Friday, March 7, 2008

CHAOS!

by Jeanne Adams

The dictionary defines chaos in several ways. It's rioting in the streets and general anarchy in governments. It's also the unformed stuff that creates new worlds and universes. It's a theory in mathematics which predicts (or fails to predict) the actions of objects in motion.


At my house, pure chaos can be defined as the first quarter of every year. You see, my darling husband is a corporate accountant. Doesn't that just give you a perfect picture right there? And he lost nearly a full week to a nasty virus. That's panic-inducing in an accountant. (Chime in here anytime, Donna. I can hear you groaning in sympathy as I write this)

Oh, and adding more fuel to the fire, this year in addition to generally being head-parent-in-charge (HPIC) because of the whole first quarter thing, I have a book coming out in June. I'm knee-deep in getting bookmarks and planning speaking engagements and plotting (ha, ha!) every possible way to promote my book.

In short, my life is a lot wilder and busier than it was this time last year. Did I mention that my youngest son just turned three, and my oldest is about to start Spring baseball, and basketball's not over yet? (Baseball is a HUGE thing in my house, BTW. The men, young and old, are waiting with bated breath for the start of Spring Training.) Yep. So here I am, HPIC/Race Car Driver/Taxi driver....Both the boys have extracurricular activities beyond the ones I just mentioned. Don't even get me started on how much homework they now give to Second Graders. (I'm gritting my teeth over that one...I hate homework. And no, I've discovered I'm NOT as smart as a fifth grader, heck, I'm struggling with second grade math. Since when do you have to learn about rhomboids in second grade? And yes, I know the picture does NOT contain a rhomoid...)

Sorry. Back to chaos theory...So with all of this, I've been trying - and failing - to predict...well anything. Bouts of unexpected flu bugs have beset us, providential fun has changed our schedules, and then there's the weather. Oh, don't ya' just DESPISE those snow days, when you're a writer/parent? It would be okay if there were actually SNOW, but nooooooooo, just ice. Bleech. Heck, I'd go out and play if it were snow. Nobody has any fun on an ice/slush day.

I've also been working with some of that unformed stuff which creates worlds - also known as creativity - to finish my second book and polish a third and begin a fourth. I'm really, really, REALLY looking forward to some time with some writer friends to do some book-plotting. (As opposed to murder and mayhem) I have to do something with the maelstrom of new ideas buzzing in my head.

Ahhh, more chaos to add to the chaos! Just what I needed. Snork!

In spite of all this gritching, part of me thrives on the unpredictable, the spontaneous, and the twists and turns of life. I love it in books too. I love the author who can keep me guessing all the way to the end. I love the storyteller - from Homer to Austen to Christie Kelly - who keeps me turning the pages because I haven't quite figured out...(turns pages)...what....(reads more quickly)...is going to...(OH!)...happen.

Actually, that's the very thing that holds my sanity together. What you might ask, baffled by my strange turn of phrase? Books, of course. A good story can give me a breath of relief from the chaos of MY life, even if I have to read it in the car pool line. (Especially if I GET to read it in the car pool line! Ha!)

I know the Banditas' books - and the blog! - are fast becoming my refuge from the chaos. :> Add to that wonderful list authors like Lisa Gardner, Roxanne St. Clair, J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts, Mercedes Lackey, and one of my all time fav re-reads, Eva Ibbotson. You know life's got me by the throat if I'm re-reading Eva's Countess Below Stairs. Eva writes YA now, but if you can get a hold of this one, it's a great escape! (Anna C., I can see that grin all the way from Oz. Anna is fond of Eva as well) There are countless others. Thank goodness for that, because they don't make fashionable straight jackets for stress-strained writers in the car pool lane. (So hard to drive in those, you know.)
So who takes you away? Who gives you a momentary escape from the chaos? Are you looking forward to Spring Training? (for my dh's sake, I'll say GO CUBS! even tho' I'm a Braves fan) :> Do you thrive on spontaneity, or are you a There MUST BE ORDER kind of person? What's your recipe for keeping the madness managed? (Chocolate? Milkshakes? Wine? Port? More chocolate?)

Lest it go straight to MY hips, (thus adding to the chaos of my who-has-time-to-work-out day) I have a box of Godiva for one commenter!

