Friday, May 10, 2013

'Tis the Season

Photo by Deborah Downes
By Kim

There are two seasons of chaos in the Bullock household, not including summer, which deserves a stronger word. Pandemonium comes to mind.

The first season is comprised of those six weeks between mid-October and Thanksgiving called Nutcracker Madness. During this time, weekends are devoted to auditions, rehearsals, costume fittings, picture days and volunteer hours in wardrobe. (Since I can’t actually sew, I am the go-to woman for attaching halos to the heads of angels and paws to the hands of mice.) After this comes dress rehearsals, four performances, and cast parties, oh my! We have run this gauntlet twice now and I can honestly say I look forward to doing it again.

The second season starts as soon as we enter the homestretch of the school year. So far this week we have had three after-school Pre-AP-prep math classes, two major project/presentations, a teacher conference, field day, picture day, reading assessment tests, and two late nights of dress rehearsals for the spring dance recital. Tomorrow we may as well set up cots at the Eisemann Center because we are there from one to nine. (For any folks in the Dallas/Richardson area, Chamberlain puts on a great show and tickets are reasonably priced. The majority of dancers are seasoned performers in complex ballet, jazz, tap and modern routines. Show times are at 2:00 and 7:00.)

Photo by Deborah Downes
It can be a challenge during these times to get any writing done, though writing is often the best outlet to relieve the stress. This morning I looked over what I’ve accomplished for the week and was astounded to see I wrote about 4,000 words in four days. I generally don’t rack up that kind of number even on weeks when I have nothing planned. Here’s how I’ve done it:

1) Other than for dishes and laundry, I’ve let the house go. I don’t care that it looks like a tornado hit it. I’ll clean on Sunday, when everyone is home and I’ll get no writing done anyway.

2) If an errand or chore can be put off until tomorrow, I’ve waited.

3) If an e-mail does not require an urgent reply, I haven’t responded, even if it would only take a minute. Those two or three sentences could be in my manuscript instead.

4) I time breakfast and lunch preparation for those times that the puppy is outside and must be frequently checked on. No work will get done then anyway.

5) Any time I feel the urge to leave my chair, I remind myself that summer break starts in 27 days.

I’m sure other writer mamas out there have their own seasons of chaos and methods for carving out time to write. We’d love to hear from you and learn about your coping strategies.

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