Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dreaming of a White Christmas

There was less than an inch of snow on the ground when I went to bed last night - when I woke up the entire neighborhood was buried beneath a flawless white blanket over twelve inches thick.

The weather teams haven't decided if they can officially call it the "Blizzard of '09" ( how the love their fancy names) but it would be impossible to venture out until after the roads are plowed.

Until then, I am happy to stay warm and toasty in my pajamas and watch the wind whip the white powder across my gardens.

I should be writing. I am so close to reaching my goal of 100,000 words by December 31st, but here I am, in full procrastination mode. Why? Where do I start?

Prior to this last week I was in a wonderful rhythm of working, writing and sleeping.

The usual avoidance techniques had been well and truly defeated by my determination to complete this single goal that I set for myself. My fingers were flying across my newly acquired wireless keyboard (thank you Logitech) as my characters dictated their stories at breakneck speed.

My eyes had abandoned their protest of the tiny text on my iBook screen since I installed a large monitor that made it possible for me to write without having my lap top anywhere near my lap. No more hot legs or nauseating vibrations.

So what's the problem?

I'm not sure, and I don't think I should waste time trying to figure it out.

There are the usual culprits to blame:

- over-scheduling myself to make up for the upcoming Holiday break when I'll have two 4-day weekends in a row! What luxury!

- the incessant "nipping to the store" on my way to and from work to buy gifts, cards, wrapping supplies.

- deciding who to cross off my Christmas card list and which new names to add.

- baking pumpkin muffins, cookies and stick-to-your-ribs dinners to help pile on the internal layers that mother nature thinks we need during the cold winter months - maybe someone should tell her we have fleece blankets and furnaces nowadays?

- then there's the real creative monster - the finish-line-is-finally-in-sight monster that lunges into your path just when you think you are going to make it

Yeah, that's the one I suspect I'm dancing with as I watch another episode of House, CSI Miami, or Masterpiece Theater. I have all these shows saved to my DVR so I could watch them AFTER I complete my first draft. But I still find myself snuggling into my over-sized chair with my super soft blanket and glass of Pinot Noir for yet another few hours of staring at the flat screen, instead of the monitor.

I don't know if we'll have a snow day tomorrow. I guess that depends upon whether or not I dig out my car before it gets dark. 

The snow pants, gloves, jackets and boots are piled by the door next to the shovels. There's at least 2 hours worth of shoveling to do just to clear the driveway.

I could pretend that it's okay to ignore the fact that I'm wasting a perfect opportunity to get my novel written this afternoon, but my characters are sitting on my shoulders and literally whining like children, telling me to JUST WRITE.

They've been at it since I woke up to this winter wonderland, when they squealed their delight at the picture perfect scenes lying just beyond my snow framed windows. Their unconstrained excitement reminded me of my children on Christmas Eve, thrilled by the magic surrounding them in the form of fairy lights, candy canes and mysterious colorful gifts tucked under the tree. I guess I've never spent the Holidays with my characters before. They were probably buried beneath my endless To Do lists and the uncompromising "I'm way too busy to write" mantra that usually accompanies me in December.

But here we are, on a gorgeous snowy afternoon, talking to each other.

If I could ask Santa for a special gift this year it would be the gift of completion. I want to cross the finish line, once and for all, and leave my creative monsters in the dust behind me.

That said, I'm off to write - after I bribe my sons with Egg Nog and cookies to go out there and dig out my car!