6:00 a.m. Wrench myself out of bed—I am not a morning person. This is a writing morning. I will spend three hours in my favorite coffee shop revising my young adult fantasy novel. Determined to finish revising and get that thing to my agent by the end of the summer.
Slap on some mascara—can’t write without mascara. Pull on my Dockers. Grab my computer and head out. Walk across the park and down the block to the coffee shop. Beautiful spring morning. I’m charged up.
Get my favorite table by the corner window. Boot up computer. Go to counter for raspberry muffin and cup of coffee. Add a lot of cream and sugar. Sit down. Eat muffin. Sip coffee.
Open file labeled “Young Adult Fantasy Novel.” Consider which chapter I should work on. Decide to check email.
Check work email. Check Earthlink email. Check Yahoo email. Check Facebook page. Click four “likes.” Share a link. Realize I’ve just wasted 15 minutes.
Open file labeled “Chapter Two.” Read several paragraphs. Think they’re okay. Pretty good, in fact. Consider sentence: “She laughed at his impersonation of Mr. Larsen’s squeaky voice.” Don’t like the word “impersonation.” It isn’t the right word. Don’t like “squeaky” either. Need another word there. Something that paints a picture. “Squirrelly.” Yeah, that’s it. Squirrels have high-pitched voices. But do readers know that? Will they hear squirrel voices when I say “squirrelly.” Look up “squirrelly” on Google: “Restless, nervous, or unpredictable.” No, that doesn’t work. I know—“mousy.” Yeah, “She laughed at his impersonation of Mr. Larsen’s mousy voice.” That works. No, it doesn’t. Yes it does. No it doesn’t. Decide to go back to “squeaky.”
Read several paragraphs. Make a few changes.
Check Facebook again. Click two more likes. Have notice from friend saying she’s sorry my cat died three weeks ago and she didn’t see my notice until now. Open up picture of late cat. Feel sad. Pet the picture. Wonder if I should write a book about cats. Think of several titles for books about cats.
Go back to Chapter Two. Read more paragraphs. Hate what I’ve written. Think about what a crappy writer I am. Wonder why I gave up writing scholarly articles in theoretical linguistics. I was good at that. I could have been good scholar. I could have been a contender. Think maybe I should go back to that. It’s not too late. Realize I’m staring out the window with a panicked look on my face.
Decide to move to another table. Move muffin, coffee, coat, handbag, computer. Get a glass of water. Wonder why I didn’t spend a year in France when I was younger.
Read more of chapter. Like some of it. Love some of it. Hate some of it. Most of it, I have no idea about. Get another cup of coffee. Drink and read. Rewrite a few sentences. Go to the bathroom. Nibble at muffin crumbs. Watch a guy petting a dog on the corner. Eavesdrop on a conversation about Saul Bellow. Write a few decent sentences.
10:00. Upload what I’ve revised to Live.com. Power off computer and put it in my bag. Put on my coat and head out. Walk home. Keep thinking about that sentence. “She laughed at his impersonation of Mr. Larsen’s squeaky voice.” It’s fine. It’s good. No it’s not, it’s terrible. Really, who writes a sentence like that?