You’ve thought of everything—venue, timing, menu, guest list, activities, possible issues, contingencies, etc. You spent months planning. Your event will be perfect!
How many of you have ever thought something so silly?
In my debut novel—Summer Plans and Other Disasters (available September 15!)—Callie Stevens likes to plan. She doesn’t just create to-do lists, though. She spends time in prayer, then figures out what should be on her list. She also decides what the outcome should look like and the best way for everything to work out to meet her expectations.
Not a bad plot for a contemporary Christian novel with a strong romantic storyline, right? I had no idea the title would be prophetic, though.
That’s right, after writing a story about a woman’s summer plans and how disastrous they can be, I made an entire summer’s worth of plans and actually thought everything would work out beautifully.
Silly, silly me.
One of my biggest issues as a writer/editor is my inability to plan for the unexpected. Usually it’s not a problem in my personal life. I normally include buffers to allow for unplanned issues. When I sit down at my computer, however, I turn into Pollyanna and everything’s suddenly rainbows and kittens. Everything’s right with the world and I only need 10 hours for a 10-hour project—nothing could possibly go wrong.
I know better than than—I literally wrote an entire novel about it!—and yet I planned out my summer as if everyone and everything would cater to my needs.
It started several months ago when planning an annual visit from my niece and nephews. I live in Northern Michigan where people endure six months of snow cover because those 8-12 weeks of summer are magical! My niece and nephews, however, live in Las Vegas where summer tries its hardest to imitate hell. A few years ago, my sisters and I came up with the best idea: the kids come visit me during the summer (giving me the chance to play tourist during the most beautiful time of the year and giving their parents some kid-free time).
We scheduled the visit. I planned my work schedule around it. I would have three work-free weeks to enjoy with the kids! (Do you see where this is going?)
Then life happened. A client was late getting her manuscript back to me and I had to edit it while the kids were here. And then I found out my book release date would be in September instead of December. And then one of the boys refused to ride the pink bike (the only one small enough for him) and the kids suddenly hated all of the food that I’d bought for them (based on the list of their favorite foods provided by my sisters). The weather didn’t cooperate. Our new dog’s routine check-up turned into hundreds of dollars of surgery and treatment. My husband started a new job. Then we discovered fleas, which all of the cats and dogs shared. We found a tick on my husband. And then I spent four days in bed with some type of flu/strep throat infection.
And then, and then, and then.
Talk about disastrous plans, but what a great tie-in to my novel! And even with all of the surprises and issues, it’s been a great summer.
Plans are great—I love planning—but we have to remember to leave some wiggle room in there for when life happens. (You’d think I’d have learned that by now …)
Tell me about some plans you made that failed—how did you make the most of your surprises?
Summer Plans and Other Disasters will be available September 15! Join me on Facebook September 17-21 to celebrate my debut novel with quotes, freebies, and more!
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Callie sighed. “I tried to prepare for this, but it’s not really going how I’d planned, so I’m not sure what to do now.”
Kyle chuckled. “How much chocolate have you eaten?”
“Just a bag of M&Ms.”
He cocked an eyebrow.
“It might have been a large bag of M&Ms.”