Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chaos-self induced or otherwise

By Suzanne Welsh
Sometimes, life just gets in our way. Sometimes, we get in the way of life.

Things have been a little crazy around me lately. Part of it I have no control over, some of it I've done to myself.

Nine months ago it was winter. People were cold. They snuggled up. Guess what? That leads to more babies born in the months of July-October. (Statistical fact based on three decades of L&D nursing by me!) So I always know I'm going to be working harder and more hours at the night job. Busy!! And on top of that, it's summer to early autumn, which leads to sick moms and sick babies...Extra busy!! (But NOT my fault.)

A couple of years ago my good friend and CP talked me into running for President-elect of our Dallas Area Romance Authors, (thanks Sandy!). Duh, that meant that I'd have to be chapter president. So, since January of this year, they let me be in charge of a large chapter and all the responsibilities it involves. (Yep, they're crazy...and it's only partially my fault! I only ran for office, THEY elected me!)

In 2006 I had a "What the hell" moment, something I'm want to do cyclically, and sent three manuscripts to the Golden Heart contest. Dang....two of them finalled. Whoohoo! But even better, I met this core group of fantastic women. Writers who were as determined as me to ride the wave of PR, make a name for ourselves, and start a blog to promote ourselves and our writing. Yep, the Romance Bandits were born! I adore reading the blogs, commenting on them, writing them and interviewing guests. But it does take time and thought. (Yep, this one is my fault!)

Christmas holidays are coming up. I adore fall, but every year I start thinking early about the "special projects" I'd like to do for my kids. One I've decided to do this year involves scrapbooking for one of them. Very time consuming, but in the end, it should be a real tears-rolling-down-the-cheek moment for us. So I'll add that to the pile! Then there's the baking, the parties, the gifts...(Okay, this one is my fault, too...adding more to my plate!)

In the fall I get the urge to head north to Ohio. Now many of you may think it's because of the season and the fall colors on the trees. Well, sort of. I do enjoy the colors, but it has more to do with the change in temperature, the cool rainy days, heck, I even miss the drizzly days that requires a fire in the fireplace! So in the midst of all this craziness, I plan a trip home to see my parents. (This one is my fault, too...but necessary for my own peace of mind!)

And then there's the writing. I always write two stories and edit a third at the same time. Crazy? Maybe, but it's MY process. And all three projects have to be different sub genres or time periods. Apparently my brain LOVES to multi-task. (Is this my fault, well, maybe, maybe not.)

Amidst all this chaos there's hope. A light at the end of the tunnel. (Please God don't let it be a train heading right for me...) October is almost here, which means the baby boom will slow down a bit, hopefully. The moms won't be quite as sick, hopefully. My tenure as chapter president will come to an end. The trip home is planned and will renew my spirits. The holidays, while crazy, are also fun. The writing, it's my sanity, so that's a constant for me.
So what craziness is going on in your lives? What is self-induced? Projects you've volunteered to do? Family obligations you can't put aside? Is there a light at the end of your tunnel?


Helen said...

Is Coming to my place
Have Fun

Helen said...


What a great post I have over the years voluntered for so many positions all surrounding my children school P&C Brownies and Guide leader school canteen mum soccer canteen mum the list goes on keeping up with the housework holding down a job the busiest time of year with my job is around Christmas time so along with all of the parties cooking and presents I am always flat chat at work these I chose to do.

Now I am not on any comittees I am still very busy at work and with two daughters having babies and due in December and grandchildren and cooking and all of the rest I really need to find time for me to chill out and read a good book one thing I am looking forward to is haveing 4 weeks off work from 5th Dec till 5th Jan I really want to be with my girls and their new babies and have a wonderful Chrissy with 4 grandchildren.

But somehow we always seem to manage and have fun doing it. LOL

I think I will put the GR to housework again I need to finish the book I am reading.

Have Fun

Christine Wells said...

Suz, what a great post. I think most of your self-imposed tasks show a very caring nature, which the Banditas all know you have!

