I had a rough day yesterday. My grandson celebrated his fifth birthday, and I wasn’t able to be with him. Again. Never mind that I get to see him in two weeks, I missed him in that moment, and it made me sad. It didn’t help that one of the first things I saw on my Facebook feed was my post from last year, with an adorable picture of him, and me saying how much I wished I could give him a birthday hug in person.
Another thing I saw, soon after, was a post by a young mother explaining how busy she was and therefore wasn’t able to spend time with everyone in her life. I don’t know the story behind her post, but I thought I’d share with her a different perspective, from someone who knows how it feels to be the one wishing for more time with a busy family.
I certainly wasn’t rude or judgemental. I basically said that I too was once a mother of three active boys so I understand how busy she is, but one day she’ll also be a mother of grown sons, and she might wish for more time with them, despite knowing how busy they are. I finished by saying if a relationship is important, a person finds the time to be together. If it isn’t, they don’t. Simple as that.
Rather than acknowledge my comment, this young woman, who is more than a casual acquaintance, deleted it. My first impulse was to think ‘how rude’, but, hey, it’s her wall, and she was obviously looking for agreement and commiseration, rather than open conversation. I’ll be sure not to give her cause to snub me again.
And this is my blog, so I get explain the point I was trying to make yesterday, without the risk of being deleted.
It’s a simple point, really, but maybe not an easy one, if it’s not what a person wants to hear. Yes, lives are busy. Yes, to save our sanity we must pick and choose what to do with our time. But we must choose wisely. Is it so important, for instance, to surf the internet, spending hours on Pinterest and other such sites? To some people, it might be. However, in so doing, are we neglecting something or someone else because we no longer have spare time or energy?
If the relationship is important enough, you find the time. You find the time! This is a lesson I’m still trying to learn. Time is finite. We all only have so much of it, and none of us know exactly when it’ll run out. So, while it’s easy to say, “I’m too busy”, what you’re actually saying is “my relationship with you is not important enough”. And maybe it isn’t, which is fine. All relationships have varying levels of importance.
But if it’s someone you love, or more importantly, someone who loves you, who loves your kids, you should really find a few minutes in your busy life to call, visit, whatever. Let them know you’re thinking about them and you care, even though you’re busy. Pinterest will still be there tomorrow, but your loved one might not.
EDITED October 3, 2015: To avoid future overreaction and further negativity, I’d like to clarify that my above comments are not directed at the person who deleted my comment on Facebook. I’m speaking in the broadest of generalities, to all of us who live busy lives and might be inadvertently ignoring loved ones. I thought that was clear in my original post, but if it wasn’t, hopefully it is now.
Okay, now that that’s off my chest, let’s talk writing.
The 2015 RONE Awards were announced on September 19th, and It’s Complicated, which was nominated in the Sweet Contemporary category, didn’t win or take honourable mention. Naturally I was a little disappointed, especially after the incredible review that set the nomination in motion, but the book isn’t on the market right now, so I couldn’t even have used the award to promote sales. I was very fortunate to have won a RONE with my first book, and I was fortunate to be nominated with my second. Because I only received a three star review with my third book, I won’t be up for an award next year. That’s the way it goes.
I’ve spent the month of September working through both Show No Weakness and It’s Complicated, doing a few cosmetic changes to get them ready to resubmit to a new publisher. Because Show No Weakness is an older book, it didn’t represent my current voice, so hopefully I’ve improved this. I was also able to fix a minor continuity problem between the two books, as well as a couple of pesky typos that drove my perfectionist personality crazy.
Besides the typos, which can slip by even the most careful editing, I was shocked to discover several instances of missing words, especially in It’s Complicated. Usually ‘the’ or ‘at’ or other short, commonly used words. Prior to publication, I read the manuscripts over and over and over. My editor read the manuscripts at least two or three times, then they were read by a proof-reader. How the heck did all those missing words get overlooked? Boggles the mind. I now have a text-to-speech function on my word program, and it’s beyond incredible at finding these occurrences. I can listen to the words being spoken as I read along, which really makes problems jump out at me. Not only missing words, but also repeat phrases and awkward sentence construction. It’s such an invaluable tool, I’ll never send off a manuscript again without putting it through the program first.
Both manuscripts are now finished, and Show No Weakness has been submitted to a new publisher. I have no concrete timeline for when I’ll hear whether or not they’re interested. Meanwhile, I’ve taken my first look at my editor’s notes on Visual Effects, which will be my next book out with The Wild Rose Press, sometime next year. For the most part, they’re the no-brainer type of edits, and I can quickly and easily make the fixes. There are a couple of places where I’ll have to do some thinking first, but I’m confident I’ll come up with an idea or two in short order.
Probably while taking a shower… Or in the middle of the night…