Monday, July 9, 2012

The Book is Delivered. So What Now?



I turned in my contracted Love Inspired Historical manuscript July 2, exactly one week ago. I’ve heard of authors deliver books early, but I’m not one of them. Even with dividing my word count by the time I have, I still work right up to the deadline revising and revising and revising. If you're still an unpublished writer, you've probably experienced this push for a deadline when you enter a manuscript in a contest like the Genesis or Golden Heart.

I've been asked how authors know when to stop revising. The answer for me is when the calendar says I must. I believe I will improve on this, a worthy goal, but a goal I haven't yet attained. Please tell me I'm not alone. LOL

Once the book is delivered, I feel equal parts of remorse and elation. Remorse since I’m rarely satisfied with the end product. Elation as I’m physically and mentally weary and glad to have the story gone. I know my editor will have a more realistic and objective opinion. By the time I get the book back for revisions I will have been away from the story long enough to have a clearer view of what changes I want to make beyond what my editor requests.
My contracts allow me to have a life. If I have a multi-book contract, I have another deadline already set. Even so, I take time to catch up with those things I’ve neglected.  

           Here's a few activities that call my name:  
        
Chores: I’m not crazy about housework but love a clean orderly house. I’m blessed to have help with household tasks, especially when I’m on deadline. Still I’ve put off chores that I want to do. Who knew that work could sound downright delightful? J
  • Clear off my desks, both my office desk and the desk in the kitchen. I toss those notes and scribbled reminders cluttering my office desk that I no longer need now that the book is finished. On my kitchen desk, I wade through stacks of outdated store coupons, notes to myself, things I’ve kept to look over and toss or save. Organizing my desks lifts a weight off my shoulders.
·         Iron. HGTV makes the chore  almost like a mini-vacation. For those of you who hate to iron, you won’t relate. But after turning in a book, I find engaging in this mindless chore relaxing.



·         Deadhead flowers in the garden. Right about now, my daisies and coreopsis start to look bedraggled. The heat we're having in the midwest shortens my sessions, but I still enjoy making the garden tidy. I’m kind to the goldfinches and leave a few seed-filled coreopsis heads behind. Note the bookworm near my feet. I'm sure he's reading a Seeker book.  

·       Rearrange furniture. A change makes the furnishings look new and energizes me. I need my dh’s help with the heavy stuff, but I’m in charge. Maybe part of the charm. LOL
  Getting control of all the electric cords comes last.   

Shop: I miss being in the stores.  Since I turned in my book, my daughter and I spent a fun afternoon with her daughter shopping for school clothes and having lunch.     
Exercise: Even on deadline, I usually manage to get a daily walk, but rarely work out. Still, writers sit a lot and need to work their muscles to keep strong and flexible. Kudos if you don’t fall off the exercise wagon when you're on deadline, either a publisher's or your own.

Play: I look forward to stamping greeting cards and playing golf, a couple of activities I skip when I'm on deadline. These stampers friends are a creative bunch. 

Vacation: My dh and I plan our vacation around my book deadlines. I don’t work on vacation unless a trip is a research opportunity or a writer's conference.  
Family: Family comes before my writing but in a time crunch, I may have to miss a grandchild's ballgame or meet. Here's four reasons I want to be there. 
Friends: I like to see friends or at least chat by phone or email.

Sleep: The last week or so before my deadline I get about five hours a night. I wake up very early with my brain immediately going to the book.

Once I've caught up on my sleep, handled a few chores and connected with people, I'm back at storytelling, refreshed and renewed.

So what, if anything, is the takeaway from this post?
First, writing books is hard work. No matter how many books we've written, a finished manuscript is something to be proud of, to celebrate. Treat yourself. Iron. LOL 
Second, recharge your batteries and take care of yourself. Eat well. Get those zzzs. Exercise. 
Third, story people are wonderful but they don't replace flesh and blood human beings. Take time to fill the creativity tank. We can't always travel, but a stay-cation is probably more relaxing.

Fourth, unfinished chores can add pressure. Getting on top of things is energizing.

So how do you relax? Or do you? Any tips for having a balanced life? Or is there any such thing? 

I brought ham and cheese egg bakes, coffee cake, fresh fruit, juice, tea and coffee. Cyber cooking is easy. Did you notice I didn’t list cooking as an activity I long to do more of? J

Those leaving a comment will be in a drawing for either a critique of the first ten pages of an inspirational romance or a ten-dollar Amazon gift card--winner's choice. 
Janet

161 comments:

Helen Gray said...

My deadlines are self imposed, but when they're finished is when my major house cleaning stints get done.

At that point I feel so euphoric that tasks I typically abhor are almost fun. And the physical activity stretches my muscles and makes me feel better.

Helen

Melissa Jagears said...

Um, I would put ironing in the realm of punishment, I'd only do that if I thought I wrote a bad book but had to turn it in anyway in order to punish myself!

I generally read from my TBR pile when I "finish" something.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I find story people to be much more entertaining than real ones and they don't talk back. If they do I give them really interesting scars and illnesses.

As for cleaning. Highly overrated. It only gets dirty again.

But I like to watch Netflix as a treat when I am done with a deadline.

Current obsession: My Fair Wedding.

Iola said...

I'm another one who irons in front of the TV. It's the only time my husband happily gives up control of the remote.

What's cleaning?

Christy (Critty Joy) said...

Thanks for this Janet.... a great reminder of how to handle some things as I try to sort of write a book. ;) Your advice was practical and I am getting my calendar out.

Virginia said...

Iron!!! That totally made me laugh.

Um, I suppose when I meet a deadline I watch a movie. When I usually watch Tv or a movie I'm constantly comparing it to my plot or my characters, sometimes getting up in the middle of the show and jotting something down.

But when it's done, I just let myself enjoy a good movie and try not to analyze it too much.