66 comments:

flchen1 said...

Did someone say Godiva??

flchen1 said...

First of all, huge hugs, Jeanne! You're doing an amazing job managing all those roles and all the chaos! Hang in there--somehow I know it'll all come together and you'll overcome the nature of the universe to create order out of this madness!

In my little world of chaos, books and chocolate are big, too! Mmmmm.... Those are never-fail pick-me-ups, although books have fewer calories and more fiber ;) Right now I'm reading some Shannon McKenna, who's fairly new to me, and some of Alison Kent's backlist--very fun!

We're not baseball fans, so that's one less thing we worry about ;) I like to think I'm spontaneous, but I think that just means that I worry about the whole-out-of-control thing happening here! Ack!

Anyway, when things really start to spin out of control, lists, a few minutes of slow breathing, and a piece of chocolate go a long way :)

Annie West said...

Jeanne,
SNAP! Your house sounds like mine except I'm in Australia and my husband's not an accountant. But stir in a few different goodies like family members scheduled for 3operations in 3 weeks, a husband who can't drive for 2-3 months due to an eye problem (making me the solo driver...), a termite infestation, a broken oven, broken shower, broken toilet, broken pool, broken electricals, (all happening separately but within 2 weeks), teenage angst, teenage driving lessons, several other minor household crises, crisis in the day job, flu x3 (so far) and a book due. I can so relate. Good on you for even having the energy even to post your blog. You're doing so well!

I'm tempted to say a nice glass of red would help me out of the chaos but I'm still sick so I can't indulge. What did work for me was finally having the energy to pick up someone else's book the other night and just read...not the phone book for the doctor's surgery or another tradesman, but a real romance! I almost think any romance would have done. This one was a Jane Porter. Now I'm thinking I might try to sneak a little more time and try an old fave like Jane Austen or even, after a quick chat with Anna Campbell, a Victoria Holt gothic for old times sake. Preferably in the bath. With a glass of red wine. With some soothing music in the background. And someone else cooking dinner. While they write my book for me...Well, a girl, can dream, can't she?

I can relate to you delving into your Eva Ibbotson book when the going gets tough. She's such a good writer and there's something so nice about revisiting old friends.

Best of luck restoring order out of chaos! I'm sure you'll manage it.

Annie

Kim said...

(((Jeanne))) You know I'm dying to hear what you have planned promotion-wise for the new book! Fill me in oh great one ;)

hmm, okay. I say I thrive on chaos but its a lie. I only like it if its controlled chaos. I have definitely comfort zones and I don't like to leave them. At all. As far as dealing, well, I spin my head around a few times trying to get a little bit done to everything. Then I blow up, threaten bodily harm where there are witnesses or not, then I get anal and start making lists and prioritizing what needs done. Then I set to work and knock things (or people) off. *snork*

Baseball players. oh yum. Once upon a long long time ago I knew a baseball player. Tall, dark, handsome and a tight tushie. Those fond memories of youth *g*

BTW, Cassondra, I didn't quite get my 5 pages the other night BUT I did revise my first 3 and wrote 2 more!

Kate Carlisle said...

Just stopped by before going off to bed, wanted to see who snagged the GR--but got snagged myself by your amazing and thought-provoking post, Jeanne. Of course, now I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep. I'm feeling the chaos, girl! Whew.

I know it'll be awhile before life settles down for you but I do hope you all recuperate from the colds and yuck going around.

And I'm so looking forward to your book coming out!

And congrats, flchen1!! I know the GR would love some of that Godiva, too. ;-)

Christine Wells said...

Jeanne, loved your post! I must read The Countess but I doubt Anna C will part with her copy. I'll have to hunt it down somewhere else.

I can identify with trying to do 50 things at once. I always think writing with children is harder than holding down a normal job. At least someone else is looking after your kids while you're at work! I guess it will be different for me once they're both in kindy or school, but right now, I have to do two things at once most days, if not three.

I'm like you, books are instant relaxation for me and coffee keeps me going. I wish I could say I was an exercise junky, but sadly...

And can banditas win the chocolates???

Gillian Layne said...

Congrats flchen!

