Thursday, July 12, 2012

Delving into your Art (Without Destroying Everything Else)

I love this music video and the opening quote. I have been busy "forcing" myself into the "secrets" of my art and trying to balance that with five kids home for summer vacation. Yeah, it doesn't balance very easily.

The past couple of weeks have been full of critiques given and received and the looming dread of major rewrites. Augh!

But this week I have plunged into major surgery [liposection (of excess wordage) and a bypass (of a side plot that is unproductive)]. 
I knew I was neglecting my blog. But I just wanted to sign on for a few moments and tell you that I'm still here, I'm just elbow deep in bloody revisions (metaphorically speaking).

I almost wasn't here, though. Or at least my house almost wasn't. See, I almost burned it down.
Its kind of a funny story, actually.
After five days of rain, my five boys were absolutely stir crazy and we HAD to get out of the house. 
We spent half the day at the zoo until our stomachs were empty and our feet sore. We came home for lunch and before we went out again, I put some beans on to soak. I meant to give them a quick boil before going out with the kiddos to the library and the grocery store.
(Zoo, Library and Grocery Store all in one day?!? Yes, dear, but they had been watching Season One of "He-man: Masters of the Universe" for the past three days and we NEEDED to be out and about. Plus I was almost out of bread, milk and most importantly, Popsicles.)

So we enjoyed collecting new reading material and new DVDs at the library. I browsed the YA section, finding awesome new gems and puzzled over rewrites as I scanned through Easy Readers and Middle Grade for the kiddos and then scooted down the road five miles to Wal-Mart. It was when I was parking my van when I remembered the beans.

Surely, I had remembered to turn off the stove. 
But, sadly no, I could not remember doing so. And it had been over an hour since I they had started.


I raced out of the Wal-Mart parking lot and hollered at the kids to start praying. Of course, I was stuck behind the driver who cautiously drove five miles under the speed limit almost the whole entire way!!!

As we careened past the gates of our neighborhood my oldest craned his neck out the window. "I don't see smoke...yet!"

The house LOOKED fine from the outside. It was still standing. But when I got near the door I could hear the smoke alarm wailing. And the entire first floor was full of smoke. The big, heavy bottomed pan sat on the stove with what looked like little charcoals glowing inside. 

I moved it off the heat and started opening doors and windows, and thanking God for protecting the house despite my foolishness.

Eight hours later, it still smells like we held a Phillip Morris convention in our living room, but we are so grateful to still have a living room, so we just spray a little more Glade and smile.

And though I will continue my revisions and caring for my family, I'm gonna try to keep one sliver of my brain reserved for double checking stove tops and other potential hazards to the distracted writer.

I hope you all are happy in your own creative pursuits and staying safe this summer.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Amelia.
    I've come over fromJanice's blog to say Hi.
    You have five boys and manage to write - I can barely do it with three boys.
    I'm glad you got back before your house was in cinders... what a nightmare!
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