The best laid plans…

So summer started, and I was all fired-up to write and convinced I’d have time.

What in the Nine Hells was I thinking?

My typical day starts about 7-7:30.  I wake up, get un-groggy, and then wake my four year-old daughter up.  I’d love to let her sleep so I could write or read or something, but the reality is that if she sleeps too long, she’s a mess all day, and takes forever and a day to get to sleep that night.  If I let her sleep longer than 8am–which is about an hour and a half longer than she sleeps during the school year–then she won’t go to sleep until 11pm, and even my prodigious laziness can’t justify that mess.  She goes to bed around 7:30, and could go to sleep anywhere from 8:15 to 9:00 most nights as it is.  I’m not going to let it go further than that on purpose.

So anyway, I wake her up, feed her, clothe her.  We’re supposed to be going on bike rides together, but various factors lately have made that happen less often than it should, so I really need to get my ass in gear and stop letting her derail me.  The afternoons are for her swimming lessons and play time, and she can watch something on TV while I make dinner before her mom gets home, then the TV goes off most nights until she’s in bed.

I could, theoretically, write after she’s in bed.  And I ought to.  But it’s so easy not to.  And the only thing more powerful than my need to write this story is my need to relax, and when your brain has been fried by a four year old, it’s hard to get the writing done.  Don’t get me wrong–I love hanging out with my baby girl, but she is a precocious little thing, and she can be hard to keep up with.


On the fiction front, I figured out a problem.  I could not get through some scenes at a lawyer’s office–they just came out dry and stupid.  I finally figured out that I don’t need to write the scene at all–I can pick up hours later and have my viewpoint character just tell the reader what happened in about a paragraph.  None of it is vital, and the first-person narrative frees me from it coming off like an infodump (I hope.)  So I’ll go try to get that done when I close this entry.

This weekend I’ll be going camping with my daughter, as well as two of my three sisters (technically my cousins, but really my sisters, see below.  One’s 19, one’s 21–yes, there’s a 19 year difference between me and the older one), my aunt/mom (same person. Biologically my aunt, emotionally my mom since the death of the actual mom when I was a kid), my uncle, and… actually, I think that’s it.   We’ll go quadding, I’ll take my kid swimming in the creek, and hopefully get some more ideas for blog posts as well as chapters.  No computers coming with me (no power for them), so I’ll see you all on Monday.

Published by Michael R. Johnston

Father of an eighth grader, high school English teacher, writer. Fifty years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA

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