Wednesday, August 6, 2008

All I Wanna Do

Is organize my house. My husband has been waiting for this. For the past few months ever since I started my third novel, he has kept saying, "Feeling like nesting??" whenever he would see me moving something or refolding dish towels. "No," I would say, and a bit defensively if I'm going to be honest, and I may as well be since I'm the one who choose to bring this up. Then he would give me a "You will" kind of look. But not in a mean way. Not in an "I told you so" kind of way. Just in a "I've been through two novels with you, not to mention two babies, and I know what you do." Which is true, and which(ugh! I can't use that word anymore without thinking of my editor at HarperCollins who can't stand it, which is (or "and that is" - now come on, don't you prefer "which is"???) a drag as it is so one of my favorite words, Strunk and White be damned. But this is my blog, and not a MSS I have to turn in, so I will just "which" away to my hearts content. If this annoys you to no end, consider yourself forewarned) reminds me of a weird thing about all this: with a baby, I don't need to nest until just before he (I only have sons) arrives, yet with my novels, I have to nest somewhere in the early stages, but only when the novel suddenly decides that I must.
And it has. Really really has.
But I can't, pretty much. With my first novel, no one had been born yet, so organizational orgies could occur whenever I would block out a full day and night, and possibly even the next day, too. Okay, I have to confess, few things make me happier in life - family excluded - then an entire block of time, with no phone calls, no obligations, no getting acceptably dressed, and a wonderfully full closet or room that I can go through each and every inch and object and put all of them to the test of "go (a good percentage goes to charity), stay, and if so, put where?" This is heaven. And feels just as unobtainable to me right now because of my sons. Not that I am blaming them; I am just being realistic about what can be done. So I have started scheming. I will find a night when they go to bed early - it was 8 tonight, so maybe I can get a 7:30 soon - and my husband is out, and I will pick a room. Or a closet. And just do one at a time. Like I did with the last book. And that will work fine.
Herewith is my list of attack:
1) The playroom - so want/will get a more functional bookcase for all the stuff. Then I cannot wait to organize said piece with bins for every tool (toy and real) ever made, firetrucks, those small pieces that cannot be thrown away, markers and crayons, cd's - you know the stuff. Oh, and finally put all the pieces of things with their rightful sets. It will last for 15 minutes, but it will be glorious. Like Camelot.
2) The closet in the playroom - a catchall if there ever was one. It always looks much Yikes!-ier than it is, so the attendant wave of satisfaction upon completion is quite high without sheer exhaustion.
3) The kitchen. I have some empty drawers in here - another item at the top of my list of things that delight. It is the spacial equivalent of tithing. I must live in a large house (have lots of money), if I don't even use up all the space (have enough to give away). My kitchen, like the whole house, is pretty much all windows. Love the views; really miss a floor-to-ceiling pantry, so regular sorting out of the food items that have willfully congregated towards the dark recesses of the lower cabinet is a must. Not to mention that my sons usually find the cake mix, so we can celebrate moved around dry goods with cupcakes.
4) The hall closets. Okay, if you haven't stopped reading by now, please don't feel any obligation to continue. This is so vicarious for me, it is insane. I have no doubt that there is little to no interest in this for anyone else, but I am so feeling so much better by doing this, however please don't stay on here just for me! Okay, one closet is where all the coats and winter stuff collect, and the other is for vases, serving pieces (yes, I'm Southern; I actually use all that stuff I got for our wedding) and linens. Or most of them. I have others hidden around the house in various trunks that are pretending to be coffee tables and side tables. Love going through linens. They feel so good to fold and hold - except bottom sheets. I don't think I will ever know how to fold those goddamn things.
5) The boy's room. Not as scary as it sounds. Mostly it will be going through books, and giving away ones they have moved on from, and pulling down ones they are ready for. Will give away a sorting toy that my youngest has been ignoring for months.
6) The bathrooms. Another easy one. Throw out expired medicines. Throw out cosmetics that I pretended to be happy when I got samples of, yet know I will never use. For that matter, throw out the last lipsticks that I have not worn in four and a half years since my oldest was born and I found the absolute best lip gloss in the entire world, and I know that it is because a woman asks me where I got it literally three times a week and they always tell me later how much they love it, too. Trucco - sugar, sugar, if you are interested.
7) My closet. Though I'll probably wait until the cold weather comes so I can put away my summer clothes. No, my closet isn't big enough to have everything hanging at once. But since I grew up doing this bi-annually with my mother and all four older sisters in the big living room that had become a sea of huge boxes with tons of clothes climbing out of them that we would go through and try on and decide what we liked or fit that season, this is as much part of my year as the budding trees.
8) My husband's closet. Doesn't take terribly long, and always makes him very happy when I reorganize his shirts so they are hanging according to the color wheel.
9) My office/desk. The file cabinet is never fun. Ugh. But it is also never as horrible as I imagine it will be.
10) I can also do the attic and basement and outside shed, but these are pretty back-burner, and although the attic has a ticking clock with the cold weather coming, these aren't such a big deal. Mostly because they still look pretty okay from the last time I did them.
11) There isn't another item for this list, except for me to say that yes, I realize that I am insane. But it is an orderly kind of insane, and that must count for something.
I hope.
I'll let you know how it goes.
And no, I don't make house calls.


Blogger A Beautiful Mind said...

Hi, Delaune,
It's Alex. I could you send you an email, but I love blog comments.
Anyway, organization/nesting. I love that you do this and admit it! Why do you think you do this at the beginning of writing a novel? Is it the quiet time to organize the book in your mind before writing? Is it the desire for a sense of control of something when your characters are controlling you most of the time? is it a way to distract yourself for a bit so you can be away from your writing and let it breath for awhile? Just wondering...

August 7, 2008 at 7:31 PM  
Blogger DeLauné Michel said...

Hey Alex,
that was so fun to hear from you. And I loved your questions. I have always just thought of it as the pregnancy time of the book, but when I read your questions, I think it is all of that, too! And I still haven't really gotten into it yet because we were at the beach last week, but I did do my sons' room yesterday while they played outside with their Daddy. Now to tackle the playroom while they sleep tonight!! xo

August 18, 2008 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger Seaside Book worm said...

I am interested in writing a review and posting on my book blog.
If you are interested you can email me at
You can view my blog at Bloggers are a large reading community, and this is another venue to get the word out. I read about your book from another blogger. I have had many authors send me their work to review.

My address is below:
Susan Curtis
520 32nd Ave, N Unit F
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

August 19, 2008 at 1:27 AM  

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