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  • Thursday, August 06, 2009

    Playing With Real Live People


    I’m headed down the hill Friday to spend the night at our daughter’s place so I can go to a CaBi Party she’s hosting...now, if you’re not familiar with the concept, CaBi makes clothes for young professional women who are tall and slim and look good in absolutely anything. I’ve tried on the clothes and they’re not for me, but I love going to the parties and watching all these gorgeous young women who are all smarter and thinner and taller than I could ever hope to be, trying on beautiful clothes, drinking wine, gossiping and having so much fun. It’s addictive, being around people who are enjoying themselves, and I’m looking forward to a day away from the computer.

    Of course, I’ll probably go into withdrawal without my Internet or the book I’m working on, but taking a break is good for the muse, so I’ll do it. The weird thing is, whenever I take a day away like this I really have to talk myself into going. I’m excited about going, I know I’ll have a wonderful time and I know my husband will survive a night by himself. The story will be here when I get back, the flowers won’t die in the yard, the houseplants won’t lose all their leaves, and I’ll still have to force myself to get into my little pickup and make that hour long trip to town. I’m planning to stop at the bookstore, maybe make a trip to the mall. Want to go by the toy shop where I buy my little stuffed wolves for promotional give aways—point being, it’s a day away with lots of fun things in store and I’m still thinking of reasons to stay home and not go!

    I think I know why, of course. I’ve become addicted to the fantasy worlds in my stories. It’s so much easier to stay locked in the worlds of my own creation that I’ve become a terrible hermit. It’s funny, in a way, because I used to love to be in the middle of everything, talking a mile a minute, a veritable social butterfly. Now I have to force myself to get out and about, even though I always have fun once I peel myself away from my office. I wonder how much of my change has to do with the online friends I’ve made, and the fact that I find such satisfaction in those friendships that I don’t feel the need to get out with real groups of people? What about you? Do you enjoy getting out and meeting new people? Or when given a choice, do you prefer the quiet spot at home with a good book or your computer?

    Writing this is making me realize how little I actually interact with live bodies anymore—at least live ones in person. I think I need to think about this a bit more...while I’m at the party. I’m going. Really.


    17 Comments:

    Anonymous Alexis Morgan said...

    Kate,

    I know how you feel. I love playing in my world, but I also know I need time with real people, too. I try to make a habit of at least having lunch with a friend every week or so. I also meet up with a couple of writer friends at Starbucks just to talk business and support each other. I'm usually gone less that two hours, and come home ready to dive right back into my WIP.
    But the best thing for me is a night out with my dh for some live music. I find a concert always refreshes my creativity--

    Alexis

    9:41 AM  
    Blogger Kate Douglas said...

    You're smarter than me! I don't do that--meet regularly with friends--but I blame part of it on the fact we live in a very rural area and my closest friends are all a good hour's drive away. I'm headed out right now, though, and won't be back to check on the blog until I plug in my netbook at our daughter's tonight...see? I'm doing it. I AM GOING. Now. Honest...

    10:37 AM  
    Blogger susan andersen said...

    I'm happy to stay at home, but I also get out and walk with family/friends at least three times a week and interact with people at the gym and a dance class. Partying, not so much, although I do have two separate women's groups and enjoy an occasional party. I'm mostly introverted, but enjoy my moments of being extro, if that makes any sense.

    11:18 AM  
    Blogger Catherine said...

    Hi Kate,
    Since I'm not a writer, I don't spend that much time off in another world. I'm not sure how I'd deal with that. I don't enjoy staying home all day, must be the hyperactivity in me.
    I have my friends to walk/workout with. Do my running on my own.
    Today, my girls 11/13 are headed to the fair with their Grandparents, can't wait. That means Starbucks for IcedGreenTea, trip to Target and BarNoble. Just on my own.
    But at the end of the day, I'm happy with the family.
    Hope you enjoy your outing. If you're like my Mom, anytime spent with your daughter is wonderful!!!!
    Enjoy
    Catherine

    11:36 AM  
    Blogger elizabeth said...

    I love having friends for dinner or meeting friends (hi Jayne!) in Seattle when there's time, but mostly I'm happy to be with Evan and my Kindle. ;-)

    12:13 PM  
    Blogger Kate Douglas said...

    Ah, Elizabeth...I knew I'd find a kindred soul! Just got to Sarah's after a day of shopping and logged on while she makes munchies for tonight, but yeah...after time with others it's back to the quiet of my house and my husband and a good book!

    Susan, I heard a speaker at a conference one time describe authors as a bunch of introverts at the con trying really hard to be extroverts. It's so true! We can do ir when we have to!

    Catherine, you are so right. I love spending time with Sarah. She's so much fun and knows how to find balance in her life--with a husband, three kids and a full time job she still manages to enjoy time to herself. I need to take lessons...

    Now it's off to the shower to turn into a grown up...we're going out w/o kids tonight to the Cabi party. Sarah's hosting, but doing it at another gal's house.

    4:44 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Like you Kate, i would rather be at home, but not so much to be at the computer, I would just like some quiet me time, away from the people I live with..lol.. And as to the pasrty and clothing, you are thin enough to but that, and as I remember, also tall enough. But you are probally like me in that I would rather wear someting really comfy all the time, and I don't buy myself dressy things, I know I am not going to wear them. At my job I can wear casual clothes, and on the last friday of the month, jeans!.. But as usual, a great blog.... I hope you had a good time!
    Chris..

