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Sunday, May 24, 2009

How do your writing habits and your writing change during the summer?

As someone who suffers from WWDD (Writing While Distracted Disorder), summer is full of hazards.

Take the simple act of letting the dogs out to play on a May morning. I lift my face to the sun, breathe in some fresh air, and…are those weeds in my rock garden? No way! Three hours later, drenched with weed-pulling sweat, I stagger in to take a shower, slather lotion on my sunburn, and collapse in my favorite chair for a short (two hour) nap. Another day bites the dust.

Some days are worse than that. On my way home from work last Tuesday I stopped at the library to check on the status of FAIREST OF THEM ALL, which I’d left for the library director to review. She gave me the good news that she’s adding it to their collection and scheduled me for a library visit. Then she handed me her card and asked me to e-mail her some information. I drove home anticipating my first library visit and reminding myself what I needed to send her.

After the dog greeting frenzy subsided, I turned on my computer to make some notes. But a thrashing noise caught my attention. From experience I know that unusual noises in the house equal wild creatures dragged through the pet door. I started the search. Was a bunny behind the bookcase? A weasel wedged under the sofa? Looking up, I saw a male oriole fluttering against the window in our two-story entryway. From the bird slobber on the glass, I knew the poor guy had been there for a while.

Still wearing my skirt and sweater, I hauled the dusty stepladder out of the garage and wrestled it under the window. Too short. Back to the garage for the fishnet. I am not a fan of ladders, and juggling the fishnet in one hand made it that much worse. I planted my shaky foot on the top step--the one with the warning not to step there—and stood on tiptoe to reach the flailing bird. Clutching the window ledge with one hand, I swiped at him. Nothing but air. He zoomed into a second floor bedroom. I scampered—okay, minced--down the ladder and dashed up the stairs where I found him hanging on the screen. Now I had him.

Not quite.

When he saw the net coming, he soared to the guest room window. I scooped, and he flew to a picture on the wall. I nudged him off the corner of the frame. He zipped back to the window. After the third trip, I finally netted him. But he wrapped his toes in the net and refused to let go. His toes looked so small and fragile I was afraid to pry them apart. I loosened my hold on him in hopes that he’d loosen his grip on the net.

Whoosh! Back to the window.

After several more rounds of window tag, I netted him again—without the toe tangle. The poor little oriole was panting. I was panting harder. Holding him gently but firmly I carried him to the deck, gave him a drink in the birdbath, and watched him soar into the woods. The next day he was back at our sunflower feeder shooting dirty looks at Sebastian the cat.

See, great intentions shot to pieces. And, BTW, I have no idea what information I was supposed to send the librarian.

An isolated incident? I wish. Another time I'll tell you about the raccoon in the laundry room, the garter snake on my kitchen faucet, the groundhog behind the TV or….

Further BTW—this blog was interrupted while I ran water in the goldfish pond, watered the plants under the sunroom, weeded PART of the rock garden in the backyard, filled the bird feeders, and cut asparagus for lunch.

But there's always next winter, right?

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