What does one buy her husband to make up for the general craziness of the writing/blogging/freelancing life putting the sex life on the back burner when Important Things Are Happening that Must Be Attended to Right This Minute? I’m thinking the man-equivalent to Something Shiny and Sparkly.
Don’t say a Ferrari. I’m freelancing. That Writer-Speak for “Looks Good On Paper Only” with “Fucking Broke” understood to be the most accepted translation. Besides, it’s not like I came home smelling like another man’s cologne or something. That, my friends, would require what normal people tend to refer to as “Free Time”. I have been told this “Free Time” is something one can only find outside of The Internet and requires the separation, if only temporary, mind you, of self and laptop. Always interesting, this learning about the habits of the Non-Writer.
The other night, after a frantic nod to, um, Quality Time, (and a “Was That Good For You? Yes? Good!,” exchange as I bolted out of the room and into my email to reply to a revision request from my editor, I realized I’m married to a saint. I mean, I knew that before Oh Husband Whom I Know is Reading These Words, but sometimes, the little Aha! Moments tend to jump out and say You Have No Idea How Difficult You Are to Live With Sometimes and Why is Pinterest Giving His Penis a Complex?
Let’s discuss, shall we? Or would it be easier to just get a calendar and a Sharpie and circle the other days of the month indicating:
- Twitter parties
- That blog post I REALLY need to write about that thing that just went viral that I’ll go to my grave swearing a tiny part of me wasn’t convinced my brilliant response would go viral, too
- General stabbiness because ten different bloggers TOLD me I’m a much better writer than that two-bit hack that went viral only because she got lucky (after I asked them, of course)
- My fictional characters in that novel I’m writing just acted out the next scene inside my head I have to write RIGHT now or I lose it all
- The kid drove me nuts all day
- Live-tweeting Downton Abby
- I got in a phone fight with his mom
- I got in a phone fight with my mom
- We’re out of chocolate
- We’re out of wine
- We’re out of chocolate-flavored wine
- The hours I need to comb through blog archives in search of THE PERFECT PIECE of literary wit to submit to –
- A) Listen To Your Mother
- B) Blogher Voices of the Year
- That Facebook quiz I need to take to figure out what character I’m most like in Harry Potter, which leads me to the one about what kind of French cheese I am
- The dishes in the sink that aren’t gonna do themselves
- The fifteenth online book launch party this month for yet another friend I can’t let down
- The twitter argument I have to finish with this idiot who has no fucking clue who they’re messing with
- The planets are out of alignment
- Mercury is in retrograde …. Again
- File another invoice while secretly cursing the chick with the 300 Sandwiches and the book deal
- I’m busy buying 19 more URL’s for ideas I’ll never get to…just in case
- Frantic text conversations with the online friends I’ve yet to meet in person discussing Important Things like how many pairs of shoes to pack for that conference none of us have actually purchased tickets for yet
- My 1,000 word goal for the day is still 989 words short
- The NEED to Google my blog Alexa rank RIGHT NOW even though I still have no idea what it means
- Which, obviously, is to be followed up by checking my Klout score
- *Googling “Does Klout Matter to People who don’t think in 140?
- I haven’t yet taken 30 selfies from different angles, narrowed it down to the perfect one, and thought up a witty caption for that #365feministselfie thing and posted it EVERYWHERE before I even THINK of getting naked
- That important email I’m waiting for that will show up right now if I keep hitting refresh
- The conference call I’m waiting on in east coast time with everybody else in west coast time
- The kid drove me nuts all day & we’re out of chocolate-flavored wine
- The writing and scheduling of next week’s blog posts
- When I was frisky while he was at work and I was home alone and I took care of it myself already because I was being proactive and really should be congratulated for thinking ahead to free up my night to …
- Pick any of the above
Damn. Poor guy puts up with a lot, doesn’t he?
We writers are a special bunch. And the people who are nuts enough to love us deserve their own reality shows, I think. Because when we make it big? That’s when we make it up to them and they can proudly tell the world they knew marrying the crazy lady would totally pay off in the end.
