Lucy Jensen

Busy people stay busy. And not much alters with time, despite your best efforts to spend more time relaxing at home with a novel, or … ahem … working on your own novel.

As many of you know, I have been trying to work on my “Rosie” project. It’s a very absorbing effort when I make the time to work on it, which seldom happens at home. Home is, simplistically, about animals, family and work. This year, I managed to royally mess up the renewal courses for my notary commission, so I have been scrambling to take care of that, when I could have cruised through it at the end of last year without a bright red emergency renewal letter in sight. And why didn’t I do that? Because I was so busy doing other things.

In my own defense, I was juggling a lot of things like a royally sick husband, but I still could have made it so much easier on myself. Now my commission will expire before I have the new one in place, I had to do a six-hour class, instead of three, and instead of cruising over to beautiful Monterey for my test, I must go to Modesto and take the exam there. Oh, and it will likely be a few weeks before I am all commissioned and bonded and able to do the work again. All my own fault.

In this modern world, you can spend a lot of time doing inanely busy things like resetting passwords, trying to get a message to extricate a file or bypass privacy systems that make you howl with impatience. Recently I was so wound up in knots, I asked the lady to please just mail me the wretched document, since she said she was not allowed to email it and the privacy extrication wasn’t working. Busy work accomplishing nothing.

“I’d like to order 10 copies of your ‘Winston Comes Home’ book,” he said. Oh, how nice! Another person asked me for two copies. It was published in 2014, why the sudden interest? I hunted around in my book boxes. I had one dog-eared copy left. Hmm. Never thought that through, did I? I tried to contact the old publisher. They had gone out of business, sold to another company. OK, that should be easy.

Contacted the new company, no reply. Sent another message. Same response. Called. Same. I figured their lack of customer service must be because my book has died along with its old publisher. It is no more. What now? Let it die? No, that’s a bit unthinkable. Re-do it? What, busy work, when I’m trying to find the time to work on my Rosie book … plus get that blessed notary commission finished up?

I contacted the publishing service of my last book. Thank goodness they were still alive and would love to help me reconstruct my book. I remembered my sister Rosie telling me that there were elements of that book that could have been better, especially the photos. Well, look here, sister, we now have the opportunity to fix that. Looking back, I also wasn’t a huge fan of the cover. Another superb possibility to improve the old beast.

Amazingly enough in the kleptomaniacal depths of my computer files, I was able to find the e-proof from the book that I am hoping the publisher will be able to use and extract/change the items that need to be altered. I am also hoping that the whole project will be off my desk and onto his, this coming week, so that I can revert my focus onto all my other busy priorities. Plus get back to my Rosie book. Anyone else have these four steps forward, six back frustrations in life?

Then I look at the calendar and it’s time for my second Moderna shot. The first put me in bed and gave me a few days when I got nothing accomplished. I cannot afford to have that happen this week. Make sure you eat and take a Tylenol or Advil before the shot, the pharmacist tells me. Give yourself the best chance of having fewer side effects. We will just go along with that and hope that my days can line up in a more orderly fashion and allow me to complete more things.

There is never enough time in the day, week or month. The plan was to have my Rosie book to the publisher by the autumn and here we are going back to a 2014 publication and recreating the wheel. Time will tell if my Rosie book will make it out to the public in time for the holiday buying season.

Oh, and I have my first book signing coming up, hosted by Scheid Vineyards. Because of the pandemic, “The Animals Teach Us Everything and Other Short Tails” never got the opportunity to receive the exposure I had hoped for it. At the end of the day, I was quite pleased with the publication and a little sad it never got the lift-off I thought it deserved. Plus, I hoped it would be a nice ongoing fundraiser for SCAR, our local animal rescue. Well, here it is.

Saturday, April 24, from 1 to 3 p.m., SCAR and Scheid will be hosting Taco Bout Dogs at the Scheid Winery and Tasting Room in Greenfield. It is a gorgeous location to enjoy some free tacos, sip on delicious wines, get information from SCAR on all the work they do, buy some lovely SCAR merchandise and a special signed copy of my book. I am pledging a donation to SCAR for every book sold that day, so I’m hoping all the animal-loving crowds will come out and support us.

It’s time for us busy folk to get back to life and to living again. It feels like such a luxury to even go to a winery, let alone do a book signing at one. I so appreciate the prospect again of the renewal of regular life. Plus, Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I know she would appreciate a local book from a local author to benefit the animals!

Now, back to the uncertain week of my Moderna vaccine and my miserable notary commission efforts. Busy people need to be more organized in their busy lives and get their priorities straight and in line. Otherwise, you may end up with the kind of basket of mess I have created for myself. Just because I have four diaries does not mean I am the organized person I wish I were. Note to self: must do better next week.

P.S. The Moderna vaccine threw me into bed for the best part of 24 hours. Now I am behind again.

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Soledad columnist Lucy Jensen may be reached at [email protected].