WAHM Writers Resources: Writing and Chaos
To The Emergency Room
There you are– typing away on your keyboard. Your mind
is flowing through the plot of a storyline. The scene is vivid, as real
as the imagery you create can be.
Your word count shows over five thousand words, you just
can’t have a better day. Then the thundering smack of something hitting
the wall startles you. Just as you get up to see what it was, one of your
two and a half year old sons starts screaming. You run into the next room,
while passing you in the other direction is his twin brother.
He sees your empty chair, and it becomes his stepping-stone to the
computer. His stepping-stone to magically make your ‘could have been’
masterpiece disappear forever.
Meanwhile, your son who hit the wall is sitting on the floor screaming
and holding his hands to his bleeding head. You swoop him up into your
arms, grab a washcloth and apply it to his forehead. Luckily it isn’t as
bad as you thought, but you feel you ought to take him to the Emergency
Room just in case he needs stitches. So you walk into the living room to
go call your Mom to see if she could watch your other kids while you go.
Your eye happens to glance at the computer and the screen is blank. A
moment of silence fills your ears and your heart sunk into your toes.
Some little devil turned the switch off to the power cord.
Can this get any worse?
The phone call is made and your mom is on her way over. You
turn the computer back on and proceed to check your Word pad.
It’s not there. No story. No five thousand words. You forgot to save any
of your work. The tips of your ears are burning red and you want to cry,
But there is no time for that, your mom is here and you need to take the baby
to the ER. So you shake it off and head out the door.
As you make your drive to the ER that little voice inside your head
is bouncing around constantly nagging you about why you didn’t hit the
save button. ‘You gotta save, save, save’ it says. You’re hands are gripped
tightly to the wheel leaving your knuckles white. And you reply
‘I know, I know, I freakin’ know!’ If you could, you’d reach inside your
ears, grab the little nag and toss it out the window.
Tip: Constantly save your work. No matter how good the flow is.
Waiting in the ER
The waiting room is packed as always. There are only a few empty seats,
and they are right by the play area for the kids. That works. The little one sees the toys and wants to play, so you sit there watching him with his band aid on his noggin. Let him have some fun before he gets checked out.
It’s a good time to do some writing, and you remember some of the story
that you were writing before chaos reared it’s ugly head. Reaching into your purse to get your trusty little notebook, you pull out a handful of peppermints instead.
You left your notebook at home, on the counter, in the kitchen. Remembering that you cleaned out your purse earlier, you kick yourself for the mistakes that seem to be dancing at your feet. After a few minutes of going through your purse that has everything but something to write on you frantically look around.
There’s a stack of coloring books in the corner that look awfully inviting. But,you just don’t have the heart to tear out the pages that some little child would loveto color on. The search around the waiting room continues.
Tip: Never forget your notebook.
The door to the restroom is a step away, you find yourself smiling.
Paper towels will do the trick. The brown ones are pretty durable. Stepping inside the small but clean restroom you head straight to the paper towel dispenser and pull excitedly on the lever.
No paper towels what so ever. Nada. Zilch. Your bottom lip begins to quiver a little. Those tears you’ve been holding in are ready to break free and you tell yourself, ‘you can’t cry here. Not in the ER over paper towels’.
Your eyes glance hopefully at the open stall.
Toilet paper. They’ve got to have toilet paper.
Bingo! Houston, we have toilet paper. A smile of satisfaction spreads across
your face as you reach down to pull a slew off paper off the roll, only to pull off one thin square at a time. Just your luck, thin- flimsy toilet paper. Who uses this stuff? No wonder people are in here so long, they’re pulling off one square at a time. Where’s the cushy stuff?
Next trip to the ER, I’ll be bringing my own roll of toilet paper, thank you.
After struggling with the huge roll of extra thin TP, you have enough to jot down some of what you remember. You are now back in your seat with the TPrested on your knee. The pen begins to write only to end up sticking a hole into the paper. You try several more times, the same thing happens.
Your teeth grit together in frustration. You lighten the weight of the pen
and try to write softer, it seems to be working better so on you write.
Thirty minutes have gone by, the little one is still playing and you’re still trying to write on thin TP. The waiting room has thinned out and they should be calling you in soon. Time continues to tick away and you’re still sitting there.
You now have a child in your lap as you write, and of course he wants to
crawl all over you like a jungle gym. You force your hand to put the TP
and the pen in your purse, though you’re just itching to write. But you suck
it up and give some quality time to your child.
Tip: Never use anything less than two-ply. Carry your own toilet paper.
Your name is called, finally. You go into the examining room
and the doctor checks your son’s head. He doesn’t need stitches, and every
thing else checked out fine. With a sigh of relief you head out the door to
your truck. Time to go home.
Back at Home
You’re home. Mom left. The kids are fed; your older two children
are in their rooms playing games, and the twins are in the living room with you doing their own thing and playing with toys. You decide it’s a good time to write on your word pad what you have on TP. So you get to it.
The room is quiet, and your fingers are typing away. Minutes
upon minutes pass by and you wonder why it’s so quiet. Looking around the
twins have left out of the room. You save what you’ve written and get up to
go see where they are at. You get closer to the bedroom and an aroma of
vapor rub, baby cologne, baby oil, lotion and paint marker fill your nose.
This cannot be good!
You see a storage tub pushed up against the dresser. The basket that holds their baby lotions and stuff is gone. Great. Your dreaded legs walk you over to the other side of the bed where they sit coloring themselves and the carpet with paint marker, oil, lotion, and everything else that could be poured out.
They look at you and smile.
Your bottom lip bounces around like a loose basketball and those imprisoned tears bust their way out and down your cheeks, and your start to laugh. Not just any laugh. A crazy, hysterical laugh that your twins find funny. About that time your husband walks in, thank goodness, you just may be able to save what little sanity you have left. He looks at you like a deer in headlights wondering if you have lost your mind. You put the twins in for a bath, and let the hubby deal with the mess.
Tip: When it gets quiet, someone’s into something.
If you think everything is outta reach- it’s not.
It’s finally quiet, all the kids are in bed. You feel like you could just collapse
and sleep for an eternity. The couch gets cozy and you lay there enjoying the
new found peace and quiet. Heavy eyelids flutter closed, and your brain decides to come up with all these ideas that you just have to jot down. Your eyes fling open, you will them to shut. The open- shut scenario goes on for minutes until your writer’s mind wins. So there you are sitting at your computer writing down ideas that turn into poetry, ideas that turn into stories, ideas that turn into more ideas.
It never ends.
-And so is the life of a Writer.
Jamie Edson Opielski
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