See that guy to your right? That’s precisely how I was feeling earlier this week. I had a ton of blog interviews to fill out, three blog posts to write, one non-blog interview to fill out, ACFW MN NICE President stuff to attend to, a Book Launch celebration to plan (pssst… The launch is May 15 at Northgate Church just in case any of you happen to be around the Minneapolis area then) …

And that’s just in my writing life!

This spring is rather nuts in the Anderson household with (4) major lifetime events occurring within a span of 7 weeks:

April 22 – my debut novel, Chain of Mercy, releases (pre-order <here>)

April 25 – my daughter has her senior recital. It’s just her in concert for over an hour!

May 3 – my daughter graduates from college

June 8 – my son graduates from high school

Along with each of these exciting events comes a wagon load of preparation, and it seemed that I wasn’t doing any of it 100%. On top of that, I’ve been neglecting the family. They’re lucky if they get a warm meal three days a week. The house hasn’t been well-cleaned since … well, I don’t know when. You’re welcome to come visit, just ignore my new pets, those dust bunnies partying in the corners.

Writing RetreatSo, what’s a girl to do?

Arrange a vacation, that’s what! Well, not exactly a vacation, more of a retreat. I packed up my laptop & netbook and my to-do list and made the three-plus hour trek to Wisconsin Dells for two days of uninterrupted quiet. (And yes, Stacy, that is a Fannie May bag on the table. Chocolate is a requirement for retreats, don’tchya know!)

The first thing I did after checking in was head to the local outlet mall to find a new outfit for my book launch. Thanks to Lori at Dress Barn for helping me find the perfect outfit. Actually, she helped me a bit too much because I came home with more than one outfit.

After picking up groceries, I returned to my villa (about 10:30 pm) to tackle that to-do list.

By the end of the next day I had crossed off all but one blog interview. Yeah! I rewarded myself with a little TV–had to watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Can you say plot twist?!!! And then I enjoyed Face Off on the SyFy channel. Yeah, I’m a bit of a geek.

The following day I tackled blog posts, the non-blog interview, the MN NICE stuff, and I started this post.

And then I returned home to my messy house.

Hmm, I booked a vacation to get my writing tasks done, I wonder if that’ll work for housework too…



In honor of our blog re-launch, the Inkspers are giving away copies of their books. You can enter to win all five of the books below by leaving a comment. Every time you comment, you’ll be entered, so make sure you stop back every day. This contest is open to U.S. residents only, due to shipping costs. Contests ends Friday, April 11, 2014 at midnight (CST) (That’s today!!!) and the winner will be posted here on Saturday, April 12, 2014. 

Prize Package includes these fabulous books:

We're Back! Book GiveawayRodeo Song by Shannon Taylor Vannatter

Chain of Mercy by Brenda S. Anderson (novel releases April 22)

The Widow’s Suitor by Rose Ross Zediker

The Prodigal Daughter by Linda Fulkerson

When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad

Published by

Brenda S. Anderson

Brenda S. Anderson is the author of the gritty Coming Home Series. She writes authentic and life-affirming fiction. Learn more about Brenda at www.BrendaAndersonBooks.com.

34 thoughts on “Overwhelmed!!!”

  1. Oy, Brenda — exciting times if you can keep your head about you!!!!! And here’s me messing up my blog day with absolutely no excuse except I didn’t check the link to the new schedule because I didn’t think it pertained to me. Ha!!!!! I’m still sorry about that. 🙁

  2. Brenda,

    The writing life does get hectic, but it’s worth it. The writing retreat is just what you needed!

    I had to laugh at your dust bunny reference. Before my I cleaned my house last week, a friend of mine was coming over to look at a quilt I made and I told her don’t mind the dust bunnies. Of course, she said I won’t even notice to which I replied, oh yeah you will, they HUGE and baring their teeth! HA! But no one said a writer’s house should be spotless, did they?

    1. Rose – that retreat was exactly what I needed! There’s something calming about being a a place with no distractions, so I was able to focus. I’m blessed to have a place I can go to! Glad I’m not expected to have a spotless house! I would fail miserably. 🙂

  3. You’ll settle in and work out a schedule, Brenda. After a while it just becomes your life as you edit one book, write another, and provide cover details and acknowledgments for a third. Then you get to where when you don’t have three different things to work on at once, you’re kind of at a loss of what to do with your extra time. The running away to a retreat thing works too.
    Congrats on all your kid landmarks. Wow, your daughter in solo concert!

    1. Shannon, the nice thing is, for my next release in September, I don’t have any big family events competing for writing time. Working on that release will feel like a breeze! My daughter is sooo looking forward to her Senior Recital! That’s really the pinnacle of her college career. It’s what she’s been working toward for four years, and she thrives on being the center of attention (unlike her mom). And she gets to sing in German and Italian and Klingon … well, maybe not the Klingon, although that would be fun!

