Humor, Real Life, Writing

Can you have too much time to write?

Many of you serious writers work a day job and/or have small children or others in your care or are active in social, political, or religious organizations. You’ve learned to make excellent use of the few hours a week you have for practicing your craft. No doubt you’re prone to daydreaming, but even when you’re fully engaged in the present, your subconscious Muse is at work, preparing for your next writing stint. Ideally, when that time comes, you block out the world around you and productively enter your writing zone.

wink_clockI, on the other hand, have very few constraints on my writing time. For the most part, I’m free to do what I wish with my time. And what I wish to do is write. I have little interest in any other pursuit. So, I write. Most days I spend several hours in a fictional world. That’s 24/7. That’s good and bad.

Partly, I feel I’m making up for lost time. After all, I was not one of those amazing writers who produce work despite day job, care-giving, and other obligations. I didn’t pursue writing seriously until I was already fifty-eight years old! I’d written only some stories and poems and finished one novel before then. Maybe I’ve earned these long writing hours—like accrued vacation days or something.

And maybe I have little time left in this incarnation—or in this somewhat sanely functioning mind. Right now, I have three novels in the works and I confess that’s made me wonder if this is my last gasp, so to speak. Yes, that’s morbid. What can I say? I’m a fiction writer; imagination is my game.


Back to the title of this post. When, like me, you have few interests outside of writing and little self-discipline, maybe having an abundance of free time is not such a great thing. In the first place, it’s not like I’m cranking out a mountain of work. I write on the computer. My computer has internet access. I’m easily distracted—Words With Friends, Candy Crush, Facebook links, anyone? (And before you suggest I disconnect the Internet, see the part about lack of self-discipline.)

Secondly, the problem with living inside my head so much is that I talk less. Sometimes, I forget to speak at all. Frequently, my husband lets me know that if I answered his question, I did so only in my mind.

On the occasions I’m in a room with several people conversing and a comment comes to mind, often I stop to analyze it: editing the word choices, considering the implications (how stupid I’ll sound) if I say it, wondering whether anyone will get my sense of humor … and by then the conversation has moved on and I’ve said nothing at all. (Obviously, this is why I fail at social media like Twitter and Facebook and Google+.)

So if you bemoan the lack of writing time, take heart. Know that making good use of the time you have is preferable to being an obsessed, undisciplined, self-indulgent mute like me.

Not that I want to give up any of my “writing” time … not when it could result in scintillating blog posts like this! 😉


Family, Humor, Real Life

Strawberries and Sandals

It’s that lovely time of year when strawberries are ripe. Until I moved to the San Joaquin Valley of California, I’d never had such delicious—or huge—ones.

I try to stop at the field stands a few times during each season. And then I make sweetened shortcake and whipped cream and we have a meal of dessert—a child’s dream. Spring is a perfect time for child-like behavior. Spring is a child, don’t you think?

On Sunday, my family celebrated the twentieth anniversary of our Kaitlyn’s birth. I can’t quite wrap my brain around that because she’s my granddaughter. Today, is my third son Joseph’s birthday. He claims he’s thirty-eight, but that’s impossible. Since everyone else is clearly lying about their ages, I’ve decided  to be forty-five this year. Yeah, that sounds about right.

Anyway, if you know me, you know I never wear shoes unless forced. As I started to leave for the party on Sunday, I realized I had forgotten to put on glasses and shoes. Unfortunately, I stopped off at my darkened closet before I retrieved my glasses.

Confession: I’m a clutterer. I have a shoe rack, it’s mostly empty because either my shoes are wherever I stepped out of them or piled in front of the shoe rack. So, on Sunday, in my haste and blurriness, I simply slipped my feet into sandals lying next to each other. Obviously, I’m oblivious. This is what I left the house wearing.

Yeah. I did. When did I notice? After I came home.

You know that absent-minded professor stereotype? Does that apply to writers too?

Blog Stuff, Humor, Writing

The first rule of blogging

A week ago, I wrote a post titled Writing without writing, which is possible to do, but is it possible to blog without blogging? I’ll answer that question. The first rule of blogging is—you have to blog! You have to write something. Words, if possible.

If you’re keeping track, (humor me) you know I’m not doing so well at blogging. We’re two weeks into the month and I’m three posts behind. My mind is blank—well, no, it’s not blank, but nothing on my mind right now is a topic worthy of blogging about. Um … like now. (That was ninety-seven words about nothing, if you want to keep track.)

Hey, here’s an idea—I’ll blame it on Leap Year. Yeah, that’s it. The extra day in February threw the earth off its axis … or something. Threw me off my axis, maybe. That explains my recent equilibrium problem quite nicely. It’s hard to think straight when you’re staggering around.

Oh ho! Then we had that time change thing, doncha know. I was rudely flung forward an hour into the future. Seems that could mess with your brain, don’t you think? I mean, what could have happened in that hour I missed? I’ll never know. That question will haunt me for the rest of my life.

(Add 107 more useless words on your abacus.)

Do I need mention the weather? Weird, aint’ it? We only toyed with winter here, and now we’ve flung open the door to spring. When the natural progression gets disrupted, I wander off track, whistling aimlessly. Only I’m not, because I can’t seem to pucker like I used to.

So, yeah. I was supposed to be cleaning while I wrote without writing, but sadly, I haven’t accomplished much on that front. I did write a couple scenes for the new novel, but given my state of being, they’re probably nonsense. Maybe I could use them in Words With Friends.

May your days be balanced and productive, friends.

(Total worthless words: 322 … and now you know how to blog without saying anything.)

Humor, Real Life

A Thumb Tale

Once upon a time, a right thumb decided to balk at opposition. When forced to do so, it screamed in protest. Because management kept forgetting that, said thumb caused the loss of a steaming mug of tea as well as a mishap with a cool glass of Riesling. And I would be remiss if I failed to mention several distressing encounters with various doorknobs, kitchen tools, and weighty books. Actually, the daily frequency of incidences of opposition have only now become apparent to management.

Notification to management: Until this errant right thumb mends its ways, please utilize its sinistral twin for all opposition duties.

Critique, Humor, Writing

A dialogue with my inner critic

We all have inner critics. Some manage them better than others do. All too often, I tremble under the tyranny of mine. She’s not cute and harmless. Not at all. Think She Devil, like this:

I’ll give you an example of how she works. A writer friend emailed me the other day to ask if I’d considered offering editing services to increase my income. She said, “Your writing is so precise and careful.” and indicated she felt I could be of benefit to other writers. All well and good, right?

The next day, while doing some mind-numbing work, I thought about the email again. Suddenly, my inner critic offered a different interpretation.

Inner Critic: Precise and careful, huh?

Me: Yeah, so?

Inner Critic: Sounds to me like she thinks your writing is a bore.

Me: No … I don’t think so.

Inner Critic: Textbooks are precise and careful.

Me: But … I’m pretty sure she meant that as a compliment.

Inner Critic: Ha!

Me: What did she mean, then?

Inner Critic: There’s an old saying: Those who can, write; those who can’t, edit.

In typical She Devil fashion, she poofed away, her cackle echoing in her wake, leaving me to question my worth as a writer … or an editor. She’s pure evil, is my inner critic. Next time she pops in, I’ll slap her with a wet fish.