QUIBBLES & BITS
Some of you may have heard me tell this story before, but it's worth repeating.
My sister Marianne has always wanted to be a writer. Once upon a fairly long time ago, she phoned and asked how I found the time to write my books, especially since I had 3 kids (like she did), no child support, and I worked days at a video store and nights waiting tables.
I said, "Here's what you do, Marianne. Every day you get up an hour before Eddie and the kids. Sit at your computer and write for that hour. Even if you write one page, by the end of the year you'll have a book."
"But," she said, "I already get up an hour earlier than Eddie and the kids. I have to make breakfast and fix the kids' school lunches."
"Okay, Marianne," I said. "When Eddie takes off for work and the kids leave for school, sit at your computer - every day at the same time - and work for an hour. Even if you only write one page, by the end of the year you'll have a book."
"After Eddie and the kids leave for work and school," she said, "I have to clean the house. You know how Eddie is if the house is messy."
"Okay," I said, "after you clean the house, sit down at the computer and work for an---"
"After I clean the house, I have to change the sheets and do the laundry, and then I eat lunch."
"Okay, Marianne," I said, glancing at my clock. "After you do the laundry and eat lunch, sit down at your computer and work for an hour. If you produce only one page a day, by the end of the year you'll have a book."
"After I do the laundry and eat lunch," she said, "I have to walk the dog."
Walking the dog has become a catch-phrase in my family. If my daughter says she wants to join the local community theatre, possibly audition for a role in a production of My Fair Lady, but she can't seem to find the time, I say, "Sweetie, you're walking the dog."
Even Gordon has picked it up. When I procrastinate - or worse, justify the procrastination - he says, "Deni, you're walking the (insert expletive) dog."
There's a PS to my tale. I told my "walking the dog" story at a Denver writers conference. The following year a woman came running up to me. I didn't recognize her. I hate it when that happens. As I searched for a name, a reference, anything, she said, "You don't know me."
I swallowed a sigh of relief.
"I was here at this conference last September," she continued. "I don't remember what I ate or what I wore or what Famous Bestselling Author said on her panel, but I remembered your walking the dog story."
She paused. "And last year," she said, "I wrote a book."
Every time I tell that story, it's an effort not to bawl. Even writing it, I feel goose-bumpy.
So if you remember nothing else from my blogs, remember my walking-the-dog story. It's magic. It's Dumbo's feather. And, most importantly, it works.
This week I have 3 quotes (of the week):
"I don't wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work." ~Pearl S. Buck
"What may be done at any time will be done at no time." ~Scottish Proverb
"Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday." ~Author Unknown