I'm with Melissa on the ironing as punishment. Our contracter put in two GORGEOUS windows and a built-in ironing station in our new laundry room. That area is stacked with craft supplies... Because it's a nice and sunny cormer, perfect for drawing and painting!

Ausjenny said...

Janet I actually enjoy ironing myself although today it just about did me in. I hate being so weak.

Its interesting reading the posts. 5 hours a night sleep isn't much. I bet you sleep well when you are of the deadline. I know I am enjoying my sleep after almost no sleep for 6 days.

Kara I said...

My favourite way to relax is by playing with my nine month old. There's nothing like watching him find joy in the funniest things to remind me that life is too good to stay mad that I couldn't get than sentence exactly the way I wanted it :)

Janet Dean said...

Good morning, Helen. I know exactly what you're saying. A few chores need that "almost" in front of the word fun, but most truly are for me, too.

You're a wise woman to impose your own deadlines. You'll be prepared when you sell.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

LOL Melissa! I see you've drawn a line in the sand when it comes to ironing.

I always read a few pages each day, even on deadline. That's my nighttime routine.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Good morning, Tina! Love how you punish your story people for talking back. LOL

My Fair Wedding is a hooky title. Not seen it. I do enjoy movies. We've done a few On Demand. But most of the time, I forget about TV, especially in the summer.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hi Iola,

Seems like we have love/hate relationships with household chores. LOL

Having control of the remote is huge. Congrats. :-)

I may love ironing because my mom "let" me iron handkerchiefs when I was a kid. I felt very grown up. :-)

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hi Christy! The calendar does seem to rule us. Getting that thing under control is tricky. Wishing you all the best with writing your book.

Janet

Kav said...

Ironing to relax? Seriously? But I totally get the garden catchup. Weeding, deadheading...now that's relaxing!!!!!

I'm in the middle of a furniture rearranging stint. There's something so euphoric about doing that. Really gets the creative juices flowing. I must be targeting my inner feng shui or something.

Glad to hear that your deadline has been met because that means we're closer to having the book on the shelf.

Oh -- and that reminds me...how about reading as a deadline meeting reward?

Janet Dean said...

Good morning, Virginia. You and Tina can get together for a movie.
I'd like to gather to paint or draw in your fabulous laundry craft room! I've had to give up art but miss it.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hi Jenny, I'm not a great sleeper any time. Need to work on turning off my mind. Glad to hear you're catching up with your sleep. Don't overdo with the household chores. They'll wait until you're stronger.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Aw, Kav, great to share the delight of moving furniture with you! Enjoy!

I'm not sure when this book will hit the shelves. Sometime next year. Thanks for your interest!

Reading is such a part of my life that I never totally give it up, even on deadline.

Janet

Helen W said...

My favourite way to relax is to watch Gilmore Girls - with no kids crying or fighting in the background! Or to have a cappuccino at a quiet cafe by the harbour or beach ... which I can't do much now since I moved inland.

Janet Dean said...

Kara, you're a wise woman. A blessed woman. Enjoy that precious little boy. Babies have a way of helping us prioritize.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Helen, a quiet cafe by the beach sounds divine!! I love to look at the ocean. There's something very relaxing about the rhythm of the surf. Especially with no kids crying in the background. ;-)

I must watch Gilmore Girls!

Janet

Piper said...

I don't mind cooking so much, but I do mind ironing....that is a punishment for me. My motto is, if it comes out wrinkled, forget wearing it!

Those ham and egg cheese bakes sound yummy! Any chances of a recipe?

Maybe at the Yankee Belle?

I told you I don't mind cooking...it is the other household stuff I mind.

Piper

Rose said...

Janet,

I totally understand doing mundane things when the deadline is met!

It takes me about a week to play catch up with paperwork. But the most relaxing thing I do after I complete a deadline is a spa day that includes a massage or a pedicure.

I also go back to my full reading schedule.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Janet, I have to laugh about ironing. I guess it could be relaxing. Everything in our house is permanent press or permanent wrinkle. LOL

I'm with Rose. A spa day is it for me. Forget the chores. That's why I hire a housekeeper.

But I love your days with friends. I do that too. If they remember who I am. LOL

Thanks for the egg bake. Yummm Hits the spot.

Debby Giusti said...

Janet,
I can so relate to your post today. After finishing a book, I need to clean and shop and do the many things I've put off while on deadline.

Sometimes I spend too long enjoying life! :)

Loved seeing glimpses of your home and daily routine. Everything looks beautiful and neat as a pin!

I iron only when necessary, although I love to cook. Big meals just about every night. No wonder the scale is telling me to cut back. LOL

Janet Dean said...

Hi Piper! I'd be happy to share the egg bake recipe in the Yankee Belle. It's really easy and made the night before so all I have to do is pop it in the oven.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Rose, I agree! A spa day is a wonderful way to pamper yourself!! I'm getting a pedicure this afternoon. :-) The timing isn't great and I've got a meeting, too, so will be away for a while.

Janet

Cara Lynn James said...

I'm laughing at the ironing. That comes under 'chores I never do.' I have other friends who also don't mind ironing, but I can't understand it. To each his/her own.

When I turn in a book I catch up on reading, watching movies etc. I just enjoy not feeling guilty about not writing. Sometimes I cook more and try new recipes. Cleaning seldom comes to mind. If it does, I resist the urge.

Love your pictures!

Janet Dean said...

LOL, Sandra! I'm sure your friends could never forget you. But, I know how you feel when deadlines have kept you tied up.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Debby, I'm sure you're a wonderful cook! And hostess. Want to invite me to dinner? LOL We usually have a "big" meal, if that's meat, veggie and salad. But I'm in a cooking rut and get tired of the same ole thing. Trouble is, I'm not crazy about trying new recipes either.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hi Cara! I'm impressed that you like to try new recipes. I need a recommendation or to have actually eaten the dish to know I'll love it. Still, the recipe must be easy. I've got a recipe box full of complicated recipes I'll never make. Now there's another chore--to cull out that box.

