It’s Tuesday, the beginning of what needs to be an intense work week, and I have treated myself to a cup of Jasmine Pearl tea instead of my usual oolong. We have plotted the finale of the Sweep of the Heart. Now all that remains is to download it from out brains onto the page, so this is my deep breath before the plunge.
When you are writing a novel to a deadline, there comes a point where the world takes a step back. All of your energy is focused on finishing, both because it needs to be done to meet the schedule, but also because you want to be free of it. By now, you have put so much of yourself into the narrative, experiencing the emotions with the characters as you dragged them through the trial of the plot, you just want it to be over with.
Most deadlines are like this, not just writer deadlines. You push and push, and get to the end, you win the race, and then for a while you don’t know how to stop running. An then, as you slowly walk it off, it sinks in: the race is done. You can take a breather, and you realize that while you were running, the rest of the world kept going without you, quietly piling ordinary tasks like deep snow on your doorstep.
Even though we are in the deadline mode for the Sweep of the Heart, the deadline for Ruby Fever has come to the end, and that has given me a moment of clarity. The dining room is still in the sorry state it has been when the mural was painted. Everything is pushed to the side with mail and packages piling up on the table. There is a mountain of laundry in my side of the closet. It is all folded and clean, but it hasn’t been put away. It’s just sitting there in a heap, and I periodically dig through the layers for the right T-shirt. The pantry is overdue for its 3 month clean up. The porch desperately needs to be pressure washed again. There are so many oak leaves in the driveway, they formed their own dunes. A big package of Ruby Fever paperbacks is sitting by the door, because we have no place to put it.
We are hoping to finish the book this week. Normally I would wait for that deadline to be over before starting to tackle this snowdrift, but now that I have noticed it, I can’t unsee it, so I might start working on it little by little. Still, Innkeeper is a priority. I probably sound drained, and I am, and yet life never stops snowing. Nobody is going to show up with a magical shovel to dig me out, so might as well gird my metaphorical loins and get to it.
We have the last drop of promotion to do for Ruby Fever tonight, a Zoom with Houston Public Library. We will see you in the evening, and if not, later in the week with the new chapter of the Innkeeper.
PS from Mod R : You can watch the Livestream on Facebook here , I understand there is a problem with the Zoom confirmations.
Wow, I never see a posting this early
Best of luck on the snow dunes and the downloading to the page. Thinking of you all and hope there is time for rest for you all soon.
Ms. Kim says
Your hard work is appreciated
Pam F says
Even your just life post are print worthy and special to me. Sending positive and supportive thoughts your way.
Echoing Nadia – your hard work is always appreciated!
New Term at school started today, so our snow drifts we cleared over the holidays are gone…but new ones seem to have appeared today when I wasn’t looking. I hope your drifts stay gone for longer than mine did!
Nancy Weaver says
As antique dealer, snow dunes are the way I’m going to think of the piles in my living room and front yard now.
Mary Cruickshank-Peed says
Good luck with the snowdrift!
I have a list of things to do before we start getting ACTUAL snowdrifts… including throwing away the plants I started for my vegetable garden that I never got planted because of health issues. Hopefully the snow this year will also bring relief from the health issues… And hopefully the end of your race will bring relief from your snowdrifts.
Much as I want to see the next Innkeeper post, please take the time you need to recharge. As a former trial attorney, I can personally attest that such downtime is super important for your mental (and physical) well-being, especially after a period of intense stress/activity. And thanks for sharing such a beautiful image. The summer has been so hot, I am actually looking forward to the snow. (Of course, come February, I will feel differently, I am sure.) Thanks for all you do for the BDH!
+1 on taking the time you need to properly recharge and do all of the life stuff you need to do.
No worries as the BDH will always be here in your corners 🙂
And really appreciate all of the updates. We’re a grown book horde, we can be taught patience ????
Thank you for your thinking about the BDH. We don’t mind your venting because most of realize that venting is needed to let some of the pressure out. If you are near exploding, there is no writing; then the BDH loses its heart and soul, you.
Wow! Its coming to an end so quickly. Looking forward to reading it all.
Does anyone have any idea how to get to the Zoom tonight? I registered and received the mail with the invitation, but that one didn’t have a link. I received a reminder, but that one doesn’t have a link either. All I can find is a link to the Facebook page. But I can’t find anything there either.
