An empty space

My first task each weekday morning is to get the kids off to school. It is chaotic and frequently frustrating, but it has gone better since I started making the kids pay attention to clocks. After I drive kids to their various schools, I come home and begin assessing what the rest of the day will look like. I check email, I check task lists, I talk with Howard. Then I make a plan for the day. Usually the plan gets altered repeatedly in the course of the day, but having a plan helps.

Yesterday I found myself at 10 am with nothing left to do. Seriously. I still have piles of work, but all of it was waiting on a piece from someone else. Book layout is waiting on margin art. Cover layout is waiting on some illustration pieces. Convention prep is waiting on a photo shoot which we’ll do next week. No one had ordered stuff from the store since I shipped the day before. There weren’t even very many emails. The weather was stormy and wet, so gardening was out of the question. I puttered around the house for awhile. Then Howard left the house at noon and I was alone. Alone for two hours with nothing urgent to do. It was marvelous.

I was tempted to sleep. Sleep makes my brain blank which sounds really attractive since it has been a noisy place to live of late. Instead I decided to spend those two hours being a writer. So I crafted a query letter and submission packet. My friend Janci offered to read it and give me a critique about whether it was working. Writing the query is yet another baby step toward the time when I’ll be querying my project for real. Part of my brain spent time telling me that I was being silly and that no one could be interested in buying my book, but I ignored that part and did the work.

Then it was time to pick up the kids. And none of them had homework. And they all dashed off to play at friends’ houses. And then I was alone again for three more hours. It was enough time to eat food, play a video game, and clean up the house. It was wonderful to be able to do the things I chose to do simply because I wanted to do them.

It also meant that my brain was untangled and ready when the North Valley Writer Girls could not come, the Utah County branch all congregated at my house instead. It was really fun. I was able to be at home for my kids while still getting to talk with other writers.

Today I think there will be more time free for thinking and unwinding, although I won’t be alone in the house. I’ll also be listening to my church’s General Conference which will fill my head with new thoughts to think. Next week the kids are home for spring break while I simultaneously attempt to finish up a book. It will definitely be interesting.