Representative Elements of My Life

[Warning: Unlike the manuscript pictured above, this post is a bit on the unstructured side. It is mostly grammatically correct, but that’s about it. The editor apologizes for any inconvenience.]

I had a ton of errands to run yesterday. I try to consolidate errands anyway, but this was ridiculous. I had six places to be, and a seventh that was put off for another day (it was in the opposite direction after all).  I planned my route before I left and made sure I had everything I needed – lists, forms, grocery bags, broken watch. Made a note to self not to put anything on the bottom rack of the cart.

First stop – bank, the quickest one of the day. Second – the Employment Department office. I quit my job in October and have been participating in the state’s self-employment assistance program while I build my publishing company. More on that later…

Third – the DEQ station to do the smog test and renew registration on my car since it expired last week. Quite a line for a Tuesday, and then I remembered that Monday was a holiday. Here I am thinking I’m ahead of the game, waiting until Tuesday. Fortunately my 16-year-old car passed the test, probably because in the past three months I have dumped invested $1400 dollars into it.

Fourth – the grocery store, where they love me because I have a teenage son who eats without ceasing. Starting to wonder if he has worms. Starting to notice other patrons who also shop here late morning on Tuesday – most of the retirees have finished by now, but the SAHs are out in full force, including some dads, which is very cool to see.  I never used to shop at this time because, of course, I was at work. So it’s been interesting to see these past few months what it’s like to be out running errands late morning instead of late afternoon or evening. Same with writing – I know a lot of writers who have day jobs write in the early morning (or even those who don’t have day jobs), but I am firmly entrenched in the non-morning-person camp, and so I’ve always written in the evenings (and sometimes, when I’m hypomanic, well into the night). I’ve been blessed that I qualified for the self-employment program (for six months) and I’ve been able to write during the day, which I far prefer to writing in the evening or night. I still have to get up at 7:00 Monday through Friday to get Nigel off to school, since he is unable to manage that himself. But once he is out the door, I can focus on my writing and marketing. I even took a seven-week, at-home marketing class that was very enjoyable, and I could not have done it if I had to juggle a day job. I will, however, need to go back to doing that very soon.

I just finished the third draft of my book, and this one had major structural changes. It’s getting close! But I’m not quite there yet. I tend to get discouraged because in my marketing research I read about other indie authors who finish writing their novels in eight weeks! And then they move onto the next one! And I think, they must not be single parents. But one of them is – I couldn’t believe it! She’s a single parent with a day job and she’s writing far faster than I am.  This could be why my publishing income is still remarkably low, and the assistance program runs out soon, so I must reenter the day job realm.

Fifth stop – the pharmacy, where Nigel’s taper-down script for one of his anticonvulsants has been sitting there for two weeks waiting for the neurologist’s office to call back and clarify the dosage. I don’t think it’s prudent that he should go from his current daily dose of 400 mg down to 150 mg all at once. That’s got to be a huge, flaming error. The pharmacy advised that since no one was calling them back that I call the neuro office, which I did. Guess who’s waiting for the call back now – me.

Sixth – the jeweler section of Fred Meyer to see if they can fix Nigel’s favorite watch. It was working fine, but the band had come off. We probably could have sent it to Time Timer to have them put a new band on it, because they’re a great company and sent us the watch for free in the first place, but I figured it would be easier to take it to the store. I came back in 10 minutes after I had checked out my groceries and voila – service with a smile and no charge! I was just as happy as Nigel!

It may not be one of my typical days, but this is a day in my life, with all of the representative elements that make it so. It’s also probably why I’m not churning out a new novel every eight weeks. But I tell myself “quality over quantity” and keep plugging along.

6 thoughts on “Representative Elements of My Life

  1. So weird — I just posted an hour by hour report of my own day which included no writing — I do the writing at night, mostly, and here and there during the day when I can catch a few moments. I’m so impressed that you have another manuscript nearly ready — bravo to that.

  2. The curmudgeon in me has to ask – if it only takes eight weeks to write a novel, just how good is it?! Then again, Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay for the original Rocky in 3 days and 20 hours.

    When it comes to artistic endeavors, I say take accuracy over speed. Don’t say it’s done until it’s complete to the best of YOUR ability, which means on your time, not anyone else’s. Can’t wait to read it!

  3. I think you’re being WAY too hard on yourself about the writing! I had to have blood drawn yesterday and the woman taking it said, “So, are you back to work after this?” How do you explain that I don’t “work” but am running around like a chicken with my head cut off from 5 AM to 8 PM 7-days a week?

  4. Sounds like a typical day to me – in my SAH’ness! Seriously, don’t you wonder how you’d have time to go back to ‘work’?!

    A new publishing business AND writing a novel? Go you! I agree…quality over quantity ANY day 😉

    xx Jazzy

  5. Elizabeth, definitely weird that we both wrote that sort of post! And thanks about the manuscript – I so appreciate that.

    Karen, I’ve got about six weeks left and then it’s back to the grind! But the past few months have restored me a bit, so it’s definitely been good, especially having time for Facebook! : )

    Lex, I heard that about Sylvester Stallone too! And thanks for your enthusiasm about my book. I’ll keep you posted!

    Carrie, I know what you mean, it’s been interesting to take this “breather” for the past few months. In some ways Nigel’s more independent than ever before, but at the same time he requires all the care that he ever did (and then some, with his comorbidities – epilepsy and bipolar – that have come up in recent years). Okay, back to the bonbons and soap operas ; )

    Jazzy, yes! I’m constantly wondering how I’m going to juggle a day job again! I suppose it’ll be the whole riding a bicycle thing and I’ll ease back into it – if only!

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