Thursday, November 03, 2005

Stumbling towards a goal

So, I'm doing this Nanowrimo thing. I'm taking it SERIOUSLY. So that meant I worked on a plan most of October. Of course October 31 I was spared too much worry about the next day being THE DAY because of course I was completely absorbed in fighting off zombies and battling for the last Snickers. But I was excited. Yes, I was. Looking forward to the next morning with innocent enthusiasm.

The morning of November 1 even started out the way I'd planned, with a smile on my lips and my enthusiasm jet pack still firmly in place. I had ALL DAY. And nothing else much on the schedule. Well, no, that's not right. I had lots of things on the schedule. But I had carved out time for writing as well. So I could start out slow, warm up my fingers by reading and writing e-mail. Then get a my few errands out of my way. Stop for lunch. Try to order some corduroy pants (unsuccessfully, I might add - they were all out of stock in my size - damn that David Sedaris!). Go to the cemetery and talk to dead people for a few hours.

Did I mention that every time I thought of starting, I'd get this small but very real panic butterfly in my stomach? More like a small HERD of butterflies.

Got home about dusk from the cemetery and forgot that those hours, when William was at football practice and my home world would be relatively calm, was the time I had picked out to write. And I'd forgotten. REALLY! I"m not pretending I forgot. I really, truly, cross my heart and never eat chocolate again if I"m lying forgot! It's amazing how incredibly cunning and chickenshit ones brain can be when dealing with herds of butterflies.

So then it was almost time for my show. I can't miss my show!

Finally, 9 pm, my embarassment at having avoided starting all day grew large enough to rise up, butterfly net in hand, or perhaps it WAS the butterfly net....hmmmm.. well, anyway, I forced myself to march into the bedroom and start. Because that's where I was going to hide from my family.

So I took a shower. And then I sat down, fingers poised above the lit computer screen..........

and I realized I hadn't named my characters.

So I went to the computer in the diningroom that has internet access and started looking up references and symbolisms for names I was considering. But before you know it, The Daily Show was on. And I have to keep up with current events now, don't I?

Finally Jon Stewart gave us his moment of zen, my family all went to bed, and I did go back online and find all the names I needed to start out fresh and more importantly, READY, the next morning.

Yesterday was even more interesting, if ultimately productive. I got going around midday, again sitting cross-legged on my bed, door shut to keep the animals, children, phones, husbands, and any other monsters out of my space. Bedroom doors make really crappy life filters. In fact, they're pretty much worthless. Sigh.

My daughter called. My mom called. My husband each time, instead of telling folks I was WORKING or NOT AVAILABLE or BUSY, said "Oh, hi, do you want to talk to her?" and then proceeded to walk through the aforementioned bedroom door and hand me a phone.

Then I realized I had absolutely no familiarity with my new laptop. So that was a struggle. At one point I realized that there was still a bunch of CompuUSA crap in there (I bought the floor model and that was all supposed to be erased). Most frustrating was a demo that kept threatening to shut down all programs and start if I didn't move a key, any key. I tried to trash it but couldn't figure out how. Eventually I went into the other room to find the book that came with it, needed to figure out how to make an accent mark in one of my names - stupid me chose two names that have accent marks - what was I thinking!!!! - and I didn't come back and move a key, any key, fast enough and it erased all my hard work. Which consisted of opening up the right program and typing both the title and the words "Chapter One".

So then I decided to call CompUSA and ask for them to help. A nice man walked me through completely erasing and putting back all my software. That took about an hour. While I was waiting for all the disks to finish up, William came in, Rosie the puppy came in, several cats came in, finally by the time I was ready to start working again, hubby came in. By this time William was asleep on the bed. I took my purse, my laptop, and my keys and went out the door.

Next scene: Starbucks. I ordered a vanilla latte grande half caf and spent several minutes debating table choices. Eventually sat in the corner by the window with my computer screen facing the wall so I'd have a sense of privacy.

The music was too loud. I noticed folks walking in. My DIL called the house and my husband told her to call me on my cell phone, so she did. (Not that I mind talking to any of these people, mind you, but you are figuring out that my husband is totally NOT getting the whole "WORKING" part of this, right!? What part of "Do Not Disturb" is he not understanding? Does this phrase simply not translate into husbandese?)

But finally the words started coming. Slowly at first, then more easily. The only ongoing struggle then was the continuing newness of the keyboard and finger mouse pad set up. It easily doubled the time it took me to write anything. ARgh. But I have to get used to it because obviously writing on the family computer will not allow me the privacy of space or mind that I need.

I worked for over three hours. Once I got into it, the time seemed to fly by andI was surprised to look up and notice how long I'd been sitting there completely engrossed in my work. I have all but a paragraph of two of the first chapter complete! Now the trick is not to look back but instead keep moving forward. Rough draft, remember, rough draft.

So that leads us all to day number three. It's midafternoon and I've gone out to breakfast with my family, read some e-mail, had a friend help me figure out how to do some html on my blog, struggled once again unsucessfully to get my blog to accept photos, and written this blog entry.

I guess that's enough procrastination for today.


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