Monday, April 26, 2010
Tools Every (Woman) Writer Needs
And, no, it's not your laptop and an internet connection.
My gentlemen followers, you may or may not benefit from this post, but please don't take offense. This is how I see it, at least right now, with three full loads of laundry glowering at me from their baskets.
Let's face it. The woman's lot is not an easy one, even if she's not a writer. If she is a writer, her misery can be multiplied by a factor of ten. First off, she's still expected to tote her weary load (i.e., keep a clean house, her children and her hubby fed, her smile, her sense of humor. Her sanity, apparently, is optional.)
Secondly, writers tend to operate at a disadvantage to the rest of the population. We writers (well, many of us) focus on the neat and tidy homes of our characters (and their not-so-neat-and-tidy lives), blinded to the towers of clutter that sneak up on us. And that's not even counting the travesties that take place during the mad rush to meet an editor's gotta-have-these-revisions-in-two-weeks-you-don't-mind-do-you?
Husbands can get pretty fed up with dinners of cereal and pizza (hey, those olives count toward five servings of veggies!), though why, I don't know. I mean, sheesh, in high school, these same guys wouldn't touch a Brussels sprout, and now they actually demand them?
And children can go through clean clothes at an alarming rate. Then they squint at you in disbelief when their favorite capris are found to be at the bottom of the dirty clothes basket.
Fortunately, there are tools to help even the woman writer cope. They should be considered as essential as a laptop.
A Roomba: a little robotic vacuum that takes three times as long to do the job, but the coolness factor makes The Husband and The Kiddo think it free entertainment. Plus, a vacuumed floor makes the house look ten times neater.
A slow cooker: again, this gadget takes three times as long to do the job, but again, you don't have to stand over it while it's doing it. Plus, the soothing smell of a non-pizza dinner calms the savage beast -- er, I mean, The Husband.
A kitchen timer: somehow this critter doesn't raise my hackles as much as The Husband's, "You DO know what time it is. You DO know that it's a school night. You DO know we haven't eaten, and you DO know we don't want pizza. Again."
A washing machine with a timer delay: if you have it, use it. My favorite trick is to put the load of clothes on in the morning and set it so that it's done when The Husband and The Kiddo get home from work and school. The Husband doesn't mind shifting clothes from washer to dryer; it's the shifting of clothes from laundry hamper to washer that he minds.
Separate bins for laundry loads: It's amazing. People who can't figure out how to sort laundry when it's all in one basket can sort as they go. Saves ten minutes each wash day.
A Steamboy mop: This little gadget is a steam mop, very good for the environment as it uses no chemicals, just steam to clean. No more dragging mop and bucket, and it's about as lightweight as your average sponge mop. Again, the coolness factor will sometimes get The Husband and The Kiddo to pitch in.
Now, if I could just write that best-seller and be the next Dan Brown, I'd hire a housekeeper, and all my troubles would be over. But first I have to go mop the kitchen floor.