Wednesday, August 29

Out Of My Rhythm

The past few weeks have been a little weird. I'm a serious creature of habit. I like my routines. I like have a rhythm to my day. This summer it's been impossible to find a rhythm that sticks around for more than a week or two.

June started with bebe out of school, a very early birthday party for her because she was in a wedding during her actual birthday week. July saw us with out of town guests every week. Different guests, coming and going, some for a few days, others for a full week or two. August...we've talked about my grandmother's death and the flying trip back to see the family, DH's birthday, a family reunion on his side of the family.

Oh, and I've been writing. I've been on deadline with my publisher all summer, working on a book that I pitched without having written it. That's a writing rhythm I've never done before.

Before you think I've whining, I'm actually not. While I am a definite creature of habit and I work well within an established framework, what this summer has taught me above all else is that I can adapt - my life, my writing, my favorite summer indulgences - into whatever new schedule I need to create. Here's what I learned:

1) I found that not only can I read in a car, I can write in a car when necessary

2) Sometimes the littlest moments make the biggest memory - the rehearsal dinner and actual wedding are a blur to me. My most vivid memory of that weekend is bebe dancing with RadioMan during the reception. She was exhausted but didn't want to stop, so her head is on his shoulder and they're 'slow dancing' to Katy Perry's Firework. Then she came over to me and we went through her flower girl basket, picking her favorite blossoms for her keepsake box.

3) Sometimes you just have to bend. I had a Kindle filled with new reads at the beginning of this summer. I think I've read about ten books. That is a looooooow reading count for me, people. But if I wanted to spend any time with my family, if I wanted to meet my publisher's deadline, if I wanted to remain sane, something had to give. I also gave up weekly pedicures because I can do the same thing with my bubble tub and a pumice stone in half the time.

4) New rhythms can be the best of all. No, my summer didn't have the smooth, relaxing rhythm of, say, the Little Big Town song Pontoon. At times it might felt more like a ripped up, screaming version of The Rolling Stones' Start Me Up, but that weird, cacophanous rhythm got me through the summer and now, looking at Labor Day weekend, I met my goals.

I spent a lot of time with family. I saw bebe grow in new ways every day. I finished my first written-on-proposal book. I'm not headed for divorce court because in the madness (Yes, RadioMan's summer was just as hectic) we made time for each other.

What about you? How has your summer been? And, if like mine it was mad, how did you survive?

34 comments:

  1. What an excellent post. And, really, an excellent summer, too. My summer has been much the same way although with different (and less emotion-rending) circumstances and I mourned the loss of rhythm without once considering celebrating a NEW rhythm in its stead. Thank you for waking me up to it. And for painting the picture of Bebe dancing with RadioMan--it made my day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It took one final night of very little sleep - in which I realized I was *enjoying* myself, not just trucking along - to realize the new rhythm was working for me. 'Course, I'm still glad the madness is through and I can restore a little of the old rhythm!!

      I'll never lose that image of RM and bebe...locked in forever!

      Delete
  2. Great post Kristi! Those are such cute memories you have of bebe! I can just picture her 'dancing' with your husband. :)

    My summer was crazy too. I coordinated and judged, reviewed scores, and e-mailed/phoned the finalists in a writing contest while juggling offices within my local writer's group and put together a quickie PowerPoint presentation for our conference while trying to publish a book and do marketing for my first novel. In the end it came down to I just wasn't going to have time to publish. I had to move my date back, which broke my heart, but looking back I'm glad I did. There are photos from the conference where I just look exhausted. Makes me wish I could erase them from other people's cameras, you know?
    Then my car broke down and that was ever so much fun.

    I just kept consoling myself with this too shall pass. Boy just thinking about all that makes me want to go back to bed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad your survived your crazy summer, too, Allison! And here's o a calmer fall!!

      Delete
  3. What a wonderful post. Sometimes writing needs to take a backseat. Glad you enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Marian. Luckily I have a great support system, so even in the madness I could keep writing!

      Delete
  4. I love Pontoon - and really miss that laid back summer that escaped me during the scorching heat here.

    Sounds like you had a great summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pontoon is one of my favorite summer songs this year, Lynn! It was unbearable here, too...I think that pushed the out-of-sync feeling a little further along!

      Delete
  5. Kristina, it sounds like you've got your priorities in balance. My youngest is now 20, and I know it's cliche to say, but they do grow crazy fast. I was blessed to be a stay-at-home mom and have so many wonderful memories with my kids. I'm feeling a little selfish these days, like it's my time now. Although life is busier than it's ever been, and I've not written outside by the pond as much as I'd like, I'm thrilled to be on this writer's journey with my Crimson sisters. We will adapt!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we will! The journey is crazy and fun and fast...and we just need to hold on!

      Delete
  6. Great post Kristi....loved all your lessons learned, especially the one about little moments creating big memories...so so true!

    As for me, my summer has been fairly normal and relaxing. But it has flown by extremely fast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Summers are always the fastest season for me, Christine, even when we don't have an inordinate amount of things to do! So glad you had a bit of relaxation in yours.

