Laura Haley-McNeil

2/19/17, 3-Day Weekends

Hello, Everyone!

Did you all have a wonderful week? I certainly hope so. And I hope your week will be made even nicer by having a 3-day weekend because of Presidents’ Day. It’s always nice when those 3-day weekends pop up and give us an extra day to do something fun or catch up on all the details that tend to slide because of the work week. If you’re as I am, you’re exhausted when you walk through the door at the end of the day and just want to plop into a chair and zone out in front of the television set, but usually that’s when we begin our second job of fixing dinner, helping with homework and then getting everyone off to bed. Ah, I can hear the peace and quiet already. That’s when I begin my third job of sitting down with my laptop and trying to cram in a couple hundred words for my next book. If I keep my nose to the grindstone, I don’t think about how much more I have to write and, voila!, I have a completed book, but not completely completed. There’s still the editor and the proofreader that need to read the book. Then the cover designer has to create a cover that makes both of us happy. Finally, I need a marketing plan, an area in which I am sorely lacking. I want to write because I love to create – I love the stories, I love the characters, I love the settings. Developing a plan to push my books in front of people is not my forte, but I’m learning. Hopefully, soon I’ll become more comfortable with that part of writing. All these things get crammed into my 3-day weekend. That basement that I’d been planning to clean since a year ago last July is still waiting.

The 3-day weekends I’ve had to work also have their good points. Most people have the day off and traffic is light. There are fewer people in the office so it’s an opportunity to get things done. Coloradans love their mountains. Those that live on the Front Range plan a weekend in the mountains which means hours of sitting in traffic and waiting in lines at restaurants. I’m happy to be sitting at home rather than in my car and inching up the side of a mountain with several other hundred thousand people. Getting away from it all loses its meaning when I see a line of traffic snaking up the mountainside.

Now that we’ve passed the middle mark of February, the days are noticeably longer and a little warmer, though this past week the skies have been gray. What’s wonderful about Colorado are the blue skies. It’s rarely overcast, though I do like the rain and wish it rained more here. These nice days, and knowing that spring is just around the corner, makes it hard to sit inside. I gave up my office when my husband and I married. We converted it into a piano studio. We even knocked down a wall and installed a door so his students could walk from outside and directly into the studio and not have to meander through the house. That makes it sound like we have a large house, but it’s very small. The original house was an old farmhouse with one bedroom. Over the years, previous owners have added to the house, but it’s still tiny. When we recently remodeled the kitchen, we knocked down a wall and discovered an old hallway entrance. At one point the front porch was converted into the dining room, which barely accommodates the table and chairs. There’s no room for a breakfront, so I bought a corner cabinet. My mother’s curio cabinet sits in another corner. And our family room used to be the breezeway between the laundry room and the garage. It barely accommodates a loveseat and an armchair. And me! This is my office for writing. It’s so small I can’t stand to have loose paper stacked anywhere in the room. My husband bought me a music stand so I can stack my writing notes on it. I sit in the love seat because it has the best view of the patio, now covered with snow. In the summer, I love staring out the window at the flower garden. Unfortunately, it’s distracting and I tend to write less as I’m gazing at the flowers or even wandering outside to look at them and soak up some sunshine. I don’t have a desk. I keep a filing cabinet in the basement, one room, which doubles as a work out room and my husband’s office. I couldn’t bear to sit in the basement and write and he doesn’t mind, so the basement is his, provided I can still run on the treadmill or ride the exercise bike. And as I sit in the family room and gaze out the window at the snow covered planters, I think of wonderful summer days to come and how beautiful the flowers will be come May.

I hope you have wonderful thoughts about your plans for this summer. And if you have a 3-day weekend because of the Presidents’ Day holiday, then I hope you have something fun planned for the weekend and that you’re enjoying your short work week.

Here’s hoping and wishing your week is filled with fun and joy and that you enjoy yourself whether with family or friends or even if you enjoy being by yourself. Have a wonderful week!