What I'm reading: The Laird Who Loved Me, by Karen Hawkins
Note: This post is more about my 'real life' than my writing life, but I'm a guest at "The Writing Bug" talking about Beginnings and Endings if you're looking for a little more meat.
After reading Marie's Tuesday post on procrastination, I'm looking at our upcoming move. I know what she meant when she talked about things being overwhelming. I've tried to force myself to compartmentalize, because when I look at "moving", it's enough to make me want to give away everything we own and start from scratch. Kind of like thinking, I have to write a 100,000 word novel and all I have is a screen that says, "Chapter One." For me, prep for the move would be easier if we knew where we were going to end up. "Colorado" is a pretty wide target, just like thinking about "The End" when I start writing. I know in a romance, it'll be the HEA, and in a mystery, the crime will be solved, but that's about it.
I was going to illustrate this post with pictures of what our house looks like now, but I decided to spare you that.
We've narrowed our move down to two general vicinities, but can't really do serious looking until our deal is closed. Each step forward gives us more confidence; our buyers have already forked over some bucks for inspections, etc., and are looking for finance options that will skirt the need for an appraisal. Those are good things. But nothing is for certain until after we close.
However, since our Realtor has scheduled the day and time, we're assuming it's all a go, and have our "to-do" list. And a peek at the calendar says it's less than two weeks away!
Last week, for me it was primarily workshop prep. Not only the one I did in Jacksonville, but I have a panel to moderate and one to participate in at SleuthFest, and another workshop at Written in the Stars. And of course, they're all different. Needless to say, getting a contract and a closing date on the house in the midst of this wasn't on the radar when I accepted these presentations.
We finished our required repairs. The guy we hired to fix fireplace liner showed up about 2 hours after he said he'd be here, didn't have the right sized replacement part, so he said he'd be back. Took 3 days before he returned, but the job is done. We've got one major piece of furniture we're trying to sell on Craigslist. We got rid of the bedroom set (which means we're now sleeping in the guest room, with its full-sized bed instead of our king, and all our clothes are in laundry baskets or just piled on the floor in the back bedrooms).
When the stress levels rose, hubby stepped in and dragged me back on track. He told me to ignore everything but the workshops. Then, this week, it's all Garage Sale. So when I stare at the disaster area and maze of boxes, I try not to think about what we'll pack in the vehicles when we hit the road, or how many years of tax receipts we should save, or whether it makes sense to keep the VCR. I'm not even thinking about what I'll take to SleuthFest. I've put my handouts and other promo materials in one place, but I'm not going to deal with the basic packing until next week.
The challenge of not having "The End" in sight: It's quite likely to be 2 months before we find a house and can move in. So, survival goods for those 2 months have to fit in our vehicles. The questions as we look through closets, drawers and shelves: "Do we need this? Do we need it with us? Is it worth the cost of moving it? Can we get rid of it here and replace it once we have another house?"
We have a garage sale on the 20th. POD will come back on the 22nd and is removed on the 24th. Movers will pack us on the 24th. (And that also happens to be my birthday, but we'll postpone celebrating, I think.) We leave for SleuthFest the 25th. We return the 28th. Movers show up on the 1st to take away everything they've packed. We close on the 2nd and begin the journey to Colorado via the Written in the Stars conference in Shreveport March 5th and 6th.
Does this impact my writing? It might, but I'm not working on anything new for reasons that have nothing to do with the move. Normally, I use writing as an escape from pressure, and maybe the stress levels are higher for me because I'm not writing. I do have the ancillary materials files for my next Five Star book. Normally, I dread coming up with jacket copy, cover request forms, and all the other details. But right now, I think it'll beat sorting, schlepping, and packing. And there's the added distraction of the Olympics, which gives my brain something else to deal with. And I know I'm more relaxed when I'm writing. One of my crit partners sent the first pages of his new novel, and the act of reading it with a critical eye sent a long-missing sense of calm through me.
Tomorrow, it'll be another Friday Field Trip.
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