Friday, June 08, 2007

LC: An Ordinary Writing Day

Today I plan to work. I have two chapters left to polish on a Christmas novella; piece of cake. I love this stage in my work. The hard part is done, I’m now shaping the story—it’s fun. This morning would have gone as planned if I hadn’t have accepted a sneaky friend’s dinner invitation last evening.

The phone rang around 4:50 and Jim (very sneaky friend) said, “Hey, you guys eaten dinner yet?”

“No!" I said—expecting to go for a hamburger or to our favorite “Wanna Get a Pizza” place. (This is a great restaurant—whole wheat crust, yummy house celery salad dressing.)

“Want to go eat with us?”


”Great. Meet us at Highland Springs Country Club at 6:30—6 if you want cocktails. Oh-- there’s an insurance seminar tonight—supposed to have this great speaker.”

By now I’m feeling sick. I’ve already admitted we haven’t eaten and by my tone, admitted that we were free.

“Sure. Sounds like fun.”

I hung up and mentally smacked my sneaky friend. My husband mentally hangs me and the sneaky friend when I say he has to wear a suit and tie.

Long story short; we hauled off to the three hour insurance seminar (hard way to earn a meal). The speaker wasa gerontologist (an old person expert), and she was interesting the first hour. She dragged a little the last hour. She went into great detail about the importance of exercise and proper nutrition as we get older, things we all know and have heard but find hard to implement. She said that when we get out of a chair and our bones pop it doesn’t mean we’re getting old, it means our bones are crying out for activity. So this worried me all night long; my bones cry out often.

On the way in my sneaky friend’s wife (my best friend) broke an ankle bone on the stairs, so the message was quite timely.

Instead of working—polishing those last two chapters--this morning I sorted priorities and headed off early for water aerobics. Wouldn’t take but an hour of my day, an hour well spent because I didn’t want any broken bones—accidental or not.

Afterward, I rushed home because I’d gotten a notice from the GOVERNMENT that I owed money on my monthly tax deposit that I knew that I didn’t owe. My accountant said simply ‘give them a call’ and they’d get it straightened out.

I dialed and waited thirty minutes for a friendly voice to help. Fifty minutes later she had the mistake figured out; I can’t read. It supposedly is clearly marked on the coupon that I’m supposed to use lead pencil, not pen. The machine can’t read pen (though apparently it’s been reading it for 23 years because I’ve been signing in pen that long) But now it can’t.

My husband comes home (he’s been working with our pastor-son the past four months converting a warehouse into a church). Lance reminds me we have promised to go to lunch with friends today at 11:30. It’s 11:00. I slap on make-up and run a comb through my hair. We have to stop for fuel and buy a couple of daily newspapers because our son and grandson’s picture is in it today. Russ and Gage took a long walk at the Nature Center about a month ago and a photographer captured them.

The moment I get back I have to work on those chapters.

Lance says that after lunch he has to go back to the church and put up ceiling tile—tile must be installed before he leaves on a pheasant-hunting trip Sunday morning.

Lunch is thirty miles away at a restaurant that holds approximately 15 customers. We’re talking tiny. The quaint eating place is run by a retired minister and his wife. The food is terrific and the couple interesting. We’re there longer than we expected.

Back on the road, we tell our friends we have to go home and work. They understand.

Now it’s 2:00.

“I have to go by the hardware store,” my husband says. “But I need to get that tile up.”

“Go put up the tile, I’ll work. We’ll go to the hardware store tonight.”

I meet Lance in the upstairs hallway a few minutes later and I say “are you going?” meaning to the church.

He says, “I think I’ll take a nap instead.” He’s been up since 3:30 this morning and he’s wiped out.

I don’t need encouragement. I grab my fussy throw, sit down in my chair, and we nap. Not a cat nap—more like a long winter’s, too-much- hamburger and fresh -cut fries coma.

Now it’s 5:00 (we didn’t sleep three hours, but there was this great program on the Discovery channel….) My work languishes on my desk, and the new church ceiling is still pretty much bare rafters.

We still have to go to the hardware store, but while we’re out we might as well eat a bite (neither of us are hungry but it’s approaching dinner hour). Once we leave the hardware store, Wal-mart is around the corner, and Lance needs some peanuts to take on the hunting trip and I need bread and coffee. We stop at Subway on the way home.

Okay. Now it’s 7:00 and to be honest, I’m exhausted from the water aerobics and the big lunch even though I’ve napped. So what’s my point?

I guess it’s this: if you want to be a writer, you have to be disciplined. I’m not. So maybe you don’t have to be so disciplined, just factor in days that you actually work. Today is an ordinary day for me and I wonder how I manage to write books. But through the grace of God, there come unordinary days when pretty much nothing is going on (I have those about twice a month) and then I work. Really work and it feels good.

Lori Copeland has written over sixty novels, the latest of which is The Maverick.


At 7:44 AM, Blogger Deborah Raney said...

What an encouragement, Lori! If you can write over 60 novels with a life like that, who am I to complain about my schedule! Thanks for making your point with such humor and grace! Now I'd better get to work!

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Southern-fried Fiction said...

Great timing! LOL I jsut finished up an exhausting week of VBS. No, I didn't teach the kiddies, I fed the hoards of volunteer teachers. We had nearly 900 kids in VBS this week, and I fed over 250 workers. I'm feeling sore muscles I didn't know I had. ;)

But by the time I got home each day, I was too tired to put two sentences together right, as verified by this comment. LOL Plus I missed my visits to Curves.

You're rigth, we do need discipline. Do you know if WalMart carries it?


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