Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Frenzied Writer Mom Moment


I'm having a frenzied mom moment. I have 7,000 words to go to meet my minimum word count. I have a broken arrow key on my laptop which is driving me effing crazy. My house is a mess. I need to vacuum and mop floors, and it's bugging me just a little. Okay, more than a little. The mess is making me snarly. I'm a Virgo, and I like order, dammit.

I barely wrote a word yesterday. I had to go to Ruston on an errand, and of course that turned into an full day agenda that totally tossed a wrench in my writing plans. Tomorrow my mom wants me to drive her to Minden. She has woefully said I don't have to take her if I'm too busy - but come on, folks. You know what that means. I am the ogre daughter too busy for her mother if I don't. So, of course I'm going to drive her where she wants to go - after I put Mini on the school bus, of course, because for whatever reason we have to do this thing in the middle of the week. Yes, I need a break, and I'm sure I will have a good time with mom, I always do. But I also know me, and in the back of my mind, deadlines will be niggling and tormenting me because I know I should finish this project before I have a play day. I'd have so much more fun if I didn't have something important to worry about while hanging out with her, but what's a girl to do?

As if this isn't pressure enough, people I have not seen in three months have suddenly decided I *have* to give them answers now regarding plans they made without me. When I tentatively said yes just to show up - more like, I said it's slightly possible I'd show up - they spring on me and suddenly I owe them money. Someone please tell me how that works? Apparently this is my share of the cost in their plans, that again, were made without me. It almost feels like it doesn't really matter if I show up or not, just as long as I pitch in my share of the money. If I weren't so busy and had time to really sit down and think about this, I'd probably be pissed.

In the end, I have to ask myself why is all this happening now?  Karma?  Some kind of dreaded obligation curse? Why at this point in time when I have a deadline looming?  Two months ago, when I wasn't so busy, mom was too busy to go on an outing with me. She had plans with friends. My friends didn't have time to answer my emails. (Then again, they didn't want money.) I tell ya, I am one margarita and a plane ticket away from complete revolt.

On top of all this, MiniBear's class is doing pretesting this week. Do you know what the pretesting is for?  They are cramming for the KET, aka the Kindergarten Exit Test. Yes, you read that right. They are cramming for tests in Kindergarten. Oh.My.God. So much for learning to use scissors and not eat the paste, right?  Mini brought home writing cram sheets with his homework packet yesterday. I thought the homework packet was insane enough. No wonder the little guy says he doesn't want to go back to school.

Speaking of MiniBear...and Mercury Retrograde. The little man did so well in class yesterday. We usually reward his good behavior, so when he came home wanting to play the Memory Game on my computer, I let him have at it. I needed a break to let my brain cool off anyway. I put the game on for him, and went to fall across the bed with a book. Two pages into one of the short stories in My Zombie Valentine, Mini comes to the door and says a key broke on my laptop. I'm like, huh?

I groaned a little over that, because ever since I bought this laptop - brand new, I might add, so it's not like it was used, or already had cosmetic issues - it had a very wobbly left track mouse key. It has broken three times and I've had to reset it. So, upon Mini's grand announcement, I leave my comfy spot and my book, and go to my office to access the damage. I am stunned when I see it isn't the wobbly mouse key that has broken. It's one of my arrow keys. I've never had any problems with it, either. Mini is beside himself. I tell him it's fine. I mean, it could have happened to anyone. I told him I'll deal with it, and sent him off to play in the living room. For two hours I fight with that arrow key. For the life of me, I can't fix it. Not only is it broken, I think the circuit is dead as well. *cry*

So now I'm writing on a computer with keys missing, low memory, and sluggish performance because of all the crap I have stored on it. I need to get this one to the shop for a tune up, or better yet, retire this computer and buy another. I guess if I hope to buy anything, I better start rolling pennies now.

All this, one day in the life of a writing mom. Is it any wonder we crave coffee and chocolate?

5 comments:

  1. Cora - can I offer you some advice here? I'm the kind of person who works under constant deadlines and serious pressure. I have 3 things due this week, 2 due next week, and my brother called last week to say "Oh, BTW, we're stopping by for 2 days, will that be a problem?" No, of course not. My house looked like WWIII and in the meantime *someone* told me to read a bunch of books which now have my brain working overtime (I started a blog on that BTW- don't look at it now...something to think about later).

    So, here's the plan....And you started to do what you needed to, but didn't follow through. First of all, do a reboot. Not your computer, your brain. Your house needs to wait - I know, I hate disorder too. Block it out (this takes training) Now, deep breaths, one thing at a time...whenever something interrupts, ignore it. Yup. Just ignore it.

    Sounds easy right? Nope - took me 20 years to figure this out - started training just out of HS. Now, it's not perfect, but I seldom miss a deadline, and I have lists....lists and lists and lists. Sometimes things don't get done (like housework - but that's what kids and hubbies are for, right?) And when you reach overload, take a bath.

    Breathe...in....out....in....out...good luck!

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  2. Is something in the air? Sounds like we had a similar day of just pure crap. My van has been having problems overheating and I needed to take it to the mechanic today. Who happens to be 5 miles away. I coasted (no gas power at all) the last 3 miles there up and down hills(I live in a mountainous area) and through traffic lights. As I turned into the lot to the mechanics she caught off on me and I rolled the rest of the way in. My computer and printer were acting up on top of that and I had to re-install the printer 3 times. Plus, my neighbors and their dog. They can't seem to keep in their yard. This drives my dog crazy. And don't get me started on house chores. It's all been a mess. Sorry I had to share.

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  3. You poor thing. I was given some good advice when I first had my daughter. House work can always wait until later, do what you need to do and don't worry about the small stuff because it's not going anwywhere and when you have a spare minute, you can do those things then.

    Some weeks we just don't catch a break..

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  4. Well darn. ((hugs)) I feel the same pressure although I don't have the kidlets. The housework is always going to be there waiting because it's rare when a man lifts a finger to do any damn thing around the house. If you have a man that pitches in, then he's a keeper!

    So I agree with the other ladies, block it out and move on. Try to set up mini-days of blocked out timed writing. I do that when I am under the gun, so to speak.

    As far as your mom, I understand more than you know. But as bad as the deadlines are, they are just deadlines, approximations which should have a little wiggle room built in. Because as I've learned, most of us are only given one mom, and once she's gone, we don't get another.

    So try to get an extension if you can. Just some breathing room. And then go have fun with your mom. Turn a problem into a special moment. I was forced to rethink my priorities and as important as our writing is to us, nothing is more important than the people in our lives that we love. Because they won't be around forever. Sad but true.

    But I would let her know that when deadlines loom, it's not the best time for feel good moments to be built. :P

    Sorry about the key and keyboard. I sympathize. A colony of ants have taken up residence in my keyboard. The good news is they've been reading my work and think I'm brilliant! rofl

    Love and ((hugs))
    C.C.

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  5. Thanks, ladies. Seriously, this has been a huge lesson in patience. Mom and I have rescheduled our fun date but not because of deadlines...it's because Mini woke up sick. Just goes to show, you can plan to the nth degree, but never know one day to the next what you're really going to be doing.

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