My eldest son became a teenager last month. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Same kid, just bigger. Both boys got their own rooms, which meant that we had to move my writing space into Husband’s office and move Husband’s office downstairs to the family room (formerly the Lego explosion room), and move all of the Legos upstairs. It felt like we packed up the whole house only to move to another place exactly the same size. But the kids are happy because they have their own space and I’m happy because I have a cozy, newly painted office that I love and hopefully Husband will be happy once I promise him that we never have to go to IKEA ever again.
I also got a job. Since October I’ve been gainfully employed as a part-time cooking instructor at Create a Cook in Newton. I teach parent and child cooking classes during the week and one-day workshops on the weekends. Go here to check out their class offerings (they also offer kids’ birthday parties and culinary date nights for adults). It’s been a good opportunity for me to do more hands-on teaching, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while but my at-home kitchen setup is not ideal.
I’m also co-teaching our elementary school’s Math Olympiad team with a friend of mine. Holy cow, you should see some of these math problems. One of them involves drawing congruent lines between all of my hives and then calculating the sum of their angles. I used to be pretty good at math, I thought, but clearly it’s been a while. Luckily, I have a crack team of mathematicians at MathWorks available on speed dial to answer any questions I might have at a moment’s notice: Hello? It’s Tammy again. Can you explain one more time why 1 isn’t a prime number? Needless to say, I’ve had to assign myself an incredible amount of homework just to stay one step ahead of these kids. Go ahead, give me a number, any number, and I’ll factor the hell out of it.
As for writing projects, my long-awaited cryptogram book will finally be making its debut in the spring. We’re finalizing the galleys for the printer this month. I’m excited to see it after almost a year of radio silence. One aspect of publishing I have yet to adjust to is how fully you immerse yourself in a project to the exclusion of all else, submit it in a wild panic, and then hear absolutely nothing about it for up to a year. Not a word. Did they even receive the file, I wonder? It’s so anticlimactic. I always get really depressed and angsty post-deadline. Then, after weeks of sulking, I forget I ever wrote it, like it was all a dream or something, until all of a sudden, out of nowhere, everything’s rush, rush, rush, and abracadabra there’s a book in my hands. So, yes, I’ll be very happy to prove to myself (and all 100 contributors) that this book actually exists and isn’t just a figment of my imagination. (You can have a peek here.)
Now the question is, what next? I want to keep writing books, but it’s not clear to me what the next project will be. Something nonfiction probably. Something involving food is likely. Something beyond the scope of my own personal experience would be a good change of pace. Perhaps something with meaty research, but it would have to have a very human story at its core since that’s where I find my best writing. I just don’t know what. I feel like it’s right in front of my face but I can’t see it. Hopefully time will tell.
In the meantime, I have a nice stack of books to keep me busy thanks to my family’s good taste in Christmas presents. I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays!