Sunday, August 19, 2012

When real life gets in the way

Robbie Burns was right. "The best laid plans o' mice and men oft' gang agley..."

And boy, did I have it all planned out. Because of an illness in my husband's family, he and I cancelled our trip to Maine and Nova Scotia, a trip initially planned for last week and this. Spending those two weeks at our cabin in the mountains of southern New York was our second option and I made a list of all the local places we hadn't been yet. We'd stay at the cabin and do smaller day trips in between trips home to check on his mom in the hospital. This way, he could also get a good deal of painting time in and I could finish my Sweet Spot novel that releases in November. A good compromise, right?

And then life happened. We had to come home not once, but twice, because my husband got an interview for a directing job (he directs live theatre). We had to come home three more times because of an ill relative who needed care 24/7 for a few days. The silver lining was a chance to do a load of laundry, but really? It's hard to vacation, write or paint when you keep coming home!

So, after six days, we totaled one day of vacation and five days of life getting in the way. I wrote less than 3000 words all week and my husband painted only two paintings worth talking about (and one we're just going to pretend doesn't exist. Love you, honey!). We were so busy traveling back and forth, there just hasn't been a lot of down time.

The one day trip we managed was to Corning, NY. We've been to the Corning Glass Factory nearly every year since the kids were little. It's a wonderful place, but we've been there a lot, so we skipped that this time and went to the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, a huge collection of western American art. What makes it unique is it's location -- in the East! Three floors of incredible paintings, sculptures and historical artifacts. My favorites were the pieces by Frederick Remington and N.C. Wyeth. Afterward, we ate lunch at an excellent bistro at the end of Market Street, then shopped the entire street before heading back to the cabin. And yes, I did, at least, get a start on my Christmas shopping!

What this is the long way of saying is that...I'm behind on my novel. I'd hoped to have it finished before we left, but I got stuck on a plot point (I'm past it now). My second self-imposed deadline was to be done by the end of these two weeks. Now I'm hoping to be done before September first. I want the first draft done before I have to start back at school. With five classes and five preps this year (and two study halls to babysit), I'm worried about not having enough mental capacity left at the end of the day to do anything more than edit.

So yeah. Life gets in the way sometimes. Okay, most of the time. We're going to try again this week, hoping to salvage a few days for relaxation and creativity. Maybe finishing a novel isn't such a crazy dream after all...

Play safe,

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