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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Time Management, Holiday Style:)

"Author Working: Do Not Disturb"

After the crazy month of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I take a break. From Dec 1st to Jan 2nd, the only writing I do is posting my blog, writing my annual Christmas Newsletter, and signing Christmas cards. 

If the muse demands otherwise, then...yikes! When do I fit it all in?

It depends on how loud the muse is yelling in my ear. Sometimes I can get away with writing down the basics of the proposed storyline; I did this with Model Behavior. Other times if the need to write is too overwhelming, I'll simply have to take the time to get it out of my head, either typing it into a word document or in longhand.

But typically, I'm doing three things during the month of December: Baking cookies (the above picture is the oatmeal-raisin ones I made last week), shopping for Christmas presents, or on the weekends, partying with friends or family. The month of December is one big party at our house: My oldest son arrived on Dec 8th; I showed up on Dec 19th; we not only celebrate Christmas at home, but there are two more family parties where gifts are exchanged. And on New Year's Day, there is also a feast to be served up, and my SIL's birthday.

I have been known to be found curled up in a quiet corner during the 'down' time at family gatherings, writing in a notebook. Sometimes the muse just won't be ignored, even on Christmas. I've also been known to write in the car. It's whatever works for you.

.Two years ago, Kenzie's Teacher's Pet released during the month of December, plus I was doing final edits for my own Love Finds A Way.  I would edit in the morning, bake in the afternoon, then edit again after dinner, if my editor sent another round.  Release Day was spent promoting, then a celebratory lunch with the family, and an all-day party hopping between chat loops and face book:)

Here's a special Christmas scene from Teacher's Pet.  Enjoy!

“The lady at the craft store thought I was nuts.” He shook his head. “Seriously, Teri, I’ve got two nieces and nephews who could use a couple of your hats and scarves. Would you mind?”

Teri’s eyes widened. “Not at all…Look, Mom! This is that book my teacher told me about!”

“I looked for it, but couldn’t find it.” Tammy thumbed through the pages. “I may try a few of these myself. And aren’t you forgetting something?” She raised an eyebrow at her daughter.

“Oh! Thanks, Kevin. This is so cool!” Teri jumped up to hug him. Both kids had long since abandoned calling him ‘Mister Taylor,’ but remembered to use the more formal name in school. “What did he give you, Mom?”

Tammy bit her lip. “This is too much, Kev.”

He went to her, took the box from her hand, removed the delicate sapphire necklace, and placed it around her neck. “I think it looks lovely on you. Go on, put on the earrings.”

Tammy slipped the gold posts out of her ears and replaced them with the matching sapphire and diamond pendants which dangled just below her earlobes. Holding her hair aside, she looked in the mirror above the television and admired the way they swayed when she turned her head.

Teri’s face lit up. “They look fantastic on you, Mom.”

     “Thank you.” She went to Kevin and gave him a hug, along with a chaste kiss. “Shall we go? It’s an hour away.” 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Rose Anderson said...

My muse is on holiday leave too. It's just as well. We both need a break. lol
I believe I'm seeing that it's your birthday as well as your blog day. If that's so then Happy blorthday! :)

Sandy said...

Happy Birthday, Molly.

I need to be doing so much, but I'm behind on everything. lol

The earrings and necklace sound lovely.

Cara Marsi said...

Molly, I'm stressed reading about all you do. Hats off to you to accomplish so much.

Merry Christmas to you, and I hope you get some of that down time to put up your feet and relax with a good book.

Melissa Keir said...

Happy Birthday Molly. I admire that you can take the time off to enjoy life. I have so much work to do on the day job, that life often takes a backseat until that gets done....Writing is the last on the list. :(

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and congrats on all your books!

Molly Daniels said...

@Rose: Thank you:) Day began a little stressful due to no internet, but all is well now:)

Molly Daniels said...

@Sandy: Yes, two years ago was definitely a test of my time management skills! I don't know how authors who constantly write/edit/publish every month do it. I edited/published for two years straight and it was exhausting1

Molly Daniels said...

@Cara: LOL...I know it sounds like a lot, but I really have a lot of downtime also. I make a point to read a few minutes every night before bed:)

Merry Christmas to you too!

Molly Daniels said...

@Melissa: The last year I worked at the school (2003), I was VERY happy they didn't need me every day:) I think I averaged about 2-3 days a week at that time, so it wasn't too bad. But I was up until midnight the night before the kids' Christmas parties, baking cookies and getting everything ready before I fell into bed. Don't think I was writing on a regular basis back then, so that helped also:)

And thank you:) I've had a good day with the kids.

Marianne Stephens said...

Happy Birthday! Taking a break during the holiday season is needed...lots to do and a sanity break helps! I took two hours today to just wander through an antique store; just me, alone, not gifts to buy/cards to write, etc. No writing except for RB4U related stuff. Baking? Haven't started yet!

Molly Daniels said...

@Marianne: Agreed:) Even though I get stressed out between various commitments, this is still my favorite time of the year.

jean hart stewart said...

Can't quite stop writing, but I've certainly slowed down. Xmas is so very special....

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