It’s Lucy’s birthday today! If you follow her on social media, please take a minute to wish her a happy birthday! She’s already been crawling around under Mr. Lucy’s desk snooping for presents!
Welcome to Fake Professor Lucy’s Life Hacks for Hermitting Amidst Chaos 101. (That title probably needs work) In my five years as a full-time author, I have achieved expert-level status in staying at home AND dealing with things that are terrible (though usually on a much smaller scale than what we’re currently dealing with. For instance, 1-star reviews and cat butts.
Please allow me to offer you my most helpful tips (that I only sometimes adhere to myself).
1. Build a structure. Not that chicken roost you’ve been meaning to put up in the backyard. I mean a loose schedule or a REALISTIC to do list of items for your day. This is the ONLY way I get crap done. I break my lists into Work, Home, and Personal. I try to make these lists the night before so I wake up with a plan already in place. (Helpful Hint: Don’t do what I do and decide you’re suddenly going to get up an hour early, write 8,000 words before noon, rearrange the laundry room, learn 100 signs in sign language, and teach Cleo to clean her own litter box in one day.)
2. Get some quality time. If you’re anything like me, this situation is aggressively stripping away all the things we thought were essential. If you’re hunkered down with your family, use this as an opportunity to have real conversations, to goof off together, to remind yourself of how lucky you are to have each other. (Helpful Hint: It doesn’t have to be eight hours of quality time. That would actually be quantity time, which is more annoying.)
3. Pencil in privacy. For those of you who suddenly find yourself surrounded by people in your own home, it’s also important to prioritize “me time” for each family member who needs it. You can attempt this in a couple of different ways. Have a “sanctuary” room that each person gets sole access to once a day. Or, like my brother and sister-in-law do, send the kids to their bedrooms for Quiet Hour, during which they aren’t allowed to ask for snacks.
4. Stay connected. Reach out when you feel like it. Video chat with family and friends. Give Zoom Happy Hours or Netflix Viewing Parties a try. Or check in with someone who lives alone. A neighbor. A relative. A stranger on Facebook (non-creepily, of course).
5. Don’t wear jeans. This tip is self-explanatory.
6. Give yourself permission to do nothing. This is a traumatic time on so many different levels. Don’t feel that you HAVE to get all of your house projects done or edit your inbox down to 0 or suddenly master 8th grade math. One of the most important things you can give yourself (and your family) is rest. It’s okay to sleep in. It’s okay to spend the day/weekend binging Parks & Rec episodes. It’s okay to take some down time after YEARS of being over-scheduled and under-rested. Rest is good for the soul and the immune system. Take the nap. Snooze the alarm. Burrito yourself in the blanket.
7. Ingest the happy. Okay. I’m definitely not saying begin binge drinking. And I’m not saying eat only deep-fried Twinkies. I’m also not not saying don’t drink or eat Twinkies (or maybe I am. I got confused by the double negative). What I AM saying is we are fueled by what we consume. This also applies to what we watch, listen to, and read. If you are following the news right now or drowning in negativity and just plain dumbness on social media, I highly encourage you to ALSO make sure you’re consuming beautiful, positive, happy things. Because as tough as this situation is, it has not erased baby giggles, sunrises, and fat puppies biting their own tails from this world. It is absolutely imperative that you give yourself the chance to be immersed in beautiful, happy things every single day. In fact, the worse your day is, the more important Tip # 7 is. So, cue up those sitcom re-runs. Make fart noises with your children. Curl up with your favorite happily ever after. Seek out the light, the happy, the funny. Because that is what fuels your spirit. That and alcohol and deep-fried Twinkies.
As our lives shift significantly the past few days, we want to remind you, as Lucy mentioned in her newsletter,
“We’re in this together. And together, we can and will save the world.
When this is behind us, I have a feeling we’re all going to emerge with a greater sense of gratitude for things like hugs, teachers, going to the movies, sitting down in our favorite restaurants, happy hours, daycare, toilet paper, extended family dinners, full stocked grocery stores, libraries, cashiers, shelf-stockers, garbage services, health care professionals, retail workers, paychecks, insurance, shelf-stable foods, first responders, amusement parks, concerts, streaming services, and books.
We will be different. But we can be better.” – Lucy
While we practice safe social distancing and look for things to do inside, Team Lucy has put the bestselling Rock Bottom Girl on sale for its one year anniversary – .99 cents US/UK with a low whispersync price and it is on Kindle Unlimited for free!
To the mamas, the mothers, the moms, and mommies,
To the moms who have experienced heart-breaking loss and still get out of bed in the morning.
To the moms who wanted to but couldn’t.
To the moms who just need one good night’s sleep or a week… or a month…
To the moms who birthed or adopted or aunted or mentored.
To the moms who just can’t get it together.
To the moms who are breaking on the inside.
To the moms who go it alone or have help.
To the moms who make mistakes.
To the moms who are too scared to let go.
To the moms who love and give until it hurts.
To the moms of cats and dogs and goats and fish and every other kind of non-human kid.
To the moms who spend six months planning the perfect birthday party.
To the moms who Google math homework and prom hairstyles.
To the moms who teach hard lessons.
To the moms who work in or out of the home.
