What I'm reading: Heart of the Wolf, by Terry Spear
First, thanks to hubby for finding time to write yesterday's blog, and to provide all the videos. Anyone who knows him at all would find the reference to the strapless evening gown a no-brainer. He's even got the book (and yes, it made the 'save' pile during the clutter clearing).
Uncertainty. We followed all the 'rules' the Realtor set out. We met the Realtor's deadline for having the house ready to show. It's on the MLS site. There's a lockbox on the front door. But that doesn't mean we can relax and resume our normal lives. No, we have to remember to forward our phones when we go out. And when we go out for any length of time, we have to leave the house 'showable' just in case a Realtor brings a potential buyer without calling first. Or we can't get back in time to make sure everything is put away properly, because we're at the movies watching Star Trek.
Keeping a house neat and clean is one thing. But finding the compromises that allow you to live a normal life at the same time will take some getting used to. Things we leave on counters or tables because it's convenient to have them handy aren't 'acceptable' for best viewing. Lights need to be left on (hate what that's going to do to our electric bill), because we don't want Realtor's trying to figure out which switch turns on which light. Some of our paddle fan lights are switched at the wall; others have pull chains.
One of the things we did when we cleared away a POD load of clutter was create some empty cabinets where we can stash stuff to get it out of sight at a moment's notice. It's just remembering to do it all before running errands on the off chance someone might come by.
Today I found myself at the store buying things like cookie dough in case we have enough notice to bake a few cookies for enticing aromas. And Moroccan scented air-freshener (supposed to be like a spice bazaar, but I beg to differ) in case we don't.
Another challenge. If someone wants to show the house, we're not supposed to be here. Hubby's spending a lot of time at the office, and he has a very casual dress code. (There isn't one; he wears shorts, t-shirts and Tevas). I, on the other hand, will go to the Y, work out, come home, have breakfast, hit my blog stops, have another cup of coffee, and take care of basic household bookkeeping chores. I might edit yesterday's writing. Often, it's late morning before I hit the shower and get dressed.
But now I have to revamp the routine so I'm showered, dressed, and presentable enough to go out in public should I need to. Take care of making the bed, washing breakfast dishes, etc. My goal. Have everything ready before 10 in case there's a last-minute call.
None of this would be a problem IF there were rewards. Like people actually calling to see the house. Or knowing we have to do this for a finite length of time. But there's no schedule for this. It could be two weeks, two months, six months, a year. Or more. It's kind of like passing your due date in pregnancy. There's no end in sight (although it's unlikely to go on TOO much longer.)
Maybe a better comparison is sending the query to the agent, or the manuscript to the editor. Most have 'approximate response times' that may or may not have any basis in reality. The average number of days a house is on the market has little or no meaning. All you can do as a writer is write the best book you can. All we can do as house sellers is make our house the best it can be.
We'll see what this does to the stress level. Writing? I have a new editor at Cerridwen. Last week, I sent her a short story submission for their free reads program. The idea is to have stories that will tie into the author's published books, with hopes that readers will be enticed to buy them after reading the short. She said she'd get back to me within two weeks. This morning, I found this in my inbox:
Hi Terry, I read this over the weekend…
My only regret is the length. It’s too short. I wanted it to go on and on. :) I thought it was one of more original things I’d read in a long time; very funny and creative and readers won’t get confused if they haven’t read the two books.
That was a definite ego-boost. True, it'll be a free download. But it's not the cost of the product that matters. It's quality. And to have an editor give praise like, "I wanted it to go on and on" is about the best praise an author can hope for. And since it's unlikely she's read Finding Sarah and Hidden Fire, which are the books it's tied to, she made the perfect reader. Enough to entice, not confuse, and no serious spoilers.
So now maybe I've got the motivation I need to get back to my WIP.