Spring-cleaning break, then Indie Week 2!

Spring cleaning

WordMothers has published over 150 interviews since January, and I’m incredibly grateful to both the literary artists featured and our readers. Thank you all so much for your support! Now the universe is telling me I need to take a little break.

One of the first things people say when they find out I have five children is: “You must be busy!” And I am. Very busy. But that’s not a point of pride for me. When the defining characteristic of your life becomes busyness, it’s time to pause and check your priorities.

I have Graves Disease, a prevailing symptom of which is feeling amped up all the time. I’m currently in remission from the Graves, but I also have a neurological disorder, and it’s kicking my butt after a trip to show the boys their first snow in early July. Some kid on a sled knocked me flat on my back, I smacked my head on the ice, and now I’m in constant pain and back to feeling like I have a New Year’s Day hangover 24/7. It goes without saying that sitting at a desk staring at a screen for hours on end doesn’t help.


Also, my husband was recently assaulted by a motorist with a baseball bat in front of our 10YO (both are fine), then 4 days later, when the kids and I were on our way to dance / drama / singing, we saw a car race down the wrong side of the street and knock over a pedestrian. Both events were fairly traumatic, and left me feeling fragile. We’ve also just made our monthly trip to the ER, which is par for the course with five young sons but gets wearying.

So…I’m taking some time to spring-clean my life. Here’s what I have planned:

  • Re-connecting with my kids. I told my college roommate that my dream family was a gang of little boys, #5 was named before he was even conceived, and I felt like we’d won the lottery when he was born and said dream team was complete, but…boys make a lot of noise. They take up a lot of space. They get very physical. And sometimes their exuberance looks more like aggression. We’ve been dealing with some feral behaviour recently, so it’s high time we all get back to base, so to speak.
  • Toilet-training my 2YO. Woo hoo! I’m truly excited because this will be a total game-changer for the whole family. We’ve already decluttered the clothes and the stair gates and the crib, the safety latches are starting to come off the drawers, etc… Two is one of my all-time favorite ages so I’m savouring every last drop of toddlerhood but I’m also really excited about transitioning to the next stage of our lives.
  • Making New England clam chowder. This is a simple one, but it makes me so happy! I grew up on clam chowder and it never fails to remind me of home. And it’s supposed to rain for a week straight now, which is perfect chowder-chowing weather!

Clam chowder

  • Hanging out with my husband and seeing something funny. After such a heavy month, I’d love to watch a television series or movie that actually makes us laugh. Any good suggestions???
  • Catching up on correspondence. My husband and I are blessed to still have all our parents and childhood friends, but the letters home have fallen by the wayside recently. So time to check in and remind my loved ones that I love them!
  • Resubmitting my poetry manuscript. I completed a collection of poems with a development grant from the Australia Council for the Arts, and was shortlisted for publication at various presses, but it was a case of “Always the bridesmaid…” When I started working on my novel, I put the poems aside to let them breathe a bit. After completing some revisions and rejigging the overall structure of my manuscript, I’m ready to tackle submitting again!

Bridesmaid dress

When I come back, I’m looking forward to hosting another indie week. The last one was hugely successful, and to that end, I have 3 self-published authors waiting in the wings to tell you more about the advantages and challenges associated with going it alone. Stay tuned for wise words and personal stories from: Kim Cleary, Nina Miller, and Virginia King!

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Cheers, Nicole