Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Writer's Life (05/13/10)
TITLE: There's Always Tomorrow
By Micheline Murray
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“Susan! Yoo-hoo! Susan, wait! I have to ask you something!” I heard my neighbor’s shrill voice. Shoot! Can’t pretend I don’t hear her; will just have to cut it short if she starts rambling. I dutifully looked toward my older neighbor who had way too much time on her hands . “Hi there--what’s up?” I asked as she hurried to meet me. “Well, I was just wondering if you know why the garbage men come so late. Sometimes it sits on the curb until almost lunchtime…” My heart sank as she continued from one lament to the next. Just then my cell phone rang. Apologizing, I took the call and retreated into the house before she could start in again.
“Hi honey, you have NO idea how glad I am you called! Your cell phone? Um, yeah, of course I can. I’ll be there right away.” This won’t take long--it’s only 9:15.
Back again, the microwave clock read 9:55. Perfect, I’ll start a load of wash and be writing by ten. And I did just that. Immersed in my story, I wove in details and sensory images, even bringing in a twist near the end. A knock at the door startled me, and I was even more surprised to see that it was 11:30 already. “Hi there! I need to read your electric meter!” the power authority worker smiled. We’ll see how cheery he is after wading through my dirty laundry. “Right this way,” I led him down the basement steps and across piles of clothing. Why is the underwear always on top?
Escorting him back up and out the door, I went down and put another load of wash in, took chicken out of the freezer and went back upstairs. Might as well get a quick bite now; it will save me stopping for lunch later. I whipped up my favorite --peanut butter and jelly with chocolate milk, ate, loaded up the dishwasher from breakfast, and got back to my story just as the fire station whistle let everyone know it was noon. Noon? Already? What’s that Champ? You want to go out? Of course you do, because I just sat down--ok boy- out you go.
Sitting once again…there was….nothing. Nothing at all--no words, no ideas, n-o-t-h-i-n-g. It was as if a wall went up between the computer screen and my brain, with nothing able to penetrate between the two.
I must need a break-can’t believe it’s almost 12:45. I’ll sit outside with Champ for awhile. Oh, what should I have with the chicken tonight?
Settled into the chaise lounge in the warm sunshine, I sighed deeply and relaxed. Relaxed a little too much apparently, because the next thing I knew Champ barked to greet my oldest home from school! It was 2:15. As quickly as he came in he was back out, heading to the gym,, and I, determined, returned inside.
Typing away, the words came once again. As each of the kids came home, they grabbed a snack and joined me at the table to start their homework. We worked together for quite awhile, unaware of the time.
One by one the kids finished, and moved on to the backyard. I got up for a potty break, breaded the chicken, put it in the oven and pulled out a box of Stove Top stuffing and a bag of frozen veggies. Looking at a basket of clean towels, I decided to join the kids--towels, and writing, would wait.
They tried to teach me a new game and gave up, deciding it was easier just to tell me when it was my turn, when I was “out,” and once, when I won! The stove timer beckoned me back inside, as my husband pulled in the driveway. Wow--5:30 already--I’ll have to finish writing tonight after our daughter’s orchestra concert.
The concert was over, ice-cream served and cleaned up, last load of laundry pushed through, lunches packed for tomorrow, garbage outside for the morning pickup (hopefully early morning for my neighbor’s sake!). What? It’s 11pm? I can’t possibly start writing now, I am so tired! Well, there’s always tomorrow…
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