Why is it exactly that blogging inspiration hits me when I'm in the laundry room, devoid of paper and pen?
The world may never know, but I can assure you if I had the presence of mind to put pen and paper in the laundry room, I'd never get another flash of an idea whilst moving the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer.
You know I'm writing a novel, right? Well, I'm still threatening to write about writing, but for now I want to tell you that my children will use any and every opportunity to commit some act of soul-sucking sibling rivalry. I bring this misery onto my own head, of course. It's all my fault. You see, when they ask if I love them more than the others, I've simply taken the easy route. "Yes, but don't tell the others," I'd coo at them.
So last night Nathan and Sophia wanted me to read them the parts of the story that contain characters based on them. So I did. And do you know that turned into a fight about who was depicted in a better light? I kid you not. To cut through the ensuing bickering, I sent Sophia out of the room to finish her homework. Nate stayed behind, alternately rolling around on the floor like a puppy and running on the elliptical that sits, disapprovingly, next to my desk. We talked some about the story and I asked him for some of his expertise on a particular issue. He was glad to oblige.
Sophia, who had apparently been skulking about in the hallway instead of doing the homework she'd been assigned, took great umbrage at the fact that Nate was helping me with some details and brainstorming ideas for a particular scene in the story. She pouted into the room and was sent out again with an admonishment for what included, but was not limited to, eavesdropping, not doing her homework, pettiness, poutiness and being an all around bad sport about things.
For my part, I thanked Nate and busied myself by going back to work on the story. At this point, MathMan got involved, trying like hell to give Sophia some solace in the knowledge that her inclusion in the story mattered just as much as Nate's. He learned, however, that was not what was eating her. She'd become incensed that I'd asked Nate specific questions about General George S. Patton. Quick thinker that he is, MathMan instructed Sophia to show just how much she knew about Patton by producing a three paragraph essay. She came back to him in under thirty minutes and presented him with a titled, by-lined and perfectly typed three paragraph biography on Gen. Patton. I believe it employed the correct Strunk and White style.
The intense competition amongst our children continues. Even Chloe gets in on the act by leaving snarky comments about her siblings on Facebook. I can see it now, they'll all three be together, taking care of the arduous duty of scattering my ashes and there will be some conflab about who gets to carry the urn. Next thing you know, I'll be scatterd all over the parking lot of some Taco Bell where they've stopped before carrying out their solemn task. MathMan and his young wife will find their vacation on Aruba interrupted by a panicked call from Sophia while they can hear Nathan and Chloe nearly coming to blows in the background. MathMan's beautiful, interesting and unmarred by motherhood young wife will take the phone from his hand, tell the three adult hellions to solve the issue themselves and then, purring something sweet into MathMan's ear, will toss his cellphone into the ocean and hand him his fancy glass of some tropical, rummy drink.
Where the hell was I before I died? Oh yes. Taunting you with the threat of writing about writing.
One of the most delightful sensations I've had lately, was the magic I felt when I finally and for the first time printed off what I have thus far written as my novel. 13,000 words. (and growing!) I printed it yesterday so I could take it with me to edit as I waited for MathMan who was in a meeting. Holding that forty-six pages of black letters on white paper that told a story of my own making was magic. All the sudden, it became real. No longer was it something I was going to do - it was something that I'm doing, I've done and I continue to do. I held that stack of papers in my hands and just looked at them for a few seconds to savor that feeling. The last time I held my own writing in my hands like that was in 1981 when I used to write horror stories in spiral bound notebooks. Since then, most of my writing has been on the computer and has never materialized from screen to paper.
Right now I'm writing about another kind of magic - the time that I lived and went to school in France is still one of my fondest memories. I loved being there and didn't want to leave. Nevertheless, the decision to come home to the U.S. and finish my degree created twists and turns in my life that I would have never imagined back in 1987.
One of the ways that I get in the proper frame of mind to write about a specific event or place or time is to listen to the music that was part of my life then. Here's a brief sampling of the songs of that time. I am not declaring them good, just, um.....representative of that time.
Man, remember how you used to love when I sang this song with hand gestures and everything, MathMan? I know, so much fun! How could you forget?
Until next Wednesday,