Janet

Connie Queen said...

If I'm on a good writing schedule, I also keep the house cleaner. Not writing much, the house/chores tend to slide too.

I guess this is because when I'm on a writing roll, I'll set the timer and write for so many minutes, then have 10-20 min. break. I switch laundry, load the dishwasher, etc and then go back to writing. Next break, same thing.

If I ever have a "real" deadline, I don't know what I'd do. Probably take some real time off with the family. You know, leave the laptop, pen and paper at home and visit w/them instead of daydream about my story. Although I don't know if that's possible.

Connie

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Like Helen, my deadlines are self-imposed. I also have made myself promise to keep a balanced life. So when I hit a stopping spot last week, I MADE myself take some time off to read and not feel guilty (except I did keep peeking at 1K1Hr comments longingly). Oh, and clean, but only because my sister is coming to visit.

This week I will be working full tilt in DC doing research for my book. If I hadn't taken the time off, I don't think I would have all the excitement bubbling up this morning.

Thanks for a great post. I am in for either of the prizes.

Peace, Julie

Janet Dean said...

Good morning, Connie. Your method is excellent! You accomplish a lot and keep your body moving, too. I'm impressed!

If you can figure out a way to put your characters to sleep, maybe you could get a break from them. LOL

Janet

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, JANET, boy ... did I need this today!!! I'm caught between two books right now with deadlines on both, and I'm not sure I'll EVER see the light of day again. BUT ... your post has given me hope and wisdom, so THANK YOU!! And CONGRATS on turning that baby in!!

LOL ... I'm like you in that once done, I'm pretty darn sure there are tons more edits that can be made, but that's the good news (or bad if you don't like red ink!) -- your editor will catch all the stuff you didn't and then some!!

You said, "Treat yourself. Iron." LOL ... I actually used to do this because over the years, I only ironed officially about twice a year (yes, yes, I would do a shirt here and there for Keith when needed), and each time (or most of them) I'd watch Gone With the Wind because that's the only time I had enough time to do so. :)

What do I do for relaxation??? LOL ... it's more like "what does my husband MAKE me do for relaxation!!" He's gotten back into biking (mountain and trail) BIG TIME, so guess who is expected to go along a lot of the time??? Actually, I always enjoy it ... once he drags me away from that computer, that is ... not an easy feat by any stretch!!

Hugs,
Julie

Anonymous said...

*smile* Good morning Janet! I'm smiling because of the thing about cooking. I was actually looking for it while reading..but when I got to the end, I understood :-)
Okay, I'm kinda of scared of the writing life after reading this. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like most of what you said (about not getting sleep, missing out on some other things) describe most authors...no?
You asked : 'So how do you relax?'
I like taking a few minutes, or even an hour before going to bed to read, pray, listen to music and just put my mind at rest.
Favorite part of the day!

Is there such a thing as a balanced life? Well, you tell me Seekerville authors..
THANK YOU for the post, Janet!

Ganise

Janet Dean said...

Hi Julie! Hope the research trip to DC goes great! I once wanted to set a historical romance between members of the staff in the White House but decided the research for the time period would be too daunting.

Janet

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Janet, I am a DC native. Daunting for some is wallowing in my backyard for me!

Peace, Julie

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Tina, love the new picture!

Peace, Julie

Clari Dees said...

I don't necessarily like to iron, but I like the results of ironing. So when I have a pile of clothes that need it, I put on a movie and don't feel guilty because I'm "working" :-)

I'm on a mini-deadline right now because I have my AAs to get back to the editor, but after that I'm looking foward to getting back to my current WIP.

My favorite way to relax is spending time with my horses. It's been too hot to go riding the last couple of weeks, but this weekend is going to be about twenty degrees cooler. So maybe I can reward myself with a ride because I'm planning to have those AAs turned in.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Julie. Must have been fun to be a DC native. Did you get to the Mall much? I was impressed with the new memorials when we were in DC a few years ago for RWA. Will you be visiting your family?

Hugs,
Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hi Clari! Riding a horse would not be one bit relaxing for me. Years ago, I had some all too exciting experiences on horseback. Feels like yesterday. LOL I love horses from afar.

We're cooler here too. Thank goodness. Hope the AAs go well and you get that ride!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Wow, Julie!! I'm impressed you ride mountain bikes. I'm out of shape and would probably end up flying down those mountains backwards.

I'm chuckling over your twice a year ironing/GWTW fests!! I have the 50th anniversary movie. Never seem to find time to watch it.

Hang in with the deadlines. This too shall pass!

Hugs,
Janet

Janet Dean said...

Good morning Ganise. I'm not sure all authors go to the wire with their books, but I'm sure all of them sacrifice something to write with deadlines. Life can get out of balance, but that's temporary, at least for me. So don't let me scare you off. :-)

Your bedtime routine sounds restful. You probably sleep like a baby. Come to think of it, not all babies sleep that well. Just ask a new mom.

Janet

Anonymous said...

the only thing I iron is fabric for quilting! any clothing has to be wash and dry or make me look so darned good I WANT to iron it and so far that ain't happened!

I try to relax a lot - at the expense of housework LOL - living with 2 doggies and a full time job give me a little bit of leeway there though the dogs are starting to complain a bit!

hmm for relaxing I read(and some of ya'll really need write a bit faster hmmm?!), snooze, quilt(though sometimes I have deadlines there for gifts and such that make it not so relaxing at times), cook(and it's relaxing only if I'm not in a rush or starving), and lately I've started exercising and after the intitial dread factor I've found stuff that makes me feel relaxed afterwards - not so much during though! I think I'm the only person who's done pm chi for relaxation and was getting irritated it was taking so long for the slow breathing - I breathed slow and she was STILL inhaling! sheesh!

