“In time it could’ve been so much more
The time is precious I know
In time it could’ve been so much more
The time has nothing to show”
- Craig, M.; Moss, Jon; Hay, Roy; O’Dowd, George. “Time (Clock of the Heart)” Culture Club
School ended last Wednesday. (sigh of relief.) I hit the ground sprinting. As soon as I got home, I straightened the house (shoving a not-so-small pile of papers into my room, on top of my “clean” pile of laundry on the floor), ordered the children to clean up clutter, vacuum, and mop. And then I prepared a nice dinner for company.
Two of my children's friends slept over, so the next day, I fed them all breakfast. Thursday was spent reading for and meeting with the brand new critique group. Then I took my children to their Taekwondo classes.
I spent Friday washing, drying, folding and putting away laundry, and packing for our trip to New York to visit family. I even cleaned up the pile of papers in my room. I’m officially caught up on the house since the wedding a few weeks ago.
When I visit Long Island, very few days are open. On Saturday, my children and me visited a friend and her children, and my cousin came over afterwards. Sunday was my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah. Monday morning my daughter began daily swimming lessons at the beach (don’t cry for me). In the afternoon, my poor husband left for home so he could go back to work. Yesterday was actually a down day with few obligations. This afternoon and evening I spent time with my mother. There are also plans with family and friends the next two days. Then my daughter and I head home.
My son is staying for another week with his grandparents. And my daughter just decided she wants to take a week of soccer camp. When I looked online, I realized (drum roll please…)
The soccer camp is NEXT WEEK.
This means I have NO CHILDREN next week!
What to do with my time?
The obvious: WRITE.
What to write?
I have the rough draft of Naked Eye waiting to move beyond chapter two. And I have to thank Lydia Kang who is a writer and part-time doctor: http://lydiakang.blogspot.com/. I asked her a question for “Medical Mondays” to do with this WIP. Her quick e-mail response means I can move ahead to chapter three. Thanks, Lydia!
My critique group sent me comments for chapter one of The Disappearances. While I may not incorporate a drastic change in the very beginning, I found other suggestions helpful. While I’ve incorporated feedback from one member, I haven’t worked on the other two women’s comments. I’m excited to query this soon(ish).
This story tackles environmental consequences, in an unpreachy manner. It also has a pair of best friends, one with unrequited love, and a love triangle (or two), so it should be appealing to teens. My protagonist has to find her voice and figure out what’s most important to her. Oh, and some pretty scary stuff happens too. Best of all, NO vampires.
My beta-reader, Aubrie just finished reading Aura. That manuscript has had more eyes on it than any of my other manuscripts. People seem to connect with and like it. And I’ve gotten the best feedback on this from agents and editors than anything I’ve previously written. The problem is… well… vampires. Even if she’s the vampire who doesn’t get bitten by a boy, so she’s not a victim and has a strong voice, the market is saturated with vampire stories. My recent rejection from an agent I admire:
“I'm really full to the brim with Vampires and other beasties…”
While I haven’t combed the world with queries, I don’t know how much harder I should bother trying. So I’m thinking of setting up a second blog and serializing it for fun.
Would you read it?
Of course, there’s the thorny problem of my job search. Not working full-time so long after my certification is hurting me. The economy is hurting me. Blah, blah, blah. It all feels like excuses, no matter how many examples I heap on top of my pile. So my time also must be spent figuring out a next step. At this point, I may need to call someone like a Dean to find out what would make me more marketable.
I have weeks stretching out ahead of me. But I also have a couple of family trips, visitors, and an out-of-state wedding. Somehow, the time is always snatched away before I’m ready. I already feel like I haven’t accomplished enough. Instead of relaxing, I’m: Barking. Snapping. Plotting. Fretting. Dreading.
I have one week, from 9:30 am until 2:30 pm. It’s like a gift. I want to use it well.
Teachers, how do you fill your summer?
Teacher-writers, how do you best utilize this time?
Writers, how do you budget your time?
“Oh, time is on my side, yes it is
Time is on my side, yes it is.”
- Ragovoy, Jerry. “Time Is on My Side” The Rolling Stones