that my car is in pieces in the garage after breaking its timing belt. While it waits for donor organs (the new head parts husband will install), I’m driving around town in our old Vanagon. Which I love and which you can see from a mile away, although it takes more time than usual for me to drive that mile and get close enough for you to see that, yes, it’s really me. It’s kind of like riding in the shopping cart that you’ve stuck on the conveyor belt at the department store. It’s also a little like PARKING that shopping cart. But still, fun. Until you know, the brake light comes on and you have to call husband and start your conversation with the line, “Please don’t shoot the messenger.” More parts on order. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in here somewhere.

3. At work, I turned around a last-minute grant application that popped up out of nowhere and was a must. I tell you, it’s like those funders don’t know that I’m trying to keep a nice, neat grant calendar going! I also shifted hours a bit, because–hey, if you didn’t need to finish your work day in synch with that 3:30 school pick-up time, would YOU get up at 5:30 a.m. to go in early? I think not.

4. I did some of that non-writing writing work we all have. I took the plunge and started researching slush piles, having tested the agent waters with my picture book, getting some very positive response, but pretty much verifying my gut feel that one completed picture book is not the best route to agent representation. The picture book is now resting on one editor’s virtual desk, and I have several picture books published by another editor in my on-the-way-from-the-library pile. Another path along which I can only see to the first curve, with some fog along the way, but it goes in a direction that seems right for now.

5. I started physical therapy for my back. Just a minor strain or pull or something from not listening to my yoga teacher about props a few months ago, but it’s not going away, and it’s time to grow up and do something about it. Luckily, the PT place is two doors down from the high school, five minutes from home, five minutes from work. And also luckily, I really like the physical therapist herself. I mean, if you have to listen to things like “stability” and “flexibility” and “you’re trashing your back because you can’t bend,” you’d better be hearing them from someone nice. And I am being a very good client and actually DOING the exercises…TWO DAYS RUNNING! I can’t say they’re pleasant, and I’m still not sure I’m doing ANY of them right, they’re manageable and relatively uncomplicated and, like I said, part of being a responsible adult who’s trying to be supportive of the body she needs to use for several more decades.

Okay, there you have it: the things that came along new this week and said, “Hey! Fit us in! Schedule? We don’t need no stinkin’ schedule!” This weekend probably entails some moral support in the auto shop garage and, hopefully, the first Xmas shopping trip of the year. But now that I’ve recognized that my non-fatal flaw has reared its ugly head again, I’m hoping to tell it to shush and spend SOME time with the YA.

How’s your week been?


  1. Since you asked… I just spent the most phenomenal week of writing instruction with the folks at Free Expressions. It was everything a writer for YA or MG could ask for, plus more. Good luck with your picture book ms!


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