Thursday, April 5, 2018

My Catch-up-on-life Checklist by Alison Henderson

Can you hear those faint cries of joy? That's me. Yesterday I finished my second round of self-edits and sent UNDERCOVER NANNY off to my editor, our own esteemed, and very talented, Jannine Gallant. I should be relaxing and celebrating, but instead I'm working on my mid-edit to-do list--the things I need to accomplish before the manuscript returns and I have to dive back in. As my grandmother used to say, no rest for the weary (or wicked, depending on her mood.)

At the start of November, after almost of year of miserable existential angst, I decided I truly wanted to finish this book. I could never do NaNoWriMo, but a friend invited me to join her NaNoPretendo group on Facebook. A small group of writers vowed to do what we could and keep in touch. That's all. At the beginning of the month, I stated my goal to write every day with an eye on 500 words. No guilt or recriminations if I didn't make it, but I wanted to try to get back into the feel of regular writing. I started the month at 38K words and ended at 50K.

At that point, I knew I could make it to the end, so I set another goal--to finish the first draft by the beginning of March and send the manuscript to my editor by April 1st. The plan is to publish the book sometime in mid-late May. I'm happy to say I made it! However, in the final push I let a lot of things slide. So, here's my catch-up-on-life list for the next couple of weeks:

  1. Clean my house. It's getting desperate.
  2. Weed the yard. Also desperate.
  3. Scrub the soap scum off the tile in the shower. A 2-day chore. It's 5' x 8' and tiled to the ceiling on three sides.
  4. Make two fairy gardens for the Garden Club silent auction the first weekend in May.
  5. Get an oil change in my car. I refuse to admit how long it's been.
  6. Have the trees trimmed. The olive looks like Medusa.
  7. Have the septic tank pumped. Fun, fun, fun!
      And if there's time:
  1. Get outside. 
  2. Take walks.
  3. Take pictures.
  4. Breathe.


Margo Hoornstra said...

My grandma said the same thing, both variations. If I were you, I'd flip your two lists. Like having dessert before dinner. Why not? You've earned it. Good luck with those edits. Been there, done that, like you! (Honest it's not going to be THAT painful ;-)

Jannine Gallant said...

Undercover Nanny is great! Uh, yeah, list two should become list one. The fairy gardens sound fun, however. Congrats on reaching your goal! I'm so glad you pushed through your existential angst! Okay, back to editing...

Rolynn Anderson said...

Congrats on sending your manuscript in to your esteemed editor. Sounds like a hurdle-moment...a robust pat on your shoulder from me!
I'm ready to send my book to my editor for a second I know the feeling. Life begins to look a bit brighter!

I now employ 'weeders,' Alison, which has changed my life. Weeds crowd my brain in a very bad way.

Alison Henderson said...

Margo, I'm trying to integrate the lists a little to save my sanity. I did, however, get my oil changed yesterday. Hooray!

Alison Henderson said...

Jannine, I'm looking forward to doing the fairy gardens. They're always fun. Fortunately, or unfortunately, March was too rainy and cold to do them anyway.

Alison Henderson said...

Rolynn, weeders sound fantastic, but I don't think there's anyone out there but me who would be willing to pull them. They all want to drench the lot in Round-up.

Leah St. James said...

Congrats on this milestone, Alison! I love the line about existential angst...especially the "miserable" part! Too funny. (I'm sitting at my desk at the day job on my "lunch break"--meaning furiously shoving food in my mouth while I take 15 minutes to read--and almost spit carrots all over my keyboard!) I'm with the others that you should flip at least half your second list to the top. Maybe mix it up a bit, some fun with the chores. That bathroom item though, I might try to find someone to take care of that one! I'm picturing myself standing on a chair or ladder, on slippery tiles...the possibilities are endless! Good luck with your list, and let us know when the book is available!

Alison Henderson said...

Nothing like a little lunch-hour levity, is there, Leah? That shower scrubbing is my least favorite chore ever. UGH. Anyway, I hope to have the book in in mid-to-late May.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Love this. It sounds so familiar. Angst was my constant companion for nearly a year, to the point my editor asked if I was okay when she got my last book. Ha! Took twice as many edits to get it right. I've barely started the next series, but I've worked through the angst most days. My to do list was similar to yours. All I have left to do is get the storage shed emptied and rearranged. Congrats, Alison.

Alicia Dean said...

Congrats! Sounds like you deserve a break. :D

Diane Burton said...

How wonderful that you finished, Alison! I'm looking forward to reading it. (Loved the other 2 books in the series.) Like the others, I'd change the order of our two lists. You need an enjoyable break. A couple of years ago, I hired a cleaning team that comes twice a month. I have never been so happy that I did. I'm more relaxed if company pops in. What 2 or 3 girls do in less than 2 hours would take me several days. Writing is a much better use of my time.