Susanna

Jan Drexler said...

Janet, it sounds like you've got your routine down - work, work, work, clean, relax, repeat!

I just turned in a book, too (and beat my deadline by a week...which brings its own share of panic attacks), and had about three days to regroup before tackling the next project. One thing about writing has taken me completely by surprise - even though I'm not doing anything physical, it is one of the most exhausting things I've ever done.

Short of chasing after two toddlers, but I was much younger then :)

My downtime is spent doing cross stitch. If I can have 30 minutes to watch an old TV show on Netflix and get a few stitches in on my current project, I'm good.

Sewing does it, too, but I need a bigger window of time.

Ironing is not relaxing to me. At all. I only use my ironing board to press out seams during a sewing project...

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Janet, I am going to be on the Mall a bunch. My book takes place in and around the Mall area. But I will be spending my time with Jerry, the research guru at the DC Library. The library article on Seekerville is getting printed out!

No family this trip. My sister ironically is coming to visit me in NC this weekend!

I just realized my deadline is Thursday 12noon for getting my research done. Ack!

Peace, Julie

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hurrah, Gilmore Girls, Helen. I own seasons one and two on DVD.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hey, Janet! You look like you're having fun in these pics, except for the ironing and gardening. I'm sorry, but I just can't relate to enjoying ironing or gardening. LOL!

I'm feeling pretty down today. A dear man at our church that I really loved died last night. He had just been diagnosed with cancer, and apparently his body couldn't deal with the chemo. I know he's happy and he's with Jesus now.

I have been procrastinating working on the next book since a really intense edit I finished about four weeks ago. Plus, we are leaving this weekend for Orlando, ICRS, Christy Awards, and best of all, Disney World, so that makes it hard to concentrate too!

Nancy Kimball said...

If I need a writing "breather" kind of relax I go for a walk or bike ride with the ipod.

If I need a "I'm NEVER going to be published, EVER!!!" kind of relax, LOL, I like to go on a spring clean binge or tackle some other project like detail the truck to feel like I've really accomplished something. Then I go back and read some of my work and dust the frames of my certificates and plaques from my awards before curling up with my favorite books and cookies.

It's not my day job that stresses me, its the writing. =)

Janet Dean said...

Susanna, I admire anyone who can quilt. I always pricked my finger under the fabric and bled onto the material. Nowdays lots of quilters use a sewing machine. My machine broke down. About the time I did. LOL I never found sewing relaxing. Anyone remember Stretch and Sew? I did that. I was terrified I'd cut the fabric wrong. The stretchy material was easier to sew, but I was tense the entire time. Give me ironing any day.

I'm not familiar with pm chi. Is that like yoga?

Janet

Susan Anne Mason said...

Love this post, Janet. It's so fun getting a peek into one of the Seeker's inner sanctums! Congrats on getting your book in. I think I heard the big sigh of relief way up here!

I usually have to do cleaning that I've neglected when I finish a book. Which only lasts a day or two til the family dirties it again.

Ironing - NO. Enough said.

Spa day sounds fabulous though!

Gone with the Wind was on TV last weekend. I tortured my son and husband with it and thought of Julie!

Cheers,
Sue

Janet Dean said...

Jan, hats off to you for beating your deadline! By a week is even more impressive.

Three days isn't long. You must be related to Mary or Ruthy.

I used to love to cross stitch. I've been working on the last project for 15 years. :-( The count is teeny and tearing out a mistake is a nightmare.

Do you sew your clothes or things for the house? I often wish I had a knack with window treatments. They're so expensive.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Julie, I'm impressed! Hope you make your deadline!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hi Melanie. I'm sorry about the loss of your dear friend. Saying a prayer for you and for his family.

Sounds like you need to rest. The time away will do you good. Enjoy getting ready for the trip. And start fresh when you return.

Hugs, Janet

Janet Dean said...

Oh, Nancy, I can relate! Most of us have been there! You're wise to accomplish something during those periods of discouragement. Hang in. The most down I ever got was not long before I sold. Keep those awards shining!

Janet

Jamie Adams said...

Janet,
Before I could iron anything I'd have to drag the ironing board out and dust it off. The dryer's my friend :)

Relaxing to me = a good book.

I'm so glad to know you have a new book on the horizon!

Janet Dean said...

Hi there, Sue. It's a wonder that sigh of relief didn't blow you to Paris. You're probably wishing it had. :-)

Our house stays cleaner longer with just us. The grandkids just left. Enough said. LOL

Janet

Tina Radcliffe said...

After all these comments about ironing I had to go back and look at the pictures. Sure enough there is an antique ironing board in the photos. I remember those. I thought they were outlawed.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Jamie! My mistake is buying some clothes with labels that say line dry. When I can, I wear clothes out of the dryer. Nor do I iron tablecloths. It's not fun on that narrow board.

A good book is relaxing. Well, unless it's a suspense.

Thanks for your interest in my books. That means a lot!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Tina, ironing boards are dangerous. You can pinch your fingers setting them up. The hot iron is even more of a hazard. I never considered myself courageous until now. LOL You made my day!

Janet

Melanie Dickerson said...

Janet, you know the opposite of irony, don't you? Wrinkly.

LOL! Middle school humor, courtesy of my daughter Grace. :-)

Janet Dean said...

LOL, Mel! Your daughter is a hoot. Love her name btw.

Janet

Anonymous said...

Janet, I should have said piecing and I do use machine - I do a little bitty bit of hand stuff but I"m all about speed and esy! sorry to disillusion ya'll- I call it quilting if the end result is a quilt LOL! :-) my mom learned to handquilt and was working on a wholecloth kit (where the pattern is printed on plain white fabric) before she passed. my dad's sister finished it for me.
used to relax eating now I'e had to sub exercise :-(
Susanna

Jennifer Thompson said...

