Last night I finished the last revision of EARTHCROSSER. After two hours of moaning and hissing, and sometimes laughing right out loud, I lay on the floor with my hands over my eyes. I felt like I had just given birth, except the pain was all in my head. My mom had sent me a list of revisions after she read draft 6 and I wanted to get them in while I still had time to rethink, so right after dinner I sat down at the computer.
“Mom, there’s a slice of cheese on the counter. Can I eat it?”
“Mom, did you say I could use a wire coat hanger to make my butterfly net?”
“Don’t talk to me right now, pleeeease!”
“Mom! Mom! Can I play on the Nintendo?”
“Ask your dad. Whatever he says.”
The answer should have been no. It was supremely hard to transport myself seventy-six years into the future in my imagination when my children were talking excitedly over their video game in the other corner of the room. NEXT TIME I want to write immediately after dinner I will do more than say to Russel, “I’m going to write for a while, is that okay?” I will make sure the children have something quiet and engaging to do in some location where I can’t hear them. Better yet, I’ll just remember that I can’t write unless they’re all asleep or all at school.