May 04, 2004

Operation Deep Clean

Life is seriously attempting to get in the way of art.

Our move to Boston from Pittsburgh was a nightmare of epic proportions. We had just purchased a new home and completely gutted it when my husband’s Internet startup company was purchased by Lycos. He had been working insane hours, but now they included trips to Boston. As I struggled to finish the house alone, Lycos closed the Pittsburgh office. With two houses in Pittsburgh – one filled with 13 years of clutter and the other uninhabitable – we drove up to the Berkshire Mountains and toured the little town of Williamstown to see if we wanted to move there or Boston. Williamstown won out and my husband immediately moved up, leaving me to hold down the fort, take care of our autistic child, finished the remodeling on house #2 and start to pack #1.

Well… things just got worse from there. Because of lack of rental places but needing to prep school district on incoming special needs child, we bought a tiny house for my husband to live in. At the time there was a serious shortage of houses for in Williamstown, so the permanent house we bought was under construction. So we had four houses in two states approximately – two of which were in the middle of major construction -- and ten hours of driving between them.

During this time – I wrote ALIEN TASTE, landed an agent, wrote A BROTHER’S PRICE, sold ALIEN TASTE and landed a three-book contract with ROC.

It’s amazing I didn’t loose my mind.

(And anyone who says that they don’t have time to write – I laugh in their face.)

We got moved because basically I drafted absolutely everyone I knew into helping me finish house #2, pack and clean house #1, get us moved to house #3, while I oversaw construction on house #4. We didn’t do the weed out old stuff, throw away, donate to charity, and yard sale thing – we moved everything. We got into house #4 in October – and told to move again in February.

This time we hired movers who wrapped everything with miles of brown paper and shoved it random boxes. When we moved in, I had a book due. We unpacked as little as possible, squirreled away the unopened boxes, and focused on the here and now.

And so the boxes sat – in the basement, in the garage, in the attic and every closet in the house. For four years. (My god, it’s been that long?)

Rumors of another move (Lycos is being sold by Telefonica) looming on the horizon has us eyeing said boxes and deciding, “Nope, we’re not moving all this again.” For two weeks now, I’ve been pulling boxes out of closets, sorting through it and finding all sorts of weird collections. One tennis shoe, dirty clothes now looking like they fit a baby doll, silverware, toys and a beloved book all shoved together in one box. (Yes, we didn’t realize that professionals movers would pack everything!) The laundry machine has been going non-stop and I’ve made countless trips to Goodwill to drop off boxes and bags. But that’s been just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve just done three closets. There’s still the attic, basement and garage.

Tomorrow the dumpster arrives. Operation Deep Clean starts in 24 hours. Writing? Oh yes, that’s what you cram in between insanity.

Posted by wen at May 4, 2004 09:33 AM