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I'm most recently a writer.  In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot.  As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades.  An unwilling transplant from the South,  twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US.  Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect.  When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do.  Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sitting at the Intersection of Should and Could

So my latest novel, Katie Lost and Found, is up and selling. I've spent the past seven months or so fabricating a 100 plus-year-old mansion in Middle of Nowhere, Kansas, filling it with all the furnishings and ambiance of a luxury inn, populating it with a crew of sympathetic characters, and telling the first of the stories in the series I plan to base around all of this. Done. Crossed off the list.

In the meantime, the dining room renovation in my own 100 plus-year-old house has been waiting patiently for the return of my attention. Stacks of paint cans, sacks of brushes and rollers, and the distinctive echo of an empty room remind me every time I pass through that it isn't going to paint and furnish itself. Undone. Still at the top of the list.

What do I do next? You'd think the answer would be as glaringly obvious as the bare windows and scarred walls of my dining room, wouldn't you? For the next month or two, I should devote every free hour and all my admittedly limited energy to making that room the beautiful centerpiece of our home it was meant to be. I should patch cracks, sand molding, spackle, paint, sew drapes, refinish a couple pieces of furniture, and hunt down a set of chairs before I even think of writing another book. Shouldn't I?

Or I could, maybe, start working, just a little bit, every now and then, on one of the three or four ideas grinding around in my writer's brain, couldn't I? I mean, it's not like I can spend all day climbing a ladder. And my aging joints would never stand for prolonged periods of hard labor without bitter complaint. Besides, part of the reward of putting together a room is seeing it slowly evolve, savoring each layer as it's completed to perfection. You can't just rush through these things!

So here's where I am right now. I'm going to get started in earnest on the dining room. Thanksgiving is getting closer, after all, and I promised jokingly back in May that I'd have it done at least by then. To keep myself honest, I'm going to post my progress here. But, I'm pretty sure I'm also going to start work on another book, which I'll also post about here as I get underway, just for variety's sake.

Here I go, easing away from this intersection. What I know for sure is not what I should or could be doing, but what I can do if I try. I love working on this old house, despite the sweat and dust and sore joints. And I have to write, as surely as I have to eat and sleep. Doing one or the other isn't really an option right now. Doing both should end up rewarding me in two very satisfying ways. I hope you'll join me! This should be fun!


  1. Congratulations on the success of your novel! Seems like it's the neverending dilemma for a writer--balancing time for writing with time for living so you can have something to write about!

    1. Thanks, Dee Dee! The key word there is balancing! When I write, it's as if that file is constantly calling my name. I can get lost for hours when I just sat down to put a few words in. Meanwhile, those other things go begging. I really need to learn how to balance better!