Driven To Distraction

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was summer break…

Does it ever seem like the sun, the moon and the stars are aligned against you? Like life goes out of its way to throw obstacles in your path? That your family just doesn’t equate writing with working? Well, it sure as heck does at my house! Especially in the summer when my kids are home from school.

I swear some days it feels like no one wants to talk to me until I sit down at the computer. Then, of course, the phone rings, someone comes to the door, the dog is barking and the kids are peppering me with questions—all at the same time!

A typical day in my house involves my youngest daughter walking into the room and breaking down, in minuet detail, how some computer game about dragons’ works. I’m sure this is very important in her twelve year old brain, but for me… well, not so much. Especially when I’m trying to get words on the page.

Then the phone rings… My brain is now torn between the phone call, the scene I was writing and my daughter who is not taking the hint and still rambling on about the skill points you get for capturing a rainbow dragon.

Giving up on writing for the moment, I tell my friend to hang on, save my WIP, close my computer and quietly explain to my daughter that I would love to hear all about rainbow dragons, later, preferably when I’m not writing. I leave the room and walk outside to soak up some sunshine and have a relaxing conversation catching up with my friend. Until my older daughter comes along asking me about whether or not she can meet up with her friends later. Younger daughter then arrives to ask about a snack. I resolve their issues and send them away so I can talk in peace… which works for about five minutes until the UPS man shows up. Did I mention my dog despises the UPS man and always tries to eat him? Usually wagging so hard her entire body is moving side to side, but she still sounds like a vicious killer and the UPS man is terrified of her. So I tell my friend I’ll call her back, lock up the killer dog and sign for the package. I go inside and ask my kids if they need anything else… Snacks? Questions? Permission to run with scissors or perhaps jump off a bridge?

I then go back outside, redial my friend and about ninety-seven seconds into the conversation my youngest child comes bounding outside and says, “If we won the lottery could I have a horse?”

Yeah, that wasn’t random at all… but it is the story of my life. So anyone out there who is under the delusion that a writer’s life is glamorous. Think again. Most days involve spouses, kids, day-to-day life, and those pesky day jobs. However, on occasion something happens that surprises me.

Allow me to set the stage for you… It’s last Wednesday afternoon, and my children have been finished with school for approximately five minutes, when I hear the chant of summer for the first time, “Mom, we’re bored!”

Me: “Girls, mom’s working. Please go find something to entertain yourselves. I promise we’ll go do something fun as soon as I finish this scene.”

I return to the computer and just as I get into the groove and the scene really starts to flow, I hear screaming as my children run through the house. So, like any other parent with any sense, I’m thinking this can’t be good.

Me: “Girls, what are you doing?”

Them: “We’re making a movie.”

Me: “Okay, just don’t destroy anything or kill each other.”

I should have known I was in trouble as soon as I heard the maniacal laughter. But instead, I choose to enjoy the relative peace and quiet while I could get it, and continued working. About half an hour later my kids come in and drag me downstairs to see their horror movie trailer. I couldn’t believe MY children had put something this incredible together. And done so in less than an hour… Enjoy.