critique meeting, gardening with tots, rebalancing of our family schedule

This morning while Ted took the kids to a friend’s birthday party, I went to my monthly writing critique meeting, where my ineluctable prose succeeded in grossing out my friends. Victory! (I am writing a paranormal YA novel, after all.) I read three excerpts, to which they were generous to listen all the way through, as that was a lot of content. One was one of the pivotal scenes in the book, something I’d been avoiding for a while. I think I have at least some of the important elements now. I am sure it will change a lot in revision, but the feeling is there.

I currently have too many characters running around in the book, and will have to reduce its population at some point soon. Also, too many of them have names starting with “M”. I will keep one and change the other two names.

It was also good to see everyone (minus one person, who couldn’t make it today) and hear news and stories. Writing has greatly expanded my social horizons, as well as providing me with an important new creative outlet.

This afternoon we went over to visit friends who wanted to include Hazel in the planting of some potatoes and carrots. The dirt hills they had proved to be immensely appealing, as well as the watering can, though she did enjoy the planting, too. Kids are like cats: you can’t be sure that they won’t prefer the box to the toy inside it. We brought some food, and Hazel took it upon herself to serve us all with bowls of fruit. That put a smile on my face.

Tonight I cooked up the last of this week’s veggies and made some pesto meatballs. This afternoon during nap Ted and I had a good life balance/scheduling talk. We keep going to bed too late, because we keep wanting to have an actual evening after we put the kids down. We brainstormed some ideas for how we can change bedtime, how we can change what we’re doing in the evenings so it’s not always tasks, and how we can get more family time into the schedule. It was a productive conversation, and I think we’re going to move in a better direction. In the fall I am going to tweak my teaching schedule so that I get one more evening with my family, because as it is I am not with them for at least chunks if not all of four out of the five weekend evenings. That’s feeling like too much. Life is a constant re-balancing, we find.

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