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A day in the life

March 2, 2012

I don't often find time to blog here about writing things. I figure there are so many writer-bloggers out there (ones who have more eloquent ways to say "blog about writing things", for example), I'm happy to not get lost in the mix. I just avoid the mix completely.

But I was sitting here, drinking a nice hot cup of tea and thinking about my day and I wanted to talk to someone about it. Since my children are ignoring me on Facetime and my cell phone reception is half a bar, you, lucky blog readers, get to listen-read to this ramble.

Today was one of those crazy writing days where a million things happen at once. One book is ready to send to editors, another was rejected (a couple of times). A decision was made for a revision, a plan was constructed for a proposal. There was a long drive through rain and Texas countryside, and then, after briefly veering off in the wrong direction, I checked in at a small B&B-type motel in order to be ready for a school visit tomorrow and a book festival appearance on Saturday.

It's been a day of ups and downs and all arounds. I had grand plans of ending it on a creative note – working on the new revision ideas, or brainstorming plot points for the proposal. Instead, I've found myself seduced by having a quiet hotel room all to myself. I'm watching Enchanted (on cable!) and eating Oreos (free from the lobby!), and drinking tea (also free from the lobby!), and while I have papers and notebooks spread out all around me, I can't quite get into the work because – and this is going to sound ridiculous – I'm so happy to have the work to do.

The thing is, I've been struggling all week to update my school presentation. I've been fretting over it. I've been feeling guilty and not on top of my game. I wanted to combine two previous presentations and then make some alterations more befitting a middle school audience. But I've been stuck. Everything I add to the presentation seems fun and interesting, but it doesn't take me all that long to talk about it. I've been trying to fill a few extra minutes of time at the end, and really struggling to do so.

Tonight, though, sitting here, rejections still simmering in my inbox, a new manuscript burning a hole in my documents folder, papers and notes spread out around me, a memory stick containing a presentation (which, itself, contains a quick how-to on creating not just zombie haiku, but fake blood to go with your zombie haiku), I'm having a kind of calming out-of-body experience.

This is my job.

These things… they are my job.

Writing words, talking to kids about writing words, fixing words, talking to kids about fixing words… this is it. This is my deal. It might not be fancy. And I might not be famous. I might not have a thousand books and a bajillion dollars, but I am just fantastically excited to be where I am today, both professionally and physically, in this hotel room, with these weird flowers on an armoire, and with this elephant lamp shining a warm light on framed pictures of fruit.

Maybe that's what I'll talk about tomorrow in those extra minutes I have to fill.

Fake blood and submission highs and lows are exciting, but realizing you've mostly answered a promise you made to yourself in the 3rd grade is pretty freaking awesome.

And even though it wasn't expressly part of that 3rd grade promise to myself, sitting in a room with an elephant lamp shining warm light on framed pictures of fruit is, frankly, kind of a kick ass thing. Not that I would turn down a suite in Manhattan, but you know, smalltown Texas is pretty damn fine, too.

It's a good night.

And now I better get to work.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 2, 2012 4:39 am

    This is a great post, Kari. Congrats are in order for getting to where you are and for continuing to push forward. There are highs and lows at every stage, but as long as you can have a great night with Oreos and an elephant lamp — along with the new manuscript and talks to kids, of course — you should be proud.

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