Moderator R says
The Facebook page will have a Livestream, but it won’t start before the sessions starts 🙂
Without seeing the email, I can’t really tell, would you mind forwarding it to me at email@example.com and I’ll try to help 🙂
Judy Schultheis says
Remember to breathe, long and slow. That helps with anything.
I finally gave up on my trash and recycling and have started alternating between my grandchildren, paying them $5 when they deal with it for me.
Barbara Swanson says
deep breaths, and a small shift of snow at a time. Luckily, your snow won’t melt if you need more time!
Thank you for every word of every book.
Colleen C. says
You need a house brownie…or maybe just a brownie. ????
+1000. I could use both in my life right now
Even when you post “slice of life” it is so evocative! I can almost see the piles on your table and in the closet. And the snow continuing to fall ::shudder:: brrrrr
I understand deadlines and am sure you already know this, but if you need to shovel for a while to bring your brain back online (wow, mixed metaphors much! oops) it’s likely you will be more productive when you do write it all out. Good luck with the deadline, and I hope you can find time to relax despite it all
Times like these, it would be nice to have Samantha’s powers in Bewitched. Thank you for working on Innkeeper, and hopefully your house will get organized soon.
::hug:: I know about that, had been working on a project and woke up to the laundry piling up in 3 heaps, the kitchen is messy, with everything being out of where they are normally kept, and just stuff being left wherever I dropped them last. I had to dig myself out of that hole and it really wasn’t a fun thing. Told myself I will never let it get that bad again, we will see.
Maybe start with the easiest task to give yourself the satisfaction of one task done? Good luck.
I’m really enjoying the Innkeeper. I have my second cataract surgery Thursday, but can’t get reading glasses until October. I can still read though by blowing up the font on my iPad. I must be able to keep on reading the chapters, can’t wait until October.
Mary Perll says
God Bless and get your rest
I’m currently in the middle of trying to get a work project done by Thursday but as I’ve done my bit and am now waiting on others – it makes it hard. This is sage advice you’ve given and it’s made me take a breath; and notice the 3 loads of laundry waiting to be put away and mess to tidy in the lounge, hallway and office…. *sigh*
Bless you both ????.
A labor of love is still labor and labor definitely drains. Best wishes as you knock another one out of the park. I’ve enjoyed Innkeeper so much.
I’m the most productive in clearing the drifts when I’m against a deadline because productive procrastination releases the deadline pressure that paralyzed my brain. So a spurt of clearing alternating with a longer spurt of working propels me across the finish line.
I don’t know why, maybe it has something to do with an undiagnosed ADHD or anxiety, but it’s a pattern repeated in every area of my life.
Moderator R says
This resonates a lot. I think I created a vicious circle for myself, where I can only be productive under the stress stimulus.
You’re not the only one, Mod R!
.303 bookworm says
This. So much this!
Sara T says
Sadly I have many snowdrifts to be cleared around my house!
I can’t wait to find out how SOH ends but am also sad because I so look forward to the Friday chapters!
If only you lived in an Inn then a few tendrils could fold the washing and inhale the extra packages like Gertrude Hunt did with the wood 😉
And thank you!
Ms. Kim says
MELINDA FLICK says
Sometimes, doing a little housework makes me feel like I can live with whatever is left, and do X, because X is more urgent than the housework, which has sat there fartoolong and was bugging me. So, a needed increment of housework is done, and NOW I can go do X.
I’m a horrible procrastinator.
(snickering because I’m far too easily amused)
trailing wife says
We all have that inner nine year old who snickers at everything fart. 😉
I’m still snickering at ‘metaphorical loins’.
Remember: how do you eat an elephant. One bite at a time. So try to just do one bite every day so as not to get overwhelmed.
Not supposed to eat endangered animals….???? Better to eat the brownies ( the baked ones) one bite at a time….
Sending energy, good vibes, and all the best to you and your family.
Donna A says
My eyes snagged on leaf drifts and I just want to point out that you are never too old to kick up and enjoy a pile of leaves.
My family try to say otherwise, and I steadfastly ignore this as leaves are fun; plus some are really pretty and as you kick them and snow them down around yourself you can see them better ????
Drawback is crispy bits in your shoes but it’s worth it (also occasional dog poop flying around, but hey, sh*t happens ????)