To the moms who need a damn break.
To the moms who don’t think they’ll survive the terrible 2s, the threenagers, or the teenage years.
To the moms who think they’re doing it wrong.
To the moms who let their kids make mistakes.
To the moms just barely getting by.
To the moms who just can’t any more.
To the moms who slaved for hours on the perfect meal… that your kids refused to eat.
To the moms who went through the drive-thru or reheated dinosaur chicken nuggets.
To the moms who drove to Target just so they could sit and read in the quiet.
To the moms who trust their kids.
To the moms who can’t trust their kids.
To the moms who carve out a sliver of time to give themselves what they need.
To the moms who just don’t get their kids.
To the moms who still make time to text a friend.
To the moms who can’t remember the last time they saw their friends.
To the moms who just need a “thank you.”
To the moms who are amazed at the people their children are turning out to be.
To the moms who haven’t showered in four days.
To the moms running businesses and committees and fundraisers.
To the moms who don’t remember what it’s like to pee alone.
To the moms who try so damn hard every damn day.
To the moms who were terrified their teenage daughter would never really get it.
To the moms whose only escape is a good book.
To the moms who are scared what the future holds for your kids.
To the moms who count down to college.
To the moms who don’t want their baby to grow up.
To my mom and my grandmothers, aunts, cousins, sisters, and friends.
To the beautiful, smart, skilled, interesting, amazing women who run this world…
I see you. You’re doing a great job. You’re beautiful. You’re fucking incredible. I think you’re amazing. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there.
Happy day after Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope you had a beautiful day!
Mr. Lucy made me look like a jerk and got me presents (Victoria’s Secret, the sexy AND the comfy kind) even though we said no presents and all I got him was a card. I made up for it by taking him out to a really romantic lunch… at a Chinese buffet.
We romance novelists know how it’s done!
That’s total crap. Out of the two of us, Mr. Lucy is the romantic one. Guys, he gets me a mid-month present every month. FOR NO REASON! They range from computer equipment to books to the perfect hoodie to olive brine for my dirty martinis. Each one is thoughtful, sweet, and has me waking up on the 15th like it’s Christmas morning.
You may be wondering what I give him. That’s a fair question. Beyond tension headaches and too much work, I have devised the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. Every time he leaves the house, I go to the window and flash him.
Keepin’ that romance alive all year-round!
Being a super awesome romance writer — if I do say so myself — affords me countless opportunities to ponder love in all its “shades” (ha) and nuances.
During the course of feeding my Pinterest sickness, I stumbled across a super cute graphic that summed up my philosophy about relationships.
It made me smile because that’s how I feel about Mr. Lucy. See, Mr. Lucy is one of those closet funny people. For the most part he appears to be a serious, intelligent, functioning adult. And then he jumps out and smashes you over the head with a joke or an observation or a sarcastic remark when you least expect it. He makes me laugh. Every. Single. Day.
And that’s probably the thing I value most about him: His ability to entertain the ever-living crap out of me. His commitment to honoring what I find funny makes me constantly grateful through giggles.
I read and write romance every day. I’m all about the alpha males who will do anything to protect the women they love. Or the tender-hearted heroes who just need the love of a good woman to heal. Or the sparks-flying, bonfire ignition of opposites attracting.
But what I love about us readers is that, as much as we all love these spicy, sassy stories, we still want a guy who will make us laugh until we’re in danger of peeing our pants. And I know that because that cute graphic was the most popular post on my Facebook page EVER. And I regularly post pictures of hot, shirtless guys. So that’s saying a lot.
So cheers to all of you out there with a fetish for funniness and a hankering for humor. These are the relationships that last forever.
I freaking love love. Granted, you kind of have to in order to write romance novels. It’s a prerequisite. But even if I wasn’t a writer of romance, I’d still love love.
I hit the love lottery with Mr. Lucy. Growing up reading romance novels gave me some pretty lofty expectations when it came to relationships and Mr. Lucy has surpassed those expectations! So when a reader tells me she wishes that the men in my book were real, I tell her they are and I mean it.
When you have a great source of love in your life it makes you more sensitive to recognizing it in other forms. You’ll find it in any soul that makes you feel like you’re home, no matter where you are.
You’ll find love in the way…
- Your mom rolls her eyes when you tell a funny family story that wasn’t funny when it happened.
- Your dog sighs and falls asleep in your lap when you finally sit down at the end of the day
- Your heart feels happy after reading a beautiful story.
- Your face hurts from laughing with your best friend.
- Your grandparents hold hands when they think no one is looking.
- A kid’s face lights up when he asks you to watch him (somersault, take a big bite of pizza, jump into the pool) and you do.
- Your neighbor shovels the snow from your walk or drops off a casserole when they know you could use an extra hand.
It’s all love. And that’s what I enjoy writing about. Big, messy families, crazy neighbors, poorly behaved pets, and heroes and heroines who have finally found each other.
My Valentine’s Day wish for you, dear reader, is that you feel loved today. Even if it’s just from me! Thank you for reading, for reaching out, for sharing my books with your friends. Thank you especially for telling me that the stories and characters who hold my heart also hold yours.
I’ll leave you with this picture of two of my favorite Valentine’s. My grandparents.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you.