Writing: things change

I’ve invited a few of my longtime writing friends over for lunch and an informal “novelcon” this week. We each bring pages to share, and we read and discuss them. We talk about what we’re working on and how the writing’s going. It’s low-key and casual. It’s a time to settle in and talk shop with old friends. A few times a year, we open it up to new people, but the temperatures are dipping, we’re gearing up for the holidays, and this feels like the right time to steal a moment to touch base, just the five of us.

When I was planning what I was going to make, my husband teased me. Each of us has some kind of a diet restriction these days. One of my friends keeps a Kosher kitchen now. She’s easy-going about it, but I don’t mix meat and milk and I never serve pork or shrimp. Another friend is gluten intolerant, so no wheat. I can’t eat milk or milk products. Ann can’t have acid, so no tomatoes. The only fruits she can eat are pears and blueberries. It makes menu planning interesting.

That’s not the only thing that’s changed for us over the years. We all thought that once our kids grew up, life would slow down. We’d have more time to write. It sounds good on paper, doesn’t it? But it hasn’t worked that way. Lately, I’ve had more time to write, but I’ve also gotten a lot more serious about it. And it feels like I can never get everything done in one day. I don’t work. I don’t have to leave the house, but my husband retired. We talk before I head back to my computer. We stop whatever we’re doing to eat lunch together. Some days, a kid stops in or calls. I’ve tried to add marketing to my daily agenda. I’m determined to read more. And I know how lucky I am to have all of these things to enjoy. So…I enjoy them:) And I work writing around them. My friends do the same. Two of them babysit for grandkids part of each week. One babysits full time and can’t get together with us anymore. Another’s husband loves to go on antique car, road trips. Another still works and can’t decide if she’ll retire.

I don’t know exactly what I expected when the last kid left and my friends and I all moved to the “next step” in life, but I didn’t get it right. I have a rocking chair, and it looks pretty, but I haven’t used it. Life’s filled up in new and different ways. How lucky is that! And that’s the great thing about Life. It just keeps surprising me. But I find time to squeeze writing in the mix. Hope you do too.

P.S. My agent liked the romance I sent her! She sent lots of notes, so I have plenty of rewrites, but they’re all do-able. That’s a relief.