Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thumb Twiddling

Suddenly I'm a woman with time on her hands. Yesterday afternoon, with the click of a button, I sent my editor the first draft of my new book, and suddenly I have nothing to do.

Okay, I never have nothing to do, but sometimes, after running full speed in one direction it's hard for me to figure out where I am once I stop, and where to run next. What to do, what to do? There are curtains to be made for the kitchen, a fall garden in need of tending, hardwood floors that need scrubbing and polishing, and there's the mudroom to be straightened. There's always the mudroom to be straightened. Didn't I just do that? Yes, I did. Do it again.

Also: I want to make a new quilt and finish the one I started last spring that only needs four more blocks, and I want to knit socks for Christmas presents and I want to paint my bedroom and make curtains for the master bath ... there's just so much that I could be doing. And should be doing.

I suppose I should start by cleaning out the fridge. Let's take a poll: What chore do you hate the most? For me, it's a toss up between cleaning the fridge and scrubbing the tubs. Both have their share of horrors. I hate the little hairs in the tub, but you know what's worse? Little hairs in the fridge.

Hmmm ... maybe I'll start things off by knitting. There are so few little hairs involved with knitting, unless you're knitting with mohair, and I never knit with mohair.


I'm off to West Virginia tomorrow for a book festival. I give two talks (same topic) on Saturday, one at 10 and one at 4. I return on Sunday. Talk about having a lot of time on your hands, and in West Virginia no less. I'm taking lots of books and lots of knitting. I suppose I could try to be social and mingle with the other authors. I wish I were that way, making friends left and right. Ah, the curse of the introverted; I can only make delightful small talk for twenty minutes a day and then I'm over and done with.


Latest Undiet Update: As part of my undieting, I'm unweighing, too. The scale is not my friend--stepping on it is just too psychologically fraught. But I've decided to weigh once a month, just to see where I am. Guess what? I've lost three pounds since mid-September. I'm telling you what girls, if this works out in the long run, I'm writing a book and taking down the diet industry once and for all.


Gretchen Joanna said...

Your description of how you manage "time on your hands" sounds too much like me!
If you write that book, I'll read it.

Danielle said...

The Chore Poll:
HATE: hands-and-knees scrubbing the floor. A mop just doesn't really do it so I procrastinate as long as I can get away with it. Then it always rains soon after.
HATE: change over of all seasonal items -- closets, drawers, decorations, esp. Christmas.
HATE: changing sheets on the kids' bunks. I'm gonna kill myself.

LOVE: Yard and garden work. I do most of the mowing as well.
LOVE: Time well spent with my vacuum.

Pom Pom said...

Hi Frances!
Are you still reading Chains? I am reading it at school.
Chore I hate: vacuuming the car and that's why I haven't done it for years.
Way to go getting the book finished! Yay!
I hope you have some sweet moments of peace in WV.

Tracy said...

I so get where you're at. I'm terrible at being home with so many choices I don't know where to start first. And I'm getting worse at it LOL.

What do I HATE to do? Clean the bathrooms and toilets. I looked busy for a whole hour before going away a few weekends back so I could not do it before going. How sad is that!

I'm with ya on the introvert thing too. Hence, my parents think I am an ill-behaved adult. They don't get that I don't cope with too much input for too long. A 3 day weekend with them here tipped me over the edge after a really long term.

I will dream of being you for the next 10 weeks LOL. And then I too can wonder what to do with myself because I have so many things to choose from!

Dulce Domum said...

Chores I hate: cleaning the oven, when the oven's dirty I move house. Also, ironing - so very boring I'd rather clean the loo.

Danielle says she hates doing seasonal changeovers. I hate cleaning out cupboards so much I've never done a seasonal changeover. I just keep cramming stuff in. Please don't tell my mother, she'll either kill me, or even worse, clean my cupboards for me and get rid of all of my useful and important jucnk.

debbie bailey said...

