Thursday, February 14, 2013


A Novelist’s Lament: How do I Find Time to Write with a Recently Retired Husband?

My husband retired a month ago—who can resist twice the time on half the pay?—and we moved three states away to be closer to our grandchildren. Before his retirement I spent every morning at my computer, checking email, blog posts and revising my novels. The house was quiet and conducive to creativity. I would sip my coffee and immerse myself in the eighteenth century to construct my historical novels.

Now, you may ask, is it still so quiet?

Every morning now I have company. My husband watches the Today show and often calls me into the living room to “see” something. If I don’t go, he talks about it from that room (which is very close in our downsized house) so I can visualize it. I tell him I need to finish what I’m doing, but this lands on deaf ears.

The man who owned this house before us—also retired—fell down the garage steps and died. I “visualize” his wife pushing him down the stairs because he talked too much. (I say this very tongue-in-cheek, of course...I think.)

My husband starts a project and hammering or sawing may commence—and I’m grateful he’s occupying himself. However, the dog begins to bark like a banshee while I’m trying to research how an eighteenth century woman might prepare a cordial. Yikes, hands over ears!

I started revising a new novel and was up to page 93. One month later, I’m still on page 93, but I do know all about how my hubby arranged his tools in the garage.

He just came in to tell me the finer points of why the TV upstairs is “in his control” because he’s taping two shows downstairs (in the Man Cave I wish he’d spend more time in) and with the Hopper, he can’t watch anything with two shows taping... I refrain from explaining that I wasn’t watching the upstairs TV, I was posting on Twitter and Facebook about my recently released novel being free today.

And now that he doesn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to commute to his job, he’s so frisky and amorous...a situation which involves me when I’m encouraging him to find his own hobbies and interests that don’t involve me. I try to dress like a frump to deter him, but nothing discourages him when he’s enjoying so much time to canoodle with me!

Needless to say, we need our boundaries and he doesn’t yet understand that just because he is “free as a bird” I still have my writing obligations and my passion is telling stories.
I do appreciate him, his cooking every night, his going to the grocery store. But how do I get back my Office Hours?

I guess I’ll have to sneak into the garage and hide his tools in various places so he has to keep arranging them, and hopefully not tell me every little detail about it.

To find out more about me and my books, and see a picture of my husband, visit my website:


Diane Scott Lewis said...

Ginger, I had to bring it up on Mozilla to see the post! But thanks for having me today. And I'm up to page 121 on my novel edits.

Debra E. Marvin said...

Oh, I've heard this so often. My mom got a job after my dad retired. I'm sure it wasn't just to supplement their income...

She often complained about how much it disrupted her schedule and she never got out of the house for a quick run to the store that he didn't volunteer to go with her!

I hope hubby finds a new hobby!
have you tried noise cancelling headphones? :)

Rita Karnopp said...

OMG... I laughed ... and laughed ... and related to just about everything you have said ... what a delightful blog ... and one I will read several times over ... and laugh some more! Diane, you are sooooo funny . . . I experience the same thing ... every weekend!! What part of 'I need about one more hour of QUIET' please!!! Please come back and blog here again ...soon!! hugs, Rita

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