Summertime, and the living is…?

It’s been a hectic summer, so far. Not productive, but definitely busy.

As those of you who are here via my previous blog (or just know me in real life) know, I have a family: My wonderful partner, Sarah, and our two children, both of whom are severely autistic. They’re both beautiful, smart, loving and need kind of a lot of looking after.

The bad news is, due to a bunch of factors involving expense and a limited number of affordable options, they aren’t in any kind of summer programs this year. The good news is, I have a pretty great job, so Sarah is able to be at home full-time. The other bad news is, taking care of two autistic kids all day is enough to wear anyone out, even her. The other good news is, when I’m not at work, I’ve been stepping up as best I can to support her and take care of the kids. Which has been wonderful. I love spending time with my family. But when you add the other other bad news – that the kids’ sleep schedules have been thrown off by the summer, so everyone’s sleep has been disrupted – all in, it’s a recipe for me not having a whole lot of discretionary time or energy right now.

Ha, and I thought I was going to have more time to write over the summer.

But what am I going to do? Not take care of my family? Come home from a day at the office and tell my frazzled, stressed, exhausted partner, “Rough day, huh? Well, I’m off to Starbucks. I have a novel to write. Priorities, you know!”

Yeah, no. I’m not going to do that.

To be clear: It’s not that I don’t get to have any fun. With the support of Sarah, and her very helpful family and friends, I got away for four entire days to attend DetCon 1 in Detroit, and had an awesome time. Four days may not sound like a lot to you, but it’s the longest amount of time away I’ve taken in a decade, and you better believe I appreciated it.

And I get the time I need to rest and recharge. It’s just that time to rest and recharge usually has to replace time to write.

Obviously, blogging has slowed down, like the rest of my writing. I still owe you my next post on Ulysses – because you were all waiting with bated breath for that one, right? I hope to get to it, and my post on being retweeted by Neil Gaiman, very soon. And I have a new blog feature that I’m planning, which should be fun, informative, and pretty easy for me to manage, too.

And my novel? I’ll keep working on it. Slower than I might have wished, maybe, but incremental progress is still progress.

This isn’t the end of the world. I’ve had times like this before, when other responsibilities have to come first, and the writing has to wait. They always end. This one will end. The summer will end. Heck, Labour Day is just around the corner, and with it, the kids going back to school, and we’ll back to our September to June routine. That will mean more rest, more time, more energy for my other projects.

Until then? Summertime means taking my son to the pool, and my daughter to the park, and doing a few more dishes than we’d have to otherwise.

Busy? Yes. Hectic? Yes. Tiring? Yes.

Full of time spent with my happy children and loving family? Yes.

Worth slowing down progress on a novel for?

Yes. Yes indeed. Happy summer.

COMING UP NEXT: At last, the long-promised post on my adventures in retweeting!

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