I've been such a homebody this week. Yesterday I mothered three children, made chocolate chip cookies, roasted a chicken for supper (with mashed potatoes, sweet corn, stuffing, and homemade gravy), and managed to do it all with a smile on my face. (Okay, so that was a normal day in the life of my grandmother. Sue me.) Ready for more today, I undertook the laborious task of fixing nasi goreng, a Dutch-Indonesian rice dish that is a personal favorite of mine. It's sort of like fried rice, but there's chicken and pork, as well as a hot Indonesian spice called sambal oelek. Very yummy, but very time consuming. Anyway, between running my Big Boy to gymnastics, preschool, play dates, and hockey, then cooking, cleaning, and trying to keep my family sane, I'm starting to feel very "super-momish." This morning I was chatting with some friends in the parking lot of my son's preschool and it hit me full on--I'm not a super-mom, I'm a soccer mom. Or, a hockey mom. How Sarah Palin of me.
Okay, this is not new news. I've been a mom now for nearly five years. But for some reason this summer I felt much more "authorish." There was lots going on in my professional life and my days felt more tipped toward the work scale. Now I've hardly touched a pen (or my computer) for weeks. I'm feeling so out of it! Like an athelete who's taken a too-long vacation. It's time to get back in shape.
Although I haven't written any chapters, I have been doing something that I've never done before: I'm plotting. My fourth book (I'm calling it Bridgewater right now) is already well established in my mind, and for the first time ever I'm doing extensive character sketches, plot diagrams, and chapter plans. It's so unlike me. I hardly know this woman who's taken over my writing life! But it's exciting, too. I'm having lots of fun trying to write a different way.
And not only am I writing differently, I'm swimming into uncharted territory: romance. Well, not romance. Someone once told me that the rough definition of a romance is a happily-ever-after story, and a love story has much more tragic elements and leans more toward the literary. So I guess Bridgewater has elements of a love story. Fun for me, but my critique partner and first-draft editor is quite nervous. Not much of a romantic, I guess. Hey, maybe that's why I'm not getting emails from him demanding the next installment... Either way, I'm afraid the story is set. Hopefully once all is said and done, I'll have converted him. My fingers are crossed.
In the meantime, I'm afraid supper tomorrow is going to be hamburgers on the grill thanks to the heroic efforts of my spatula-weilding husband. I hope he doesn't mind--I have a date with my pen.