Work, work, work.

Slave, slave, slave.

That is the mantra I sometimes grumble to myself these days when doing some paltry little task that I know is far from actual work and a galaxy from actual slave labor.

It is, of course, a bit of self-mockery.

In a time long ago and a place relatively far away, my ex-husband and I owned an 80-acre farm. He had an actual job. I did a lot of the actual farming.

My idea at the time was to run a model organic farm, milking goats, bopping bunnies on the head, getting eggs from rescue chickens, and raising the bacon, freeing my husband to bring home other things. Oh, he did a lot of the actual work, since I'm about as sharp as a hammer when it comes to actually using one - and he was very good at it.

But I put in my time caring for animals in -30F weather in the dead of winter, boiling down maple sap in a huge iron kettle hung from a tripod in the back yard (believe me, NOone does it that way anymore - and they didn't then, either. I took my syrup-making instructions straight out of , and crawling around weeding the quarter-acre garden in which I tried to grow everything from asparagus to mangel-wurzel's. Look it up. I fed them to the pigs.

I also had the bright idea that, besides growing and preparing all of our food from scratch, that I would also have the time, in the evenings by the (Jotul stove) fire, to write that novel. You know. That novel. The one you always meant to write, but never had the time. Because when you get to stay home while your husband goes out to work, surely now there will be time? Nevermind that you are the one promising bacon.

That was almost 40 years ago. It would be 10 years before I began to write something I thought just might work. It took another 20 years to finish it. And even then, it wasn't until last night that I got it out the door and onto Kindle. Should be available in the next day or so. Don't worry. I'll keep you posted.

I know there are thousands of examples of people who work, work, work, slave, slave, slave, and still write good novels in their spare time. I can't think of any right off hand, and I am not one of them. I loved working that farm. When I moved off of it, I didn't want a cat or a dog or a green plant. For awhile. But finally I did start writing. And after a few more misadventures, I made prime time for the writing.

It's still work, work, work, slave, slave, slave - but that's only my little joke. Even if I'm tearing my hair out, I'm mostly having fun.