Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hurry Up and Wait

Okay, so how do I compete with Jules’ kissing post? Whoa. Oh my stars. I mean, seriously, I can’t bat in the same park with that girl when it comes to well-placed lippage going down, so I don’t even try. A good writer recognizes his/her strengths and I’m tipping a hat of praise and recognition to my friend Julie for some truly ‘inspirational’ forward momentum.

Still fanning myself.

So this one’s for Melanie because she openly recognized a problem that occurs often in this industry.


Yuck. We all hate it. We all experience it. And one of the toughest waits of all is when you’re thiiiiiis close to reaching the gold ring, the gold medal, the blue ribbon but it doesn’t happen quickly enough to suit us.

Treasure that time. If we all yammer about God’s timing, God’s plan, God’s godliness, then we’re flying in his face to out-maneuver him. In general it frustrates us and amuses him. Not that I begrudge the good Lord a laugh at my expense. He’s had plenty. BUT…

Why do this to yourself?

Waiting is a part of this business. We experience that with the first contests we enter. Some contests take months to announce finals, and then more months to announce winners.

Here’s a shocker:

You’re not Priority One on their lists. Same with editors. Agents. Art teams. Marketing crews. Booksellers. Learning to wait, to follow God’s curve, is clutch or you’ll drive yourself and your family crazy. It’s hard to write if your otherwise sweet, loving husband Jimmy Hoffa’s you for:

1. Whining
2. Crabbing
3. Moping
4. Grumbling
5. Can’t use that word here but you all know what it is
6. Pouting
7. Crying
8. Snapping

Hey, we’ll be glad to come to the funeral AFTER the local police exhume the remains, but in the meantime, there’s a better way.


All right, stop groaning. Are ya’ kiddin’ me? You knew where I was going all along, didn’t you? And yes, there are OTHER ways to pass the time, but you can’t do those ALL DAY, especially if you’ve got kids, jobs, appointments or a limited libido. If that’s the case, see Julie’s post below. It should help.

I work on multiple projects at once, in varying stages. Because I work two jobs I have to respect the clock and use my time diligently. The minutes at the computer must pay. My minutes away from the computer must pay.


Not on your life. I love it. I’m pushed to create, submit, edit, plan, create some more because I don’t have idle time. I love to write. This is a life-long dream, a long-awaited opportunity, the moment of truth, the beginning of a new stage and phase, the life of a published author.

OH MY STARS!!!! Do not get caught with your pants down (metaphorically speaking) when that call comes. Have a stockpile. Have two. Your fingers should be cruising keys every chance you get. The hard drive should be humming the little train’s mantra…

“I think I can, I think I can…”

Aimless waiting accomplishes nothing. Idle hands/devil’s workshop, etc., etc.
I like to write one book while laying down tracks/notes for an upcoming book, series, etc. Loose moments can be quick research finds, bookmarking pages, grabbing ideas, photos, whatever I need to help me ‘cement’ the next book in my head because I’m a SOTP writer. No big outlines, fuzzy boards, pics, music, Post-Its, sticky notes.

Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Zip.

I do write a quick overview in my “Notes” file, to cover the basics. It might be a page. Half-a-page. Two pages. Remember, I said “quick” overview. And I keep a name file because I tend toward repetition.

Too much organization scares me. Really, I’m breaking out in hives thinking of it. Who’s got Benadryl?

So I’m writing one book, researching another and letting a third ‘rest’. Imagine bread dough rising. I’m much better at final edits if I walk away from the book and immerse myself in something else for a couple of weeks. Then I return to the finished book after it’s had time to ‘rise’, edit one more time on the computer and then hard copy edit.

If you’re the type that thinks hard copy edits have gone the way of the dinosaur, I disagree. And maybe it’s just me. Probably so. But I find so many of those goofy, little mistakes when I sit and read on paper as opposed to a gray-screen. I notice repetitive phrasing, words, missing periods (not the pregnancy kind), spelling mistakes, etc. And there aren’t many by that time, but enough to need one last sweep of the broom because unprofessional manuscripts are… unprofessional. They should be as squeaky clean as you can get them before that big send-off.

