Monday, August 29, 2011

Guess Who's Back, Back Again


Okay, not exactly. I have a few more obsessive little polishes to do before I hand it in to my editor and then she’ll give me notes and I’ll get emotional and defensive about her notes and then I’ll whine around the house for a bit and actually do what she suggested, but THE BIGGEST PART OF ACTUALLY WRITING THE BOOK IS OVER!!!

Your first clue is that I’m here again. It’s pretty tragic when one of the ways I coaxed myself to finish the book was to promise myself I could write blogs once it was over. Perhaps some time this fall or winter someone will take me aside and quietly explain the concept of relaxation.

Because I’ll have the time to hear about it! BECAUSE THE BOOK IS DONE!!!

Except for the parts I have to do.

The summer passed in a haze, most of my time spent staring at this very screen. I understand the weather was wonderfully mild; when I came up for air this weekend, it was a bracing 612 degrees outside. I know I can’t complain about weather, what with Irene having been inappropriate with much of the East Coast (Consort looked up his childhood home and discovered it’s now lakeview property, the lake in question being Saw Mill River Road). But, honestly, it’s completely undelightful outside, the weather having that sullen, slightly dangerous vibe one associates with the teenagers who hang around gas stations, pointedly staring at you while you code in your ATM while they suck back on generic versions of Gatorade. I walked the dog this morning and by the time I got back everything was coated with a film of dust and gasoline, including my teeth.


Except for the parts I have to do.

If you kindly and generously offered to help and I didn't end up getting in touch with you, please accept my apologies. I could have done another entire book about the voices of homeschooling. It is as I suspected; the reasons people homeschool are interesting and varied. I hope I give this group the kindness and attention it deserves.

Every other living thing in the house had a nice summer. Well, Consort spent a lot of time on conference calls and I think several things in the house got upgraded in technical ways, but he did those things in shorts and he hummed a lot, so I have reason to believe he was content. The dog found a new place to sleep and seems nothing short of ecstatic about that. He also made a new dog friend in the neighborhood who is perfectly happy with being barked at, ignored, or mounted. I’d get involved, but they both seem consenting. Daughter had several kinds of camp, none of which were sleepover and none of which were proximal, so we spent a fair amount of time in shipping mode. The cars did not have good summers, but I stopped asking after their emotional state years ago, because they’re whiners. Daughter also, thanks to an inspired idea by my mother, was introduced to several classic musicals on DVD. She enjoyed most of them but fell exuberantly in love with “Oliver!” choosing to watch it multiple times. I’m pleased she’s pleased without ever needing to hear “Where is Love?” ever again.


She also started making friendship bracelets. You can’t see them, but it’s safe to assume my wrists are very colorful right now. I’d feel very friended, very popular, but it’s more accurate to say that she’s making them at such a clip right now that I’m just the easiest place to offload them. Once you’ve given one to every single friend in your life and you’ve made three more in one evening, you look at your mother and think, “Eh, why not.”

The cats ate at least one beetle each this summer so they’re totally content with how the season worked out. They also kept up a rigorous schedule of staring at a blank wall, then tearing around the house and screaming and then sleeping or, as the professionals call it, cross-training.

Speaking of cross-training, Consort and I finally watched all five seasons of “Friday Night Lights.” Trust me to be the last person to get to anything, but one episode a night was absolutely glorious, a total respite from thinking about homeschooling or book-writing about homeschooling. It was a soap in the best possible way and I was sorry to see them leave—I mean, I was sorry to see the show end. I still think Matt Saracen is real, though. And I’m worried about Luke.

The rabbit hates heat and indicates that by sitting places shady and glaring at the sky. The death-nap, however, is sacrosanct, and there is no mid-day so hot Dr. Bunstein won’t flop on his back, roll one eye back in his head and give me the creeps.

The book is due to the editor on September 1st; Daughter’s online classes began August 22nd. This means that we never had time off this summer, someone was always working. And while I can’t say it was the most exciting summer of our lives, and will never be in the top-five relaxing summers of Daughter’s childhood, we came through it all right. I have a smiling, singing child and a ton of bracelets to show for it.


