Where Did I Put My Tiara

The life unglamorous . . .

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Location: Utah, United States

see biography at http://www.marjoriejones.com

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Ahhh... the beauty of ... nature?

We're going camping.  In a little over 48 hours, I'll be tucked away in some beautiful mountain glade surrounded by pinion pines, babbling creeks and the sweet scent of autumn.  With barely enough electricity to run the camp-lights, let alone my laptop!
Panic is starting to set in.  We're going for a week, at least.  From Tuesday to Monday.  That means one full week without email.  Without my laptop.  I'm considering driving down the mountain to my mother-in-law's place to charge my computer every few hours, but I don't think that's going to work.  It's about twenty miles over ungraded roads, another forty or so miles of graded, but still dirt, roads and then another fifteen miles of winding mountain pass just to get off the mountain.  Then I'd have to make the two hour journey back. 
We have a generator, but like I said, that's barely enough to handle the lights.  And my husband's television and DVD player.  Not that that's a luxury or anything.  I mean, how can we watch The Blair Witch Project and the St. Francisville Experiment if we don't have power for the DVD player?  And we have to watch those two movies, inside the trailer, lights out.  Then we dare our daughters to go out to the generator, tucked waaaay back into the treeline, to turn it off, with nothing but the moonlight for company. 
Of course, my husband has to scare the beetlejuice out of them on their way back inside.
This year, we're taking the horses.  It seems like every year something happens, right before our annual foray into the wilderness, to prevent us from taking them.  A few days ago, our older horse (a lineback dun named Zeke) tangled himself in some barbed wire.  A couple of nasty cuts and several scrapes later, we'd cut him free.  Nothing too damaging and the hubby says we can still ride him.  Good. 
That's the best part about a trip to the mountain.  Hours and hours in the saddle. 
But I'm still going to miss my email.  Desperately. And I'm NOT turning off the generator after the movie.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Life Unglamorous

When I was a little girl, I thought the life of a romance novelist was full of pink feather boas and tiaras.  I was going to live in New York City, in a highrise apartment building, preferably the penthouse, and spend all day madly writing manuscripts and scheduling television appearances to promote my latest masterpeice.  I'd have a maid.  I'd have the perfect looks, the perfect body.  The little people would swoon when I walked into a room.  I would always be fashionably late. 
I suppose that might have been possible.  Heck, everything is possible, right?  But I didn't pursue writing professionally until just a few years ago and the wheels of my station-wagon life had already begun to turn.  I married a great guy when I was just seventeen years old.  (We're happier than most but this in no way recommends early marriage -- we both agree it would have been easier if we'd been older).  We settled in the deserts of Utah and after almost ten years finally bought our first horse.  I continued to write, for my own peace of mind, on and off for all those years.  But mostly, I changed diapers, mowed lawns, held various full-time jobs including telemarketer and legal secretary, and relegated the penthouse and the tiara to the realms of fantasy and daydreaming.
Then it happened.  I'm a romance novelist.  For real.  I get paid for this.  It's amazing!  Even when I don't feel like writing, on those days when writing feels just like any other 'job', I am still amazed that this is what I do.  But the glamour is still a myth.  I don't sit around in silk pajamas typing the next great American novel.  I spend my days cooking and cleaning, raising our children, tending our horses.  And I write as much as I can, but since I'm not paid by the hour and I have no set schedule, it's more difficult than I'd thought it would be.
There is no penthouse.  I don't have a maid.  Heck, I am the maid.  But it's okay.  Because I love my family and I love what I do, even if I have to remind myself of that fact on those days when I can't remember where I put my tiara.