"Whatever shall we do in that remote spot? Well, we'll write our memoirs. Work is the scythe of time." --Napoleon Bonaparte, on his way into exile.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

Today was Tess's first day of preschool. I was prepared for tears -- hers, and mine, but there was a very young 3 year-old there who distracted any of us from the idea of out-crying him. The teacher impressed me with her handling of the situation. She merely said, "C'mere, buddy," in a very sympathetic voice, then firmly but swiftly extracted him from his mother. Kicking, screaming, nearly tearing the sleeve on mom's T-shirt...who wants to compete with that?

Tess had gone in just ahead of him, so I beat a hasty retreat just behind the Screamer's mom; much sympathy for her ensued and all of us moms high-tailed it out of there, in a group.

Freedom! Two and a half hours of me-time. Something I haven't had in the middle of a weekday for a year and a half, since Tess stopped napping altogether when I stopped working last April. I already had plans for my "time off." I call it the "Apply Seat of Pants to Seat of Chair" School of Writing.

When I participated in NaNoWriMo last year, I made it through the first week before I quit. I just could not find the hour and half needed to get in my 1,667 words per day for 30 days to get my 50,000 word novel finished as required. My first miscarriage and 20-year high school reunion in the same week finished me off. I hadn't returned to the novel until last week, when I realized the enormity of having such a block of free time at my disposal.

"I'd better not come home and mope around the house," I thought, "Or -- GOD FORBID -- start cleaning. I'd better prepare myself for the time" -- two short years from now -- "when Tess is off to school full time."

Do I want to go back to some draining assistant's job in my early 40s? Because even associate editor jobs are hard to come by in these parts. The answer was no. Do I want to apply what I learned last year at NaNo and regain the momentum I had with my writing, before life intervened in such a cruel way? You betcha.

So I have made a promise to myself to fire up the laptop and Get Thee to a Coffeeshop, every Tuesday and Thursday, to warm up to NaNoWriMo 2005.

I'll have to go with a different novel idea, since that's The Law of NaNo, but my "old" novel will do the warm-up trick until then.

1,677 words today in 1 hour and 45 minutes...503 squeezed out yesterday in two 10-minute breaks between toddler tantrums...

>> sound of my knuckles cracking in anticipation <<

Wordiness? Bring it.


  • At 9:35 PM, Blogger haze said…

    I'm going to try NaNoWriMo again this year. I did it in 2001, but only came up with 35K. Since then that novel grew to 75K before I stalled. This year, I'm using the time from now til then to do some planning. Idownloaded a program called "minute timer" for windows. it sets up a timer on your desktop, for those short spurts of "free" time. If I push...meaning, write and not think, I can get to 5-600 words in a 15 minute block. Here's hoping I finish this time. Good Luck

  • At 8:11 AM, Blogger Kate said…

    You go! Sounds like a much better plan than what I did when Ian started pre-school. For the first month or two I just kind of wandered around in a daze with Fiona, not capable of adjusting to single tasking.

  • At 5:51 PM, Blogger Kimberly said…

    That's awesome! Good luck! I hope you post a few glimpses of your writing! :)

  • At 11:56 AM, Blogger sUsAn said…

    Hurray for preschool! Congrats on making it through the first day to both you and Tess! We just finished week two of Timothy's first preschool experience (two days a week for two hrs each). I love it! My dh told me to use the time to destress. Enjoy your writing time!

  • At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anamaria said…

    Congratulations on making the transition to preschool! My oldest (the same age as Kate's--I found you through Kate) just started kindergarten, and my youngest (16 months) is asleep...what am I doing??? Am thinking of trying NaNoWriMo this year myself!


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