Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Down Time

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!


Dina said...

Hi Anne,

I took today & tomorrow (bday) off to be less stressed frm work. So hoping I had fun just being off. :)

Deb said...

Hi, Anne. What a great idea for making cookies--an open house.
I am a little stressed because Christmas is at my house this year (my sisters and I rotate every 3 years) and the weather is supposed to be nasty---snow, ice, freezing rain. So, we are going to have to play it by ear since my folks and sisters all live an hour away in 2 different directions. We'll still have Christmas, but maybe not on Christmas Day.
Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!

Anne McAllister said...

Dina, I hope your day off helped you relax and that you have a great holiday. Thanks for spending a bit of your time with us here!

The open-house cookie baking turned out to be a lot more fun than even I imagined. And today I heard from three of the people who came and they all said, "Let's do it again!"

I hope your weather is cooperative and that you get to have your Christmas without added stress of ice and snow and freezing rain. There are a lot of us in the same boat! Have a great time. Just remember not to worry about what you can't control -- only what you can!

Michele L. said...

Oh what a fun time Anne! I would love to do that with my friends! Never thought of that. I am still planning on making cookies for Christmas. Gotta have cookies!

I am very relaxed this year. My hubby and I went light on decorating this year. I put up a small Xmas tree, some decorations around the house, some lights outside and that's it. I got all my present shopping done and have half of them already wrapped. Some have already been given to friends so part of my present stress is already done. Woohoo!

I am having a wonderful, stree-free, Christmas! Absolutely love it! I wish all of you the same with a lot of blessings for a wonderful holiday and a happy, prosperous New Year!

Anne McAllister said...

Sounds like you're well on your way to having a great Christmas. Enjoy! And you can always invite friends over in the new year to eat your cookies - or bake ones then!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Linda Henderson said...

I think the holidays are always stressful. I'm just relaxing at this point and wishing the fairies would come and clean my house.

Anne McAllister said...

I hope you had a few fairies drop by to clean! And I also hope the holidays were not tooooo stressful. Take it easy. Happy New Year!