Today was supposed to be my big "writer's escape". We can't afford to send me away to a workshop this year, not with the costs of computers and sudden car repairs being what they are. I can't even afford a weekend retreat locked away in a motel somewhere. But I could, theoretically, get away for a few days as long as I didn't actually go anywhere.
The theory was that I would leave in the morning, hide away at Barnes & Noble or the library, and write my fingers off. The kids, the oldest being 15, would fend for themselves and my wife would take over at night more so than she usually does. I'd do it for three days and work exclusively on my work in progress—currently "Sneakers' Secret" (#snkrz). By isolating myself I would be able to immerse into the work. Immersion would allow my ADHD hyperfocus to kick in, right? That would summon my super writer powers like Dr. Blake smacking his cane on the floor and transforming into Thor.
Well, I smacked my cane down hard and it came right back up into my face. Instead of writing my ADDaboy! article Thursday night, I ended up wrestling with a snarling troll. This wound me up and gave me a second wind which did not disperse until 6:10am, leaving me very bleary eyed at 10:30am when a family member woke me. You see, I was supposed to be up at 9am, so the family member was technically doing me a favor. Little did they know that I had been lying awake all night. Neurologically twitchy and as spritely as a lump of oatmeal, I shambled through the morning trying to get out the door. I had awoken with a Big Black Dog on my chest, so lifting my spirits was difficult and time consuming. Soon, however, I was ready.
Alas, school was out halfway through the day, leaving me to attend fairies as my wife was wrapped in a healing cocoon in the basement. Fairies, as you know, are always hungry, so off to the market I went to get sustenance from foreign lands.
Trolls vanquished, sleep attempted, fairies fed, ready for the day, I was suddenly free to write my novel!
Except that I was past deadline on a blog. I can conjure no fantasy metaphors for that task, so I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. Unfortunately, I was continually interrupted by very excited people who had never seen an iPad before. Even though I felt like something the troll had dragged in, I was still polite and answered questions. I also answered phone calls from fairies. Soon my day turned into evening. The article was posted, I took a necessary break in the restroom, then sat down to begin my story.
I was very excited. I had been planning for this day for two weeks and finally I was going to write. I only had two hours before I'd have to leave, but still, there was palatable excitement. I even smiled.
Then one of the fairies sent me a magical text with a request to be picked up early.
That was it. I was defeated. Perhaps I should have used that precious ten minutes over to the restroom and back for more creative purposes. Foolishly, I wasted it.
Part of the deal I arranged with the Missus was that I would come home and help put the kids to bed, something she normally does when we switch shifts. And so I did. Afterwards, my four hours of sleep had caught up with me. There was no energy left to fight trolls, feed fairies, or conjure up my own worlds.
So what about tomorrow? I have to interrupt my writing even earlier tomorrow for my oldest daughter's high school graduation. Then Saturday I have a baptism to perform. My so called "writer's escape" is a big old bust.
Looking over all this family chaos, I sure am grumpy about something other people might consider a blessing. A beautiful family. Bustling life. Responsibilities, and people who truly need me. I know I'm grumpy. Four hours of sleep will do that to the best of us. A graduation and a baptism don't happen every weekend, though. It would be a shame for me to sour such events because I can't get what I want. I may have to rethink this writer's escape and try it again next week. Until then, I'll just have to be happy with what little time I am allowed to write.
Assuming I actually get any.