Saturday, December 27, 2014

Setting Up Trains, 65-Cent Advances, and Making Christmas Happen

Right now, I'm enjoying an aimlessness, a short phase of "What? I have time to do something tonight? I have no idea what that would be!"

After a year of GO GO GO--releasing four ebooks, two print books, and one book-in-progress that only La Petite Adult has read--I'm letting myself have a minute to breathe. Well, my version of breathing.

But first, my week in review as a Mom Writer with a Deadline:

1. We made it into Portsmouth, fifteen minutes away, to get haircuts for the boys and a dinner for all of us. La Petite had a bear project at school, and as part of the project, she had to take Penny the Bear out and about to give her an experience.

Penny enjoying the board game store

Walking the streets of Portsmouth, NH

2. We went to church, where La Petite was Mary in the Christmas Pageant. She was superb, and Le Boy Bebe was superb in his supporting role as Clapper.

A mural of our church from the 1800s at the local post office.

3. I even forced myself to let go of On A Deadline Stress so that I could put a puzzle together with the family Christmas Eve. But I kept counting down the minutes, and the stress of this puzzle started to snowball into the On A Deadline Stress. (This puzzle was only 300 pieces, but do you know how many black-and-white pieces there were? Too many for my continued mental health!)

Cow puzzles are cute but HARD

4. I finished the promised book to La Petite Adult. Back in October? September? La Petite Adult gave me an advance of 65 cents to write her a book. At first, she only offered me 25 cents, but she made the mistake of coming in with a handful of coins. I asked for ALL the coins. ;o)

The book I went with is an old one I had done for a MG/YA anthology that never was. The book was originally titled THE TREEHOUSE WARS, but no war actually happened (this is where the title was thought up first, then the story was written, then the title wasn't changed to reflect the story). Anywho. I now have a new title: The Secret Treehouse That Bobby Fennelly's Mom Made Up.

The cover for the book I wrote for La Petite
The book in my seven-year-old's hands. Finished at 4:30 am Christmas morning

5. We celebrated Christmas. As most moms can relate to, the prepping and buying and planning of Christmas fell on me. So while I was working on the last revisions of The Secret Treehouse and fighting with a printer that did NOT want to print the PDF Booklet format, I put out all the presents and set up the dining room and assembled a train. It was fun trying to test it without waking up the family at 3 am!

I looked up and there they were. Freaky deaky and ready to haunt me.

6. I made sure to head bump the cat. I know pets are supposed to relieve stress. Whoever said that never got a load of my whiny cat Willow who never thinks she gets enough love, attention, food, or pets. 

Kitty kisses at midnight

So back to that aimlessness. After quite the year of busy days and even busier nights, it's nice to have a moment or two to breathe. To plot the plan of attack for next year. To really stop and see what will be lucrative (i.e., bringing in steady income) versus what just sounds like fun (i.e., not bringing in steady income).

I have five more days until January 1. I don't do resolutions--that's just an expectation-laden word that has failure built into it--but I do believe in goal-setting with micro-steps lined up to attack each goal.

My biggest issue? I have too many goals! I want to cram five years of work into 365 days AND be a good mom to my babies.

At least I've let go of the need of being an excellent housekeeper. Or creating dinners from scratch. These two things are not hobbies of mine, and they don't bring me peace or happiness. 

Accepting my limitations and knowing that I don't need to be perfect because I can't be perfect definitely bought me time to write one more book. Maybe even one-and-a-half. ;o)

Sydney Strand is a writer and mom who has published two books through New York and another five via self-publishing. She writes funny little romances, but not of the Red Room of Pain variety. More like the Dan and Roseanne Connor variety--humor is sexy, dontcha know. You can follow Sydney on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and/or you can sign up for her All Things Awesome Newsletter.

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