It’s been a strange Back-to-School season for me this year…as it’s the first year in a long time I’m not rushing to beat the bell along with my kids. I miss my kindergarten and first grade English language learners every day, as they kept me smiling and laughing constantly. And I miss my co-workers, too. I was lucky to teach with so many exceptional women whose daily interaction with me warmed my heart and provided me wonderful friendships…even if during very short clips of conversations in the halls.
Now, I’m hiding out most days solo, working up a storm and trying to catch up on months (if not years) of backlogged to-do lists. And while I do miss my own kids while they’re away at school (more than words can say), it’s incredible how much I can get done in a day with a quiet, empty house. Just my sweet Ellie and me…my golden retriever who has been a very faithful friend. Of course, there are many other furry friends around here too…sheep, goats, cats, horses. I also have some feathery friends with a foursome of ducks on the pond and a few coops full of chickens (not to mention the lucky lady who flew the coop and claimed the pasture instead.) So, I guess I’d be exaggerating a bit to say it’s quiet, or empty, but compared to the flurry of activity we usually have around here, it’s extremely peaceful during those school days.
When Mountains Move is set to launch September 1, and I assure you…if anyone knew the amount of work that really goes on behind the scenes in a writer’s living room during the months leading up to the big day…you’d be amazed anyone takes this crazy job. It’s chaos, but it’s fun, and I’m just VERY grateful to be able to do this (primarily) during the daylight hours for a change.
I have spent YEARS functioning on VERY little sleep… two hours or less most nights. Needless to say, it has caught up with me. That’s why I look 80 when I’m really only 39. Now, I’m FINALLY getting some real sleep (Whew!), establishing a normal routine (as routine as I’ll ever be), and trying to get my life back into balance. It might take me a few years to really catch up, but I’m beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. For that, I’m counting my blessings.
Thanks for all you do to support writers like me who spend years burning the midnight oil trying to build a story. We really do bleed those books, and we really do make tremendous sacrifices to share them with readers.
Hope you’re all off to a fabulous school year…or will be, for those of you who still have weeks of summer left (always hard to go back so early in the south when my friends elsewhere are still vacationing).