Friday, May 06, 2005

Changes are a'comin'

Once again I have to preface this by saying it's been a crazy week and I feel horrible for neglecting my blog! I love my blog. How weird is that? Perhaps I'm over-using the word love again, as we often do, but it's my blog and it's my word (at the moment) and I'll over-use it if I wanna. I heart my blog.

Anyway, there are some changes coming to the Household of Hell. First and foremost, there are only 3 weeks of school left. That's the kind of realization that makes me want to run in useless circles while pulling out tufts of hair and renting my clothing in the way of the Old Testament. Fours kids, with no school for three of them, and three of the four being girls...from teenage to toddler...omg, and you thought Animal House was just a movie. But yes, only three weeks, and then WHAM! Another shake up and attempt to reschedule us all. The downside of this is that I have absolutely ZERO self-discipline, and I'll sleep until noon everyday just like I did in high school. Just last night, as I lied in bed WIDE AWAKE (I stopped taking all my meds), I was arguing with myself. (Yes, I do that often.) I'm a night person. That's all there is to it. I've fought it for years, but it's true. Let me sleep until 10am (noon if I'm lucky) and I'll easily stay up until 2am. IF I have to get up early (like to take kids to school), a nap is almost required. My brain just shuts down around the 1:30-3:00 timeframe and it's truly a struggle to stay up. So maybe I should homeschool the kids so that I can keep on what appears to be my natural schedule.

I've always envied those people that wake before dawn, my parents included. To say we clashed when I lived there is a huge understatement. Although my Dad's philosophy was "Work from sun-up to sun-down", more often than not ...well, okay, ALWAYS, he started way before sun-up. He was a mailman for 35 years, so maybe that was it. He had to be at work everyday by 6am, and before that, he was in the Army. Before THAT, he was a farmer's boy (one of 7 kids, 6 of which were about my grandma being a brave and inspiring woman!) and we all know how it goes on a farm. Up before the sun to feed the animals before yourself. Blah blah. Well, *I* didn't grow up on a farm, and my weiner dog could wait until 10am to eat anyway. I do envy it though. I think of waking early, around 5am, of the quiet that house would be engulfed in, being able to work out or work on books without all these kids I popped out milling around and asking questions that even God doesn't know the answers to. But I simply CANNOT do it. Okay, I guess I truly don't have the desire to do it.

Well, that's not totally true either. Back in 1993, I started my first book aimed at Intimate Moments. I woke up everyday at 5am to type on a typewriter, tripled spaced so I'd have room to make notes and do rewrites. Unfortunately, my husband of the time (dead *yay* ex) was not supportive (ahahahahahahahahahahha - sorry, hysterical laughter broke free at the mere idea). It lasted maybe a month. Rest of the time, I wrote free hand. After another month, I stopped writing all together. So no, mornings aren't my thing. That's all there is to it.

with summer comes the possibility of staying up extra late to write. I started my completed manuscript right after the April birthdays, on April 30th. By June, my 100K words were done (what I thought at the TIME was done. I've since learned of the revisions that await me. AHHHHHHHHHHH!) So I do write fast, and having no set schedule over summer last year allowed me to do nothing much but WRITE. So I do have that to look forward to.

Along with summer come trips to DFW to visit my family. The kids and I will be there the last week of June for their Vacation Bible School. (Yes, I have to wake up early when I'm there. Bah.) By the time I get settled into some type of summer routine, it'll be July. Shandie will turn 15 (pardon a moment while I wail in dispair) and then RENO will be here!!!! It's gonna so rock.

But sooner than that, it seems like B has found a new job. I don't want to get my hopes up on it, just in case it falls through (please God don't let them do a credit check!) but his schedule is really weird. Three days on, three off, with constant rotation. No set days. When the three land on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it'll be just like a long weekend. But when they land in the middle of the week, it'll be REALLY weird. But, I can't count those chickens quite yet.

My books on writing craft keep coming in. Shari got me HOW TO WRITE THE BREAKOUT NOVEL as well as FIRST DRAFT IN 30 DAYS. Currently I'm reading Stephen King's ON WRITING, and I cannot get over how freakin' funny he is! I've always enjoyed his books, but dang, I'm enjoying HIM more than I ever liked his books! Once I'm published, don't let me forget to thank him in the credits.

One of the things he talks about is setting a body schedule. We wake up the same time everyday (well, I don't usually) and if we set our bodies to WRITE at the same time everyday, it'll make the process easier. (Let's all hope that JBM doesn't read this and get back on that schedule kick. I hate when he pulls the I TOLD YOU SO card.) My problem is finding that schedule, that good time to write. I have little doubt that when I discover my perfect time, it'll be dark outside, and the clock hands will undoubtedly be hovering around midnight.

Another thing is closing the door. Close the world out, close yourself in. My "office" has no door, and is in the middle of the house, in the corner of the family room. ~sigh~ BUT, at night, I can turn on my desk lamp and my little corner is in an isolated halo. I'm moving the stereo over here today and with a set of headphones, the world will go away. I know this to be true because I tried it with a portable CD player first, and I was SO able to ignore the room and focus on the book instead. Worked. Now I'm moving the stereo here so I can pick whatever drowning-out music I want.

The problem of when I write is similar to when I blog. Rarely do you read a short entry from me. When I get started, I just GO! Same for writing. I become engrossed in the story and hours literally pass until I realize I'm super hungry or I have to pee realllllllllllly bad. So, with summer in mind, and with B's possible new job in mind, my initial idea is to write on his three days off when those three days fall during the week. I don't know if this is going to work because since it'll be summer anyway, with the kids out of school, weekdays and weekends really lose their definitions. But that's my initial idea. When he's home, I'll work. When he's not, I'll do the household stuff. It'll end up a perfect 50/50 split of mommy-mode and writer-mode, assuming that the theory ends up that balanced in practice. I can see your brows raise now and the looks of doubt cross your face. I know because they're crossing mine, too.

Are these excuses? Most writers have to force themselves into the chair (Nora, shut up. We know you don't! Grr.) Maybe they are. I do know that now that I have that wicked craft order out of the house, I'll be able to turn my attention back to more important things, including Mr. King waiting for me in my bedroom, waiting to bestow me with more of his mystical wisdom.

Now if only I'm student enough to learn from him.

Guess we'll find out in the end, eh?


Suzanne said...

Brenda, I loved Stephen King's On Writing. I'm very much of the body rhythms belief. There is a certain range of hours in the day when I am most creative and can really kick out the pages. The rest of the time, it's like pulling teeth. I've learned to focus on those hours to get work done! Sounds like you live in Texas--we just moved from there last year. Miss it! :) And I feel your pain on the kids being out of school soon. Ack.

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Hi Suzanne! Thanks for dropping in. I hope you return often. I love hearing others opinions and feedback.

I'm taking the challenge in his book. Probably going to work on it tonight. Instead of going to his site though, I'm going to do it here on the blog. Should be interesting!!!

Nic said...

You've been tagged again dearie. Go to my blog and see what the rules are. You chould be able to come up with a very creative one for this. It's easy as hell and pretty funny. Smooches!

Shari said...

I love that schedule - wake up at 10 or later but then stay up until the wee hours of the morning!! My type of day!!

Olga said...

I heard about On Writing a lot. Hope the working hours will, well, work out well for you. I often try to hang incentive in front of my nose: don't eat until finish a chap or editing or a particular page. Somehow, I often have breakfast in the evening.