    6:04 PM  
    Blogger Suzanne V said...

    Kate,
    There are times such as this week that I find I am much happier staying at home either reading a book, playing the Wii or being on the computer. I think the old saying "you need a vacation after your vacation is true." I had a great time last week with my family at the beach for a week and now I'd like a little solitude. Next week I'll be back at the swim club socializing. This was a week of R & R while I got rid of my summer cold.

    7:06 PM  
    Blogger Kate Douglas said...

    Chris, I think the quiet time is really important. I'm back from the party and it was so much fun, but I was definitely ready to get home!!! Of course, I'm in the guest room at our daughter and son in law's, so it's not QUITE home, but close! Here's hoping you get a little "me time" this weekend!

    Suzanne, do hope you're over the cold! Summer colds are not fun. After a week ANYWHERE with family, it's time to find a little peace and quiet.

    11:16 PM  
    Blogger Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

    I'm always excited at the idea of going out with friends--meeting new people not so much. Okay, maybe if the new people are writers.

    Other than a few of my oldest and dearest friends and family, I want to be with my writer friends. I used to be such a hermit that only the need for Diet Coke, dog food and toilet paper would force me out. Everything else could be ordered by phone, especially pizza. Losing 57 pounds changed my outlook somewhat, but I'm still a hermit at heart.

    6:18 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    If I were to do what my daughter and son in law wish, I would quit work and relax all day, then play with the family every evening. Sounds like my perfect life. All I need is to read, sew, walk, do a little yoga, and be with the people I love to be happy. As for the parties, I can take them or leave them unless they are good friends getting together. Company parties and big socials aren't fun for me-too much odd energy. I see enough of "people" all day long at work where they think I am a social and outgoing person. In truth, I feel assaulted by strangers most of the day and go home weary from their thoughts each night. I may need some time off.
    Lynne Thomas

    8:02 AM  
    Blogger Kate Douglas said...

    Marie, first of all, congratulations on the weight loss! That's pretty amazing, though I have to admit, that "hermit at heart" thing sure resonates with me! I live in the boonies so we don't have any kind of delivery of any kind--I miss pizza delivery! And you realize, there's a very good reason you like to hang with your writer friends--they know you're not nuts when you talk about those voices in your head. Only another writer--or a dedicated reader--ever understands.

    Lynne, that "assaulted by strangers" line is the perfect description. After almost any social event with other than really close friends, I feel exactly the same way.

    I'm logging off again. Spent the night at our daughter's and awoke to five year old Gracie peeking in the bedroom door at the crack of dawn...it's Saturday morning cartoon day, I've had my coffee and it's time to run some errands. Will check back later.

    8:26 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I meet so many new people at my job, a movie theatre, with a constant turn over of staff. Most of them are young, high school and college kids, but I love working with them. They keep me on my toes and I always love staying up with the latest catch phrase, or eloctronic gadget or anything else young adults are in to these days. It's fun to pull all that info out in front of my own young adult children and see them sputter and stare wondering how their mother could possibly know that! What fun.

    Big parties - I can take them or leave them, mostly leave them. I tend to be very shy at that type of gathering and spend the night wondering how soon I can reasonably leave.

    The thing I love most about the computer though is being able to stay in touch with old and distant friends much more easily. I have never been much of a letter writer, but dashing off and email is wonderful.

    I live alone since my hubby passed away, and I must admit, I like it. I can go home and there's no one to scold me for not doing something, like wash the dishes as soon as dinner is done, etc. I can be as lazy or as industrious as I please. It's the only way to go?

    Hope you all have a grea weekend!

    Aloha,
    Kathy H.

    1:48 PM  
    Blogger Jayne Ann Krentz said...

    I love getting together with other writer friends to whine. Does that count as social interaction? I think whining is very good for me. I don't get to do it often enough in person, though, mostly just on the phone.

    --Jayne

    3:45 PM  
    Blogger Kate Douglas said...

    Kathy, you sound like you've found the perfect blend of quiet time and interaction. I have to admit, I love being around young people. The party last night was all young women in their thirties--smart and funny and so enjoyable, but like I said, it's making myself go that's hard. Once I get there I'm fine! Hope your weekend is a good one too. I saw the Aloha--are you in Hawaii? I see where there's a tropical storm headed that way--stay dry and safe, if that's where you are!

    Yes, Jayne. That is by far the best social interaction available. Whining in person is the most effective, though the phone works and Internet can be fairly effective! However, it only counts if you whine to other writers who understand WHY you're whining!

    5:22 PM  
    Blogger Stella Cameron said...

    Kate: I have the same problem. I can go for very long periods of time without interacting with others.

    The clothes sound interesting and it'll be good to spend time with a varied group.

    Stella

    5:41 PM  
    Blogger Kate Douglas said...

    Thanks, Stella. It was fun and I actually bought myself a very pretty blazer style jacket. It'll really dress up my blue jeans! (I'm SO high fashion!)

    But I gotta tell you, it feels SO good to be back home in my quiet house. The best part? Putting on sloppy clothes and ditching the bra! (I am SUCH a slob...)

    7:03 PM  

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