Monday, November 28, 2005

Holiday Stress

It's not any easier to return to the real world from a long holiday weekend when you work for yourself at home. Now that I'm back home and the leftovers are even almost gone, I'm facing a busy week (make that month) ahead, and now I need to buckle down that much harder.

Next week I'll be in New York to both research the book I'm working on and meet with my editor, agent and in-house marketing/publicity people. That means I need to be far enough along in the book to know what locations I need to research, and I need to have my marketing ideas in place to present. I'll also need my holiday gifts for my editor and the rest of the publishing house staff (I bake cookies for the office in general). I'll mail something to my agent so she doesn't have to transport it (she's not based in New York). I've been trying to come up with a corporate card from Magic, Spells and Illusions, Inc. to use as my holiday card for people who've read at least one of my books, and it would be nice to have pulled that together by then (ha!).

Meanwhile, I've discovered, thanks to the bathroom scale at my parents' house, the fit of clothing not bought recently and the loud complaints of my knees, that I seem to have put on a few pounds. That's a fun way to enter the holiday season. When people ask how I stay relatively slim, I have to say that my main diet secret is having really bad knees. I absolutely can't carry any extra weight without severe pain, and pain is an excellent diet motivator. I guess that means I'm going cold turkey on sweets this week because I can't go to New York with sore knees. That city really isn't handicap friendly, as I learned on my very first visit there a few months after knee surgery.

Even after the New York trip, I'll be busy getting this book finished and ready to go to my agent when she's back in the office after the holidays. I don't know if I'll have quite the same degree of Forced Death March of Fun that I had last year, with an average of three parties per weekend, but my calendar is looking fairly full. I have a party Friday night, then a brunch the next morning. There's another brunch the following Saturday and a party that Sunday evening. I also have a mid-week performance of A Christmas Carol at the Dallas Theater Center, and there are a couple of parties for groups I belong to that haven't been scheduled yet. I don't know when I'm going to do my "office party" where I treat myself. Maybe when I get the first draft of the book done. In a way, I guess my business party will be when I'm in New York. I'm not sure when I'm going to put up my decorations at home. I'll want them to get me in the mood for what I'm writing, but I usually put them up on the 6th of December, and I'll be in New York then. Either I have to put them up ahead of time (and add to my list of to-dos this week) or wait until I get home.

Next year, I think I'm going to try to avoid a situation where I have to do any strenuous work around the holidays. I want to either wrap up anything I'm working on before Thanksgiving or be able to wait to start after the new year.

So now I'd better get started on that to-do list, huh?

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