- by Vonna Harper
Ah, houseguests. Specifically my sister and her husband, here for their quarterly visit with our mother. I love having them here and getting away from the usual routine. Fortunately Jens was able to hook up with my son and do manly things like play golf and watch high school baseball (my son coaches) while we ladies did our thing and my dh left us alone. For four days I was a daughter and a sister and a part time short order cook and not a writer.
Okay, so I zipped into my office a few times to check email and learned that a novella sale was in the works–kept that under my hat. We ladies also hit a second hand book store where we all stocked up. Mother reads category romance because her arthritis can’t handle anything heavier and my sister is into memoirs while I gravitate toward romantic suspense. Interesting to check out each other’s likes.
Much of yesterday was about taking Mother to the dr followed by taking her to lunch followed by errands followed by judging some unpubbed contest submissions. Last night I got the official word about the novella sale which served as the reminder I needed that yes indeedy I are a writer.
Its a funny thing about being a career writer–one who puts that down on her tax return, pays quarterly taxes as a self employed person, navogates the frightening self-employed insurance waters, doesn’t understand the concept of job security, etc, I love it! No doubt about it, I’ll be clutching my laptop when they put me six feet under. The idea of taking a two week vacation from this gig would put me in a major depression. Oh, having a few days away from the computer is probably a good thing and I can do it if I’m sufficiently distracted, but two weeks? No way Jose. Not the slightest bit interested.
Part of it–and I’m confessing here–is that old as I am (and no, that’s none of your business) if I leave what I’m working on alone for a few days, I have to start over, kinda. I’ve written over 40 books/novellas and danged if I can keep them all straight. Oh, I have the major stuff in my head when it comes to the current wip. I know what genre it is, probably the setting, some of the major stuff about the h/h. Where I get lost is where I am in the plot and personalities. All my characters have emotional baggage and danged if I can remember how much they’ve revealed of that baggage.
Why is that? I mean, I love every project I take on. I wouldn’t have started writing about these characters and this plot if I wasn’t excited. You’d think their journey would be hard wired into my brain. But no. Leave them alone for a few days and its like parents of teenagers going away for the weekend. No idea what they’re going to come back to. (and I’m speaking from experience)
I thought I’d be spending today at the computer but my baseball coach son has a double header out of town and its a beautiful day and my second fav thing to do is watching youth sports so tomorrow–tomorrow I’ll be back at my desk. And I can hardly wait.
Danged but I love this job that chose me.