July 31st, 2004

if I were me


I meant to write today. Today was going to be the writing day. But by the time I sat down to do this thing, it was noon, and by the time I actually opened a file, the doorbell rang and I had to go talk to a neighbor today about our blue spruce trees they're going to cut down. (The property line runs right through the trunks, so they're just as much their blue spruce trees as ours, and neither Dann nor I want to quibble, plus this would do good things for the veggie garden boxes, and they're only going to take one down.)

(Oh, yay! I finally heard a cicada! Yay, yay, yay! I'm disappointed that it's not been raucous cicada nightmare, after all the anticipation about Brood X. I like markers to the years, particularly non-harmful-just-annoying markers, like raucous cicada nightmare could have been.)

Anyway, it's 1:30. We have to leave at 3:30 for ah, uhm, a thing I can't report on just in case there's more journal readership than I think. It's a good two hours to work, and that's not anything to sneer at, but it's not enough time to get into the intensive novel work I was thinking of today. The novel work I was thinking of today will involve at least 20 minutes of scrubbing in order to provide the proper sterile operating environment before I open her up. The liver is in the wrong place, you see. So, I'm going to have to dig up something less intensive to work on, like maybe, "The Paradise Covenant." Which is a much less bad story than I remembered it being, and I don't need to rewrite it from the ground up. I have some lovely So-Fic (Social Fiction, as opposed to Science Fiction, mwaha, watch me *not* coin words right there) in it, including a backlash against psychiatry. Woo. I'd totally forgotten that.

But, still. Grumpy, because my plan has been derailed. Do you think if I tried to write for eight hours a day on my vacation, anyone would let me? I don't think so, either. Oh, they'd say they'd let me, but they wouldn't, really. Dann's not as bad as my mom was when I was growing up, who in turn wasn't as bad as my grandparents...

But let's face it, the problem with living with non-writers is that they don't realize how the process works. That yes, you-the-writer are allowed to get up, leave the quiet area, initiate conversation, rant, wring hands, call someone on the phone, eat snacks, dramatically beat the keyboard, demand that anyone around illustrate some fine point of wrestling, knife-fighting or kissing (depending on appropriateness), beg for help on word-choice and discard all their suggestions as too banal, and otherwise be an apparently interactive (and yet irritating) member of society/the family while writing. Because, in-between, you're dashing back to the computer and typing furiously, headphones on and head down and not talking to anyone. It might not look like working, but it is; that's how it is when I'm writing fast. That's a 10k day, right there.

Inevitably, the not-writers come up to you and demand that you take out the garbage, because it's apparent that you're not really working, or interrupt you in the middle of the typing-furiously-time to ask if you want snacks--because clearly, you're interruptable, look at the crazy stuff you just did in the last half-hour--or just want to know where they left the hairbrush/remote control/car keys... Or even better, little nine-year-old non-writers come in and want to "watch you work." Uhm... And boom, you're out of crazy writer world. "Gaugh!"

And that's the best-case scenario--that's if anyone even respects the quiet area. Often times, the quiet area becomes the TV-watching area, or the loud conversation area, or the sleeping area. Or the brushing teeth area. (That one I still don't get.) And you get told that you were crazy to expect the quiet area to remain the quiet area, and don't you have an office?. Well, I do, as it happens, and it's full of guestbed, and it gets hot, and some days, you just can't work in the same place. Even so, I don't have an office at the lake. And I believe the nearest Starbucks or Borders to the lake might be in Grand Rapids, which is a bit of a haul. And if you do retreat to an office or even a bedroom, you get lambasted for being anti-social.

Am I going to offend everyone in my family with this one? Probably. Please keep in mind I'm basing this on years and years of experience, from age 11 on up to now. And that I wasted 40 minutes of completely interrupt-free time while Dann sleeps in the other room to complain about how my time is devalued. Because I'm hilariously hypocritical like that.