Aug 30

August in a nutshell

August has pretty much flown right by. Sheesh! I guess there’s an upside to being insanely busy—the hottest part of the year goes by with barely a notice.

So here’s what my average weekday has looked like for most of this month.
Wake up 4:45 am. Either go for a run or do 40 minutes on the stationary bike. (I’ve been trying to run MWF, and do the bike T, TH.)

Get home/finish, do breakfast, shower, get dressed, clean the kitchen (I am SO sick of having a house on the market), then get the kid up at 6:15-6:30. Sit and cuddle with her in the recliner while she drinks her milk and watches “Little Einsteins.”

7 am or so, do last minute sweep/clean of house, make sure the kid goes potty (in the potty!), get her dressed, teeth and hair brushed, and then kick husband and kid out the door by 7:30.

Go to work. Try and write on my lunch hour.

Get off work 4:30ish, and either head to gym or coffeehouse to write more. (I go to a coffeehouse to write after work because if I went home it would waste over half an hour for me. Instead I go to a place near the day care, and then can usually get another hour of writing in before I have to pick her up.) If I go to the gym (which I really try to do at least 3 times a week) I squeeze out a quicky 20 minute weight workout, then force myself to do 40 minutes on the elliptical trainer.

Pick up the kid, head home. Do something that resembles dinner that doesn’t involve messing the kitchen up too much. Spend a couple of hours doing something vaguely resembling Family Quality Time (which usually involves all of us being in the same room while we do our own thing.) Give the kid a bath around 8ish. Give kid to husband to put to bed.

Try and write some more. Go to bed 10ish.

On the weekends we sleep as late as possible. I also rarely do any working out on the weekends. And at some point during the weekend the husband almost always takes the kid off for several hours to give me alone/writing time.

The funny thing is that I’ve really never been an organized person. But I think there comes a moment when a person realizes that if they want to do all the things that they want to do, then they either need to give some of the crap up, or they need to schedule the ever living crap out of their life. Thank god for weekends!


My agent warned me that August was an insanely slow month in the publishing world, so between that knowledge and being busy as all crap, I’ve actually managed to not stress too much about the submission status of my novel. Give me another couple of months—then I’ll probably start freaking out! But I’m trying to be good; I’m working hard on the next book. I’ve finished the [incredibly rough and shoddy] first draft, and am now going through and putting in and taking out all sorts of stuff that will basically render the final product completely unrecognizable from the rough outline that I started with. (Yes, right now I’m the stage of novel-writing where I’m utterly convinced that this thing is horrible and will never ever be right. Thankfully, I know through reading other author blogs that I am not the only person who goes through this and that this feeling will—hopefully—pass.)

And, speaking of blogs, I’ve come to something of a decision about this one. I’m keeping it—mostly. I’ve received a wide swath of advice ranging from “don’t change a thing” to “no blog no how no way Real Writers don’t blog.” I can see why the “don’t change a thing” part could be risky for a writer, and I also disagree with the “no blog” view, especially since there are SCADS of very successful writers who blog, and blog about far more than just their writing. I got to thinking about how I find new books and what I do when I find an author I like, and one of the first things I do is I look for their website, and when I find their website the first thing I do is look and see if they have a blog. Then I see if they link to any other authors, and will often look harder at those names when I go to the bookstore.

So I’m basically going to strip out most of the super-personal stuff (after backing the whole thing up first, of course!) and then maintain a professional, but still fairly personal and personable site—hopefully maintaining a happy medium. I don’t get a zillion daily hits at this point, but I’m fairly sure that the hits I do get are from people who want to read about me and my life and my writing, and I don’t want to lose any of them.


In other news, we did get an offer on our house, the caveat being that it’s a predicated offer, i.e. it only goes through if they sell their house. And it’s an open predication, so if we get a better offer, or even one that we prefer over this one (i.e. ready to buy right now), we can take it—hence the reason our house is still on the market.

Yes, we now have a silly little chain of predications. We have a predicated offer on the house we want to buy as well, so as long as the people we’re hoping to buy the house from don’t make a predicated offer on the house of the people trying to buy our house—resulting in an eternal loop of predications—we might maybe someday get through all of this and actually get into a new house. Sheesh!

Aug 8

A Conundrum

I’m steadily working on making this website more professional and attractive and accessible and all of that. It’s still nowhere near where I want it to eventually be, but I think I’m getting closer. I’m not a web designer by any stretch, so I’m relying on the talents of others to pull me through.

However, I’m experiencing a bit of a dilemma. My eventual goal is for this domain to be my “Author Website.” (That’s pretty much always been my goal, but until recently the “Author” part has been a lot more distant.) I think I have some good ideas for dynamic content that will attract people to the site and have them returning as well, but the one thing I am very undecided about is this journal/blog. I’ve maintained an online journal for over ten years. I chose long ago to allow the world glimpses into my personal life, and at times I have put very personal stuff on here. However, there’s still quite a bit that y’all don’t see. I try to never air any dirty laundry about my relationships with any members of my family. I very seldom say anything detailed about dayjob work; I do my best to keep anything like that very generalized, and (hopefully) nothing that could ever come back to haunt me. I also worked in computer crimes long enough to have some common sense about security. (99% of the people who read this journal do not know my daughter’s real name, and the other 1% know it because they know me/her in real life. I also know that if anyone is really determined and has the right resources, they’ll be able to find out far more about me than I could ever hope to reveal on this site.)

So, the dilemma is this: If I’m fortunate enough to sell my books and this website indeed becomes an “Author’s Website”, should I remove the journal or should I allow readers and potential readers of my books continued easy access to this insight of Diana Rowland the writer/mom/cop/IT professional/person? I’ve seen quite a bit of advice on how to set up a “professional” website, and there are usually words of warning about maintaining blogs that deal with anything beyond the business of writing. But that just seems so… boring. [shrug]

I figure I have two choices: I can move this personal journal to a different domain, one that is not so obviously “Diana Rowland the Author”, and then simply maintain a writing-related blog on this domain. Or, I can keep doing what I’ve been doing–sharing the ME with the world, and include people who have read or are going to read my books and hopefully not turn anyone off by showing so much of ME.

This may take some pondering.

Aug 3

Karma happens?

I’m guessing that nearly a decade of working in public service has allowed me build up a tidy surplus of karma. That’s the only explanation I have for the fact that my dear husband made a phone call and 15 minutes later I was in the office of a dentist who was willing to stay late on a friday afternoon to give me an emergency patch-job on my broken tooth.

It ain’t perfect, but it’s good enough to get me through the weekend. Whew!

Aug 3

I couldn’t have planned it more perfectly, she said with a scowl

Friday afternoon. 5:15. That’s when my tooth decided to shatter. Arggggg.

Aug 1

Links and sites

I was glancing through some of my visitor stats and noticed that some people are finding my site through links on other sites. If you have a link to this site, please let me know since I would be delighted to link back to your site! (That is, as long as the content of your site is not anything I would find objectionable and/or annoying!)

I’m also continuing on the slow and steady “improve the look of this website” project, little by little. A friend of mine is working on the home page, so hopefully that will soon be far more attractive and interesting than the blah stuff I have there now.