My critique partners have persuaded me to try Skype. That’s the video teleconference type calls that allow you to see the person you’re speaking with. Deb and Jen already Skype. They’re not necessarily more progressive than I am. I just think their offices are cleaner.
What is it with writers and clutter? Years ago, when I worked day jobs I could walk into my office, even around my desk without tripping over something.
Now that I’m a stay-at-home writer I have stacks of drafts, big calendars that I use as storyboards, boxes and boxes of foreign copies and reference books, and a laundry basket and 2 huge boxes I laughingly refer to as my to-be-read pile.
Sorting through that pile today (since Skyping means my friends will see this hell pit and I can’t have that!) I found a lot of books that don’t interest me. So why did I buy them? Was I working to satisfy my inner librarian, wanting to have books from every genre available? Or do I genuinely believe, deep down inside, that there’s an apocalypse on the way and when it hits I’ll be the most popular person in town with my books to lend?
Maybe deep down inside I want to be a library!
But whatever the reason, my office is always in conflict with my inner clean freak. I love a clean house. I love Swiffers. Both the cloths and the mops and the little vacuum thingie. I love spray cleaners. Especially for tough spots or unexpected spills. I think the invention of paper towels should be celebrated with a national holiday. (Though environmentalists and landfill operators might disagree.)
I think that’s why I wrote a duet about maids! I can see the sunny side of cleaning. I love the feeling I get when I take my final mop swipe in the kitchen and sniff the Mr.-Clean-with-Fabreeze-scented air. I love the sense that I’m making a home for my family.
And that’s the heart of the two heroines who appear in my summer duet for Harlequin Romance, MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE and MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD.
In book 1, Liz Harper left her husband Cain Nestor, the hero, because she never quite felt good enough for him. After their divorce, her self-esteem was so low that she took a job cleaning houses, only to discover that making houses into homes lifted her spirits. And earned her cash. She quickly began her own maid service and uses that company to not just “clean up Miami” (LOL) but also to give jobs to abused women who need a self-esteem boost.
Really? A self-esteem boost as a maid? Sure. Sometimes life is all about how you look at things. If you’re struggling to make sense of your life, clean something. Straighten a closet, clean your office, organize your junk drawer. That one little job will give you a boost because you’ll know that at least one thing in your life is in order.
Then start organizing other things. Don’t rush or be in a hurry. Do one drawer, one closet, one desk, one sink full of dishes at a time. And step by step, day by day, order will be restored. So will a big chunk of your sense of self esteem.
Of course, I’m not a therapist and some people definitely do have problems bigger than those that can be solved by taking control of your housecleaning. Liz and Ellie (the heroine from book 2) find this out every day in their work for A Friend Indeed, the charity they support.
But you’d be surprise how good you can feel if you’ll just take the time to organize something, anything, in your house!