Stephanie Burgis
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Random rambling
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I'm snuggled up on the couch with Maya right now, for the first time in ages, and it feels wonderful. I'd almost forgotten how lovely it is to be cuddled up to a warm, soft border collie! Poor Maya. She's been a total angel about MrD (the only thing she tries to politely avoid is getting any petting from him, since baby petting mostly consists of grabbing big handfuls of fur and yanking)...but life has certainly been different for her, to say the least, ever since he arrived. We keep telling her that when he's older, he'll be really fun to play with. She just sighs and gives us big eyes (or plays with her huge new stuffed snake, whom she adores and snuggles up against at night).

Between signing my contracts and mailing them off (woooot!) and Patrick finishing up the rewrites on his awesome YA Regency steampunk adventure novel (set on Mars, with dragons) (think Indiana Jones written by Jane Austen!), it's been an exciting and hectic week. Even MrD had excitement! Thursday was St George's Day, which usually passes me (and, as far as I can tell, everyone in the UK except for Lord High Mayors, etc) by without any celebration whatsoever. At the Leeds Central Library, though, the coordinators of Baby Story Hour celebrated St George's Day with a castles theme. The older kids (i.e., the 1- and 2-year-olds) showed up in elaborate prince/princess costumes, and the babies were all given pretty paper crowns. It was probably a good thing that Patrick, a firm anti-royalist, was at home working on his novel and couldn't attend! ;)

(I should say: I, too, am a firm anti-royalist, but, not having grown up in England, I still can't quite make myself take the English royalty seriously enough to be as offended by them as I probably should be. On the other hand, I have stopped writing stories with "rightful" kings and queens in them now that I live in a country where that's not just an interesting fantasy to play with!) MrD was very cute in his crown, though, and of course one of my friends at story hour referred to him as "Prince Darcy" as he wore it. :)

Ever since MrD was born, Patrick and I have been feeling our way toward a good division of writing/parenting time on Patrick's days off from the day job. Lately, we've both had deadlines for our novels, so we've taken long, intense turns in the last few weeks - first I got ALL the writing time while I did my copyedits, and then Patrick got his turn while he finished up his final revision. Now, though, we're blissfully free of time pressure (I have a draft of Book 2 due on June 1st, but that should be a very easy deadline to meet, since I finished the first draft last August), and we're finally settling into our ideal routine, where each of us gets a couple hours of writing time every day. MrD will be 7 months old in a few days, and in a lot of ways, I feel like things are finally settling into a version of "normal" that really works for all of us. (Knock on wood!) In the last few days, I've been taking Maya and MrD to the local park and hanging out there in the sunshine with both of them for hours, basking in pure contentment.

Of course, I'm still utterly and completely exhausted (and will be for a long time to come, I expect), and of course there are days when nothing goes right. But I'm starting to really, really like what "normal" feels like, nowadays.

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