July 11, 2007

Writerly Scatter-wittedness

I just need to accept that I'm not getting anything done today.

It rained a little this morning, and so at six-thirty I was wrestling gleefully with my garden, tying things on stakes, and enjoying the cool -- which I thought would dissipate. THREE HOURS LATER, I'm still pulling weeds and look up -- oops! -- at the time. It was still cool and dim and I just... lost track.

Running errands and "dropping by" my parents house to pick something up meant a nice long ramble with my grandmother, who is lovely but often vague and begins conversations mid-topic, and insists on confusing me with my sister who has the two week old infant. (She invariably asks, with alarm and accusation, "Where did you leave that boy?!" And I try to say as gently as possible, "With his mother?")

Extricating myself from THAT conversation and finally getting home meant a backlog of email, which I dallied through, and then finally, FINALLY opening my revision and beginning the grunt work of hacking away... Only to find my sister, whose best friend lives two doors down, had dropped in for a "chat." And so I hurried downstairs from my office and chatted with two eleven-year-olds for roughly an hour. Never mind that my protagonist is in a car on a boring cross-country trip with her sister and grandmother, and has just discovered the hotel they're staying in has a guest bathrobe and a mini bar. No, I clung to reality and talked with my guests about the new 6th grade teacher, Ms. Carmen, who bought them Slurpees last year and how she's moving to England to get married, and how much that sucked, because my sister and her friend thought she was nice, and wasn't it a long engagement, because didn't she show them that ring in something like third grade?

I love having eleven-year-old friends. They are awfully diverting. But they were NOT helping me toward my goal of a chapter a day on the last two weeks of my revision.

Finally, back to work... with a side trip. Via Bookshelves of Doom, I discovered the joyousness that is the Literary Gas guy, and through him I found... book... perfume. Leather... or clothbound, with a hint of mildew... Which reminded me that for a Super Special Project happening at the end of August, I have a 1952 FIRST EDITION of a book by an author whom I LOVED as a kid that has that wonderful musty smell of old-book-but-new-to-me. I thought, I could start that... just a chapter... if I write JUST a chapter... if I get that done, I'll run a bath, and read for two hours.

I thought I could manage that - one chapter = two hours of bath and book.

Unfortunately, Chasing Ray's post really got me thinking about war, and I had to take some time to jot down some musings in a notebook. Technically, this could be construed as working... but not quite. Read the piece for yourself: it will make you write things down, too. (Probably things with four letters.) Writing thoughtful essays: not working on my FICTION piece.

You know, at Read*Write*Believe, I learned about the Writer Hating Bus... and realized that it was probably idling downstairs in front of my house. THIS REVISION IS DOOMED.

For today, at least.
We'll see about tomorrow.


Sarah Stevenson said...

I think the writer-hating bus is parked in my driveway right now on a semi-permanent basis. It even has words graffiti'd very clearly on it, which I will not detail exhaustively but are along the lines of "chores" and "annual summer ant invasion" and "essays to grade." Sigh. I've penciled in some time to ignore the bus this evening--we'll see if I can stick to it...

tanita✿davis said...

Let's do this: instead of our usual writing meet-up, we'll leave up our link, and just... work. And comment to each other periodically if need be. Deal?

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading that great post, though I'm sorry you're having a hard time getting to work. Hang in there.