I'm like Kate; I was just passing by while letting the dog out/in but you caught me--what woman doesn't identify with that title? Kids, job, parents, health, house, pets...and then I have to remind myself how blessed I am to have so much to actually worry about and pull at my time, and then I feel stressed AND guilty. Sigh.

When it's too much, for me it's pretty obvious, I actually develop a bit of an eye twitch. Which is so comical I laugh. A strategic sick day, before I'm actually sick, helps. And deliberately stepping back from what is not life-altering (cleaning, take-out for a couple of days) helps. But then sometimes deep cleaning so everything is fresh and orderly helps even more. So I guess there are no perfect solutions. Drat! ;)

Helen said...

Congrats flchen he obviously loves being with you have fun together.

Jeanne great post I have been there with 4 kids and summer and winter sports guides and scouts work and school canteen duty all of that and we had one car. I really don't know how I ever made it to where I am today things have calmed down a lot since the kids have grown up but I still work 40 hours a week 2 kids still at home and 2 others with partners and grandchildren they still keep me busy ( I wouldn't have it any other way) but as always I find time for me with a good book great chocolate namely Tim Tams and turn off to everything and let the books take me away.
I have a huge TBR pile and am getting thru those but have so many books that I have read and I love that they are for my retirement and I plan on re reading them all at some stage but with all the new authors I am finding it might be a while before I get to re read them.
I am off to read some more and get a good nights rest before I have to go back to work tomorrow.
Have Fun
Helen

Minna said...

Sometimes I think my entire life is chaos...
Chocolate, books and a good movie or an episode of a tv series are my escapes from the chaos.

brownone said...

Congrats on the GR flchen1! :-)

My house is perpetual chaos. Every Friday I do "the big cleaning" meaning everything gets done but by 3pm when the kids get home from school the house is a mess again. Bookbags are strewn across the floor, sneakers everywhere (no shoes on in the house), socks on the floor, jackets tossed on the sofa. Then comes the yelling. Sometimes my sister calls me and then says well, you're obviously busy so I'll just call back later. I mean, it was supposed to get easier when they got older and self-sufficient. I have a 10 year old, 7 year old, and 5 year old so they are all in school but this doesn't even make it easier. My 10 and 7 year old go to a gifted program that is 45 minutes away from home and my 5 year old goes to a diffrent preschool. We only have our one car so I get to drop the kids to bus stops, schools, pick them up, and go get hubby. My mom says I'm really the taxi. Oh, and did I mention that I work from home? Yeah, so every few hours I have to stop what I'm doing to pick someone up. It's maddening chaos! :-)

terrio said...

Not only does coming here inspire me to write but now you're making me feel better about my chaotic life. I have it easy compared to most of you.

I live in controlled chaos too. Single mom with full time job, part time college and an active 8 yr old. I can't do the year round extracurricular stuff and keep my sanity so we do fall & spring softball which starts back up this weekend.

I don't mind it so much because I like to stay busy. There are days I need to be in three places at once and that's when I wish I had some help, but most of the time, I just keep going. What else are you going to do?

Books have been my escape for as long as I can remember. The right book takes me completely out of my life. They're a treasure for me.

terrio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
doglady said...

Knew Fichen would show up for the chocolate and the GR is just a bonus! He WILL help you eat any chocolate that is in the way!

Jeanne, I admire all of you ladies with children who still manage to write and get everything else done.

My kids all have 4 legs and fur, but taking care of a dozen dogs and three cats can be chaotic at times. The hardest part is coordinating vet visits for shots and checkups. I finally organized it so I do one dog per month and one cat per quarter. The last year of my late Great Dane's life I was also managing chemo trips and surgical checkups. Very worth it even with a 120 pound dog. Gave me a perspective on people with loved ones fighting that terrible disease.

With a full-time job in a bakery that goes berserk for every holiday (Easter cakes and cupcakes EEEEEK)I have to really fight the chaos to get my writing in. The house only gets cleaned twice a week (if that) on my days off. I try to squeeze every minute I can on the computer writing. Lists and an cooking timer help. I set it for an hour and try to write uninterrupted. Sometimes it works!

CrystalGB said...

