I have just spent a weekend consuming more sugar and chocolate than one human being should have in six months and I feel terrible. It's like I carb-loaded for the Iditarod and then went to take a nap. This is not good.

Last night, I pretty much put the manuscript for Surreal South, the anthology of bizarre Southern fiction and poetry that I'm editing with my husband, Pinckney, to bed. Manuscripts, story notes and bios are delivered, the publisher's putting checks in the mail, last-minute permissions are being expedited, and Pinckney has written a kick-ass intro. I am happy. But this editing stuff is hard--Way harder than writing a novel, I think. We're planning on making it a series, but only every other year.

No rest for the wicked, though. I have to get back to this new novel I'm working on, "Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts." My editor says that one of my male protags needs a bit more testosterone. The players need to be introduced more quickly--en masse--because there are quite a few. I can feel it all going on, somewhere in my body, my brain. They're living their lives. Waiting for me to get back and clue into what's going on--it's like a party that's started without me. For the first few chapters of Isabella Moon, I was really actively making it up as I went along, and I despaired a lot. But it made me take a lot of risks. With this crew, it's more like I have to tell them to shut up and sit down and wait their turn--They are vibrant and wild in my head and I can't wait to let them get out more, to stretch their legs and engage in all the trouble they're dying to get into.

I need a break, though. I'm really, really tired. The parents are here and the children clamor and Hrothgar is punchy because spring is calling him outside. I look at the shelf that collapsed in my office closet, spewing summer clothes (I will be wearing wool until July at this rate) and envelopes and computer disks everywhere. I need to get a second list of folks to send ARCs of Isabella Moon to to the publicist. When did I last balance our checking account? Oh, and the taxes (sounds like an extension is in order). Shit.

I hate whining. Just ask my kids. It's true that I have the best freaking job in the world. But the thing about this writing job is that it never, ever ends. Do you find that's true? Do you have a hard time tearing yourself away from the computer/legal pad/telephone? Do you find yourself running back to your desk to type in that sentence you can't live without while the pasta scorches in the pan? I think that many people imagine that writers sit around all day and daydream, maybe write a thing or two down, then float for the rest of the day. The reality is, though, that, like other self-employed folks, writers have to put a hell of a lot of effort in so that the pay-per-hour is very slim. Please, God, let me daydream!

Ach--I think I'll have another chocolate egg. Then a nap. Then, back to work. I love my job!

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