I can't remember the last time I ironed...come to think of it, I don't know if I even own a board.

I'm with Jamie, I just throw it in the dryer to dewrinkle. Or if I'm in a super rush, I spritz it with a water bottle.:)

Over the weekend, I pushed myself to write 2000 words at a sitting and once I reached it, I would emerge to join my beautiful family for a little R & R. Then I would watch an episode of my favorite show Drop Dead Diva.

I figured it was a good reward. Then off for another 2000 word stint. I would never have been able to do that if hubby wasn't home for 3 days.

Ganise said...

Melanie! Praying for you and your church, in this difficult time! :(
Looks like we have alot of people who dislike ironing. But you know, it's not too bad...sometimes.
And here's a random question: how many people are early-risers?

I'm chuckling at some of these comments! ( LOL!! lola's comment)

Ganise

Tina Radcliffe said...

I just realized Janet apparently has a life. No worries. I just chastised her it.

All those who do not have a life beyond writing and the family raise your hands.

Okay, first hand that goes up besides mine gets to be president of our little group of losers...er,I mean focused individuals.

We can meet once every two years to plan events and outings.

Sound good??

Jan Drexler said...

Tina, I have a life beyond writing and family!

I have all my friends who come visit me in the wee hours, holding conversations in my head and doing weird things like driving buggies or falling in love with cowboys.

They keep me company when everyone else is asleep :)

Jennifer Thompson said...

*Raising hand with Tina.

(whispering) I have no life beyond those things.

I say we should plan outings, but I think every three years would work better for me.

Myra Johnson said...

Life??? Not real sure what that is. I pretty much think of myself as THE most boring person on the face of the planet.

Janet, you have a wonderful life, a lovely balance of writing, family, friends, and fun. And you definitely have your priorities in order. My husband and family are definitely at the top of my list. Doggies are up there, too. Ironing and cleaning . . . not so much.

And what's weird (or maybe not?) . . . the most alive I feel is when I've had a GREAT writing day!

Virginia said...

MELANIE, so sorry to hear of your loss.

Praying for you and all his loved ones. It's the one year anniversary of losing our dear 'Grandma yum yum' who was so special to my children and me.

((HUGS))

Carol Moncado said...

Y'all have been busy this morning!

I've been busy trying to get DH's computer connected to the internet. It worked until we got the new modem Thursday and now it won't so not sure what the problem is.

I'm kind of with Tina in that the pretend people are much less messy [which is saying something given the messes we put them in].

When I'm not on a self-imposed deadline I read. During the summer [on that deadline or not] I spend a lot more time with the kids b/c they're home. Go to the pool several times a week. Talk to the UVerse people on a nearly daily basis. Etc. ;)

It's about time to start my NCIS DVDs so that I have season 9 done about the time season 10 starts ;).

An Amazon gift card would be great for that ;).

Back to working on... something... :D

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks, Ganise and Virginia. Sorry about your Grandma Yum Yum. Love the name. :-)

It's funny how some you get attached to some people. You may not spend that much time with them, but the time you do spend, and the things they say, just really stick with you, and that's how Albert was. He had so much faith. He was very inspiring.

Grace is special, Janet. :-)

Lyndee said...

Hi all,
It's been a hard weekend. My dear Trinket died in my arms late Sat night. It was sudden - literally 17 minutes after I realized something was wrong. What a gift God gave me when He brought her to me! When my life collapsed 8 years ago, she gave me refuge when humans couldn't give me the hugs I needed. I called her 'the General' because she was one stocky, bossy Pomeranian. At barely five pounds, her giant attitude made me laugh everyday. I just needed to share. My heart hurts...

While writing my four non-fiction books, I gained 35 pounds each time. The deadlines drove me to eat! So my spare time activity was losing weight! Ugh...

I've happily lost weight while writing romance! I haven't had publisher deadlines, but self-imposed ones for contests and conferences can be just as demanding. The difference is I've turned this eating thing over to God and He's changed my life.

Janet, I admire your dedication to the fine home-art of ironing! It's becoming a lost art. I realized that as I watched my 30 yr old daughter struggle to iron her son's shirt. Guess I didn't teach her and they certainly in school either. My how times have changed.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I love the early Gilmore Girls. So fun. Rory...

I love that character. And I love "Ruthy" from Seventh Heaven. Great girl-kid characters!

Janet knows I like to iron. It's mindless. And I like cotton dresses. How stinkin' old world prosaic is that?????

But having said that, I don't take time off between projects. I am such a dork that I get nervous and jerky if I'm not working on something and I am so in love with what I do that I can't stop. So when I finish one, I set it aside and work on the one I've been researching or beginning, or whatever.

I do try to fit in home repair... I love to paint, I love to garden.

I hate cleaning. But I like clean things. But I won't give up my work/writing to clean.

I am my own conundrum!

Janet, love those flashes into your life. What is HG-TV? I could Google it but I'm willing to show my lack of knowledge!

Jennifer Thompson said...

Lyndee, I'm sorry about your precious puppy.

I was in the same situation last November when my 7 mo. old chihuahua died in my arms. It was horrible.

I will be praying for you!

Cara Lynn James said...

Janet, I should've mentioned that after I finish writing a book and turn it in I sometimes go back and read a book about writing to refresh my tired memory. It helps me think about the next story.

Myra Johnson said...

Oh, Lyndee, my heart goes out to you! I love my own doggies so very, very much, and I know how hard it is to say goodbye. So sorry this happened so suddenly, and praying for your comfort.

Mary Curry said...

Janet, this is exactly how I feel when the school year ends. I don't hate ironing and I love the look of freshly ironed clothing but I admit to doing it on an as needed basis. In my crowded closet things just get wrinkled again.

