Return to Routine

There is something about “back to school” time that gets people back into a frame of mind of getting things done that aren’t yard work/fixup type of tasks. Even those who don’t have kids in school–either theirs are past that, not there yet, or they don’t have any (or just have the four-legged kind)–seem to drift back into a regular routine way of thinking once the yellow school buses hit the road come August.

That is definitely true for writers, particularly those with kids. Dean Wesley Smith calls summer the “time of great forgetting” for writers–as in, they forget all those goals and great plans, and he has very few people signing up for workshops, fewer emailing or asking questions on his blog, etc. Having the kids home from school definitely slowed my accountability buddy. Easy to understand, as she’s a stay-home mom and her kids are young enough to need the extra attention. Mine is in college, so that wasn’t as much an issue for me (especially since she seemed to spend most of her time at friends’), and I managed to ramp up overall output (though not to what I’d like yet), and took a couple workshops too.

But we took the daughter back to college yesterday, and even I feel that sense of needing to get into a more solid routine. DH and I want to do more meal planning, something we’ve been really bad at lately, resulting in a lot of conversations like this:

Him: You hungry?

Me: A little. You?

Him: Yeah. Anything sound good to you?

Me: I can’t really think of anything. What about you?

Him: I don’t know.

Me: Well, what do we have? All I can think of is a bunch of frozen stuff.

Him: Yeah, me too. So what sounds good?

Me: I don’t know. Anything sound good to you?

Isis after bathSo we end up going out to eat far too often. That needs to stop.

The house already seems quieter with the daughter gone, even though she spent a lot of time away at friends’ places over the summer. I will admit I don’t miss her clutter, though. DH and I have enough of our own.

We kicked off the new routine by giving Isis a bath. She didn’t like that too much. No photos, because I was busy holding her while he hosed her down and washed, but she seemed none the worse afterward. 🙂

ForbiddenWhat I read this week: Forbidden, by Zoe Winters. This is the latest in her Preternaturals paranormal romance series, one I’ve enjoyed for a long time. Ms. Winters is excellent at pulling together couples who have tons of conflict between them–in this case, a vampire priest and an angel who was the vampire who turned him. Though I’m not yet finished with it, as expected, this book does not disappoint!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: I spent the earlier half of the week reading Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat and planning what scenes I need to add in to my WIP. It’s a book on screenwriting, but 90% of it applies to commercial fiction as well. Lots of good stuff there and already useful. My other goal was to get one of my new scenes written and I did, though it was a short one. Still a win! This week, I want to continue with the new scenes, and am shooting for two.

What about you–whether or not you have kids, do you feel ready to settle back into a routine once school’s back in session? Do you plan for dinner, or do you have conversations like me and my husband? Read any good books lately? And whether or not you’re participating in ROW80, how are you doing with whatever goals you may be working on? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.