I want to introduce you to our next guest blogger. Jenny Gardiner. She’s funny, she’s one heck of a writer, and I’m honored that she decided to join us for the day. Here’s Jenny!
Ahhh...the glamorous life of a diva novelist...
My thoughtful husband ordered this fabulous diva-esque lounge chair for me for Christmas. You know, one of those types of "fainting chairs" you'd see in a boudoir. I'm not normally a boudoir kinda gal, so this was going to be quite the departure for me.
His plan was to provide for me an escape from my everyday life, create a tiny retreat into which I could burrow and write, blocking out those normal daily life-interruptions--the kids, the phone, the dogs, the very noisy parrot. All of those have-to's.
It took weeks for the chair to come in, and finally the arrival date came. Just in time for a winter ice storm and the cancellation of my much-anticipated chair christening.
A week later, I was ready for the delivery--I even marked it again on my calendar. I had grand plans to hole up in the dump of a room into which my chair was supposed to go (the room in which everything that has no home ends up in my house--one entire corner still housed a stack of rejected manuscripts until recently).
Look out Barbara Cartland: I was ready to be a writing diva. Minus the kitten heels, boa and sexy negligee. More likely I'd be in wrinkled and very stiff sweat pants (my clothes dryer's been broken all week after smoking out a load of pinks and nearly catching fire).
My day began before dawn, with spinning class at the gym. Sweaty with no time for a shower, I got the kids up, fed, lunched and off to school, then decided to go to yoga before settling down to write. When I got back, it was there, waiting for me: the chocolate brown chair in a plush teddy bear-like fabric. So perfect I couldn't even sit in it until I got cleaned up. Not to worry, a quick check of my emails, a fast shower, and soon I'd be reclining in style. But that quick check of my emails led to a bunch of things I needed to address, which led to an hour of have-to's.
Just in time for that phone call from a reporter, moving up my profile interview by a whole week. "We need to get a photographer over to your place right away. Tomorrow okay?" he asked. "Not a problem," I lied to him.
My life is so not designed for spontaneous visits from people who might get a bad impression of me based upon the state of my home's appearance. Not that I don't love guests, but I need serious advanced notice in which to prepare for them.
One look around and you'd see why: tumbleweeds of dog fur, dust balls and bird feathers cascading across the hardwoods whenever the heat blower goes on. Dishes left right where the food was inhaled by various members of my on-the-go family. The living room practically my 13 year-old's de facto bedroom, strewn with her homework, computer, hair brush, ponytail holders, shoes, socks, gym bag, even pajamas. Then there's the bird cage (and tree, because what bird doesn't need a tree?): totally glopped with bird droppings. Ugh.
Change of plans. No lounging for me. The rest of the afternoon was spent in housekeeping overdrive. When my husband returned home and could help me schlep the cage and tree outside, I set to work on that unpleasant task. despite it being 20° and blustery. The hose had water frozen in it.
By the time I could coax liquid to actually flow from hose, got that cage sparkling (and my fingers numb with the cold), back into the house, dinner made, and me showered, it was nearing 8 p.m, and my night to carpool for swim team practice. The chair, looking so lonely and just waiting for its inaugural visitor, mocked me tauntingly.
But it wasn't to be. At least not for me. As I packed up my laptop, readying myself for the wait at the pool, I peeked in and noticed my youngest, plunking herself and her own laptop, onto my new chair. And stretched out, directly opposite her? My husband, looking awfully comfortable with a book he'd been looking forward to starting.
When we arrived back home two hours later, my husband was fast asleep on the new lounge chair. My daughter was grinning greedily, knowing I didn't have the heart to boot her out at that point.
Resigned, I took the dogs to the bathroom, covered up the bird cage, closed up the house, and retired to bed. Not only did I not get to enjoy my author diva chair, but I didn't get to write one word in my WIP either.
To add insult to injury, the next day, a mere 20 minutes before he was to arrive, the photographer called. Late breaking news meant he had to be at the courthouse for a verdict announcement. Had to reschedule for Monday...
Which meant clean-up day, yet again, this time on Sunday...Because in my world, nothing is going to remain intact for three whole days without looking entirely too lived in.
So just as soon as I get all of this cleaning done, I've promised myself I will go off and hide from all of life's to-do's. Just me, my laptop and my diva chair. I'll let you know when that actually happens. I might just have to faint first.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Posted by Christie Craig at 8:22 AM