Wednesday, January 26, 2011

DIY, Biking, Returning to Research, and Contemplating Novels

Well do I remember back when I thought working at home would be a grand adventure. Never having to change out of pajamas! Makeup a distant memory! Deciding to break up the monotony with a run on the beach!

Of course, the flip side to all of that is never changing out of your pajamas, never wearing makeup or real-person clothes, and, um, spending your time on the bike trail or various other procrastinating activities rather than on the fiction or the billable tasks or the job letters. It's a strange and difficult balance, and whereas I was once dying for this interim time, I'm now longing for the prospect of a normal nine-to-five gig, with structured days--and not just for the steady money, although that's a huge benefit too.

Of course, say that I hit the jackpot and was able to write for a living, publishing novels people wanted to read, or elegant short stories and essays published in well-respected magazines. I would have to face down my days and attempt to manage some structure! I would have to work toward deadlines in a way that didn't involve spending the three days beforehand frantically finishing up something new before resorting to a further-along draft of something else.

But I want to take full advantage of this interim time, scary as it is to be floating out and space and not knowing where the next check is coming from. So I'm contemplating the novel I want to write. That is, I know I want to write one, but what is it? What will it be about? I should perhaps take a poll. But I have been noodling around with a character from an older story, whom I felt had more going on in her life than just the one story I wrote. I don't know. I can't seem to figure out what I want to do, even though I want to be chipping away on that big picture.

I'm also, in small ways, returning to my roots as a researcher of facts. Yes, I'm writing a critical paper. But I'm also tapping into my experience looking up congressional activities (for genealogical research). Exciting! Well do I remember that satisfaction of a job well done, an elusive fact sussed out.

And to balance all the thinking, thinking, baking continues apace (moving on to rye bread this time, at the behest of others who are declaring an intent to help with the process). And this weekend, B joins me in biking fun. Or, we hope he does, if the ordered and arrived bike lives up to expectations. Why, yes, it's 75 degrees here. Perfect weather for biking!

Oh, and I'm also trying my hand with home repair. If you read about the tragic flooding incident online, please know that I tried my best.

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