Except, of course, for the parts I have to do.


Blogger Sara J. Henry said...

Books are never done. They keep coming back, for tweaks and more tweaks. And then when the thing is on store shelves, you get lovely emails from people pointing out that page 285 refers to two things as "second," and that the thing you said took place in Delaware actually took place in New Jersey, and you have to send groveling lists of corrections to your paperback editor, and your Audible editor, and your German editor, and your Italian editor. And hope that a batch of sharp-eyed new readers don't spot still more errors ...

Books are never done. I hate to break it to you.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Do [books] fall from skies above?
Are [they] underneath the willow tree,
That Quinn's been dreaming of?

(Sorry. I did that show in 2010, and the lyrics stuck...)

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Victoria said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post for lots of reasons but my #1 reason may be your description of the weather as "having that sullen, slightly dangerous vibe one associates with the teenagers who hang around gas stations, pointedly staring at you while you code in your ATM while they suck back on generic versions of Gatorade."

I mean, shit. That's good. Will you homeschool my future child and teach her how to write like that?

2:04 PM  
Anonymous --Deb said...

Hurray! Congratulations--I already can't wait to read it.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sooooo glad you are BACK! Iam also very happy the book is finished. Yay for Quinn.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Lord Lillis said...

Congratulations! Put me down for a copy.

Wasn't it Truman Capote who said "You never finish books - they just take them from you."

5:41 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Good for you, Quinn!
And good for your family.

Looking forward to reading it.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Hooray for books being done (except the parts you still have to do)!! Can't wait to read it!

My blog has suffered from a not-entirely-benign neglect this summer, and I did NOT write a book, so what's my excuse?

I think I'm going to teach my daughter how to make friendship bracelets. I could see her totally getting into that, and it might last longer than the latch hooking hobby that briefly engulfed her over the winter. So briefly, alas, that the end result is a rather patchworked and incomplete "Kitten and Puppy" design. It truly is a testament to her ADHD, the way she filled in five squares here, three there, two way down over here, with rhyme nor reason having anything to do with it. But friendship bracelets? Things she could do more quickly than an eleventy-million-square latch hook design and then give to her friends? That might be a winner!

9:34 PM  
Blogger Karen Edmisten said...

Congrats and huzzah! And mayhaps you could link the friendship bracelets together -- a la paper chainery -- and you'd have a start on the decorations for your "Now the Other Parts of the Book Are Done" party.

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Germaine said...

Congratulations on finishing the book- that is great news! I loved your post, and hope you can now get back into blogging on a regular basis, because you always make me smile (if not outright guffaw).

Also, so glad you treated yourself to Friday Night Lights, as it was such a great show. I think the finale was one of the best ones of all time.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big fans of FNL here too. Sons of Anarchy is also one of our favorite, much more violent and is definitely not family viewing, but the acting, the writing, everything is amazing about. Katy Segal is AMAZING in it as Gemma.

Wait, what were we talking about?

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on finishing the book--well, except for the parts that aren't finished.

Yeah, rabbits don't like the heat, and it can get deadly for them. I had a friend who would turn on the sprinklers for her rabbit. When we didn't have A/C, I'd put an ice pack or plastic bottle of frozen water in w/ my rabbit. Sometimes, I'd lightly rub her ears w/ ice.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous ɹǝƃƃolquǝʞoʇ said...

Very peppy update! Thanks!

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Susan said...

So glad you're back to blog for us...have missed your writing...

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Lyd said...

Congratulations! I look forward to reading it. Also, I love the line Victoria referred to above, and my daughter also loves friendship bracelets!

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband had to be dragged kicking and screaming into FNL and now is hooked. But he still does not understand how to watch a soap opera. I do, because I was a General Hospital fan in high school.

I can't wait to get to the part where Landry is accepted to our (my husband's and my) alma mater. It is the perfect place for him.

8:24 AM  

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