Boxes, boxes, boxes

This is the roving reporter live from the Boll garage in the Breton Bay neighborhood of Leonardtown, Maryland. You’ll see that all around me are boxes. Some full, some empty. The boxes are stacked as high as an adult in here and it is difficult to make it to the door. There is a small path that we can take. Okay, here is the door into the house. I’m pushing it open but it seems that the entry way is full of… yes, boxes. Okay. These are all empty and we can see that the living room is looking quite comfortable. There are plenty of toys for the children, (infact, what child really needs this many toys and art supplies?). The children have been bribed with trips to the pool to unpack boxes. It seems that they are filling the book cases with wonderful books. Look how many are signed by the artist or author. (Now this family knows what’s important.)

The kitchen and all the bedrooms are also still crowded with unpacked boxes. Here in the kitchen, the computer is unpacked, and set up. Good thing too, because the SCBWI New England Conference is getting closer with every passing day and Anna Boll better up her game. In addition to unpacking boxes and co-directing the conference, Anna just scored a freelance job writing newsletter content for the Helmets to Hardhats website. The money will be important to the family economy but will she be able to manage all this before the children head back to school? That August 19th date is only a month away, causing some to ask, “Where has the summer gone?” But in Leonardtown, we can feel summer everyday. Today’s forecast? 92 degrees and 96% humidity. Great weather for unpacking, BOXES.

My office. ACK!

Feelings, wo-wo-wo, feelings

 Last night, hubby asked me how I was feeling about the move. “I really can’t complain,” I started, then I did.

Everyone in the community as been welcoming and friendly, the kids are making friends, the house is lovely, the school is great, so what could be wrong.

It is just a feeling. A feeling of being alone in the middle of a crowd. In Maine, when I was feeling alone it was because I was in the middle of field and forest without many neighbors. This is different. I’m sure that when we settle in and get our things I’ll feel more grounded. 

I think what I’m missing most is my work. I’ve been writing and drawing but not working on current projects. My characters and their conflicts are on hold in a file in a computer in Maine and I’m here.  But soon enough, they will be here too and I will be happy to have them.

So how am I feeling. Fine, just fine.

Five on Friday (alright Saturday but whose counting?)

1.  Hot, hot, hot here in Southern Maryland.
2. So exciting to see small boy taking safe risks like jumping off the diving board and diving off the side of the pool into the deep end. There is something to be said for positive peer pressure. Let’s hope he knows the difference when the other kids start daring him to do un-safe stuff.
3. I want my computer!
4. Very fun to watch my kids make friends. There is a book in this for sure.
5. Must call secret agent man and get feed back on my recent submission. I’m getting antsy.


I am at the Leonardtown Library and have met all the children’s librarians and their assistants. We have our library cards and I now I am reconnecting with the world. We got here on Sunday after an all-day drive from Maine. Somehow, we managed to miss the lasting storms and just drove in and out of cloud bursts. The cargo was pretty dry when we pulled up at our new house.

The house is a spacious ranch in a development near a golf course. The neighborhood seems very nice but is definitely suburban and a big change from our more rural setting in Maine or my city neighborhood growing up. The good news, the kids have immediately found friends and we spend all the very hot afternoons at the community’s pool.  Last night when hubby got home from work, he took the kids to play tennis at dusk. We collected fireflies with the neighbors and shared fudgesicles. So there are definitely benefits.

The kids have visited their school and were charmed by the principal. “It’s too bad that we have to wait so long to go to school,” said I., “it is sort of suspensful.” So that’s good.

The biggest bad is that I’m without all my stuff. I’m certain that I can write without the computer and purchased a good old single subject spiral for the purpose. The only problem is I’m not exactly sure where I’ve left off in the novel. No matter- I’m going to focus on scenes and try to make some forward progress. If you’ve sent me an email recently, I’m sorry I’ve not responded. I need to use the library connection to get to the internet at this point.

Five on Friday

1. “I’m moving” is a good excuse for many things. Especially the emotional roller coaster that I’m on. It swings from I’m-all-business-and-have-a-“to do”-list-to-complete to I-need-a-two-hour-nap-and-a-good-cry.

2. Many things feel like “lasts”. This is last time I’m… (fill in the blank.) …getting books from the library I love, going to a baseball game here, making a play date with this family, going to this restaurant with friends.

3. The moving sale was exhausting and I didn’t really get rid of all that much. At least I can bring it to Goodwill knowing that I tried.

4. Writing is difficult now. (see number one)

5. Big number 7 birthday tomorrow for E. We are currently having a bonfire and dancing for sun on the solstice. Kids are coming over in bathing suits for a splashy fun party. I suppose if they get wet in the rain it is the same outcome.


It is late for me but I feel that I have to post just to say that I’ve written something today. Generally I take the weekends off but get right back to work on Monday. This day was just packed with cleaning, sorting, meeting with moving companies, changing addresses, calling cable companies. I had the funniest experience when calling Time Warner.