And then you wait. But not really, because you should be knee-deep in another project already. Remember the one you started while this one fermented? It’s so much easier to jump back and forth if you’re already in the thick of a plotline than trying to formulate one out of your head with nothing in the works. That’s the kind of thing that dead-stops you right there and you start spinning wheels.

No time for that.


Alleviate the waiting. (and hence the whining, grumbling, stewing, fretting, etc.)

Keep multiple projects churning. Remember, this isn’t a hobby, it’s a job. Do your job. (Nora Roberts, slightly paraphrased for Seekerville ears)

Focus forward. Editors, agents, contest coordinators and judges are busy. That’s why there’s a suggested time period. If you’re expecting your manuscript to be the one that flies off the desk, into the editor’s hands, and into production in two weeks time, yeah, well…

Take a right at Utopia and meet me in Nirvana.

Use this God-given time to make yourself better, stronger, more saleable. Some of my kids were track stars. (Read: encouraging mother. Okay, make that pushy mother, I can own that) The track mantra is:

Citius. Altius. Fortius.
Swifter. Higher. Stronger.

There’s a reason the Olympics use this as their slogan. To be the best you must run with the best. Put in the time. Be patient, work hard. And then harder. Because if you REALLY love this, this whole writing gig, you should be embracing that next project full speed ahead.

And if you’re not, come on by, grab some coffee and we’ll have Mary be nice to you while I offer a swift kick. One way or another, we’ve got your back.



  1. Great post, Ruthy! You're the go-to Seeker if I need butt kicking. :-)

    Wonderful advice for all of us. Waiting never ends really. Once we sell, we wait to hear back from a proposal. When we turn in a book, we wait for our revision letter. Great advice to never waste that most precious commodity--time.

    I brought cantaloupe and cottage cheese this morning. Weird I know, but I like it. And a luscious homemade strudel to go with your coffee. Line up for the buffet, but watch your back. LOL


  2. Cantaloupe and cottage cheese is very normal at my house, Janet!

    Ruthy, I am waiting to be waiting. But not standing still. I want a couple polished set aside before I do any submitting, because I listen to what the Seekers say.

    I always have a hard copy with me of some chapter or scene. My editing is much more productive that way. Heck, my brain doesn't even turn on till I'm holding a pen in my hand.

    Now, did I hear about a Seekerville treasure hunt at the ACFW conference?
    THAT, I can't wait for!

  3. Janet, cottage cheese and 'lope sounds perfect! Thanks for bringing it by. And this strudel is to die for. Yummy. I love strudels. And I love frozen phyllo dough so I don't have to monkey around stretching strudel dough across the kitchen table.

    That's work!

    Deb, I love the new pic!! You rock!

    And yeah, I love computer editing, the saving time and paper, but I need to hard copy edit at least twice.

    First about 10-12 chapters in, to make sure my plot points, threads make sense and touch as needed.

    Then the last chapters (8-10, whatever) to do the same thing. Then I shelve it.

    And move on.

    And come back.

    Madelyn Hunter spoke to a local writers' groups several years ago. She had 7-10 books complete when she finally got the call.

    Her publisher (I may be somewhat skewed on details here) recognized her talent and fast-tracked her opening series by releasing the books back-to-back.

    Punched her to the bestselling list.

    That wouldn't/couldn't have happened if she didn't have the books done. Ready. Complete.

    You're doing great, kiddo. Keep up the good work. And I'm still waiting for a time to meet in person. We're so lame, Deb!


  4. Ah, Ruthy, just the encouragement I needed for today. I'm currently waiting for cover art for the debut novel, and it seems like it is taking forever, just because I'm so excited to see it.

    But I have other projects to work on, and you are so right...that does help the time go faster.

  5. Hi Ruthy

    Thanks for a super blog today.

    I also like to use hard copy for a final edit.

    Another trick is to have your computer read your work aloud to you.

    I've heard that it also helps to change your ms into a different font.