I've been whining about my commitments to all and sundry lately so no doubt y'all are tired of them, but I have a submission and revisions due at about the same time and that's apart from family stuff, kid stuff and so forth. Then my husband goes on sabbatical for three months and we are likely to be away for almost all of that time, so that's both a very arduous task (going on holiday with 2 young children, one of whom will only eat a very limited diet of home-made food) but also the light at the end of my tunnel. We're going to New Zealand, Japan, the Barrier Reef and then rounding it off with a couple of weeks at Dicky Beach (yes, I know, great name, huh?) and Coolum, which are beaches near where we live and also near Foanna, so no doubt we'll get together at some stage. Yay. I don't know how I'll survive all that time without internet though. And I'll miss the Banditas and BBs!

Congrats on the rooster, Helen! My goodness you do have a busy time ahead!

Gannon Carr said...

Wow, Suzanne! I'm exhausted just reading about your schedule!

Mine consists of the usual: work, family, kids' sports practices and games, pets, more family, preparing for the holidays, going to conferences, etc. I also started writing book reviews for RNTV, a couple of months ago. I'm really enjoying it, but it means making sure I get my "required" reading and writing done on time. But it also means free books! :)

Congrats on the GR, Helen.

Maria Lokken said...

Suzanne - you know what they say - if you've got a job that needs getting done, give it to a busy person. Why? 9 times out of 10 the busy person will get it done.

Anonymous said...

Suz, you crazy woman, what a work load! Your chapter mates are so lucky to have you. When I get really busy, I triage, and I'm sorry to say that I haven't made it to a local chapter meeting for some time now. I'm thinking I'll be able to go regularly to those meetings again...oh...let's see...when the kids are out of school?


Well, this month is looney for me too. I got some fairly massive revisions to do on my YA, and we have a few big projects at work that are crazy. I am just clinging to the memory of the summer, when things were calmer, so I don't start thinking it will NEVER slow down. Lots of people in my field take vacations around the holidays and summer, so things traditionally slow down around then, and ramp up in the spring and fall.

Let's see, also driving me crazy right now is teaching Sunday School (I alternate months with another teacher), and volunteering at the kids' school. Speaking of which, I've got a lesson to prepare! So I best be off! :-)

Enjoy the GR, Helen! :-)

Donna MacMeans said...

Rain ...Ohio ... ?
Haven't seeen a drop in at least two weeks *g*.

Hope your life calms down & don't forget to call me for lunch when you're in town.

Congrats on the rooster, Helen.

Joan said...

I bow before people like you, Suz!

I've got the usual work load. Am trying to finish judging a contest AND my synopsis for a mss by Tues and will be putting my own pedal to the medal to complete a mss. for the GH.

And Christine. THREE MONTHS without internet???????

Japan has it. I know they do!!!

Three months without you is NOT going to work for me.

jo robertson said...

WAY. TO. GO. Helen!! I think the chook needs a "down under" break.

Timely post, Suz! I think we all tend to over-extend ourselves at this time of the year. I know I do. Like the song says, "I'm just a girl who can't say no!"

My daughter just asked me to babysit for Halloween. We always go to their house and walk around with the kids for their trick or treating, take pix, and hopefully miss the onslaught at our own house LOL. I accepted of course; how could I miss seeing the darlings in their costumes? But then realized I'd be running to the door at THEIR house filling the baskets of little ghoulies with goodies for hours.

The trouble will saying yes to things is that part of us WANTS to do it. We enjoy the thrill and satisfaction of the project. The more rational part of our brains screeches, "No! Don't say yes! Stop! Danger!"

Sadly, I never listen to that part. Helping out is a mixed blessing. But I figure it's MY fault (uh, along with Dr. Big) that I had seven children, so I have no one to blame but myself for the almost-15 grandchildren that take up so much of my time and that I love to pieces!

jo robertson said...

Helen, I so envy you having TWO new babies soon. Ours is due December 23 and I can't wait. I think it will be the last baby our family has and I want to enjoy every moment of it. I LOVE BABIES!! We find out Monday if it's a boy or girl.

