It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

All you parents out there know what I'm talking about. We're a week away from the start of school in my community. And that week cannot pass soon enough.

Mean mommy? Oh, no. Don't even go there.

For the past three months, as I've taught my oldest to drive and watched with baited breath as he drove off with newly licensed friends, as I worried about my youngest riding his bike all over hell and gone and what he was eating while he was out and what he was doing exactly, I longed for the days of fighting over homework and bedtime. And for the return of eight hours of uninterrupted writing time.

I've been writing for a decent number of years, since before my children were born. I learned to write under deadline in a daily newspaper office. I know how to shut it out and get the words written. After my kids were born, I got my first laptop specifically so I could take them to the pool and still work. I used to pride myself on the fact that I could write anywhere under any conditions.

Twenty other moms talking? No problem. Soccer practice? I can stop balls with my feet on the sidelines and not miss a word. Baseball practice? The coach used to position a player right in front of me during warmups so I didn't get hit with a ball. Loved that guy. Indoor swim practice? Bleachers are absolute hell on the back but if you turn sideways and put the laptop on the seat, no problem. Added bonus? It was warm in the winter.

Today, with the exception of karate, sports practices are no longer something I have to attend and my youngest spent one day at the pool. Without me.

However, I've had to deal with a steady stream of teenagers in and out of my house, loud music, louder fights between siblings and general mayhem. All of which hasn't been condusive to writing.

I had a self-imposed deadline of July 31 to finish my next EC story. I submitted it a week ago. I promised my agent a book on her desk by early September. It'll be there. Because there's a light at the end of the tunnel. And it's the headlights of the school bus coming to take my children away. (Okay, so they walk. Don't bog me down in details.)

August 31 is only a week away. I'm hanging on by my fingernails but I'm hanging on. I may only have one nail (and one nerve) left by the time next Monday rolls around but they'll grow back.
And peace and quiet will reign. And it will be good.
Stephanie Julian