Saturday, February 18, 2012

Where Novels Are Created...

Have I mentioned I have two of the most adorable baby boys in the entire universe? They're almost 6 months old now. They have stolen my heart, and my time.

The fact is, most days I'd rather play with them than work on my manuscript. I waited what felt like a really long time to have these babies, and I want to enjoy every second of the miracle that is their lives.

Another fact: having babies makes your brain stop working. If I thought college was a drain on my creativity, then sleep deprivation makes me think I'm being creative when in fact I am not. I cannot tell you how many times I've figured out some minute detail of The Hostage Heart and told my husband, "It's brilliant, I tell you!" only to manage 4 or 5 hours of straight sleep that night and wake up realizing the idea was lame. My mom always warned me that parenthood causes brain damage. Now I know how true that statement is.

I don't have a lot of free time. Most of the day I am caught up in playing, feed, changing, and bathing babies. When they finally go down for a nap, I run around like mad trying to do piles of laundry, unload the dishwasher, and generally make my house look passably presentable.

But The Hostage Heart is always tickling the back of my mind. And I have found a place that no one can bother me, and my creativity can run free.

The shower.

Most days I'm lucky if I hop into the shower by 11 or so. But when I get in the shower, the babies are usually 1) sleeping or 2) being entertained by someone else. And so I am completely free to think, plan, and scheme. In the shower I have defined characters, slowly developed the plot, and worked out kinks in the planning. Although I am still in the "outlining" stage of this novel (when is this stage going to end so I can get to the fun part?) it's in the shower that my book is really being written. Without any words yet, obviously.

My showers are starting to be pretty lengthy affairs.

I've sort of been derailed lately, writing wise. The boys decided about two months back they no longer felt like sleeping through the night. That was fun. We've been trying to sleep-train them ever since. Those plans were derailed about a week and a half ago by RSV, so for about 9 days or so I've been holding crying babies all day (and a few times all night as well). But they're starting to overcome RSV, and I've got a road-trip to Oklahoma coming up in a few weeks. I have a feeling I'll be able to accomplish quite a bit on this manuscript during those 40 hours of driving.