Trick is to kick it while staying good gardening boots!
I’ve grown into a rhythm where I spend 60 – 90 minutes at a task and then I stop and do a completely different task for 60-90 minutes. So … gardening, fix the bathroom sink, painting, a break/nap, and then gardening again, clean the kitchen, etc. I end up getting a lot done by starting each task with, “I only have to do this for an hour, unless I want to.” It works for me.
I may be a little bit ADHD, but I grew up with a mom who essentially said, “You are who you are. Make it work for you.”
Andrea Smith says
This post definitely strikes a cord with me. I’ve been slowly chipping away at the clutter stacking around our house while I was recovering. It’s been driving me crazy! I’ve been recovering from Concussion, and I never know if it will be a good brain day, or not with migraines from swelling in the brain. Not sure why a tidy house will make everything better. But I need control in this area. Lol!
kIm Hurt says
Treat yourself to a snowplow to do some of the snowfall a treat for job’s well done.
Terrie C says
Sometimes life interferes with living.
As an FYI, I am reading Innkeeper in Tapas and loving it. I haven’t been a comic fan for years, but it is wonderful seeing this in a visual form. I have read all the available chapters and they have a lot of freebies to obtain free ink. I have made a small purchase of ink, only because I wanted to make a contribution for all their hard work.
I would recommend it to everyone.
Whatever works for you, clearing a snowdrift or downloading the plot onto the pages or alternating tasks- wishing you the energy you need.
Your post today deeply resonated with me as I noticed my own snowdrift piling up around me in a new light. Will have to find my own pattern to approach it but I feel less lost reading about this. Thank you for sharing so much with us in books, on the blog and via zoom.
Lacey Pfeffer says
Thank you for writing. Your books bring me such an escape from the world. Wish you could have the same thing while writing them. It takes you months and months then we gobble them up in a day or two. Ruby was so good. Excited for Sweep. Maybe you can take a breather after that and shovel some of that “snow.”
Snow drifts, what a great description. I have a few to take care of this week. I try not ignore them too long before they become piles.
The best advice my mother ever gave me is laundry can live in the basket. Do as much as you can and take all the time you need. Good luck with everything
I think cats and small kids actually prefer laundry that way. 🙂
Maybe with your new business model you’ll be able to smooth things out so they are less snow-drifty…..
Good luck with the snow drifts! I’m working on my laundry heaps myself …
God bless you for your hard work. May you be blessed to write many more books.
Thank you for your generosity!
I just realized that Christmas is only four months away. All those hand made presents that I intended are just slightly behind schedule.
I am still recovering from Covid.
And the lawn needs cutting, big time.
It’s a shame the lawn orphans aren’t around.
I hope your snowdrifts turn to peaceful zen gardens soon. It’s funny how sometimes we can just blur out the chaos until it comes into focus. And then stays there poking at you to do something about it.
Although honestly with the weather this year I did almost go check the weather channel to see if Texas got an unexpected blizzard after seeing that header.
Thanks for all you do. I’ve got drifts piling up too. They’re not going to melt on their own so I’ll chip away at them as I get the chance. However the porch is simply not getting power washed until spring. Too many other things have to happen first. So it goes.
The confirmation from Houston PL doesn’t contain a link to the event and their FB page also doesn’t seem to have one. I hope that is becomes clear at 6 pm, although normally such information is available a bit earlier.
Moderator R says
As soon as the event goes Live it will be available on the Facebook page of HPL here https://fb.watch/fnyM-SThAq/ I will update the link in the article too 🙂
Do you have to join Facebook to see this? I just get page unavailable. Really don’t want to join FB, thanks for your help and response.
Moderator R says
Yes, I’m afraid so.
Nevermind, it’s here..
Your link got me in without joining FB, so many quirks on all these systems. Thx again.
Moderator R says
Here’s a story I read back in 2004, in another language. I hope you enjoy it as much as I still do. (I’m translating it. Please bear with me.)