  4. Time to get away for a few days seems to be just what you needed. We all need that once in a while, a chance to quiet our minds and refresh our bodies, even if you were still working on things during your getaway. Sometimes for me, if I can’t actually leave town, it can be as simple as going to the mall and walking around. Just time to myself can help me be ready to tackle everything again. A little prayer thrown in there for strength helps as well. In the end, the book release party will be great, the graduations will happen, and even if everything isn’t perfect, it will go as God plans it to go. So, relax and enjoy the ride for the next few months.

    1. Relax and enjoy … Wise words, Debbie! It’ll all happen whether I’m ready for it or not–and no one else will notice if it’s not perfect!–and yes prayer goes a long way in keeping down the stress & anxiety. I don’t know how anyone goes through stressful times with prayer–I certainly don’t even want to try!

  5. Amazing what a few days away from all the normal distractions can do for a body! I hope everything goes smoothly for you the next few weeks.

  6. Hi Patty – Even if everything doesn’t go smoothly, that’s okay because that’s life! Besides, it’s in these stressful times that we tend to lean on God more.

  7. Hi Brenda – Such an exciting time for you! I wish you all the best in your launch of your first book. And I am glad you had some time to get away and enjoy the quiet. See you soon.

  8. I love Dress Barn, too! (I think it is a terrible name, but I like the clothes.) We are very excited about your new book – can’t wait!

    1. Karen – I usually dread shopping! My fashion sense usually doesn’t go beyond jeans and a T- or sweathshirt. Thanks to the store clerk, I now have more than one thing to wear for the launch & book signings so I can look as nice as my book cover. 🙂

  9. Yes – everything will go well, God is with you in all. It’s hard to keep everything on track and taking one thing at a time so you can cross stuff off your list helps. At least it does for me. I like to see that’s done! I’m also looking forward to our trip coming up. I need a break! Can’t wait to get my copy of the book so I can read it again, but this time complete. 🙂 Also looking forward to Sarahs recital. Hoping the flights stay open so I can get there!!

    1. You’re right, Gayle. I typically focus on one thing at a time–that helps me cross those items off much quicker. And like you, I like to see that I’ve completed something. I’m praying those flights stay open for Sarah’s recital! We’d love to have you there!

  10. Brenda,
    Glad the time was well spent!!! All those details can make your eyes cross. I’m excited for your kids and their next steps in life. Isn’t it amazing how time flies? Best of luck to both of them on the turns their lives will be taking!

    1. Dawn – I’m just wondering how the kids grew up so fast! But it’s so much fun to see the mature young adults they’ve grown into. And I know one of your kids has a own *big event* coming up soon. 🙂

  11. Hey, it is so great to see your accomplishments Brenda! The house can wait, there is always some cleaning companies for hire, if not, maybe one person to help you. Take care, lots to look forward too coming ahead. Congratulations!

    1. Hi Connie! Fun to see you here. 🙂 A cleaning lady is on my someday list! Someday when I actually start bringing in a paycheck, that would be an awesome way to treat myself!

  12. I’m SOOOOO excited about your debut novel! Very proud of you, too! I love Dress Barn but I don’t love housework (although I tolerate it from time to time, lol). Those dust bunnies aren’t hurting a thing. The words you write & the time spent with your family will become part of your legacy – dusting will not 🙂

  13. HIRE A ONE TIME CLEANING LADY! It is SO WORTH IT! Have them clean the bathrooms, floors, kitchen and dust. They will pile your stuff back just the way it was when they arrived. It will be money well spent and you will feel great when it is done!

  14. Brenda, you’re one busy lady, I see. Congrats on your upcoming book release. How cool is that? Your retreat sounds wonderful. What a great way to refocus. I need to do that sometime. Have a great time with your kiddos this spring.

    1. Shari – You’d love a retreat! Not only do I get a lot of work done, but it’s also an emotional & spiritual lift. I escape at least one a year, usually in January or February, but my January one was cut very short this year, so that didn’t count.

  15. Brenda, what a nice retreat you had! I love the Wisconsin Dells. I’m happy that you found a way to get so much writing done. No, I don’t think you can use the same tactic for your housework–LOL!

  16. What??? You went without me? AND you ate Fannie May without me??? 🙂
    Glad it was a wonderful time away. If you hadn’t gone, you still wouldn’t have gotten things done around the house and you’d still be behind in all the writing stuff.

    Definitely take Kelly Jo’s advice and hire that cleaning person – at least once, right before the parties.

    Cannot wait for the launch party!! So thrilled for you, Brenda.

    1. Sorry? I didn’t enjoy the Fannie May nearly as much as if you’d been there to eat it with me. 😉 (If you believe that…) I might just have to Kelly Jo up on that advice. Boy, would that take some pressure off! And the house would probably be cleaner than it’s been since we moved in!

  17. Wow, that is a lot on your plate! Good for you getting thru it. I hate those busy weeks. Chocolate is always a plus to keep motivation. 🙂

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