For me, it is books, movies and going out with my friends that help me escape the chaos.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Flchen, I DID say Godiva! So congrats on the GR! :> Hey, the Godiva box is gold...the rooster is gold...hmmmm. A connection?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Annie, I SO feel your pain! Wow, three operations? Lots of breakdowns...yikes. And the pool too, man, that stinks since the pool can sometimes help with both the teen angst and the stress. :> I think we need to hand deliver some chocs and books to you! Glad you found Jane Porter in the TBR pile. I second Anna's suggestion of Victoria Holt. I'm still trying to find my childhood copy of one her YA books, The Secret of the Emerald Star. I STILL remember scenes from that book. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, Kim, my Sister, I relate to the lists. (And the mayhem too. I frequently have witnesses, but they're too afraid to tawk...ve have our vays...) I'll skip the head spinning, I think. My chiropracter would kill me if I messed up my neck! Heehee

As to promo, a friend of mine is designing these totally cool bookmarks for me. You gotta have 'em because they're less intimidating to strangers than a cover flat or a business card. :> And I'm speaking everywhere I can, from Alumni groups to Rotary. Any place I can promote my book and romance in general? I'm there.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Kate! Thanks for your nice comment about the book. I can't wait to see it either! All our pubbed authors here tell me it's so FUN to actually see the Real Book. I'm still in awe of the cover flat, so I'm sure getting a Real Book will be a joyous day.

Christine, of COURSE Banditas can win chocolate. :> And I know YOU know the chaos too, with two little ones as well. As I recall, you have about the same age spread as my two. Ah, I'm so looking forward to the (hopefully not too far off day) of no diapers, pre-kindergarten and then kindergarten, and...time. Ha!

Oh, and I wish I could say I was an exercise junkie too...but alas, no. Coffee junkie, yes.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Gillian, I had to LOL about the twitch. I have a friend who gets that too. If she feels it coming on she schedules a stop-the-twitch Spa day. Ha! I know what you mean about setting some things aside. Dusting is SO not a priority. :> But when all else fails, and I feel like life's really out of control, I rearrange the furniture. If the DH comes home and things are moved around, he knows he better get me a night off. Ha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, Helen....Tim Tams...yum. I got to try them courtesy of Anna and Christine. To. Die. For. :>

Gillian said it too, but like both of you, mostly I wouldn't trade it and I have SO much for which to be grateful. Sometimes I just need to organize it better...Ha!

Wow, Brownone, you ARE the Taxi! I've heard from Bandita Caren that the taxi years get challenging again. I'm just hoping that the couple of years between kindergarten and middle school will give me a leg up on things. Vain hope, I'm sure!

Doglady, I so admire your dedication. I'd probably throw the kitchen timer just because the sound of mine is so blinkin' annoying. Ha! Great Danes are such elegant and wonderful dogs, I know yours must have been a delight. We have a Dalmatian (sleeping next to me at the moment) and we're going to start back into the "dog thing" here in a month or two when we get an Irish Water Spaniel pup. MORE chaos...but great rewards.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Terrio, I SO admire you. Anyone who can manage a life, AND a child...wow, I bow in your general direction. One of my best friends has a daughter who is the most delightful, gorgeous, balanced young woman. I can't imagine how it all gets done when there's just one...obviously around here it DOESN'T! Ha!

rebekah said...

Books and movies are my escape from the chaos of raising three children and a husband. I try to organize my day by making lists but it hardly ever works out. Great post.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Thanks Rebekah! Three kids? Yikes. You and Bandita Jo, and anyone with more than two have my utmost respect. With two, it's man-on-man defense. One parent, one kid = some vestige of control. Add more kids? Arrrrgh! You gotta go to zone defense and that's scary! Heehee.

I think you, Minna, CrystalB and, well virtually ALL of us on this blog agree on the escape value of a great book.

Anyone have a particular fav for escaping?

Nathalie said...

To break away... I ussually take a great book and read it :) It gets me in another world and when I finish my long read, I feel more relaxed!

Lily said...

I usually like to take long walks outside to just relax... however a great book is always a nice alternative!

PJ said...

Great blog! We all live in some level of chaos, don't we? I have three favorite methods of de-stressing when my life becomes too chaotic. I bake. I read. I go for long walks with the dogs.

