Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Playtime

When I was young, mom occasionally sent me to my room to clean. The room cleaning was more  relocating the "nesting materials" that ended up piled around my seat in the living room or basement than removing actual dirt. I come from a family of "nesters."

Of course, I'd trudge off to my room to "put things away." When mom came in four hours later to check on my progress, I'd be smack in the middle of playing with all the stuff I'd moved.

Let's forget for a moment that "playing" is the "work" of the child, and "cleaning up" is like "stop thinking." The truth is I'd forget why I was there. One minute, I'm putting away dolls, the next Barbie-as-Ramana-the-Time-Lady would be hopping into her shoebox TARDIS with K-9 and robot Chester (my own invented character) to battle aliens on another planet.

Had the same problem last night, Day One of Final Edits on Star of Justice. After going through my usual reluctant-to-sit-down routine (I should put that coat away. And move the laundry piles closer to the machine. And at least run water for the dishes so they can soak. And I may as well make some tea and change into comfy clothes if I'm going to be sitting at the computer all night. You know the drill), I got my bum in the chair and started.

Then I panicked.

I'm not proud of it, but I had that "what am I doing?" moment I knew would show up eventually.

I don't have enough time. The book is too big. I'm going to miss something huge and be a laughing-stock. Not that it matters since no one is going to read it anyway, and I'll go down in history as "the woman whose enormous book never got read except by that guy from The New York Times who gave it an awful review."

OK, so even when I panic, I panic big.

But who should show up at just the right time? Jesus. Oh, He didn't look quite like Himself. He had big, crazy hair and front teeth like Chiclets and a tendency to leap before looking, but it was Jesus all right. I'd know Him anywhere.

So I calmed down and set to work and what do you know? Work turned into play. I remembered how much I love these characters and that's it not as bad as I feared and one bite at a time is the only way to eat a dragon, if your tastes happen to run to cannibalism.

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