Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Overwhelmed for the Holidays

This week I took leave from work, thinking I could get a lot done. I'm working to polish up a manuscript for submission so having five days off seemed like the thing to do.


The plan started out well. Uh, okay, maybe not. For some unknown reason, I thought it would be a good idea to collect old photos and make scrapbooks for my husband's family for the holidays. Seemed simple enough. Three scrapbooks and I wouldn't have to worry about gifts. First there was the scanning. Ten straight hours. Then there was cutting out the pictures and sticking them into the books. Forget about fancy designs, I did a few little touches, but mostly, I was busy just peeling little sticky tabs off a roll and pasting the pictures to the pages. Another ten hours. One day. Another ten hours the next day.


Because the albums had pages that were 12"x12", the book itself added another inch for the spine and about ¼" all around for the covers, making it about 14"x13". So there was the question of a box. Or rather three boxes and a trip to several places to get them. Then I had to cut the boxes down because they were way too tall.


Total time, nearly four days and no writing done.


And I had such good intentions.


Now, not to complain, but while I was struggling with this insanely stupid gift idea, I was also without running water for 24 hours because the pipe from our water pump broke. On the bright side, I learned how to use a hack saw and two kinds of glue, including that pretty purple stuff. Not to mention having to move all the furniture in my office searching for a body. Because something started to…smell in there with that oh-so-distinctive odor. I think it's a dead mouse, but whatever it is, I couldn't find it. I think it might be wedged behind the baseboard and I really didn't want to start tearing my office apart. And there is the possibility it isn't a mouse because I also found a rather nice shed snakeskin above my kitchen cupboard. So there is that. Living at the edge of a swamp does have certain disadvantages.


In any event, I can tell you quite definitively that Febreze is absolutely useless when it comes to certain odors. And although it has a certain "mousy" element, I'd really be happier to think it's more reptilian.


And here I am, leave almost used up, with a manuscript I haven't touched in a week. Today, I absolutely intend to work on it, although I don't think that work will take place in my office. Not for a few days yet.


Oh—almost forgot, I do have some good news. My novella, Christmas Mishaps, is available now as part of the Cotillion Country Christmas anthology. Sorry about this ugly link, but if you are interested in taking a look, here is the link for the book:

I love holiday stories. They are such an excellent way to escape the stress of the busiest season of the year. And this year in particular I'm resolute about taking the time to read and relax. At some point.

Happy Holidays!

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