Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Writers just wanna have fun

I was telling someone the other day about the chaos that is my life. I have three jobs (writing books for Warner, copyediting for a publisher, and agency work for Silicon Valley corporations). I volunteer for a couple of organizations, RWA among them. I take dance lessons with my husband (because this is the only exercise we get. With the three jobs, you're not going to see me down at Curves, ever.) I do my own publicity, including setting up booksignings and writing blog entries and ordering bookmarks and all that stuff that comes along with writing the books. I do not have kids, which would take all the hours above and square them, turning me into something that is not quite human. Superhuman, maybe, like some of the moms I know.

But anyway . . . this person asked me, "So, what do you do for fun?"

Fun. Hmm. Just let me check my Day-Timer and I'll tell you where I've got that scheduled. Hey, look! Here it is . . .

I have chickens. If you've read my August book, Pocketful of Pearls, you'll know how critical chickens can be to a plot. Well, they're critical to me, too. When I start to hyperventilate because the book is due Monday and there's 70 pages to go (oh, Lori W., I so related to your entry!) and the galleys just arrived for my next release and the chapter newsletter has to go out and my mom is coming to stay for a week . . . I go let the chickens out and just play with them for an hour. A waste of time? Not when you can sit on the grass and have your littlest hen jump on your shoulder just to say hello, and have another one hop into your lap for a cuddle. I go back to my office afterward feeling refreshed.

What else do I do for fun? I'm a costumer. I've made an 1812 Regency day dress and matching spencer, an 1810 ballgown, an 1892 evening gown, and a 1910 walking dress and lingerie blouse with pinwheel hat to match. And you know what? There are a surprising number of places to wear these. The Bay Area English Regency Society hosts a ball once a month. The Victorian evening ensemble debuted at the RITA ceremony in Reno in July. Hallowe'en is Monday. See? My next project is an
18th-century men's coat (brocade with deep velvet cuffs), a 1920s evening dress that will somehow involve Fortuny pleats and a peacock, and an elven dress along the lines of what Arwen wears in Rivendell.

I play Celtic harp and piano. I dance. I create. And when the work gets to be too much . . . I remember to have fun.

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