Monday, December 10, 2018

Threads

It's been over a year since I've been to this blog. I can't remember if I told you or not, but my mother is in the latter stages of Alzheimers/dementia. I have been her primary caregiver for the last eight years. I hope you can see why I haven't been to this blog.

I've also resumed several of the functions at my daughter's school that, being an 8th grade mother this year, I should not have had to take on. The principal laughed in my face. I am doing the same if not more work much to my chagrin. The staff are also under the presumption that I will resume my duties next year, even though my daughter will have graduated. (They can't keep her back, she's making the honor roll.) I laugh at them every time they bring up the subject.

Romantic "Boomer" Short Story
Over the last year, I have begun two manuscripts. They both sit in the mid 20k range. However, I have written and completed one novella and one short story. Both are edited and have been waiting for publication. I know it only takes 5 minutes these days, but I just haven't been able to find the time.

I forgot how much I like writing shorter fiction. However, readers want a longer ending. They are disappointed they can't follow the HEA to a spot in the future. I find that interesting.

It's that time of year when I tend to take a final sweep of the last twelve months and see if I've accomplished anything.  I keep telling my friends that I want to "go back to work." I guess I have, but it doesn't feel like it. I remember the days when I could write 75 thousand publishable words in six weeks. I guess I'm not who I used to be.

It's also that time of year when I tend to look forward. My daughter is heading into (hopefully a private high school) and the volleyball schedule is a nightmare. The school is also an hour from the house (one way). We still can't seem to find a full-time day-time caregiver for my mother that will stick around longer than a couple of months. I need to finish the manuscripts I started before I begin another story. I have had it in the back of my head to build a website for more than five years. I'd like to tackle that this year.

I also think I'd like to blog more. My therapist appreciates the books I write as a cathartic excercise, however, she thinks, and I think I do to, that I need to discuss writing as my "real job" because the job I do at school is not about writing and I never discuss it. How can I stay relevant if I'm not around?

It's that time of year when I clean my house. I begin the week before Thanksgiving and don't finish until we return to school on January 3. Furniture is moved. Clothes are sorted. Cabinets are cleaned. I have two bedrooms, the other half of the dining room, and a hallway I have to finish painting (including all the trim) a bathroom I need to finish floor to ceiling (I tore out the wall tile and the floor) and another bath I have to start. I must also finish the floor in my office and move all the furniture back in. (Is it any wonder I can't write?)

I miss my old life. When I was famous. In my own little microcosmic world. When everybody knew who I was. Now I don't know who I am and I'm certainly not famous--infamous is a much better word. I hate to say that people will definitely remember me after I leave my daughter's school. I am, as it were, a character.

The old urge to write the Great American Novel is coming back. Sure, we all say that, but once the glamour and the hype of being a full-time novelist wears off, most of us write to recieve enough royalties to quit whatever shitty job we have so we can pay the bills. The GAN has long been stuffed to the bottom of my writing list. Until recently. I've been toying with an idea for fifteen years (since I was pregnant). The threads of it change constantly, flowing in an out of existence, sticking somewhere in the gray matter then floating free again. However, it's there and for whatever reason, won't go away.

I also want to start the romatic women's fiction project I've wanted to do since I began volunteering at my daughter's school. If you think your workplace suffers from gossip, political wrangling, and snobbery, you haven't worked for your private school PTO. The sad thing is I'd like to write a screenplay instead of a novel. And that would take forever. However, it would totally work as a movie.

Today, we are dealing with 13" of snow in North Carolina. I have to put on my gear and head down to my parents' house (137 steps away down the hill). I did it twice yesterday. During the storm. It was like walking through rough shoreline chop. My ass tingles today. How many muscles haven't I used?

The only thing I like about snow in North Carolina is that school will be out for at least two days. Maybe I can get some writing in. After I finish the pots and pans from my cook-pocolypse episode yesterday. After I deal with my mother. After I flip the laundry. After I unload the dishwasher. After I shovel the driveway.

I'll see you soon.

Robynne Rand (c) 2018

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