Sunday, November 11, 2007


I'm still blasting adjectives. At this point I'm a little over halfway done, and should now be able to finish a bit more quickly and move on to the few plot-related things that Bob and I discussed on the phone.

The past two weeks have been really busy for me, between my manuscript corrections, critting another Moxie member's manuscript (for her first book, which she has finally finished after a lot of hard work), getting costumes, etc. ready for Halloween, and then getting ready for our annual bellydance Hafla (sort of a party/bazaar/performance all in one) this weekend. My older daughter and I performed in one group dance and one duet, and since our bellydance wardrobes are still fairly limited, I had to do some costuming in order for us to have something special to wear this year.

Someone asked me why I spent a few days making costumes for the Hafla rather than working on my manuscript, when I had a deadline. The biggest reason is that my daughter isn't going to be an early teen forever. There will probably come a day when she no longer thinks performing on stage with Mom is cool--when she wants to do her own thing and hang out with cooler people than me. This Hafla only happens once a year, and other performances are rare for us. I have no way of knowing what will change in the next year or even the next month. (This is a teenager, after all.) Once I have the sought-after book contract, things will change in ways I may not be able to predict. If this should happen to be the only time we ever get to do a dance performance together, then I wanted it to be special. I needed (needed, not wanted) a new top for my costume, and she wanted something new as well. It took time--one of my most precious resources--but it was worth it. She loved the new top I came up with for her, and she looked wonderful in it. It made her look and feel pretty and raised her confidence, so it was worth every minute of my time. We shared a fun experience that brought us closer as mother and daughter, which made it priceless. The costumes and practices cost me many hours, but if I'd begrudged those hours, I could have regretted it for the rest of my life. Now that the Hafla is over, I'm back at work on my novel, and I'll still finish within the three-to-six week deadline Bob gave me. He said, "three weeks--six if you want to have a life." Well, I do want to have a life, and I want to live it in a state of balance.

Priorities. They need to be in balance, or else what's the point? I could easily be a workaholic. I could focus on the writing to the exclusion of every other pursuit or hobby. But I have the feeling that if I did that, I'd end up like so many other driven writers often do...with a dry well. And one day when my kids had fled the nest and gone off to live their separate lives, I'd wonder whether it was all worth it. I don't want to wonder what might have happened if I'd been more involved with my kids or the activities I love. I also don't want to wonder what might have happened if I'd been more devoted to my career. I want both, and somehow I will have both.

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