With Blueprints going on sale in paperback this week, I just reread it to refresh my memory. Does it surprise you that I would need to do that? But consider this. I’ve written and published more than 80 books. No human mind can keep straight all the details of 80 books. Moreover, it’s been two years since I finished writing Blueprints, and since then, I’ve been immersed in writing The Make Up Artist. I’ve often made the analogy that moving from book to book is like cramming for final exams. You jam as much as you possibly can into your mind, take the exam, then push it all out to make room for the next subject.
A reader just wrote that she heard I was retiring. Who said that?
No. I’m not retiring. Let’s be clear about it. I. Am. Not. Retiring.
Not that I haven’t considered it in moments of frustration. Life for a writer has changed. When I started – more than 30 years ago – all I had to do was write. Ha ha. That’s funny. I was a full-time mother of three young sons, a full-time wife, a full-time homemaker. And all I had to do was write.
I swore I wouldn’t. Social media is only good if you do it well, but how many social media sites can one writer do well and still write her book? I’ve done Facebook for a long while and have a healthy following. For posting news, sharing events, offering contests, and simply getting the opinions of readers who matter, Facebook is my go-to site.
So why join Instagram? Instagram is just about taking pictures, right? But pictures alone? Why would a writer do that?
I have three sons. All are grown, married with kids, and gainfully employed. They genuinely like me, and I genuinely like them. In all of these things, I am very, very lucky.
That said, navigating the waters with an adult child hasn’t always been easy.
Lean on me… when you’re not strong …
Remember that song? Bill Withers wrote it in 1972, which may have been the year you were born, or the year your children were born, or ten years before that, but the words are timeless. I’ve been thinking about them a lot.
I don’t have many close friends. All these years being a wife, mother, and writer, I never had time for friends. Now I do. There are things I want to discuss, and there are things I want to discuss with other women that only women will understand. But how to find good friends at this stage?
More aptly, can you multi-task? Some people can’t. Some do it now and then. Some are able but unwilling. Where do you fall on the spectrum?
I’m of the able-but-unwilling school. I used to multi-task more than I do now, and age has something to do with that. But it’s a positive thing. I’m wiser now. I choose now to multi-task less. That said, it’s taken me a while to get to this point.
“That’s the best thing since …” How do YOU finish this sentence? When I was growing up, the answer was sliced bread. When I was raising my own kids, the answer was bagged lettuce. Now, it’s Post-Its. At least, in my humble opinion.
That’s because I’m a list keeper. Rarely does a day go by when I haven’t made one list or another. Studies show that people who keep lists are more productive. I do think that’s true for me, and for four reasons.
Broken them already, have you? Personally, I can’t count the number of years I vowed to diet, only to pig out within days of the holiday. New Year’s resolutions are tricky that way. Too often we set ourselves up for failure with yet another promise to work out or quit smoking or limit screen time.
There are many reasons for failure. Some are valid. Others, not so.
Here’s a pressing question: Does the need to pee wake us up, or do we wake up for another reason entirely and then decide to pee?
And another one: Do we wake up early because our eyelids have thinned out so that even the first light of dawn penetrates, or do we wake up early because we went to bed early?
I’ve always been a morning person. I’m out of bed at dawn because I crave a cup of tea, because my mind is fresh and eager to work, and because I go to bed early after waking up early, so the cycle goes.
Last week was for audio, but here are three books I recently read in the flesh, as so many of you choose to do as well. Audio or print, the stories remain the same. If something in one of these books appeals to you and you’re an audiobook person, by all means, listen.
First, The Marriage of Opposites, by Alice Hoffman.
I have loved Alice Hoffman’s books for years, and “The Marriage of Opposites” didn’t entirely disappoint. Her portrayal of setting is exquisite – in this case, St. Thomas in the first half of the 1800’s, then Paris. Her imagery is vivid, and her research through. I have no doubt but that the historical detail offered in “The Marriage of Opposites” is accurate.