By Nichole Giles
The day school let out for summer was bittersweet for me. I love my kids, they are the light of my world. But having them home with me—all day, every day—just felt overwhelming.
I know I’ve done it before—this entertaining kids 24/7 thing. But ever since my youngest (now nine) started first grade, I’ve learned to cherish my alone time. It’s my cleaning time, my blasting-the-stereo-while-I-shower time, my running-errands-with-the-convertible-top-down time (even when it’s only fifty degrees outside). But most importantly, it’s been my writing time.
Oh, how I miss my writing time.
That’s not to say I don’t still find time to write, just that it’s a lot harder to do during the summer—especially if I try to write during the day, because I get interrupted literally every three minutes. All I want is a few quiet, uninterrupted minutes.
But there are benefits to not having my schedule revolve around school. For one thing, I’ve always been a night writer. There’s just something about the quiet of the house when everyone else is asleep that gets me in the groove. Except I must be getting old, because anymore, I can’t stay awake the way I used to. But when I do stay up—because I choose to, not because the neighbors dogs are barking incessantly or because the neighbor kids are playing night games—I can sleep in the next morning without worrying about making the kids late. Then I’d have to write a note to the teacher, explaining that my child is late because I spent the night in a battle between good and evil, which the good fairies and mermaids eventually won. Some teachers just don’t get it.
And as soon as it gets warm, we plan to spend time at the pool—me, the kids, and my notebook and pen. There’s nothing like the warm touch of sunshine to help me see the scene I’ve been searching for. Or…wait…maybe that’s the neighbor kid pushing his mother in the deep end while she talks on the cell phone. And…oh no…wait, it’s okay. The lifeguard will save her. I think. But they might have to get a diver to go after the phone.
Hm. I wonder if my computer chord will stretch into my closet? I’ll sit on the floor among the rows of shoes and write about dust bunnies who have an obsession with sandals. Or better yet, maybe I’ll try the bathroom. I could write about a main character who got sucked inside a cyclone and ended up in China—except no one ever leaves me alone in there, either. That’s a bad idea—not to mention a water hazard.
I tried writing in the backyard the other day, a story about two dogs who left their home to go on adventures yet unknown, but after a few minutes my knees dripped with doggy drool from my own dogs, and my keyboard was sticky from being licked—but not by me. I brushed the dog hair off my screen, and then the rain clouds opened up and sent a torrent. Nope, outside doesn’t work so well either.
Well, I should go. I’m going to try hiding out in my car. Maybe if I scrunch up in the backseat and write really fast, no one will find me…
Until we meet again, write on!
Monday, June 22, 2009
By Nichole Giles