Sunday, November 30, 2008

Last five thousand

Or there abouts . . . I wrote two thousand last night and three thousand today. I estimate there's about three to five thousand left (chump change!). A monumental amount of effort was involved in getting this far. And the hardest part wasn't the actual writing itself. It was enforcing a quiet time in a house made up of six people--four of them boys.

My office is a small room that originally served as a breakfast nook. There's no door on it. Until recently, this wasn't much of an issue. I could concentrate anywhere, anytime, with children hanging on me, dogs and cats in my lap, and music playing. Not anymore. These days I need to "hear" myself think in order to create. I often pause to read it out loud to follow the logic of my own story. When the boys were younger they went to bed a lot earlier so what writing I didn't get done while they were up and around I finished after their bedtimes. Now I'm lucky if the older two disappear before eleven. With Daniel, the second borne, this isn't an issue. Like his father, he's quiet by nature. We can work in the same room without disturbing one another.

The oldest is my child.

A communicator.

A night owl.

A night owl who communicates at night.

So there I am, typing away, focused on the task at hand, and I hear, "Hey Mom! Do you know what drifting is?"

"Yes," I reply, still typing.

"Have you ever seen it done in an SUV?"

"No." Still typing.

"It's lots of fun."

"Oh." Still typing, typing, typing. Wait. The phrase replays itself. I turn around. "What?"

He grins. "Just wanted to see if you were listening. It's fun to mess with you when you're writing." Then he launches into whatever it is he's into that he wants me to know about--music, school, friends, video games . . .

Today I asked for Gary's cooperation. Ever the supportive husband, he gathered the younger boys up and took them off to town. Jeremiah, he assured me, was deeply involved in playing a video game on his computer and probably wouldn't be out until graduation.

The front door closes. Gary and the others drive off.

I'm writing.

Jeremiah appears seconds later (I am not making this up). "Hey! Did I tell you I figured out how to make a green screen . . ."

I turned around, smiled, listened. Then explained what I was trying to do. He smiled back and assured me that he knew that and that he was mostly wanting to aggravate me.

"Some day," I said "When you're a famous director, you're going to call me up and say, 'Mom, my children are never quiet. They're bouncing off the walls, running through the house, and shouting. I can't get any work done.' And I am going to laugh. And laugh. And laugh."

"Yeah. I'm going to laugh too. Especially since I'm not going to have children. That way I can work without being disturbed by annoying teenagers."

I want a door for Christmas.


Scotty said...





This is gonna be hard to fit into a parcel (but it's the thought that counts, right?)


Mary Paddock said...


Unfortunately thoughts don't make for much of a sound barrier. :)

I've put in for this with my husband who asked me if I'd rather have a flat screen monitor instead. I assured him that the door would get more use and be less expensive.

Big Plain V said...

If ever there was a Christmas wish that deserved to be fulfilled, yours would be it.

(be sure to get one that doesn't conduct the sound waves from knocking - cuz that'll be the next round of distraction)

Debby said...

Oh, Mary - simply post a sign by the empty place where your door should be. The sign should read "Domestic help wanted. Talk to Mom." Nobody will be talking to Mom. In fact, they'll be avoiding you.

You're welcome, Mary. Glad to help.

jeanie said...

Wasn't that what Virginia Woolfe said "A room with a door of one's own"

Pencil Writer said...

Love Scotty's comment! Love it! But, really, Mary, I can totally relate! My youngest--a little older, and now living outside this house has the propensity to want to talk to me (extensively) when I'm trying to concentrate on writing, paying bills, etc. NOT when I'd choose to talk with him. But, ya gotta luv 'em!

AND--be SOOOOO very thankful that they want to talk with us. Life: it's a balancing act, no?

Debby said...

What, Scotty? You never heard of a folding door?


Scotty said...

LOL, Debby; yes I have, but my experience has been that they're just a little harder to saw, plane, sand, and stain...


Anonymous said...

With a lock, and a stained glass window that has a view to the land of plenty. Just the view...

Mary Paddock said...

Ray--I think I may take Debby's suggestion.

Debby. I've got the sign all made. :)


PW--I'm very aware of how wonderful it is that he still seeks us out to talk to. The fact that he's in his Senior year in high school makes this all the sweeter. But still, his timing leaves a lot to be desired. :

Rhubarb--I like that idea a lot.