Saturday, July 29, 2006

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N, in the Summertime.

I stole the title for this entry from a Connie Francis song. It is that wonderful time of year for me - my family and I are leaving for the Outer Banks of North Carolina late tonight. I can smell the salty air and the breeze coming off the Atlantic as I write this. It truly is my second home. I long to spend many lazy days sitting by the ocean, watching my children build sand castles along the shore. A place for me to relax my overworked mind and body.

The burn out caused from too many nights figuring out story plots and dialogue for my characters has made me long for the Outer Banks even more than usual. As I type, I feel the tension across my back caused from many hours in this chair - not even an ergonomically designed chair - which was stolen from the dining room. Don't all writers start off the same way - a wing and a prayer and limited office supplies.

But the burn out was well worth it. The Sisterhood, my joint writing project with my older sister, is nearly done. And while I breathed a sigh of relief when I could feel the closeness of its end, I realize we still have a lot left to do. There is sending it out to readers for feedback, at least three rounds of edits, devising a marketing plan, and most importantly, finding an agent to pick up our labor of love and get in sold.

So while I would typically use my vacation time to write my little old heart out, away from the tasks of everyday life, I'm taking a much needed break from my pen and paper, and bringing reading material instead. There are months worth of trade journals to catch up on, a book I want to finish, and even an extra book if I get to it. And in case I'm feeling creative I've brought along my cross-stitching, which I haven't touched in well over a year and a half.

I'll end here; the beaches of the Outer Banks are calling me and I feel I must go, or be lost forever in a ocean of exhaustion.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Difference of Opinion

Even though my blog is titled "The Life of a Wife, Mother, and Aspiring Author" I haven't spent much time talking about my home life. I think most people would find it pretty darn boring, but I'm struggling with something I can imagine most mothers face at some point in their lives so I figured I would toss it out for you to dissect.

I've been a stay-at-home mom for almost three years now. It had always been my dream to be at home with my kids and I've been one of the lucky few who is able to do so. But somewhere I feel I still need to carve out a life for myself, separate from motherhood. Creating the time to do that, is always the problem.

There have been two different schools of thought thrown at me and I would love to hear anyone's opinion on the matter. The first is that it is important for a mother to make time for herself; to get involved with something that she does just for her. My doctor has stressed it's importance and so have members of my family. On the opposite side are those who believe my children should be my entire life and that I should wait until they are both in school before becoming involved in anything else.

It hadn't been too much of an issue until I launched my writing career. Often times when the in-laws come over in the afternoons I escape to my laptop - which is in the same room as the children usually are in - and try to check and respond to emails so that I can spend the time after the girls go to bed writing. Afternoons also seem to be happy hour around here most of the time and it is believed that my use of the computer is the problem. Heck it could be true, but to be honest after hours of breaking up silly little fights over the older child taking the younger one's toys or some other such nonsense, I plain old need a break.

So herein lies my dilemma. I could put my writing career on hold and hire a housekeeper to take care of our home so that I can spend every waking moment with the children, or I can continue to try and squeeze in my writing time and other miscellaneous stuff in between refereeing preschool battles. Both have their advantages, but I can't seem to see one as being better than the other. Maybe you can shed some light on it for me.