When I was still living the corporate life my staff would always get excited when I had an especially chaotic day because they knew that meant they'd be the recipients of some yummy treat from my kitchen the next day. :)

I love to get lost in the worlds created by you talented authors and snuggling up with a soft blanket and a good book always brings me to a happy place. Sometimes I immerse myself in a new book and other times I go back to a much beloved old favorite. Julie Garwood's "Saving Grace" never fails me.

My two dogs are my touchstones. They, especially my 12 yr old Lab, are so tuned in to my internal chaos and always seem to know when its time for a kiss or a snuggle or some rowdy play time and a long walk in the sunshine. They never fail to calm my nerves, lift my spirits and bring me to a place of contentment and joy, even on those days when they dog (pun intended) my every step and drive me up with wall with their constant demands for attention. It's all part of their canine charm, right doglady?

Donna MacMeans said...

Donna lifts her head from a pillow of 1040s - Huh? Say what? Did someone call?

Actually, this time of year, writing is my refuge. It takes me to a whole other world. Reading can do that as well, but after working on the government's fine print, reading book print is just too hard on my poor eyes. The larger computer font works better for me.

LOL so now you all know why I write: stress and poor eyesight.

Cassondra said...

Hey Jeanne:

Wonderful post. I think a lot of us are feeling it this time of year.

Ick on the accountant thing though. My busy time of year used to be right now too, when I ran events, but I have no kids so it doesn't compare.

The chaos that makes me nuts is the chaos in my space. I need a sort of zen-kind-of clear space, and I haven't had it for years. Honestly I think it's part of why I stall at writing.

So I face it by getting out and going to Panera or someplace else to write. Otherwise I sit and stare at the screen, or I sit and stare at the mess. Ugh.

No sports in this house, so I don't have to worry with that.

When I want "out" I read a romance, OR I read the magazines I get but don't have time to read. That's what I did last night--escaped into "A clean kitchen from top to bottom"--someone else's kitchen of course, but still..

Speaking of Panera--I'm late to the "office"--gotta go!

Can't wait for your book!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yeah PJ and Lily on the long walks with the dogs! I agree. And its a good reminder because I don't do it nearly enough. (My Dal looks a bit like an end table with a tail rather than a dog at the moment....perhaps a walk later this evening...)

Cassondra, I hear you about the Zen space. I'm okay with the clutter to a certain degree, but sometimes the chores get too omnipresent and I have to get out of the house to write.

Donna, sleeping on the 1040's and1099's! Well, they get fat enough, but I'm not sure they're so comfy. Besides paper cuts vs. pillow creases, I think I'd go for pillow creases. Heehee.

You've got it right on, girl, in that writing's a great refuge too, especially since it IS so creative.

I can't however, pretend that I'm any more in control of anything in the writing process than I am in my own life, but at least my characters let me come play.

ellie said...

You should be commended for managing your life as you do. Congrats on all those important and necessary jobs.
having a full time job which is time consuming and demanding I do try to get outside in the fresh air to clear my mind. This is the method that works for me. Not that chocolate would be amiss at all and a lovely book to cozy up to either.

ruth said...

When I want to escape from teaching girls all day long and taking care of the house single handedly and worrying about what will happen next that I hope I can handle since I am alone since my husband died this summer. I look at my two kitties, get a hot cup of herbal tea and a juicy novel and sit. I look at the endless snow this winter and contemplate summer. Hopefully things will warm up, and improve. Loved your entertaining and great post. Thanks so much.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Ellie! Thanks for dropping by! I so agree that when you're indoors all day, getting OUT for a bit can change your mood, your outlook, and alter the desire to strangle your boss. Heehee. I appreciate your words too about managing everything. It doesn't seem that well managed, most of the time, so its hard to step back and look at it with any approval. Ha!

Dear Ruth, it does seem a bit overwhelming until you've had a "cuppa" and a good read to soothe the heartache - and the desire to swat some girls. I bow to you too, as there pretty much isn't enough money printed to induce me to teach young women anything. After all, don't they pretty much know it all? Ha! Some are great, but those others...grrr. So good for you!

And spring IS coming...my tulips tell me so. They're peeking out of the mulch now, even here in grey, chilly, drippy DC.

jenna said...

