Saturday, July 5, 2008

Three-Day Weekend

It's 7:33 in the morning. My husband is still asleep. Very first thing, I let Jessie and Chi-Chi out into the yard because last night was the Fourth of July and there were these spectacular thunderstorms in the area. Between the fireworks and the booms of thunder, Bill and I had a Chihuahua and a German shepherd who thought they were in a war zone instead of a peaceful North Carolina suburb. They didn't have to be prompted and cajoled and pleaded with now, they just trotted out onto the deck with an attitude that said, "Okay, NOW we'll go out there--the backyard looks pretty safe."

This is the second day of a three-day weekend. An extra day, basically, but psychologically you tend to think it's even more time off. It's an embarrassment of riches. I'm not the type to spend it in bed, either. While I fix my breakfast of coffee and Special K with Berries and milk, like most women, I'm planning out the day in my head. Maybe I should clean the house? Naaaaaaaa. Did that last week. Besides, who cleans the house on a three-day weekend???

Do I head to the mall where Teavana is? The last of my tea blends, Key Lime and Blueberry, I used to make a kicked-up-a-notch (as Emeril would say) iced tea. Usually I get my nails done on every-other-Saturday morning, but I got that out of the way yesterday. There's food shopping, and not a lot of it, but it's summer and we may have company coming. That means making sure we have some fresh veggies for salad and knickey-knacks like those air fresheners to scent the house nice on hand.

Right after I blog, do I sneak in a walk in the park? Even better, will the summer heat ease up and we can head for one of the hiking trails? How about a couple hours with Bill at the community pool? Could we use some of those neat little handsoaps from Bath & Body Works? We haven't been to Black Mountain or Blowing Rock in a while, either. I miss my mountains.

And how about an extra hour of writing? My book is going reeeeeeeeeeally slow, not because I'm not enjoying working on it (it's an adventure because it's a bit different from other stuff I've worked on, but time has been limited lately), so I'm itching to write a romantic novella in between the longer work. I'm making time for writing this week because it's been a rough couple of weeks at work, and writing works as well as walking and hiking and a LOT better than binging on ice cream and chips when it comes to relieving stress.

Writers love these three-day weekends. If we don't let the manicurist, the farmer's market, shopping and window-shopping, and housecleaning whittle down the time. I know I'm not the only writer in the world who has learned to grit her teeth and smile when someone says, "Oh, I'd love to write--if I had the time." I don't know many writers who don't have "civilian" jobs, who don't have family or friends, who Real Life doesn't make 8 hours a day seem like 2. For me, writing time is a lot harder to find than non-writers would imagine, because I'm not willing to spend days on end using all my free time to do it. First comes life, which includes time for worship and time for my husband, my family and my friends, and then comes writing.

I've found that makes time spent with the Muse more of a pleasure for me, if I know I've given time FIRST to the relationships that are precious to me. I feel more of a connection with my characters, those fictional folks who people my stories, who become so real to me during the course of writing their stories, if I have put first those flesh-and-blood folks who people my life.

I'd probably have more writing credits if I put writing above all. But that's a sacrifice I'm not willing to make. Besides, my characters know I'll go to bed at 2:30 or 3:00 in the morning when their story's heating up and we're having too much fun to stop.

That's why One More Day on the weekend, to us, is like winning a few bucks from Lotto. Not a lot, you know. You get four numbers out of the six, but you say, "Yes!!! I'll take it!!!"

Now it's 7:56. I'm getting some writing done this weekend, more than I usually do.

But I REALLY need to get to Teavana, too.

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