I hope you had a happy Easter weekend, celebrating the advent of spring your way. We share five children, and they all have children, so warm weather and the addition of extended family made for a great family party on Saturday. Unfortunately, our poor abused vacuum cleaner died the final death before we were finished preparing for the party and there was no time to get a new one.
Near the front door, beneath the growing pile of cast off shoes, bags, and backpacks, lay an expanse of unvacuumed carpet. Strangely, no one seemed to notice.
By three in the afternoon, my kitchen was loaded with every kind of food imaginable, and the party was in full swing. While the younger children involuntarily were held captive indoors behind closed drapes, the teenagers hid well over a hundred plastic eggs. Each was filled with cash, toys, and candy.
Somehow, in the process, the rod holding up my front drapes was pulled loose from the wall. It still hangs there, like everyone’s drunken uncle…precariously positioned and slightly askew.
Thunder shook my suburban neighborhood when we released the captives and the front door burst open. Tender shoots of green lawn met a grisly fate as the mob of crazed grandchildren descended on our yard.
High drama unfolded as toddlers fell and scraped their knees and older children took advantage of their distraction. Oh, the carnage!
At around seven PM, the last car left the driveway. We geared up in hazmat suits and began the cleanup—sans vacuum cleaner.
However, I’m a pro. My husband and I are both suffering from back injuries, so in the aftermath, we were forced to be creative. Who needs a stinkin’ vacuum cleaner? My broom works on the carpet, and I have developed mad skills with my new tool of choice—the reach extender.
It’s amazing the things you can do with long-handled grabbers. They make excellent tools to extricate candy wrappers from the shrubbery and retrieve the few eggs that were overlooked in the stampede. Being able to grab the toy cars and plastic farm animals out from under the porch is a real plus.
Inside the house, wide-spread devastation made negotiating the hallway to the bathroom difficult for travelers in a hurry. Muffled cursing was heard as sock-footed old people stepped on abandoned Legos.
I’m talented—I can pick up the merest fragment of potato chip from under a bed with my long handled grabber, without crushing it. This tool, properly wielded, works on every kind of debris—lint, broken crayons, Legos, Polly Pocket purses, Barbie shoes, and half-eaten Cadbury eggs.
You can lean on it when you need propping up.
We dug a path and cleaned the kitchen before going to bed. But by noon on Sunday, the cleanup had been completed, and the toy room was once again a place of moderate order.
Speaking of order, I have ordered a new, sturdier vacuum cleaner, and peace reigns once again here at Casa del Jasperson.
Now that the madness of the family Easter rumble is over, I will continue working on my three projects. I have just finished a large editing job for a client but now will get back to work on several smaller editing jobs.
I am still working on the final revisions for Julian Lackland and intend to have him ready for publication by mid-July. This book is both the final installment in the Billy’s Revenge series and was the original book that the series grew out of. It has been unpublished for seven years and during that time, it has been re-written, expanded, and edited properly. It is about to go to the beta readers.
I am also nearing completion of the first draft of a new book set in Neveyah, the Tower of Bones world. For me, in the first draft of any work, long or short, writing the transition scenes between events are difficult to imagine.
I think of them as “just” moments: adjust and justify. That sort of thinking takes a bit of mind-wandering, so while I ponder ways to move my characters gracefully from disaster to disaster, I work on other projects.
Writing keeps me busy, but the grandchildren are a never-ending source of entertainment for me.
Credits and Attributions:
Shmuser at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:36 inch reach extender.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:36_inch_reach_extender.jpg&oldid=307417600 (accessed April 21, 2019).