    God bless


  6. Ruthy,

    Well placed lippage, huh? Too funny. You gotta wonder how much whinny and fretting a husband can take 'til they Jimmy Hoffa your back side. LOL

    One should not read a blog to early I looked at the Olympic Motto and wondered why anyone would want to start with Citrus...

    I realize Orange Juice is good to drink and healthy for the body

    But I wondered if the early Olympians drank OJ.

    Oh well.

    So we got a day of dreams about a tall handsome stranger and a soul searching kiss and now we must get back to work!!!

    Fun times.

    You're totally right though. One must forge ahead and keep those fingers dancing and their imagination station chugging away.

    I think I can.

    There are some pretty big hills between here and that station.

    But I'm tossing some coal in the fire and trying to stay ahead of your well place foot.

    Thanks Ruthy,

    For your willingness to place it with such efficiency.

    I like to edit a hard copy too. There something to be said for holding that puppy in your hand and flipping those pages.

    Janet, thanks for the cottage cheese, and strudel, yum.

    Hold the cantaloupe for me though.

    Melon makes me gag.
    And yet, I'm growing it in my garden.

    And Ruth D...

    I'm computer illiterate of several levels . . .

    How do you let your computer read to you?

  7. Excellent post, Ruthy! Always something to be waiting for in life.

    I'm a hardcopy, red Flair Tip pen editor, too. Drag it off someplace far from my computer where I can read it aloud, see how it sounds, how it flows. Determine if the characters "sound" like themselves.

    But I have to admit, I'd NEVER have ever finished a book in the pre-word processor days. How did people do it? I write and rewrite and rewrite some more -- change words, move paragraphs, switch chapters and scenes entirely. Delete. Add.

    I GREATLY admire the pre-word processor crowd. How did Margaret Mitchell ever finish Gone With the Wind without one?? (I'm sure Julie can tell us!)

  8. Ahhhh ... the feel of common sense resurging to my brain in sync with the steady flow of blood as it thunders to my posterior. Sigh. NOBODY gives a better kick in the butt than our Ruthy.

    You're absolutely right, my friend, (gritting teeth here) because waiting is part and parcel of the game no matter who you are, pubbed or prepubbed, and the smart, disciplined ones make good use of that time. That's only one of the many things I admire about you, Ruthy, and I wish I had one tenth of your bulldozer mentality for moving steadily forward no matter the obstacles.

    But I have the next best thing ... a dear friend with a true talent for well-placed kicks in the derriere. And I sure needed one today, so thank you.

    Now to put my butt in the chair and write ... and I will ... uh, as soon as the throbbing goes away.


  9. Well, I'm glad I came by early, Ruthy, since you wrote this one for me!!! So honored and all that other, uh-hem, stuff.

    I hear you loud and clear: No whining and keep working! I just think it would be a lot easier to treat this like a job if I were actually getting paid.

    I have started another project, plus am plotting two more in my head. How's that? And I've written 4 books in the last 5 years, plus I have gotten two kids from age 2 and 6 to age 7 and 11, so that's pretty good, right? And my husband hasn't divorced me. Frankly, I feel like throwing myself a party! Not sure if that's what you had in mind, but thanks, Ruthy!

  10. Thanks Ruthy,
    I know how you feel. Because of my 'day' job and family, I feel like my writing time HAS to be productive.

    I'm with you on hard-copy editing too. I do a much better job editing if I can hold the paper in my hand and look at an entire page at once - especialy for those first few KODs Julie mentioned yesterday.

    There's always this niggling thought in the back of my head about the contest...or the submission, but it doesn't overwhelm because there are so many other things to do.

    It's nice to hear you express the same things I feel - I LOVE to write. It's a joy and my brain is always thinking up other ideas. My poor kids walk in on me talking to characters all the time - I don't know how that will effect this mental processes, but...oh well.

    And Melanie,
    Sounds like you're on the right track to me.

