Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I sent off a book yesterday. If/when it comes back for revisions, it will not be until after the 1st of January. My editor promised.
So I have space. I have breathing room. I have down time.
Other, of course, than the fifty million things I need to do for Christmas in 3 days time. But that aside, I fully intend to wallow in my downtime.
I intend to read the books I've been stacking next to the bed for so long they are threatening to topple over. I'm planning to go to films I'm wanting to see and rent the ones I missed while I had my nose to the grindstone. I'll also be watching The Christmas Story for the umpteenth time. It's just one of those things we do every year.
I started baking yesterday as soon as the book left the house. And I continued today, doing it Tom Sawyer fashion, inviting neighbors in to bake and have tea and eat the cookies we were making. We made 17 dozen spritz cookies. At least 13 dozen left the house with my bakers. We had fun -- so much fun, in fact, that I think we'll do it again next year.
It was a multi-generational and multi-cultural activity (with my 86 year old neighbor showing our 25 year old Chinese friend how to make spritz while getting a lesson in how in China she uses the same sort of press to make a variety of noodles!)
Tomorrow as a part of my down time I'm going to be shoveling snow. It started falling again early this evening. We don't have anything like what they got on the east coast over the weekend, but we already had a foot from last week.
I don't mind. In fact I'll enjoy it because I won't be wrestling with characters misbehaving or plot points turning to ink blots or those annoying brick walls beyond which there is usually a story if I can ever find the loose brick.
Down time is wonderful. It's a time of replenishing the well, of simply sitting back and absorbing life as it comes. It's absolutely necessary to the creative process. Without it there wouldn't be another book. I love it. And I especially love it when it comes this time of year.
Are you having down time now or are you stressed out of your mind? Do you need down time to do the best in your work?
I wish for all of you, wherever you are, a little R&R, a chance to relax and revive your spirits. If Santa do it, so can you.
Happy holidays, everyone!