Tonight as I was cooking dinner for my family, I opened my spice cabinet and, while rummaging through in search of something, knocked over a container. As I set the container right-side-up, I looked at the label and started laughing like a crazy person, because it's one of those herbs I have way too much of. I rarely cook with it, you see. It was thyme, and the first thing that ran through my head was, "I certainly have an abundance of thyme!" I laughed myself silly because if there is one thing in this life I don't have an abundance of, it is time - real time, of course - and I rather think few people can say they actually do. But this struck me as so funny at the end of this week because it's been a particularly time-less week - or, a week during which I've wanted nothing so much as a little time in which to write, and have been unable to find any at all.
Exactly one week ago, I was so sick, I couldn't get out of bed all day. It was the sort of sick that makes you wish you could erase your existence and get a do-over, but, alas, life doesn't work that way. On Monday I felt better, but I had a long day of work ahead of me, followed by a three-hour-long senior thesis disputatio to attend for half of my senior students. It is the culmination of their classical education and not something to be missed (and quite enjoyable), but it does make for a long night at the end of a long day, especially when one is already under the weather. Tuesday was a repeat of Monday - work all day, three hour disputatio at night. Wednesday after a full day of work, my husband and I had a bit of a drive to a work Christmas party that lasted late, so another night gone. Thursday I had another long day of work followed by a long faculty meeting at school. And Friday another day at work followed by another long drive to another Christmas party. Now, all of these evening events, I should point out, are things I enjoy! All in one week while recovering from illness and trying to write a book... a bit much to handle. Especially given that three of my four boys have been fighting the same ailment as I, and my sleep was interrupted a lot all week by crying and coughing. Then yesterday, my three-year-old regressed into the coughing part of the illness quite badly, and yesterday night, instead of either of us sleeping, I spent most of the night on the couch holding him in my lap while he coughed, cried, and burned up with fever.
So when I knocked over the thyme in the cabinet at dinner tonight, yes... it struck me as funny. Because this is life, and time waits for no man - or woman, or writer. As Gollum taunts Bilbo in The Hobbit:
"This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down."
Am I being a little maudlin? Perhaps. But it's been a difficult, sleepless week, and I'm staring at a desk full of notes and a manuscript that hasn't yet reached 10,000 words. And time keeps passing remarkably fast. I would love to say that I have release date news on Criminal for you all, too, but I don't; not yet. All I can say is that it is obviously not coming out by the end of 2015 here, and I apologize for that, but I have been in communication with my publishing house, and I hope to have news soon. In the meanthyme, I'm going to keep plugging along, even if I can only get a handful of words written per day. This week promises to be less hectic than last, so we'll see what I can get done!