Roxanne Rustand here–hoping you are enjoying this beautiful fall wherever you are! Since I’m new to this wonderful blog, I’d first like to extend a warm howdy to everyone, and introduce myself.
My husband and I live on ten acres in the Midwest, with two rescue dogs, three horses, and six barn kitties–or so we think. We brought them home last winter from a rescue situation when they were kittens, had them all neutered, and nurtured them carefully in our warm barn–with good Purina dry cat food and also canned Iams food, wanting them to really love being here, so they’d stay around. But, I’m not so sure we actually own them. J We still serve nice dollops of canned food on their cat chow (not something that barn cats generally enjoy!) but still they come and go. We’ll have any number at dinnertime, from one up to six, plus the neighbor cats who come to check out the good chow.
Tending cats is rather like all the planning I do when writing a book. I might think I have everything set up just right–but then some of the characters will have their own ideas about where their story should go!
Our animals are such good company now that our three children are out of college and married. At this time of year I feel such nostalgia for the days when they were small–their excitement over buying just the right school supplies, and waiting for the big yellow school bus to come down our country road. Happy memories! But I find myself going through the same type of rituals of preparation and planning when I start every new book. New ring notebooks with tab dividers. Brainstorming the new plot and characters. Neatly typing up the results.
And the hard part: cleaning my office before I start the new book, because finishing the last one has invariably left every flat surface covered with an avalanche of paper. Research references. Notebooks where I’d kept track of the plot and subplot and character details…and added copies of each chapter as it was finished.
Somewhere under the rubble there are probably multiple coffee cups from the final rush leading up to the deadline. A flurry of Post-it notes. Random dog leashes, dog treats, maybe a sweater or two. A shoe. Mail and phone messages to deal with. It’s a disaster. And nothing at all like the stock photo I just added to the left! :-) But clearing the decks and having a clean office and empty desktop is so invigorating—it’s like having a blank slate, with all of the possibilities in the world before me.
I just finished writing the first book in a three-book contract for Love Inspired, which was great fun to write. And now, my office is finally clean and organized for the next one.
So how about you? Do you have engrossing hobbies that land you in my regularly scheduled predicament– a housekeeping disaster zone? Or if you’re a writer, are you able to keep everything organized all the way through?
I’m just wondering if I’m the only one…