(Thick foreign accent.) “Hello, this is Eric. How can I help you today?”
Me: I tell him my situation
Eric: “Can I have your address?”
Me:  I give him the address.
Eric: “Oh, I’m sorry, Anna, Time Warner Cable does not service that address. I can transfer you to the satellite company who may serve your area.”
Me: Okay
Eric: Starts to transfer my phone call but there is a rather long pause when the operators working in the background are audible. When I listen harder I can hear each one say: “Hello, this is Eric. How can I help you today.”
I laughed.

Another chapter

Don’t miss this great “Docublog” with my Chautauqua buddy Brian Anderson author of the Zack Proton books. While he makes the publishing thing sound easy, he’s had his share of headaches getting all three books through the publishing process. If your kid loves Captain Underpants, or Diary of a Wimpy Kid they’ll love Zack in his intergallactic misadventures.

And now another chapter in that timeless saga of Creative Chaos II… Will Anna and the family be moving? When last we left the Boll family they were traveling 600 miles to southern Maryland so Hubby could interview for a job.

    Young boy 1: I need to go to the bathroom.
    Young boy 2: Are we almost there yet.
    Mother: Stop eating those snacks, we just had lunch.
    Hubby: Leave Daddy’s chair alone when I’m driving. I said, Don’t kick my chair.
    Mother: Let’s put in a DVD

You don’t want to hear that part… let’s fast forward to the job interview. (squeak, whir, tape forwarding)

    Wife: They took you out to lunch?
    Hubby: Uh-huh
    Wife: They sent you to human resources?
    Hubby: Uh-huh
    Wife: So we need to start packing our stuff?
    Hubby: Uh-huh
And so the company sent the Hubby an offer and he took it and the Boll family found out that after 14 idyllic years in Maine they will be moving to St. Mary’s County, Maryland. It is a welcoming community on the confluence of the Patuxent  and Potomac rivers, closer to Anna’s family.

    Anna: Good thing writing and illustrating are portable as are my lovely friends on LJ. I can always stay in touch with my writing friends using email.
    Writing friend: But what about the New England conference?
    Anna: I’ll still direct it and come back for meetings so if you want to volunteer you’ll see me through SCBWI.  Actually, a lot of the conference is already planned out as I thought I might be leaving.

Next time: Will the young boys let their mother get rid of toys they’ve out-grown? How will Mom pack up her office? Will hubby melt in the hot weather? Will secret agent man make a sale this summer? Stay tune for this and other chaos on… Creative Chaos II. *

*Notice the different voice when I’m Mother, Wife and Anna? Three distinct characters really. That’s kind of interesting isn’t it.

Almost two weeks?!

I’m shocked that it has been almost two weeks since my last posting. Shocked, but not surprised. My fingers have been tingling like crazy. Do you get that? That, oh-my-gosh-I-haven’t-been-writing feeling. So there it is. The admission. I haven’t been writing, when I was most charged up to do so. We have been on a long coastal journey which I will tell you more about in paragraph three, but it includes 1400 miles, a job interview, and matzah.

I have been drawing and revisioning my Roar, dummy…AGAIN.  Actually I got a great brainstorm while on my recent journey. Another secondary character, a mouse, who watches the action unfolding. I’m excited to finish this up and get it to my agent. Secret agent man has given me permission to put aside the Ballet project for a while.  He says that it is best not to put too much work into a non-fiction work lest it be changed by the publisher who is interested in the proposal and first chapter. Instead, Secret agent man has advised me to get to work on the novel that the editor at the conference wants to see. That is all good with me. The characters have been calling to me as I re-read Bird by Bird this week and I am eager to see what they have to say.

The journey started on Friday 18th when we drove from Maine to Pennsylvania to visit with my parents. We admired their forsythia bushes and awoke to lovely birdsong. On Saturday we had Passover Seder #1. It was very casual as we really made it our own, inviting comments and linking the traditional with current events and issues of the day. I love including everyone in the Seder, especially kids. I & E were great and had a lot of wise things to say. Passover Seder #2 was at my cousins’ home. Thanks Robin and Bob! A much bigger and more traditional event, it was great to see the whole fam damily.

Monday we drove to St. Mary’s county where Chris had an interview. Things went well and we are awaiting an offer from the company. Assuming this all goes well we will move from our wonderful home in Maine to a new adventure south of D.C. (Anne Marie are you out there?) I grew up in Northwest DC and I’m looking forward to being closer to my parents, cousins, sister and one of my brothers. It will be tough to leave our home that Chris built for us and our community of 14 years. However, we are planning on renting out our current home for a couple of years until things are clearer. The best thing about blogging is that I know that I will still be connected with all of my writer friends when and if we move. LiveJournal and writing are portable.

But wait, there’s more!