This week I told my critique group we all should write a going-back-to-school essay titled “How I Survived Summer 2011.” I was only half-joking. Then came the confessions how this and that have put a temporary halt to our writing times. Have I been doing a lot of writing this summer? Emphatically, NO. Have I been doing writing-related things? Equally stated: YES. Contradictory statements? Only to those who aren’t writers.
Before this summer, who would have thought I would be able to instantly tell the difference between saw sounds? If someone said, “make a saw sound,” I would have just thought of the boring back and forth sound of a hand saw. Boy, have I learned a lot. There are chain saws (the loudest of the bunch, especially when there are two dozen of them going at once in our neighborhood for weeks). There are stump-removers, circular saws, brick slicers, and several others I can identify from several houses away.
There are also the radios construction guys use. Each group listens to a different channel, blaring between their shouts to each other and tool noises they make. Of course, there are the groups which work without music, too. Why music? Why not? And why am I writing about this? Because it’s writing-related!
Perhaps I’ll write about sawing in a story. I won’t have to do much research, at least not in the area of how a particular saw would sound. And the business with the music? Characterization. My journals this summer fill up really quickly, and there’s still lots of summer left.
I may not have Rose’s summer distractions of kid herds screaming and laughing in and out of my house, racing up and down the stairs, but I know that Rose is taking in her own non-writing-but-writing-related experiences. And Rose is still thinking writing.
I suppose I could leave this mess and go away to some quite place to type like crazy. But I’m doing that here, amidst construction noise and strangers walking in and out of every door of our house. If I left, then I’d miss out on all this craziness. Now, I just need to find the balance between the activity and my sanity. (Time to journal!)