Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not writing

I was writing, maybe, once. Earlier in the semester. But then the we had company. And then the swine flu. Zoe was out of school for seven full days. She also seems to have given up her nap. Erik is in the midst of scraping the cottage cheese ceilings (don't worry. No asbestos. We had it checked by a lovely lab in Sacramento). He's retaping and remudding and sanding and it will look lovely but the whole house is awash in a fine mist of drywall sand. Especially the living room where I usually write.
Did I mention Zoe gave up her naps? That means Saturday and Sunday afternoons are no longer dedicated writing days. Also, Mondays are now reserved for prep for Tuesdays. On Tuesdays, the line of advisees is so long that I have stayed an extra hour or worked to get someone's transcript fixed on a Friday. Wednesdays are meetings and special recruitment days. The summer program I'm in charge of needs me to begin to plan it. John D'Agata is coming in February and since I'm taking off three weeks in January for the baby, I need to get a jump start on that now. And I have 7 letters of recommendation to write.
But the worst part is, I'm starting to drop balls, which makes it hard to write. What was I thinking? How is this book supposed to work? Did I want to talk about my grandmother or how much bacon I ate for breakfast? I did something stupid on Sunday that resulted in me looking like a complete idiot. I also am literally dropping things like salt and woodchips and grapes and pieces of drywall mud all over the floor. I have 32 emails in my inbox (and, because of Sunday's error, I've tried to be very careful about my emails) and a research proposal due. Plus, Sunday morning, before I made this massive email screw up, I edited the book one last time. I caught some things. I'm sure, in my mental state, I missed a few more. Zoe's cough returned. I knew it would. The rumor about the swine flu is that it keeps on coming back in new and more intriguing forms. When she coughs, there's no sleep. So when I go to write, even for the hour I have today when Erik took Z to the park (she's off for Veteran's Day), instead of writing, I forget even what my project is and check my email which I'm not allowed to check. Food. The Apocalypse. So why do I end up writing about my doctor's visit? Or blogging? If nothing else, blogging counts as writing. Perhaps this post isn't entirely blithering. Perhaps I can take that confidence over to the Word doc over there, waiting for me.
And yet, I come into the living room, turn on the gas fireplace and realize, my lap top no longer fits on my lap.


Dr Write said...

In praise of not writing! Join my club! Plus, the idea of you with no lap is cute! It is infinitely charming. Write about your no lap status!
I have no such excuses, except I can't lift my hands/arms/etc.
I want to go home, drink beer, read and watch TV. It's that time of the semester.
All praise sloth!!

Steve Fellner said...


Thank god about the asbestos! You know that is my #1 fear. You can even ask my students. I've been saying this for years! Did you rip off my line?

I'm glad I stole yours then. I am glad though even without the justification for feeling glad.

Blogs are important, Nicole. You rant. It makes room for The Art. Don't I sound paternal?

Lisa B. said...

Well, I love stories of anyone writing, and (or is it but? I hope not!) I especially love it when you blog. I have always written, until recently, in a wonderful interval called a sabbatical, in the interstices. Keep going. It all matters.