  11. I have more to add. Since I'm the original spark for this post, you guys don't mind humoring me, I hope.

    I recently read this wonderful book called Welcome Home: Our Family's Journey to Extreme Joy by Kimberley Woodhouse. This book was so good for me, could have been written just for me. Whenever Kim had something catastrophic happen in her family, which was about every three months, she felt God impressing her on that verse, "Consider it pure joy when you go through trials of many kinds." You probably know the rest of that passage, about persevering and becoming mature in Christ. And it applies so well to writing. Frankly, the things that are happening in my writing life, I do consider them trials. All the waiting, the disappointment, the rejection, it is a trial. How do I consider it pure joy? That has been the question. And I think I'm finally doing it. It's simply supernatural, and it takes focus, but it is possible. I have the joy of knowing that God is working all of this out for my good. I have the joy of knowing how much richer my life has been since I started writing again. And in other unexplainable ways, I can feel the joy in this crazy, painful waiting. I'm incapable of ignoring the painful parts of it, but the joy of the Lord is my strength.

  12. Erica, I wrote a great response and Google/Blogger ate it.


    That's happened to me each day this week. Anybody else running into trouble on our site? Or does The Blogmeister have it in for me?

    Erica, so pleased about your book! And cover art. How fun. Yay!

    Cutting this short to see if Blogger lets me through.


  13. Ruth, so good to see you!!!!!


    Hey, that different font thing really works I hear, BUT...

    When I change mine over it messes up the spacing so be sure to keep your original Courier New/12 or TNR 12, whatever, and overlook the spacing differences.

    And how DOES your computer read to you? Very honestly, I'd probably shoot the thing. Seriously, I get annoyed at the computer lady-voice at the U-Scan at Tops, the grocery store where I work in the bakery at night.

    "Please, place your item in the bag...bag."

    "Please wait for an attendant."

    "Please take your groceries home and never buy from us again..."


    Tell us how that works, Ruth. I'll withhold open fire until I hear more.


  14. Tina P, you said yesterday (amidst the kissing...) :) that you've contracted two books?????

    Tell us!

    Sorry, I had to work on wedding stuff last night and couldn't get back to see what transpired.

    Oh, I LOVE that word!!! It's so SAT-friendly.

    But yeah, I like a little lippage now and again.


    When I can actually be in the same house with my husband and less than 1/2 dozen kids around.

    But good work, girlfriend!!!


  15. Glynna, I love thinking of how they struggled to write in the pre-computer, word-processor days.

    Oh my stars.

    Freehand???? (Remember Jo's manuscript in Little Women???)


    To Kill a Mockingbird? Harper Lee re-wrote and re-worked that dozens of times if the reports are accurate. Poor Atticus probably didn't know WHO his neighbors were by the time she was done, LOL!

    And we dare to whine over edits. Oh mylanta, we're wusses!

    I remember how excited I was to get my first electric typewriter. I was in my twenties, earned it with points from being a (yes, bossy even then) Tupperware lady and OH! How amazed I was at being able to plug it in. Work faster.

    Then my Brother Word Processors. The first one was a gift from a restaurant customer who knew I longed to be a writer and I was their regular waitress... They brought that baby in to me and I nearly fell through the floor with gratitude.

    And my first computer was a gift from one of Dave's cousins who heard my dream and sent over an old computer to us. Dial up. AOL.

    And now I hammer away on the laptop Zach got us for Christmas. So much history in the stories of these typewriters.

    And I think it shows that I have a significant sponge/leech side to me that SO MANY people hooked me up with their stuff at no charge.

    God love 'em, I am ever grateful.


  16. Morning, Jules!!!


    I don't think you need as many kicks as you maintain, but that's true friendship. People blow sunshine at you.

    Friends commiserate, then apply the foot.

    Love you from afar.

    Ruthy (and the throbbing goes away after a good workout and a hefty dose of chocolate. A couple of chapters under your belt helps as well.)

  17. Melanie had the audacity to say:

    I hear you loud and clear: No whining and keep working! I just think it would be a lot easier to treat this like a job if I were actually getting paid.

    Ruthy replied:

    Ain't it the truth, darlin'???

