The Surreal Life

Two days ago I was schmoozing, networking, and meeting celebrities. I was drinking champagne, eating delicious food in a 4-star hotel, and enjoying the company of some amazing people. I was discussing my latest novel, book signings and tours, and organising a book launch. I was going to the theatre followed by a concert at a local church.

Today I’m cleaning up cat wee in the shoe cupboard, ironing school uniform, and wondering how I’m going to cook a gluten-free spaghetti bolognaise and get my daughter to swimming classes in the space of an hour. I’m vacuuming bedrooms, walking the dog, and clearing out hair from the plug in the shower. I’m standing in the playground discussing the bowel habits of children whilst trying to stay warm and dry on a foggy morning, and stop my son from throwing his hat into a tree.

This is the surreal life of an author who also happens to be a housewife and full-time Mum.

My brain is literally all over the place. One minute I’m trying to figure out how to fill in that rather large plot hole I’ve just discovered, the next I’m throwing old food into a compost bin. I’m filling out forms and speaking to companies about which systems would be best to use in the bookshop (should it EVER open), and then I’m talking to the school about volunteering to help children with reading and writing. I’m emailing publishers, booksellers, and agents. I’m emailing the PTA. I’m booking hotels for an upcoming romance festival, and figuring out the logistics of being in two places at once to do a reading and a signing. I’m ringing up the vets to book the cat in for their vaccinations.

I’m editing manuscripts, proof reading projects from friends… I’m helping my daughter with her homework. I’m organising blog tours (and trying to encourage people to email me back with their filled out interviews – eh-hem…), I’m wondering if a twentieth takeaway this month would really be such a bad thing… I’m giving advice to other writers, I’m getting advice from other parents. I’m creating a believable main character who is sexy but not overly beautiful, powerful, but with weaknesses. I’m dressed in jeans (wet from walking the dog) and a man’s hoodie.

I’m ordering flyers, business cards, posters, and trying to find somewhere cheap that does bookmarks. I’m proof reading catalogues and promotional material for my husband. I’m creating promotional material for myself! I’m marketing and advertising. I’m washing clothes and trying to understand why there are so many pairs of boxer shorts just floating around the living room.

I’m cooking everything from scratch since my daughter is currently being tested for coeliacs disease. I’m going backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards to the doctors with her. I’m reading 5-star reviews on my book. I’m discussing figures and finances and getting quotes from a PR consultant. I’m gardening and wondering if we’ll ever get round to fixing that piece of decking that’s rotten through, and when would be the best time to buy a greenhouse and set out the raised beds? I’m talking with my husband about looking at properties that would best suit the bookshop and photography studio.

I’m tapping away at the computer in an attempt to create the next Sunday Times / New York Times bestseller. I’m traipsing around Tescos wondering if 1000 teabags is enough.

And then someone asks me if I’m going to get a real job now my son is at school…

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