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The Original and the Interloper

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March 26, 2013 by kristin

My older daughter’s pre-school is on Spring Break this week, because almost-3-year-olds need a rest from all that strenuous gluing of bits of paper to other paper.

What this means for me is less time for writing, more time for taking my girl to the library and the children’s museum and the Mediterranean restaurant, and every bathroom therein.

While we were out today, we ran into a friend of mine, who asked, “Where’s the interloper?” It struck me as such an apt description of the new baby, from my older daughter’s point of view.

She adores the baby in an overzealous Elmyra-ish way, such that my most-uttered phrase on any given day is “please get out of the baby’s face.” But she also falls to the floor shrieking if her daddy dares pick up the baby when he gets home.

I typed half my novel with one hand while bouncing my older daughter on my knee. Such a thing would be impossible now, while bouncing the new baby and trying to keep my older daughter from flinging herself against the desk corner (she already has a scar from it on her temple).

Until both the original and the interloper go to daycare part-time in the fall, I have only tiny chunks of time, and all of them are spent sitting stiff-shouldered and tense in this desk chair, listening with half an ear for somebody to wake up.

I planned to finish beta-ing and editing my novel last summer and begin querying agents in the fall, so that in my new-baby fugue I wouldn’t notice the waiting and would barely register the rejections. I finished, but then the querying didn’t happen. I was tired, y’all. Pregnancy is hard. (<–Read in a Britney Spears accent.)

But it’s worked out. These tiny chunks of time lend themselves to researching agents, crafting query letters and synopses, editing my first chapter for the 700th time, and┬áchecking my e-mail 700 times a day.

And the waiting? I would like to say the sleep deprivation means I hardly notice, but I’m a terrible liar. So I’ll just say I’m handling it like I handle being awoken every three hours all night by the interloper – I put on my big girl panties and make it through.


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About Kristin

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Historical fiction writer and reader. Procrastinator. Sewist. Ally. Fan of red lipstick, rock 'n' roll, and everything vintage.

Current Work-in-Progress

The Boy in the Red Dress

When her drag queen best friend is accused of murdering a socialite, a Jazz Age Veronica Mars searches for the real killer in the seedy underbelly and glittering upper crust of 1931 New Orleans.

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