Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Sometimes the content (of life) is just too great, and you (read: I) find (my)self scrambling to fit everything in.

I used to be able to handle it, and am wondering how on earth it has all gotten away from me.

Real Life Example

I have a teenage daughter. Explains everything, right? This week is her LAST week of Synchronized Swimming (they have the State meet Friday). It is her first week she's been practicing Water Polo (morning practices, because in the afternoon she has synchro. Then, 4-6 she has driver's ed (which overlaps with her syncho practice from 5-7). Then, TONIGHT, she has DRIVING from 7-9, and it is too far to walk in 0 minutes (in fact for a veteran walker like me, it would probably take 20, so for my daughter we're talking about 90 minutes). AND (this is the biggie, pay attention) my husband took our only car in for repairs yesterday and it will be some time TOMORROW before we have it back. Three overlapping events and nary a vehicle to go between.

How did we solve this? We'll after a lot of yelling about who was the idiot who scheduled all these things like this *cough*Notme*cough * Well I scheduled some portion of them, but that was before I KNEW when the others were. Then we brainstormed. Then we tested our resources.

The daughter will just have to walk from Driver's Ed to synchro—she doesn't like it, but it's only about 8 blocks. A neighbor is picking her up from synchro and dropping her off for the driving. Then I will meet her after driving and walk home with her (this one is about a mile). It's not ideal, but it all goes in there.

What would I do if I got a Do Over? Schedule Driver's Ed in the SUMMER, no matter HOW MUCH the teen complained that she was eligible now. But there are no refunds, so there you have it. When I signed up, I was accommodating a 6-8 practice, and that CHANGED. How could I have known?

What about the writing?

This is a really lousy, miserable experience. I definitely recommend giving your characters an impossible amount to do in the too little time. The tension of man vs. man and man vs. time (nature) are good for the adrenaline—sort of like a nice shot of cocaine. And be making it move so fast, you are likely to leave out any pesky, boring details (like dinner).

What about the writing? (say, is there an echo in here?)

It also is reminiscent of my word count issues... There are way too many things to fit in, and a finite length in which to fit them. So... from this:

Overlap: if something can serve multiple purposes DO IT.
Brainstorm: Find what can solve this most efficiently
Plan Better/stop over-committing: (A little research could have eased this pain)
List it among your assets: (yes, Wesley) If you know everything you have to work with, that brainstorming is a lot more efficient.
Throw your character in the fire: Letting them suffer a little is good for them.
Accept the Limitations: what you can do is what you can do. A redo will be more profound and successful, surely, but this time around, you just have to get it in there.

Note: I hope to come around a couple times for comments and such today, but my day job is ALSO having a scrambling stage, so I may be scarce on reading and commenting on other people's stuff for a few days here... will try to catch up a little over the weekend...


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Hope you get all your stuff done without pulling your hair out! We'll be here when you have a chance to get back to us. :)

Car repairs are such a PAIN! That's usually when I try to cash in my favors with others and ask them to drive my children around... For your daughter, I think the walk sounds like a good warm up for her swim, though.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Jan Morrison said...

Oh Tartlette - such is life! I feel your pain or is that a piece of lego in my back pocket? We live out in the country which means that we are indentured servants to our two teenagers (wait a minute - didn't I do this already - why yes I did - I must be a very bad person to have to do it again!) As of last night, I have one steamed partner and one highly defensive teenager (I first wrote teeanger which might be more like it) All to do with back and forths and trying to be kind because you have to and it has ended up in a 'this house is too small for the two of us'. Oh well, there will be other days worse and others better I'm sure.
Oh and when you come up for air - come on over and leave a brief comment on my 300th post so I can send you a photo for my 'All will be Winners' event.

Sugar said...

blah blah teenagers blah some point we get mommy time..right? hahaha hysterical giggles. I was rather hoping for some more nakey men pics, but spose I'll just scroll. lol.. Keep up the good mommy routine, it will pay off..or so they say..cuz eventually they move out!
Hang in there girl, we can do this..and at least we can laugh at each others misfortunes :)

M.J. Nicholls said...

If your daughter likes to write, there's nothing better than a brisk walk. Writers without walks is like a politician without a mistress. Impossible.

Megan said...

I feel your pain. And kids think walking is an archaic notion. Probably not so bad if Mom is walking with her. Good luck with all that, and the writing (and I love me some Wesley *aaaas yoooouuuu wiiiiiisssshhhhh*)

Watery Tart said...

Elizabeth--Man, NO KIDDING on car repairs! And this one is hugely expensive because we've been putting it off for so long. My husband is definitely calling in favors--I seem to hold more script among my writing friends than neighbors--he is pretty good though, so there are a few to call in.

Jan-sounds like before this life you must have wanted some teen expertise... *snicker* That was one of the Buddhist things I never quite got... I've had some lessons there is NO WAY I could have chosen... *sigh* Maybe my between life self was just getting this stuff out of the way, because I'm sure everyone needs to know eventually...

Will definitely pop over!

Sugar--I'm falling down on the lack of eye candy! Bad Tart! I need a spanking!

Mark *snort* And you can line up for the spanking right there with me. Silly boy.

Megan--Oi! Walking with her (or my husband) drives me NUTS. Neither one of them has a fast speed, and when I walk, I WALK... My husband always asks why I'm rushing--they completely don't get that I LIKE to walk fast.

Ah yes... Wesley... And like him, I've been mostly dead since this morning, so back to it!


B. Miller said...

Right now I'm struggling with too many things happening in the story in a short amount of time, so I'm going to go back and see if I can combine a few things as you suggested. Thanks for the advice!