    And this wasn't just for you, but I knew it applied. Heavens to Betsy, we all get these times like Julie said. Doesn't matter if you're published or working toward that, we wait.

    But that paycheck will come. I have absolute faith in that.

    And the whole husband and kids thing? You're doing great.

    But if you get Jimmy Hoffa-ed, have hubby let us know. Just so we can send flowers.



  18. Pepper, that's it exactly.

    While parts of this business are tedious and aggravating, what job isn't?

    And if we expect the world of editors to fall all over themselves to grab us, we're in LaLa land. I've come to understand over the last few years that it's actually okay for us to be tested, to prove we're reliable, stalwart, trustworthy... And that we actually come through with our work. How hard it must be on editors and/or agents with authors who don't follow the rules or think themselves and their lives beyond deadlines. God's given them the extreme opportunity and they're messing with it. Sure stuff happens sometimes, but too many authors get jaded and think they're irreplaceable.

    Right. Good luck on that! Unless your name's Nora, Jayne, Janet, Stephen, etc., it's probably best to fulfill your commitments.

    We all know people who've messed that up, so I want to sincerely learn from those mistakes and use this opportunity to the best of my ability, hence the having more stuff ready part of my harangue.

    I love Nike: Just Do It.

    Good slogan.


  19. This is my fundamental advice Ruthy

    Finish one book an START THE NEXT ONE.

  20. Melanie, that's a great way of looking at this.

    I remember looking at a farmhouse long years back. We loved it, put an offer in, and it didn't work out after months and months of having our house on the market. Cleaning, picking up after four kids, working nights, picking up after four kids some more, pregnant...


    Fast forward a bunch of years. We planned on building on farm land. Had the plans, our house up for sale, everything working forward.

    Then our Realtor called and said, "I've got this house I'm about to list. It's meant for Ruth. I knew it the minute the owner called me, so I want you to come by and see it as soon as it's in the listing bank because I have to go into the hospital for surgery and can't be there, but I want you in it first."

    It was love at first sight. We knew it. And we had to juggle selling the building lot, the farmland and the house to make the deal, and it all went through with less than 24 hours to spare before we got "bumped" by a non-contingent offer.

    I have no doubt it was meant to be. And the first one years before wasn't meant to be.

    God's timing. Our impatience. Such a conundrum.

    So we work and grow. Or we stagnate. Totally up to us.

    Melanie, I love the sounds of that book. She sounds like my kind of gal.


  21. Ah, Mary.

    Great minds think alike!

    Or certifiably insane minds think alike. That's probably why they tuck all the schizophreniacs on the same floor.

    Which room you want????

    Mine has a great view of the electric fence.


  22. Your inner cheerleader is showing, Ruthy-babe! And are we glad Team Seekerville has you!

    I'm amazed at your multi-tasking abilities. Work here, kids there, writing where ever possible AND fun-loving wife and mom.

    Whew. I'm tired just thinking about your life : )

    God Bless You Ruth Logan Herne! I depend on you to kick my hind end when I slack off and to look at my work with your kind, critical eye. Of course -- at times -- I do cringe when you nail me for rambling : )

    Uh-oh, I hear the whip snapping. Better to get to work...

    Thanks for the timely reminder. If we want to succeed in this business, we better start thinking of our writing as our job!!

  23. I am so changing my name to Nora... I don't think Stephen would serve me well.

    Anyhoo, Ruthy,

    Thanks for the congrats. As for the tale of the two contracts...

    Remember last month or so I told you how I got a contract then lost it. Well, as it worked, Harvest House turned it down, but Desert Breeze still wanted it and they took another book that I had self pubbed years before.

    After the debacle of having the first book pulled, I sat and waited for the editor to look over my other books certain that they wanted nothing to do with me.

    Heavens, I had offered them a book that was still elsewhere. Tsk Tsk

    I'm pretty sure my husband was ready to Jimmy Hoffa me then, cause I whined big time.