      Delete
  7. What a great post. My summer was filled with getting the rest of my backlist on Amazon, working on the last minute details for Heart of Denver's October mini-conference, finishing and sending out two manuscripts. I also received two rejections in July that temporarily put the kabosh on my mojo. Otherwise we have been enduring the long, hot summer and dreaming of fall. I've learned that nothing is a sure thing. Nothing.

    Cheryl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, hugs, Cher. Rejections suck big, fat, hairy rocks. Hate them and totally get how they can kill the mojo. But, I'm glad you're pushing along. Good luck with Amazon - and new books!!!

      Delete
  8. Kristina,

    I really have no idea how I survived! :) I have loved every crazy minute!!! Four kids, amazing husband, travel, writing, planning a writing conference, planning a wedding for my sister, publishing one book, with another out November 12! I'm scared at this list!! Oh my goodness.

    In Montana we like to say the 100 days of summer. As soon as the sun peaks through the clouds at the very end of May--we all throw off our coats, don our flip-flops and race into the summer sun! We talk and play and kayak and hike and ride horses and travel and settle into the long evenings where the sun stays up until almost midnight. We relish in the rays because soon we know that winter will come, the darkness will come and the snow will fall.

    I can honestly say I'm looking forward to the pattern and rhythmic hum of fall and winter. I'm looking forward to Halloween--my most favorite holiday--and Yule and the cozy nights by the crackling fire. Sounds like writing heaven to me!

    I so always enjoy your posts!!

    Happy Writing!
    Rionna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That *does* sound heavenly! I love how you love your region, Rionna - you make Montana sound amazing - so glad you survived the summer, too!

      Delete
  9. I've had a crazy summer as well, balancing out the thrill of a new grandchild and the launch of my first novel, and now my second, with record temps - over 100 degrees several days in a row - and newly-discovered medical ailments. Whether I've coped well or not, it's hard to say, but I survived and hopefully kept my sanity by eating better, playing Mah Jongg with friends and rewatching episodes of Seasons 1 and 2 of "Downton Abbey."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the summer heat got to all of us! Thanks for dropping in.

      Delete
  10. That last post was me.

    Barbara Barrett

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your summer sounds a little like mine. I didn't like waking at 5:30 AM for six weeks to drive my unlicensed 16 year old to a summer camp but I brought along my Kindle and a notebook and I sat in the car waiting for him (a two hour class 30 minutes from our home, not worth driving back)I did get some work done.

    All in all it was a busy writing summer. I pitched one novel and after being asked for the partial, I completed it. I also pitched a second novel and finished it as well. It's easier when the kids are older, I will say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maria, some days I dream about the Older Child Stage...but I'm also dreading it. And enjoying the heck out of every 4-year-old second I can.

      Delete
  12. I've had a busy summer, but not busy enjoying myself. Renovations took over my life and made the summer stressful, not-so-pleasant and expensive. But the results will be SO worth it!! If I survive another few months :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Renovations! Just think, once the temps cool off and the leaves start to fall, you won't have any work to do - because it'll be finished!

      Delete
  13. May summer was crazy off and on in a way. I had my great nieces visiting. They live one street over the oldest would call and ask if they could come over. The oldest often came by herself. The best was the time even though she's ten we stayed up until 5 in the morning. We both got the giggles and she literally was on the floor laughing and snorting. The bond with these two girls and their parents is so special. I'm so glad to help their mom and dad out when they need time alone or both are working and the girls aren't in school. I'm even on the pick up list.
    On the writing front I completed Camp NaNoWriMo in June and am within 2,704 words of making it again for August. I didn't get my main story finished I stuffed it away for August. Whether this story goes anywhere depends on my mood down the road. I wrote it for fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay for CampNANO, CK! And good luck with your writing!

      Delete
  14. I turned around and summer was over. Where did summer go??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *looks around* I think we deserve another week - at least! - Sheri...whaddaya say?!?

      Delete
    2. EXACTLY, Sheri--that's my feeling.

      Delete
  15. I had a really boring summer. Your's sound like the stuff memeories are made of.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I understand about a busy summer. Mine was more than a little crazy too. With releasing one book, doing edits on two that's coming out early next year and trying to do promo and find time to get the next book in a series ready for submission, plus start writing the next two books--both the next book in the two series I'm writing. But I never did find my groove. I still feel like I'm a chicken with my head cut off.

    Congrats on your submission!

    ReplyDelete
  17. It was a busy, busy summer, although not filled with a ton of fun stuff here. Mostly work, work, work!

    ReplyDelete
  18. The biggest trip I took was the spontaneous, accidental foray to the Oregon coast with my sister and our kids. We originally went down to drop of pipe supplies to a work site but took the loo-ng way home. And had the best time.

    ReplyDelete
  19. That was a very nice post. I think I've been editing all summer, with the exception of getting the AGM for one of my chapters ready. I have gotten a fair amount of reading done and started writing a new book. Both of which got interrupted by editing.

    I'm glad you're in a happy place.

    ReplyDelete