Lyndee, ((((hugs)))) I'm so sorry. Every time someone loses a pet I look at my puppy (he's actually 4) and can't even dare to think about it.

Tina, we don't have to count work, right. My kids accuse my husband and I all the time of having no life. No comment.

Jennifer Thompson said...

Just heard Marta Perry was awarded the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence for Vanishing in Plain Sight!

Congrats Marta!

Nancy Kimball said...

Thank you, Janet.
Tina, I'm raising both hands.
Lyndee, sorry for your loss and Melanie, praying for you and that special man's family also. Sorry I missed that the first time.
Clari, you have horses???
Me too! Well, just one now. An old cuss of a genuine mustang who was the first horse I was ever unable to break-in. Not even my professional bull-rider boyfriend I was dating when I adopted her could gentle her to saddle. It would make sense she outlived everyone. 31 years old and healthy as a... wow. Nevermind.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Susanna, what a treasure you have from your mom. How nice of your dad's sister.

It's hard to make the healthy choice, but sounds like you did! I suppose there are healthy snacks, though most of us don't crave those.

Janet

Tina Radcliffe said...

OH, MY LYNDEE I AM SO PRAYING FOR YOU TO FEEL OUR ARMS AROUND YOUR DURING THIS TIME.

XXXXXX

Janet Dean said...

Wahoo, Jennifer T!!! Congrats on that word count!! You rock!! And so does your dh.

No ironing board amazes me! I figured everyone had one. LOL

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Ganise, guess that depends on what you term early. I usually get up between 6-7:00. What about you?

Janet

Janet Dean said...

That group of focused individuals will produce the most, I'll guarantee it, Tina!!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Jan D, I'm guessing Tina has that secret life, too, populated with make-believe friends. :-)

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Jennifer, the club is growing. Looks like you're president. You will only need to function once every three years. That hardly rates a gavel.

Janet

Pepper said...

GREAT post, Janet.
Wow, I loved what you said about story people being great but they dnot' replace flesh and blood.
So true!

Though - just like many of you were saying, I do love my imaginary friends and their world.

Ironing frightens me...but not as much as deadlines ;-) LOL

Janet Dean said...

Virginia, with the name Grandma Yum Yum, she must've been a very special woman. I'm sorry. I know you miss her.

Hugs, Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hi Carol M! Hope you get that computer problem figured out. I'm getting edgy just hearing about it.

I remember those days watching kids at the pool. Not much reading gets done.

Janet

Ganise said...

Lyndee, I'm feeling for you, friend. Sending you (and everyone else going through pain) my prayers and hugs. Aww =(..

Janet!
I usually wake up around that time too. But I don't mind waking up earlier, when everything's just peaceful, ah..

This is a beautiful place to be. God bless Seekerville

Clari Dees said...

I think we should start an ironing club. We could take turns hosting it and showing our favorite movies while we make our clothing look Sharp! :-)

Lyndee, I'm SOOooo sorry about your little dog. I've lost two in the past few years. It's not fun! ((hugs))

Nancy,
Yep. Three horses. No. Scratch that. Three over-grown puppy dogs that just happen to eat grass/hay and LOVE cookies. :-)

Janet Dean said...

Melanie, I'm sure you blessed Albert, as much as he blessed you.

How could Grace not be special? She's got you for a mom.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Lyndee, I'm so sorry to hear you lost your precious Trinket. Dogs have a way of giving their all. We could learn a thing or two from our pets.

You're a very wise woman to turn the tough stuff over to God. Isn't it amazing what He can do when we let Him?

Hugs, Janet

Debby Giusti said...

Lyndee, sending hugs and love. So sorry about your precious Trinket.

Mary Connealy said...

Sorry to be slow checking in today. Glad to hear you've got a book turned in and a bit of time to breathe AND that you've got to get back to work soon. That's the plan, right? To always have another book to write.

Mary Connealy said...

It appears that, to Janet, ironing has the affect of a Zen water garden.

I don't understand it but I accept it.

Debby Giusti said...

Julie,

How exciting to be in DC doing research. Where in DC did you live? Did I mention I graduated from Mount Vernon High in Alexandria? I lived in N. VA. a number of times. My dad was army, but we always came back to the DC area.

Anonymous said...

Right now I cannot stand to iron 'cause of sciatica pain in right leg. Any suggestions for cure from you ladies??? Thanks for any help.
Would love the A. card to get books!
jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

Vince said...

Hi Janet:

While you can give your troubles to God, doesn’t the bible say, Matthew 19:29, that what you give Lord will be returned a hundred fold?

Isn’t this the 100th comment?

Vince

Digging for Pearls said...

Hi Janet,

I'm in crunch stage as I'm trying to get my novel finished and out the door in a month or so. The active writing is beginning to wear on me, but God continues to provide for me.

I'm not sure how I'll celebrate once I finally get this manuscript out the door and on its way. :)

Blessings,
Jodie Wolfe

CatMom said...

Great post, Janet--I love reading about favorite authors' lifestyles outside of writing. And I must confess....I also enjoy ironing!! Hmmm, should we start a group: Ironers Anonymous?! ~ So looking forward to your next LIH--as I've told you before, I've enjoyed ALL of your LIH stories, and look forward to more. ~ Guess I'm way behind, but just noticed Tina R. has a new photo! LOVE it, Tina! ~ Hugs, Patti Jo :)

CatMom said...

p.s. Lyndee, so very sorry about your precious Trinket....Sending a hug from Georgia, PJ

Janet Dean said...

Hi Ruthy! Knew you'd be a wreck if not at the keyboard or painting something. But then look how productive you are!

