For the past month, I’ve had edits waiting on my next book, Fall or Fly, about foster care and adoption in Coalfields Appalachia. And I’ve been thinking about the very astute notes from the editor and her associate reader and how they can be incorporated. In fact, I’ve been looking forward to sinking my fingers into it.
But I’m also passionately involved in Appalachian Feline Friends, a new effort coalescing individual rescuers into a formalized organization that will be more effective. And a lot of time has, of course, been spent by all of us on that. So to get a clear run at some of the edits without being surrounded by cat-work, Jack and I planned a long weekend at The Cabin.
Thursday evening there would be an event on, and Friday we would head out. Then Jack would continue on his way Sunday to the airport and head to Scotland, while I went back and did my college job and got help running the bookstore.
And God said “HA!”
Jack went down sick Thursday, a woman walked in crying with a kitten she’d found on the Greenbelt mid-event, we received five pre-arranged “adorably sweet” kittens who were not at all socialized and promptly climbed a bookshelf while emptying its contents on the floor, the author giving the talk got lost and was an hour late, etc. Fine. Maybe I could still go Friday? Nope. Friday morning Jack was not fine, so I gave up on the cabin idea until Saturday and handled stuff. Not exactly like a pro, but like a spastic woman feeling slightly sorry for herself, surrounded by kittens spewing venomous hisses and other effluvium.
And this morning Jack got up and said, “I feel well again, go to the cabin and I’ll take care of the stuff that got left and meet you there Sunday and since we’re closed Mondays, why don’t you take Monday off from the college and recover your lost writing day?”
Writing husbands are even better than cat husbands. They get it.
My friend Jane Yolen has written many advice pieces over the years urging writers to protect our writing time. She says it gets pecked to death by the many ducks of life if we’re not careful. Or in our case, nibbled away by rescue kittens. And also to value the things that distract us, because that’s where we get our writing fodder from. Sick husband care is a no-brainer game-changer, but being married to a guy who helps me protect the time is nice.
And when I get back Monday night, I’ll restock the bookshelves the feral babies have knocked down, and over the next two weeks our five fine and socialized babies will re-teach the new kids that life is not as scary or deadly as early experiences would have them believe, and they will become sweet and adoptable. It all works out.
See you Tuesday.