First off, I'm still working on Switchcraft even as In Between Men is now officially in a bookstore near you.
Second, I've little sleep and less contact with the outside world.
Third, this isn't a diss of any writers who become so invested in the work that they forget to shower or change their clothes. It's just an admission that I can't give up showering no matter how deep I am into the writing. Yes, I walk around my house like a ghost but only when it's my husband's turn to watch the Little Dude. Even then, I'm still listening for that particular tone in the baby's cry that only a mommy can hear.
But that's a whole other topic.
So back to personal hygeiene: does my need for cleanliness make me less of a writer? Am I not as committed to the work? Am I ... Bourgeois?
I tried to write in my jammies the other day - mom, I did brush my teeth - but I couldn't concentrate because of that not-so-fresh feeling under my armpits.
Also, showering and cooking are my meditation. Before I go in, I carefully select a body wash from my fiercely guarded collection. Do I need White Tea, Soothing Lavendar, Revitalizing Mint, Seductive Rose or plain oatmeal soap? And then there's the question of exfoliation, which I use when I literally and figuratively need to rid myself of dead skin. Moisturization is a must and I always use SPF 30 on the face.
When I'm under the water lathering up, my mind plays with different approaches to a scene, hence my handy mini-recorder is always on the counter just in case my character delivers a line of dialogue that could be forgotten on the rocky path between the shower and my desk. Or, I practice what I'll say to Oprah or Tyra on the off chance I'm invited to their shows.
Now I don't feel so guilty. But I better get back to work.
I hope you have a great time with Isa and Alex. Funny thing about being an author is that at the time I was writing In Between Men , I hated them for making my life miserable with their damn problems. Now, I miss them and hate the characters who are making my life hell right now.