After taking a much-needed, self-imposed hiatus (of nearly two months), I am back! I was feeling substantially burned-out, and not sure whether I even wanted to continue writing. It's only getting through a little over a month with the online critique group that has really put things in perspective. I am still taking a break from novel-writing (though I may complete the second novel, and then let it simmer for a few months), not having the time or the energy to focus on that right now.
As an alternative, I am finding short stories to be a great challenge. Not so-called flash-fiction: I have no idea how you write a true story (and not just a scene from a story) in less than 100 or 500 words. But short stories, around 5,000 to 10,000 words, are doable in the short amount of time that I have to spare in the evenings, without imposing upon what little sleep time I have available.
Just a quick story: I was making dinner a few nights ago, and Matthew decided to pour his own juice. He's as uncoordinated as they come (kind of like his mom), and of course spilled the juice on the table because he was pouring too quickly. I huffed a little and grabbed a cloth to clean up the table.
"Matthew," I said, carefully keeping the tone of my voice calm, "You need to pour more slowly. Spills happen, but you spill your juice a lot, because you're moving too fast. Slow down."
There was a short silence, and then he replied, "Well, look on the bright side, Mom. I didn't spill it all over your computer."
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