I type this as I sit on my couch, in my pajamas and with my hair scooped up in a messy bunch (I can’t even call it a bun–that would suggest a style). I am doing one more run through my novella, Smoke and Shadows, before I send it to the editor and load it to Amazon (for free) sometime in the next week or so. I’m comfortable and I’m being productive. This is good, right?
But I’m a little nervous that someone will come to the door. I’m deep in my regency world–Who’s starting those fires, and when did Philip become so attractive?–and then suddenly the thought sneaks in, “I really should go get dressed and do my hair. Or maybe I should even put some makeup on. I just know someone is going to come to the door.” You may think that’s not such a big deal, but this is the beginning of a very serious, slippery slope. I may notice as I do my hair that I should start some laundry, and why don’t I just organize my closet while I’m here? And why do I still have this skirt? These thoughts are not conducive to writing.
And then I write in my story about the morning call my character receives. Regency families scheduled one or two days a week where they were “home to callers.” From say 11:00 in the morning until maybe two or three, a lady (or gentleman/family) accepted visits from her neighbors and those who wanted to make or further her acquaintance. This assumed that she wanted to visit with the person who sent in their card (name, direction, read this as address). If she didn’t feel comfortable making or furthering an acquaintance, her servant could tell the “caller” that she was not “at home to visitors.”
When a caller was invited in, the rules of the visit were set. It should be at least fifteen minutes, but no longer than thirty. There were accepted topics of conversation, and everyone knew what they were–avoid talking about things that are too personal, no gossiping. and be pleasant.
Of course it wouldn’t work for me. First–no servant. Second–I am not so organized that I would feel comfortable saying, as an example, every Wednesday from 11-2, I will be home to callers. What if things are really going well with the writing? I don’t want to see people then. What if one of my children or a neighbor calls and I need to be with them? What if I just don’t want to change out of my pajamas? (see scary picture above). Third–I’m not a formal person. I like to visit. (I tend to prefer to visit with one or a few, rather than attend a party of many people), but when I’m getting to know someone or spending time with a friend, I can’t imagine limiting a visit to half an hour. How can you really get to know someone or continue to build a relationship in half-hour increments? (And sometimes I get personal).
No.I’ll just have to discipline myself to sit here on this couch in my pajamas, bad hair, no make-up state and write/edit. And hope everyone is “calling” on someone else this afternoon.