In January, I finally finished revisions on my second book, The Supper Club. It took longer than I would have liked, but last year was full of juggling: the Fuller Award for the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, work on the comic book, the death of an old friend, and the decline and death of two of my grandparents. Mixed in were creative moments and misadventures with the kids, coffee and wine with friends, and time spent writing.
I vowed that I would finish the rewrite of The Supper Club by the end of 2012, and I did at 4am on January 1st,. I gave the draft to my readers for a quick read through, then I revised accordingly.
The night I finished The Supper Club, I opened this bottle of wine given to me by a friend and signed by the winemaker, Matthew Rorick. It seemed a fitting way to toast the trials and triumphs of the past year.
The new year continued with visits from some of my favorite people: Maura Henn, Kyle Cassidy and Trillian Stars, as well as a party in their honor that included a house concert by Bittersweet Drive.
You can read Maura’s account of the wonderful weekend on her blog. A few of us also participated in the Chicago chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America’s all-day reading of Pride and Prejudice on the 20oth Anniversary of the novel’s publication (orchestrated by the amazing Debra Ann Miller). It was fun to read Mrs. Bennet for an hour and be a part of the event which included readers from the Jane Austen Society, Terra Mysterium, local writers Jody Lynn Nye, Lawrence Santoro, Victoria Noe, and others.
So it’s 2013, and I am back to writing in earnest. As I try to carve out a routine that works, I keep thinking about the idea of “finding balance” in life. As I try to squeeze everything into my day (and night), it’s a recurring theme.
When most people today talk about balance, they use the metaphor of scales: life on one side of the scale and work on the other. The challenge lies in making the two sides balance.
Perhaps it’s the wrong metaphor for balance. It’s not the right one for me. I prefer the image of a mobile, like those of Alexander Calder, with many different parts of my life suspended and in motion, swinging around as I shift my position and my focus. That sounds a lot more like my day-to-day: elements swirling around, moving in and out of the foreground.
One person’s chaos is another’s harmony.