Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Crooked Truth

Kara's Crooked Truth: The Other Baby

A few weeks ago, fellow Cottager (and next-door neighbor) Kristen Tracy and I were engaged in our weekly catch-up/Prosecco-drinking session. We were both bemoaning the fact that we haven’t been as productive as we’d like to be; our creative work needs us (and we need it), so we’ve been feeling neglectful. But as new(ish) moms, we’re often just too darn tired.

I’ve blogged about time management before, and the solution I came up with for myself about six months ago was to get up early, at six, and write for ninety minutes each day. This worked for me for a while…at least, until we turned the clocks forward last month, and six started feeling more like five, which is just too painful for me. (Until the baby came along, I considered myself a night person. Nine used to seem early to me.) I’ve been getting up at seven instead, but that only leaves me with thirty to forty-five minutes, and that includes the time I need to fully wake up and make myself a cup of coffee.

So, finally, at the end of the evening (and the bottle of Prosecco), as Kristen was leaving, I suggested we insist on some additional writing time for ourselves, and that it might be worthwhile if we spent that time writing together. She agreed, and we enjoyed our first joint session two Sundays ago (we had to skip this past Sunday, due to Easter).

I can’t say it was the most productive writing experience I’ve ever had; that weekend, I was in the midst of running a bunch of pre-holiday errands and chores, so it was difficult to clear my mind and focus. But it was certainly better than sitting around and complaining about not having time to write. I started a new section of a project, and while I now realize it seems to be heading in the wrong direction, I at least know why it’s not working and how to fix it. I’ll leave that recalibration for this coming Sunday, when I can only hope that a clearer head prevails...or at least manifests.

The weekend after next, Kristen and I will be attending the New England SCBWI annual conference. I’ve attended many times, though this will only be my second experience as an author. The last time I went, I found the experience incredibly inspiring and very, very productive. I managed to write ten pages (of a manuscript I ended up sticking in a drawer, but still). There is something about being in a room filled with creative energy — whether it’s just one other determined person or a couple hundred eager NESCBWI members — that I find particularly motivating.

I should mention that my husband paid for the NESCBWI conference for me for Mother’s Day; the irony is not lost on me, that he’s honoring my role as a mother by giving me a break from it, bless his heart. But there’s also this to consider: I may be leaving my baby for the weekend, but I’ll merely be trading it for another creation that engages and confounds me, requires my attention and care, and regularly needs changing. Truly, my work is never done.


  1. Girlfriend! You are not alone! Thanks for this...

  2. What a great gift for Mother's Day! Alas, I have a conflict this year and cannot attend. :-( Have a great conference!