Last night I went to my first meeting, aka shop talk, with some other SCBWI folks. (that's Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.) It was informal, brief, and rather interesting. The first half hour was just introductions. Though most of the dozen people seemed to know each other already, they haven't met all summer, so it was catch up time. There was some talk of upcoming events and meetings, and plenty of "oh you remember that time we..." Interestingly the local chapter is organized by a man who Rob built a house for last year, and he was quite welcoming to me.
After all the chatter, there was a presentation by author Chris Moriarity. Her new middle grade book The Inquisitor's Apprentice is coming out right now! This week! She is an Ithacan, and previous science fiction writer, who, after having a baby 4 years ago, decided to write a fantasy novel series for her son when he was older. Think Harry Potter. But, she's Jewish. And so is her main character, a thirteen year old freshly Bar Mitzvah'ed boy, growing up in 1900's Manhattan. The spin: Magic abounds. Some people are legal users, some not. And thus the story goes on.
It was great to hear her read the first chapter, and hear her talk about her process, how she got to this point. People asked lots of questions, and she answered them gracefully and articulately. My question was how can she write so well, and so often, and on a deadline too, when she's got a 4 year old and an 8 month old!! This is the trick to figure out, for me. Finding the time.
Today was a less than productive writing day for me. I went to the gym, I did laundry, I cleaned up the kitchen, and I posted on the other blog. Then I felt bad about my stinky dog and her skin problem and took my creative writing time to thoroughly scrub her and wash her completely. I had a few moments before Cedar got home to organize the office a little, and finally I got a last minute call from Talya that she needed an after school ride to her musical composing lesson clear on the other side of town. During which I ended up hanging out at the mall waiting for her. That shot my afternoon, and ended in a crying fit (Cedar's, not mine). Rush home, make dinner, have mom stop by needing help to use our internet, and the collapse in a heap after bedtime. And still, most household chores are not done.
Not every day is like this. But enough are that I feel depleted at the end of the day. To use more energy and thought writing, does not seem to makes sense.
Yet here I am. Writing. Sitting in my bed. Keeping warm, listening to Cedar talk himself to sleep down the hall, and thinking about Chris Moriarity and her ability to write a novel, with four more in the series coming soon(!!), with two small kids to raise up, and reflecting on my day. Wondering, when will I ever find the time to write?
Hmm. I guess when there's something you want to do, you find the time.