So yesterday was gorgeous. Like, a male underwear model washing his convertible in a thong Speedo on a summer’s day kind of gorgeous. And did I spend it at the barn, giving my poor neglected pony a workout since he’s pretty much had the entire winter off? No. Did I take my two puppies to the park and wander the wooded trails for an hour so that they could get back to their ground-sniffing roots (see what I did there? that’s why I went to college, right there) and get their daily dose of sunshine? Of course not. Why? Because I don’t like any of my animals and I wish them to live short, unhappy lives.
Well, ok, that’s only part of the truth–Gabe’s getting ridden tomorrow and the girls got an hour of hiking the day before yesterday when it was also beautiful outside. But I still don’t like any of them.
Instead, I sped home—or, if my husband actually reads this, I drove carefully home, obeying every speed law that I conscientiously paid attention to—so that I could get up to our bedroom, sit in what we’ve dubbed the Faux Man Chair, fling open the blinds and the windows (b/c the second-story rooms catch a much better breeze), and write. It was blissful!
In case you’re wondering why we’d name our FMC the way we did, let me briefly explain. When we were moving to VA, my aunt asked us if we wanted a chair and ottoman that she had. Both had big, slouchy tan covers made out of some rough-woven fabric and didn’t fit either of the pieces they covered very well. But when we lifted the cover, we discovered that the chair and ottoman were some crazy red, blue, purple thread creation and decided the slouchy tan cover was the lesser of evils. And you might ask why we even took it in the first place. To which I’d calmly answer that IT IS THE MOST COMFORTABLE CHAIR EVER CREATED BY MAN. Seriously. The chair’s just-right kind of cushy and big enough that I can curl up with my feet under my butt and still have room for a cat and probably Nell if she had the guts to curl up with us on a chair. I love this chair. Loveitloveitloveitloveit. But when I proudly displayed said chair to Clayton and said, “Look, honey! It can be your Man Chair!” he very patiently explained to me that even though it indeed was THE MOST COMFORTABLE CHAIR EVER CREATED BY MAN, it wasn’t a leather rocking chair, and therefore could never be a true Man Chair. Thus, FMC got its name.
So, back to the writing…
I’ve adopted the FMC as my writing chair, partly because it’s just so damn comfy and partly b/c our office downstairs looks like a garbage truck full of papers exploded in there. The girls curled up next to the FMC, the cat ninja-ed her way into my lap and together we all wrote about dragons. It was one of the most productive writing days I’ve had in YEARS.
While I was in the Creative Writing program in college, I’d get pelted with story ideas left and right. It felt like my creative faucet had a steady drip that never quite went away and the only way I could keep my brain from flooding with them was to write all the stories down. But after college, for the past three years I’ve been in Virginia, the faucet seemed to have dried up. I poked at it every now and again, when I remembered that “oh, hey, didn’t I get some degree in something creative? Hmm….I should probably take a half-assed swing at something creative…” and I’d wander around the house for a few hours before finally sitting down and vomiting out some half-baked attempt at a short story and go, “See? Still got it!” and would walk away and Live My Life some more. And then gripe about how none of my stories ever got published when I sent them out.
But lately, since I found out about NaNoWriMo and got the wild hare to try and write a novel, finally feeling like my You’re Ready to Write a Novel certificate had magically appeared in the mail, it’s all coming back. That leaky faucet that barely stops enough for me to get some sleep at night. The ideas that always, without fail, ambush me when I’m trekking down the highway and I frantically pull off at the nearest exit and dash into a gas station parking lot to jot down my idea in my writing notebook because “THAT IDEA IS SO FREAKIN’ COOL!” and I know that if my fingers don’t move at the speed of light with the pen, I won’t get it all down and the world will spontaneously combust and we’ll all die lonely, unimaginative deaths without books or stories about ninja zombies. I know, because it’s happened before.
So I went home and I wrote my dragon story that popped up a few days ago, making promises that I knew were lies to my first story (SciFi Story) about how “I’ll work on you soon, I promise” and “this other story means nothing to me, really!” and “It’s not you, it’s me…”. And it was AWESOME! I wrote about 3,500 words over the course of a few hours, which may be a mere blip on the radar for you steady writers, but since I’d only been averaging about 750 words a day since January, this was a friggin’ writing earthquake for me. And the story didn’t let go, either—by the time Clayton was ready for bed, I couldn’t stop my brain.
Me: “I’m not sleepy. I think I’ll just write a little longer.”
Him: “It’s 11:30. We have work tomorrow. Don’t do it.”
Me: “But it’ll only be for a few minutes. I just need to get this one idea down.”
Him: “You and I both know it won’t be just a few minutes.”
Me: “No, really. Just a few…and then I’ll go right to bed, promise.”
Him: “That’s a lie. Just go to bed NOW.”
Me: “But I can’t sleep.”
Him: *trying a different strategy by appealing to my inherent laziness* “But you’re all the way over here, so it would be more work to get up and go over to the computer, turn it back on, wait for it to start up, open your files, and start writing. Entirely too much effort, since you’re all snuggled up in the nice, warm bed.”
Me: “That’s ok, I don’t mind.”
Him: “*sigh* Just. Go. To sleep.”
Me: “Fine….But I won’t like it.”
Him: “I can live with that.”
Me: “Why do you hate America?”
Because that’s what it all comes down to, in the end. If your spouse won’t let you write at night, then it’s because they hate America.