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I don’t understand

August 27, 2009

why I can write books, but can’t remember what classes I have to teach. Or when and where. I printed out my schedule for the semester so I can try to be where I am supposed to be. What classrooms. What classes. I even printed out my class lists and now I think I am really on top of things. But the other day, I let a tea kettle burn through the bottom and left the screen door open so that the cat got out. I found the cat before the coyotes did. But I lost a valuable hour hunting around in the weeds chirrupping her name, “Sherbie” “Sherbie,” as though I loved her more than anything. I know she saw right through me. Then there are groceries. I don’t think Faulkner ever had to worry about the strawberries rotting in the fridge. Or, getting the laundry in out of the rain. Today I began drafting chapter one while cheering on my son at his tennis lesson. “Nice job!” — In 1796 a comet streaked across the summer sky. — Is “streaked” a word? “Yes, honey. Great serve!”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 28, 2009 5:43 am

    I do all my writing in a haze of distraction: write 2 lines, run downstairs and throw in a load of laundry, let the dog in, run upstairs, erase 2 lines, shout downstairs to tell my son to brush his teeth, etc. I suspect the Trollopian model of sitting down every morning before work and cranking out 50 pages is (1) only possible if your wife and housemaids do everything else or (2) a lie Trollope invented because he didn’t want us to know how much time he spent staring out the window and humming.

    I can remember schedules, but I can’t do even simple math problems. I edited a book once that said, “Gifted people are not well rounded.” I like to keep that in mind.

  2. Christi Craig permalink
    August 28, 2009 2:25 pm

    I laughed out loud at your last line. Once I slipped away from a family gathering to jot down a string of words I didn’t want to forget. I tried to be covert, but how can you be sneaky when you’re rifling through your bag while everyone else is eating cake?

    Now, I’m stealing time to write when I can and experiencing that same hectic brain sensation. It’s hard to turn off the writer!

  3. August 29, 2009 10:25 am

    I like picturing you rifling while the family chomps on cake. The female writer — there it is. or, maybe it is just the writer who is a family member.

  4. Ruth permalink
    August 29, 2009 11:56 am

    Perhaps is is the mundane and trvial that gives life to all the wonderful work? Some watch soap operas, listen to radio shows because, we all really do like to be read to, and perhaps writers have their own shows playing in their heads. I know that when I sing, I “hear” a whole band in my head…and I don’t have to pay the roadies!!!

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