There was guy, Bob, who got interested in biking. One afternoon, someone invited him to go biking in the mountains and he went. Since he was a novice, he immediately got left behind. The skies were getting dark and heavy with rain. To top it all off, his bicycle chain snapped, and he was forced to walked it. He was at his wits end. It’s starting to drizzle, he is slowed down by his bike, and there are no houses in the area. So he did what anyone desperate would do. He stowed his bike in the trees off the road and tried to hail cars while walking down the mountain. It got dark pretty quickly when the rain poured down. Bob got drenched. No cars stopped for him and he was finally contemplating jumping in front of a car to make it stop. When he saw headlights a little far of, he got ready. The car was slow. When it reached him, it stopped. He immediately opened the door, got in, sat down and put on the seatbelt. Then he turned to the driver to say thank you.
Only, there was no driver. Bob looked around. He was the only one in the car. The car moved forward. Bob froze. The car kept moving forward. In reality, the car was slow. But in Bob’s terrified mind, the car was in warp speed. He just sat there, looking at the road as the car inched onwards. As mountain roads are apt to be, this road also has a bend and a cliff. The car kept moving towards the railing. Bob began suspecting that the car is a haunted killer car. It showed no signs of turning from the cliff. Bob began to pray and cry silently. When the car was a few inches from the railing, a hand suddenly appeared on the partially open window and turned the steering wheel. It disappeared when the car was safely turned away from the cliff. Bob began to cry more earnestly with relief. This repeated again and again as the car kept its descent down the mountain. The car would go straight for the railing and the hand would turn it away. In all these, Bob just sat there, waiting to see who would win. Finally, after an hour of this torture, he saw lights in the distance. His heart surged with hope and strength returned to his limbs. He took off the belt, opened the door, and jumped out of the car. He rolled a bit, stood up and ran away as fast as he could while screaming. He went into the first building he saw which happened to be a bar. Bob asked for a strong drink. After two shots, he was finally calm enough to tell his story to whoever was near him. They listened to his horrifying experience and shared their own, confirming to him that that road was indeed haunted.
An hour later, two guys come in the door. One of them sees Bob and points him out to his companion. He says, “That’s the guy who rode in our car while we were pushing!”
Kat in NJ says
Thank you for the very silly joke I will tell my daughter when she gets home from school today! ????
That’s quite funny. Thanks for sharing! ????
When faced with an impossible pile of housework I try to start with just 3 things in the room. My craft/sewing/covid -pantry room is just one example. I think I read about this approach somewhere. It seems a silly idea but eventually you reach a point where you can do more. Of course, it doesn’t work if you are having company coming over. Particularly if the company is an older female relative! A
Here’s to all of us being able to clear the constant snow drifts in all our lives!
We are deeply grateful to House Andrews for all the bounty we have been blessed with. Here’s hoping House Andrews will be able to take a breather, decompress and recharge. 🙂 The BDH will understand 🙂
David Dyar says
Love everything you guys do and appreciate your efforts so much.
I literally reserve my copy of everything you write, the day it’s available for pre-order.
I hope that doing another book in Julie’s story is some time soon as she’s become one of my favorite characters alongside Kate herself.
Thanks again for all the hours of escape and enjoyment you guys give us.
Yep, you sound snowed under ( sorry I just couldn’t help myself). It will honestly probably help if you peck at the house a bit daily. Short breaks.
I have to say I’m excited to hear how close to finished you are with the new Innkeeper. I have loved each of them, but this one has just been so much fun. I’ve already re-read it several times, which is no doubt pitiful. Of course I’m on about the 6th iteration of the RF audiobook. I will undoubtedly do the same with the audiobook of SotH. Can’t wait!
I wish you the best in dealing with your snowdrifts! I’m a terrible procrastinator and my drifts pile up until I can’t stand it any longer and have to deal.
Enjoyed the session earlier with the Houston Library – thank you again for all your amazing stories! I’m so glad you write what you enjoy because, as it turns out, so does the BDH! ????
Rene O says
I hope after Innkeeper is done you have some time for a vacation from writing if not an away vacation. You two have been at full speed for so long!
I’m amazed you didn’t put Innkeeper on hold while doing Ruby Fever promotion – we’re very lucky. Another plus, you don’t need to iron your laundry.
Yvonne A. says
The hard work you do bringing these engaging and cozy universes to life is much appreciated.
Nice to know that there is an Inn here in far far away Bulgaria, keep up the good work in Gertrude Hunt. 😀
Here is a little amateur fan art from me as a small token of gratitude. <3
“Amateur,” my left foot. That’s GORGEOUS! Also, I love that there’s a dog.
