A Conversation with Myself: Wherein I Give Myself a Solid Smack

There are so many other things I should be writing right now.

Like the Move Up article on Peace River native and CFL Grey Cup winner (with the Toronto Argonauts) Linden Gaydosh, whom I had the privilege of interviewing a couple of weeks ago.

Or the next chapter of The Mermaid's Tear, which, due to other commitments and the fact that I'm working on a story problem that has me stuck, I haven't worked on since Monday.

Or . . . well, I guess that's it. It feels like a lot, but when I write it down like that, it's just two things. The third one is this long-overdue blog post. And here I am, doing that.

I think the problem is that I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed with all the stuff on my plate right now. And I know that I have no one to blame but myself. (I hate that.)

I've said "no" to the extras, like volunteering for other events and even social engagements. I've barely seen my mother for the last six weeks, I've only been to see my grandmother every couple of weeks., and I haven't seen most of my friends at all, except that one time I got to go to church.

So why did my hair start falling out in clumps last week? Could it possibly be stress?

... and so is every other moment.

... and so is every other moment.

What I hadn't counted on, when I set up a schedule of travel to Calgary and Edmonton for book signings every other weekend (which began on January 26), was that I would still have just as much, and possibly even more, work to do during my much shorter weeks at home. I had this naive idea that I would be able to do some of that during the non-signing hours of my trips.


So on top of the rest of it, I feel like I have been neglecting my family. Yep, the mom guilt (and wife guilt? Is that a thing?) has set in, hard.

I work alone, people. And usually, I love it. I concentrate much better without the distraction of people around, because I feel a perpetual obligation to engage socially with others when they are there. (Thus the reason why I have not been able to work in the evenings while on my trips.)

But on days like today, this is what conversations around my office sound like:

Me: Why does my list never grow any shorter? I've bumped the deadline for this Thing five times already.

Also me: The list does get shorter, dear, but some of that stuff has to happen every day. Like, every. Day. You know that. And you have a talent for perpetually overestimating how fast you work and what you can accomplish in a day. It's your strongest talent, actually. You should win a medal for it.

Me: Right, right. But I haven't been doing any writing. I'm a writer! I just wanna wriiiite! Waaaah!

Also me: Suck it up, princess. You also haven't done any of these other things, for, like, ever. And they are important, too. Unless you want to live in sloth or never have anyone pick up one of your books ever again. Is that what you want?

Me [sadly examining to-do list]: Can I just pretend I did it all and go read a book with a cup of tea instead?

Also me: Well, the tea could happen. If you want to end your days living on the street and eating from dumpsters, by all means, neglect your business. Be my guest. I won't judge. (Except I'll totally judge. And also growl a lot when we're eating the Moldy Salad special for the fifth night in a row.)

[Also Me is feeling a bit snarky today. But whiny Me has earned it.]

Okay, after that little bit of self-mockery, I am feeling a little less stuck and a little more motivated to go tackle my other problems-and-projects-of-the-day.

Hey, it's cheaper than hiring an office therapist.

I hope you have a good weekend, friend. I'm looking forward to alleviating some of that mom guilt with an afternoon bowling with my kids and a night watching T.V. with my hubby.

Both "Me"s approve.

The story for "The Mermaid's Tear" is starting to take shape. I am having so much fun writing it, and I'm glad—I needed to write a story with a bit of fun. . This week, I've really been digging deep into where my male protagonist, Zale, is coming from, plus reviewing all that I've learned about the Atlantic slave trade. I'd say that the hardest part of this whole story so far has been making sure that I am respectful of the peoples who were enslaved, while not trying to filter their experiences and attitudes too much through 21st-century eyes. Unfortunately, there are precious few personal accounts from someone who was enslaved until very late in the era, and those accounts we have are rare exceptions--they were usually from someone who was educated or a person of import in their own country, and who often had been set free for one reason or another. So their accounts may not be representative of the experiences of enslaved Africans as a whole. . While my story deals mostly with a different kind of slavery than what 18th-century Africans typically experienced, I hope that those who read the story understand the point I am trying to make about contemporary slavery and gender issues while appreciating the horrors and realities of what slaves experienced back then--and the horrors that many still experience today. . Hmm. I meant this post to be light. But it's kind of not. I guess I hope that I can find the appropriate balance between joy and difficulty in my book, too. . #realwriterproblems #research #atlanticslavetrade #bookstagram #writerslife #writersofig #mermaids #youngadult #fantasy #historical #amwriting #themermaidstearnovel #slaveryawareness #slaveryisntdead #stillaproblem

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