Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn

So far the trickiest part of trying to write this thing they call a book is finding pockets of quiet where I can concentrate and write for an extended period of time. Oh, there’s that pesky business of wanting to have something to say, of course, but I try not to let that part bother me too much. If all else fails I’ll resort to one- or two-word chapters that feature grocery store items that excite me.



Laughing Cow!


Peanut butter!

See? That’s five chapters. I’m almost half finished.

My work schedule means that most of my mornings and early afternoons are booked solid, and once I pick up the little guy and we head home, we usually tackle homework and then have some assortment of buddies here until 5 or 5:30. That is not a complaint at all; it really does bring me great joy to have a few extra young’uns here in the afternoons. Plus, I definitely don’t want Alex to look back on this time in our lives and think Hey. Remember when my mama wrote that book and she needed for the house to be quiet and my friends quit coming over to play? THAT WAS TERRIBLE.

A couple of weeks ago D and I realized that in order for me to meet my deadline without going Cuckoo McCrazy, we needed to figure out a way to re-purpose some of our time. Maybe he’ll pick up A from school a couple of times a week so that I can go to Panera for a few hours. Maybe he and A will do some fun father-son something-or-other so that I can have four or five hours to write on a Saturday morning. Or maybe every once in awhile I’ll go somewhere by myself for a night and try to build a little writing momentum with all that uninterrupted time.

All that to say: we have options now. And I am such a fan of options.

So yesterday, after we came home from church and ate lunch, I packed a little bag, grabbed my laptop, and drove myself to a hotel. Well, technically I drove to Starbucks first, but that probably goes without saying. Mama’s brain has to have fuel, after all.

I reserved a room through Priceline, so I didn’t really know what to expect, but there were two things that brought me untold joy after I checked in: 1) my room was at the end of the building, and to me that meant that my room would be at least 50% more quiet, and 2) my room was directly across from the ice machine. I know it’s weird, but one of my favorite things in life is to fill up a glass with ice, then let the ice melt a little bit before I enjoy the COLDEST ICE WATER EVER. The proximity of the ice machine meant that all my ice water dreams were quite literally within my reach.

Somebody give the Lord a handclap of praise.

Brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it?

And this desk? With its adjustable office chair?

It was a perfect little writing spot. However, I should probably explain that I took this picture when I was in the process of unpacking my stuff, which is why my hair spray is hanging out next to my coffee. I certainly wasn’t styling my hair while I was sitting at the computer, though I guess stranger things have happened.

I wondered when I checked in yesterday if I’d actually be productive, if I’d be able to justify the not-quite 24 hours that I spent by myself while D held down the fort at home. But oh my goodness, that chunk of time at the hotel was such a gift. I didn’t sleep that much, but I wrote a whole bunch – more than I expected, even. By the time I walked through our front door early this afternoon, I felt like the book load was a wee bit lighter. Granted, I have a long (loooooong) way to go, but I’m closer to the end than I was when I climbed out of bed Sunday morning.

Last thing. Right now I’m not planning to do much updating on the book stuff, mainly because I don’t know how to write about it without boring you to tears, not to mention that I really like to blog about the important issues in life – things like snack crackers and reality television and my current goal of learning how to apply eyeshadow with brushes instead of those little sponge applicators. Tonight, however, I wrote about the book-related stuff because the hotel thing was a bit of a novelty, but tomorrow I plan to devote my full attention to my current food obsession: cheese and crackers.

Clearly, bloggy people, THE EXCITEMENT NEVER ENDS.


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  1. I love this post, and I’m sooooo happy you got writing time! And selfishly, since I don’t like TV or care about make-up, I would love it if you would alternate between posts about writing and cheese & crackers.

  2. Hello from one of your readers in Europe — we often don’t have access to all the various snack food over here, (but we do have awesome chocolate) and the television isn’t the same (or we get last years shows, and never reality television) – so I’m joining Marla in requesting an occasional update about the book. I’m interested!

    And I loved reading about your Holiday Inn experience. What a treat to be by the ice machine too. (as long as someone doesn’t make a noisy refill in the middle of the night!)

  3. I’m thinking about transitioning (dare I say ‘graduating’?) from sponge applicators to brushes, TOO! :) It’s a little daunting, but I have just all of a sudden felt the need for better blending. It might or might not have been spurred on by my obsession with Adele’s make-up.

  4. Oh, BRUSHES, they are wonderful. I transitioned about five years ago when I got a set as an Estee Lauder bonus, and shortly after the great “sponge tip came off and I poked my eyelid with the plastic applicator” tragedy of 2007. You’ll never go back.

    And just wanted you to know, I was thrilled to find the Blueberry Newton Thin thingys here in our very own commissary – I miss so much of the snack goodness living in Germany. We will open the bag in your honor for dessert tonight.

    Glad you had a productive writing retreat. I admire your ability to concentrate – I can find distractions no matter where I am!

    And lastly, I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while, and have seen you mention work, but not what it is you do. Will you share?

    who is transitioning to WendyBrz so she can match her twitter and her LPM gravatar. xoxo

  5. What a great idea!!! I’m so glad it was a productive time for you with lots of wonderful ice. God is good & in every single detail :) The icy cold one’s, too :)

  6. anotherlisa says:

    i love a person who acts. you have untold internet folks who live vicariously and love you , in all your adventures and exploits. many of those are praying for you; i know this.
    but you don’t sit around knitting, madame defarge.
    you don’t whine “Lord, when will You help me write these chapters?”
    you get yourself down to lockdown, and grind it out.
    so pro-active! so published-author-y!
    so proud of you, and your supportive family!
    remind them how much their unselfishness blesses all of us.

