Dating When You’re Married

Valentine’s Day  launched me into a week long vacation. Not so much for my little darlings—the subtle differences in working for one school district and having our children attend another. Once I got over the sheer horror of being at home without the girls (they’re only five and eight … practically babies … and I’m an over-protective mama … so yeah), I started taking advantage of all this free intelligence-based babysitting courtesy of the state of California.

I have gone on more dates this week with my husband than in the last few years. (For the record, we’ve been married for nine.)

With the children safely tucked away in school, we’ve been restaurant hopping each day this week. I’ve been wined and dined so much I’ve added a two-plus-mile-a-day walk to my not-so-busy schedule just to combat the extra calorie dump.

I’m not even embarrassed to say we took advantage of our free one-week trial of Hulu just to watch The Goldbergs show from the very beginning. We were late bloomers in discovering this awesome 80’s laugh-out-loud sitcom, so it’s been totally bitchin’ to get caught up on it. TV binging has been kinda fun. 🙂

In the midst of spoiling myself silly, I even wrapped up an extensive edit on my manuscript, fine-tuning a couple of elements. Then, I did something either completely bonkers… or just plain smart. (Time will tell.) I resubmitted the updated version to the agents who have my full MS and haven’t responded yet.

Nudging is nerve-racking, to say the least—right up there with querying. But this business takes time. And, if these agents want to squat on my manuscript for months on end, so be it. Like I said, time will tell.

As the weekend fast approaches, I’m getting a little restless. Diving back into work is like jumping head first into the Bering Sea. We all need to warm up to the daily grind, but I did leave us on a cliff-hanger with the novel I’m teaching (not on purpose, in case you just shrieked right now), and I’m hoping Monday will be kind … to all of us.

Until then, there’s one more day left before we head into a weekend of family fun. My husband is picking tomorrow’s dining experience … and he said something about catching a movie, too. Fun. So much fun!

Oh, and the cliffhanger … Ponyboy is about to become a hero. (I know, I know, but I might have Monday inadvertently in the bag.)

2 Out of 3 Trees Agree–Christmas is Over

A lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth happened earlier today as we dismantled the decorations and packed up the Christmas trees…two out of three of them, at least.  The pink one gets to stay.  It became our shrine to all things girly during a season of more dramatic colors after my young daughters begged me to buy it for them when they saw it on the shelf among all the garlands at Target.  I admit, I was just as thrilled to bring it home as they were.  It’s a dinky, little, sparkly statement piece that begs for attention, so we doted on it like a princess.  Being a mere two feet tall, she traveled well, migrating between two bedrooms, mine and the girls’.  Wherever we were hanging out, we brought her along and found a way to help her fit in.

Today, we dressed her up in heart-shaped ornaments and tucked her into the corner of our dining room, insisting that she should stay awhile as Valentine’s Day is just around the corner now, and the occasion wouldn’t be complete without a festive Christmas tree in disguise.  Letting go of Christmas is never an easy accomplishment, especially in this household, but we managed today to make the best of it by convincing ourselves that our little, pink princess still belonged.

The whole situation reminds me of the editing process.  You know the one precious scene that you doted on for weeks…the one that you adorned with fancy words and kept close to your heart as you tried to fit it in somewhere because it was just too cute to delete…yeah, that one.  But, no matter how much you want it around, everyone else wants you to get rid of it because it just doesn’t belong in the story anymore. Only you just can’t quite give it up yet, so you cram it in the corner of a polished chapter and change it up a bit, hoping no one will mind.

I am in the process of adjusting my manuscript’s word count (READ: gutting scenes I’ve vested hours into crafting) and collaborating on which sparkly, little princesses get packed up and put away.  It’s a painful process with plenty of wailing and gnashing of teeth, just like earlier today.  Letting go of something we adore is never easy, but just like the other two Christmas trees, the edited material may find its way back into another season of writing someday.  For now, though, I will keep editing as needed by the light of our little, sparkly, pink tree, at least a little while longer before I finally put her in a box in the garage once and for all.  (Then, of course, I’ll unpack the gumdrop tree, as soon as Easter rolls around.)