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I have been absent.  I’m sure hundreds of people, including agents and editors, have stopped by the site daily and lamented my long silence.

So, I would like to apologize, and offer up the following list of possible excuses. Please select the one you personally find the most appealing, as I can’t seem to choose between them:

1. I won a trip for myself and my family (including the dog and two cats and the fish) to Europe, and have been happily immersed in good wine, excellent cuisine, and enchanting works of art.

2. I finished writing Swimming North, and in an unprecedented and serendipitous moment, a top selling agent called me up on the telephone, said she had learned about my incredible story through a prophetic dream, and offered immediate representation. Of course I dropped everything to finish up last minute revisions and has out the details.

3. In a fit of despondency, believing I would never finish Swimming North or write anything worth reading, I stepped in front of a bus. I have spent the last month in a coma. I am typing this with my toes from a hospital bed, as both arms are broken and in plaster casts.

4. Aliens abducted me. It only seemed like a few hours, but weeks of time have unaccountably gone missing.

5. The cat took over the house and wouldn’t allow me access to the computer.

6. I developed a disabling fear of my laptop and was forced to engage in radical desensitization therapy before I was able to type a single word.

7. Overcome by a fit of perfectionism, I have been working on this blog post night and day for weeks, unable to polish it to an acceptable state for posting.

8. It began with one hot buttered rum at bedtime, and progressed to non-stop drinking. My family staged an intervention, telling me they preferred my internet addiction and urging me to get back to blogging, twittering, and endlessly tinkering with my never ending rewrite.

9. I read King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub. I thought the King was onto something and gave the idea a try. Unfortunately there is no page in this house to pull the plug, and I finally had to do it myself.

10. I procrastinated. Then I felt guilty about not blogging, so I procrastinated further. I forgot the password to log in to WordPress. More guilt. So I avoided WordPress completely, for weeks.

Enough with excuses. The writing must go on, and does, along with all of the real life complications. Time to hit some revisions before bed.

Well, writers – how is it going on this 3rd day of November? Are we still using the the Nanowrimo energy and enthusiasm to launch us to greater literary efforts?

Do you want to know how many words I’ve written on the WIP today?  Zero. Yep, that’s what I said. Zip. Zilch. Nada. There is a tiny and tenacious piece of me attempting to change this, but I think it’s a losing battle. I’m sitting in front of a warm fire with a drowsing cat beside me, and it’s been a long day.

Hey, it’s not like I have to write 50,000 words this month, or anything. All I need to do is continue revising the never ending novel. Right?

Yawn.

Better Self: Come on, it’s only 7:30. Buck up. Move to your desk. Make some coffee.

Lazy Self: Give me a break. I’m tired. It was an emotionally difficult work day. I think what I need is a drink. Then a nap.

Better Self: You’re lazy. If you never write on difficult work days, you will never write.

Lazy Self: Sleep would be good for me. The time change messed me up. And I’ll write on Friday – I’m off on Friday.

Better Self: Friday is Query Party day, in case you’d forgotten.

Lazy Self: Oh, shit.  Fine. You win. But you make the coffee.

So there you have it. I am being dragged off against my will, away from the fire and the oh-so-comfortable-cat, into the murk of the WIP.

How goes the writing for the rest of you? Speak up – your comments give me good excuses to stray from my writing tasks.

Saturday morning.  I’m leisurely drinking my coffee, smelling the fresh mountain air spilling in through an open window, feeling relaxed and at peace.

And then it strikes me – I forgot the weekend challenge.  A small shock of guilt and a sudden sense of urgency shatter my morning.  Temptation arises. I could invent all sorts of excuses. I could tell you I was too busy, or say I was on call, or that I was totally absorbed in writing and couldn’t drag myself away.  Lies, lies, all lies.  Yesterday evening I puttered with a particularly recalcitrant scene from Filling in the Blanks, but never fully got lost in it.  I played around on Twitter.  I consumed quantities of snack foods and drank coffee.  Blogging never even entered my head.

But here I am now, and it is still the weekend, no matter which time zone you’re in.  It’s never too late to set a weekend goal.  (Don’t get technical with me, all you logical types.  I do realize that at 11:58 pm on Sunday night, it might be a little too late to do anything productive.  I’m speaking in broad and generalized terms.  Get over it.)

So what will you do with your weekend?

Last time around, Trudy declared her intent to do nothing productive.  I believe this is an admirable goal, as a goal.  All I’m suggesting, is that we live with intent.  Planning to do nothing but relax over a weekend is one thing.  Groaning yourself awake on Monday morning with that empty feeling in your belly, suddenly realizing that you’ve let a stretch of time drift by without any conscious participation is another.

For myself, I declare the following intentions:

1. Figure out why this scene refuses to feel right.  I’m experimenting with re-writing it in a different point of view, which is challenging but I think what the story needs.

2. If the above goes smoothly, keep moving on with the re-write.  I have a scene in mind that I would like to get to before Sunday evening ends.

3.  Spend some time out in the gorgeous, green, sunlit world.  I need to get a camera so I can post a picture someday of what I see when I look out my window.

4. Spend some quality time with the wonderful man in my world.

There.  That’s it for me.  I know there will be plenty of other experiences, and I intend to immerse myself fully in the random adventures that come along.  What about the rest of you?  Where are you headed?

Whatever you choose to do, may your muses be refreshed and inspired, and your fingers fast and flexible.

Here I am, wandering back into the blogosphere, trying to formulate some sort of thought process worthy of words.  I don’t know about the rest of you out there, but periodically I find myself in a sort of cave- woman state, where my verbal repertoire feels limited to grunts and hand gestures.  Simply communicating about everyday things like lunch money and who is picking up whom after which after school activity becomes a laborious process.  Assessing a suicidal client during a late night ER call is difficult and draining. And writing?  Ha!  Like playing volleyball with a lead balloon.

I like writing on the days when the words are lined up, bouncing up and down, waving their metaphorical little hands and shouting, “pick me, pick me!”    On the days when they behave like teenagers on a Saturday morning when there’s work to be done, and I have to literally drag them out of bed to get them to do anything, writing is just plain old hard work and I’ll do any number of unpleasant tasks to avoid it.

And if I’ll do unpleasant tasks to avoid it, imagine the call of lying on the couch in front of a cheerful fire on a grey September morning, reading a book.  I’d like to say that I’m going to work on Gatekeeper today.  I’d like to say that I’m going to finish the last surface edit of Filling in the Blanks, which is almost done.  But I can come up with a whole list of reasons why I should just do nothing today.

Hey, I’ve been really busy, and my work week next week is beginning to look like something from Dante’s Inferno, so I deserve a break.  The economy is…(okay, I do not have an appropriately descriptive word for the economy), Sara Palin frightens me, I’ve been on call the last two nights and didn’t sleep well, and the book I’m reading is getting really interesting.  Plus, it’s sorta kinda research for the book I’m writing, so isn’t that really just as good as writing, anyway?  Besides, I’m not decisive by nature, and I’ve reached the place in Gatekeeper where I’ll have to make an actual decision about something important, which I suspect will necessitate discarding some writing that I happen to like.  I hate making decisions.  I hate discarding writing.  It’s easier to play ostrich and bury my head in the sand.  Oh yeah – taking a day off will be “refilling the well”, (thanks to Julia Cameron) and therefore actually good for my writing.

Right?

Okay.  They are only excuses.  I need to write today and I know it.  And I will.  Right after I lie on the couch for a bit and read…

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