How do you keep organized? Wonderful to read since I am hopeless. Just taking full time courses and hoping to stay sane and well is enough for me. I stay weekends with my mother who is alone, help her out with the house and shopping and then study in between. I would love a getaway but we get out together on the weekend for a treat and then reward ourselves with a movie. That beats most everything.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Organized? Bwah-ha-ha! Jenna, there's little to no organization 'round here! Grins. Actually, it just FEELS that way. It sounds like you're pretty organized too, even if it doesn't feel like it for you either. Anyone who can go to school and work, and help out at home? You got it goin' ON, girlfriend. :> I actually do try to manage the week, beginning Sunday night. By Thursday, it's hopeless, but at least Mon.-Wed. maintain some sort of order. Ha!

Minna said...

Some of my favorite escape books are written by Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Merline Lovelace, Maggie Shayne, J.K. Rowling, David Eddings... And when I'm feeling particularly bloodthirsty, I read Arto Paasilinna's "Sweet Poison Cooker". Unfortunately, as far as I know this one hasn't yet been translated in English.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yeah, Minna! Another Eddings Fan! I think I've re-read the Belgariad about 7 or 8 times. :> I'm quite fond of Polgara. (And Garion, too, of course)

Minna said...

I like his other fantasy books too, like the ones with the knight Sparhawk or the one with Althalus.

anne said...

Wow! Quite a blog today but it does sound rather overwhelming. As soon as Spring arrives it will all be better. Baseball is not a priority at this time. When the boys were younger, yes, but they are adults and out. A home, with its array of problems that seem to occur simultaneously. I get out for a long walk which cures what ails me. then a hot cup of cocoa, a glorious soak in the tub and a good book and things feel much better.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

There you go, Anne! Another great idea I forget about a lot...a grand soak in the tub. Mostly I'm too bouncy/twitchy to sit in the tub for too long, but right now? It would be a superb escape. :>

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hey, Jeanne! Great post today, & so timely! Of the four of us who live here, only my husband woke up this morning where he originally went to sleep last night. That's our definition of chaos. :-)

I feel for you being Head Parent In Charge, too. My husband isn't an accountant, but his work cycles into busy & slow seasons, & when it's busy, it's BUSY. Just today, as a special treat to myself because I have a cold & it's been a very long two weeks of my husband working long hours, I put up my feet & read a magazine during my usual writing time. It's one of the perqs of being unpublished. Nobody's waiting on pins & needles for my next masterpiece. I can chip away at it at my own pace & take a mental health day when I need one.

And boy did I need one today!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Susan! Hope you're feeling better. It's always so challenging when EVERYONE has a cold and no body has a chipper thought, isn't it? Had to laugh that no one ended up where they went to sleep. At least everyone in here is sleeping okay, and it their respective places. :>

Beth said...

Jeanne, I just know you'll pull through this super chaotic (as opposed to the regular chaos that is life *g*) with flying colors!

Honestly, I'm a bit too easy going so that it takes quite a bit of chaos to bother me. But when that happens, a good book is a great comfort - oh, and I also remind myself that "This too shall pass"

:-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Beth! Yes, that is one of the thoughts that's getting me through...this too shall pass! Ha!
On a completely different topic, and for amusement, I have to tell about a card I got when my youngest son was born. :> It was plain white with the words Revelations and a chapter and verse listing, and it said, "A Bible Verse for a New Child." I immediately wondered what the heck could be in Revelations that would apply. It's not exactly a warm and fuzzy chapter in the Bible. :>

"We shall not all sleep. But we shall all be changed."

Snork.

Nancy said...

flchen1--congratulations on snagging the GR. I'm a chocolate person, too.

Jeanne, that's a cool post. My parents followed the Braves religiously. The dh and I were fans until all the players we knew ended up retired or traded, at which point our interest waned. We'll still watch a game, though, if we happen across it on TV. We were so glad to see Tom Glavine come back to Atlanta to end his career.

Chaos? It's my life. Good thing I can operate on visual memory that doesn't require order, but heaven forfend anybody move anything I'm using!