Just let me finish up this chapter so I can write this blog post and hit Publish because dammit, this one’s gonna go viral.
I just know it.
I don’t do resolutions. But I did talk to my agent yesterday. And that conversation got me thinking.
I had reached out to ask her where I need to concentrate my efforts in 2014 for that ever-elusive book deal. I’ve got a column. I’ve got a massive readership now and am still all Jaw on the Floor that any of this is real. And I’m thrilled when I realize, again, that it is. But I’m still chasing that book deal.
What am I doing wrong/not doing right/wasting my time on I asked my agent. What should I be doing differently?
I’ll admit part of my reason for calling her was because I was feeling insecure. I’ve heard of first-hand accounts from writer-friends who’ve outlived their free-pass from their former agents who eventually grew tired of them not building that platform fast enough. They got dropped or they and their agent mutually agreed to part ways. I was worried, since it’s been two years (or is it three now?) that my agent signed me. I thought she might need to at least hear my verbalize the fact that I wanted to make good on her investment and belief in me and my future.
And then she reminded me why I love her so. First, she told me to shut up and breathe. Then she basically told me to stop comparing myself to everyone else and stop trying to hurry fate. Things happen as they should and when they are meant to and if I’m not there yet, it’s because the timing isn’t right yet. Not never. Just not yet.
She told me to focus on what my voice and that my humor and self-deprecating ways are the reason she signed me and that it’s a voice people can relate to and that I need to remember that.
And she told me to just…be. Then, the best part? She reminded me that she’s still here. And that she’s not going anywhere.
No resolutions. No promises to break on myself come 24 hours after making them. Instead, I’m focusing on the moment in the new year. And when that one’s passed me by, I’m taking a deep breath and starting over again. The finish line and the eye on the prize aren’t good for my mindset. Perhaps I tend to get so focused on the When that I let the Now pass me right the hell on by. I’m done with that. So, for 2014, I’m going to..be.
There…I feel better already.
The funny thing about blogging everyday vs. blogging when Something Big Brewed Itself Into a Blog Post is that the second version requires far less thought. Maybe I dropped 1,200 words in 30 minutes on whatever soapbox I had climbed on that particular day, but they were 1,200 coherent and dedicated words that freed my brain to concentrate on Everything Else for an extended period of time. Since my work responsibilities have increased I’ve had a few months where blogging once a week was an accomplishment, but that also meant that I only thought about my blog four times in 30 days.
I may have missed some of the fun stuff, but it was also liberating as hell to not be mentally married to Hitting Publish every day.
Because of NaBloPoMo I’m back on the daily What Do I Write About Today bandwagon and I’ll be honest…I like it just about as much as I hate it. I’m capturing bits and pieces of myself on the blog like I used to but I’m also missing out on other things…like sleep. I haven’t been able to stick to my exercise routine for the life of me, either. And I apologize if you happen to think I have time to talk on the phone. That number is for texting only, people. Who has time to talk???
There’s the job and homeschooling and extra-curricular activities and then sometimes The Husband wants to have sex and instead I’m waving him off because #NaBloPoMo means 30 days of blogging and I Just Need to Link This Post Up Here and Tweet that there and then do a rain dance to increase my chance of comments over here… And before you know it I’m eyes glazed over on Pinterest (because all portals of the Internet lead to Pinterest) and he’s asleep and I owe him a lot of sex right now…
You guys? What’s the hashtag for December? Because if it’s #NaBloBlowMo, he may just forgive me for November.
The Husband is making setting the coffee maker for the morning and counting his blessings he’s gotta work during the day, seeing as how I’m currently writing a blog post that may or may not have me explaining to the Men in Black that I took my meds. Hopefully my kid won’t be sneezing while I’m blinking prettily and explaining What a Blog Is and that Sarcasm is a Thing because she’s more likely to ask for Adderall than she is Benadryl and Lord Help Me, I’ve tried explaining multiple times that Mama takes the one that starts with an A and Let’s Not Say That Out Loud Anymore, Okay?