Thank you, i rearly post here, but it’s great to share emotions for their worlds with BDH people from this blog.
The low resolution dog in the picture is shamelessly borrowed from this blog – Nykie, i hope this is not in some violation. 🙂
Martha L says
That is a fabulous picture. I love your work.
Is that Catalina? & Shadow? Very cool!
Yes, picture title is “Cat” and dog :), of course this is just a tribute of MY imagination after the pleasure of reading Ruby Fever.
Here is in better quality. I hope that i am not intruding on the blog too much. Not sure about file size restrictions here.
I find myself thinking of how you felt when you sold your very first published story. When you got your first fan mail. When you got your first “New York Times Bestseller” applause. All those moments of “squeeeee!” Pull them up in your mind and remember why you do this – because you love it. And we love grabbing the fruits of your labor and devouring it. And then we pester the f**k out of you for MORE!
But we are, for the most part, aware that you guys are human and need to be able to breathe and eat and cook and clean and laugh and enjoy the daily stuff. You do you. We’ll wait. (Not necessarily PATIENTLY, we’re not perfect!)
Yvonne A. says
Yes we will wait and they are human 🙂
Yvonne A. says
Yes this is the problem with every deadline
I run for 5 deadlines at the moment
But I love the friday break to read innkeeper, because it is the time for me i really need.
Snowdrifts of life. Love that.
I know exactly what you mean….sometimes my life feels like a series a deadlines/must-dos/what’s next. And then there is this brief window between where nothing is immediately looming. The disciplinarian in you says “make strategic moves…stay ahead” but tired you says, “I want to do at least one non-urgent thing that I’ve neglected”….
Have you guys considered getting some help with the tasks around the house? I was getting overwhelmed with a young kid (now two young kids), busy work life, and a partner who was working long hours at the office. So I just grit my teeth, hired a cleaner/housekeeper for a few hours a week and my life has been made immeasurably better. I tell everyone, if it’s in your budget, do it. It’s life-changing.
Martha L says
My husband, who earned his living as a nonfiction writer for over 40 years, always said, “Nobody like to write; however, everyone loves to have written.”
I prefer to write. It’s the having written and then talking about it that’s the problem.
Kat in NJ says
I wish I lived in Texas, I would definitely show up to help out with [whatever] to give you both time and a peaceful environment to write and to pay you back for all of the joy your writing has given me! Instead, please accept this virtual hug and a virtual second cup of tea. ????
(Hope this sounded like a loving sentiment to my favorite writers as it was intended instead of sounding creepy or stalkery!) ????
PS: Love and appreciate you too, Mod R!
KAROLA A TISDALE says
Jasmine Pearl tea is my most favorite! I feel I should preach it throughout the land!!!
I’ve come to understand that I see the world a bit differently. My brain doesn’t do background and I always see the snow drifts. And they are noisy. But I recently figured out that my family just doesn’t see them and life is so much better.
It’s no longer a “why aren’t you helping me with these piles” or “another pile that they created and forgot about”. I used to tackle them alone because I thought no one cared about the piles, but there simply aren’t piles to them. My distress baffles them. If I explain what I need, they’re happy to help me plow anyway.
+1. This just reinforces something I saw elsewhere on the ‘net today:
Once you figure out who you are, make that work for you.
Joyce Hunt says
I’m sorry the snow is coming down and piling up so fast. I hope it slacks off soon as it sounds like y’all need a break. Thanks for all you do for your fans. It means a lot to many of us!
I feel this so deeply. I had designated August to be the month I completed all things “adulty,” but while I was doing that, everything else snowed me in. And for every item I crossed off the list, two related homework assignments were added! Definitely whiney as I cast about for any excuse not to do them!
The confirmation email from the library included links to ‘more info’ or to ‘cancel’ your rsvp. The more info page contained a link to their Facebook page, where it was then live. I missed the first several minutes figuring that out, but it was worth it! I so enjoyed hearing from author favorites and having my question answered. Thank you for taking the time!! ????
Why am I always getting the posts a day late ????
Moderator R says
The posts are available for everyone on the blog as soon as they are posted ????, however the newsletter usually has a 1 day delay as it goes out to several thousand people across the world.