We love Eva Ibbotsen, too. I loved the Belgariad but haven't been so keen on the series after. I read fantasy for escapes. It's so relaxing to see the world about to be destroyed and not feel any responsibility for it. *g*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Nancy! I was happy about Tom Glavine too. :> Sorry to see him retire though. I loved your description of seeing the world about to be destroyed and feeling no responsibility! Heehee. I like that too. I wasn't as keen on the Sparkhawk series by Eddings either, but I really liked several of the characters.

As a real visual-memory person as well, order is usually MY order, not a rational, organized anyone-can-find-it sort of thing. :>

Suzanne Welsh said...

PJ! My soul sister!! Saving Grace is my all time, take-me-to-my-happy-place book too!!

As for chaos, I am thrilled that my children-induced-chaos is much better since two live on their own and #3 is working on it! Now if I could just get dh to curb his pack-rat ways, life would be almost pefect, (okay, I'd need a book contract, followed by a multi-book contract, and a hit-man to take out one particularly aggrevating physician and a few dingy nurses)...hmmm, I can see Saving Grace from my office chair!

Suzanne Welsh said...

And Jeanne...my dh and I are with you on the baseball...(Jake Westbrooke will be on the mound soon!! Oh God, that sound so bad...hehehe). Go Tribe!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Suz!

I know that contract just CANNOT be far away. You're winning contests and putting out great work. :> And Yeah on Jake Westbrook! (One of the finest tushes on the pitcher's mound) Girns.

Jane said...

I escape by taking a hot bath or by lying on the couch and channel surfing. I like to munch on chips and drink Coke while watching tv.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Jeanne wrote: "We shall not all sleep. But we shall all be changed."

Amen, sister. Who could have guessed Revelations would be such a source of childrearing wisdom??

p226 said...

Riding season. I look forward to riding season every year about this time.

And range time. Going this weekend. Much copper and lead will hit steel. Not that range time's unusual for me. But I have new toys that need played with. But shooting's a wonderful stress reliever. Though, probably not in the way most people think. I believe that most people think shooting's a stress reliever in the way that smashing vases with a hammer might be stress relieving. If you're relieving stress (with shooting) that way, you're probably doing it wrong. Shooting's a zen thing. I have never once considered a bill that needs paid, an errand that needs run, or a phase of a work project while focused on my front sight post. Ever. It's as much an escape as any book is.

And there's not much chaos in it at the range. In fact, it's all nicely governed by very strict laws of physics.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jane, make that Diet Coke and Doritos and I'll join you on the couch. Ha!

P226, I think you have it. Shooting and reading. Oh, and PJ's walks with the dog. Maybe one or all of the above can keep me sane during first quarter of the year. Ha!

I agree that it's a Zen thing too, if you're on the range for relaxation. You kind of HAVE to focus on nothing but this.one.shot.right.now. if you're shoting for skill.

BTW, being a Scot and incredibly cheap, I wouldn't find smashing vases with a hammer relaxing. Ha!

Kicking the C**p out of a hanging bag at the dojo, or smashing a raquetball repeatedly against the wall is stress relieving, but if I need real clarity, it's Tae Kwon Do forms. I don't have guns right now because of the very small people who live here, so I'd have to borrow one to shoot, but gosh it would be so NICE!

And by riding, I'm betting you mean motorcycles. :>

p226 said...

Yep. I mean motorcycles.

And katas can be very relaxing too. And one serious workout if you're doing them right. A year ago, I probably knew a dozen of them. I'm pretty sure I've forgotten them all by now. I might remember a couple of the Japanese katas we did. Some of the Korean katas are pretty weird. Chung Mu for example... just... oddball stances....

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

OOOooh, cool and different martial arts. Never tried Chung Mu. :> I had to do a full work out before doing Tai Chi because the poses are so slow, but then IT kicked my booty, so I know its a heck of a work out too. Ha!

diane said...

Loved reading your interesting and lively post today. We can do as much as is necessary I think. But sometimes it is too much so I get home from work, walk the dogs and then just have the evening to read a wonderful book I saved and drink my latte with soft music in the background.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Okay, Diane, you're makin' me jealous. I'm listening to Scooby Doo for the one millionth time, and referreeing a squabble over whether Scooby is a boy dog or a girl dog. Obviously, he's a guy. With THOSE Table manners? Zoinks!

