Deb Amy Says It’s Not Easy Being Green As Your Book Launches Approaches

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.


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!

Go green at!

8 Replies to “Deb Amy Says It’s Not Easy Being Green As Your Book Launches Approaches”

  1. I can well imagine — even writing a book makes the house go down the tubes. I thought about this last night when I was watching my husband start a load of laundry at eleven …. just before heading to bed. I feel guilty (he works outside the home for the whole day long) but also good: I’m happily humming away on a new WIP and if that means no clean clothes or going green, that’s fine with me! Good call, Amy! (and p.s. like you I consider it “my job,” so I did hae just a twinge of guilt last night, but just a twinge!)

  2. Julia,
    I love being in good company! This week I’m working on a huge freelance project and canceled dinner plans for tonight that would have involved not only cleaning my house for company but the acquisition of food and the time with the guests. That and my son just had his wisdom teeth out and looked at me like crazy that people were coming over. I went out for lunch (for an hour) yesterday but it took me an hour to get dressed. I had to go, glad I went, but can’t shake the fact that I lost two hours.

  3. Oh Deb sistah, let me tell you…My husband is a biologist and a HUGE advocate of green living (composting, and all that good stuff) so luxury to me (as shameful as it is!) would be to live with plastic settings for a few nights. Even when we camp, we have reusable dishes–yeesch!;)

    But removed wisdom teeth!!?? Poor guy! It’s rough–both on child and parent, so I think you have more than earned the right to some Chinet. (Do they still make it???)

    1. Ah, Chinet with sections for different foods. That’s exactly what I need. I figure I’ll wait until it’s closer to go over to the dark side. I mean the green side.

  4. You had time to go out to lunch? I am impressed! Funny – for me things were very quiet on the publishing front until about two weeks before the launch date. And then it all happened at once. Insanity! You will survive, and it will be good for the kids to help out and be part of your success. 🙂

    1. I made the time because I FORGOT MY FRIEND’S BIRTHDAY. And I only have one kid at home and don’t want the brunt of life to fall on her shoulders. I just want to make things as easy for me as possible, and that is going to me disposable everything and food from the microwave. It even takes too long to go out to eat!

  5. This is hilarious. We, too, make an effort to use rags instead of paper towels, very few paper plates, etc, but like you as the time to launch gets closer I think time is going to be at a premium. I’m already preparing myself for a serious increase in the number of days the question of “what’s for dinner” will be answered “DO YOU WANT FRIES WITH THAT?”

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