    They weren't going to like my other books, they weren't going to answer me. They weren't . . . My husband assured me they would and told me to be patient,and keep working on the other story I'm trying to finish so I can push it at the ACFW conference.

    Kind of like your post, Ruthy

    and then suddenly, well it's been years, they offered for the two books.

    I wasn't about to turn them down. One of the books has been sent to several houses and they tell me while it's interesting and the writing is decent, the story matter is hard, and they don't believe a new writer, like me, can handle such depth.

    The second is a self-pubbed book that several houses won't touch at this point, so Praise the Lord someone is willing to give it a chance.

    The third one I sent wasn't accepted, but I shall not complain

    Two out of three ain't bad.
    Because of the mess up with Touched By Mercy it was put back in the cache and won't be released till 2011.
    In The Manor of the Ghost will be released next June.

  24. Audra!!!

    My cowboy-writing amazing friend, how are you???

    Yup, the whip's out.


    I prefer to call it a nudge. A gentle one, at that.

    Whatever works.

    Hey, did you try some of this banana cream pie I made. Oh it's marvelous, so amazingly delicious.

    Fresh sliced bananas. Homemade custard, fresh whipped cream (not the aerosol, either, the full-fat, apply liberally to butt and thighs variety.)

    Oh, YUM!

    Love you back, Toots.


  25. Ruthy,

    I couldn't agree more. For a writer, patience MUST be a virtue.

    So when you move on to a new project, do you start the second book in a series or an entirely different project?


  26. All seven of our personalities can share a room, Ruthy.

    Except the boys. They'll have to have their own.

  27. We've all had to survive waiting in other areas.

    I keep reminding myself of how we did not have children when WE wanted to. Instead, our kids bracket their Dear Cousin, an only child and missionary kid. So when they came home on furlough he had instant family to squabble with. Funny how that worked.

    Knowing that I've had to wait on other stuff to happen does not really help, though, at this point.

    Last year at ACFW an agent was interested in The Great American Novel. Then when I sent them a proposal they asked for the full, then they went to work trying to sell it.

    A few months ago I was breathless. Now that it hasn't gone anywhere I'm bummed.

    I'm still trying to get in 1,000 words a day on a subsequent story. Entered contests (nothing to write home about) and sent off short stories (rejected)

    But ... OK ... I will keep plugging along.

    That's good advice, that we should rotate our stock so to speak and keep working.

    Will we write in Heaven? Or enjoy worship too much?

  28. Ruthy,
    Are you sure you're not from the South? All that talk about whipped cream, butter, chocolate... makes me wonder ;-)

    Around here, if you don't have hips to call home about, you're grandmother hasn't visited lately. now I have to go on the treadmill an extra 10 minutes for having 'creamy' thoughts...sigh

    I just had the herione in my book slip out the words "trying to hide my babyroll" within earshot of the hero. (Mother's will know the term 'babyroll':0)

    Poor girl, her face turned as red as her hair :-)

  29. Rose, hello!!!!

    Do I go to the next book or start a new one?

    Great question.


    If I'm in a series, I may move to the next book because I don't usually make huge plot changes in the previous books, just little nudges and tweaks to layer better. Improve the wording, make my point. And cut useless words, of course.

    So I would say it's usually the next book in a series, but if I'm playing for funny, sweet contemporaries, I might jump genres because it's a complete break from inspy work. It's kind of like brain-cleaning. Cobweb dusting. Avoiding redundancy.

    If I'm in the same series for that one, I'm probably researching for a completely different series, again mostly for the freshness factor.


  30. Tina, thanks for filling us in! I hope that goes well for you!

    And Mary, definitely no boys allowed in our semi-private multiple-personality rooms.

    I mean, Sheesh.

    Hey, has the female version of Sybil visited lately, darling????

    She looks strangely like Sally Field.



  31. Ann.

    I feel your pain.

    It's mathematical:

    Agent + Manuscript = Sale

    But since it isn't really mathematical, it doesn't always work that way.

    Drat. Double drat. I mean, come on, it works so well in algebra, right?

