Over 400 hits? Woohoo! This week just keeps getting better! So most of you already know the fantastic news I received a few days ago... I finalled in Chicago North's Fire and Ice contest!! So now Amanda Bergeron will read the first three chapters of my historical, Scandal's Mistress! God, this just keeps getting better and better. First the request from Blaze, then onto round 2 of the Emerald, the Little Gems placing and now this! And I thought last year was going to be the year for me. I was wrong!
Okay so enough exclamation marks. I thought I would give you a litte insight into me as a writer rather than a boaster or a whinger =) Below is two pictures of my workspace. The first is the mess I work with every day to write the way I do, to try to achieve the success I'm working so hard for.
Yes, that really is my dining table. There's my printer under my four year old's Leapster. The headphones I have to use sometimes to drown out the incessant noise of two kids who are usually bored out of their tiny brains. My totally couldn't-get-further-from-ergonomic chair and a tiny bit of the mess that makes up my kitchen bench. One day it will be clean but I'm not holding my breath. Neither is my partner. I'll admit it. Apart from being lazy, I am also messy. I get that from my mum. She had a sewing room once when we lived in the Hunter Valley that my dad had to climb through an external window to get inside to open the door. No kidding! There was that much mess something had fallen down behind the door and couldn't be budged!
I'm not blaming you, mum, just stating the facts. But, in saying this, I'm quite happy to be messy. If my house was filthy, rather than the organised chaotic mess it is, I wouldn't be happy at all. I try to tell my partner that when everything is in the open, it is easier to find... He doesn't buy it =) And if you look really closely, you'll see I'm worth a whole forty cents to my kids. It's the money they give me when they 'find' it (in the pocket of Doug's jeans or on the bathroom counter where I leave it after emptying my pockets after work).
The next picture is to show you just how close I am to distraction.
Our tiny house is lacking a few things (besides a really good dust) and that is storage space. We have none! The two china cabinets in these pictures are chock-a-block full of stuff. The one next to the television is full of the kids books in the lower section and DVDs in the top. We simply have nowhere to put anything which doesn't help the mess situation at all. Pretty soon I will have a new kitchen and hopefully a proper entertainment unit to store all the crap in. Next is the TV itself. It is literally three feet away from my workspace. I can't see it but I can hear it. Right now it is ABC and a documentary about food. Damn, did my stomach just growl?
The white and beige fence you can see is the three metre gate separating the kitchen and dining from the lounge room. I can't let my kids in the kitchen after seeing firsthand what liquid burns do to the fragile skin of children. I can't be everywhere at once and with our dodgy oven (the door falls open on the grill), we had to keep them out. It does help that I can see them and they me but they can't climb on my lap or tap me on the arm. They can still scream and throw things at me, but I can live with that.
I'm sure by now you're asking how I can ever get anything done first with the girls and second looking at the mess? It's called practice, tolerance and a dash of fear. I can't be in a different room from my two and four year old. They are too young to left unsupervised and while I can handle a little neglect in the name of sanity, I can't handle leaving them alone for long periods of time to cater to my own selfish needs or sense of achievement. I know, I know. Doing something for myself with small children isn't selfish but neglecting them is. They need me. It's why I work at night and don't put them into childcare. I love my kids and I want to be here with them. I just can't always be in the thick of it with them! I've been writing like this for so many years, practicing the art of being in the zone and toning out the noise, I'm quite used to it.
Tolerance - It's what my partner has to have when he gets home and the house is still a tip and the dishes aren't done. But dinner is always on and the kids are always bathed. We are settling into a bit more of a routine now after being together nearly twelve years. He knows how lazy I am. Just as I put up with his flaws, he puts up with mine. Not without a fair old amount of grizzle on both our parts.
Now to the dash of fear. My kids know who's boss. Daddy :( I can scream and yell till the cows come home and not get much in the way of docile submissiveness. He only has to raise his voice once and only a bit and they stop where they are. Well, most of the time. So while it isn't technically fear, there is a level of discipline there that, without it, I would have ripped all my hair out and banished the kids to their bedrooms years ago.
So in our big happy family in the tiny messy house I manage to write bits at a time while the kids let me, until my back and my neck hurt from 'that' bloody chair and until something or someone demands my attention and 'in a minute' no longer holds any meaning because I've repeated it over and over for an hour... That's me and that's my space. I love it because it's pretty much mine but I hate it because it's so damn tiny and cramped and not ideal. But. I hold out the hope that as my kids get older and my books sell, I'll have a space I can call my own that will be perfect for me and what I need.
I'm a published author but I'm still mostly stumbling about in the dark looking for the right paths so this blog is about that, though sometimes something will give the me the shits and I'll have a bit of a rant. I'll try not to be offensive but occasionally my mouth opens without asking my brain's permission so I'll apologise in advance.