Fried Shrimp and Dreams of Freedom

tempura on ceramic plate
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“‘I just want to be at the beach eating fried shrimp,’ I tell my husband…. I’m guessing what I have going on is a pacing issue. Like any good story, life requires pacing, too.”

I’m at the kitchen table clunking my spoon into a bowl of lukewarm oatmeal and waiting on the coffee to clear the fog from my brain as I verbally work on defragmenting the cache of debris built up in my head over months of editing for my sci-fi romance, Stealing Ares, which releases in September, writing the second book in the series, writing a blog for a memoir that is under consideration with a different publisher, and taking care of my duties as VP of Operations with the Atlanta Writers Club. Add to that list: promoting my writing through social media and reading advance reader copies and doing promotion for the podcast I collaborate on with some amazing writer friends, and I feel, well…fried, spent, wrung out. I haven’t even mentioned the fact that I have two children. One is old enough to take care of herself, but the other is still young.

tempura on ceramic plate
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

“I just want to be at the beach eating fried shrimp,” I tell my husband.

“I get it. That sounds good.”

We’ll be going to the beach soon, and I won’t be taking any work with me, unless the latest podcast gets edited while I’m at the beach, in which case I’ll feel like I need to get the clip done for social media while I’m there. Oh, and I’ll also need to check email in case the publisher gets back about the manuscript. Well, you know, I don’t plan on doing any work.

faceless woman using laptop while sitting on bed
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

“Take a break. Don’t do anything,” one might say. But can you truly rest if there’s something you really want to get done? I’m choosing this. No one is making me do any of it. I’m happy about the success that I have, and I didn’t get it by ignoring emails and blowing off deadlines.

“Then don’t complain,” one might reply.

That’s a legitimate argument, but keep in mind the same person will also tell you to be sure and talk to someone if you’re feeling stressed out. We all have scripts we like to regurgitate for certain occasions when honesty might serve better. Something like, “Hey, I get it. By the time we figure out what we really want out of life, and we aren’t afraid to go after it, we realize our time isn’t unlimited and we need to get to it while we still can.” That’s where I’m at. How about you?

I’m guessing what I have going on is a pacing issue. Like any good story, life requires pacing, too.

I think what I need is more breaks for fried shrimp now and then. Perhaps freedom has to do with letting the story breathe. You know, those moments where the pace slows, and the characters have a cup of tea or talk while looking at blouses in a department store. Whatever it is, they breathe.

Here’s to a life well-paced.

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Published by Kim Conrey

I'm a mom, writer, and runner. I write a blog about living with OCD and another about sci-fi and writing. I'm also the author of the sci-fi romance Stealing Ares.

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