Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Is there a jail cell for me?

Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

A Miami guy over the weekend drove his Chevy, not to the levy, but into into the gates guarding the Broward County Jail. He was trying to break in. Broward Sheriff's deputies immediately arrested him. A spokesman commented, "He wanted to get into jail and we were happy to accomodate him."

Glowing on the post-victory of my alma mater, University of Florida, winning the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP last night, I'm sucker punched with reality this a.m. FIL is going into the hospital today. Just a procedure, and they'll do the surgery at a later date... but at 8 a.m. I get a call from DH. We think FIL will be spending the night in the hospital.

"He's spending the night with us," DH informs me.

This as I'm leaving for work. We're moving this week at the day job and it's like the exodus. Moses trying to coordinate more than 200 confused, disorganized employees into a cohesive unit that will pack, then unpack and organize with brisk efficiency.

I Do Not Think So.

My stress levels are rising like, say, the ocean's temperature. No such thing as Bonnie's blood pressure rising or global warming. I'm trying to write 30 pages this week to meet my goal. I need to get the first draft of the Nocturne book done by the end of this month. I'm leaving for a week for Jamaica on a work trip and will take that week to let the book simmer, like a cook brewing a recipe.

Writing 30 pages when I have to cope with an elderly in-law living with us, and moving our offices at the day job seems like a major leap.

But I am starting to think of writing as if it's an obstacle course. Because that's life. The goal is the finish line, but in the way are the obstructions life tosses at you. Moving. Sickness in the family. Just like that movie, O Brother Where Art Thou? The blind trainman tells George Clooney, "You shall meet with many Ob-sta-cles."

Learning to be flexible is a good asset to possess as a writer. You're not always going to be able to produce that day you planned to write 15 pages. Or something will happen. The car gets a flat, a friend needs a big favor, a hurricane rips apart your house, your dog dies, a relative gets sick and needs medical treatment. Things happen. You work around them as best as you can.

How am I going to write 30 pages this week with all the current obstacles in my life? Just like I did last night... when I wrote one page. Section off time as much as I can, try to focus and just do it. Get words on paper. Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird said her goal is to write a shitty first draft. That's what a first draft is. So this week I'll try to write and turn off my internal editor. Just get words on the screen. Editing will come later. I'll get out my wolf book that I keep on the coffee table and study wolf photos for inspiration. And I'll write as much as I can, despite the Ob-sta-cles, the confusion, chaos and noise.

And if that doesn't work, maybe I'll smash my Saturn into the gates of the Broward County Jail.

I hear the cells are quiet, and the food isn't so bad.


Jen said...

It's amazing how many things can happen all at once. Sometimes you wonder why you bother getting out of bed.

Bonnie Vanak said...

Isn't that the truth? Maybe there's a way you can take the bed with you, lol.