Day II … Clichés Allowed

My favourite sound of morning is silence, especially while enjoying coffee and my daily readings.  Doesn’t happen this morning!  My brain, over stimulated by a full day of writing work yesterday (and perhaps the chocolate chip cookie at bedtime) has me awake from 3:00 to 4:00 am.  I sleep until 7:30, the house already noisy!  When I get to the kitchen, the dog is leaning against the back door, head and ears down.  “Did anyone think to feed the dog or let her out?”  Anyone ignores me, already suited up for the ugly commute and rattling around in the kitchen making toast and juice for one.

Dog fed two hours late.  Breakfast in seclusion in my office, door closed.  Email. Snail Mail: Free tickets to a photography show!   Phone: Invitation for lunch today!  The dog brings her ball and stares at me through the glass door.  I am forgiven.  We play in the front hall while the kettle boils. 

“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”  Stephen King

With a third cup of coffee in hand, I pick up Alice Munro’s collection of (long) short stories, Too Much Happiness, (Some Women) and plop into the huge armchair in the family room.  Afterward I tackle a particularly difficult section of my manuscript that I couldn’t finish yesterday.

I go for lunch, a pleasant break mid-writing-day.   My lunch pal, who has finished her second book (with an offer for a third) while I toil away in the basement of my iffy first manuscript, smiles while I bellyache.  She serves up a huge helping of insight into the craft of writing and the reminder that all writers experience my frustrations and crises of confidence.

I spend the rest of the day in my office happily lost in `The Magical Land of Writing` and make some satisfying progress.  1917 words filed away, the snap of the three-ring binder thrills.

Yesterday’s load of sheets stays in the dryer.  The phone goes to voicemail.  No internet other than writing research.  It’s raining. The dog refuses to go for a walk. The kitchen stays cluttered.  Tulip petals litter the counter.

I tackle the next difficult section … hmm; I guess they’re all difficult.  A pattern develops that keeps the momentum going.  When I’m stuck on a word or phrase or a piece of dialogue, I write it the best I can (clichés allowed) and create a footnote, “Do better on the re-write”.

Distractions of the domestic landscape

“Cheryl, there’s a great book to be written under the layers of your crazy life, somewhere. One day you’ll have it transcribed and pulled off your office wall and into a draft.  Warts and all.”  (Excerpt from a comment on Day I post from my good friend and writing buddy, Mary.)

My life isn’t really all that crazy (well, maybe, just a little).  I think it’s quite typical of the way the woman’s role in the domestic scene can get in the way of writing work.  I am improving at keeping my mind focussed on the writing while completing some of those distractions on auto pilot.  In fact, sometimes getting my butt OUT OF THE CHAIR and moving around, auto pilot or no, un-sticks my mind, like clicking the ‘refresh’ button.

Yesterday I gave myself permission to write badly (warts and all) while completing the first draft of my manuscript.   Dedication has found its way back home.  Today, I wear the commitment most comfortably.