Sunday, 30 October 2011


Well I have a story, I have characters, I know where they are going and in most cases I know how they will die when they get there. What I don't have is anywhere to work.

I'm one of those wussies who needs to feel comfortable, quiet and losed in in order to write effectively. I ENVY, feel real green-eyed jealousy for, those lucky souls who can calmly hammer out their word count while surrounded by the comings and goings of family life. The ones who can stop mid sentence to find a shirt or wipe a nose then pick up immediately where they left off. Because I can't - OMG I wish I could. Each disturbance derails my train of thought to the point that it takes about 20 minutes to get it back on the tracks.

Take Thursday for instance. My husband requested that I take the day off work because he was off and 'maybe we could do something? Go to Hay on Wye?' Well, no way I'm going to turn down a trip to the second hand book capital of the world! {Shush - I know there's probably somewhere in the USA with more and better bookshops but let me cling to my illusions. I don't have many left] but Thursday morning he decided that he'd better mend something instead.
"You have the day off," he said. "You could have a writing day!"
Another yay! But my office is still out of bounds - being filled with a dopey daughter and her huge amount of detritus, her bedroom is not adaptable to my purposes, the other room is in mid reconstruction and has holes in the floor and my cupboard in the shed is full of husband's stuff that he hasn't room for in the workshop. So it's the table in the dining room again.

Over the course of that morning, he came to see me six times. Once to suggest that putting the kettle on would be a good idea, once to ask whether I'd made him that coffee and oh, since I had could I help him find it, once to tell me he'd run out of tobacco, once to ask me if I knew where he'd put his wallet, once to ask me if I wanted anything from the shop because he was going to buy tobacco and finally to give me the money to go to the shop to buy his tobacco because 'he was a bit busy'. In addition to that the phone rang 3 or 4 times [cold callers!], a package was delivered, my daughter wanted jeans, a loan, a lift into town, a chat and both cats decided they wanted cuddles. The dog was the only vaguely apologetic one. He knows that the sound of the keyboard means it's time for calm and quiet and going to sleep with his head on my foot. So when it got to lunchtime, which =walktime in his vocabulary, he brought me his lead such a sheepish way that of course I took him out, and because I felt guilty for feeling oppressed and afflicted I made sure it was a GOOD walk too!

In the evening both husband and daughter went out and I shut the door on the livestock and after a couple of false starts wrote close to 700 words in 25 minutes before the phone rang and I had to answer another cold call.

So it CAN be done. And it WILL be done. I just need to find the right time for it. 3 am possibly.


  1. he he, poor Elin. Can't you wear a hat that says "Do Not Disturb On Pain of Death"? Oh, sorry - the cats can't read :(

  2. Hi,

    Hee hee, just take the car, say you won't be long (just popping out), then drive to a quiet spot, and write! That, or lock yourself in the bathroom!! ;)


  3. @ Susan - the cats can't reach the doorknob, and the dog can't turn it. It's the family I have to worry about. I'll put a "Today I am exceedingly GRUMPY" sign on the door and hope that does the trick.

    @ Francine - you know, that's a very good idea! I have a lap tray that my laptop can sit on and there's plenty of legroom in the back! :D sorted!