Let’s see—March. What a month! I had a number of major events, most smashed within a two and a half week period. I had speaking engagements, a couple “parties” for large groups (60+ people) that I somehow managed to be in charge of, a major family event, helping a friend gear up for finals (since she’s dyslexic I am her personal editor for college papers), the news that a friend has terminal cancer, a writer’s conference that I was involved in, the release of my latest book and therefore a media kit to prepare for my publisher, the building of my own website, a release party for my book, helping in the planning for two family weddings (my brother and little sister, and somehow I’m in charge of a bunch of stuff for that too), and a two-week visit from my mom. Oh, and don’t forget my writing critique group and being mom to my 3 kids, with just the normal chaos.
Whew! It just sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? Yes, it was. I even quit working out (Nooo!) because something had to give. I am happy to announce that everything got done and was a relative success. Go me! (Applause) The writer’s conference is put on every year by the author’s guild that I belong to, and it was a huge success. It was sold out and we had numerous editors and a literary agent from one of the bigger agencies there meeting with attendees. I presented a workshop on finding your niche in non-fiction (which went really, really well). I was also one of the conference photographers, general gopher to help with moving chairs, lunch, temperature control (the thermostats were all wonky), and basically doing whatever I was told. This meant I was rarely in my seat. I was also a mentor at the writer’s boot camp (a two-day intensive, hands on workshop) as well as partially in charge of the food for the boot camp. Then, I was a live blogger for the ceremony of The Whitney Awards, which recognizes excellence in fiction by LDS authors in various categories. It wasn’t quite the Oscars, but I wore heels, a dress, and there was assigned seating. Then, to top off those three insane days, my good friend and neighbor is starting up a business doing book screeners, which is basically dramatized trailers like you see for movies, only for books (check them out at www.bookscreeners.com). He was presenting at the conference too and I was heavily involved as a consultant. Let’s just say after the first 14 hour conference day I got home to 5 messages and spent the next hour running around, and the next hour after that over at my neighbor’s helping him.
My meeting with the agent did not go well. I had been so busy that I wasn’t sufficiently prepared. So I vowed to do better and stalked the editor of the publisher that I really want and pitched to her in the hall. That went much, much better. She wants to see my manuscript, which is not quite done. My goal was to finish it and send it off before school gets out. We’ll see about that.
The week after the conference I got sick. Just a cold. Nothing big. I sent off my houseguests (which now equaled 3: my mom, my brother, and his fiancée), tried to recuperate, and then got really, really sick. I remember when it hit. I was on the computer working and all of a sudden I was violently ill. And I was down for the count. I got influenza, which is not the “flu” that I’ve ever had before. Take a really bad head cold and laryngitis or strep throat, and imagine it worse. Then take the “flu”—body aches, fever and chills, nausea, headache, and weakness—intensify it and add it on top of the head cold and strep throat. Now you might have an idea of what I felt like. I don’t cry very often, but after a few days I was bawling in the middle of the night, not able to sleep because I could barely breathe, I had only eaten a yogurt and two bowls of Cheerios in days, I couldn’t get warm despite full-on sweats and electric blanket on full blast with more blankets piled on top, and I wasn’t getting any better. Jason was really worried about me. He had never seen me so sick in the 14 years we’ve known each other. My neighbors started watching my kids and bringing my family dinner. And I lost weight, which is not the best diet program. I will not complain now about little sniffles or sicknesses anymore, not after that. I am happy to say that after 2 weeks I am starting to feel more like myself. According to my brother-in-law, who is also a doctor, I probably have about another week to fully recover. It was soooo not fun.
Oh, and did I mention my kids were sick too? They didn’t get what I had, but all of them cycled through a little 3 day yucky bug.
So, there’s a little peek into the life of Jaime over the last few weeks. I also just returned from a trip to my hometown in