Friday night is pizza night, so that, at least was easy. Ha! But it's raining hogs and horses so no walkies with the dog unless it slacks off. Sigh. Take an extra lap 'round the block for me, will ya'? Ha!

catslady said...

I pretty much thrive on chaos - my house always looks like a disaster and I'd much rather do anything else but make order of anything lol. Carbernet savignon or freshly ground black coffee and chocolate and a cat by my side with a good book is all I need to be happy :)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Catslady, good for you! :> And yeah on the freshly ground coffee. Can't drink it this late, but do love it in the a.m. Grins.

petite said...

When I get home from my workday I try to ignore the accumulation of jobs. That is the only way to stay sane and well. I have a mug of tea, settle down with a wonderful book and forget about it as they say. It can wait another day or so. Organized and my head straight is what is important at this time. Time at the gym to give me a lift also is another method.

doglady said...

Too true, pj. Dogs are the most charming of companions. They are so empathetic. When I have sad or stressed or upset they crawl in my lap and demand my undivided attention. When you have to give your entire focus to a furry child you cannot be worried about anything.

My rescue dogs are a great refuge as well. They all came from such awful situations - dog fighting, Hurricane Katrina, abandonment and abuse - and yet they are so happy and relaxed here. There standards are pretty low - a nice big outdoor runs with patios and big clean cozy doghouses and kiddie pools in the summer. They get fed twice a day. They have access to fresh water. They are loved and petted. They have toys and they are not abused. Compared to what some people want, that isn't all that much and yet they are happy every minute of every day. When I get stressed or worried about the bad stuff in my life I walk out into my back yard and spend time with them. Puts things in perspective and best of all I get more out of their unconditional love than they get out of mine. Cheaper than a shrink too!

Trish Milburn said...

For the most part, I'm an order type person. But I do love spontaneity when it comes to fun stuff. I'd love to take a spur-of-the-moment vacation, but that doesn't typically happen.

Good luck on sorting through the chaos.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Doglady, you're so right about it putting things in perspective! Especially with the rescue. I have a friend who has a rescue Maltese. Who would hurt a maltese? When she came home to my friend's house she was terrified of men, especially tall men, and wouldn't let my friend out of her sight. She'd skulk around the edges of the room and under tables to avoid anyone else. And yet, now, she's so loved and so happy after 5 or 6 years with my friend that she's just a joy to be around, never skulks and doesn't even shy from my very tall husband. Its amazing what love and care can heal, isn't it? Especially when it comes to a dog's willing heart. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Trish, I so knew you'd be an order lover. However, I see you as spontaneous too, so the vacation idea doesn't surprise me either. And your office is pretty spontaneous too! :>

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne, you are living in chaos quite parallel to mine! Only I've managed to get one kid grown and out of the house, so he's only part-time trouble. *g*

My girls are both young teens and involved in chorus, choir, piano, guitar, handbells, basketball, a Puppets team, Girl Scouts and youth group at church. Plus incidentals. *g* My husband and I both work full time and both run taxi service (and ATM service, as well).

Throw in the cat, the one-acre yard, the 30-yr-old house, the pool, etc. and it's more maintenance than I ever wanted to have. Then again, it's my life and I'm pretty happy in my chaos. You know, I *chose* to be a Girl Scout leader and run a course at church and Chair the ding-dang Bylaws Committee, so what can I expect?

I just keep juggling and pray I don't drop too many balls. So far, it's working out okay. Writing definitely gets short shrift at times, but as Susan pointed out, no one is holding their breath waiting for my work.

I greatly admire ALL the pubs for dealing with deadlines! Though I might do better with some external pressure. Hm. Have to think about that one.

As many people said, movies and books help. Also spending time with my writer friends because they totally GET the whole crazy mess!

Hanging with my Bandita friends is always a huge treat and ALWAYS makes me smile!

Hey, Fedora, congrats on nabbing the GR again. You're on a roll!

Joan said...

Chaos is trying to assign rooms to all the nurses who have to stay tonight at the hospital because of Kentucky's freaking MARCH blizzard!

Oh, and then trying not to giggle as I skip out the door home :-)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Joan...you are a sick-sick-sick woman!