    But that's okay, I promise, because each and every book you finish is money in the bank. Future money in the bank, but as long as God gives you time, you'll be banking that check at some point.

    So we keep going. And I'm not saying it's easy, but I'll be hung for a mongoose if I don't move forward to my best ability. I figure really good writing IS worship since God pushed the talent button.

    He also pushed the bushy-haired Irish button and the snark button so I'm at odds with myself daily.


    Which takes us right back to sharing that psyche ward room with Mary and the others invading our heads.



  32. Pepper!!!!

    I was placed up north by a directionally challenged angel who didn't realize I was Southern at heart except:

    I love the idea of New York Minutes.

    Pack it in, move it on, go Yankees!!!!!

    And would Derek Jeter ever love a Southern girl? I think not. The fact that I'm twenty years older than he is should be considered nothing more than a slight inconvenience. :)

    Oh, and married. Me, not him.

    And I love the flagrant change of seasons and snow that piles high but should have sense enough to leave by March 10th.

    And I don't do "hot" well.

    But I'm a HUGE fan of Paula Deen's theory that if one stick of butter is good, two must be better. Love that woman.



    Poisonous snakes.

    Those are Southern things I can do without but peaches? Deb Smith? Missy Tippens? Deb Giusti? Pam Hillman? Pepper Basham? Karen White????

    (Note I'm leaving off Florida and Texas because we all know they're entities unto themselves.)

    That Southern I LOVE!


  33. Ruthy,

    I vote you are most likely to have your own daytime talk show or reality T.V. show. what about "cooking with Ruthy - Just Sayin'" :-)

    I needed some good giggles today. I'm sitting one of my friend's two daughters so that equals 7 kids and one adult in the house.

    What was I thinking taking a week off of work? ;-) The 7:1 ratio is great for a classroom, but at home...I might join you and Mary and all of your 'other' imaginary friends pretty soon :-)

  34. I look a little like Sally fields actually, except for that whole slender and beautiful thing. But I've got the round face.

    Wait, maybe I look more like Charlie Brown. I always get Charlie and Sally mixed up.

    Off to look in a mirror.

    I avoid those for the most part.

  35. Pepper that is a crazy ratio. What were you thinking????

    And yet our mothers and grandmothers did it all the time.

    And no disposable sanitary products?????

    We're back to being wusses again, LOL!!!

    Hey, those weeks off will kill you. Gotta head to work and rest up for the next vacation!

    But have you found that sometimes more kids means less work? They amuse each other.

    By amuse, I of course mean "Kill".

    Hang in there, woman. It's almost Friday. Work looms next week.



  36. Mary, I THOUGHT that was you on the Boniva commercials!!!!

    Good job, woman! No one would know.

    Tee hee.

    Hey, my claim to fame is I used to know a photo double for Liz Taylor. No lie. Joanne actually stood in for Elizabeth Taylor for pics and photo shoots because Liz was busy. This was a Long Time Ago.

    Although shorter, when Joanne was dolled up, they were dead ringers. How funny is that????

    And in the context I knew Joanne, she was a mother of a brood, probably 40-ish when I met her, and you can just imagine how much different she looked in ordinary life chasing a houseful of kids around.

    But that hint of Elizabeth Taylor lingered. So cool.


  37. Preach it, sister! I needed that today.

    Are you sure you're not southern, because you kick our rears so sweetly. :)

  38. Ruthy, you do have a decided Southern flair. And I oughta know. I grew up in Alabama, lived briefly in Georgia and Tennessee, and now I'm back in 'Bama.

    I've noticed your Southernness many times and pondered the contradiction. No wonder I like you so much.

  39. LOL...right on, Ruthy. I'm a wimp compared to my Granny.

    And my only claims to fame are the fact that if I get my doctorate I'll be named after a Pepsi product AND Andy Griffith is my fourth cousin.

    Go Ernest P. Worrell!!

