It is snowing today, and it’s the best kind of snow, because it is thick and beautiful in the air, but the ground has been so warm recently that the streets are clear. I took a walk at 7am and no one was up to witness the world with me, and now I have tea and a fire to keep me company. (I also have a little bowl of fool’s gold and Lucky Charms because the leprechauns – two adults and a toddler, apparently – visited and threw chocolate coins and mini marshmallows everywhere. You may be wondering how I know the approximate ages of the magical creatures that came to snack and rest awhile in the little home built for them by my children, and I will tell you. I know toddlers. I taught them, I raised them, and only toddlers would dump, willy nilly, so much sugar on the living room floor on a school day. Not even a leprechaun parent would be so foolhardy…)
I also have a book (This Here Flesh, by Cole Author Riley) that I would love to be reading right now, but it’s still a work day, so that will have to wait. I might sneak in a few pages at lunch, but I’m more likely to pop in a headphone and listen to an audiobook then, when I’m making a sandwich/cleaning up/throwing in laundry – all the exciting tasks that have to be done when working from home. (Well, chores don’t HAVE to be done, but I’ve found if I don’t do them, little fairies do not appear to take care of them for me, more’s the pity.) Right now, I’m hooked on the Russell and Sherlock series by Laurie R King, and it’s wonderful, so that’s no great hardship. In fact, sometimes I “work” around the house longer than I need to just so that I can listen to one more chapter.
I like to tell myself that it’s valuable research time, and that if I don’t take time to read, my writing will suffer. The truth is…well, it will. It has. When I spend too little time reading other people’s brilliantly ordered words, my own dry up. The only time this isn’t true is when I’m deep into writing one of the novels. When Maren and I are plotting and getting through a lot of scenes quickly, I can’t be distracted. I have to hit pause on other stories (thankfully, it’s usually only for a week or so at a time) until our characters have taken their foot off the gas.
Right now, I can tell I’m gearing up for writing the third novel in the series, as well as a couple of shorts (free this summer) because my brain wants ALL the input. I can’t get enough reading time, and my mind feels like it’s starving for books but I can’t feed it enough to feel satiated. It’s a strange feeling – maybe it’s a little like carbo loading for a big race. At some point soon, probably in the next few weeks, my own ideas will start pouring out, and Maren and I will get to tuck into the brainstorming and organization that comes before the novel itself. I love that moment, and I can’t wait because I’m ready for Rye and Wanda to kickstart another adventure.
In the meantime, I might just listen to a few chapters while I clean the basement…