  7. Brushes are the BEST! I made the switch about 12 years ago. The secret….nice brushes. I have Bobbi Brown. And while they are a little pricey, I haven’t had to replace mine. I have had the same ones I bought 12 years ago. Ohhhh, it is also important to clean them. Just use a little bit of your facial cleanser to clean them periodically. For reals, check out Bobbi Brown’s. She’s my hero.

  8. I just love you. That is all. Super-excited for you also!

  9. Just wanted to say that your comment, “I certainly wasn’t styling my hair while I was sitting at the computer…” made me spew coffee on my computer screen with laughter. Thanks for the morning giggle. Happy writing!

  10. I, too, have been working on the brushes thing for a bout a year. I love them. Wet them down. Crazy, I know. But it helps.

    Also, picturing Alex as a college student complaining about mom’s book writing days remind me of being a college student and remembering complaining about Mom doing online master’s coursework and taking up the phone line for 3 hours at a time (when internet ran through the phone line! can you remember such a thing!?). At the time it was torture for a teenager but now it’s a great story. So if there are some tense, quiet, momma-book-writing days, he’ll probably remember them fondly when he gets a little further removed:).

    Good luck!!

  11. Yes please more cheese and crackers and your findings about makeup brushes!!!
    You make me laugh, and thank you for that!!!

  12. You are a bright spot in my day, and I’m interested in whatever you say! Cheese and crackers are my world! Love and prayers to you!

  13. I LOVE THIS POST! What’s that saying? — One mans trash, is another mans treasure. Well, what you perceive is un-riveting writing, is absolute hilarity and incredible writing TO ME! And all of us blog readers!

    I hope your hotel stay, ice water, and quiet time quickly churns out that book! I can’t wait to read it :)

  14. What a great idea for you to have some writing time. Glad it was productive! We are all anticipating some hilarious greatness!

    Two things: 1)Cracker Barrel cracked pepper cheese. You must try it since you are loving the cheese and cracker thing. 2) Yes to the eyeshadow brushes. You will love the blendability and your makeup will look professional. Go for the brushes and leave the spongies behind!

  15. I laughed at the title. My husband sings that whenever we check into any hotel. I haven’t figured out the little brushes. I end up with powdery sprinkles under my eyes.

  16. This is why you are writing a book–you articulated so well how I feel about ice in a hotel. I completely get it. But never could’ve explained it so well. You Rock, Boo Mama!

  17. So glad you got to steal away for a bit to write. Looking forward to the book! I may try to write a book just so I can steal away to a hotel and have quiet and proximity to good ice. :)

  18. I would love to read a cheese and cracker blog post! Food obsession posts are always the best!!

  19. Julie Reynolds says:

    So glad you were blessed with some writing time, and I for one love hearing about your writing and the journey to a book! I can’t wait for the cheese and cracker post – will there be dessert?? :)

  20. Mary Kat's Mom says:

    You had me at the title of this post! I have been movin’ and groovin’ to the “song” since I read your post. This is all so exciting and I am so glad you got the chance to work on the book!

  21. Here’s my first attempt to get to know Boomama and find another person in the gigantic area of Birmingham that blogs. What kind of book are you writing? Clearly I need to check the archives that see if I can find out. I do like the hotel room because as a writer and momma, I understand. Enjoy it or I hope you enjoyed it! ;)

  22. I am sooooo excited for you about the book and can’t wait to read it!!! I think your blog (at least for blog readers) would make a fun book! Who else can go from writing a book, to hairspray and computers, to the more important aspects of like like cheese and crackers!!!! And AMEN to the melted ice w/ice cold water. If I had endless funds I think I might buy a professional full size ice maker. Of course I would need the endless funds to fix my teeth from chomping ice :)

  23. I love reading your blog. I love snacks, TV and randomness. Also, tonight as our family headed back to our hotel my husband came out with the same line that is titling this post–although we are staying at a Ramada so he said that instead of Holiday Inn…moving on. I took that as a sign to tell you that Sephora has a plethora of brushes. Great quality, so many shapes and sizes and even different ‘levels’ so you don’t have to plunge right into the $50 range before you feel comfortable. Playing make-up has been one of my favorite things since I was three and using brushes has kept that love alive into my 30’s. Good luck!

  24. Makeup brushes will change. your. life. Well, in the makeuppy sort of way. And the angled brush with dark shadow for liner? BRILLS. So happy for your writing progress!

  25. Tammy Kay says:

    I love reading your posts. You have a style of writing that just makes me smile, and an ability to make me care about the mundane-Cheez Its, makeup brushes-YES PLEASE! Wishing you much success in your writing endeavors, and keep us posted…we like living vicariously through you!!

  26. When I write I have to have my zone QUIII-ETTTT! Sure, that’s probably a given to anyone who loves to write. But forget sitting at Starbucks with other PEOPLE around. The hotel idea is brilliant. One day when I preparing to be published {:)} I shall remember this. I’m so excited for you!!! Here’s to many more days of productive writing!

  27. I forgot the *clink* of our glasses topped off with ice. ;) Cheers!!!