Cynthia D’Alba cries, “Give Me My Normal Back!”

Have you ever had a time in your life where everything came on you at one time? If yes, then you can understand what the last month has been like for me.

First I had RT2014 in New Orleans. I drove by myself (8 hours) to New Orleans on Monday. I took SO much stuff that I had to borrow my mother’s Cadillac Sedan De Ville to hold everything! I swear it’s the truth! (Those cars have a 3-dead-body trunk!) I had all the various posters and entry box for The Great Author Hunt, then all my promo materials, and then all the clothes, shoes, cowboy boots and hats I’d need for the entire week. If you’ve been to RT, you KNOW it’s early mornings and late nights, making for some long days for this old woman! Then I drove home (by myself again) the 8 hours.

When I got home, I knew I had to finish the novella (A Cowboy’s Seduction) that was due to the editor by May 31. (A COWBOY’S SEDUCTION  is part of the BROUGHT TO HIS KNEES collection that comes out August 19) I had promised 20-30k. I had 6 k when I left for RT, telling myself I could probably write an additional 5k or so while I was there. Man, I am SUCH a GOOD LIAR that even I believed it. Um, no. Left New Orleans with the exact word count that I had when I arrived! AND, as much as I love my husband, no housecleaning went on while I was gone. PLUS I had scheduled a cleaning service for Tuesday, which meant I had to pick up the house before they could clean. (Side note: If I could ever find someone who would clean my house like I do….Sigh…) So I “cleaned” on Monday so the cleaners could come on Tuesday. Then hubby left for fishing and I collapsed in an exhausted heap in my bed! So while he was gone, I slept, ate, and wrote. When he got home, I still had A LOT of writing to do to get to a minimum 20k.  So the next week, I wrote and wrote and wrote and at 1:30 am on May 31, I sent my novella off to crit partners, who, being so awesome, got it back to me by noon on the 31st. I made that deadline.

BUT looming ahead of me was leaving for Lori Foster’s Reader Author Get Together. So I had Sunday and Monday to get stuff together to leave for Ohio. I left on Tuesday. Luckily for me, I had a good friend (Susie) ride along for the 12 hour drive. I drove all the way on Tuesday to Lissa and Paul’s house in Loveland, Ohio. Susie, Lissa and I played on Wednesday and Thursday but come Thursday night, I was back at RAGT and did all the chatting and networking one does for Friday and Saturday. I elected to stay with Lissa and Paul, so I never checked into the hotel, driving the 16 miles back and forth every day. On Sunday, Susie and I hit the road back to Arkansas. The 11-12 hour drive took almost 14 hours because of construction delays! In fact, I sat for an hour outside of Nashville…and I mean made progress at about 5 miles a hour! Needless to say, I DIED that night.

group photoBUT come Monday morning, I had to get the ball rolling again with my high school reunion that was for the following weekend (i.e. this past weekend.) I did all the name tags (160 or so), which entailed pulling in a high school picture of each person with their name onto business sized cards and printing them, then tearing them apart, stuffing them into badge holders and attaching a lanyard. On Tuesday, I went with another committee member to the hotel for final dinner counts (we served a plated dinner and everyone had a choice of beef, chicken or shrimp) and decide on the wine for the dinner. This was followed by a last reunion planning meeting. AND I had volunteered to put together a Friday night Factoid game, which was a spreadsheet of various facts about classmates. The challenge was to match fact with class member. I had to print 125 or so of those. AND I had volunteered to do a trivia game for Saturday night so I had to spend Saturday putting that together! PLUS my old gang of gals had a sleepover on Friday night. AND on Saturday, I had to finish putting all the meal orders together to hand out when they checked in on Saturday night.

I’m writing this on Monday after the reunion. I won’t bore you with all the pictures from a reunion of people who were seriously thrilled to be together. I’m sad for the ones who did not come out of reluctance that they might be somehow “judged” in some fashion. No judging. Lots of pounds gained and hair lost over the 40 years since high school. Many tears over the ones we have lost too soon. But so much joy and happiness over the ones who were there.

But Lord almighty! I am ready for some “regular” days. I welcome my normal back with open arms. For a borderline introvert, I am ready for some alone time to recharge!

p.s. – Congratulations to ME and Donnell Ann Bell for receiving Awards of Merit for the Holt Medallion Contest! Me in Long Contemporary and Donnell in Romantic Suspense.