I never want to write when I'm supposed to. My husband has taken on the grocery shopping for the morning, Sophia is worshiping he who is Elmo. Matthew is at a friend's house. The dog and cat are curled up under my elbows like adoring furry armrests. There is absolutely no reason on this earth why I'm not chugging away on one of the twenty writing projects having their own personal fight club in my brain to get down on paper.
And I got nothin'.
I can list the exact moments this past week when I've wanted to write. First, right in the middle of reading aloud a chapter of Of Mice and Men to my vaguely interested students, I wanted to write. In fact I could barely focus on Steinbeck's salty words in front of me because I had a great first line in mind. A wonderful first line in fact. And the students would not have minded one bit if I'd stopped, told them to go do something else and started writing. But of course that would be bad teaching, so I read on and now for the absolute life of me I have no idea what that stunning first line was. No clue whatsoever.
It also happened at the dentist's office, mouth wrenched open, a Novocaine shot hovering above my lip. (If you know me at all, you know that sharks and dentists terrify me more than just about anything else in the world. And if a shark ever became a dentist, I think I'd just drop dead :-) I'm guessing my dentist would not have been thrilled if I'd told him he could wait while I wrote down a resolution I'd been struggling with for weeks. Is it still in my brain somewhere? Probably. But when I write it down now, nothing sounds as good.
I don't know if my writing muse is screwing with me, if I'm not as dedicated a writer as I'd like to think I am, or if the creative process is far too mysterious and arbitrary to ever understand. I'm hoping it's the latter. But these random bouts of creativity and lack thereof still challenge my weekly time management.
I'm never one to wish to travel back in time. I have my memories and experiences tucked neatly away along with boxes of keepsakes. I don't wish Matthew was still a baby because then I wouldn't be able to argue with him about the best way to make a Sherlock Holmes-style trap or watch him dominate on the tennis court. And I never wish time away. At some point my parents will no longer be here, I will not have a house full of children and animals and crazy. But I would give anything to freeze time. Could I find a whistle that I can blow the second I've got an idea and the world stops around me, providing those glorious few moments to jot down what I'm thinking of?
Since the magic whistle is not likely, my Plan B involves purchasing a Powerball ticket this evening, winning the lottery, and enjoying the luxury of hiring a stenographer to follow me around and take down all pearls of wisdom I come up with at odd moments of the day. I do realize that Plan B is a stretch as well, but a gal can dream, can't she?