I’ll bet you’re wondering why you’re looking at a picture of a dollar store light house, a bunch of birthday candles marked ‘TNT”, and a key chain alarm clock. Perhaps, you are asking yourself, The Master Plan is a cry for help?
Look at all the free time this woman must have, you might be thinking. The construction paper TNT marker on the candles? The candle wax “fused” together with a drop of hot glue? Obviously she needs an intervention. Quick! Someone hold her down and we can all bust out with the rainbow loom! That’s at least Productive, right?
Well listen up, Judgey McJudgerson, because this is all actually about to make sense. Stop laughing and let me explain: This little psuedo-bomb concoction is actually serving as the Welcome Sign for the visiting Best Friends. Still with me? ‘Cuz there’s an explanation for that one, too.
We are born and bred metro-Detroiters and when we left five years ago, we left behind the BFF-Couple we both love. We spent weekends hanging out, no one felt the need to hide the pile of dirty clothes in a closet for appearance’s sake, and there are private jokes involving fluffy pants and out houses with pet spiders bigger than your head. It was beautiful.
Every year when the leaves were a gorgeous autumn mix of reds and golds, we’d pack up the truck, the dogs, ourselves, and drive (and drive) to the Upper Peninsula for a week of camping (hotel optional). As long as we were within driving distance of a Walmart, we were happy and loved exploring places like Pictured Rocks and Tahquamenon Falls. The latter is actually where The Master Plan was born, my friends.
We were sight-seeing, checking out a light house, and when we got hungry, we all headed back to the Suburban to eat an “indoor” picnic while surfing the web on a laptop for our next stop. I should probably mention that we were in the middle of a very, ummmm, monochromatic area and that The (heavily beared) Husband and I are about six shades darker than The BFF’s and that this was all relayed to the local cops when a fellow light house visitor walked by the suburban and decided we must have kidnapped the white people. Plus, we were On the Internet and obviously we must be planning to blow up the joint, right?
Of course, we didn’t know any of this until we were in the lookout area back at the top of the lighthouse and the cops pulled up and flanked the truck. Because we are all smart-asses and knew we hadn’t broken any laws eating our sammiches, we took our time mosey-ing our way to the beach to look for pretty rocks. The cops, we figured, could come to us.
Eventually, we had a State Trooper join us, looking all kinds of uncomfortable and obviously already aware that the asshat that had called on The Terrorist and his wife was, in fact, a giant asshat and not the brilliant informer he had assumed himself to be. The conversation, when he finally approached us, went something like this:
State Trooper: I’m sorry to bother you folks but…we had a call that a man with a beard was on the internet in the back of a truck facing the light house.
Me: What the Holy Hell?
The Husband: It’s because I’m Mexican, isn’t it?
State Trooper: Actually, sir, the caller actually thought you were of Arab decent.
The Husband: Right…because that makes it better?
State Trooper: Well, not when you put it that way.
The White People We Are Friends With: *motioning furiously at me and The Husband* THEY KIDNAPPED US AND FEED US DOG FOOD!
State trooper (ignoring The White People We Are Friends With): I’m really sorry…the caller was concerned you might be planning to maybe set off a bomb…
Me: Not until after we ate. I never plan terrorist attacks on an empty stomach.
State Trooper: I’m really sorry…
Then me and Mel (the girl-half of the BFF-Couple) flanked the State- Trooper and yelled CHEESE as The Husband snapped a picture of us smiling big smiles while he tried avoiding all eye contact.
It’s one of my favorite pictures ever.
So the State Trooper left and the incident turned into a giant running joke called The Master Plan and now our BFFs are looking at the homemade bomb and we are all wistful and giggling like 6th-graders and it’s the best night ever.
And that, my friends, is the reason I’ll make sure I put a bra on when I wake up so I’m ready for the Feds when they show up. I’ll be honest…I’m gonna be kind of disappointed if they don’t.