I miss one major thing about the trailer. Magnificent childproofing from one end to the other. Even if I didn’t get time to retreat to my writing desk where I could write uninterrupted, I could still place my laptop on the bar, out of her reach, and write while sitting on a bar-stool. All within reach of my coffee pot, and an easy view of Princess Tomboy wherever she may be.
It is not so easy to write around her here. Every room has nooks and crannies I need to keep her out of, there is no spot where I can see all the places she likes to play. And chores keep eating up my “yay, the baby is sleeping” time.
I mentioned recently that I realized I can get writing time on walks, but it’s starting to get cold, so walks will get shorter and then non-existent soon. But I will persist.
I’ll carve the time out relentlessly, until I find enough solutions to give me what I need to focus. In the meantime, I have tricks to try to keep reminding me of my current story-lines, so I can work things out in my head.
This sounds better in theory than practice. Most of my papers in college were worked out in my head during chores and showers before I sat down to write them once my son went to bed. He was older though, and she is at an age where she is far more distracting and exhausting.
Thankfully, my tricks will let me keep the motivation to snatch whatever time I can, and when she distracts me I have continual reminders to pull my head back in that game, so that hopefully (by the third or fourth try), I can finally manage to finish a train of thought.
Ambiance noise is a big part of it, sounds of wolves in a thunderstorm kept me company when diving into The Raven, sounds of busy urban settings are helping me nourish this particular story.
I go about my day with my noise-canceling headphones helping me maintain a suitable environment, and I doodle in small bursts when she lets me, something easier for me to pick up and put down than writing. Though the distraction does seem to decrease the quality of my art.
Ah, the sacrifices we make in the joy of raising our little chaotic monsterlings.
Here is how I’m maintaining focus on a story to illuminate the word Grim, for my Poe’s Raven Eggs project.
I doodle on this and keep my notebook near, jotting down bits and pieces to organize and develop as soon as I get the chance.
This particular bit was me focusing on sensory details, in preparation for an exercise I like to do based on what I learned in the book A Writer’s Guide to Active Setting: How to Enhance your Fiction with More Descriptive, Dynamic Settings by Mary Buckham.
My next step is to come up with a setting and put my character in it, and just imagine it from their point of view for a little bit, allowing the passage to show characterization through how they react with the environment:
The air is turning crisp, each breath slightly sharp and refreshing, with the bright scents clear from the morning dew. Low clouds blanket the sky, allowing me to stray a little further from the safety of the tunnels, to stay in the open air just a little longer, enjoying the fetid breeze from a nearby dumpster, ripe with the heady aroma of aging meat.
The comforting scent of wet stone, the quiet hollow shadows, glittering glass reminding me of the old caverns and their hidden sparkling treasures, a home lost to me so long ago.
The occasional echoing screeches from the heavy machines, twisting and echoing in the tunnels to distort like the cry of raptors singing the joy of the hunt, cheer my soul.
At this point, I know where I’m going to go with the story, and I do have to say that this process has helped. Only because it’s chaos here as the toddler grows stronger, faster, more cunning.
I was really worried as I worked on the picture of the Raven’s nest (which I want to redo soon). Ideas didn’t seem like they were coming, and I was in dismay that I might have to face the possibility that I had the dreaded writer’s block.
Thankfully, It looks like I’m carving my own way out just fine. Slowly, but I will persist and I will adapt.