Claressa Campbell says
Dear team Andrews,
I am glad to be able to write to you in a way that might have the ability to reach you.
I admire the depth of craft that I have witnessed you perform. I often worry that writers in genres that are traditionally read by females begin to feel that their majesty of their craft doesn’t matter and that no one cares about whether it exists in their works or not. I have had the sad experience of seeing truly great writers stop send out Amazing Magic Dreams and start sending out book babies instead.
My every hope is that you have not suffered this type of denigration.
The slog is real. I can really relate to your post as I’m in a very similar place at the moment. Thank you for your beautiful writing and the hard work that goes into it. I absolutely loved Ruby Fever and I will adore the Innkeeper when it comes out (I’m not reading the serial, as I want the whole cake in one sitting!). I wish you small, quiet moments of peace and rest amongst the mountains of work.
what about the brother who shows up while Maud is recovering from her injuries?
Moderator R says
What about Klaus? ????
Its very healthy to have a bit of a vent
You are right Deadlines are hectic and exhausting…I am agonizing about an art commission I have been struggling to get the way I want it, never mind the poor person who owns the horse…I will get there…
Laundry…oh yikes I need to get it from the washer to the dryer…
At least I had a few good moments with my Andalusian , Dante
Lets not get started on aging, and the associated health maladies that go with it…. that really sucks!
Just listened to the Facebook chat – Fun.
RE a mate for Zeus – Yes please. First because … romance trope. It is so sad to leave him out. But also because I want to see how they manage kittens.
Then again, there’s no saying that he isn’t actually a “child” of his own species and not ready for a mate anyway. Just because he looks like an adult to us ….
Leslie Sexton says
You two have so much going on. Take that special tea break and a breath while you can. We can be patient while you regroup. Sending lots of hugs for all you do for us. ❤️
Just as an FYI Fated Mates and Heaving Bosoms – the two podcasts, just did a joint episode about Burn for Me and it’s lovely.
Gosh I resemble this post so much. I have my own deadline-driven business and three kids (youngest is 2) and snowdrifts are a constant. Sometimes it just feels like a blizzard. Thank you for helping provide some bright spots amidst the drudgery of life!
Joanie Holmes says
I just finished reading your blog about the snowdrift. Please forgive me… I have a concern. I know you have deadlines and a house to clean and kids to tend (even if they are older, you never stop being a parent) but – You sound quite over -booked? whelmed? Please take time to refresh – however you want to. Don’t let people criticize you – no matter what you do to relax – just do it, smile, nod and look supportive while you do what you want!
I really hope the inn keeper series is as fun for you as it is for all fans. This connection that has been created started small hey I am an innkeeper and need to get some mellow yellow. But then it has evolved to capture the potential of all life everywhere in a way that really makes me want to be an inn keeper. This concept fuels my imagination it is remarkable, original and fabulous. Secretly I hope your coat closet is your access to the inn and you are telling stories about what you saw!
Thank you for being so original, funny, human and otherworldly all at the same time.
Marjorie Brooks says
This is my first post. I wanted to say how much I appreciate you. For me, your work is the flip side. I am a surgeon and after a long day of difficult cases, I so enjoy unwinding with the next new work but also with old favorites. I am sure that you hear things like this all the time, but I wanted to add my voice. Thanks again for hanging in there. I know how difficult it sometimes is to work until you’re done.
Sue Dean says
I recently finished Rudy Fever ( had to re-listen to the whole series again to catch up) WOW. Now I’m going through withdrawal. Found Iron and Magic (2018), are the other two books to the trilogy still going to be written?
Moderator R says
Yes, there has been no announcement that the Iron Covenant series is finished. Sequels are being discussed but Ilona Andrews have taken the decision to announce projects only when they are finalised and ready for preorder ????
Marijke van Nieuwstadt says
I feel your pain! I am working through a large remodeling project in my home. I have a room filled with boxes of items I need to purge (can’t get to the bookshelves!), I have another room that’s nearly empty except for furniture I need to sell (except new desk not coming until Dec, so where am I supposed to work?). And then the sounds of construction going on in the NEW office area. All of that and a heat wave where the AC went out and 3 days until it got fixed. Plus three hampers of dirty laundry I need to wash and put away etc.
I live for Friday installments. Unfortunately, it’s often Saturday before I get to read them.