As pub day approaches for THE GLASS WIVES (May 14th—that’s 58 days from today if anyone is counting), I’m considering throwing green to the curb for the sake of my sanity. I know that it’s better to use real plates and cups and utensils than to fill up more plastic bags with trash. I hate that take-out containers overflow in landfills. I realize that refillable water bottles can actually keep water cold and that some are actually quite snazzy.
But if you’ve ever had a book come out, or known someone who has had a book come out, let me tell you, time is a precious commodity. I’m now busy not only on freelance editing projects, my next novel, a 21-year-old who just had his wisdom teeth out, and a high school senior who actually (sometimes) wants to spend time with me—but I’m writing essays, blog posts, and answering interview questions all to help promote my novel. Each one of these “extra” super-duper-important things I’m writing takes an hour–oh who am I kidding? Much more than an hour. And there are dozens. I’m also following up on events that are scheduled, running my own blog (which requires more writing), answering emails from aspiring authors and the writers I coach, and just trying to keep up with real life friends who, by no fault of their own, are not writers.
So when someone says what’s for dinner all I want to say is: CHEERIOS. DRY. OUT OF THE BOX. AND USE A PAPER TOWEL TO WIPE UP AFTER YOURSELF. NOT, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, SOMETHING I HAVE TO WASH.
My daughter is the original green member of our family. And I love the idea that we reuse and recycle. Rags clean better than paper towels. Coffee takes like styrofoam when consumed out of styrofoam. Sporks are just, well, creepy.
Ask any author you know what it’s like as that magical day of launch-dom approaches. Busy gets busier. Crazy gets crazier. But if you don’t feed your family, hungry gets hungrier.
And yes, my kids are old enough to feed themselves and feed the dogs. But like everything else around here, I consider it my job. Life has a lot of complications and one simple thing around our house is eating a dinner together prepared by moi. It’s something I’m not really willing to give up. So I may just have to give up real plates and cooked from scratch. At least for a while.
I’ve watch at least two dozen friends launch their first books since a little over a year ago. The book range in genre. The authors are men and women. The ages range from early-thirties to fifties. And one thing they all agree on is—there is just not enough time to do everything. They’ve told me that their families have eaten take-out for weeks on end (and these are people with two adults in the house, unlike in mine), that laundry piles up, that emails fall through the cracks, they miss family events, and their non-writer friends get annoyed.
I figure if the one thing I can do to alleviate some of that stress is to buy a stack of paper plates (and cups, and forksknivespoons) the landfills and my daughter are just going to have to cope. And to ease my conscience I’ll do what I always do—I’ll play with words—and GO GREEN!