When I was younger I did the PTA President thing, the Sunday School teaching and dozens of committees. The work was very rewarding, but I must say I'm glad not to do it now. I volunteer to help in my grandchildrens' classrooms occasionally (my daughter is an art docent) and I love helping her teach.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Helen! Congrats on nabbing the GR!

It's amazing how busy we can be when we have kids, especially kids who are involved in activities, isn't it?

Glad you're having time now not serving on committees. Hopefully those babies will arrive safe and sound and you will have a lovely holiday with all those grandchildren!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Wow, Christine, do you ever have your hands full! I can't imagine taking on a writing career with two small children. Luckily mine are grown and out of the house or I know I'd never get any real writing done!!

And I'm very, very, very envious of your holiday trip coming up!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

hehehe, Gannon! The things we'll do for FREE books!! I've read your reviews and love them, so keep them coming!

Kids, school and holidays always involve lots of work and time away from home. I'd take a book and read in the car while waiting for them to finish their latest project or activity. Good luck with it!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Maria! I have heard that. In fact, as chapter president, I had one or two go-to people I'd put in charge of projects. I'm als NOT a micro manager. People can be very creative and inspired when you let them "take-on" a project and make it their own, don't you think?

Louisa Cornell said...

Congrats on the chook, Helen! He should have plenty of practice at housework after La Campbell's house, among others! Put him to work!

Suzanne and everyone else. YOU MAKE ME TIRED!!! I am exhausted just reading your schedules! And I am sorry, Christine, if you don't have access to the Net, you can't go! We will miss you to much!

My schedule is mostly work, work and more work - with bouts of writing whenever I can. I am trying to get this second book finished in time for the Golden Heart. Wish me luck!

I am very proud of myself. The manager of the deli in our Wal-Mart stepped down. As the bakery and the deli are next door to each other, management asked me if I might consider doing both. To which I replied "Not NO, but HELL NO!" A few years ago I might have said yes, but not any more!

What is the point of having a house if you are never home? I have my dogs and cats and they need me at home, even if it is just for a tummy rub and a round of Frisbee! And guess what? I NEED to give those tummy rubs and play Frisbee as badly as the dogs do!

Now with Christmas coming I need to get some shopping done AND get some quilting done to finish this year's Christmas gift quilt. And then there are the Christmas cards to get done.

And the holidays are the BUSIEST time of year at the bakery. It will start with Halloween and won't stop until after Valentine's Day. ARRGGGHHHH!!

And I thought the two giant wedding cakes we had to do yesterday were a pain! Is it just me or does a dark teal green wedding cake with lacy look overlay just not cut it? The bride's Mom LOVED it. We all thought it was the ugliest wedding cake we had ever seen! Oh well. No accounting for taste!

Joan said...

And then there are the Christmas cards to get done.

Louisa, you're already thinking about CHRISTMAS CARDS??????

That's just not natural. :-)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Kirsten, that's one of the good things about my job, it usually slows down from the first of Nov until the last week of the year, (lots of inductions that week so people can get a tax deduction, don't ya know!), so the holidays can be enjoyed a bit more by the staff.

I don't know how y'all write with deadlines AND all the other committments family and work put on your shoulders. It frightens me just a bit!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Donna, trust me, by the time I get to Ohio, THERE WILL BE RAIN!

I'll call you the week before I leave so we can plan a lunch! It's a tradition, you know!! And it's YOUR turn to pick the restaurant. :)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Joanie!

This year I'm not trying to finish a manuscript for the GH. I've decided to simply finish editing one I finished back in the winter and send in my best work. I think the synopsis will need to be re-worked, so that is at least one less deadline for me to feel pressured by!

Good luck on finishing yours on time!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Jo!

Actually, I do say no a lot. I refuse to work more than one extra 12-hour shift in a pay period. Exhaustion is not beneficial to thinking clearly, at least not for me.

