Day 164: Whoops!

Yeah, I know, it’s been a LONG TIME since I last posted. I’m really sorry about that, but I have reasons. And news.

So, first for the reasons.

After I attended a second day at Balticon, I discovered that I was exhausted. Like, seriously tired. And I couldn’t figure out why.

That lasted for several weeks (as you can tell). The nearest I can figure is that going back to work full time, after a month off, really kicked my butt. I don’t think there are enough hours in the day to work as much as I need to and sleep as much as I need to. But it’s getting a little easier now, although I’m still pretty tired most of the time. But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been creating, because I have!

Also, I decided to spend more time with the family, even if that meant sitting for hours watching movies and TV shows. I like to think I’m a good wife and mom, but I realized that I wasn’t spending very much time with the kids and Spousal Unit. Here’s the breakdown of my waking hours recently:

55 hours per week at work and traveling to/from work
34 hours per week working on creative projects (mostly alone)
10 hours per week reading emails/blogs/FB/G+… (at home)
10 hours per week preparing meals (yes, I do a little of that) and/or eating (usually with the family)
5 hours per week entertainment (mostly watching TV/movies at home, but also reading some books)
2 hours per week running kids around to appointments, shopping, activities, etc… Or doing things for them, but not with them

Once I wrote it out, it became pretty obvious pretty quickly that my priorities are not where I’d hoped they would be. Obviously, earning a living is my highest priority, since that’s where I spend nearly half my waking hours each week. And I honestly believe that, if our situation were different (lower bills, less debt, simpler lifestyle), I would gladly quit my job (although I do love the job, and the people I work with) and devote 60 or more hours each week to creative endeavors. But realistically, we just can’t afford for me to do that right now. And creative pursuits take a back seat to earning that paycheck. Apparently.

Mind, I’m not complaining. But I had hoped I was able to spend as much time doing creative tasks as I did at my day job, while spending more time with my family, too. But I’m really bad at math, because there literally are not enough hours in the day (or week). Of course, part of the problem is the commute time between home and work (about an hour each way), which eats up an extra 2 hours a day, most days. And that pesky sleep business. Why do we need so much sleep? Well, I do, anyway…

For now I will just be happy that we can afford for me to spend creative time designing and making “stuff”, and that I can afford to buy the supplies I need, that I don’t already have on hand, or need to replace.

So, now for the news.

My second book is now available on Amazon in paperback. It’s also available at Barnes & Noble as a Nook ebook. And by the way, my first book is also available at B&N as a Nook ebook.

So, what have I been up to for the past few weeks?

Well, I have been working out patterns for the third book. On paper, anyway. And that will likely turn into three separate books, since the concepts are fairly distinct from each other. Or maybe not. That will depend on how many different patterns/instruction sets I come up with. Or how I feel once I get everything together. Or what phase the moon is in. Or something.

Also, I found out that some dear friends from our previous town are expecting their first child, and they just found out it’s a boy. So, I designed a baby quilt for him. I made the top and back, but I haven’t yet finished it. First I need to go out and buy more 100% cotton batting for it, since I don’t like to use poly-blends for baby quilts. I’ll post photos after they get the quilt. Meanwhile, I’ll try to go out this weekend and get more batting, so I can finish it. I hope they decide on a name before I get it done, so I can put his name on it!

I also found a quilt pattern that I liked, but I couldn’t get to the instructions (mainly because I didn’t want to pay for a membership to a site so I could download a “free” pattern), so I drew out the pattern by hand, on a blank sheet of printer paper. I really should have used a piece of graph paper, but I couldn’t find any at the time. It came out a bit wonky, with rectangles that should have been squares, and unevenly spaced blocks, but it will look good when I make it. Someday.

Also, a friend at work was talking about his idea of the “perfect camera bag”. I’ve been engineering it for several days, now. I’m about 75% done with the paper plans, and soon enough it will be time to start prototyping. That’s always the scary part. Don’t want to waste any fabric or other supplies…

I still need to finish the interior redesign for my SIL’s book. The cover concept is done, and the interior shouldn’t take too much more time. I hope.

I’m also reading Nurse Daughter’s rough draft of her first novel, and providing input to help her improve it. This is an “alpha read”, where I just provide general input: things I like, things I don’t, things that confuse or bore me, and so forth. This is not the “grammatical” edit process. That will come later. She also has lots of other friends doing the same thing for her, so she should have plenty of helpful feedback from lots of different people with different preferences by the time she’s ready to rewrite. I’m trying to convince her to let me publish it for her. We’ll see how that goes.

So… Busy, busy, busy. And still kicking. Not much to show for it, but…

It’s been a learning process. Sometimes, what the body needs is far more important than what the brain wants. But I think I’m back. For now, anyway. See you tomorrow!

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