Cat videos. If I were on a mission to Mars that went terribly wrong and I could never get home again. I would of course miss my family and friends and chocolate cake and Van Gogh paintings and that Twilight Zone episode, but what I would really miss is sitting under my giant ugly toasty warm lighthouse blanket on my office futon with a Big Gulp of diet Coke and a box of Mike and Ike’s to make up for the healthy coke and a laptop full of crazy cat videos.
It is not because I love cats. I do. I love dogs too and rabbits and I don’t even mind ferrets. But I love cats doing silly things because they are kind of wild and can’t be really taught so the silly things are all their own. And I love that people would bother to video their cats, which is sillier than the cats themselves.
But what I really love is that it is the perfect waste of time with no redeeming value. And they are funny. I really need to write. I need to clean the house, make lunches, find where in the hell are my husband’s tan dress pants and then figure out why that is my problem and then I need to write again. But first I am going to look at some kittens sleeping in shoes.
The house is dead quiet. Everything is dark and everyone is asleep except for me. Wait, maybe I am asleep. I turn my device and read writing I don’t recognize. Who wrote this? My fingers are silent.
Back in my office again, I stare down at my fingers on the keyboard. Those fingers poised over the home keys, stiff and posed like a mannequin’s. No words, no thoughts, no nothing.
I spin in my chair. There is clean laundry to be sorted on my futon, and that nearly finished baby blanket for Joan’s kid. Dirty laundry waits for me in the hall. Old scratched hardwood floors, stuffed bookshelves with books and magazines, paint thinner, brushes and spools of brightly colored ribbon scream out at me every inch of the overladen wooden shelves. Small family photos and large movie posters jostle each other on walls. The large Victorian windows look down on me pityingly. I love my office.
I remember after college I went to Paris with a notepad. And every street was a picture postcard. And I wrote all day in cafés. And I went to a bookstore once crammed with overstuffed bookshelves and book carts and the elderly shop owner asked, “You must be a writer. Would you join me for tea?” I remember that cellophane-wrapped day.
I return to my motionless fingers. Maybe I should try to a write in the backyard.
(Day 1 of Writing 101 writing prompts)
hands are lit up by the glow of my iPad. I can hear the boys not sleeping in their room across the hall. I can hear Joseph not working in his office in the attic. Solitaire most likely, or porn, or both. I smell the faint odor of cooked onions from tonight’s almost successful oven fried chicken. Cars are driving down the road past my office window. I see stacks of books and some calendars I want to decoupage and a forgotten plate. All of my senses are working. I move my fingers in the cold blue light of the screen. Everything is working except my brain. No ideas are flowing.
I used to be a firehouse. In college ideas flooded out of me in a torrent. I wrote papers and poetry and edited the campus arts magazine and yada yada yada and now I squeeze out words in tiny painful chunks. I look at my hands. They are my mother’s hands. I turn them black spiders against that cool blue light.
“Stop it right now or so help me–” My voice shrill and sharp lashes out. I rush into the boys’ room and begin shouting for quiet. I stop when the youngest looks like he’s going to cry. Chagrined I start picking up their room, tidying their shelves of picture books and stuffed animals. I clean and clean until I notice they have fallen asleep. Joseph comes down stairs.
“You know it wouldn’t kill you to help with the boys. They are your kids too you know.”
Joseph brushes past me and heads into the bedroom.
“I thought you were going to write.”
I look at his retreating back and head back to my blank screen.
(Results of my first writing prompt.)
Welcome to my latest foray into blogging. I’m supposed to identify with my audience, state my blog’s intentions, and develop a compelling brand with striking imagery. I don’t have time for all of that I have to make dinner and get all these ants off the porch. But I do promise to deliver regular doses of inspiration. Recipes, patterns, projects, prompts, and the occasional guffaw, anything to bring some creativity to your everyday. Stay tuned, now back to those ants.