Monday, January 16, 2006

Impediments to Creativity

One of my family members who reads my blog, commented to me at the holiday dinner table that although my subtitle mentions "writing", there isn't any actual discussion of my writing currently on the blog. To which I replied, sheepishly, "I know." The thing is, I started another novel over the summer. ("Another" to distinguish it from the countless others I have started and set aside for myriad reasons in the past). This one was going along swimmingly...until it wasn't. And I hit a wall, and set it aside--just for a few days to get some perspective. Well, then life happened and September came and school started and I had to actually work every day, and well, I just haven't gotten back to it yet.

Which makes me feel badly, because I have had my main character sitting on a porch in Saratoga Springs waiting for someone to come out of a house since...let me see...August 11th! She must be pretty freakin' cold right about now...after all, it has all of a sudden decided to be Winter here in upstate New York and I didn't even give her a scarf! But, the point is...I am not good at keeping up with all of my creative endeavors. Too many things get in the way.

Hence, my Most Wanted List. The list of the Top Ten things that steal all of the hours and minutes of my day and keep me from exercising my Creative Genius:

Do NOT attempt to apprehend any of these suspects as they are armed and dangerous in their own ways...
Dishes...why don't they ever all stay clean? Has anyone ever had no dirty ones in the bottom of the sink? This is a mystery right up there with "Where do all of the second socks in a pair hang out?"!
Cooking. Do three young boys and a grown man really need three meals a day? Wouldn't two just shave off those two or three pounds we all put on over the holidays?
My arch nemesis. Superman has Lex Luthor, Batman has the Joker...and I, well, I have a Maytag Heavy Duty. I live in a house, like most of you I am certain, where those of the male persuasion (read--everyone but Daisy, the cat, and I) seem to function under the misguided and incorrect fallacy that the Laundry Fairy visits us each and every night, delivering fresh, clean, sweet-smelling clothing to their drawers. With five of us, I average about 7 loads a week.
Cooper. Our neurotic chocolate Lab. He is a nut and quite fickle. He wants in. He wants out. He wants in. He wants out. He wants to sleep on furniture he is not allowed on. He wants a bit of whatever we are eating. He wants to be treated like a real-live boy, because after all, he IS a people, not a d-o-g, right? He wants to bark at the neighbors who have called Animal Control on him twice this year. He wants in. He wants out. He wants can smell what I'm steppin' in. He drive me NUTS!
#5 and #5 and 1/2
Les chats.
Tiger (pictured here looking innocent next to my small project knitting bag)and Daisy. They have a thing for my yarn and my needles and often, if I am not vigilant, and sadly, that is often, they will take one of my shiny needles and bat it around on the kitchen floor until it is lost forever in that nether region known to mankind as "under the stove" or its companion black hole "under the refrigerator". One word for that...eewww....This is why needles are relatively cheap and easily replaced.
Work .
A.k.a. that thing I do eight hours a day at work, then come home and do some more. The next ignorant fuck who comes up to me and says something like, "Oooh, you're a teacher! How wonderful! You get the whole summer off and get paid for it!" will suffer a swift kick in their stupid ass. We don't get paid over the summer. We can have our pay stretched out over the summer, but most of us can't afford to do that. We work countless hours at home grading, planning, and more grading. Writing tests, lesson plans, memos, minutes to committee meetings. So don't give me that paid vacation crap! We are a hopelessly underpaid profession. Do you know anyone else who has a Masters Degree in their field and a starting salary of about $32,000.oo?
No? Shut your stupid cake hole then!
Apparently 90 essays on the novel Lord of the Flies from my 9th graders and 26 Regents Practice Essays from my 11th graders have made me cranky this weekend, I apologize.
But only a little.
Oh, and don't let the elegant, refined, faux croc Liz Claiborne bag in the background fool you--grading is an evil, insidious beast, no matter how nice you package it!
My husband--pictured here innocently reading to The Bug. He looks harmless, but inexplicably and with an attitude!, expects food when he gets home at the end of a long tense day at work after he has worked 12 hours of unexpected overtime this week. And he'd also like, perhaps, a little somethin'-somethin' after dinner, if you catch my drift...
An almost thirteen year old who has suddenly become a complete and utter mystery to me and speaks another language altogether these days. He usually needs help with Math homework. He totally disregards the little fact that his mother is actually a Language Arts teacher...and for a reason! I swear, I had to go online this week to help him with Greatest Common Multiple and Least Common Denominator because I couldn't remember which was which!
An eight year old who had his Pine Wood Derby for Cub Scouts this weekend. (He placed 9th out of 32!). He is also an extreme perfectionist (sort of like the apple didn't fall too far from this tree, eh?). Nothing is ever good enough, and so this usually produces some intense drama around the house, with tears and self-denigratory statements like "I am so stupid!" and "I suck!" which Mom has to soothe and then stroke the fragile ego back into shape.
Oh, he also has his first crush on a girl! God save me!
And last but not least...the biggest Time Thief in my in fact the wee-est.
The Bug. Also known as Mr. Terrible Two. I know, it's a bit early--his birthday is February 17th, 2006, but like all of us Chez Finley, he is an overachiever. Anyone who has a toddler or has ever had a toddler knows of what I speak. "Mommy" has become his favorite word, and if I had a dollar for each time he utters, whispers, states, shrieks, or yells it a day, I would not have to have a #6. All I can say is, thank goodness it passes.
And Thank God for Little Einsteins a.k.a. Toddler Crack.
This entry is, in fact, brought to you, courtesy of The Little Einsteins: Our HUGE Adventure video...62 mintues of uninterrupted quiet time while he is mesmerized and drooling in front of the tv.
Oh, and a bowl of these:

I stopped feeling guilty about the fact that he only eats "feesh" as he calls them and "frensh fries" a long time ago. So there!


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