May 20, 2004


I've gotten four e-mails asking how I found time to write a novel and run a house full of little children, and then the topic came up again on a list I subscribe to....

Honestly? I got a cleaning service.
Even more honestly? At the time I GOT the service, we absolutely could NOT afford it. We got it anyway.

It ended up costing 116 dollars a month for a person to scome once every two weeks and battle the sentient mold that was trying to drag my children down into the potty and kill them. It is NO QUESTION the ABSOLUTE best way to spend 116 dollars that you do not have.

I'm a bit of a stickler about budgets and living within one's means -- unless it means I would have to give up my cleaning service. For that I would probably go into debt. I still have to do all the daily crap, dishes and whatnot, but just to have someone come and rinse the house down with bleach so that A) I don't have to do it and B) I do not have to feel GUILTY that it isn't getting done -- it makes all the psychological difference in the world. With the service, I NEVER worry that EBOLA is setting up a thriving colony in my sink drain and we no longer have dust rabbits that are big and bad enough to eyeball the cat as if to say, 'hey -- Bet I could take him.'

It takes the service maybe 2 and a half hours to come in and do it, but that two and a half hours seems to buy ME about ten in writing time.

Posted by joshilyn at May 20, 2004 6:37 AM

Hello! I've been following the conversation over on MW and I'm crazed with jealousy over your cleaning service. If I weren't mired in debt, I'd gladly shovel out whatever price was required to get people to come to my house and do what only my mother-in-law does now, on her twice-yearly Trips To Save Her Son And Grandchildren From Dying In The Filth-Infested Dive that I've almost certainly created by committing such heinous cleaning offenses as refusing to get a new shower curtain liner every month.

I remember shrinking in humiliation as my MIL once scrubbed my kitchen floors with a rag, on her hands and knees, because my mop was dirty. So yeah, your MW mail resonated with me and I had to check out your site. Terrific blog! I hope you don't mind that I've syndicated the feed onto my LiveJournal reading list to make for more convenient stalking. ;)

Congratulations on the book, and thanks for giving voice to the writer's life that I hope to someday experience for myself.

Posted by: Kara at May 20, 2004 10:42 AM

Mind? How KIND of you!

Hey my friend Jill James is a livejournal addict...You knwo I need to add a BLOGS I READ section to my links, I have gotten hooked on a couple -- notably KiWords.

I am actually considering giving the cleaning service up. Hehe. Our house is on the market, and I have to keep it perfect all the time, and -- well, wow, once it IS perfect it is not hard to MAINTAIN it. It was GETTING it perfect that took 4 weekends and a semi truck and an absolute ruthless willingness to hurl 1/2 my belongings into the sea.

Posted by: Joshilyn at May 21, 2004 5:58 PM