Laser Beams and Hot Oil. That's Right.

I begin the weekend with a rare feeling of enthusiasm and optimism about my work. It's not that I usually start my weekends feeling pessimistic and ambivalent -- about life in general OR about my writing. It's just that I have absolutely nothing going on this weekend but hanging out with my kids. Since my husband's out of town, I'm going to attempt productivity in the downtime I have (early morning, nap time, those odd moments when they're playing with one another peacefully, and after they're in bed.)

After writing for the past two days, I believe I've found the happy middle ground with my accursed fairytale poem that I've been searching for, in earnest, since August. It's not time to rest on my laurels can, either. (I don't have laurels. I do, however, have a can. A can in desperate need of some treadmill time, too.) I am all too aware that I made a pledge in my last post to be finished with this manuscript by the end of the month. Of course, I realized today in the car that I may have overshot, and that what I really meant to say was that I'd be finished with the fairytale poem. My little epiphany involved the sudden thought that I can only handle two projects at once. (Shut up, self. Yes, you can only handle two!) My brain will only allow me to be obsessed with two different landscapes/characters/ideas at a time. It's better for me to have two things going on at the same time, too. If I find myself stumped with one project, I move to the next, and it provides a much needed mental respite. (And my brain is such a sorry specimen. It needs a lot of rest.)

Well, for the past two months, I've alternated between writing these "myth" poems and the fairytale. I need to get at least one of these completed in order to move on to my writing my play, which was, after all, half of my sabbatical project. And because I have a much more clear idea of where the fairytale is going -- I know exactly where, actually -- it just needs to be written.

And if I've finally found the way to write it -- if I've truly settled on the plot and the meter and the form -- then write it I will, and that should be possible by Nov. 30.

While this flurry of decisiveness has been happening (can decisiveness really be described with the word "flurry"?), my husband has been away helping the good people of northern Westchester get their power grid back online. (Hey there, predators! I have a rabid 84 lb dog who's very protective and sleeps in my room! And a set of nunchucks under my pillow! And a vicious robot alarm system that fries intruders with laser beams and hot oil. Then we put intruders in the Iron Maiden.) Anyway, where was I? Iron Maiden? Oh, right -- since he's been away -- AND HE WILL PROBABLY BE BACK ANY MINUTE, WHEN I LEAST SUSPECT IT -- I've found that swinging the temporarily single mother thang (very, very different from single motherhood proper, I realize well enough) is not so hard when I'm on sabbatical. Usually, during a normal semester when I'm teaching, and A. takes off for another state, or even if he's still on the Island but braving the wild urban jungle of Queens or the godforsaken wilderness of Gold Coast estates for 16 hour stretches, I find myself a frenetic ball of nerves after 7 straight days of managing The Circus by my little lonesome. (What an effing grammatical landmine that last sentence was, eh?)

This time is much more relaxed. For instance, we're going to have a Movie Night after dinner, and the kids will be allowed to stay up until it finishes, even if it's past their usual 8 o'clock bedtime. We're having a pajama party. They broke out their sleeping bags -- they are THAT excited. Excited at this point is good, because it keeps them from remembering that they miss their father. A lot.

But in the interest of full disclosure, I'm not just doing this to be a saintly, holier-than-thou Good Mother. That's only partly the case. (After all, I have to get the Good Mommy Points in sometime.) I'm well aware that if my little chicks go to sleep later than 8 tonight, there's a 75% chance that they'll sleep in tomorrow, and that is a 75% chance I'm willing to take. (The Doodle is the unpredictable one. He was up at 6:20 this morning! Wide awake and wantin' a banana. And hugs. And then to talk about Oswald. And then to tell me he didn't like me anymore. So I did not get a lot done this morning.)

Anyway, if I'm a good girl and go to bed early, I'll be able to wake up and begin writing. Hell, if I'm not too tired from kiddy wrangling by the time they finally hit the sack, maybe I'll do a little writing tonight! (Or I could just watch more of the second season of Deadwood, which my awesome bro-in law B. just loaned me.)

(I'll probably watch Deadwood.)

(Now I feel guilty. I'll write a few lines and then watch Deadwood, okay?)


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