all in my head

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all in my head

Wednesday’s are usually my most productive day, writing-wise. There are two chunks of time where I can work: while Louis is at halte garderie and Elena naps, then after lunch they both nap, ideally at the same time.

I spent my morning slot searching for (not finding) a rain coat, and fiddling around with my book cover for the day. I still wasn’t overly happy with the result, but there are plenty more chances for me to get it right. Then during lunch I got a call from a friend in crisis, and she came over for the afternoon.

And that’s that: the easy makings of a no-writing day. I mean, I snatched a sentence while neglecting the kids this evening, and then started making dinner. Then there was a thunderstorm which kept them entertained while I snatched another paragraph. It’s not high-literature, but I’m not sure I really believe in high-literature, so that’s okay.

Those few sentences, the skill of snatching, that’s what I’m getting really good at. The secret, I think, is getting my head into my writing before I’m able to sit down at the computer. Folding laundry, changing nappies, and pushing a train back and forth across the living room don’t exactly require my total mental capacity – thank god! So I push the train and think to myself, where am I up to? And if I can’t remember I infuriate the kids and go check my document – and now it’s open and ready to be written in whenever I manage to sit down.

I go back to the car-game and try to get in the head of the character, riff a little on what they are thinking about, how they’re feeling… (I do this riff silently, most of the time, just in case Louis tells stories, which he’s now capable of doing.) On the good days this multi-tasking can even make me less impatient with the sometimes (cough-often-cough) monotonous games of early early childhood.

I can draw a lot of buses while figuring out what Scott’s sister is going to say to goad him into admitting he’s split up with his girlfriend…

I suspect I might be doing a lot of this story-fantasizing today because there’s no halte garderie and I’m going to be looking after an extra kid – though perhaps he’ll be the magic ingredient that makes the kids happy to play without my constant assistance.

I’m tired and grumpy. I couldn’t sleep when I was supposed to and then got woken at six by the terrible-two who’s having a particularly whiny day. I’ve handed over the ipad and bought myself a few minutes peace before his buddy arrives.

Mind you, it could be worse, much worse. The visiting kid’s mum is in Labour. I’d rather be wrestling a scrappy toddler than pushing out a baby. That’s going to be my mantra today: at least I’m not in labour. And hopefully the angry person in my head will dissipate very soon.