I entered a contest in Writer's Digest last winter. And sadly, I didn't win. Hopefully, when the article is published in the next issue (or it may already be out...haven't received my copy yet!), I'll get an 'honerable mention'?
“Mom, what’s for dinner?”
“When are you going to fix it?”
“Mom! I’m hungry!”
“Let me finish this thought…give me five minutes.”
“Mom! Dad’s fixing dinner. Are you coming?”
“Yeah…I’ll be right there…”
“Mom? Dad left a plate for you in the microwave.”
“Good night Mom.”
Finally. I have finished my brainstorm, and I’ve not checked any homework, asked about my children’s day, or even fixed or eaten dinner. I’m a lousy mother.
Or am I? After all, these brainstorms where I lock myself in a room and write nonstop don’t occur very often. Maybe once a year. Or, once every six months. But then, I’m a published author with her first book in print, readers eager for the second, and currently working on the eighth book in the series.
I learned early, after the birth of my two older children, to carry a notebook and pen everywhere I go. And I do mean everywhere. I write while in doctor and dentists waiting rooms. I write at sports practices and Boy Scout meetings. I’ve gotten brainstorms in the middle of church services, and covered my church bulletin with notes. I’ve been known to be found in the middle of the night, sitting at the kitchen table, oblivious to the fact the dog needs to be let outside. My husband lives in fear of being trapped in the bathroom while I read him pages of description and dialogue; conversations between characters he could care less about, except for the fact that one day those pages could mean a royalty check is due to come in the mail.
And since the birth of my unexpected blessing three years ago, not to mention relocating to a new home in a new town, I’m finding it hard to carve out time to work on my latest idea Maybe once a week, when my husband leaves for work at three in the morning? Or the weekends, perhaps, when he’s here to keep a close eye on our active toddler? Or should I just tough it out until my child’s name makes it to the top of the waiting list at one of the few daycares in this town?
I know, all too well, that one day the urge to write will strike with a vengeance, and my family will have to fend for themselves until the storm blows over, and my future best-seller is ready for its first rewrite. So until that time, I can be found once a week in the Burger King Playscape, sipping my iced tea and scribbling furiously into my notebook, hoping I’ll be able to read my own handwriting when I get the time to type it into the computer.
“Mom? When you finally come to the end your brainstorm, can I use the computer?”
“Sure honey. Just give me five minutes.”
Or it may be five hours. But she’s twelve. And there’s always tomorrow.