We Are Here

So. The move is done.

We packed up the truck and car on Saturday. Sunday after lunch we got here, and by Sunday evening all our things were inside. I put together the girls’ bunkbeds (Carl came along toward the end to assist – I was so tired everything was taking twice as long as it should, and Grace had already fallen asleep atop her toy chest, and Joy looked rather as though she wished she could do the same), they slept in real beds, and the rest of us spread mattresses wherever we could find box-free space and just¬†dropped.

Things are slowly starting to come together. All our furniture is put back together. Some boxes are unpacked. My kitchen is put together. The set-up will change, but at least it is usable. The kids are starting to get their feet under them.

I am still dazed and exhausted, but starting to see some glimmers of light. I knew moving from our lovely spacious house to a small two-bedroom apartment was going to be hard. I knew that, no matter how much we downsized, we would be cramped. But the reality has been harder to wrap my head around than I expected. (It doesn’t help that what Carl thinks of as “cozy” I find claustrophobic.)

We met so many nice people on Sunday, who carried bookcases and boxes and welcomed us with warmth and kindness. They’re all kind of blurred. Just as the goodbyes to our dear friends who helped us load everything into the truck on Saturday are blurry. At some point, the memories will settle, and the present will start to sort itself out. Right now, it’s all still a bit overwhelming.

I walked across the parking lot and up a small hill with the girls this morning so they could play on the playground. I could almost imagine myself doing that with pen and paper, getting some stories down while they run and play. I put school books on shelves this afternoon and could almost imagine sitting at the kitchen table doing school with them. I washed dishes and could almost imagine making bread, preparing meals that require more than two steps, using my cookbooks and recipe boxes again.

Nothing is quite real yet. But it’s getting there.

Tomorrow we’re going on a hunt for groceries, and possibly see if we can find the local library. That ought to help.

(I have pictures, but I haven’t yet found the box that holds my cord to get them from my camera to my computer. Maybe by the next post.)

Excitement

The question we’ve been asked most often recently is “So are you getting excited about the move? Nervous?”

Up until just a day or so ago, my answer was always “Nah, pretty calm about the whole thing, actually.” There are certain aspects to the move that excite me (living so close to Boston! Living so close to THE OCEAN! Being able to explore new places, etc), and certain aspects that make me nervous (figuring out homeschool requirements in a new district and state. Living in an apartment again after six years of duplexes/houses. Exploring new places, etc), but about the move overall, I’ve been calm.

Yesterday, stress started to set in (there’s some alliteration for you!). I’ve reached the packing stage where I’m trying to make sense of all the little things (how do I pack everything that’s been scattered all over my dresser top for months because I can’t throw it out but there’s no other place for it?) and figure out the bare minimum of what we need to survive for the next week so I can pack everything else.

Along with the stress, though, has come a certain building excitement. When the pillows and mattress cover that will transform our daybed into a couch (our old sofa is too big and clunky, so we’re selling it & using the daybed) arrived in the mail yesterday, it was a definite thrill, envisioning them in our new living room. As I tape closed boxes of kitchen supplies, I imagine unpacking them in my new kitchen, and preparing and eating meals as a family in our new home. When the girls squabble and fuss with each other, I pry them apart and think gratefully of how soon this time of uncertainty will be done and they’ll be settled back down into their usual (mostly) cheerful selves.

So yes, now I am getting excited, right along with the stress. Moving is never fun, per se, but it can be thrilling. And it’s taken a while, but that thrill is finally sinking in with me.

One week and one day!

Handwriting

photo credit cranium, via flickr

photo credit cranium, via flickr

I was having a terrible time getting going on Wings of Song. I would sit and stare at the blank page on the computer, finally write a few paragraphs, get going, feel pretty good, write a few chapters … and then come back either an hour or a day later and delete everything.

Finally, I took drastic measures. I pulled out my old clipboard, scavenged a lined paper supply from my children’s hoard (for whatever reason, they would ten times rather draw on lined paper than on blank), found my pens that are the only pens I can ever write with, world without end, amen (hey, I know I’m not the only one that fussy about my pens), and started writing longhand.

It worked. It worked really well. The writing is slower, but so much better – I can see the improvement already. Even the notes in the margins, rather than simply deleting and replacing text, seem to help.

Sometimes you just have to return to the old-fashioned way, right?

But oh, my poor hand muscles. They are so sore after a bout of writing. I started using a computer for all my writing purposes in college ten years ago (ten years! I bumped into one of my favorite profs this weekend while visiting home, and both of us felt immensely old when we realized how long ago it had been that I was in his class), and I’ve been almost exclusively computerized since. My handwriting muscles are seriously disused.

(This immersion into computer writing happened mostly because of readability. My thoughts have always raced so much further ahead of my fingers that my handwriting is cramped, tiny, and painful to decipher. My eyes, and the eyes of everyone who had to read what I wrote, figuratively danced for joy when I started typing.)

I keep reminding myself to be thankful I don’t live a few hundred years ago. Imagine trying to write a novel with a quill pen!

And no way will I start using candles to light my paper. I’ve done that before, when we lost electricity for two weeks following an ice storm.¬†Never again.

I may be old-fashioned, but not that much.

Summer Sale!

Right now, all my publications are on sale.

(“All.” Doesn’t that sound grand? So much more impressive than “one short story on its own and two shorts bundled together.” Language is a beautiful thing.)

Justice’s Mask,” a historical fiction short story published under the penname of Louise Ayers, is on sale through Amazon for $0.99.

If This Be Magic & The Traitor and the Spy,” two historical fantasy shorts published in one volume, on sale through Amazon for $1.99 on Kindle, and $3.99 paperback.

This is the start of my summer promotions for Magic Most Deadly, which currently does NOT have a release date, but most definitely should be out by fall. I also have some lovely giveaways planned, and some picture teasers for the book itself.

At some point, there will be a COVER REVEAL, and I’m still trying to figure out if it’s worth doing a blog tour for that – if you’d be interested in signing up to join in the cover reveal, let me know!

But first, the sale! What better way to kick off promoting a forthcoming novel?

(And hey – if you happen to buy either of the above books, and you want to leave a review on Amazon? That would be AWESOME. Even if it’s a negative review. I promise, I won’t even read it, I just want to know it’s there!)

(And if leaving a review is way too much of a pain for you, that’s cool, I get it. Sometimes I have a hard time doing reviews even when I want to, too. I’ll still think you’re awesome just for buying and reading.)

(Actually, I’ll probably still think you’re a fantastic human being even if you don’t even buy and read.)

And hey! Happy Canada Day, north-of-the-border friends!