I just really impressed one of our maintenance guys at work with my speedy typing skillz. I find this funny, both because I don’t consider myself to be all that fast, and because he doesn’t know how many typos I had in there. But it did bring back memories of teaching myself to type when I was ten or eleven by pecking out improbable stories on the old electric typewriter in my parents’ basement. The only ink it had left was the red correction ink, so somewhere in my papers I still have a few pages covered with randomly spaced, typo-riddled red type.
If I recall correctly, the main plot I was working on at the time was an odd mash up of Beauty & The Beast and The Secret Garden, in which a girl wakes up to find herself in a completely empty house, full of beautifully luxurious things curiously arranged exactly to her taste. Like most of my fiction, it quickly petered out through lack of direction. I was always good at finding interesting situations for my characters, but very bad at sustaining a plot. Once I knew what was going to happen, I lost all interest in writing it. So I’ve got all kinds of vivid character sketches and vignettes, but nothing ever happens. While some writers might be able to base entire careers on this premise, alas, I’m not one of them. But I digress.
I am particularly given to digressions today. I seem to have the attention span of a three year old on Christmas evening – high on sugar, completely overstimulated, and so overexcited she’s giggling maniacally as she chases the dog (or her big brother) around the living room. I blame this on procrastination and Modern Family. You see, I had set this past weekend aside as a time to Get Things Done. Christmas is coming fast, and there’s still too many gifts unmade. Plus, I’m having a Dinner Party on Wednesday, and my dining room table (heck, the entire downstairs) is currently awash in drifts of crafting supplies: pile of felt pieces intermixed with odd bits of pattern tracing paper on the dining room, bags of crafting supplies in various corners, sheets of cardboard slumping down in the gap between the armchair and the end table, and half the contents of the sewing box strewn across the futon. Thankfully most of the knitting is confined in a ziplock bag that lives in my capacious black purse. (Yes, I know I ought to have a proper project bag. I’ll get around to sewing that… one of these days. Maybe after Christmas.) If we had random balls of yarn, knitting needles, and pattern pages as well as all the sewing detritus, well, things could get bad.
However, having decided that I must Buckle Down and Get Things Done, I promptly started feeling balky about such Buckling Down, and reluctant to get started. Surely it was much more important that I finish sewing the hair onto the doll I’m making for A Certain Niece than that the kitchen floor was clean. (In my defense, it really is a pretty awesome doll.) And then when I did finally start tidying up, I re-found the bits of folded & cut up cardboard that only needed to be glued together to become a papercraft Thor figure. I had gotten as far as needing to glue it together, but having no glue easily to hand, abandoned all the little bits of paper on the windowsill, where they remained half hidden by the curtain until I started trying to bring order back to the downstairs yesterday.
As soon as I saw them, a combination of thoughts went through my mind, including, “I have nowhere to store this half-finished project where it wouldn’t get destroyed,” and “this would store much easier if it were assembled,” and “these things are really cool,” and “I have glue now…” And just like that, in the name of tidying this project up, I was sitting down in the armchair gluing little bits of card stock together to make my own miniature Norse god (not to mention his helmet). And once I saw how ridiculously adorbs that turned out, I remembered that I’d also printed out Captain America, and Loki, and wouldn’t they look so cute hung with gold thread from a pine garland as Christmas ornaments? And just like that, I had the exacto knife and the cutting mat out, and was constructing little cardboard superheroes with only vague thoughts of finishing up the cleaning as soon as this got done.
And then came the killing blow. Rosie had invited Indy over to hang out, luring her with DVDs of Modern Family. I’d heard of the show, and that it was funny, but I didn’t think too much about it. I don’t watch much tv, so I tend to underestimate its powers of mesmerism. I was still working on my last superhero, so I stayed in the living room. And from the first episode, I was toast. I laughed until I cried. Even after Indy had gone home again, the last super hero had been constructed, and I’d even finished the last bit of superfluous embroidery on the doll for A Certain Niece, I was still there on the futon, watching gleefully. And the next thing I knew, it was almost two in the morning, the house still wasn’t clean, laundry still needed to be cycled so I had clean uniforms for the week ahead, and I had a whole roast turkey in kitchen that somehow needed to be fit into an already full fridge (don’t ask). So, yeah, I got about three hours of sleep last night.
Maybe tonight will go better?