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Ah, the joys of having children. No matter what age they are, it seems that the crises never end. My kids have reached a stage of relative independence, but their personal disasters only seem to have grown along with them. We’ve moved from fights over games to fights over borrowed clothing; from misplaced toys to misplaced bus passes; from being late for school to being late for a university exam or work. Same issues, different manifestations. Because I don’t have an office with a door in my home, those issues invariably end up involving me…or at least interrupting me.
And nowhere are these interruptions more intrusive than when I’m at a critical point in a book. While all writing requires an immense amount of concentration and focus, highly emotional scenes are just that much more intense. Which makes writing them around a family just that much more challenging:
Strong fingers traced her jawline, trailed lower, slipped beneath the edge of – Daughter Number One calls, “Mom, have you seen my umbrella? I left it right here in the front hall and now it’s gone!”
“In the closet where it belongs.”
– her v-neck sweater. Her breath fluttered in the back of her throat like – “It’s not there! Oh, wait, I found it. But I’m going to be late for the bus now!”
“Run for it and call me if you miss it.” Daughter Number One slams out of the house with a mutter I decide I’d rather not hear.
–the wings of a trapped butterfly. “Wait,” she whispered. “What if someone – “
“We’re out of milk,” Daughter Number Two informs me from the kitchen. “And bananas. And – “
“I’m getting groceries today.” I stare grimly at the computer monitor, determined not to lose my focus.
“ – hears us?” Her flutter of breath stopped altogether as he tugged her toward him. Slowly. Inexorably.
“But there’s nothing for my lunch.”
“Take some money out of my wallet.”
“I don’t have time to stop anywhere.”
“And I don’t have a magic wand.” More mutters, more ignoring. I read over what I have so far, trying to catch hold of the moment. Hand slipping lower, breath fluttering, tugging…
Daughter Number Three turns from the desktop computer where she’s been working (blessedly) quietly. Until now. “Hey, Mom, how do you spell penguin?”
Really, it’s a wonder that my characters don’t walk out on one another – or me – in sheer frustration.
Gwyn Jacobs doesn’t believe in happy-ever-after.
Ever since her ex-husband walked out four years ago, abandoning her with a toddler and infant twins, Gwyn has been mother, father, and bread-winner all rolled into one. Her own scarred heart and failed marriage aside, she is determined not to open up her children’s lives to the possibility of another heartbreak...until her very own fairy tale falls into her lap -- and the hero won’t take no for an answer!