Tuesday, December 20, 2005

work stoppage


I'm taking Christmas week off, because all the family is coming to stay on Thursday, and before that happens, I have to clean the house. I have sometimes said to people that I became a writer so I wouldn't have to clean the house--I made an early and enduring connection between writing and a kind of Bohemian lifestyle, where things like dusting and making the bed were mundane and negligible activities. I'm sure there are writers who love to clean; in fact, I know someone who can't sit down to the computer until she's put in a load of laundry or scoured the sink. I'm sure my mother wished I was this kind of writer (she had a years-long campaign to convert me to the clean-house club), but I'm not.
Having people over is a powerful motivator however, so I'm cleaning. I have a big list (as I do for anything), and I have it minutely subdivided that I can cross off items like "clear out dresser drawer" and "put away magazines on coffee table." Crossing off is essential to my particular form of listmaking/procrastination.
In the meantime, Carl and the others are languishing. I had a dream about Nancy last night. I left her visiting her stepfather's house, and she's not happy about it. Things are going badly for all of them (Carl has a friend who might have committed suicide, Nancy's holding off her mother who's trying to fix her up with someone, Jason has come across someone crazy in his ghosthunting), which is good for the novel. Bad things have to happen to good characters (and bad ones as well), or else there's no plot. But that doesn't mean they have to like it, and they don't, or the part of my subconscious that they inhabit doesn't.

6 Comments:

Blogger Gina Ventre said...

When I don't want to write, the stove automatically starts to look dirty to me. I remove the burner grate thingies and gingerly clean around the pilot lights. On a bad day, I get the nooks and crannies of everything, even the grout in the guest bathroom. You wouldnt know it by looking, though.

12/20/2005 2:32 PM  
Blogger Isaurine said...

Ahh, good old procrastination. I usually do the laundry, then I get distracted by little things that need to be done. Before I know it the day is over.

12/20/2005 10:12 PM  
Blogger Iris said...

Writing is the perfect excuse to avoid housework. I use is daily. Was it Lao Tzu who said, before enlightenment, first the laundry, the dishes, ...? I always think of that whenever I procrastinate cleaning.

12/21/2005 9:31 AM  
Blogger writer said...

I don't mind cleaning but I never have lists. Lists are oppressive, like dictators.

I do get distracted by gardening. Something is always growing and needs clipping.

kitchen hand

12/21/2005 6:15 PM  
Blogger lucette said...

Lists are oppressive, but they give you something to rebel against.

12/22/2005 9:51 AM  
Blogger lucette said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/22/2005 9:52 AM  

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