Your baby sitting at for your dauhter over Halloween reminds me, that I need to volunteer to babysit for my daughter sometime this month. Now that is Never an inconvenince!! Love me a grand daughter!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Louisa, good luck on finishing the second GH entry! And major kudos on saying HELL NO to the second managerial job!! When I changed hospitals, my boss told me about a mid-management (assistant head nurse) position she was offering. Then she stopped talking and stared right at me. I stared back. After a few minutes, she started laughing, (we're old friends) and said, "I didn't think you'd take it." And she was right. Been there, done that, gave the depositions, ain't doing it again!

Suzanne Welsh said...

And OMG, Joanie, I don't even consider Christmas cards until Thanksgiving weekend. With the big meal to cook and baking to start, I can't even think about those cards until that weekend!! Nope! No! Way!

Louisa Cornell said...

LOL, Joan ! I HAVE to start thinking of the Christmas cards now if they are every going to get done! AND, I have a large number of friends overseas so those cards have to be sent early. It is the Christmas shopping that will wait until the last minute! My Mom on the other hand has most of hers done already! She will have it ALL done by Thanksgiving - wrapped and ready to go! She starts her shopping the day after Christmas at the sales!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Louisa, for me it's not sending the Christmas cards early. It's mailing the gifts to Ohio before the first of December. Which means shopping early for five people.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Helen! Clearly he likes the Aussies right now. Get him cleaning the bath - it's amazing what that fluffy little tail can do when it comes to brightening up the enamel!

Louisa, congratulations on saying the N-O word! And good luck with that GH manuscript. Fingers crossed for another final!

Suz, loved the post. Especially as things have been absolutely crazy for me lately. I've got a book due on Wednesday (yes, you did hear aright!). I was looking forward to a break in October but everything has been pushed forward because of my deadline and now October is looking as bad as September. AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!

Right, feeling better now. Bye, girls! See you later!

Helen said...

Christine you are going to have a wonderful time but you must try and get internet connection here and there so as you can check in we will miss you for that long.

Gannon I do love your reviews

Maria I agree with that saying it is so true

Kirsten I wish I had your energy

Jo I agree you can never have too many babies and I love having them but yes when I only have 2 days off work and I end up babysitting pretty much all of one of those days it can get very tiring but what can you say.

Louisa strange colouring for a wedding cake I start baking Christmas cakes in November because I make them for presents so I start buying some of the ingedients now this year will be hard with the babies due but I will get there somehow!

Anna I will be looking forward to this book

Have Fun

Helen said...


Christmas is going to such a fun time this year I am really looking forward to it.

Have Fun

Marisa O'Neill said...

Suzanne - it's as if you were walking inside my head. I'm longing for a good old fashioned slug day or perhaps a slug week. That kind of week where no one needs anything done yesterday or where there aren't a hundred things on my to do list. Yet, I find the busier I am the more productive I am. I'm just wishing for 7 days in a beautiful place with a fire, a good book and nothing else to do. Yeah, Dream on....

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Anna! WOW a deadline on Wednesday? Okay, you're stress level has to be higher than mine right now!! But at least you have a light at the end of your tunnel coming soon. Good luck with finishing on time.

Suzanne Welsh said...

OMG, Marisa, do they make days or weeks with nothing do and no obligations? I thought those went out with the invention of the computer! I'm thinking I'd like to order one of those with you!!

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hey, Suzanne--

Sorry I'm late to the party (as usual) but I just had to pipe up. Because in addition to dealing with kindy & dance lessons & all the extras that kids do these days, I just got a flier for Girl Scouts. And (somebody just shoot me now) I'm thinking about it.

I love the scouts.

And I'm sure I'll manage to write again...someday. :-)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Susan! Girl Scouts, too? Well, it's great fun, a good bonding experience and lots to help your girls learn. Psst....just don't let anyone con you into being the cookie sales mom! That job ... is a JOB!

Christine Wells said...

Suz, Joan, Louisa and Helen, thanks so much for saying you'll miss me:) I'll miss you, too! We come home between all these trips so I won't be gone the entire 3 months. Heaven forbid! I couldn't last that long without internet.

Keira Soleore said...

My life lately has been Craziness with a capital C. That is why you see me here every once in a while and not everyday. I would love to be here everyday, but I simply cannot. Thanks for your understanding.