The Once and Future Novelist

My writing cubby in the new digs

I know.

And we were just getting to the point where you felt really justified in emailing me smug zingers about how the blog title really should be changed to See Jane Gestate… Or am I the only one whose inner critic has the maturity of a middle school bully and the humor sensibilities of a long-deceased librarian?

I thought not. Feigned innocence does not become.

Anyway, I finally got around to setting up my writing station yesterday. To be fair, Carl had gotten as far as to push the desk against the wall under the window, arrange part of his camera collection on the sill, and plug in the printer… but the laptop and scratch paper, the mouse and chair, the water bottles and assorted dirty dishes (ok, I might have removed them for the photo op) are all my brilliance.

It feels good to be working again—albeit fitfully. And slowly.

I clocked a couple of hours today on an article about theologian Alister McGrath for the nonprofit. I had a phone meeting over lunch with my boss, who has lots of writing plans for the new year. I got an email this morning from a friend who wants a coauthor for her book on conservative Christian womanhood (because she knows and likes my writing and also because I don’t agree with her, which she thinks will help keep her balanced). Basically one of those projects so insanely unlikely that it might almost be a good idea. You never know.

The only writing I’m not doing these days is my creative writing. Which is a bummer, although at least I’m getting paid for the other work. So I guess it all evens out.

I did, however, go to the library the other day. And I might possibly have picked up a couple of books on women in American history, female immigrants from 1840-1930, midwifery and the medical establishment from a historical perspective. And I might find myself taking a lot of notes about what it was like to be Irish in Boston in the 1870s.

Not sure what I’m going to do with those notes.

But it’s fascinating stuff, and it gives my brain something to do while I’m sorting baby clothes and taping off the trim in the nursery (my other job for the afternoon). I also find myself thinking a lot about how we’ll adjust to the second shift phenomenon when the babe shows up. I’m good with trying to fit my “for fun” writing in around nap schedules and basically giving it hobby status, but the “for profit” stuff doesn’t work like that, and it’s going to take some planning to figure out how to get everything done and keep everybody happy.

Nothing like a good challenge, right?

… I see we’re back to gestating Jane.

Right. The only other piece of brilliance I have on hand is that IF your local grocery establishment has a good price on strawberries this week and IF you like pie, you should probably treat yourself to some homemade strawberry pie pronto because I’m pretty sure nothing is quite as delicious or refreshingly delicate as strawberry pie in January (also it’s fresh fruit, so how bad for you can it really be?).

Ours barely made it 24 hours.

Although if you’re looking for a good dinner menu, may I suggest farfalle with roasted cauliflower and turkey sausage? Super easy and super good. You just cut up the cauliflower and roast it in the oven for half an hour (I drizzled olive oil on it to keep it from burning), boil up some farfalle then drain and dress with butter, parmesan, and a little milk, and then toss the cauliflower and pasta together with grilled slices of sausage (I used chicken sausage stuffed with apple, but I think next time I’ll go full Italian and do the kind with red peppers and basil).

Last night was a no leftover zone in our house.

Good for chef-ish self-esteem; bad for lunch prospects the next day. Life really is all about finding balance amid the wins and losses, isn’t it?

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4 thoughts on “The Once and Future Novelist

  1. A middle school bully. And a deceased librarian. That’s awesome.

    On a more practical note, obviously you won’t really know how everything is going to work until you actually get your baby out so you can learn what her personality is and what her unique needs are, BUT I am pretty confident that you should have many months of fairly easy writing. Newborns just want their mamas and lots of easy access to yummy milk, both of which are easy to provide during computer time. I don’t know what your feeding decisions are, but if you’re interested I’d be happy to show you how to nurse a baby while typing.

    • Thanks! I’m taking 3 months maternity leave from any deadline writing—I don’t want to have to do anything besides recover and get to know my new person for a while, but I’ll give you a call if I run into problems.

  2. EEK! I can’t believe this is you and your baby and it’s all going to happen so soon! Exciting!

    Nobody knows how it will all fall out until it happens, drinking tea sounds like a good kind of prep. I think a lot of what you will feel during birth is related to what you want and expect and what freaks you out, and that’s pretty different for most people. And like I said, nobody really knows how it will all feel to them until after it happens. We’re all just guessing until we have experience. Sometimes guesses can be a good guide, sometimes they’re a sham. And for what it’s worth, I think birth plans are a complete waste of time.

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