Thursday, January 8, 2009

Heading West

As you know, Patrick and I have a book coming out in the fall. The thing about a book coming out is you have to finish writing it first. Our publisher has been very specific about that. 

Trying to write in the crazy house I live in is, well, damn near impossible. I no sooner sit down at my MacBook after morning chores than Erin has a concern about one of the animals or needs an answer to a shareholder question. Then Harry, Patrick's 16-year-old son, wants to tell me about something that happened at school. In the meantime my inbox has filled up with 30 or 40 emails and my cell phone's ringing and I need to get something out of the freezer to thaw in time for dinner and oh, Lord! Look, it's time for evening chores. 

Each and every one of the ten thousand interruptions is perfectly reasonable and valid and important, but, Holy Monkeys, does it make it hard to write! Just feeding this crew takes up a huge portion of my day. (Yes, I make all the meals around here from scratch but I enjoy it, and it makes me feels less guilty about the $20,000 my ex-husband spent on culinary school. Thanks, Steve.)

So, in an effort to fulfill my contract with the lovely people at Chelsea Green Publishing and in hopes of turning in a final manuscript that you and I can be proud of, I am heading for Texas for two weeks of solid, interruption-free writing. 

Now ya'll might think going to my mama's house would not be conducive to writing but that's only because you've never met my mom. She is very, very goal oriented and very supported of all my crazy shenanigans. When I started a jam company a few years ago in California, my mama worked with me, stirring jam pots until 3 in the morning when I had a big order to fill.

[This is me standing in front of my jam on a supermarket shelf. I was so proud!]

When I decided I was going to be a shepherd it was my mama who found out about the Heifer Institute's Women's Lambing Weekend and insisted we go.
If I have a deadline, there is no better place for me to be than at my mom's house in Fort Worth.

Of course, my absence will mean more work for Erin, Patrick and Harry, but we've all agreed that getting the book done is Priority One right now. I'll just have to shovel my share of poopy hay when I get back.

I will be blogging while I'm away but I won't be answering emails. The fact is I get so many emails these days that it nearly a full-time job answering them. And, as much as love reading your email- and I do read every single one of them- I pass all the ones that need replying to on to Erin, our indispensable and beloved farm manager. Erin is also kind, loyal and thoughtful and I hope she never, ever quits because we would fall apart in 1.6 days without her.

If you just want to tell me something that doesn't need answering feel free to write to me. Please send any questions you have directly to Erin at carib_erin AT yahoo DOT COM. 


Maggie said...

So, is the jam still out there? Can we get our mitts on it? And best of luck cranking out the book in the next two weeks!

Susan said...

Sadly, Maggie, I had to leave the jam behind when I moved from CA to NYC- it was just too hard to get good, organic fruit. But I'll make some up special for you next time your coming out this way.

The store in the pic is Bristol Farms. DO you have those in San Diego? I loved that store.

Maggie said...

!!! I get special jam?!? I'll have to come out. Ian has admitted he could see himself visiting the island...

And yes, they're lovely--sort of an Albertsons meets Whole Foods. You can get the healthy stuff and still find Doritios!

--Deb said...

Mmmm ... jam ...

Publishers ARE awfully picky about having the authors actually write the manuscripts. Good luck with that!

I guess this means you're not coming to visit any time soon, huh (grin).

Turtle said...

lol, maybe a jam swap at the next big event! (only fare to give as well as receive!) Good luck on the writing! What a great supportive mom!

Rona said...

oh yum bristol farms, yes!

have a great time writing and being with your mom
you're always on a fun adventure :)

i enjoy reading along.

blessings and love
and writers FLOW


Jenny said...

This will be so good for you! Good luck getting it done. I keep picturing Chevy Chase in that movie where he goes out into the woods and his wife slaps him in the forehead really hard and says breathlessly, "mosquito."

Hopefully it won't be like that. :) I can't wait to read the book!!!