Not that it really affects me. Summer is just like winter, except I don’t wear socks. My day job schedule is a constant two-week rotation so, as long as my co-worker doesn’t get abducted by aliens, I can plan my days off for the next eleven years. (If my sanity holds out that long.)
As monotonous as my day job days are, my days off tend to be a mixed bag. Besides the constant running of children to their activities—band, martial arts, and Scouts (which, doesn’t sound like much but, somehow manages to take up every bit of free time. Part of me ignores the panicked screaming inside my head and wishes the kids could get their drivers’ licenses NOW)—there’s all the usual glorious mom stuff that is reserved just for me. Days off? Hah, I say. Hah, hah.
And yet, I still manage to put aside some me time. Sometimes, I spend it watching ghost hunting or paranormal show marathons. Sometimes, I curl up with a book I’d been coveting for a long time. And sometimes, I turn me time into them time and let them have their fun.
By them, I mean my characters. Them time is writing time. And it’s my favorite time of all.
Last week was my first vacation week since last October, and it was family time, me time, and them time, all rolled into one. We got a day in at the PA Ren Faire, where I embarrassed my daughter by goofing off onstage. We planned a quick trip to Florida, and I even set aside a little time to work on my current writing project.
Trouble with plans, however, is that things don’t always go the way they should. When we got to the airport to catch our flight to Orlando, we were told there was an unexpected delay. For five hours.
My family was like, UGH. Five hours in a small terminal with Nothing. To. Do.
Not me. It was great them time. I parked myself at a desk spot at the recharging station and started my chapter outline. That delay gave me five uninterrupted hours of writing and editing and there wasn’t a single episode of A Haunting around to distract me. The flight gave me another two hours of mad typing and my word count just bumped, bumped, bumped up and along, just like the plane. (Turbulence was horrendous.)
Time truly stands still there because one can get lost in the world and be a kid, forever…
Once home in the muggle world, I still had enough vacation left to get more writing done and on Saturday, I did it. I completed my first draft of The Heartbeat Thief.
How do I feel? Beyond thrilled. With the first draft done, the fun stuff can happen. The second draft is where I get to layer in the atmosphere and the lushness. Since the book is a Victorian paranormal (think Jane Austen and Edgar Allen Poe had a little baby and named him The Grim Reaper. Squee!) that means darkly wondrous stuff. The story spans a century and a half, affording me the chance to do a lot of exciting research, including taking in a slew of movies and mini-series that I’d otherwise not get the luxury to watch.
I know there is a lot of work ahead before this book sees the light of day, and not all of it will be called them time. It’ll be hair-pulling book-production work time. That won’t get me down, though. I finally have a light at the end of the tunnel.
It was a little strange, not getting a “summer vacation” until nearly the end of summer…yet there is still a bit of summer left to spare. The Heartbeat Thief draft is going to my first-round beta readers this week so my next day off just might actually be a day off. Oh, what shall I ever do with this surplus me time?
Maybe I’ll find another them to share it with. I’m sure there is a file hiding somewhere in my computer…
I’m just glad I got to end my summer with such a great big bang of an accomplishment. (Hmm….end with a bang is so cliché. Maybe Hogsmeade could inspire me to find a better phrase…) Enjoy the rest of the summer, folks!
To find out more about AJ Krafton, visit her about the author page.