The perfectly sculpted, mushroom-shaped shrubbery at the garden’s edge provided just enough cover that Amalee Watts could scope out Fox Talbot’s property without alerting his mercenaries to her presence. Unlike the birds who’d been chirping since shortly after dawn broke, the power hungry despot’s staff seemed to be slow to rise. That made this the perfect moment to slink across the property line and ruin Talbot’s plans for world domination. If she succeeded, October 18, 1888 would go down as a major success for The Resistance, perhaps the seminal victory against Talbot’s dark forces. If not – Amalee’s jaw tightened. She refused to consider any other outcome.
She untangled her goggles from her electric blue hair and lowered them to cover her eyes, then wound the clockwork gear near the clasp until the temperature gauge blinked. Holding her breath to avoid fogging up the lenses, she scanned the lush green hedgerow maze leading to the garden surrounding Talbot’s country estate. When she zeroed in on the courtyard, five red shadows appeared. One guard per shadow, her kind of odds – if the gauge wasn’t acting up. Again.
“Okay, this is as far as I can go.” Her partner, professor Henry Mogg, twitched, his red nose wrinkling. “You understand your instructions?”
Amalee drew her four-barrel pistol and checked the sights. “Cross the twenty feet of open space without being seen. Hurdle the security fence. Disable the private militia. Sneak into Talbot’s garden. Find the one-inch by one-inch Thurston gear hidden in the conservatory under some flowers and return it to you so you can fix the War Bird. Then, we fly out of here and bomb the train before all hell breaks loose. Easy-peasy.”
“Orchids, it’s under the orchids.”
Gaze locked on the gun, she flicked open the chamber and confirmed the twenty bullets were loaded properly then flicked it closed. “I’m going to kill you after this.”
“What are you doing out here?”
It had taken him long enough to find her. Holly felt Jacob’s touch on her shoulder but did not turn around. Time was too fleeting. She wanted to revel a little longer in the chill of the dark Spring night, the giggle of the creek below her, the crunch of the grass under her feet. Charlie’s mind hadn’t gotten the grass quite right yet.
“I was scolded for talking to the children,” she said. “So I came out to catch fireflies by the water.” She scooped up a lightning bug that had rested on the branch beside her, serenely blinking like an empty street on the day after Christmas. Holly remembered Christmas, and the little girl who had dreamed about it once. Holly had taken her name.
“Technically it’s not catching when you don’t chase them,” said Jacob.
“Technically it’s not chasing when they wait to be found.” Even after so long, it was ever the argument with them.
“It’s not really a creek,” he said.
“It’s not really night either, but you don’t hear me complaining.” Holly opened her palm and let the firefly escape, leaving nothing on her fingertips but wishes and dew.
“I’m not complaining,” he said. “Just stating the facts.”
“Facts have no business here,” said Holly.
I know, I know . . . potty mouth.
But, lately I’ve been very frustrated with the amount of time my day job is taking away from my writing life. Now, I love my job and it is very fulfilling – I’m an attorney for U.S. Navy and you couldn’t have a better group of clients. And, this working thing isn’t new. I am not independently wealthy and while my husband is a few years older than I am – he’s no Sugar Daddy. (Although I hear that “the Hef” is now available and apparently has room at the mansion and rockin’ party already planned and paid for)
So, when I began down the path of publication and took this compulsion to write seriously, I always had to work it around the day job. I write in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed and I can usually get in a good 2-3 hours before my comfortable bed beckons from across the room. And, sometimes I can squeeze in extra time on my regular day off and my lunch hours. Not bad for a full-time, working mother.
I have excellent time management skills. I juggle my work and the supervision of three others and I fill-in for my boss when he is out. I’ve done this for years . . . so, what gives?
Lately work has been crazy and I’ve had a terrible time focusing when I do get a chance to sit down in front of the computer. Not a good thing when you’re trying to maximize your writing time.
So, I’ve decided to go back to basics and seek some help. Obviously, my life and workload have shifted so I need to re-adjust my time allocation and techniques to maximize my writing time. And, like any good attorney, I went looking for some research tools – some advice from others who have been there and bought the t-shirt.
So, I have started reading this:
We’ll see if it helps. It’s gotta be better than crawling into a fetal position and crying over blank pages.
What do you do to make time to write? What do you do when life throws you a curveball?