In the Middle

It’s been some two and a half months since my last post. Sad, I know. It would be an understatement to say things have been a bit chaotic on my end. When you homeschool four children, each at his or her own level and with his or her own learning style, chaos sort of becomes the baseline. Throw in the surge of Boy Scout campouts that spring inevitably brings, as well as a few random other activities, and we pretty much can’t remember our last free weekend, nor can we figure out when the next one will be.

And yet…

We have almost completed our ninth year of homeschooling. Everyone can read. The youngest two are learning their multiplication tables and racing Daddy to label the US map. The oldest has made peace with Algebra and thoroughly enjoys Shakespeare. The one in the middle has fallen into a groove with his schoolwork, one in which he understands what needs to be done and diligently works to make it happen. They’re learning, sometimes in ways other than I’d planned, but learning no less. Often more. And while they may be sleeping till an embarrassing hour of the morning, I often catch them reading in the middle of the night, so it all evens out, right?

Somehow in the middle of all of this craziness, words came. Night after night, they spilled from my fingertips onto the keyboard and onto the screen. Almost 80,000 of them. Yes, another manuscript complete. And she’s lovely, if I may say so. This manuscript, in keeping with today’s theme, falls in the middle, the second of four planned books. It’s been a couple days since I completed the manuscript for COMMANDO GRACE: WINNER LOSE ALL, and while I’m eager to send this manuscript out for feedback, I’m relishing the peaceful feeling of having completed something lovely in the middle of life’s chaos, something lovely that I don’t have to share quite yet. With three more books to be written on either side, this manuscript is in no hurry. For now, I can savor all the joy and sorrow of the story, without the stress and uncertainty of querying.

And I can savor the release of CHILD OF THRESH, the final book in the Chasmaria series. I’ve been so busy and distracted, that it’s sort of snuck up on me. It’ll be a sad and sweet goodbye, with a high probability of tears and mental promises to revisit these characters in the future.

This is, even in the middle of the chaos, more than I could have hoped for when I walked barefoot to the alter almost sixteen years ago, when I promised to love the boy who made me laugh, come what may.

And a lot has come, sometimes in such a quick succession that we can hardly keep track of who’s going where, but somehow, by the grace of God, we end up together – the husband and I and the growing ones who emerged in the middle of chaos – reading books, playing computer games, planning a trip with us, just us. Because in the middle of it all, we kind of like each other. All crazy six of us.

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