HGTV=Home and Garden Television.
:-)

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Jennifer, sorry about your dog. As hard as it must be to lose them in your arms, at least they weren't alone.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Great idea, Cara! I love to read Writing How To books! Not that I always remember everything, but they energize me. We need to practice Mary's hand on monitor, help me remember what I know prayer.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Mary C, I've taught and remember the wonder of summer. Seems like it's shorter these days.

I'm going to be known as the Queen Of Irony. LOL Not my goal, but hey, I'll take any kingdom, no matter how small.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Wahoo Marta!! Thanks for the shout out, Jennifer!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Nancy, are you a horse whisperer? Your life sounds interesting and a bull rider boyfriend sounds like a hero.

I have no idea how long the average horse lives. But you're doing something right with her.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Pepper, ironing isn't for everyone. Stick to the stuff you enjoy.

Deadlines still frighten me. But what would happen to publishing without them????

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Ganise, I believe God is blessing Seekerville. I know He's blessing the Seekers with all of you!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Clari, I can see us in this huge room with outlets/ironing boards and irons spaced every few feet and big screen TVs. I'll look into getting a space in Seekerville. Oh, wait. They called those places sweat shops and outlawed them. LOL
Let's just gather for movies.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hi Mary. Ouch! Put away that cattle prod! Shouldn't you be working? LOL Okay, I have a plan and that plan involves my next book. Happy?

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Mary, I may add a water feature to my ironing space. Though a drippy faucet is less costly.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Ouch Jackie! Mercy that's painful. Have you tried exercise, a chiropractor, an ortho doc? If all else fails, ironing boards can be lowered to sitting height. Only the Queen of Irony would be so cruel as to suggest that.

Queen of Irony

Janet Dean said...

Vince, thanks for leaving the
100th comment. Even if you are playing with my mind. Easy to do, I might add. :-) God wouldn't pay back my obedience by giving me more worries. That Scripture is referring to the things we sacrifice for Him and His kingdom.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Creating is fun. Making up people is fun, but writing is hard work. Proud of you, Jodie. Let us know how you celebrate once it's out the door.

Janet

Tina Radcliffe said...

Jackie!! I went to a chiro for sciatic pain--especially standing.

He had me get a ball, you know those giant ones and do exercises on it.

It opened up the muscle to it wasn't pressing on the nerve. See if you insurance covers chiropracter visits. I have been pain free for about four years now.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Patti Jo! We ironers are hardly anonymous now. But let them tease us. We can take it. Besides we have a hot iron in our hands. No one messes with that. ;-)

Thanks for your sweet words! You're a fabulous encourager.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Tina, so glad that ball and the exercises worked for your sciatic pain. I have a friend who loves hers. Need to look into that.

Janet

Mary Curry said...

Or if it won't cover chiropractors, try Physical Therapy. My husband had disabling sciatica and a few trips to PT to teach him those exercises and he's been pain free ever since.

Ausjenny said...

I sit here think if we had a stargate or a way to go from one place to another easily I could have work.

I could come and do the ironing for everyone who hates it and have a nice little business. I actually enjoy ironing (ok call me mad) but you need people like me like! I can watch tv while doing it. Is it now I admit I also like washing windows?

Slept well last night I know I have to take it easy but I woke without a headache for the first time in about 10 days.

Janet Dean said...

Good point, Mary Curry!

Hope you're able to get some relief, Jackie!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Jenny, very nice to know you had a good night and woke headache free...and enjoy ironing. Our group is growing. :-)

My dh thinks if I loved ironing so much, I'd do it more often. LOL He may have a point. I will be ironing tonight. And watching HGTV. Wish you were here, Jenny!

Janet

Courtney said...

I'm not a writer, but I'll be so glad to have accomplished goals for this month--college summer classes--and be able to rest a little more:) Plenty of books are waiting in my TBR pile....by I would love more! Enter me for the Amazon card please!

Jennifer Thompson said...

All this ironing talk is hilarious.

I really just think I'm iron-challenged.

When I was first married, hubby worked at the jail and had to wear those hideous brown uniforms the sheriff's office issues. It was up to me to have it pressed for him everyday and everyday they had an inspection.

Needless to say, he failed...EVERYDAY. I tried so darn hard, but I figure it's because I wasn't born with that gene. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tina, Mary, and Janet. I am seeing a chiropractor (mine of 37 yrs. retired) so had to try new one....takes time, I guess. Will try the exercise ball!
Jackie S.

Abbi Hart said...

My fav way to relax is to escape into a book! It is my ultimate treat! I personally don't like ironing at all but I have to do it a lot since I iron my dad's clothes. I have taken to working on memorizing scripture during that time and it makes it more fun AND more productive! Also it's cool that you stamp cards! My mom is a crazy stamper and has so many stamps that they take up a bookshelf, a long shelf mounted above her 12 ft table and more.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Courtney! Congrats on hanging in with the summer classes! The summer is flying so won't be long till they're over and you can read.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Oh, Jennifer, you have me giggling. I iron with steam, not starch. Doubt uniforms I pressed would pass inspection. If I were that fussy, i'd miss the TV episode. :-)

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hope you're soon painfree. Keep us posted, Jackie!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Abbi, Good for you! You put me to shame with memorizing Scripture while you iron. I'd say your parents are blessed to have you for their daughter.

Your mom would fit right into my stamping group. I've run out of homemade cards. :-(

Janet

Nancy C said...

Janet, you write a wonderful post brimming with good advice and humor ... and what catches my attention? That lamp in the pic of you moving furniture :-) Is it an antique? Did it come with a story?

One thing I do to help me stay in touch with the world outside my writing is have a weekly 'mental health' morning or afternoon (and sometimes a day) when I get with friends/family, work outside, browse a bookstore, whatever. Stepping away from the writing without feeling like a slacker was difficult at first. Then I noticed I'm much more productive after the time away from the computer.

