Summer is an interesting time to be a writer at my house.
Let me sum it up this way: seven kids, all home from school, no door on my office, and a middle-aged writer desperately seeking bubbles of quiet to work in. I bought a pair of noise canceling headphones to see if they’d do the trick. Not bad, but they remind me of the earplugs I used to wear in the army. Sure, I wasn’t taking any physical damage from the explosions going off around me, but I still heard them (especially the 155 mm Howitzer, or my current equivalent—the six year-old). It also doesn’t help protect me from the visual shock of say, my elven-year old coming in with a live chicken she "found" or the shirtless casualties arriving from the permanent marker fight.
Personally, I’d love to take a vacation. My first book is off to the publisher and I just finished my next. But last November I became one of those quit my nice paying job to write full-time writers. That means I can’t afford to rest. Literally, I sleep on a mattress stuffed with rejected query letters. I had to go all Cortez and burn the ships once we found the New World (okay, I know the historicity of this is in question, but just go with me.) Vacation? There is no vacation. There’s write, sell, or die (in this case “death” being equivalent to going back to a corporate job). Seriously, I’ve gotten used to working in stretch band-based clothing. There’s no going back now.
So my “vacation” has morphed into an office in the city. I was graciously offered a space by a producer friend of mine, and it’s an interesting hub of creative energy (there are several film / production companies there, an animation studio, and some kind of yoga meditation class that involves hanging from the ceiling. I know this pushes the bounds of credulity, so here’s a picture of my friend hanging from said yoga bands (photo credit Todd Collins Photography):
And its not like I live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York or something—I live in Utah. People just don’t hang from stuff around here, unless it’s from a gallows for cattle rustling (I now offer my sincere apologies to all my Utah-based friends.)
So the last time I was at my office-away-from-my-office, two trapeze artists walked past my door. And it’s STILL less shocking than my own house.
So here’s to summer vacation: may it burn quickly away so I can go back to the peaceful and relaxing business of writing all day.