Sunday, September 7, 2008

In between days

Friday's field trip was good and just the right length. Joey's class has 7 boys and 3 girls, and the teacher assigned a mix of boys and girls to each vehicle. I wound up with 3 boys and 2 girls. I'm thinking all boys might have created less chaos--the boys requested a classic rock radio station (they're all into Rock Band and finding some of the older stuff pretty cool) and then proceeded to sing their own versions of their favorite songs over the top of whatever was on the radio anyhow. The girls had an ipod loaded up with Hannah Montanta-esque music and they also sang their own versions of those songs, so it was dueling music most of the way. There was also much clowning and slapping and squealing. In short, it was good-natured but a little on the loud and chaotic side, two things I can only abide in small doses. By the time we returned to the school parking lot, I was ready for it to be over--but they all behaved admirably at the museum and at Burger King, and I only had to ask them to settle down for real a couple of times, and they all so obviously get along together pretty well, so really, who can complain?

Yesterday was one of those days in which I had all kinds of restless energy that wanted to be put to use doing something creative, but a lack of the focus required to rein in said energy--a very frustrating situation. Possibly the lack of focus was brought on by two 7th grade boys who didn't go to sleep until 3-ish and then set the alarm to get up at 7 so they could cram in a little more Heroscape and World of Warcraft before we had to return one of the boys to his mother in time to attend a family reunion. So I was completely and utterly useless yesterday.

Well, OK. Not completely useless. I did take advantage of the availability of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere online in its entirety and read um, the entire thing between Friday night and Saturday afternoon. And actually, that possibly contributed to my restlessness, because I am unable to just read a book for fun anymore--I have to pick it apart and turn the pieces this way and that while I read. (It's for this reason that I count even casual reading as working time.) And I spent the entire read of Neverwhere vacillating between "I can write prose every bit as good as this" and "I am not smart enough to pick up on all these littles subtleties and nuances, let alone write them, and I never will be." At which point I try to remind myself that no, I never can write like Neil Gaiman or Robert R. McCammon or Tad Williams, or anyone else I admire. But I can write like me, and no one else can do that, and so it's that voice I need to keep cultivating--mine.

But last night I got more sleep, and the weather today is super mild if a little overcast, and I can have my windows open for fresh air since the hubby is not home to complain about his allergies, and I feel better. My goal for today is to get my massive list of household-related stuff worked through so that come tomorrow morning, with kids at school and my regular writing time stretched out in front of me, I will be lacking in distractions and able to really sink my teeth into... something. I think I'll be working on "Pale Roses," because I think it's right there and ready to be born into the next level of "I'm a real story now, with complexity and meaning and everything." Tomorrow will tell, I suppose.

For now, having crossed off all cleaning-related tasks (ick), I am on to dealing with assorted insurance issues and budgeting stuff. And helping kids with homework, as needed.

I love crossing stuff off lists. I really, really do.

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