This is a question I get asked a lot, so I thought I’d try to sum up an answer. It’s a topic that many writer-mothers talk about. My writer friend Allison Winn Scotch wrote about it here recently. And Christina Katz wrote a whole book on the topic. It’s called Writer Mama, and you should check it out if you’re a mom and at all interested in writing.

But here’s the thing for me: I started my writing career before kids and just didn’t want to set it on the back shelf when the kids arrived. I wanted to both a.) continue writing, and b.) be a full time mom who was there for her kids as much as possible. So far, I’m making it work. Am I tired? All the time. Do I complain? Yes. Do I secretly long for the days of grade school? I’m not going to lie, yes, sometimes. My boys are 1 and 3 and I have a full writing career. I blog for daily (5-7 posts per day), write one to two magazine articles a week, a monthly column, and am now halfway through my second novel. Here’s how I fit this all in with the kids:

Two of the happiest sights, ever, in my opinion. :) P.S. I'm still polishing up my novel with my editor at Penguin, and having a surprising amount of fun doing it (who knew that revisions could be fun!?). And, and, and, very excited to report that I'm working on book #2. Stay tuned on that!

Here’s Russell after his bath tonight. Poor boy has had a high fever most of this week, but tonight he seemed to be perking up. Big sigh. Here’s to hoping he’s able to get some rest tonight (um, and me too!).

In other news … I’m so excited to announce that I sold my first novel! My book, The Waters of March, will be published by Penguin (Plume) in the summer of 2011. I’m overjoyed and excited–and also thrilled to be working with the fabulous Denise Roy at Penguin!

A big thanks to my literary agent extraordinaire, Elisabeth Weed! More on the details of novel-publishing in the months ahead, but for now, here’s the official announcement that appeared on Publisher’s Marketplace today …

On Sunday, my husband took Carson, 3, to the store after he threw an enormous tantrum in front of my in-laws–a tantrum that lasted, oh, about 3 hours–and they returned with a big bouquet of flowers, above. From Carson. To mama. It melted my heart.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Carson these days. How he’s so passionate. So emotional. So intense. My mom says that the odd years (as in 1, 3, 5 and 7) are the hardest years in parenting. I tend to agree. Did I mention that I also have a 1 year old? I don’t mind if you feel sorry for me right now. It is a wild life. But, P.S. I love it. And, P.P.S. 2 and 4 have to be easier, right? Please say yes!

So, with the excitement of finishing a novel–a novel I am proud of and believe in (this is weird, but my characters have started to feel like friends–I can’t believe I just typed that!)–this has been an eventful month. Yet, this week, I got some news that made all of it seem insignificant ….