I’m not a nice person when I’m writing.
Or really, when there’s this one scene I’ve re-written ten times because it’s from a man’s POV and worse than that, an almost fatally embarrassed man—and while embarrassment and I are very close friends, I’m a cis-gendered female and when filtered through my brain, this guy keeps oversharing.*
And I’d meant to go to bed an hour earlier Saturday to prepare for the time change—this was going to be the year!—but ended up chasing this thing around the mulberry bush until midnight before giving up and going to bed and waking up five hours later.
I hit the laptop to see if I could make that $#!% weasel pop before the family woke up.
But half an hour later, in bounced these two kids who would not leave me alone because they inexplicably wanted to spend time with me—and are also mentally and physically incapable of moving away from a lit television set and needed me to fetch and carry for them, because heaven forbid they miss three minutes of this particular My Little Pony episode that even I’ve seen more than twice.
At which point, I should have saved the scene, shut off the computer and the TV and made everyone have a nice breakfast together.
But I’m not a nice person when I write. And I was going to get this thing nailed down and I was going to do it before noon, because that was when I had to leave for work.
So I tossed fruit at my children and shooed them away when they spoke to me—always, always when I’d just managed to get back in the flow.
At which point, I should have told myself to step back for a couple of hours and let the scene work itself out in my mind—to enjoy an afternoon of inner writing while I outwardly worked the reference desk on what would probably be a lazy afternoon at the library . The scene wasn’t going anywhere, I wasn’t on a deadline, and both it and I would be better for the time.
But I’m not a nice person when I write. So I carried on, writing, erasing, writing, cursing.
And then my husband came home from his class and started quizzing me about lunch and the TV went off and the kids redoubled their efforts to drive me insane by doing a conga line thing, with drum and recorder accompaniment, through the room and fighting loudly in their room over everything and coming in to tattle or scream. Or both.
Honestly, where was their mother—oh. Right.
At which point . . . yeah.
And I’m really not.
So my husband and kids had lunch in the kitchen, while I scarfed a quesadilla in front of the laptop and wrestled words to a standstill.
I did finish that $#!% scene before I left for work.
But by the time I arrived—head aching, stomach upset, guilt-ridden, lonely—I couldn’t remember why it had been so important.
*Another, you should pardon the expression, bosom buddy.