    Anywhoo - the kids do 'somewhat' entertain themselves...until they've had enough of each other, but that's what closets and duct tape are mean...television ;-)

    (in all honesty, I've never used duct tape on any of my kids...their toys, but never them)

  40. Great post and I hate to wait, when I get dressed and ready to do somewhere I want to leave even if I might be 2 hous early, can't stand waiting around. Has anyone told you that you look so much like June Carter Cash used to look when she was young. I have noticed that before when I read your blogs and interviews.
    May God bless


  41. Missy, you are my breath of fresh air, honey-chile.

    One of these days I'm heading to GA to visit. Pester you. Bother Terry. Annoy your congregation.

    And eat peaches.


  42. Pep, you're related to Andy Griffith, one of my favorite all time actors????

    Andy Taylor in the Andy Griffith Show?????


    The awesome old gentleman in the Brad Paisley "Waitin' on a Woman" video????

    Oh, be still my heart, I'm overwhelmed. I know one of Andy's kinfolk!!!!!


    You say "Hey" for me at the next family reunion, darling.

    And duct tape? Seriously good stuff. I'm a big fan. Tape 'em to chairs, in closets.

    Whatever it takes for a moment's peace, honey. I'm with you there.


  43. Edna, hey, girl!

    Oh that waiting'll get ya'. It's an annoyance, no doubt. You're a 'go-to' gal and that's a-okay with us. We like to get the job done too.

    And yes, I've been told I resemble June Carter Cash a few times. Triple and quadruple thanks for the 'younger' comment. I'll smile all night thinking that! Big grin here.

    And thanks for stopping by to check on us. 'Preciate it.


  44. Mel, the Southern thing is so funny because it's just there. Seriously, if I could handle the heat/sun, etc. I'd fit right in.

    But then I'd annoy EVERYONE because I'm always hurrying. I'm a pain in the butt because it's important to breathe. Smell. Breathe again.

    So I'm going to practice slowing down before I head your way so y'all don't toss me in a river.

    Or tuck me under the concrete supports of a football field.


  45. Hi Ruth:

    “Hurry up and wait,” is the motto of the military. That takes me back.

    Great post. It makes me think overtime.

    Oh, I don’t think you kick butt. I rather think that, (to paraphrase Harry Truman), “you tell the truth and it just seems like a butt kicking.”

    For example, when I read your comment:

    “Take a right at Utopia and meet me in Nirvana…”

    I took this as a butt kicking for me to be less lazy and more creative in my own writing expressions. Your posts are always an inspiration to read.

    BTW, I don’t believe just working more and keeping busy is enough if one is troubled by waiting.

    If waiting for your ship to come in is bothersome, then send out lots of ships. Little victories can produce big morale boosts.

    Enter contests, write short-short stories, sell humor, look for all kinds of markets which can produce saleable spinoffs from your main occupation. Think fillers and nonfiction. Get publishers used to buying your stuff! : )

    Just an idea.


  46. Pepper sweetie you don't have to actually use the duct tape on them, they just have to know you WILL.

  47. Then a simple threat straightens them out.

  48. Mary,
    LOL...psychology 101. It's like my friend who carries a wooden spoon in her purse - just so the kids know it's there :-)

  49. Hi Ruthy, You're not going to read this until morning since I'm writing so late. smile

    Great post and surely a major part of this industry. Thanks for all the reminders of what to do.

    I'm brewing some coffee (your favorite-chocolate velvet) so it will be ready for when you get up.

  50. Sandra!!!! Oh my gosh, the coffee is just what I needed. Long night at the bakery but

    The YANKEES WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mind you I did not stay up for the Seattle game... Yawn...

    But YAY!


    And Vince, that is such sage advice, my friend. Yes, those little victories help keep the lid on, keep you on the battlefield when the fight looms hopeless.

    :) Had to use a military analogy.

    You rock, Vince. And I so appreciate your words of praise. Bless you.


  51. Mary and Pepper, YES!!!

    As long as they know you'll use it, you don't really need it.

    The Nanny McPhee rule:

    "When you need me, but do not want me, then I will stay. When you want me, but do not need me, then I have to go."

    Same applies to duct tape and wooden spoons. Good job, ladies!