Since we appear to be very much alike, I was wondering how you feel about a book tour? I'm an aspiring author but vow that if I ever do get a book published, I won't do a book tour. Is that possible in this time of literary megastars? I'd appreciate your input.

Tracy said...

Frances, you will have to come to live in Australia. Guess what...we don't do seasonal changeovers! Seriously, we camp during summer and take everything from winter jackets, long pants and long sleeves to bathers and the lightest summer clothing we can find....and use the lot!

Gumbo Lily said...

Hooray for the first draft! You authors impress me. And you knitters do too, so you double-impress me!

I hate to clean the oven, but guess what? I did it today! I started out the hard way and ended it with Easy Off. I save ironing until the last minute -- usually just before going to church.

I am so buying that book on the Undiet! You go girl!


Angela said...

I loathe cleaning little hairs out of ...anywhere
I hate taking the dustbins out front for the binmen - and dragging them back in again

I love being in a clean tidy home - but do not often experience this unless I visit friends!

I would rather sit on the sofa reading, than vaccuum beneath it.

well done on finishing the book!

Rose said...

Agreed on the little hair suckage.

My least favorite chore is definitely cleaning out the fridge and the car.

My favorite is cooking. I don't even really see it as a chore. I also love changing the sheets on the bed.

I am an introvert in a family of extroverts. They try to extrovert me by cranking up the intensity of the small talk and dropping by at all hours which only introverts me more. The constant chatter and sheer PRESENCE of these people makes me want to jump out of my skin.

debbie bailey said...

Hi Frances. Me again. Thanks for visiting my blog. Did you click on the photo of the Amish children? It should have enlarged when you did that. Try it if you didn't. The quality isn't great, but you can see in greater detail. Thanks again!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Gretchen, I'll keep you updated on the progress of the Undiet book. Maybe I should write another book on how to waste time!

Danielle, I hate the floor scrubbing, too,which is why I so rarely do it. I busted a knee scrubbing the floor and it's never been the same since. And yes, it always rains.

I love time in the garden and yard, too. So why do I never get any?

Pom Pom, I am still reading Chains. I need to finish it! I like it so far. Have you read When You Reach Me by Rebecca Steadman? It's getting a lot of Newbery chatter.

Tracy, I also look for ways of getting out of cleaning the bathroom--or else I wipe down the sink with Kleenex or Clorox wipes while I'm brushing my teeth and consider the job done!

Dulce, You know when I clean the oven? When I move house. That's it. And I've never done a seasonal changeover, either (except for putting away Christmas decorations, which I hate doing so much I've considered not decorating for Christmas just to avoid it). I admire Danielle for her midwestern housewifery skills and always enjoy tales of her changeovers.

Debbie, Because I write for kids, I don't often get asked to do book tours--you have to be a big star in children's books to draw any kind of crowd. I will tell you that my friends who have published books for adults are usually asked to do a tour to promote their books. The good news is, more and more authors are doing "Blog Tours," which is a great way to publicize your book without trekking across the country. Maybe blog tours will replace book tours one day. Good luck with your writing. What are you working on?

Jody, Way to go on the oven! I'm proud and impressed. The thing for me with ovens is that the self-cleaning oven is scary, and Easy-Off has those terrible fumes that make you wonder if you're poisoning your whole family. So I just wipe out crumbs from the bottom and hope for the best.

Angela, I am so with you! Whenever the house calls out to be cleaned, my books call out even louder. My rationale is, no matter how clean I get the house, it's just going to get dirty again. I love a tidy house, though ... which is why I go visiting.

Rose, I forgot about the car! Yes, yes, yes, I do so hate cleaning out the minivan. In fact, I'm paying Jack $5 to do just that this week.

I so wish I were the kind of person who welcomed drop-by visits and spontaneous invitations to socialize, but I am so not. When I was younger, I really grieved about this and felt like something was wrong with me. Now I understand it's just the way I am. People suck the energy right out of me; fortunately, some of them are worth the drain or else I'd never talk to anyone at all.