Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Distracted writing parent

Last week, I got an email from my editor, who'd sent out a request for any articles to run for August. Since it was almost the very end of July, I pulled out an article I'd been tinkering with. The problem was, I'd lost the outline for this article. GAH! But, fortunately, I still had the quotes, so I had to put it together again sans outline. (I created a new outline in my head as I went along.)

Thing of it is, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It turned out to be a LONG article! And I had to do some research on the 'Net while I worked on it. And send an email to one of my contacts for a quote, for good measure.

Meanwhile, the baby was literally at my feet, wanting attention. Now trying to type with a very curious 9-month-old on my lap is not easy. I have tried supporting him with one hand while bouncing him on my knee as I typed with the other. I have tried getting his attention focused on something else as he sat on my lap while I worked. And, of course, cradling him and singing a lullabye as I type. (Yes, I CAN sing and write at the same time. LOL) Sometimes those things work, but not this time. I ended up spending the first day working on that article in bits and pieces, actually writing up one paragraph at a time whenever I had a free minute to work on it. I passed on one paragraph where I needed to look up a book title, figuring I'd do that after I finished the whole thing.

I wasn't able to finish it that first day. It was one of those days when I was just WAAAAYYYY too busy. Out of frustration, and perhaps to vent, I wrote this poem:

http://greenwolf103.deviantart.com/art/Bad-Writing-Day-93341374

The next day found me sitting at the computer in my jammies til noon, wrapping up the article. (Bless my contact's heart for getting back to me so quickly. Thanks, Martha!) Of course, I wasn't sitting there the whole time. I was going back and forth in between taking care of the kids and writing the article. Once again, the lil one was at my feet right when I FINALLY finished it. I did a quick happy dance in the chair, sent it off then got up from the computer to take care of the kids again.

When I finally took my shower and got dressed, I realized something: I'd forgotten to put the book title in there! Somewhere in my 1300-word article, I had a sentence ending with the word "and." D'OH!!!!

So I hurriedly made my way back to the computer, fixed the mistake in my article then sent this one off to my editor explaining the situation.

And guess what? He didn't even use it.

GAH!!!!!

Ah, well. At least I got a poem out of it. :D

ETA: The article was later accepted. It will be used in a future issue. Woot!

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