Friday, April 11, 2014

While Making Other Plans by Patricia Knoll

You know that quote that says, ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans’?  Well, I think that’s pretty accurate.  For the past couple of years I’ve been involved with the Tucson Festival of Books, a wonderful event that takes place every year in March on the University of Arizona campus.  It involves hundreds of authors, dozens of vendors of all types and more than one hundred thousand visitors to the event.  It’s exciting, fun, and exhausting. 

As soon as my involvement in the festival was over, my plan was to finish revisions on a book, send it to a friend who is also a copy editor, then get started on the next book.

Life had other ideas.

Spring arrived with its irresistible need to plant things, clean out things, organize things – paint the guest room! -- so the book got put off for a while.  Then a friend needed me to watch her three young children for a few days and life has become even more interesting.  Since I raised four children of my own, I know what a challenge it can be, but I think I’d forgotten how much fun it could be, too. I’ve laughed every day that they’ve been at my house, many times a day.  Something is happening every minute.  We can’t walk through the house without stepping on Legos or Hot Wheels cars.  The children are a girl, ten, and boys who are eight and almost four.  The little girl is very smart, takes good care of her brothers, and understandably becomes exasperated with them at times.  The boys play well together until they both want the same Lego.  The little one is convinced my bathroom is haunted, or maybe the ghosts are under the bed.  He tells lengthy stories about cows or whales or space guy ninjas, or whatever else pops into his mind, and keeps us all in stitches.

These three will definitely show up in a book someday, maybe even the one that I’m going to start as soon as their mother picks them up – and I emerge from the deep coma I plan to fall into.

Plans change, life happens, and the surprises never end.  Excuse me while I go check under the bed for ghosts.


  1. I know what you mean! I always seem to have some other project that could take me away from writing if I let it. In the past I have done just that. This year I've set myself a writing schedule where every day is accounted for and there is no room for slacking, so whatever else life throws at me I must do my writing or fall behind. It has worked well so far. But I might spontaneously combust at the end of the year!

  2. Having a writing schedule sounds like an excellent plan and it's never too late in the year to start one, which is what I need to do. I sure hope you don't spontaneously combust at the end of the year!

  3. Love this Patti. I know just what you're talking about. Watch that kid with the stories, he may grow up to be a writer, or an actor. One of my neices did that and is now studying theatre arts.

  4. Aw, Patti, good for you on embracing the unexpected -- talk about a wonderful attitude! :)

  5. Thanks Elaine and Laurie. It was quite an adventure. The kids have moved to Oregon now where their mother will marry my youngest son in a few months, so I'm sure they'll be back here again bringing more fun and craziness. The little story teller spent the flight looking at the emergency instructions card and making up stories about people sliding down a giant slide and going to a pool party.