The problem is…

This past weekend, there was a Steampunk convention here in town.  As I am fascinated with the genre and think it would be cool to incorporate into writings, I headed over there.

For once, I was the most mundane person in the room.  And I learned that in high school…I was kinda Steampunk without knowing it (being a nerdy girl who liked fantasy, Star Wars and Victorian things.)

There were a couple panels on becoming a writer, so I went to those.  In the one, the question of “What’s your biggest hurdle” came up.  Besides kids and crazy pets and  “day job”.

I sat there and thought “Guilt.”

That’s my problem.


Because as I sit and write, my house is not getting cleaned.  That errand isn’t getting done.  That thing that needs my attention isn’t getting my attention.

This morning, the word “Guilt” expanded.

Whenever I’m gone, Maura does okay, but when I return, she will glom onto me for a few days, to get her fill of me again.  The past week, I was running around, being busy, being sick, not being great about giving her attention.  Then I was gone most of the weekend.

This morning, she’d had enough of this foolishness.  As I got her ready for school, she stared at me bleary-eyed, full of Monday morning stubbornness, just not willing to comply with any little thing.  Dress?  no. Coat? no. Dolly for school? no.

In frustration, I asked what DID she want.

“I want to go home.”

“But you ARE home!” I said, frustrated.  I wasn’t handling Monday morning any better than she was really.

I checked her over for illness, but she seemed fine, just stubborn.  Really really stubborn. And sad. And unsure of things.  She finally climbed onto my lap for a hug as I tried to figure out what was going on.

And it hit me.

She just wanted to hang out with me.


I said to her “How about after school, when we get home, you and me watch tv?  We can watch all the Ruby Gloom you want!”

She perked up “Ruby?”


She found the (empty) DVD case.  “Oh no, Ruby gone!”

We found the DVD.  “Now,” I said as we put it in the case , then put the case in the backpack, “We can watch this after school.  But first, you have to go to school, then when you get home, we’ll watch Ruby.”


She was so instantly better and ready to go to school that it just sort of made it all the worse.

What’s funny is that I don’t resent her need for my attention.  Okay, sometimes I just want to be left alone, and I’ll have a moment of “Gah!”.  But then she’s all sweet, and who can be upset with that?  I don’t resent the time she sucks from me because the reality is, our life with her is day by day.  I know there are no guarantees.  We need to make every moment count, especially with a child like Maura.

What this means is that if I ever go on a book tour, well, you will all get to meet Maura, because she’ll be coming with me.  Oh, and I need to plan out my 6 hours of school-time freedom better, so that it doesn’t infringe on Maura’s time.

But right now, I need to do all the mundane things like vacuum and laundry, because I have plans for this afternoon.

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