Nancy C

Mary Connealy said...

one of the truly heartbreaking moments of my young life involved ironing.
I was waaaay too young and all excited about this soooo pretty pink dress a neighbor had given to our family and it fit ME! It was MINE!
I was going to wear it to church and I got up early and went to iron it and MELTED A HOLE THROUGH IT!!!!!!!!!!!
Honestly in my little girl world there were just no words for the depth of that pain. We were really poor and I had two sisters so close in age to me--older--that I almost never got anything new, always hand me downs. And yes, this was a hand me down, too. But still, it was mine and NOT my big sisters.

I couldn't even talk. I couldn't cry. It was all my fault. No one to blame, no way to fix it. I actually think I ruined Mom's iron, too, and that was probably, to mom a bigger tragedy.

But I can still tap into that pain.

And that's not the reason I don't iron. I'm just lazy!!! :)

Ausjenny said...

Mary I feel your pain. I also know the hand me downs. I got them from my cousin so no one here had ever seen them and they were so pretty. if they had been from my own family I would have not liked them as much.

Helen W said...

Tina - yay! Have you started watching yet? The tone of Season 1 is a little more serious, since that was their original intention. But the humour had a mind of it's own, and the later seasons brought that out. I have not been able to watch much this year - an extra kid has made a lot of difference to my peace and quiet!

Janet Dean said...

Nancy C, you nailed how to write and stay energized!

Thanks for your kind words about the post. Sorry, the lamp isn't an antique. Though we have a few family pieces that come with a story.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Mary, melting your pretty pink dress with an iron is sad. One of those times in life when we wish we could go back and do things differently.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Jenny, how nice to have a cousin who shared! Have you two stayed in touch?

Janet

Ausjenny said...

Janet often by the time I got the clothes they were 4th hand. I had 2 aunts that could sew professionally and there clothes lasted. The first cousins are around 10 or more years older then the one I got them from was 4 years older than me. I dont have much contact with her. Have talked to her brother at times on the phone when I go to Melbourne.
I actually got handme downs a little older from a few other sources and to me it was like winning the lottery. We didn't have much money either and the clothes were not from this town and they were always well made. It was so nice. (Mum couldn't sew to save herself). Mum knitted. I had a jumper my brother wore, then my cousin then I got and everyone though it was brand new. it went really well with a tartan skirt which was 4th hand.
Some of my favourite outfits were handme downs. like a beautiful Blue dress I really loved.

travelingstacey said...

Hi Janet...I haven't had any major writing deadlines but plenty of others to know how to relax afterwards : ). I could definitely relate to your comment about liking a clean house but not liking the process of getting there : ). My favorite ways to relax usually involve getting away from everyday life...which means I'll need a babysitter! Having a movie night with my girlfriends, going on a date with the hubby, or just a really hot bubble bath and a good book are all my kind of down time. Blessings~Stacey
travelingstacey(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Audra Harders said...

Finishing the book is just one deadline -- you are so right. I love how you said the time to finishing revising is when time is up and you have to send in the book.

LOL! I couldn't have said it better myself, my friend : )

I loved getting a glimpse of life-after-book-deadline. Stamping is so much fun when you have a table full of friends to chit chat with.

And golf. I'm a very pathetic golfer, but I"d gladly walk 9 holes with you!!!

Congrats on getting that deadline met and YAY on spending quality Janet-time!!

PS - go enjoy yourself, housework will always wait for you : )

Audra Harders said...

Lyndee, my heart hurts for you!! I'm so sorry you lost such a precious part of you.

I grew up with Pomeranians. They have such loving, playful personalities.

Prayers God eases your grief are wrapping around you, dear!

Audra Harders said...

And I hate to say it, but I"m with Tina on the cleaning.

Why clean when it will only get dirty again? This does not make sense : )

I KNOW I'd rather IRON than CLEAN.

travelingstacey said...

Oh...and I wanted to mention to my fellow anti-ironers that they make this awesome spray that you put on your wrinkled clothes and the wrinkles come right out. Pretty awesome! ~Stacey

marybelle said...

I could very happily never cook. I do enjoy my daily walks though.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Janet Dean said...

Jenny, you were blessed to get such great hand-me-downs! That makes me smile.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hi Stacy, your sweet baby makes me think of the scent of baby powder. Do moms use that anymore?

Sounds like you have some terrific relaxers. Date night for moms and dads with young children is smart!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hi Audra! I doubt you'd want to see my golf game, but we could have fun stamping!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Stacey, I hadn't heard of that spray. Sounds awesome!

Sorry about leaving out the "e" in the earlier comment.

Janet

Marianne said...

Since i am a reader, and not a writer, the life of an author fascinates me! i know i work better under stress, but what authors do goes beyond. Thanks for sharing!

marianne dot wanham at gmail dot com

Sarah said...

Enter me!
God Bless!
Sarah Richmond
Blanch,N.C.

shelia hall said...

Sit on my front porch with a glass of cold tea and a good book to relax or listen to music

Janet Dean said...

Hi Marianne, I may not be a typical author, but then that's okay.

Thanks for your interest!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hi Sarah,

You're entered. Thanks for stopping by!

Janet

Missy Tippens said...

Janet, I loved the photos!! How fun.

I do a lot of what you do. And I'm also the same about working up until a deadline. I rarely send something early. In fact, I think I've only done it once! :)

Janet Dean said...

Shelia, your methods of relaxing are sure to work. Thanks for sharing.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Hey, Missy! Once is one more time than me. :-)

Janet

Rachelle said...

Iron. LOL. :) I loved reading about how you treat yourself in between deadlines. It's encouraging to see that it is possible to have a life between the demands of an author! :)

biblioprincess15 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Janet Kerr said...

Hey Janet,
I have been taking too many "breathers". It is about time I get to writing!
Jan

Anonymous said...

love your books-jenny whitley