I have been trying to simplify my life over the past two weeks. For most of the summer, there wasn't a day when I could go straight home from work and relax. Every day was a trip into New York for some event or other, except for days I had to stay at work until 7 or 8. The first month of summer, I was doing book-related things all day and night. I had to -- you only get one first novel. After that, there was just lots of assorted busy-ness. So recently, I had to start saying "no" to some things. Some might see this as proof that I'm like my character, Carrie, who wants to sit in her room all day, but the truth is, I barely had a chance to be home at all, and I was exhausted. With less on my plate, I have time to cook myself a meal at home and even clean up around here. I even got to read a novel last weekend -- something it seems like everyone has time for except me, even with me being a writer at all. I can even take the odd spontaneous walk in the park.

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