Where were you five years ago?
On the brink of author superstardom. Well not quite but I was eagerly awaiting the release of my first (and thus far, only) book. My agent got my contract in 2004 and, as is typical of the publishing world, it was another two years before the book hit the shelves. Unless you're a big-selling author, most publishing houses don't spend much PR money on you, so the time before your book comes out is spent doing everything and anything to spread the word. I often tell people finishing their first book that the hardest part is yet to come. (Wow- doesn't that make me sound like Debbie Downer?)
I also had three kids - ages 2, 9 and 12. Phew!
Where do you hope to be in five years?
On the professional front, I hope to have at least one more book out by then. (Nice publisher - are you listening?) I also hope to be somewhere else. In five years time both my older kids will have graduated high school and I would like to live elsewhere. We have no roots here and the winters are appaling. I can't take it anymore; I was born for warmer climes. We are currently thinking about where we might relocate to and the little guy knows that we will at least move house when he's the only one here.
The older two are trying to guilt me with the spuious claim that moving when kids are in college inflicts huge trauma. Oh really? They are also worried about what happens should they want to come back to Chicago. I have told them they can go back anytime, but I think they're expecting us to provide a flat here for their convenience. Chortle, chortle. And anyway, in the first year that I was married and living in the States, my mother moved from the house I grew up in. When I went back to England the following summer, I was driving around for hours trying to find her new place. Talk about scarred!
What's on your to-do list today?
(This was Wednesday's list and is more than five things by the way.)
1.- Sew a strap onto the clutch bag the Queenager has bought herself for Thursday night's prom. Not that she'll be standing around with a drink in one hand and a fag in the other, but clutch bags are ridiculously impractical AND she will put hers down and walk off without it.
2. - pack fifteen goody bags for Little Guys party tomorrow.
3. - confirm with fifteen parents that their child is still coming. (I'm paying per head and would really like not to waste money.)
4. - make sure 8th grader has something decent to wear for party (see below) tonight. Normally I would put him in charge of this but he'll have been on a farm all day.
5. - take the Queenager to bra shop for bra that won't show above the back of her prom dress. (Let's just leave it till the 11th hour to tell me about that little problem why don't we?)
6. - take four graduating 8th graders to their party in the centre of Chicago at 7pm tonight.
7. - continue search for dog and child care for three days while I'm in London for Cyber Mummy and other things
8. - apply for Chicago Parks dog permit, so that I can take the mutt to the dog beach. (No one else I know has bothered, but on the first day I take her, the relevant authorities will show up and fine me $300.)
Five snacks I like. (Only five?)
- cheese. In almost any size, shape and texture. Apart from really, really stinky stuff.
- Prunes. Not sure why I got into them but I heart them. Problem is, once you introduce them into your diet, it's hard to stop without serious consequences in the bowel movement department. (Sorry.)
- Nuts. Again, almost any kind but preferably those with no calories.
- English sausages. I have blogged about the dire selection of sausages in the US. Fortunately, there's now a young chappie in my neighbourhood who is selling rather nice pork sausages at the local farmers' market. Yay.
- Pinot Grigio. What? It's a snack.
Five things I'd do if I became a billionairre
- Move now and have my kids flown into school every day on a private jet. (OK, not really.)
- Hire a personal manager who would run my life for me (ie. sort out dog and child care, figure out what to make for dinner each night, get my kids to the different parts of the city they all need to be at at the same time etc.)
- Hire additional people to make the above happen.
- Pay off family members' mortgages and niece and nephews upcoming college debts.
- Finish the school I'm helping build in Ghana and build loads more all over the third world.