Thriving on Chaos

By Jennifer DeCuir, author of Five of Hearts and Drawn to Jonah

Five of HeartsI’m sitting here staring off into space as I search for the right words for this blog post. My five-year-old hops up in my lap and offers to help. “I know letters, Mommy. And some words.” I set down my notebook and we work on spelling a couple of easy words. He has already mastered “eat” and “butt” (What can I say? He’s all boy!) Today he conquered “cat” and “dog.” He’s nearly vibrating with pride.

Part of me is resigned to the fact that I won’t be making any headway on this project until he goes to bed tonight. The mommy in me, however, is cherishing this for the special moment that it is. This fall my little baby will be going off to kindergarten and I will have the house all to myself for the first time. I should be thrilled that, as my writing career is taking off, I finally have some quiet time to dedicate to my craft.

But if there is anything I’ve learned about writing with children in the house, it’s that I thrive on chaos. I can tune out arguments while creating an argument on screen. My background music is whatever video game happens to be on TV, or the whine of a light saber whacking at my living room furniture. I’ve brought my writing to parks, trampoline courts, McDonalds play areas, and more coffeehouses with train tables than I can keep track of.

Even now, Hubby (my oldest child) is playing fetch with the dog – inside. I just heard a loud crash, followed by silence. Rest assured, something is now broken and everyone is rushing to clean it up before I find out. Such is the life of this writer.

Did I draw from my own experiences when creating Shannon Fitzgerald, single mom of triplets in Five of Hearts? Not a bit. But can I relate to the chaos that she deals with on a daily basis? Absolutely.