Notes from a Drama Queen

It's done!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

OH ... my ... god! It's done. 40 pages today, including 7 pages between 4 and 5 this morning. Now I have to wake Jenny up so we can go eat. I am a total and complete goddess. I've written 123 pages since I got here (three days plus the travel day from hell) and I'm ready to drink champagne and party like it's 1999.

Except that Jenny's asleep and Lani's taken Sweetness and Light out for Halloween. I played the 1812 Overture as loud as my computer would play it, but Jenny's still asleep. What's a girl gotta do?

Of course I've got to print out and revise the hell out of this sucker. But I'll be ready for NaNo tomorrow (even though I have to go home -- waaaah).

Yeehaw!!!! Life is good.


Friday, October 30, 2009

So yesterday dawned bright and early. I curled up in my recliner and began to write, watching the sun glint off the Ohio River. It went more slowly than I wanted, but you know, I had to stop and visit for at least a tiny while. The dogs came in to keep me company, I nibbled on cinnamon bagels and whole grain goldfish, and finally exhaustion overtook me and I dragged my sorry ass in for a nap. Then dinner, a rousing game of Go Fish with Sweetness ad Light (which I won), then back to work until about two in the morning. I must confess that Slingo Deluxe called my name a few times while I thought through what was going to happen next.
I ended the day with 32 pages -- respectable but not good enough.
This morning we had sex. In the book, that is. Lovely, lovely sex, in great detail. Every now and then I'd email Lani and Jenny (Lani was upstairs, Jenny was down the hall, but I was WORKING) to let them know what they were missing.
Exhausted by all the excitement, I needed a break, so we went out to Steak N Shake because a girl has to eat.
Then back home, writing, another nap, writing. Thirty pages so far, and miles to go before I sleep. I was hoping to finish the draft today -- it's within sight -- but it depends on my energy level.
Still, 62 pages in two days isn't bad, and I'm not finished yet.
I need some more diet green tea ginger ale. I need someone luscious like Adrian Rohan in my bed.
Well, I have someone like that but he's back in Vermont (and he's a lot sweeter). But I don't have four dachshunds and a toy poodle puppy with no back kneecaps (I kid you not -- someone left poor Mona in a grocery bag at the end of the driveway of a rescue organization and of course Jenny took her in, with Lani going No, No, No like Amy Winehouse but finally saying yes, yes, yes.) But I digress.

I need to print up all 400 pages and see if I can stomp and whip and seduce it into shape for my charming middle-aged editor (I kept calling him my baby boy editor but he's thirty-five so he qualifies as middle-aged. I, however, am younger than springtime.)

Anyway, more writing to do, But I am a goddess. And it's not even 9 pm.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Well, after a travel day from hell (cancelled flights, long delays, squeaking onto a plane after being on standby) I got to Jenny's. We had our traditional welcome home meal at IHOP, hugs and kisses when I got home, and then I curled up in the living room and wrote ten pages before I fell asleep. I've been up since a little after nine, writing like crazy, when a paddlewheel steamer just went by on the Ohio. The leaves are coming down like large brown snowflakes in a Vermont blizzard, and I think Lani washed the windows so I'd have an excellent view. It's lovely. Milton, Wolfie, Lyle and Mona just came to say hello (three dachshunds and a poodle) and I've done five pages already this morning.

I've got my diet coke and my whole grain goldfish and all is well.

Onward and upward.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I've got the killer of all schedules right now. A book due at the end of the week, then two months to finish another book, then two and a half months to write a brand new one. It's totally insane.
However, I'm currently in a white hot frenzy of inspiration -- I actually WANT to write (usually I prefer having written to the actual act of writing) and there's nothing I like more than immersing myself in work.
I quite often do marathons at the end of a book. Go off to a hotel, lock myself in the bedroom, etc. Well, this time I came up with the splendid idea of going to stay with Jenny and Lani in the magic woods outside Cincinnati.
Jenny and Lani and I have our own little family, of sisters, goddesses and writers. I don't get to be there as much as I want, particularly since I'm the only one left for my 95 year old mother, but the book's got to be done and it's the perfect excuse.
I really want to see how the set up will work for intensive marathon time. Jenny's got enough lazyboys to keep me happy, and her enchanted castle in the magic woods looks out over the river. That's my little set up in the photo -- at night we can turn the chair around and have the gas fire, and there are plenty of dachshunds to cuddle. I love writing by water -- there's something about the flow of water that makes me write more, and the Ohio River is a big, muscular, hard-working river. I'm hoping to pick up its energy, as I did this summer when I visited.
So I'm flying out there on Wednesday for the final push, revisions, read through, revisions, and then off it goes to New York. Preferably on Saturday because Sunday is the beginning of NaNoWriMo, a world-wide marathon of novel-writing. For anyone who wants to get on-board, here's the link:

I'll have time for Steak N Shake (a wicked indulgence) and for sitting and talking when I need to take a break. But apart from that I've got about 100 pages to write in three days.
I am Writer, Hear me Roar.

Anyone up for NaNoWriMo?

Deep Thoughts

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I recently wrote a wailing, self-pitying post on a private bulletin board I'm on. A safe place, where I can express such fears. And I wrote:

I'm afraid I'm going to die before I finish the books I want to write.

I'm afraid my husband and I will never again .....

I'm afraid I'm about to sink into a depression.

I'm afraid of the IRS.

I'm afraid I'm going to be a slave to someone I'm not going to name in case that person reads my blog, and that there's no way to escape until that person dies.

I'm afraid I'll never get away from this place where the winters and the taxes are killing us.

I'm afraid, and I'm usually fearless. I guess I'm afraid the fear won't pass.

There's a reason for all this fear. My remaining sibling, my 64 year old sister, died this spring without warning. One day she was talking about plans for the future and how she was going to be more active, and then she just didn't wake up. And I still haven't really grieved about it -- I've been running around, being busy, pushing it again.

And then, just to sweeten the pot, my 59 year old, very healthy husband had a heart attack, and not a minor one. His cholesterol isn't bad, his blood pressure's fine, he eats well, exercises and has no family history of heart problems. And yet his arteries are filled with plaque, and one was clogged completely.

He's recovering nicely, and he'll be doing cardiac rehab and be back to normal, skiing, hiking, etc.

But it's no wonder I'm afraid.

I was thinking about when life isn't what you expected it to be. We all have dreams of perfect children and nuclear families and all the usual passages. We were thrown a curve when I couldn't get pregnant (our children are adopted) and life keeps tossing challenges at us.

Around now I could really do with a break. I want to move somewhere we can afford to live (Vermont is beautiful but it's not only the most taxed state in the country, it also has horrendously high utility rates). Someplace with less snow and more sunshine. A new house with room for a sewing studio, a view of the mountains, and just someplace else.

But ... life is full of trade-offs.

I am the person I wanted to be when I grew up (albeit fatter). I live the life I would have chosen.
But because I'm a writer I have to pay my own taxes, and when life becomes chaotic those fall by the wayside. It means no one pays me a pension. It means money comes in chunks and then nothing, making saving for the future very hard.

But that's the downside of the gift I was given. I was given the gift to write books I love, to be able to sell the books I love and make a living at it. If I hadn't chosen to follow that path, if I'd taken a traditional job and my husband had had a traditional job then we'd be looking at retirement in the next few years and planning for the future.

But think of all I would have missed! The stories that I would never have told, the trips I'd never have taken, the friends I would have missed. I chose this life, chose to follow my bliss, and with it comes some hard choices.

It was thinking about The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. It's probably illegal to copy it here, but you know the one -- two roads diverged in a yellow wood ...I took the one less traveled by, and that made all the difference.

And I did. I'm still on that road. It's got more brambles and you can't always tell what direction it's going. You might end up going over a cliff. But you might reach glorious peaks and amazing views. And it's the road I took, and I don't regret it.

I guess what I have to do is acknowledge the fear. None of it is unreasonable (hell, fear of the IRS is healthy). But know that some of these fears are the dark side of the choices I've made, and they really are a price I'm willing to pay.

I just want to make sure I live long enough to write all the stories I want to write. I think I need to live forever.