Almost empty

The writing deadline (which is another book, should I survive) is starting to figure largely in my life. There is a phase near the end of a manuscript in which all reality is suspended and there is nothing but work and sleeplessness and crying…and I am not there yet. I am in the phase before that, in which one still believes that if one applies themselves diligently and methodically, that they can neatly avoid that nasty bit. This has never worked for me (nor for any other writer I have ever met) but every time I try harder to achieve it. Part of that trying this time is setting goals for each day, not taking days off and never allowing myself to fall behind. Part of this phase is also screaming this at the family, trying to get them to commit to the same structure and goals. They don’t. In fact, although they maintain it is entirely coincidental or even just my perception, I feel that this is the time that they step up their demands and presence. I keep working.

In order to manage this structure and working, I have done a few new things. Firstly, Friday I made this my office:


(Can you see how much we still need rain? That brown grass…)

I am not, as I have come to call them a “coffeeshop writer”. Coffeeshop writers are those of the breed who, when they cannot find writing space in their homes, go to a coffeeshop. I don’t know how they do it. The distraction of my fellow humans is too much for me. I watch people get their drinks, I listen to their conversations (I don’t mean to do it….I can’t help it.) I wonder where they are going, wonder what they are doing. I stop doing my work and start people watching. I am distractible and despite all efforts, I need quiet and a minimum of distractions – which is too bad…because I really like coffee. An empty house is good. A park is good. (A park is really good. There is no internet in the park. That reduces the temptations and distractions even further.) I got a fair bit done.

Secondly, since that empty house thing is good too (and I am less likely to be bitten by mosquitos in the house) Megan and Sam have gone to visit a friend in Kingston (Ontario, not Jamaica) for three days. Three glorious days where all I have to do is find a way to get Joe and Amanda out of my way, and I’m golden. (Joe is really my biggest offender. For reasons that I will never understand, the days that I have no kids and am going to really get a lot of work done are the days that it is essential to his work and veritable existence that he not leave the house or, even more infuriatingly must return to the house at random intervals to piss me off accomplish his day. Today, for example, he is home for lunch and to “review some stuff” before a meeting. If my book deadline were months away and I had nothing to do today but have lunch with my husband I wouldn’t be able to pay him to come home for five minutes, I assure you. The man has radar. I have no idea how he does it.) To make the most of the empty house (should I achieve it) and the park, the knitting was simple over the weekend, and will continue to be boring for a few days.


Joe’s new socks, my own pattern, Knitpicks essential sock yarn in “Ash”.


Now, when self discipline is everything, it is not the time to begin a thrilling love affair with a brand new project,

although truth be told, it is all I want to do, almost all I can think about, and the temptation is overwhelming.

A few notes about upcoming stuff:

1. September 17th, the free day on the tour schedule for September has been filled with New Orleans. (!!!)

2. I screwed up, the time for the event in Wichita is at 3pm, not 2pm. (Sorry. I almost made you all early.)

3. The time for the Los Angeles event is 2pm.

Details, as always, are on the “Harlot on tour” page which is always available for your clicking pleasure in the sidebar on the right.